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.


  1. James says

    Well done, I am on day 77 today. It has been tough for the first 60 days, but it is true that your life slowly gets better if you stick at it. I am starting to feel comfortable with reality, and gaining a life that I could not hve had while drinking.

  2. says

    I gave up drinking and even though at the start it wasn’t easy with the cravings and also my husband drinking in front of me, I am finally reaping the benefits of a healthier and very slim body. I am enjoying all the things I used to love before and also feel naturally calm. I felt sure while I was drinking it was giving me high blood pressure but was too nervous to go for a check up.

    • James says

      Hi Michelle, great to hear that you’ve found all the same benefits as many of us here have found by giving up drink. Keep it up and let us know how you get on.

  3. Shari says

    Your article really hit home. Thank you for sharing your story. I developed quite the wine habit and was shocked to discover I was up to around 14 glasses of wine a week. It sure crept up on me. I decided to challenge myself to 30 days alcohol free. I need to evaluate my relationship with alcohol. It’s very hard. I think about wine constantly. Yet it’s much easier to wake up in the morning, I feel connected to life. I feel present. I’m journaling again after many years of a hiatus to discover what I am numbing myself from. I want to make this happen. Thank you for your inspiration.

    • James says

      You’re welcome Shari. Thanks for leaving your comment. I think this is true for many people who perhaps don’t realise quite how much they’re drinking day to day. Your goal is a worthy one, good luck! Why not post a comment to let us know how you are getting on – feel free to post as many comments as you like.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *