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5. Get all the Benefits of Giving Up Drinking Alcohol

Image of fireworks exploding in the skyAfter 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. Well I’m on day 11 now without alcohol ! I am finding it very difficult , I used to love to relax in the evening with a glass of red wine , I don’t really want to give in so soon but am beginning to wonder if I can do this. I do so admire people who don’t drink and never give alcohol a thought. I think I found it easier to give up smoking , something I did 25 yes ago.

    • Hi Janet,
      Congratulations getting this far. Remember to literally take it a day at a time and you’ll get there. It takes tremendous will power at the start, but this does get easier as you get used to not having a drink.

      Keep coming back as often as you want with questions or comments and you’ll be sure to get help here from me or any of the others who’ve written about their experiences.

      James

  2. Hi! I recently decided to quit drinking.. been a binge drinker for 6 years. Mostly weekends but some weekdays, drinking a pint of vodka.. my boyfriend and I decided to do this together but it will be tough since our Saturday nights were usually at home watching Netflix and drinking. Now we need something to keep us distracted! I am excited for this change – it’s the first time since I started drinking that I feel bored with it and ready to start anew life! Just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired! Wish me luck! This weekend will be the first big test for us!!

    • Good luck Lindsay on your challenge! It’s such a worthwhile journey and life without alcohol is even better than you can imagine.

      Keep in touch.
      James

  3. Hi James,

    Great site by the way..

    The longest I’ve ever gone without drinking alcohol since is roughly one month. This is from the age of 14 (early nineties) when I started drinking in parks with freinds then progressed to house parties, nightclubs etc…. I’m a classic weekend binge drinker, I don’t touch adrop I’m the week, however I spend most of the rest of the week ‘recovering’ in a haze just in time for the next big night out.

    I’m determined to make some changes, I’m old enough to know better but I still feel like I’m missing out if I’m not out in the city centre knocking back sambucas on a Saturday night.

    I’m aiming to abstain from alcohol for the foreseeable future. I’ve not had a drink since Christmas Day so feel good that I got through NYE without being tempted. I really want to focus on my career and family now, as well as spending time with friends without the urge to get wasted. I know I’ve not filled my potential career wise I’ve I tend to fall into jobs that I don’t really enjoy or take me anywhere.

    Time to finally grow up I suppose. I want to focus on what’s important in life and not be hungover or too tired to spend time with the people that matter, as this is what often happens at the weekends.

    • Thanks for your comment Paul. Great to hear that you’ve decided to try and give up. I think many if us get to the same period in life when you think it’s just not worth all the hangovers..!
      Good luck and keep in touch, let us know how you get on.

      James

  4. Hi,

    Haven’t posted for a bit so it’s great to check back in and see so many new names and stories here.

    I thought it timely to post as I pass what I consider another milestone. It seems to get longer and longer between posts because I, when I reflect, the need to focus on drinking isn’t there consistently anymore. I still feel like drinking from time to time (after a rough day at work or if a pass an old favourite pub) but it’s a fading habit. I have that sense of it being easier to not drink and what a waste to time going back to booze would be. I used to romantise about drinking when I started this journey but now I tend to have horror flashbacks of drunken embarrassments. I take these as a sign that my subconscious is helping to stop complacency.

    Anyway all my friends and family accept me now as a non drinker and it’s even made some of them realistically evaluate their own drinking and make some healthy changes. Again this lets me know I have walked the right path. I am clear however that I have done this solely for myself. Any other influence this has on others is an added benefit.

    So I’ve hit a full 500 days since I touched a drop. That seems like a long time when written down. I always imagined as a drinker that staying sober would probably be one of the hardest and most rewarding things that I could do. Drunk me was right (but this was probably the only occasion)!

    Good luck to everyone with their personal battles. Stay strong and aim high.

    K

    • Great to hear back from you Keith and congratulations on hitting the 500 day mark. It doesn’t seem that long ago when you wrote your first comment here! You’ve been a great supporter of this blog, leaving so many inspiring comments and helping so many others on your journey.

      Keep in touch,

      All the best, James

      • Thanks for the kind comments James. It honestly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long (despite the first few months dragging by!).

        It’s great to see others finding this blog and using it for sharing and support just as I did. Visiting here frequently really did help me so much and suited my style (I’m not a meeting kinda guy).

        Keep up the great work sir!

        K

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