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To ask why you gave up alcohol and do you miss it?

(21 Posts)
SunshineOverStress Wed 20-May-20 07:40:43

I am a typical binge drinker - I drink socially usually and once I get the taste I don’t know when to stop - often drinking for 12 plus hours, getting black out drunk at times, not remembering what I’ve done or how I’ve acted. The next day I get really worried about how I’ve behaved (I’m the dancing on the table sort!) and feel absolutely dreadful, have to sleep all day (no kids!) and end up eating ten tonne of crap then feeling bad about myself and regretting it and the money I’ve spent for a couple of days. I know how much better I feel clear headed and sober and in control yet I love a drink so much in social situations! I always tell myself I would love to quit alcohol for good because of the states I get in and the bad decisions I make, yet as soon as the opportunity arises I’m drinking bottle after bottle of Prosecco again!

So anyway, who on here gave up drinking for good even though they do enjoy it so much at the time? Or is there a way of mastering the skill of stopping at just a few?

I realise my bad hangovers are due to the disgusting amount I drink, as 2 bottles of wine or Prosecco or a small bottle of vodka To myself I would usually consider being sensible which I know is just completely ridiculous and still a lot!

Kitten9 Wed 20-May-20 09:50:51

I was in exactly the same situation five years ago. I absolutely loved going out every weekend and was a major binge drinker, but I noticed that it was starting to affect my life.

I didn’t like who I became when I was drunk - I was loud, obnoxious and annoying and I always had so many regrets when I woke up the next morning. I was making bad decisions, having arguments with people and spending far too much money! I also started to get terrible anxiety for about two days after a drinking session which meant I struggled to function at work.

I never, ever thought I could be someone who didn’t drink. It seemed impossible, as I did often have a lot of fun when I was drinking. But when I met my now-fiancé who doesn’t drink at all, it sparked something in me and I completely cut it out. I’ve now been completely sober for five years (I’m 30 now!) and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Every single aspect of my life is better now, and I only wish I had done it sooner!

Apologies for the essay - I get so passionate about this topic as it really did change my life. I have complete faith that you can do the same if you choose to!

GinDaddyRedux Wed 20-May-20 09:57:38

Massive respect to you both. Seriously. I have beaten addiction of a different sort and it takes huge amount of self awareness to do this and commitment. There are a hell of a lot of people in British society who are in complete denial and who become bitter and defensive whenever this subject is raised. You may get very few replies on this topic as a result.

Stampy84 Wed 20-May-20 11:42:01

Following, an also interested..
OP have you read The sober Diary’s, it’s written by a lady called Clare Pooley, honestly, it’s well worth a read if you want to stop drinking. It’s really funny and a lot of people will be able to relate!

TattyDevine Wed 20-May-20 14:36:14

Also good to read are The Unexpected joy of being sober and The Naked Mind.

I too drink way too much when I do drink - we are basically chasing the amazing taste and feel of that first drink of the day but it never gets better than that, not beyond the second anyway. Then the bottles open! You can't WASTE it! See, I get it.

Anyone could give up for good. It's my social life that stops me. Or ultimately, the fact that I don't want to, probably, because I'd feel left out. So I keep it to weekends only, and try not to book more than 2 proper social events with friends per month (they are the times we all seem to end up drinking far too much).

I'll also make myself go through an empty diary weekend without drinking sometimes, and lockdown has been a good opportunity to do that.

Piglet89 Wed 20-May-20 15:27:53

Interesting topic, OP. I have read a fair bit of sober literature and memoirs and am constantly toying with going sober. I feel better when I don’t drink, I sleep better, I lose weight and save money. What’s not to like?!

Everyone smoked in 1950 - just as a lot of people in British society drink alcohol today. Does anyone feel like, in about 30 years’ time, drinking alcohol might become viewed as antisocial - just as smoking is today?

Stampy84 Wed 20-May-20 15:51:42

@piglet89
I think you’re right- even now from my experience with teenagers, they don’t seem to be bothered? Mine are 14 and 15 and as far as I’m aware, aren’t bothered about drinking.
When I was 15, we used to stand outside the off licence waiting for someone passing to buy us a bottle of white lightning cider, and 10 B&H Fags, I can’t imagine many do that now thankfully!!

Dragongirl10 Wed 20-May-20 16:18:28

Op l gave up drinking except on very rare special occasions (maybe 3 times a year) 10 years ago.
I was only a light social drinker , wouldn't dream of drinking alone and never craved a drink, but for every evening out where l had 3 or 4 drinks (bit of a lightweight) l had a full 24 hours of headaches, exhaustion, couldn't concentrate, and upset stomach.
Once l drank 3 glasses of champagne on a Friday night and couldn't raise my head until Sunday lunchtime as the headache was so so bad.
Then after not drinking for almost 3 years after 2 dcs close together, pregnant, breastfeeding then pregnant again, alcohol tasted vile....plus there is nothing as horrible as having to look after 2 under 2s feeling ill!!

It has not impacted my life negatively at all, l have just as much fun out with friends, and can have the odd glass occasionally as long as l don't have to do anything the following day, but l usually feel the loss of a whole day is just not worth it.

EngagedAgain Wed 20-May-20 16:22:24

Gave up for health reasons although I weren't much of a drinker anyway. Started to make me feel yuk most times anyway. Don't really miss it, but then I don't socialise much, which is the time I would most I think.

islandislandisland Wed 20-May-20 16:36:59

I was in a similar situation to you and I did something really awful one night out that could easily have ruined my career. I never drank again after that, almost 2 years ago. I'd spent 10-15 years getting hammered most weekends but when I hit my late twenties it took its toll more, hideous hangovers where I felt absolutely poisoned, horrific anxiety, more blackouts and more outrageous behaviour. I never ever thought I could not drink but I've stuck to it and I've never been happier. Rather than chasing the next night out I've got better friendships, especially with my friends who weren't big drinkers, I'm kicking ass at work and getting noticed, and I'm pregnant with my first child which I could never have contemplated whilst I was drinking despite wanting a family really badly. My self esteem is verging on normal, I feel relaxed and happy and really proud of myself every time I come home from socialising and get into bed sober with a cup of tea knowing I've got the whole next day to enjoy doing the things that make me happy. I highly recommend it, and if anyone questions you or tries to encourage you to drink just stay confident that it's not the right thing for you and you're better off without.

FusionChefGeoff Wed 20-May-20 16:53:10

I realised that I had lost control and was no longer making a choice to drink - I was completely addicted. I had 2 choices - get sober and never drink again or die a horrific, lonely, undignified alcoholic death. I had tried to give up so many times (every day for the final months!) but nothing could stop me cracking open that wine at 5 o'clock.

I needed and still need a lot of support from AA (joining an online meeting in a few hours!) but have now been sober for over 6 years.

Lilybetsey Wed 20-May-20 17:24:53

I stopped drinking in March 2016 for similar reasons. I didn’t like the person I was when drinking and I could not stop at one or two glasses. I am so much happier now, I missed it at first, and still sometimes find it hard when everyone else is pissed, but I don’t regret it for a minute. I haven’t done one thing I’m ashamed of since I stopped drinking and I love the freedom it’s given me. I don’t hate myself any longer (I hated that feeling at 3am waking up and wondering what the hell id done). I never ever though I could stop, but I literally took it one day, one event at a time. I could do it, and so can you, if you want to enough.

Bargainhuntbore Wed 20-May-20 17:30:20

I could never give up alcohol. I have a drink most days. Bottle of beer or a glass of wine.

But i have never been drunk. I don't drink enough to get drunk. I don’t go out on a Saturday to pubs etc.

If someone told me “you have to” well so be it.

chockaholic72 Wed 20-May-20 17:40:58

I’m a social drinker - I never drink at home, only when I’m out, so get me talking and I’ll hammer through a bottle or so of wine. As I and my friends have got older, and they’ve got married and had kids, I basically have nobody to go out with; we go to the park or for a walk or whatever, so it was kind of enforced by other people’s circumstances I guess. I didn’t really want to have that single, mid-forties party girl reputation any more.

I also moved out to the sticks a bit, and a taxi home costs about £45. I really don’t want dinner, drinks and a taxi home to cost over £100 on the odd occasion I do go out, so I drive, have one white wine and lemonade, and then stick to lemonade.

Paranoidmarvin Wed 20-May-20 17:49:34

My last drink was on my wedding day. I have been married for 17 years. I never really found a drink I liked. And I hated the way it made me feel the next morning and always gave me bad dreams.
So I just never had one again.
When the doctor asks me I say i don’t drink at all and always puts down one a week. Makes me really cross. It doesn’t bother me being around people who drink but it bothers people around me that I don’t drink.

Louisesp82 Wed 20-May-20 17:55:48

Reading your post was like seeing myself in the past..just could not stop drinking once I had started. One particularly bad hangover made me realise I couldn't keep doing it..I used to find myself dreading nights out due to how I would feel the next day.
I stopped drinking for a year for charity..life without hangovers and drunken regrets is great..I never went back to drinking.
Initially I drank alcohol free beer (Heineken is good), I dont like the taste of it any more though. I didn't go out socially for a while either, but was happy with a coke after a while.
The unexpected joy of being sober is a really good book. If you are on fb, Club Soda is a good page to follow, and one year no beer

Melonportal Wed 20-May-20 17:56:46

I quit smoking last year. I couldn't trust myself not to light up a cigarette after a few drinks, so I stopped drinking too. I thought I would miss it but I haven't at all. I enjoy not having a hangover or the fear for days afterwards.

ShellsandSand Wed 20-May-20 17:59:09

I come from a family of drinkers. When I drink I binge and absolutely hate the person I become. I've managed to get these binge drinking incidents down to a couple of times a year because I somehow manage to convince myself that I know my limit. I don't. The fact is I can sometimes have a beer or two and be fine, and I can sometimes completely lose control get rat arsed and say hurtful things and completely embarrass myself. It's much like a game of Russian Roulette and I have now got to accept that I can't take the risk. I actually did it Monday night. First drink since November and I got really drunk and embarrassed myself on a zoom family quiz night. I am on day 2 of the dreaded hangover anxiety. Stopping all together will be the kindest thing I could ever do for myself.

Northernsoullover Wed 20-May-20 18:07:37

I gave up 14 months ago. I was just exhausted with it. I was drinking every day and constantly felt like crap.
I read several books but the one that stopped me in my tracks was Craig Beck, Alcohol Lied to me.
I do miss it sometimes but very rarely. Today for example I thought I might get some white wine because the sun is out (not that I ever needed an excuse). I was deadly serious about it too but I started thinking... I won't stop at one. I never did. I'll probably be sick after such an absence, I won't be able to read my book if I'm drunk and I don't want to wake up at 3am with anxiety.
It does not offer enough benefits for me to give up the good sleep and quality of life I have now.
I still dance if I go out. I didn't think I could do it without a drink inside me but I actually have more fun when I go out sober than I ever did drinking.
A shit night out will always be a shit night out whether there is alcohol involved or not.

SunshineOverStress Wed 20-May-20 19:42:45

Thank you all for your replies, I have actually already read the unexpected joy of being sober (and Catherine Grays other two books) and it did inspire me, but yet I haven’t done much about it apart from think I would like to quit and not making it happen! I’ve only drank twice during lockdown because I’m not going out etc so this could be a good time to start being sober for good! I just hate the lack of self control I have and the bad choices I make.. for instance I’ll go on a first date get hammered and sleep with them even though I wouldn’t have whilst sober, and then end up leading people down the garden path when in fact I originally thought there was “no spark” but then I go and do that anyway and regret it/feel bad/ can’t even remember it! I struggle with the idea of dating whilst sober too though in all honesty! How do you get past that?!

I will also check out the other Book recommendations!

Piglet89 Fri 22-May-20 05:58:31

@Northernsoullover I’ve started listening to the Craig Beck book; it’s good.

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