Why did you decide to quit?
I had known for some time that my drinking was out of control and starting to cause problems. It was becoming harder and harder for me to function and I could sense that the time was coming when something very serious or embarrassing would result. I would drink myself unconscious and have no memory the following morning of what I said or did.
A friend sent me a text to explain that my behavior was becoming unacceptable and said, "Now is the time to do something about your drink problem before it destroys you." I acted on his advice.
How did you get sober?
I went to the doctor and he referred me to an assessment centre that offered support for those with addictions. I was interviewed etc and attended some of their group sessions which were helpful. The stories I heard about what alcohol did to people horrified me and I was determined not to let it ruin my life.
I also went to AA meetings, and again, was encouraged to abstain and derive strength from the successes of fellow sufferers who had triumphed. I did have a few slips though and only proved to myself that I cannot drink safely.
I tried to risk a glass of wine one Sunday. Before I knew where I was, another bottle was opened and I was off. I craftily did all I needed to do for the Monday morning - knowing that I was going to keep drinking and I did.
The following morning, I was sick with disappointment and depression. I knew then that it had to be 'cold turkey' for me and I have not had a drink now for a year and a half. I am very proud of my achievement and grateful to all those who helped me with it.
In addition, my friends are all very pleased particularly the one who had the guts to tell me straight out! I now can look them all in the face.
If you do stop drinking, it is difficult, but does get easier. It is easy to give in and just go on drinking; that only leads to further depression. The longer you remain sober, the more you will achieve.
Remember to replace drinking time with more constructive leisure activities! Boredom is one of the reasons people drink alone. They seek company with a bottle. Rejuvenate your neglected interests or cultivate new ones. You are never too old to learn and improve.
- If you are considering quitting - you know you are drinking too much and that it is going to harm you if it hasn't done so already.
- Realise that you deserve better and you have the potential to get much more out of life. We only get one shot at life and if it is mucked up, we cannot go back and start again.
- Advantages to quitting: better health, more money, no more dreadful feelings of guilt and self loathing, aware of what is going on at all times, get more done at weekends and enjoy a sense of achievement, earn the respect of friends and family.
- Advantages of continuing to drink: temporary oblivion?
Buddy T, About.com Alcoholism, says:
If you think you would like to try to quit drinking, here are some resources that may be helpful.