It may seem nice and relaxing to hang out in front of the TV with a beer or wine, but if at some point it becomes a habit to drink all the alcohol in the house, you start to lag behind. Slowly you are continuously recovering from a hangover, and then you are subconsciously more and more lived by the drink. But when you step away from that, a beautiful world suddenly opens up for you. And then you get so many beautiful things in return! The writer of this week’s experience story also experienced this. I hope this story can be an inspiration for many:
What do you do in everyday life?
“I’m a 42-year-old woman and my first experience with alcohol was when I was 14. The first party was one with a ‘happy hour’ at 8 pm, in which I drank 8 beers and threw everything up before midnight. This foreshadowed the next 28 years of drinking, with frequent vomiting, uncontrolled behavior, fines, fights, hangovers, anxiety attacks, blackouts… everything.
I am a sweet, calm person but if I had too much to drink, a completely different person would come up… I call it my little devil. Alcohol seemed like my best friend. It made me looser, more fun, less tired, I liked it… (I told myself all the time 🙂 ).
What did you mainly drink and how much/often?
I mainly drank cava, wine, beers, occasionally cocktails and in recent years also heavier beers, gin and tonics. Basically everything 🙂 A lot of people haven’t seen me drunk often because I could hold back in company and behaved responsibly. But when I was alone, or with my boyfriend (also a good drinker), the brakes could be released.
To open a bottle was to drink a bottle. Sitting alone in front of the TV and intensely enjoying a movie and a bottle of cava. Then I got a holiday feeling and I toasted to life with myself. But then it didn’t stop with that bottle of cava. If there were still beers in the house, they were also absorbed in the so-called holiday. Until the hangover the next day… And the guilt, depressed thoughts, fears of everything and anything… Self-confidence 0.0. Do not feel like working…
How long have you stopped drinking alcohol?
I have now stopped drinking alcohol for 6 months.
Was this your first attempt?
In the past 2 years I have twice included an alcohol-free month. Just to see what it was like. That worked without any problems and now 6 months ago, after a period of much tumbling… during which the alcohol became so irresponsible with close friends on the weekends, that I got an inner realization that I wanted to stop. No coercion, no radical decision of ‘must’. Just thanks for everything and moving on!
What stopped you from giving up alcohol sooner?
The idea that I loved the high, the peace in my head, a smoother chat… And my environment in which alcohol was central.
What do you experience as the greatest benefits of quitting?
The freedom. To be able to get into the car without thinking. To live consciously and to be clear of mind. Your self-esteem rises. You remember everything in every situation. You really listen to people. The peace that accompanies this gives a kind of euphoria. It’s the feeling I was looking for in the alcohol, but it certainly can’t be compared. The urge to get up early, do things… It’s gone with sweating and hangovers and moments of shame. And my teeth have also improved, because there is seriously some sugar passing through the alcohol. You will look younger and fresher…
And what do you miss most?
The group feeling… with real drinkers or in the cafe you suddenly feel like an alien. You want to go home faster, are no longer interested in the gossip and repetitions… you change your priorities.
What do you drink as an alternative if you no longer drink alcohol?
An alcohol-free beer, water, coffee, tea, cola/ice tea zero…
How do you plan to deal with alcohol in the future?
I think I have found my freedom again.
Do you have any tips or advice for people who also quit alcohol?
It really has to come from within. That’s the same as with smoking and other addictions. Realize that what you get in return is so much more beautiful than what it brings you. Do not put any pressure on yourself because what you are not “allowed” to do, you reinforce by wanting it. 1 day at a time. Don’t be mad at yourself either, we’re all just human. Realize that you are just a much nicer, more stable person. You’re going to be proud of yourself. Your self-esteem grows and you radiate that on your environment.
Finally, what do you want to say to anyone who still doubts whether they should stop drinking or not?
See it as a new adventure, a new beginning. Always the same life pattern also gets boring 🙂 . Know that alcohol and other addictions simply make you want to suppress certain feelings. It has become a habit and an escape from everyday life. A flight from being yourself.
I found that our bodies can naturally give even a more joyful buzz than any other addiction. A kind of euphoria that makes you want to live.
When you get to that point you think: wow, if only I had known that sooner!
“You are no longer lived, you are alive!”
And with that, you beautifully expressed the feeling behind the term “alcoholfreedom”! That is exactly how it is: you are once again in control and decide for yourself how you face life. You are no longer behind the facts and that is a wonderful feeling to experience.
Thank you so much for your story and this nice contribution to the ever-growing collection of experience stories for AlcoholFreedom! If, after reading this story, someone else would like to share his or her experiences about quitting alcohol: please let me know! Just leave your e-mail on this page and I’ll contact you as soon as possible
Have a nice weekend everyone!