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5. Get all the Benefits of Giving Up Drinking Alcohol

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.― Edmund Hillary

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.

Losing weight without trying

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.

More health benefits

Other health benefits started to become more obvious. First off 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. What I didn’t fully appreciate were the significant health benefits when giving up drink.

The following are all reduced when you give up drinking for just one month:

  • Cholesterol
  • Liver fat
  • Weight
  • Glucose

Source: http://www.healthline.com/health/quit-drinking-alcohol-for-a-month#2

I went to the doctor and got my cholesterol levels checked out. Great, they were low (3 mmol/L). Unfortunately I had never checked them before, when I used to drink, so I can’t say for definite what the change was. But I’ve since read that giving up drink can drastically lower your cholesterol levels.

Better sleep, more energy levels

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.

New family life keeps me busy

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.

The process of writing up about it after all these  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 was lucky that I wasn’t more reliant on alcohol. Some people are and they experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off alcohol. It’s important that you talk to your doctor if you’re in this position.

My diary still helps me

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.

My blog is here to help you too

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 this book, ‘Feel the Fear and do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers’, as it has helped to further develop my inspiration to succeed.

Don’t forget, it’s never too late to make a start on the next chapter of your life.

Quick jump to the other steps:

  1. Overcome Denial
  2. Getting Support
  3. Rewarding Yourself
  4. Change Your Life
  5. Reap The Benefits

…and these are the book references that have helped me write this blog:

  1. Awaken the Giant Within, Tony Robbins – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  2. Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, Carol Dweck – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  3. Feel The Fear, Susan Jeffers – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  4. Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl – Buy on Amazon US/GB
  5. S.U.M.O (Shut Up, Move On), Paul McGee – Buy on Amazon US/GB

Comments

  1. I am 28 and realise i have beenabusing alcohol.i still have Good life but it is apart of my social life .i have gained weight and it helped me feel better..but i am now doing something about it .four of my uncles are alcholics,they have no families of their own and it is very hard to watch them waste their life away to drink.i do belive it is in the blood so i am determined not to let it become a part of my life anymore.i am only in early days and it will be hard to say no to a drink with friends.i have already lost pounds and i am keeping a diary to help me .

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Aine, well done on taking the decision to stop drinking. As the days pass you will realise that you haven’t given anything up. or lost anything, but instead have gained a great deal, and in so many life-improving ways.
      Do keep a diary of your thoughts. emotions, and physical changes, I find my own diary helps me keep focused and I can look back on each step and see the progressive benefits that I have gained through stopping using alcohol.
      I read a book written by Allen Carr entitled “No more hangovers” and I found it helped me a great deal, it really put into perspective the subtle ways in which alcohol draws us into addiction. I would thoroughly recommend the book, if you would like a copy you can find it here:- ( It is also available if Kindle format too.)

      find it on Amazon US/GB

      The only regret anyone seems to have about having quit drinking alcohol is that they wished they had done it sooner.

      Best wishes.
      Steve.

    • Hi Aine,
      As Steve says, congratulations in making the decision to give up drink. It’s a hard but very rewarding path you are now on. The diary is one of the things that helped me most, so well done for starting one! Keep in touch, and let us know how you get on.
      James

  2. Jon Peters says:

    Hi I decided to stop drinking mainly to help improve my running which I have been into for a while, I’m on day 11 now and feel better for it already although early days I’m planning on sticking with it.

    • Good for you Jon. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on!

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi John, congratulations on taking the decision to quit, it’s one I’m sure you won’t regret.
      You will find that your physical well-being will continue to improve as the days and weeks pass.
      Your body is no longer having to spend energy fighting the negative and damaging physical affects that the alcohol brings with it.
      Best wishes for the future.
      Steve.

    • Jon,
      I also decided to stop drinking to improve my running but now that it’s been four months with no alcohol I think I’d like to keep going. I initially pledged to abstain until after my 10k event. That was in April and I still havent had that first drink. Something is holding me back from it. I feel as though I need to make a decision for myself though soon. That’s why I started searching for blogs about how and why people make the decision no longer drink. I think it’s pretty empowering.

      • Hi Carey, empowering is what it is. After 10 years now away from drink, being empowered is one of the best things about being sober!

        Great to hear from you and your experiences in stopping drinking.
        James

  3. This is a really good blog. Reading it because my mom is a serious binge drinker and has now had an accident that I’m hoping will be a wake-up call for her to correct the behavior. I need ideas on what I and my family can do to help her change. We are all social drinkers but know our limits. She does not. And it’s not even clear to me that she still acknowledges how serious this is. I’m not sure how to get her past the denial. I’ll keep reading but thanks for the blog.

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Lauryn, sorry to hear about your Mom, it’s very hard to see someone you love harming themselves like this, isn’t it?
      Unless your Mom sees her drinking as a problem I think it is unlikely that she will change her ways, but saying that, it is quite possible that she does realize that her drinking is a problem but is afraid of taking the steps to make the change, afraid of stepping outside the comfort zone of the way of life that she is used to.
      All it may take is for you, and maybe other members of your family too, to explain to her your concerns, and ask her if she would be willing to have a trial period alcohol free, knowing she would have the full love and support of her family to help her through it.
      Many people abstain for a month initially as their first goal, and find that the changes this brings are so much for the better that they drastically reduce their drinking, or decide to give it up altogether.

      I read a book by Allen Carr entitled “No more hangovers.” And found that it helped me take the decision to quit alcohol for good. I don’t know if it would help your Mom or not, but it is only a few pounds, or about £2 for the kindle format, and only takes a couple of hours to read, so it may be a worthwhile purchase.
      If you would like to have a look at the book you can find it here…

      find it on Amazon US/GB

      I hope this post is of some help to you.
      My very best wishes to you and your Mom.
      Steve.

  4. WOW, I have been struggling with quitting drinking, your blog has mentioned everything I have felt, thank you so much for sharing and your encouragement!

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Kay.

      I too have found James’s blog very helpful and encouraging over the last several months since I quit drinking, there are many encouraging posts and comments on here going back for several years.

      Other people, myself included, have found that it helps to keep a diary, especially during the first few weeks of quitting.
      Write down the reasons that brought you to the decision to stop drinking in the first place, also write a list of the disadvantages of drinking, and the benefits of drinking.
      (You may find the list of benefits is a very short one.)

      Look at the diary often, and add anything else that comes to mind, like your feelings and physical changes, and the attitudes of those around you when they hear of your decision to stop drinking.

      It really, really does help.

      Please post again and let us know how you are getting on, the benefits of giving up alcohol are really worthwhile.

      Best wishes for the future.
      Steve.

  5. It’s day 22 today of me being sober my skin is itchy like hell and i have a very bad rash anyone knows how long it will go on?

    • Hi Peris,
      Best to see a doctor, but it sounds as though it is all the toxins coming out. After about a month or so, i noticed my skin improving, which has continued ever since.

      Let us know how you get on! :o)

      James

  6. I’m only a week in from abstaining from alcohol. But the decision has already empowered me to continue on. I’m 32 years old and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I’ve relied on binge drinking for the better half of the last decade and it made me feel sick inside of that realization. I was fearful for my health and well being. I feel like the first major challenge I have is to overcome the urges to drink when I have too much free time or when I’m bored and alone. I haven’t come to the social aspect yet but now I’ve told all of my close friends and they support me fully!
    This blog is pretty great! Glad I found it. 🙂

    -Andrew

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Andrew. I know this sounds like a well-worn cliché, but just the fact that you realize you have a problem with alcohol is a major stepping stone on your journey, and one that you have already taken. Another hurdle that you have already cleared is telling your friends that you have decided to quit drinking, and it is heartening to hear that you have their support too.

      As James said, the first days and weeks are hard, but the benefits of quitting are numerous, and soon start to show. Well done on coming so far, the journey really is one well worth taking. 😀

      Best wishes.
      Steve.

      • Steve Green says:

        Hi again Andrew, here is something that I should have added earlier, I found this book by Allen Carr “No more hangovers” was a great help to me at the beginning, and during the early stages of quitting. It is only £4.99 for paperback, or £2.50 for the kindle edition, and I’m sure it would help you too.
        If you would like to take a look at it you can find it here:-

        find it on Amazon US/GB

        Best wishes.
        Steve.

  7. Thanks Andrew for your feedback. Great that you’ve made the decision to give up. Here on my blog are many articles and more importantly comments from others in the same position as you are. Use these to inspire you. The first days and weeks are hard, but take it a day at a time and it gets easier. The rush from realising that you can live a happy and much healthier life without drink is something else!
    Keep in touch and let us know how you’re getting on.

    James

  8. Hey there. I was just Browning the internet when I came across this blog and I think is great 🙂 I stopped drinking 7weeks ago and I cannot believe the changes in me. My skin has cleared up amazingly my skin over the years had went blotchy just wasn’t great. I am mentally and physically the best I have been in years. I’m wakening up in the mornings so much easier n fresher than I have done in years. I’ve only just turned 30 I have a young child job great friends and family etc but I’ve suffered depression n my general health hasn’t been great eg no energy mood up n down bloated all the time takes n pains etc I drank more than I should of a lot more I guess but not aalcoholic yet lol it was surprisingly easy given it up I was surprised and now I don’t want to drink atal for the time being. I’m turning my life around starting the gym I’ve already lost weight too that !makes this process easier too anyway stopping drink in just 7weeks has dramatically changed my life I can’t wait to see more changes as I continue my journey of sobriety and a nice healthy new me.

    • HI Mandy,
      Yes, giving up drink is completely life changing and it sounds like you have a few other life changing events happening at the same time. All of these will have a positive effect on your life – best of all, your child will benefit from having a parent with more energy. The journey is long and sometimes very hard, but you’ve made the toughest step, which is choosing to give it up in the first place. Congratulations, please do keep in touch and let us know how you get on.
      James

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Mandy, really good to read your post, you sound super-positive about what you are doing, the benefits really are worthwhile and life-changing.
      Best wishes.
      Steve.

  9. Mary Ellen says:

    I just stopped drinking, only 2 days in. But I think I can do it this time. I am already working toward filling in the time and energy it took. But thank you for your words. They are encouraging me.

    • Hi Mary, Thanks for leaving your comment. There are many who have also written of their experiences and hopefully you’ll get a lot of inspiration from all of us here. I hope you return often and stay encouraged! James

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Mary Ellen, well done on taking the decision to quit drinking, the initial days soon pass, and the benefits soon start to show.
      Many people, myself included, found that it helped during the early stages to keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings and physical changes, also a list of the reasons that brought you to the decision to quit in the first place. These seem like such simple things to do, but they really do help.
      Please post again and let us know how you are getting on.
      Best wishes.
      Steve.

  10. These blogs are very helpful. Thankyou. I made the decision on Tuesday morning to abstain fom alcohol. I have been drinking way over recommended limits for a very long time. I love nice wines, and this is not going to be easy. Evening dinner is definitely not the same without a nice glass of savignon blanc. But a glass was always several 🙁 However fever tree natural tonic water is ok.
    I am only on D3 so I have a long way to go but D3 feels better than D2. I am not enjoying the feelings of over hydration and insomnia, but am enjoying being awake in the evening with my people and animal family long after what would previously have been my watershed. I have also started a diary, and added the DrinkControl app to my phone, so i can enjoy putting a tick next to ‘drink-free day’!!

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Sara, well done on taking the first step, it does get easier before long, and the benefits gained are well worth it. The diary is an excellent idea, read it often during the first few weeks, and any time in the future when you have doubts about what you are doing, it will help remind you of why you decided to quit in the first place.
      Best wishes.
      Steve.

    • Hi Sara, How are you getting on – is the diary and the app helping you stick to your goal? Let us know how you’re getting on…James

  11. Lovely article and some useful insights. I decided for the bazillionth time to give up alcohol 23 days ago (who’s counting!!) I managed nine months a few years ago and started again for no good reason.
    Everything is already much better apart from feeling very tired some days, so much so that I fall asleep and don’t have the energy to lift a finger. But that’s a small price to pay for all the other benefits that are already in my life.

    Better sleep
    Improved relationship with my wife
    Much better moods
    No guilt in the morning
    Always being present

    These are just some of the positives so far. So just the wait to get back my energy and to be more productive as a result of that.
    It will be a month this coming weekend and already feeling proud. Onwards and upwards

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Kam, the benefits of living without alcohol are well worth it, some of them may take a while to get noticed though. The tiredness you are experiencing should disappear before long, and your energy levels should start to improve. I believe the tiredness is caused by your body readjusting to your new lifestyle, I felt the same for the first few weeks too.
      best wishes.
      Steve.

  12. Sunil Maheshwari says:

    Hello Steve, very encouraging read. I am trying to be a social drinker like I used to be but I retired in 2013, still working part-time to keep myself active. Now I am a binge drinker but always thinking of next bingeing. My sleep is terrible. I am going to read your story everyday to fight the urge by thinking about all the benefits. Thanks

    • Hi Sunil, Sorry it’s taken so long to reply, but you’re in the right place to find inspiration to give up binge drinking. There are so many comments from others in the same situation. I set up a new page, all comments, which is literally all the comments ever posted. There’s tons of inspiration in there if you need. Keep in touch though and let us know how you get on. James

  13. Steve Green says:

    Hi Sunil, thank you for the comment.
    This blog actually belongs to James, who quit drinking over 10 years ago, my own story is a guest post on James’ blog entitled “Living without alcohol” and you can find it here if you want to read from the beginning.

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

    Personally I found it impossible to moderate my drinking, I would start off with just weekends, but it always crept back up to seven nights a week, so eventually I decided to quit altogether as I found that a better choice than trying to moderate. Some people do manage to moderate their drinking, and I do realize that for some people this is a preferable path to follow, but there are probably more benefits to be gained by quitting altogether.

    If you decide that quitting altogether is the best choice for you, then your sleep pattern should start to improve within a few weeks, you may find that you feel more tired at first, but your body needs to adjust to your new way of life.

    Personally I have found the benefits of sobriety to be life changing, and will certainly never go back to my old way of life.

    Best wishes for the future Sunil.
    Steve.

  14. Have decided to stop binge drinking I have tried in the past to just drink socially but has never worked really just end up drinking way too much. I have put myself in dangerous situations while intoxicated and have hurt with words some people that I love so dearly and I am done with all that, done with the hangovers too! Any tips or advice?

    • Hi Sue,
      Put the alcohol behind you and don’t look back. Read through some of my 5 steps, in there was one tip and that was to drinking tonic with ice and lemon. Lie, tell everyone you’re drinking if necessary, but don’t get into rounds and buy your own drinks. Remember to take it a day at a time, literally, as some days you’ll want to go back to it. Post as many comments here as you’d like for support as the first days are some of the hardest. But, well done for choosing sobriety! James

  15. Steve Green says:

    Hi Sue, quite often the hardest bit is knowing that you have a problem, and taking the decision to do something about it, rather than just accepting, ignoring, or hiding from it.

    Well done on taking the first step, quitting alcohol brings just good things with it, as you will realize more and more as time passes.

    take a little time to read some of the posts and comments on this blog, there is much in the way of help, inspiration and advice on these pages, which will help you through the early stages of sobriety.

    Quitting alcohol is life-changing for the better, and your decision to quit is one I am sure you won’t regret.

    Best wishes.
    Steve Green.

  16. Day 8 AF. I was not binge drinking but was enjoying a couple of beers at 5pm and wine for dinner almost every night. I was zapped with no energy and thought I would go for a 30 day no alcohol challenge. I still feel very tired and lethargic and thought I would have more energy. I have some bad headaches as well. Hope this gets better soon .

    • Hi Donna,
      Thanks for posting your comment. Setting yourself this challenge is a great idea. If not only a chance to check how much you rely on daily drinking. You should find things starting to improve quite quickly now, with increased energy levels. Go for long walks, they’ll help your headaches and probably help with your sleep as well. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on!
      James

  17. I am attempting to quit alcohol as i have had enough of constantly feeling exhausted, guilty and always struggling for money due to it being wasted and flushed down the toilet. This blog is very inspirational and i am going to refer to it often. There is one thing that i am a bit apprehensive about as i attempt to embark on this journey and that is my sleep…..In the past when i would have nights off the drink, i would lie awake all night staring at the ceiling, worrying about the past, worrying about the future and in the morning when the alarm went off, i could sleep for England
    Thank you again,

    John

    • Great decision to give up John, often this is the hardest part of the journey…making the decision. Sleep gets easier in the days and weeks following, but if it helps, this is my latest book that i can’t put down. It’s a book about philosophy and how it relates to the modern life. I’ll follow this reply up soon with a book review, but i’ve found it a big help. A Guide to the Good life, William B. Irvine.

  18. Corrine Simmons says:

    I discovered this amazing site whilst sitting here at my wits end on how I can move forward and change my life with the second vodka and orange in my hand of the day!! A year ago I barely drank but life pressures and anxiety led me to that first drink of an evening May last year, sitting in the evening sun in the garden and thinking, hey I feel good, the anxiety has gone. That quickly slipped into every night, just a few to take the edge off. It is now March the following year, I have been drinking around 10 units every night, my anxiety is the worst it has ever been, I am so depressed I didn’t know it was possible. I have put over 2 stone on in weight, I don’t sleep, I have no energy, feel like I am in slow motion and really do hate myself so much that I am increasingly paranoid………Then I read this, have spent an hour reading all the comments. The last drink has gone in. I’ll call this day one despite 2 drinks in my system. I am scared of the withdrawal symptoms but today I have felt so awful could they really be worse? At worst it’ll be bad but ultimately I’ll be getting better. I think it is so easy to slip into habitual drinking, I didn’t see it happening. Well enough now, I want my body back.
    Thank you to all those who have written on here, I feel normal again and not weak or a freak, I will post again a week from today and in the meantime will go and check out the Alan Carr book. Thank you all x

    • Definitely not weak, nor a freak. There’s so many of us wanting to give up binge drinking. You’re not alone Corrine. Thanks for leaving your comment and please feel free to post as often as you want here. I wrote a diary at the beginning when i decided to give up drink. It really helped me, through the lows and then the highs.
      James

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Corrine, and well done on taking the first steps. We develop our habitual drinking habit slowly and without really noticing it at first, it can them just become a way of life, or even take over our life.
      After many years of drinking I finally quit for good, and the Allen Carr book “No More Hangovers” was a great help to me during the early stages.
      I am over a year sober now, and love the sober life that I now lead far more than the drinking life that I used to lead. I have so much more confidence, energy, and freedom to enjoy.
      As James said, keeping a diary really helps, also write a list of the reasons that brought you to the decision to quit drinking, and the negative and positive sides of drinking, I found my own list of positives turned out to be a very short one.
      Onwards and upwards Corrine. 🙂

      Best wishes.
      Steve.

    • christine harbinson says:

      How do I get to the blog? not very good at comptor. christine

  19. Hello,
    Thanks for this blog it was very informative. My question to you is do you think you could have been influenced by others to quit drinking or do you think it has to be initiated only within? The reason I ask is for my husband. I am desperate for him to stop drinking. I can see the health implications it is having on him. He also has horrible time sleeping when he is not drinking. He is very moody and irritable: it is to the point where I think about leaving him often but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I need him to stop drinking but don’t know how to make him do it. I really don’t think he has an interest in stopping and I have heard ultimatums don’t usually work. Looking for any advice. Thank you!

    • Hi Lynn,
      Thanks for your question. From my own experience, I made the decision to give up when I did. But, a few years before my cousin gave up just like that, and I thought at the time that this was something deep down that I wanted to also do. It inspired me, but ultimately it was me that made my mind up. I was single at the time though.

      Have you talked this through with your husband, and told him how upsetting it is for you? Do you drink at all? Could you give up something so that the two of you are in the same process together?

      I hope this helps you Lynn. Keep in touch and let us know how you get on, or if you want more advice…feel free to ask for it here.
      James

  20. Hi I am a Pastor and have helped many others overcome alcohol and drug dependant. I have struggled more recently due to my self medicating purposes. I can usually justify by my physical pain and stressful life. My last binge was my last. I realized that I cannot control it any longer. It’s never enough. My husband stopped 4 months ago and it will be his strength that will carry me through. I am 5 days in without drinking and it’s difficult. I’m moody and acting like a child that can’t have its own way. I know this site will be veg helpful. Thank you for sharing. Xxx

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Moira, well done on taking the decision to quit drinking. I’m sure your husband’s experiences of being sober for the last four months will be a great help to you over the early stages of your sobriety, as he will have already have travelled the same road you have just embarked on. The rewards of quitting drinking are numerous, and well worth it.
      Physically, emotionally, financially too. I have found my own life changed massively for the better since quitting the booze, and I’m sure you will too.
      The moodiness will soon pass, as will any other initial withdrawal symptoms, so stick with it as it very soon begins to get better, you may soon start to wonder what you ever saw in alcohol in the first place.
      Best wishes.
      Steve.

    • christine harbinson says:

      I am with you, I stopped one week ago tomorrow. At times its hard as my husband is moody and I feel he has no idea what Im going through. I drank 2 to 3 glasses of wine a night and in the morning felt like crap.I have anxciety do do trama as a child, But the wine was a temperary fix. Iwould love to chat with you and anyone who could help me get through this difficult time, sincerely christine

    • Gayle Foley says:

      “The 30-Day Sobriety Solution” has helped me and 3 of my friends to quit or greatly reduce our drinking. I am on day 61 alcohol free with no intention to drink and it has never been easier. I did 39 days before and then started drinking periodically until I found myself drinking more than I wanted (still waaaay less then before) so I went through the program (I do the audiobook) again.
      This is so helpful I can not recommend it enough!!

  21. Barbara says:

    Hi,
    I have toggled back and forth for over a year–do I have a problem with alcohol or not? I have cut back from about 24 glasses of wine to about 9 per week over the past six months. Sadly, I keep trying to quit but everyone I know drinks. I don’t have one sober friend. I started regular drinking white wine at night in my 40s after back surgery to help with chronic pain. Fast forward to age 57 and I got two rare forms of breast cancer. Clearly it would be better for my health if I could convince myself I need to give it up entirely.

    My husband drinks and most of our friends are moderate, some heavy drinkers. I need support that is private but do not feel comfortable going to AA meetings. Not sure what category I fit in (alcoholic? Heavy? Moderate?). How can I get support I need and remain anonymous? My husband is fine about the evenings I choose not to drink, but he doesn’t think I have a problem. As I said before- I am still not sure if I need to quit—but having said that I drank three glasses of wine last night while he was out for an evening of surf fishing. Any real suggestions you have would be helpful.

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Barbara, It is very difficult for someone else to answer your question, “Do I have a problem with alcohol or not?”
      I think the only person that can really, and truly answer that one is yourself.

      If you are of the mind that your drinking is more than you would like it to be, but find it hard to moderate, (I was in this situation) then the answer is probably yes, you do have a problem.
      Whereas if you find it easy to moderate your drinking, and don’t feel any cravings or sense of loss when going without for several days (or weeks) then you could probably say that you don’t really have a drink problem.

      I think much of it is down to individual perspective.

      Many people drink excessively and beyond, without ever thinking that they have a drink problem, and there are many others who drink extremely moderately who do believe themselves to have a drink problem.

      Whichever answer you decide suits your own lifestyle, I DO know from my own experience that giving up drinking can only enhance your life, alcohol does not bring the confidence and happiness that we are brainwashed into believing it does. This can take while of going without to truly take on board. Quitting drinking alcohol would bring many good and positive changes to your life.

      Alcohol takes a great deal from us, and gives us virtually nothing in return.

      One of the main hurdles to quitting, as many people have found out, is the attitude of others. It takes a while to learn how to deal with this, different people will deal with it in ways which they find suits them best, after a while I just started telling people that I had made a lifestyle choice, and left it at that, it became unimportant to me what anyone else thought or said regarding my decision.

      Should you decide that you would like to quit drinking, then there is a wealth of information, useful advice, and support in the pages of this blog, also check out anything you can find online to help you through the initial stages and beyond.

      I am now almost 17 months sober, and nothing could ever convince me to return to being a drinker now, I have gained so much more from life than I had before.

      The first six months of my own sobriety are posted on this blog, if you would be interested in reading it you can find the first post here:-

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

      I hope my reply was of some help to you.

      My very best wishes.

      Steve Green.

      • christine harbinson says:

        Hi Steve, i would love for you to email me from time to time,I stopped 1 week ago tomorrow, suffer from anciety that was the reason wine became my friend, I thought. I would drink 3 or more glasses a night to forget my pain. worked for about 2 or 3 hours, ying in bed for hours with no sleep. my husband brought it to my attention , i felt no compassion from him or support. he is a great man but I felt cause he could not drink anymore that he judged me.I need as much support as I can get. could you email me and guide me where I need to go? thank you Christine

    • Gayle Foley says:

      Buy the book or audiobook “The 30-Day Sobriety Solution” It has transformed my relationship with alcohol, I can not recommend it enough – honestly.
      Good luck to you – I wish the very best on your journey!

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