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About

December 21st, 2006 was the worst night of my life, but luckily for me it also turned out to be the best day of my life, after a massive hangover I decided to give up drinking there and then. From that date on I’ve not drank a drop of alcohol, and in doing so have managed to turn my life around completely. Now I’m married with children and have so much more energy than I ever used to have. I’m more positive than I ever used to be, and think I’m much more successful in life now that I’m sober and making better, clearer decisions.

This blog has steadily grown over the last couple of years into a collection of posts about my feelings since giving up, the 5 steps that I think it took me to overcome my dependence on drinking, and much more. What started out as a series of random tweets on Twitter has blossomed into this blog.

I’m amazed by the number of people that visit my blog, you are very welcome, especially if you decide to add a comment to the growing list of those that have. These comments are helping to turn this blog into a real community of people like you and me who either drink and don’t want to anymore, or who have managed to stop and just want to share their stories.

To say that the journey since December 21st, 2006 has been a long and difficult one is a bit of an understatement. It was hard to give up drinking, really hard. But I managed to do it, and kept my sanity, just! The tips and ideas that I picked up from others helped me, like building up a huge list of reasons not to drink, excuses really, but they all helped. So did the Internet, how did people manage to give up before the Internet was around?! I’ve found a ton of information that helped me, so did a couple of books including ‘A Piece of Cake’ by Cupcake Brown (Find on Amazon US/GB). All of these gave me inspiration, and I hope that I’m able to wrap that up and pass it on to you as well. Hopefully you’ll get inspiration to continue not drinking, or find the will power to give it up.

My biggest regret was not stopping drinking soon after realising that I would be better off without it. I was 21 when I realised that I wasn’t a very good drinker, but it took me about 15 years of trial and error to finally give it up. But I’ve more than made up for lost time since!

I hope you enjoy my blog, if you find it helpful please leave a comment, and tell others that you find on your way about it too.

Life is so short, why lose it in hangovers and shame. Have a clear head and live a sober life starting today.

Comments

  1. Great blog – I’d love to keep up with you so please put me on your email list.

    • Hi Kimball,
      I added your email to the list, which automatically sends you a confirm link. Can you look out for this, confirm, then you’ll see new posts/comment activity from the blog.

      James,
      P.s. thanks for your interest and hope my blog inspires you!

  2. Good morning everyone!
    Hope you are all well!
    After one too many hangovers I have decided enough is enough. I’m 38 years old and hangovers are lasting two days rather than two hours. On Monday morning I felt so ill I dont even know how I got to work!!!!
    Given that today is Wednesday I’m only three days in, so this is all very new to me, but I feel determined and focused!
    I just stumbled across this website when googling for inspiration and tips.
    I have to say, I find everyone’s comments and the information on this page really helpful and encouraging.
    My first little reward was a good nights sleep last night! Absolute bliss!!
    Keep up the good work everyone, I’m delighted I found this page.
    Onwards and upwards!

    Allison xxxx

    • Hi Allison, Well done on choosing to give up drinking. As Steve says in his comment, it’s a decision you won’t regret. I haven’t, and was glad i did it when i did. It’s never too late to start!
      Keep reading through the comments here and the posts as there’s plenty of inspiration to fuel you. Enjoy the improved sleep, this as well as a number of benefits when you give up drinking.
      Keep in touch,
      James

  3. Steve Green says:

    Hi Allison, and well done on taking the first steps of your journey, it’s a decision I’m sure you won’t regret making.

    The road can seem a bit daunting sometimes at the start, but stick with it, the benefits are just so worthwhile.

    I am currently at 11 months sober, and feel it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so much healthier, more self confident, just about every area of my life has improved massively for the better.

    The first 6 months of my own sober journey are written as a guest post on this blog, and if you would like to read it you can find it here :- https://stopping-drinking.com/living-without-alcohol-a-diary-of-life-outside-the-pitcher-plant/comment-page-1/#comments

    And here :- https://stopping-drinking.com/updated-living-without-alcohol-a-diary-of-life-outside-the-pitcher-plant-6-months-sober/

    You may find some of the posts and comments helpful to you in understanding and dealing with some of the changes and issues you may encounter along the way.

    Best wishes for the future.
    Steve Green.

    Onwards and upwards… 🙂

    • Hi Steve,
      Great to get your input. I can’t believe you’re almost a year in. It seems like yesterday when you started posting comments here on my blog. Great stuff!
      Best wishes,
      James

      • Steve Green says:

        Hi again James. Tempus does indeed fugit, doesn’t it?
        Yes, I’m still going strong, and looking forward to my first sober anniversary on March 1st. There is no way I’m going back to how I used to be before I quit. I like my new life, and new me too much to give them up now.
        You may have noticed that the blog I set up is no longer there, after a good deal of thought on the subject I decided to discontinue it, and carry on as before, reading others, and keeping in touch with your own blog too.
        best wishes.
        Steve.

        • Hi Steve,
          Great to hear from you. Yep, time flies indeed. I can’t imagine ever going back either, life is too different now :o))

          Your blog’s loss, is my gain – you’re welcome to post comments as often as you’d like here. It’s great to generate all this feedback. A real pleasure to help! James

  4. First off Good morning to all and thanks for this site James it’s really hit home with me. 1/31/17 was my 50th birthday. I have a fantastic wife that has been by my side for 22 years. I have two beautiful daughters that continue to astonish me with their accomplishments. I have a great career and have been successful in all facets of life except one. I am an alcoholic! For my birthday I’ve decided to give myself the gift of sobriety. Alcohol has controlled my life for 30 years and somehow someway through all the arguments, incidents, poor choices, bad decisions, and general destruction I have caused my family they haven’t given up on me. I am ashamed of how I let myself become the monster that alcohol has turned me into. I pray to God that he guide me to become the best husband and father I can become without the Demon of alcohol ruling my life. Lord knows I’ve put alcohol in front of my family and for that I feel like such a failure and am so deeply sorry! There have been so many times sitting in my car drinking that I’ve thought that their lives would be so much better without me! I only hope that I am strong enough to make them proud! Thanks again for the support.

    • CL, thanks for your comment. This is the best birthday present you can give yourself. Let this be the first day of the rest of your life..! They say that you can’t change the past, but you can have a different future and a sober one is so, unbelievably more rewarding. Good luck. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on, or if you feel lousy and need support. Best, James

      • Good morning friends. Hope everyone is well. James, Steve thanks for the responses and for the support. Really appreciate it. Well, it’s day 4 for me without drinking and have really been struggling with how my mind is constantly at war with itself… after drinking daily for the most part of my life I am at odds with mixed thoughts and signals. Yesterday was tough… Friday without booze! Today will be a struggle for sure. I have two events that will inevitably put me in positions that my commitment, resolve, and strength will be tested. Physically, I am feeling so much better… sleeping like a baby. Steve, I will remember your advice to never forget how my life was before my gift of sobriety. Hope I’m mentally tough enough to come out on top TODAY!

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi CL. Like yourself, I have made many bad choices over the years due to alcohol, and like yourself I have been lucky enough to keep the love of my wife and family, also my job. Though alcohol managed to strip much of my self confidence and self esteem along the way, whilst at the same time convincing me that it was the one thing in my life that gave these things to me.

      I found that giving up alcohol brought so many good changes to my life, gave me back my confidence, self esteem, and many physical and emotional changes that improved my life dramatically.

      You have the love and support of your family too, which will make the early stages of sobriety so much easier.

      If you have any doubts about what you are doing, as you most likely will sooner or later, just cast your mind back to how you felt just before your birthday, and ask yourself if you want to return to that life, or continue with the better, and continually improving new life that you now have.
      For me the answer is a no-brainer, there is no way I am ever going back, and giving up what I have gained through quitting drinking.

      It will not take long before you realize just how much you have gained, and that you have lost nothing at all by removing alcohol from your life.

      It can be very difficult for many to actually see the truth of it, but alcohol takes, and takes, and gives virtually nothing but negatives back, while at the same time fools us into believing that the opposite is true. Once you see through this lie and illusion, it makes quitting alcohol so much easier.

      Please keep in touch with James’s blog and let us know how you are getting on.

      My very best wishes for the future.
      Steve Green.

      • Steve Green says:

        Hi again CL.

        I hope your day 5 is going well. Just now it is all ground-breaking for you, the first weekend can seem like a bit of a challenge, but once that first one is done and behind you, you will feel proud of yourself, and realize that it wasn’t too bad after all.

        You may find the first alcohol free social function the same, but you can believe me when I say that the event will be so much easier than the actual worrying about what other peoples reactions are going be to your not drinking. I hope that like me you will actually enjoy sober social occasions much more than you did the drunk ones.
        No more making a fool of myself.
        No more arms round shoulders talking bo####ks at the end of the night.
        No more waking up in the morning hung over wondering what the hell I said… and to whom!
        No more spending a fortune to make myself ill and regretful.
        And to top it off… I can DRIVE there and back… No more relying on taxis.

        I used to think that I needed to be drunk to laugh and to dance, and to join in the fun.
        I now find that I can dance sober too, and enjoy it so much more. I can laugh and joke naturally, and relaxed. This is the person I have turned into.

        And you will too.

        Sometimes at the start you may feel your resolve waver a bit, just keep pushing through and things get easier and easier, and the rewards are so much worthwhile.

        Onwards and upwards CL…

        Best wishes.
        Steve Green.

  5. I’d love to quit and I’d love some help to do so . I train hard but the vino ruins everything I do . I’d like to be on your mailing list .

    • Hi Fiona,
      It’s hard to quit, but it is possible. Take it a day at a time. Work out why you want to stop. Set yourself the goal. Writing really helped me, and you can write here in the comments every day if it helps. James

    • Hi Fiona,
      I’m definitely no expert but what I do know is that I have 8 days sober and this morning as I was driving my 15 year old daughter to school I asked her if she has noticed any changes in me in the last 8 days that I haven’t been drinking. Her first observation… Dad, you’re so much more talkative and you’re in such a good mood these last few days. Her second observation… You and mom are getting along so much better… Mom loved you when you were drinking but I can tell in her face that she likes you so much more now! Don’t get me wrong, these past 8 days have been tough as hell… the urge to crack open that first cold one on the way home from work still rears its ugly head daily. I ask God to let thy will be done and not mine and remember what a hell hole my life was 8 days ago.

      Best of luck and Stay Strong
      CL

      • Great advice for Fiona, CL. Hope you’re still making progress and enjoying being on this sober road. Your daughter’s observations will be the energy that pushes you forward and keeps you going, that I’m sure of.
        James

      • Steve Green says:

        Hi CL. Well done in continuing your sobriety. How marvellous for you that in such a short time you have had such an amazing impact on two of the people closest to you, your daughter’s observations must have made you feel like a millionaire, and confirmed in your mind what a worthwhile decision it was that you made. The benefits get better with time too as I am sure you will find out.
        Best wishes.
        Steve.

        • Hey Steve and James, hope all is well. Well I have 15 days in the sober account and am doing great but that damn voice in my head is getting louder and louder telling me… ” You’re fine… it’s been 15 days, you don’t have a problem… It’s ok to have 1! Really struggling with that now. Hope and pray that I can continue to keep the Demon away. Thanks for the support!

          • Steve Green says:

            CL, you are doing marvellously, just keep on keeping on. Those inner voices are a nuisance at first, but don’t be fooled by them, the reasons that brought you to quitting drinking will just come straight back if you let those voices win.
            In a couple of weeks I celebrate my first sober anniversary, and the difference between what I am like now compared to what I was like 12 months ago is almost unbelievable. I feel I have gained so much in my life since quitting.
            The diary of my first six months of sobriety is written as a guest post on this blog, if you have the time have a look at it, I’m sure you will find many parallels to your own early stages. If you want to read it you can find it here:-

            https://stopping-drinking.com/living-without-alcohol-a-diary-of-life-outside-the-pitcher-plant/comment-page-1/#comments

            And the last post at six months sober is here:-

            https://stopping-drinking.com/updated-living-without-alcohol-a-diary-of-life-outside-the-pitcher-plant-6-months-sober/

            It may just reinforce in your mind that others have taken the same steps as yourself, and that it is achievable, and worthwhile.

            Onwards and upwards CL. 🙂

            Best wishes.
            Steve.

          • No CL, those days are gone…that’s your mind playing tricks on you, suggesting that you’re actually ok. Give in and the cycle starts over. Don’t worry about having these thoughts, though, they will come around and convince you that it will be ok. Steve’s right, you have to keep looking at how life is better, more opportunities and things to celebrate for.
            Keep taking a step at a time, and look forward, not back.
            Post as often as you want here, if that helps. James

  6. James and Steve, Thanks for the encouraging words and advice. After so many years of daily drinking I understand that I can’t do moderation… I must take ownership of that and know that I need to be accountable to the realization that I can’t drink like others do. Although these past 16 days without drinking have sparked a great change in all facets of my life, I find myself at odds with myself more and more. Steve, I have started reading your journal and already see a ton of similarities… like you Steve, I truly think I will be successful and never go back to drinking but this journey is definitely going to test me day in and day out! I am noticing that I’m becoming a bit more irritable and am feeling sorry for myself when I see a guy in the grocery store with a couple of 12 packs in his shopping cart… My first thought is ” why can’t I have those in my cart? I need to get past those thoughts!!
    Thanks guys.

  7. Hi James, I really like what you’ve done with your blog! It’s great to see so much engagement and that’s credit to your inspiring life experience! I’d like to get in touch with you to talk about partnering up to raise awareness around alcohol and mental health together for the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week in May. I tried to use your ‘contact me’ form but seems like the form is broken. Would you drop me an email with your contact details please, so I can talk you through a project I’m working on? Cheers, Tom

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