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Updated – Living Without Alcohol – A diary of life outside the pitcher plant – 6 Months sober

Guest Post by Steve G.

September 1st 2016
6 Months sober.

When I started this diary, in my very first post I had set the date of September 1st as my first major milestone, this is because the longest I had ever gone without alcohol before was one week short of six months. That was a couple of years ago, back in the times when I used to quit with the saying “I’ll just see how it goes.” and of course, in the long run I failed, just like the other times when I quit with the same outlook. I found an excuse to start again, and convinced myself that my reason was valid, and surprise surprise, a couple of weeks later I was back to drinking every night and wanting to quit again

Well, September 1st is here, six whole months without alcohol, that is the longest I have ever gone without drinking since I was a teenager. 47 years of being a drinker are now just history, I know without doubt that I will never return to being a drinker, never drink alcohol again, never go back to my old way of life.

During the last six months I have celebrated my birthday, been on two holidays, given my daughter away on her wedding day, attended barbecues, been to pubs and restaurants, and I have enjoyed every single one of those occasions without either wanting, or needing, to drink any alcohol. I never needed it in the past either, but I just didn’t know it then.

When I quit drinking this time I had decided weeks before I actually quit that this time it would be permanent, I would not allow failure to be an option this time. I have learned enough about myself concerning alcohol that I either drink every night, or not at all, so in the end the options open to me were a simple choice, stay as I was (which I was not happy with) or quit drinking altogether and change my lifestyle to a better one.

I do not in any way regret my decision to become a non-drinker, I feel as though it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

I feel much healthier in many ways, physically, emotionally, psychologically.
Financially too, but that was never really a deciding factor.

I now tend to live, and view my life with a more positive attitude. I used to worry about everything and anything, but now tend to deal with problems that arise with more confidence.
I think that just about every area of my life has improved since I quit drinking alcohol, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t think of one single thing that has been made worse by my decision to quit.

I feel very proud of my achievement, and much happier with the way I am now. A different person than I was, someone who I like better, and live with easier.

I will not be setting myself any more timeline targets, I have achieved what I set out to achieve, I have become a non-drinker, and I know that I shall remain a non-drinker for the rest of my life, and that makes any further targets unnecessary.

I do not say this with any arrogance or complacency, but with the confidence of knowing that this is the way I prefer my life to be.

I will be keeping in touch with the blog though, posting anything that comes to mind , and also to communicate with others who are making the same journey, and to offer any help or inspiration if I can, or just simply to discuss the subject in general.

I would like to say thank you to James for kindly allowing me to use his blog to post my diary on, it has definitely made the early stages of my journey easier. And also for the help and inspiration from himself and others along the way.

My very best wishes to all.
Steve.

Comments

  1. Steve, Nice post. Congrats on your six months. I often felt that the early days were the hardest. For me, recovery has a momentum of its own. There was so much I would have missed out on had I not embarked on this journey. Cheers. Lisa

    • Steve Green says:

      Hiya Lisa, it’s lovely to hear from you again, I hope all is well with you 😀
      I feel that I have gained so much in the last six months, and in so many ways too.
      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
      Best wishes.
      Steve.

      • Hi Steve & Lisa,
        Steve – a great milestone to reach. This is the point that I realised I’d made it and was set for a sober life and that it was completely do-able.
        Lisa – great to hear from you again. How are you, hope you are well? Sound advice for Steve and everyone else on the site looking for inspiration!
        All the best to you both.
        James

        • Steve Green says:

          Thank you James, as the weeks have passed I have settled more and more comfortably into my new lifestyle, the six months target was very much a psychological milestone for me, and I feel a great sense of achievement now it is behind me.
          Best wishes.
          Steve.

  2. Hi James and Steve. Congratulations to you both for giving up alcohol and showing us that it can be done and we don’t need alcohol to enjoy life. So inspirational.
    I need inspiring at the moment as I’m on the merry – go -round too.
    I only drink socially maybe on average once a week/fortnight. BUT I suffer unbelievable hang – overs. They are worse as I get older and completely wreck me, sometimes it takes a week to feel 100 per cent.
    I want to give drinking up completely, but I am worried as my friends and partner are all heavy social drinkers and I feel as though in their eyes I won’t fit in. Also I am going overseas in one weeks time with my partner and another couple who are heavy social drinkers. I feel as though they will expect me to drink, as I also celebrate my 50th birthday whilst away. I know I will be really sick from being hungover and really want to enjoy our holiday without the hangovers. Most people would say. Well just give up drinking BUT it’s not that easy. I really enjoy a beer, especially on a hot day. And I love the beer garden atmosphere. BUT I am sooooo over the hangovers. My health and fitness have taken a serious back step, as like I said it takes days to feel myself. I have tried explaining how I feel to my partner, how I waste the days from being hungover, he says try only having a couple of drinks, but I can’t stop at two, also I’m not a very big person and even after one or two heavy beers, I
    Still feel
    Hungover. Have tried light beer, but I don’t get the same buzz., tastes like water. I would so love to be a non drinker but also not feel like an unsociable lepper. Would love any tips … Thanks

    • Hi Michelle,

      Have you thought about getting involved in doing a charity run/walk and use this as the excuse to give up drink for the period while you train. You’d get the benefit of improving your health and at the same time you’d be able to use the goal of doing a race or other event as a reason why you can’t drink right now. I found I had to fib a bit at the start to give me the space, i.e. a couple of weeks not drinking in order to get some perspective…it’s something that might help and give you the strength to begin to overcome it.

      What do you think?

      James

      P.s. horrendous hangovers is a great motivation to do this…and you’re right, they don’t get any better, the older you get.

  3. Steve Green says:

    Hi Michelle, getting past other people’s opinions can be a major obstacle when you first give up alcohol, we are told all of our lives through just about every channel available just how much fun etc alcohol brings with it, once you actually see through this illusion the journey becomes much easier.
    As James said, for some people it makes the outset easier to fib a little until you become more relaxed into your new lifestyle. Other people’s opinions will change after a while, and they will just accept that you no longer drink.
    Many drinkers feel a bit envious of non-drinkers, and often a little foolish in their presence too, although this is never what you will hear them say.
    What you may wish to bear in mind during the early weeks is that you are doing something that is right for you, regardless of what anyone else may say or think, and others will come to accept it sooner or later.
    Best wishes for the future.
    Steve.

  4. Hi Steve,

    Great post, we need more people like you who can talk about experiences, maybe even do motivational speaking in colleges and universities? I’ve just written a blog about unethical practices in supermarkets when in comes to cut-price alcohol – take a look if you like – https://moralcompasssite.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/the-big-booze-debate-is-it-unethical-for-businesses-to-sell-cut-price-alcohol/

    Thanks

    • Steve Green says:

      Hi Emily, thank you for stopping by, and for the very kind words.
      Although I am very happy with my achievement of conquering my own alcohol problem, and am only too glad to offer whatever help, advice or encouragement that I can on these pages to anyone else wishing to make the same journey, I think doing motivational speeches in person is not really my thing.

      Best wishes.
      Steve Green.

  5. Hi James, I hope you had a very happy Christmas, and would like to wish you a wonderful year for 2017.

    I hope you aren’t offended by this, but after ten months of being sober I have decided that I would like to become more involved in the world of sobriety, to further communicate with others who are, or wish to, give up or moderate their alcohol drinking. And so with this aim in mind I have decided to start my own blog, as this gives me a base to work from.

    I hope you don’t mind, but this will include duplicating my original posts across to the new blog, as that is where the story begins.

    I would like to say once again a HUGE thank you to you for allowing me to post my diary to your blog, and for the help and inspiration from yourself and all the other people who read and commented on the posts, it certainly made my journey so far much easier than it might have been.

    I have decided to name my blog “Outside The Pitcher Plant” and if you or anyone else wishes to check it out you can find it here:-

    http://outsidetpp.blogspot.co.uk/

    Once again, thank you.
    My very best wishes.

    Steve Green.

  6. Hi Steve,
    Happy New Year to you too.

    No, I wouldn’t be offended if you started your own blog. You have a great writing style and in that first post, you generated about 50 comments, which is great. Starting your own blog is exactly what I did and it’s been great for my own recovery as well as (hopefully) inspiring others to do the same.

    I look forward to reading the posts on your blog, and will write comments to help you get it off the ground.

    All the best with your new project and keep in touch.

    James

    • Hi James, and thank you.
      I’ve got the blog up and running now, a couple of the posts needed a slight edit to put them in the correct context, and a couple more have been added now.
      Another reason I wanted to start my own blog is because I know that the act of being more involved with the sober blogging community will certainly help to keep me focused and lessen the chance of relapse, because alcohol is a sly, slimy demon, constantly trying to get through ones guard, blogging and posting help to keep me focused and strong in what I am doing.
      There’s also a photo of my wife and I on there, taken a few weeks ago at a charity launch, so I won’t just be a nameless face from now on.
      Happy new year James.
      My very best wishes.
      Steve.

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