5. Get all the Benefits of Giving Up Drinking Alcohol

After the initial month during which I wasn’t totally convinced if I was going to succeed in giving up drinking alcohol, I’d started to notice how much healthier I felt. I noticed that I’d started losing weight was down from 82kg to about 78.5g without really doing anything other than cutting alcohol out of my diet and going to a weekly salsa class. In the first month I lost 3-4kg. Now this was a bonus and one I hadn’t expected, so was yet another positive to add to my increasing list of positive reasons for giving up drink.

The weight kept dropping off until I reached a point where I’d lost 7kg by just stopping drinking. I felt the fittest in years, I hadn’t needed a weight loss plan, and I didn’t even anticipate that I would lose weight.

My skin started to feel fresher and more alive, was certainly pinker and healthier looking. I suffered from teenage acne and for the last 15 years had always suffered a bit of dry skin and eczema. Within 2 months of stopping my eczema had shrunk completely, so I was left with a tiny bit on my hands and leg, instead of all over my lower legs and wrists.

This natural detox and cleansing of my system was amazing. I felt as if a blanket had been lifted off of me. I felt I could do anything. With the salsa classes I’d gained loads of confidence and was now starting to believe that more or less anything was possible.

I’ve always been reasonably good at getting up in the morning. I enjoy going to bed late, but I like to get up early, the afternoons are something else. That is siesta time. Without the drink though, there were no hangovers, no days wasted lying in bed trying to shift a hangover. Those days were behind me, long gone. Now I hop out of bed at 6 on a week day and much the same on the weekend. My body is used to it now. Energy levels are so much higher – if I could bottle it and sell it, I’d be a millionaire. Although in my life now I feel I have made it already. Not financially, but in terms of the quality of my life.

Learning from this experience has taught me one thing: to believe in myself. I knew in my heart that I could do it, but making that jump and actually doing it, is the thing that I thought I could never do.

Now I have a wife and child and we’re in a fabulous relationship that just couldn’t have existed before. I was the most argumentative person in the world with just a couple of beers inside me. I was unreasonable and hard to live with, to say the least.

I sometimes wonder what I could have done had I given up alcohol earlier. I had a lot of adventures and life would have turned out differently. Who knows? I wake at night and sometimes smile, because I managed to break a habit and everything has turned out so much for the better.

I couldn’t be happier

My 5 steps were more like 5 phases of my life as I went through the process of detox and stopping drinking. For me they worked, they helped me to think about the process, why I was doing it and what did I hope to achieve at the end of it. By writing up about it now nearly 6 years later I find myself happier than ever that I went through the process and weaned myself off alcohol. For me now, life is so much fuller more fun and happier without alcohol. I’m glad I was able to break free.

I still keep my diary and sometimes take time to read through notes I made years ago. The notes I made then help put things into perspective. I could see at times I really struggled to break the habit and on occasions I was close to relapsing, though I never did. Something I’m really proud of and something that continues to push me into the future knowing that I won’t need alcohol to get me where I’m heading to.

I really hope that if you’ve found my blog about giving up drinking useful and inspiring! If you’re in a similar position then I hope you gain something positive from my own experience. If you do and you’d like to write a comment then please do, your positive comments will add a richness that others will benefit from too.

Thank you for reading this today – please add your comment to the growing list, so that others can benefit from your experiences too! I recommend buying this book, ‘Feel the Fear and do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers’, as it has helped to further develop my inspiration to succeed.

Comments

  1. Vicki says

    I am 59 years old. I really started drinking when I left my alcoholic husband when my only child was 2. I lived through hell and it didn’t end there. 28 years later and I have paid off his debts and worked 6 to 7 days a week to keep a roof over our heads. I started drinking in earnest when I left because I could drown out the bad things and I didn’t feel so lonely. For the last couple of years my son has noticed how bad I am and said last weekend that if I didn’t stop I would die. My liver has been hurting lately and I am overweight by about 30kg, no energy to exercise and I sleep badly. I didn;t think I could give up because it was a habit I had for so, so long. I knew I had to stop otherwise my son would have no respect for me. I have drunk a litre of red wine a night, every night for the past 28 years!!!!!! I probably don’t have long to live but I hope I haven’t gone too far with no return. Haven’t had a wine for four nights now and feel good (no guilt). Thanks for reading.

    • James says

      Hi Vicki, Thanks for leaving your comment here, apologies for taking so long to reply. How are you getting on? Write and let us know or if you need support and encouragement.

  2. Lisa says

    Im going to check in with this site when I think of that chilled glass of presecco….
    I’m giving up drinking from today so all the encouragement will be welcome.
    Knowing I’m a great person with out the need for alcohol to enjoy life. :-))

    • Maisie says

      Dear Lisa
      I gave up one week ago. I have been drinking alcohol free lager – one can a night as there is a limit to how many teas, coffees or soft drinks (which I am not keen on) I can drink but 0% lager seems to satisfy me at a time when it has become a habit to have a drink.
      I have lost a couple of pounds in weight.
      Wishing you all the best.
      M

  3. says

    Dear James, your site has really helped keep me going! I’m on day 8 now after years of secretly drinking between one and three bottles of wine a day whilst – seemingly – keeping a ‘perfect’ family life together. I’ve found blogging really helps too, so started my own: http://www.mummywasasecretdrinker.blogspot.com. Many thanks, and good luck to everyone else out there going on this journey…

    • James says

      Hi Sober Mummy,
      I’m really glad that the site has helped you so far. You’ve got a great blog too – you’re more than welcome to write a guest post and put it here. The first weeks are the hardest, but once you get past them it gets slightly easier each day. Keep at it and always feel free to come back here for support!
      James

      • says

        Hi James! Thanks so much for your reply. Really glad you like my blog. I’d love to write a guest post. Let me know how to go about it i.e. how many words and where to mail it to. Also, if there are any particular topics on my blog that you think your readers would be most interested in then I can expand on that specific area. Love SM

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