One drink seems so harmless, but before you know it, drinking starts to become a daily habit. Especially if you work in a bar or restaurant, then an after-closingtime-drink is quickly lurking. In that case, it may be good to take a step back to break that habit. The chef from this week’s experience story did so, and benefits from his decision:
What do you do in everyday life?
I am a 33-year-old guy who works in the hospitality industry as a chef.
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I mainly drank beer or specialty beer. A closing drink and catering are deeply connected, so I often had a few closing drinks after work. And I drank on my days off as well, because that’s my weekend after all. In addition, your friends normally have weekends so you join them when you can, and in the end I basically drank everyday of the week.
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I have stopped drinking alcohol for 6 months now and this was my first attempt. I haven’t tried a dry january or anything else.
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
Previously it was often a closing drink after a long, busy working day, and this was a bit of relief. I think this did hold me back, but I don’t need that release anymore. I can handle the pressure and stress much better now because I am much sharper. In addition, a visit to friends was always: “beer? Beer!” It had become more of a habit that just had to be broken.
What have you experienced as the biggest benefits so far?
The biggest benefits for me are definitely being sharper at work. My sleep has improved, and the days are longer because you now get up much earlier and with energy.
And what do you miss the most?
So far I haven’t missed it, but now the catering industry has also been closed for a long time. Only the urge that I don’t necessarily want it anymore is gone. I don’t need it anymore, the habit has been broken.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
As an alternative, I usually have 0.0 beer in the house, after an afternoon in the sun in the garden, something like this is nice. I don’t like soft drinks, and I soon had enough of orange juice or water at some point. For the rest: tea and coffee.
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I don’t know how I see the future with alcohol. I think it’s fine the way it is now. When I think of drinking, I’m a bit afraid of the next day, so this is a good fail-save. And as I said, the habit is broken. Drinking is no longer necessary. For me, a terrace, barbecue or socializing is no longer inherent to a beer or alcohol.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also consider quitting alcohol?
My tip for people who want to quit alcohol is to try to break the habit of alcohol. I informed my friends and told them not to offer me alcohol anymore, and I just went to visit them as usual. And of course this: you really have to want to quit. The switch has to be turned, it’s all or nothing. At least this is the case with me.
Finally: what do you want to say to anyone who is still in doubt whether they should stop drinking or not?
Just do it! Just stop, and don’t say you’ll never drink again because that might sound too definitive. You get used to the idea of not having alcohol anymore. But you have to stand behind it completely, otherwise it is a tough one.
And that’s just the way it is: you really have to want it yourself! After all, otherwise you’re just kidding yourself. I’m glad you got the insight to go for it! Keep it up and enjoy the well-deserved 0.0 closing drink every now and then. After a busy day at work, it’s probably just as tasty as a ‘real’ one!
And if someone else, after reading this story, also wants to share his or her experiences of quitting alcohol: please let me know! Just leave your email at this page and I’ll contact you as soon as possible.