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To wonder if giving up the booze was really worth it?

140 replies

SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 08:26

Last summer I stopped drinking. I'd been drinking too much and too regularly, was feeling crappy most days, etc etc, so I cut it out completely. I had two glasses of champagne on Christmas Day but apart from that, nada.

But...I'm not convinced it was worth it! I've lost no weight, my skin isn't clearer, my eyes aren't brighter, I don't really have any more energy. Ok, I don't wake up with a hangover any longer but due to a chronic pain issue I still need painkillers most mornings so I don't feel as if I've gained 'freedom' much there.

DH still has a couple of glasses of wine most days and tbh I miss sharing a bottle with him whilst we cook dinner. Summer is approaching and I feel a bit sad that I won't be mixing up the Aperol Spritz or making a lovely g&t with lots of ice and cucumber, or opening a fridge-cold bottle of Picpoul.

I find it hard to moderate and I don't like 'mocktails'. Alcohol-free 'booze' mainly tastes crappy. Part of me just thinks, fuck it, why bother, just drink if you want to. And to be really honest, whilst I completely understand the ridiculousness of our cultural obsession with equating drinking with having a good time, I do feel a bit boring and puritanical when I'm not drinking Hmm.

So AIBU to think, meh, what was the point?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

TheFuckingDogs · 24/03/2021 08:29

Only you know the answer to that but it sounds like you’ve done a year of good for your liver.
You are a grown up - if you want to start drinking moderately again then do.
Just remember when it starts to make you feel crappy again take a break 😊


CloudFormations · 24/03/2021 08:44

To be honest, I think finding it hard to moderate is a good enough reason in and of itself not to drink. Otherwise I would be very concerned that you would be on an inevitable descent into problem drinking.

There will also be other invisible benefits - the health of your liver, your reduced risk of cancer etc.


SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 13:01

Yes it's the moderation issue that gets me! Whilst I don't think I have ever been a 'problem' drinker, I was certainly drinking more than was healthy, and relying on a glass of wine (or three) every evening to mark the transition from work to home, etc. And I am worried that if I started again I'd end up there quite quickly.

But I guess I just hoped I would see more obvious benefits to stopping. I hoped I would feel better, look better, etc. I don't, plus I genuinely enjoyed drinking. I heard so many stories of people who stopped and didn't miss it - 8 months down the line I actually do miss it!

OP posts:

Mellonsprite · 24/03/2021 13:03

How many days a week did you drink snd how many units did you have? I’d use that as a guide to decide what to do.
If was every day, or even most days and you can’t moderate then I think you’re better staying tee total.


Flowers24 · 24/03/2021 13:04

If it makes you feel happier , drink, I am a one glass of wine every night person, and i love it. I have the odd night with a cup pf tea but i am happy with the wine. I had a health check a while back and was in good health so not worried. If you can drink moderately then do so? I am impressed you gave up for so long, i could not!


Timeforabiscuit · 24/03/2021 13:08

See I stopped, and never started again - but sod that puritanical shit for a game of soldiers!

Enjoy a few glasses if you want to, life is short !


Chanjer · 24/03/2021 13:11

I was a total fiend and found that it took about a year for me to fully appreciate the difference

I didn't drink for years and years and then one day thought fuck this is boring and started drinking again


CirqueDeMorgue · 24/03/2021 13:11

Ugh I'm same as you, find it near enough impossible to moderate. I want to stop because I'm good for very little with a hangover and it seriously affects me mentally.


SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 13:14


I was a total fiend and found that it took about a year for me to fully appreciate the difference

I didn't drink for years and years and then one day thought fuck this is boring and started drinking again

That's interesting @Chanjer! Do you still drink now? Are you ok with it or do you regret starting again?
OP posts:

RunnerDuck2020 · 24/03/2021 13:16

It will be doing you good in ways you can’t see! I also dislike mocktails that are supposed to taste like alcohol but what about things like Schloer or sparkling presse type drinks? I tend to just stick to zero calorie fizzy drinks where I can as I don’t like wasting calories on drinks, I’d rather save them for food!


8lue8ird · 24/03/2021 13:17

I was the exact same as you OP. In fact I could've written that post myself.

I gave up for a whole year and I found myself missing wine. I drink it with soda anyway so I decided that I will try and self regulate and I have maybe one or two spritzers an evening which might be a lot to some people but I make them very weak And I do treat it like an actual treat.

I do think though that the lack of self moderation is my problem too and I could quite easily overdo it if I wasn't so strict with myself.


SarahBellam · 24/03/2021 13:18

I gave up for 9 months in an attempt to calm my rosacea. Nothing. Didn’t lose an ounce, didn’t calm the rosacea, didn’t get gorgeous glowing skin. I genuinely thought I’d lose stones and have a JLo glow. But no.


Gerla · 24/03/2021 13:19

I gave up giving up for the same reason - no tangible benefits! I have started drinking again but only at weekends or special social events (of which there are none - sob!) This works for me.


SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 13:19

@RunnerDuck2020 - can't stand them, too sweet. I like my booze to be quite dry or sour / bitter generally and those Shloer things just taste like kiddy pop to me.

If there were genuinely good alcohol-free alternatives I'd probably be happy with them, but there just aren't.

OP posts:

Bluntness100 · 24/03/2021 13:22

I also put you’re not unreasonable but your posts are not really clear. Exactly how much were you drinking and exactly how many nights? A glass to three glasses could be anything from a fifth of a bottle of wine to a bottle.

If you can’t control it, then it’s best to stay stopped. If you were just having one or two small glasses I’d say it’s no issue.


SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 13:22

Maybe I could alternate, year on, year off Grin

The comment about J-Lo made me laugh - exactly! So disappointing.

OP posts:

BlondehairRedlips · 24/03/2021 13:22

There will also be other invisible benefits - the health of your liver, your reduced risk of cancer etc.



Bluntness100 · 24/03/2021 13:24

I’d also say if you were drinking enough to regularly wake up hungover then it’s more than you’re saying here, you would have been on it most nights, because you build up a tolerance

I’d make sure you’re not downplaying it as a reason to start again.


LAgeDeRaisin · 24/03/2021 13:25

I'm pregnant now so it's a bit redundant, but DH and I have designated alcohol free days in the week. If you like having a set rule or structure, why not do that? E.g. Fridays and Saturdays you can have drinks.

I know it can end up promoting binge drinking but it's still better to have 14 units over 2 days with 5 off, than 28 units over 7.


SnafuButGreyNow · 24/03/2021 13:26

More than 1 or 2 small glasses @Bluntness100. Say, half a bottle of red maybe 4-5 nights a week, maybe more at the weekends. On a sunny summer's evening DH and I could easily polish off a couple of bottles of cold white wine. Definitely way over the guidelines most weeks. Enough to make me realise I needed to do something about it.

Stopping was easy. It's staying stopped that's hard.

OP posts:

Littlefiendsusan · 24/03/2021 13:26

I've given up booze for lent and feel the same as you OP, in that I don't feel as amazing as I thought I would.


Vargas · 24/03/2021 13:28

I have one or two glasses of wine every night, but find it easy to moderate and I actually can't drink much more than that. But I have friends who struggle with moderation and they tend to not drink Mon-Thurs and save their booze allowance for the weekend. Or they only drink if they are going out, so not a lot at the moment!

My DH has given up to lose weight and of course has sloughed off the pounds as men often (annoyingly!) do. He has taken to drinking non-alcoholic Martini Vibrante with soda or lemonade and he really likes it.


Crunchymum · 24/03/2021 13:29

I tend to stick to occasions now. May they be once a month / twice a month (for example I had a few glasses on Mother's day and then I'll have a few glasses to celebrate a birthday this coming weekend)

I still drink more than I should on these occasions [not fall down drunk amounts but more than a glass!]

Not sure how it will work once lockdown eases and "occasions" increase but for the time being this has worked.

In 83 days I have drunk on 5 of them I use an app

But life was just too depressing to give it up altogether.


ladygindiva · 24/03/2021 13:33

I am a drinker Thursday to Sunday and teetotal Monday to Wednesday . Works for me. I don't work Fridays 😁


metooaswell · 24/03/2021 13:33

I stopped completely six weeks ago and will never drink again. I also haven't seemed to have lost any weight, skin maybe less puffy in the morning (no eye bags anymore ever) but I had good skin even when I was drinking so not much difference. I was drinking maybe 40-50 units a week, and this was me trying to keep it at manageable levels.

It has definitely been worth it. I haven't felt the ecstatic joy some people talk about when they've given up, but the absence of guilt is great, no counting units, no embarrassment, no hangovers, no worries about my health, no saying stupid things drunk, and my moods are much more stable. Feel less anxious. I feel free to live and plan the rest of my life. So it's been really, really worth it.

I did have something to help me give up though. I've been reading about this development for some years, and while it's not the same as an alcoholic drink, it does have an effect and made giving up painless, really.

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