The Benefits Of Quitting Drinking – Why Should You Stop?

by pgh

For the alcoholic in denial, the obvious benefits of quitting alcohol are not always apparent.

Is it worth it to quit drinking? In the short term, one could argue that there are actually some benefits to drinking.

  • Research suggests 1 glass of red wine a day can reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Drinking can reduce inhibitations and help people bond
  • Many social events revolve around drinking
  • Drinking can be a nice way to unwind after a tough, stressful day
  • Drinking can be fun

For an alcoholic however, the few short term benefits are far outweighed by the physical and psychological toll that alcohol abuse wreaks on your life. For the alcoholic, here are some of the many benefits of stopping drinking:

Reasons To Stop Drinking Alcohol

Improve Your Quality Of Life

When you’re a full-blown alcoholic, every aspect of your life suffers. Your health, your relationships, your career, your emotional well-being, etc. The more you spiral into the self-destructive cycle of alcoholism, the more damage you do to every facet of your life.

Quitting alcohol will not only give you an immediate improvement in your overall health, it will also allow you to slowly put your life back together.

Feel Physically Better

When you first quit drinking, the effects of alcohol withdrawal can be painful. But the average alcohol detox period only lasts 2-4 days, after which you’ll no longer be suffering the acute effects of alcohol abuse. You’ll no longer be in a perpetual cycle of hangovers, and your body can start to heal the damage done by years of chronic alcoholism.

Save Money

Alcoholism is an expensive habit. Depending on your lifestyle, your level of alcoholism, and your poison of choice, you could be spending anywhere from $70 to $300 a week on alcohol and drinking related activities. That’s an average of $3640 to $15,600 a year, or $36,400 to $156,000 over a decade of alcoholism. You can read more about the financial toll of drinking here.

Alcoholism can also have a devastating effect on your earning potential. Once you quit drinking, you can start focusing on getting a job, or advancing your education or career again. All those wasted hours spent in a drunken stupor can be put towards more productive ends.

You will live longer

The statistics don’t lie – the average lifespan of a chronic alcoholic is 10-20 years shorter than a non-alcoholic. Quitting alcohol will not only improve your quality of life, it’ll let you enjoy more of it.

To someone ravaged by the self-destructive cycle of alcoholism, more life might not seem like a huge benefit right now. But when you actually sober up and take a holistic approach to improving your life, you’ll be able to build something truly worth living for.

Some alcoholics take the attitude that they’ve done so much damage to their body, they might as well keep drinking. This is a poor rationalization for alcoholism. Although its true that chronic alcohol abuse can do potentially do irreversible damage to the brain and liver, many of the negative physical consequences of alcohol abuse can be reversed. Furthermore, just because you’ve done some damage to your body, doesn’t mean you should continue to take more years off of your life.

Your relationships will improve

Overtime, alcoholics isolate themselves from those who truly care about them. Once you sober up, you’ll be able slowly rebuild those damaged relationships. You’ll also start to form new, healthy relationships as well. You’ll be able to communicate with people on an open and honest level, and frankly, you’ll be less of a jerk.

Quitting drinking also lets you cut out the toxic, destructive relationships that alcoholics tend to attract into their lives.

For some, the prospect of attempting to repair severely damaged relationships can be daunting, even downright frightening. However, you’ll never get the chance to try if you don’t quit drinking first. Don’t wait until its too late.

Take Action Today

Many of the benefits I’ve listed actually won’t seem like real, tangible benefits to the true alcoholic, especially if they’re depressed. To someone who’s done tremendous damage to their own health, their psychological well-being, their relationships, and their financial stability – the thought of rebuilding a life without alcohol can seem hopeless.

While it may seem hopeless and even meaningless at the moment, if you take recovery day by day, you’ll be able to slowly build the foundations of a life without alcohol. The benefits of quitting drinking are very, very real – don’t let the challenges of detox and recovery deprive you of a better life.

If you’ve managed to quit drinking, it’d be awesome if you could leave a quick comment below sharing your experiences in recovery.  How has your life changed since you quit?

Who knows, your story might just strike a chord with another reader and motivate them to make a change in their life.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Gilbert December 24, 2012 at 3:09 am

Hello my name is Gilbert and i’m a recoverying alcoholic my drinking began when i was a teenager at 13,i lost my father to cancer at that time and i just started to be rebellious and was no longer listening to my mother! I began drinking really heavy and by the time you knew it my life was spiraling out of control and was also using drugs,this lasted all of my teenage years and into my adult hood all though i was able to stop drug using alcohol was still a big part of my life!

I became a father at the age of 18 and as a young child i saw my father drinking all the time so i thought it was only right that i did especially since i worked and kept a job but really all i was doing was wrecking my marriage because i was always drunk and was not fun to be around! I neglected my wife and kids by going to bars and spending all of our money and finally my wife got tired of this after many years she was ready to divorce me and by this time i had lost my job from to many call ins and showing up still drunk and now i was about to lose my wife and kids so this was a wake up call so i stopped for a day and then another day and then a week,by the time you knew it i had stopped drinking for a month and was no longer craving alcohol and i even took a drink of a beer one day and spit it out because it tasted nasty,wow what happening i thought to myself, but i just thank god for that because i stopped for 8 years or so and sadly relapsed and drank for a year but as i write this story of myself i am no longer drinking and have found the will power once again to put down the alcohol and it’s been 2 months and counting and i feel great but this time it’s for good i admit to myself that alcohol isn’t for me anymore and i’m still happily married and my kids are growing up and i’m making good memories with them not bad ones!

If you read this story and your struggling with alcohol and want to quit but you feel that you can’t please know that you can beat alcohol and get control of your life again because i did and if i can then anybody can just take it day by day! call out to God for help or just dig deep within yourself and you can do it!!!

admin December 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Hi Gilbert,

Thanks for taking the time to share. It’s great to hear you’re doing well – hopefully your words can inspire someone else to take action in their own life.


Debbie May 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hi my name is Debbie and I am really struggling to give up alcohol I stopped a few times for a couple of months and then I relapse and Im back to getting drunk most nights I actually hate myself for this It is affecting my marriage my career and my health pleasssssssssssssse help me

Victor Moono. January 3, 2013 at 7:17 am

After struggling with alcohol for many years, my new year resolution is to stop drinking forever. I have stopped and relapsed many times, but this time its different because I’ve substituted drinking with my passion which I enjoy so much that drinking is a non starter. My advice is don’t just quit drinking. Find something you are so passionate about that you won’t have time to think about drinking.

Josh January 3, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Hi Victor,

That’s really great to hear and great advice. Replacing alcohol with something you’re passionate about is a big step towards long term recovery. Don’t forget to keep seeking out new passions as well, the richer your life, the less likely you are to relapse. At least, that has always been my experience.

Take care, I wish you the best,

lou February 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I haven’t had any alcohol for 35 days which is a pretty big acomplishment for me. my drinking schedule was mainly fridays and saturdays sometimes sundays. if i had 3 drinks monday through thursday that was alot, i had no problem not drinking during the week, “weekend warrior” so they call it. Benefits ive noticed so far are, no hangovers, more money in my pocket, and blood pressure has dropped considerably. I figured i would have dropped a few pounds by now but actually ive gained weight! my energy level hasn’t increased i feel the same as i would in a normal week. ive been recently weighing the differences of drinking and not drinking which is why im here now. maybe its the want to consume alcohol that leads me to ask myself, are these few benefits worth not drinking? how big of a problem did/do i have? if i start drinking again can i control my weekends? my hobbies are football, hunting, and remodeling my house,two of those are over for the season. I think i need more things to do, also ive been laid off for two months. maybe when i return to work things will level out. I will continue to try and stay sober and hopefully it will feel more rewarding, 35 days isnt that long. Thanks for reading and letting me vent. Lou

Jay February 14, 2013 at 1:44 am

I just quit today. I used to come home everynight and drink to cure boredom. The drinking led to over eating and I gained 80lbs. Every area of my life has suffered from my drinking. I realize that I’m at a point where it’s not too late and I haven’t hit rock bottom. I’m determined to stop this before that happens.

Josh February 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

That’s great for you Jay! I’m genuinely happy to hear it.

Making that decision is the first step, but make sure you find something challenging that you can be passionate about to fill the void you used to fill with drinking, otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll fall back into old habits despite your determination

Since you’ve gained 80lbs drinking, taking up a fun, challenging physical activity might be a good way to kill two birds with one stone – just my personal thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by,

Anamica March 7, 2013 at 3:32 am

I am in the same category. I gained 80lbs and keep drinking more than 20 drinks a week. Once I start it never stop it until the stock is over. So I started buying less (5 drinks or so) and start around 10 PM in the night so that I can’t get it once I am done with my drinks. This is very helpful so far to control. I am thinking of quitting drinking to lose weight.

Good luck everyone!!!

Wendy March 3, 2013 at 5:47 am

I have been drinking every night for 15 years, since I got divorced. I remarried a few years later to a wonderful man and we drink every evening 2 or 3 glasses of wine. Well for the past 6 going on 7 years I no longer work so I don’t have to get up early and have few oblications. We have a large house and a lot of pets, 3 dogs, 2 cats. 5 large parrots and 4 parakeets. I take great care of our pets but I stay up till 1 or 2 in the morning drinking wine which I started at 6pm. Most of our wine glasses are 8 oz. So I figure I drink 6 or more 8oz glasses of wine every day. I don’t get up till 11 noon or 1pm and it takes me all day to take care of the pets. I never hardly clean house, my husband does most of it. Isn’t that just terrible? Also I am a tppe 1 diabetic and have had diabetes for 45 years. I am very lucky not haveing any major complications with the diabetes. So I am disgusted with my self and have made a DR appointment to get help. No one on this site has talked about detox but I think I will have to do that.. I am really looking forward to not drinking and getting my life on track… the way my husband has no problems. 2 glasses of wine and he is ready for bed, not me I have to have 6 or 8….wish me luck!

Josh March 6, 2013 at 1:54 am

Good luck Wendy!


L. March 4, 2013 at 1:21 am

Hi .
Since the age of 17- ish I have been heavily drinking. University was where it really all started. What started as just a laugh has really gotten to the stage where when I go out I will act up, be stupid and do and say things which, if I saw others acting this way i would hate.

I must always pre drink before any social situation which ultimately ends up in me getting black out drunk and then never being able to remember the night the next day.

come the next day I wake to feelings of guilt that I have done something wrong and that all my friends now hate me.

It really just seems to me that I honestly do not feel like I can be fun or more importantly a happy, content person sober anymore. I am 27 now. Pretty much got into a habit/addiction and am really wanting to get out of it and feel normal and find a sense of purpose to my life. Drinking is a comfort, it makes me feel good at the time. But, its just fake. I need something real.

Josh March 6, 2013 at 2:59 am

Hey L.

Wow, you almost sound like you’re describing me at that age.

Social anxiety was actually one of the reasons I started drinking heavily. I had the same feeling you might have – that I couldn’t seem to have a good time when I went out unless I was drinking – heavily. At first it was all good, I’d get a good buzz going and everything became much more fun. Eventually though I’d drink more and more, getting black out drunk like you. I’d wake up with horrible feelings of regret and I’d want to crawl into a hole. Then I’d even drink at home just to “pass the time”, and eventually I moved onto pills as well.

I don’t know how bad your drinking problem has gotten, but it actually sounds like it could be a lot worse. I know it feels pretty hopeless to you, but as someone who has been there, trust me, it can get a lot worse.

You sound like you’re at an important crossroads, you have a chance to avoid some of the worst mistakes I made. You know what I’ve learned?

If you have social anxiety or you don’t have the confidence you’d like, if life just feels bland without a drink, then the only way to get to a point where you don’t need alcohol as a crutch is to become a better person. I don’t mean just in terms of being nicer to people (although that’s important as well), I mean real self-improvement. What are your weaknesses? Do you have trouble approaching girls without being drunk? Do you feel like you’re boring unless you have a few drinks in you? Does your life seem mind-numingly routine and shallow? Believe it or not, those are things you can work on. You work on it by becoming a more interesting, self-actualized person. You work on it by pursuing things you’re truly interested in, becoming more disciplined, becoming healthier, pursuing worthy goals, going outside your comfort zone.

The fact that you say you “need something real” makes me think you’re ready to make huge changes. I’m kind of excited for you actually, you might not realize it now, but a year or two from now your life can be amazing if you’re willing to work for it.

First though, you do need to sober up. Throw out all your alcohol and decide that you’re not going to drink from now on. Then find a recovery group in your area and start attending some meetings. You’re going to have to take real, active steps to turn things around and it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Wish you the best mate,

Jason April 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Yes, the best of luck – feel free to email me as well, I am starting this process myself…

Grace March 5, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I’m at 36 days without a drop of alcohol and am feeling fantastic. This is a life long decision I’ve made and it’s clearly the best thing I’ve ever done. After over seven years of nightly wine binges (several every evening), I packed on twenty pounds of fat, got a bloated face, dark eye circles, and complete lethargy.

Now, after a full month of being alcohol free, I’m finally starting to see my normal face shape return and the whites of my eyes are actually white! The dark circles are beginning to fade and am regaining energy so I can lose the ugly extra twenty pounds. I’m really excited to see the improvements as each month passes. I’m 45 and have always been extremely fit and looked much younger than my age, but within the past few years the alcohol started catching up with me. I knew if I continued down that path, it would do major damage and I’d be living a life filled with misery.

Finally after being honest with myself, I made the decision that the 2nd half of my life is going to be in MY control, and am going to enjoy it filled with clarity, health, fitness, beauty and happiness. The benefits of quitting alcohol keep getting better and better. It’s so worth it.

Josh March 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

That’s awesome Grace! Thanks for sharing. Hopefully your story inspires someone else to make the same changes you did.


Jason April 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hi all, I have been a heavy liquor drinker for the past 11 years. I am now unemployed, my relationships have been damaged and I am just tired of the daily hangover and the worry of what I may have posted on FB or over email (I like to argue once drunk) with people…:(

Today is Day #2 of being sober – no real withdrawal issues as of yet – anyone on here feel free to comment or ask.


Toni March 8, 2013 at 9:18 am

I am 38 years old and I am at 53 days sober after drinking a bottle or half a bottle of wine a night for 6 years. I would also have? flavored vodka or a pint of tequila here and there in addition to the wine. I also smoked weed and cigarettes heavily. I stopped drinking and smoking cigarettes and weed around the same time. This is the longest I’ve been without alcohol! The longest was 2-3 weeks two years ago. Withdrawal was difficult and my body ached, my attitude was horrible! I have sinced rejoined church, lost 20 lbs, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. My outlook on life has improved and my health is so much better! I couldn’t focus on getting healthy or anything positive when I was drunk. I lost a lot of friends and made bad decisions. Now my mind is clearer and I am happier! I am looking forward to my complete recovery, losing a few more pounds, and acquiring better, more positive friendships with people in my new church! Good luck all with your recovery and may God bless u in His infinite wisdom!

Mandy March 16, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi everyone,

Today is day 9 of not drinking. And I’m still feeling good about it. I gave up drinking for two months before, but I didn’t do it for the right reasons. Sadly I re-lapsed after a few life struggles, (unemployment, moving house, etc). I never used to think I had a problem with drinking, except I also felt the need to drink before I went out. 1 glass of wine after work turned into the whole bottle and then another bottle. I have a young son (his 2), his dad went into rehab for alcohol and drugs in 2011. I grew up with an alcoholic father, and long story short, I don’t want my boy to experience that. His dad doesn’t live with us and we not on good terms at all, but nonetheless I’m proud of him for taking that step, and I’m trying to do something similar and be a good example for my son. Since stopping, I’m feeling clear headed, more alert, healthier, etc – but also I’m facing my inner demons. It’s going to be hard, I drank to forget, but its now time to face it and create a happier life for me and my little one. Good luck to everyone here and stay strong.

George G. March 18, 2013 at 5:34 am

Hi, been drinking heavily evryday for the last 10 years i never hung out in bars or in front of liquor stores i did my drinking at home i didnt see my self as an alcoholic even though i was on march 2nd 2013 i had a flurry of seizures due to alcohol withdrawls. it traumatized me and my family. i was rushed to emergency and i underwent alot of test all came back negative the ask me how much did i drink i said about 5,6,7 maybe 8, 240z beers a day so then they sent me to the detox unit for 2 and half days there i said to myself i dont never want another drink again my potassium levels were extremely low so they gave me big horse pills to take they also gave me ativan. the 1st week was horibble severe anxiety, muscle cramps, and every thing. its been 2 weeks now and i feel better still a lil anxiety , and insomnia -i been taking my vitamins and eating as if i was Andre The Giant. i hope to stay alcohol free i have no plans on drinking for long long time i even lost 10 lbs my sister just came home from college for spring break and she said i lost my gut i said iam she yes. so quitting can come with alot of good benefits even in a short period of time ,i wonder what the outcome will be in the long run.

Sally March 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

I am 47 and have always loved drinking, I’m married, I work full time & don’t have children in recent years I have progressed to drinking a bottle of wine every night – for ages I have hated the amount I drink it is no longer a pleasure as I am constantly watching the clock & my glass to try and stretch out my wine until bedtime. I have a close friend who is an alcoholic, has lost a great job, company car & his health all in the last 2 years – he finally got a place in a detox centre in January and it inspired me to stop drinking as well – infact I gave up drinking & smoking on on January 19th 2013 a week before he entered detox – haven’t looked back since – as time goes on I am feeling healthier & happier and it really does get easier – he is also doing well. I have one more problem to solve my husband drinks about 8 beers a night every night I know it is harming him he looks terrible but how can I persuade him of the virtues of giving it all up?

Sal Whittle March 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Today is my first day on a path to a life without alcohol. I hadnt realised how much I depended on a few glasses of wine at night. Some weeks I could go without wine during the week just at weekends but the feeling of managing a few glasses during the week always filled me with cheer. This week I have been drunk everyday and thought I was being clever trying to fool my husband into thinking I wasnt drinking. For one of the first times in our 13 years together he finally flipped and threw a cup of tea at the wall – so out of character. It still took me another day to realise I had to snap out of it and ditch the demon booze for good. I emailed my husband to tell him that I cant pretend that I can be a social drinker anymore and that I needed his help. Hes willing to help me and has even said he’d stop drinking as well – what have I done to deserve such a good man, if I dont do it for my own health I need to do it for him. I have quit before and managed 5 yrs, dont know what made me start again. I havent had a flash of white light or heard from God, just realise that Im tired of feeling tired, not having my husbands strong arms around me and hiding bottles of wine so he doesnt know how much I drink. I remember from the last time I stopped how much of a releif there is in not worrying about where the next drink is coming from. Day 1 and I feel awful, not craving a drink just cold and tired, Im sure I look a mess. I know its not going to be easy but I have to get my life back to how it was before the drink took over. I know some times will be harder than others but with my husband by my side Im sure Ill survive. Wish me luck, Im sure Im going to need it.

Darryl March 28, 2013 at 12:34 am

I went to Detox on Monday, two days ago after drinking half a pint of Smirnoff. It was a scary experience and rather embarassing. Some of the medical staff seemed to actually make fun of me. Not too cool. I had harrowing withdrawal symptoms for months on end, when I’d go three hours without vodka. Tremors and convulsions that would only be alleviated after a few shots, even waking up in the middle of the night to do so. It became my worst nightmare. The last couple of weeks actually threw me into a state of insomnia. Sunday Night I’d had enough. Monday morning found me in Emergency Room Detox. They gave me meds that helped calm me and cool the shakes. Two days later, I’m dosing on Vitamins. Lots of water. Exercise. Eating better. Thanks to willpower and my loved ones, I have a chance now. Goodbye Smirnoff. I’m determined. Thanks for reading. Good luck to all!!

Jocko March 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Hi Josh,

Thanks so much for putting this together and fielding things from folks. One of the best–most meaningful sites I’ve ever encountered. Inspiring.



kristen March 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm

You are changing lives on here! God bless you.
Thank you to everyone who has shared. You changed my life.

Jack March 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

I have been drinking every day for 34 years and can honestly say I have have only missed six dut to illness with a max of two days in a row without. Three days ago I started cutting it down with the biggest drop being the first. I have had 7.2 units, 6.3 units and 5.4 units , tonight I am hoping to hit 4.5 units on day 4. Not sure if this is the right way to go about it but wow , what a difference already. Having ruined my third long term relationship and now having high BP it is time to act. Strangely although I am sleeping well, I still feel very tired although clear headed.
Further reading required, wish me luck , the journey has begun

TCH April 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

I am approaching 2 and a half years of sobriety. Happy Easter and congratulations to you all.

misslawbore April 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I live in the UK and have been pretty much sober for 7 and a half weeks now – in that period I have had one glass of wine when out with my relatives for an Easter lunch and one night where I had 2 double vodkatinis (my favourite alcoholic drink) and last night I had one vodkatini. For me, who drank a bottle of wine plus cocktails/spirits every day for more years than I can remember, this is an amazing achievement. The benefits are: loss of more than half a stone; an uninterrrupted night’s sleep (used to wake up once or even twice a night to urinate); waking up feeling a lot less depressed; and last but not least I have saved at least £350! True, I have spent this money on other things, but they were things for the house I had needed for a long time and some pretty clothes for a holiday too all of which make me feel good. I have not got a lot of willpower; encouragement from friends and the idea that an outside spirit or force is helping me has made all the difference.

Nicola April 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Thank you so much for leaving your comment Grace. Your story sounds similar to mine although I am only on day 4 of abstaining from night time wine drinking. You have really inspired me to keep going and more importantly made me realise that I do actually have an alcohol problem. I’m finding it difficult just now as I am having a very tough time splitting up with my long term partner. However, your comments have made me feel stronger and more positive about the future! Thank you x

Sherry April 20, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Hi Josh

Thanks for writing this.

I’ve just given up the drink and I feel so much better in doing so. It has made me a much better person. I am so full of energy and an enthusiam for life that I did not have for. My relationships with friends and family have got better too. I look amazing now my skin is hydrated no more dark circles under my eyes and my bloated stomach has gone.

I realised drink makes me feel terrible. I am tired all time and moody.

All the best.

ColumbaNine April 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I am three weeks sober (I’m a woman, in my 40’s) and feeling better physically than I have in a long time. Skin is brightening up and all internal systems seem much happier, plus years of nightmares have stopped! I don’t know that I am technically an alcoholic, as I haven’t suffered any physical cravings, but I was definitely turning to drinking on a nightly basis for years to “check out” and avoid feeling painful feelings. Now I am feeling the painful feelings and that takes courage, but I am working with a counselor to help me stay strong and have hope that the climb will be worth it. I have also poured myself into writing poetry, trying new recipes, and playing music. Good luck to all out there and remember that YOU are worth the effort.

ColumbaNine April 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I would add to my comment above that I spent a lot of time wondering whether I’m a “real alcoholic” before committing to cutting out the alcohol (basically as a way to stall, I think), and now I realize that if you think you have a drinking problem, it’s very likely you might, and clinical definitions aren’t really that important.

The question is, will your life be better with alcohol in it or not? (Not will your life be easier–though I trust that eventually my life will be!) I would say that if you have a gut feeling you might be drinking too much, it could be worth taking a break from it.

Thanks, and good luck to everyone! The best is yet to come!

Dave April 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

Hi , I’ve been drinking for 32 yrs , more heavily the past 2 yrs . I have not had a drink in 5 weeks , I have had lots off different side effects , but I’m starting to feel better within myself . Only now I have come to realize that I was suffering from alcoholism , by reading other people’s stories . I find it hard to be as social as I used to be , but I am trying hard , I find that I just don’t want to be around people drinking , hence the reason why I’ve come to terms with my problem , I find I don’t actually miss the drink itself just the feeling off being Mr sociable , I realize know that I am quite a quite sort off a person lol . I need to find another interest , I’m lucky I have a beautiful family life , and I don’t think how deep my problem is . I look forward to adjusting to life without alcohol , thank just had to let someone know 🙂 Dave

Jocko April 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Hi Josh,

Three weeks. Many thanks.

Sam May 4, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Hi, I am a 45 year old man who is in decent shape, a great career and an awesome family. I start exercising and dont drink for a week. At the end of the week, I feel like I am on top of the world and for some strange reason, I am not able to handle the ‘high’ of a great week of sobriety and positive energy and fall into the routine of drinking and partying.

I smoke when I drink and eat badly.I wake up feeling horrible and dont remember parts of my previous evening. I am a bad husband and a mean father when I drink and I hate it. The alcohol just corrodes my insides and it takes me 3 days to get out of the depression/anxiety. I continue this process of drinking until I make a decision to quit.

I have rarely been able to quit for more than a week or two. I hate it and dont want any part of it and not able to control myself during the high’s.

Today, is the 4th of May and I have made a decision to quit. One day at a time. I will just plan on one day at a time


Bree May 6, 2013 at 7:31 am

Hi there,
I have been drinking on and off quite heavily for over 10 years. Something happens and i always relapse. After a two week bender, I quit drinking 3 days ago and the withdrawals were shocking. I’m still living out of my bed but am getting up and walking around. I woke up 3 times the first night shaking, in a pool of sweat. A fever ripping through me like a tornado. The guilt, confusion and anxiety has been worse though the physical symptoms. I am starting to feel better now, with less of a brain-fog, but have developed a kind of panic-paranoia thing where I’m scared to leave the house. I had to miss out on college today and missed a lot of class last week. I was drinking through out the week really heavily and because my tolerance was so high, drank into oblivion, not realising where I was. My boyfriend kicked me out of his house and i was pulled over on the street and searched by the cops. they told me to get a taxi home but i was so deunk, i insisted on walking home. Could hardly hold my head up and was straying and swaying all over the street. The final straw was when I woke up on the sidewalk, realising I’d wet my pants. I have bruises all over me from falling and am so lucky that I wasn’t assaulted or anything. I can’t even remember how I got home. I’m lucky to be alive. I just know I’ve hit rock bottom. I’m 30 years old and I know I can’t continue like this. I’m not trying to kill myself, i’m trying to end my life. I realise you can still be alive but dead inside. Into the 3rd day drying out, but is this paranoid feeling thing normal? I feel like I can’t face anyone and don’t want to be around people. Major social anxiety. I’m too scared to even walk outside and check the mail. I’m going to wait til it’s dark so I don’t have to see anyone. I have sought some solace by reading excerpts from Augusten Burroughs book “Dry”. When I’m better enough to walk outside I’m going to buy a copy and read it back to front, carry it around with me, humming it like a mantra.

Maggy May 7, 2013 at 7:47 pm

As a professional over-doer, I was never satisfied with just one drink. I didn’t keep alcohol at home but loved to drink socially and in restaurants. When life changed in my mid 40s and I faced raising two kids as a single mom, the financial fears were paralyzing. I worked a full-time job and every freelance job I could find, using alcohol daily to both relax and for relief of anxiety and fear. When my daughters expressed concern that I was drinking every day, I started drinking on the way home instead of at home. I thought an empty nest would be the beginning of a new healthy life, but instead I sunk deeper into what had become alcoholic drinking. About that time I met the love of my life, and we were drinking together each evening, with me hiding how much I was actually consuming. I was already concerned about the effects of alcohol on my long-term health and began noticing how alcohol was adversely affecting our relationship, which was such a beautiful gift. I also knew that I would never use my best talents or be fully joyfully expressed in this world as long as I was drinking. I drank nearly daily for about 15 years and for the last dozen of them, swore every morning that the night before was the last time. Going to AA had been unthinkable because it meant complete abstinence and admission that I would never be able to pull myself back out of the bottle. On August 10, 2009 I attended my first AA meeting, found a sponsor right away, worked the steps, did the 90 meetings in 90 days. In my case there was no physical withdrawal but AA provided the framework for a complete change in habits and companions. My partner still drinks but less now. Yes, it took some time for him to get over losing his drinking buddy but he gained a lifetime designated driver. I fell head over heels in love with living free of addiction to alcohol. From the foundation of that sobriety, my focus today is on spiritual and personal growth. Getting clean and sober can be one of the most joyful, rewarding journeys we can ever take, especially when it launches us into a life filled with transformation and expansion.

MK May 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I just turned 36 and am a mom of 3 little sweeties. I remember drinking until blacking out in high school all the time. In college, more of the same. I was always the sloppy drunk girl passing out on everyone’s couch. I ruined many relationships, and left a sorority and many good friends behind who no longer wanted to know me. During college, I met a guy who took me into the world of drugs. I did ecstasy with him and smoked pot. It was an escape from the hurt I felt from losing friends. He did not go to school there, so I could just go and stay at his house and be away from campus and the hurt that I felt. My family begged and cried for me to leave him and come back to myself. Finally, after a year, he moved away. I was waiting tables at a restaurant in the city and was alone again. A senior in college, living at home and working as a server at night. I began to go out with the group from work every night to the local hole in the wall bar. Drinking shots of Jager and beer and then driving myself 30 miles home to my parents home. After getting tired of their complaints about my late nights, I began to just spend the night with a girlfriend who lived closer to the restaurant. She was the one who introduced me to cocaine. We would use our cash from the previous shift to buy a small bag and share it in the bathroom while we drank in the bar. I had no more anxiety or shyness when I would take a hit of it. I felt so good. Drinking did not even effect me when I had cocaine. After about 2 months of this behavior, I met a guy at work who had just moved here. He hated drugs and was a recovering addict. I stopped hanging out with the girl and went to hanging out with only him. He smoked pot and drank beer, but that was it. He could drink 3 or 4 beers and you would never know it. He just never got drunk. We stayed together and eventually moved in together. At this point I was only drinking wine, but at least a bottle a night. He stopped smoking pot, and his only vice was the 3 or 4 beers. Fast Forward 12 years later and we are married and have 3 kids. He still drinks his 3 or 4 beers 3 nights a week, and I still drink a bottle of wine a night. Looking at me, you would never suspect it. I look like a great mommy. We appear like a sweet little family who has it all together. No one knows that after the kids are in bed, my husband and I rarely speak. We have not been intimate in over a year. We don’t even hang out together anymore at home. I still find myself sitting on the sofa at night with my wine glass, bored, alone and watching stupid reality shows drinking my wine, trying to have some sort of relaxation. I finally told my parents that I’d like to leave him. It’s taken me several years to come to grips with it. But we are not happy. I don’t want to drink anymore. I googled how to stop drinking today and found this page. Thanks for inspiring me to go forward and in a new direction in my journey. Time is now:)

Helene May 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

I am on day 2 without alcohol – having just joined a 100 day challenge to be AF (Alcohol Free) but I do contemplate the fact that this may have to be a ‘for good’ kind of thing.

After my divorce and the loss of many loved ones, I used the alcohol and pain meds as a crutch to numb myself through it all. I was depressed, gained weight and not happy with my life. Alcohol now is something I battle with in my head about whether or not I could be moderate and it’s obvious I can’t. I had 11 days in a row and then on Friday had drinks which rolled into three days of it.

I’m tired of being on this hamster wheel and not going anywhere. I want to live a better life. I need to be clearer so that I can concentrate on pursuing my passions – one being writing. I may begin a blog about this journey. I know there are many but if it helps ‘one’ person by my own therapy of blogging/journalling then that makes me feel good.

I have been faced with many challenges the past month or so with 12 and 16 year old daughters and I need to be 100% on game to handle this. I am a single mom who has been raising them for the past 10 years on my own, I work full time and do some volunteer work here and there.

I guess at times the cravings or urges come back simply out of habit or loneliness and I need to learn how to better fill that void – with healthier activities. I did 30 days a couple of years ago and it felt great – I can only imagine how I’ll feel after 100 days… and perhaps a lifetime of sobriety.

Serena May 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I have drank fairly heavily for most of my life, but especially since my husband died a few years ago. A couple of bottles of wine in the evening would be the norm, then I would have a day to recover, then start again. Often I might have gin or vodka instead. I am 60 and have always looked young for my age – now I have put on an extra 25 pounds, and suffer from alcohol neuropathy. I haven’t had a drink for 5 days, but feel better already. I am SO determined this time, and have found the above posts inspirational! Thankyou.

Griff May 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I am 26 years old. I drink every Monday night with my brother in-law while we play video games at least til I get a buzz going and sometimes more. I drink other nights too because I switch from night shifts to day shifts with my job (security) and sometimes drink til I pass out just so I can sleep. My wife doesn’t see a problem and I am not abusive or anything when I drink, but I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I hate spending money on alcohol but find myself buying some just because it’s available. I’m a pretty big guy at 6’3″ 250 but I feel like I’m in pretty good shape even though I drink beer a lot. I play soccer at least once a week and lift weights on occasion, which is probably why i don’t have a beer gut. I do, however, have more fat on me than I would want, but just can’t seem to say no. I found myself planning on driving an extra 15 minutes before going home today because this town doesn’t sell alcohol on sundays and the next town over does. I have snuck alcohol in the house without my wife knowing and drink by myself pretty often. The thing is, I can go days without any alcohol and feel the same, but really need to know how to stop this, even if for the sake of having more money.

Carly May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

A twelve step fellowship saved my life. Get desperate and then get to a meeting. Be honest, open-minded and willing and you’ve got a good shot at being sober. I just celebrated 3 years sober and I am graduating with my bachelor’s degree today. I have a boyfriend who treats me with love and respect and friends in The fellowship who are there for me when I need help. I used to hide a bottle of vodka in the closet and take shots in the bathroom so my roommates wouldn’t know I was drinking. My first time drinking, I was alone and I took my roommates bottle of vodka from the freezer and drank some. I did it to try to change the way I felt. And it worked! For a while, it did work. And then it gradually stopped working and I didn’t have the capability to be happy or sad or empathetic or angry. I felt nothing and I wanted to die. Then I found A twelve step program and got sober. Getting sober is not easy, it’s really hard! That’s why there are so many alcoholics still drinking out there! But the work you have to do to stay sober is so SIMPLE. And it will save your life. Oh, and it is common to think that you’re special or different from everyone else and to feel like you don’t belong. You’re not! People who aren’t alcoholics usually don’t sit around wondering if they have a problem with alcohol. So if you’re not sure, just stick around! I did, and it saved my life 🙂

LLL May 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Hello everyone!
I just turned 50 last week, and have been drinking for many years, progressively drinking more and more as my tolerance level arose. Basically, I have been a functioning alcoholic so many years, never missing work or having severe repercussions for my behavior. I have 2 wonderful children that have never said anything to me about my drinking, but have missed out on many evening activities because I didn’t drive after I started drinking when I got home. Weekdays I would start as soon as my feet hit the front door after work, and on the weekends it had become progressively earlier and earlier, although never before noon (like that matters, right?). On top of that, I watched my brother who was one year older than me die from alcoholism 2 years ago, but was in denial that I would ever get to that stage. However…

This past Monday, I felt SO bad after a long day and night of drinking on Sunday, I drank a couple beers to see if that would help me feel better, but only made me feel worse. That was my defining moment, and that was when I decided that I had enough! I quit smoking 4 years ago, and decided that now it is time to tackle this vice! I have not had any alcohol since Monday afternoon, and do admit that I have had trouble sleeping, but other than that, I am feeling totally empowered and feeling positive about the future! I will not give myself permission to drink anymore, and feel really happy that I have taken control of my life in yet, another aspect! Next, I will take control of my bad eating habits, but one day at a time!

I wish everyone here the very best luck in tackling your demons. Nobody said it will be easy, but you know what? YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!

God Bless,


Anna July 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I stopped drinking in February not really a conscious decision, I had signed up for yoga teacher training and didn’t have time between work and yoga to drink… although I had been thinking about the past few months had been extra drunk, I had been drinking since I was a teenager and I am now 32. I hadn’t really thought anything of my drinking habits as they seemed pretty “normal”. My friends and I would go our all of the time and get drunk, I held my liquor pretty well..although my hangovers were getting really bad…and after a fun night out my friends and I would joke “thanks for the non-memories”….but anyways since I have stopped drinking I am really seeing the benefits. I have such better relationships with my friends/family/co-workers. I am no longer cranky. NO hangovers, which were really bad, I would block out days and not make plans because my plan was to nurse a hangover. I have more time, I am more productive. No more anxiety. I used to suffer from eczema and I no longer have that. I really feel the time passes that I haven’t been drinking the more and more benefits I sere…the thought of drinking and being hungover actually creates anxiety, I am better staying away. I am not saying that I won’t ever drink again, I am living day by day, but I don’t see any benefit in it. My friends are really supportive of my decision, they think it is great, and actually I see them drinking a lot less. Perhaps I was the bad influence and now a good one : )

mysmugcat July 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

After being sick yet again after drinking wine and Sambuca doh I need a change. have asked for a sponsor in aa.

Sam July 16, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Hello all, I am 27 years of age and have been drinking since 15. I was your typical “weekend” drinker until 22. From 22 till 27 I wouldn’t miss a day of drinking (even if I was sick). I lost 2 amazing relationships from it, 2 beautiful cars and led a life that was going in no direction. Some how during that time period I managed to finish a bachelors degree and get accepted in to veterinary school which where I am writing you from now. I am also lucky to have a loving girlfriend who is extremely concerned about my drinking. I have managed to quit before ( for 20 days or s0) and I am now more determined then ever to stay focused (I am on day 3 today and hoping to keep it going strong). I have managed to do well in my studies here and wonder how much better I could even do if I had my head on straight all the time. I hope I will come back and reflect on this page what I wrote here 1 day and be very proud. Wish me luck!

Danielle August 17, 2013 at 5:25 am

My name is Danielle, and I’m 20 years old. I started drinking when I was 14 years old, which resulted in my very first mip (I had half of one beer). You’d think I’d learn to stay away then, but not hardly. I got drunk for the very first time not even one year later, and I thought it was so fascinating. The following year, as a freshman in high school, I drank hard alcohol for the first time, which happened to be vodka. This resulted in my SECOND mip, and a hospital visit due to alcohol poisoning. The police found me lying in the snow, unconscious. I spent two nights in the hospital afterwards, and I was bullied constantly for the rest of that year.
My life started looking up after that, however. I was involved in sports, and many other school activities, which helped me make plenty of friends, and do productive things. I quickly started to forget my regretful past experiences. I slowly started drinking again, and partying with friends. Everything went well while I finished high school. I partied on the weekends, but managed to stay out of trouble, and avoid injury. I definitely still made some stupid decisions and most likely made an idiot out of myself numerous times!
This last year, my mental/physical and emotional health has spiraled down, rapidly. I began experimenting with drugs, all while drinking shots of vodka with my crazy college friends, on the weekend. I thought I was invincible. All of the alcohol and drug abuse caught up with me quickly. I began to get anxious and depressed too often, and for no initial reason. Mentally, I was deteriorating, but I didn’t let it show. After slightly suffering from anxiety for months, I decided I wasn’t going to use drugs anymore. I stuck to this promise for about one month after, and I even quit drinking for the same amount of time. I felt great. I was exercising regularly, and doing positive and productive activities.
Then, I started hanging out with old party friends again. I drank heavily, to the point I would black out. My anxiety was getting worse, and I was having panic attacks pretty frequently. Then, one night after drinking quite a few shots with friends, I was exposed to Adderall. I had had Adderall a few times before, and I knew that it made me feel more sober when mixed with alcohol. The risk of mixing drugs and alcohol are extremely dangerous, but discretely, I ignored the warnings. My heart nearly over-worked itself for about 3 days, in order to get rid of all of the toxins that I had put into my body. I was deathly sick for 2 weeks after that. I even felt suicidal, which I’ve NEVER felt suicidal before in my life. I couldn’t sleep, I could barely eat. I finally decided that I’d had enough. My body couldn’t take it anymore. I have an overactive immune system which causes my body to attack itself. This disease was escalated due to my heavy drinking and full year of drug abuse.
I am now on the road to recovery, from years and years of damage. My family and true friends support me and that does wonders! I pray often as well, which also helps me, especially on my off days when I feel weak/exhausted or depressed. I’m constantly jealous when I see people drink, and I think “Why can’t I be normal??” But really, what’s normal about it? I love living my life sober and I’ll be spending my 21st birthday drinking Shirley temples 🙂

Steve August 19, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hi I’m six days sober I just turned 30 and after years of hiding behind alcohol I was ready to heal. It started with a trip to the ER. Caused by a Tuesday night binge a bottle of wine no food all day 5 24 oz beers and a bottle of gin. Shame is what I felt. But….. Things do happen to me for a reason. Within the grips of that hangover I had my moment of clarity. I never believed in it before. But now I do. The last six days have been a living hell. Each day getting a little better in different ways. I wake up with a dry drunk drenched in sweat and dizzy with no appetite but I force my self to take water and fruit. And my body hurts and is tense and shaky. Did I mention that I break down into uncontrollable crying fits that last all morning. I’m gonna beat this . I have too. I’ve drank steadily for ten years or so as a functioning alcoholic. But everyday away from alcohol I feel a little bit stronger.

Hadi August 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm

What a relief since I quit this poison (alcohol ). I was not a big drinker how ever the alcohol gradually almost took all I have in this life. I always been moderate drinker how ever over the time this demon will manage to overpower you from ocational drinker I started to drink almost every day and based all my life around alcohol , I was planing for drinking and always make sure there is alcohol where ever I go , I spent most of the time drinking during my holiday and leaving my wife alone or with drunken husbend . I honestly wonder how did she manage to stay with me she must suffered a lot . I just realised this is not a life I what to have and I am not that sort of man my aim is to be usfull for humanity and not burden and my principal is to do something good with the life that god gave me and my mission to help will not be achieved by drinking habit here is the fact I decided to stop and I did .
I didn’t care whether I have withdrawal or anything also I don’t advise any body to do it this way this was my way on dealing with alcohol and some other people may need medical help . I suffered for a week and gradually start to feel better and better now after few months sober I feel great everyday is getting better i joined the gym and spent my money on good stuff I even gave to the charity , iam looking for job but I have more money to spend than when I was working I was earning good salary and I was leaving on my overdraft . Strange believe it or not . I will never ever drink again and will advise any body to cut down or quit if they can the life it much better when doing so . Yes you can do it don’t under estimate yourself humain is powerfull and your dody will recover , and your life will get better . I have more spare time now I want to use my time my money and my energy to do something for the humanity not wasting it all in pursuing bad habit .

Caitlin August 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm

The past 5 years of my life have been totally run by alcohol. I’m only 20 years old. I started drinking shortly after my father left as a way of coping but my real problems didn’t start until my senior year of high school. I had just got out of an abusive relationship and a friend of mine suggested to me that we go out to a bar to get my mind of things. I wish I would’ve never went. From there I was going out to binge drink 3 or 4 nights a week. Once I graduated and went off to college I was drinking every night. I too suffer from severe social anxiety and I used alcohol to make me fun, interesting, and less nervous around people. During my time at college I was arrested, hospitalized, and thrown in a psych ward. All because of drinking. I began to have blackouts. Last night was my friends 21rst and I blacked out. I physically fought two of my friends and my boyfriend. I broke my boyfriends car window. I don’t know why I get so violent when I blackout… Today is the first day of my new life. I have to quit drinking. It is ruining my life. Pretty soon I’m going to be all alone

Ty August 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I just turn 21 two months ago but I been drink whiskey since 14. I been addicted pain pills until I move to st louis. Since my mother die of cancer when I turn 19. I been sneaking around drinking pint of whiskey every night. Now that Im 21, I have upgraded to fifth of whiskey. I drank 3 fifth in two days and got alcohol poisoning. My family and coworkers see me come back from the weekend beyond hung over. I decide to stop. I been clean for 3 days now and the cold sweats and nerveous has stop, I feel better about myself. I was a lonely drinker. I feel that your website has help me realize that I need to develop a life of goals instead of drowning in a fifth every day.

Lance August 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

Hello my name is Lance. The high school I went to had classes for grade eight. At that point in my life I was twelve, and that is when I started drinking. I had a lot of anger built up against my parents. So when I came home blacked out I had got into fights with my parents, especially my father. One night I had to spend a night in a drunk tank at fourteen for fighting my father. At the age of thirteen I had gotten into the rave scene, I tried all the party drugs, mdma, ketamine, LSD and shrooms. Ketamine was my favorite. So I went into a spiral of partying, in three years I had missed three raves in three years, at a rate of a rave every month. Then the party years kept going, I had been working since fifteen, so I dealt with the whole friends always counting on me for drinks, only friends when you get paid or to smoke a bowl. Then I stopped using party drugs at seventeen. Just bourbon, gin, and beers. Now here I am at nineteen, I have realized at age of eighteen I started self medicating myself with alcohol at a young age. And during those years I told myself in grade ten “Fuck it my work loves me I wanna work full time I can go back next fall make more money more partying”. And the same thing happened next year and the year after that. But now I realize that my drinking tolerance is way too high and it is eating my budget. I’ve had a credit card since I was eighteen and only used it for Netflix and emergency stuff like toilet paper, gas, and food if absolutely need be. Now my credit card is maxed out, I’m making minimum payments. So at the mid of July I told myself I will slow down at the end of August. I vowed I will not have a sip of alcohol in September. I have five credits in high school left to finish up this fall, which of course I could have last fall but partying made me miss a lot of classes due to hangovers. Then next fall I want to start business school and follow my dream. I have the support of my beloved grandparents who I took for granted driving me to and from work, dealing with a drunk, and all that stuff. She has always supported me and I really want to make a change in my life. I am of Aboriginal and Metis decent and I am only falling into two stereotypes, being spoiled by my family living in suburbia always counting on them to move back in if I get fired. And the “Drunk Indian” stereotype. That is my story and I’m heading on the road to recovery. I know I can do school I’ve just been cynical about the school system, the unfairness in the world, fluoride in the water, and said “f it, might as well party while I’m being poisoned in chemtrails, can do school next year”.

Steve August 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

At 53 and after 30 years of solid drinking, not everyday and not a lot at any one session, perhaps 5 glasses of wine at most, I haven’t had a drink for 6 weeks.
I expected to feel great immediately, I didn’t! It took a couple of weeks before I started to feel normal but here are some of the key changes I have gone through
– I felt like I had a hangover everyday for a couple of weeks after stopping
– I started to talk more openly to my beautiful wife of 15 years, who had given up drinking 18 months prior. Now our relationship is reignited and exciting!
– I sleep so well with lots of dreams
– I have been in intense physical training for 3 years and was down to my goal weight of 72kg but It’s still dropping! I expected my fitness to increase even more but it hasn’t yet, perhaps it will after a while?
– I’m so clear headed, it’s easier to work, get stuff done
– I am a Pro Drummer and my playing has improved
– Situations are more real, can be confronting but when you face issues, there’s nothing to hide behind, you feel so much more. It’s exhilarating!
– An intense feeling of FREEDOM

I admit, some situations are difficult especially the first couple of weeks, restaurants, dinner parties, social events, gigs. I didn’t make a big thing of it, I just said I’m not drinking and it was like I was from another planet! But, people just get used to it and I am finding I am really enjoying the social stuff, feeling liberated that I don’t have to have a drink in my hand. I really miss it with food, I am going to try some alcohol extracted wine and beer, I love a glass of wine with a meal, there’s only so much jasmine tea one can drink after all! Oh and I love a beer in summer and I believe there are now some exceptional AF beers on the market.
Anyway keen to hear other stories. Onward and upward I recommend getting sober, life is soooo much better:-)

Loyd August 26, 2013 at 6:20 pm

O’boy where to start, I am a 40 year old male with a great life I have had my problems in the past and as I sit at this computer I realize that they have all been from drinking. I have quit in the past because I was in jail for a couple short stays DUI stuff nobody got hurt just me. I am a Vice Prez at a good Corporation, have 3 boys and a loving wife I drink because I can I guess but now it seems that I am only doing what I have to so I can justify getting drunk on the weekends, I don’t drink during the week but come Friday it’s been no holds-bard. Well my youngest son saw me fall down while walking home from a party on Saturday, I feel so stupid he cares so much about me I feel that night I really let him down. Sunday I did not drink and I don’t know when or if I will drink again. I need to be the man I am trying to teach my kids to be and it won’t happen if I keep this up. So I quit I am done with it NO MORE, I can’t let this rule my life anymore time to take my life back my kids and my wife need me on the weekend as well as during the week and in the coming years. Time to be sober, I really feel embarrassed 1 day at a time right… sincerely, one lost dad….god help me..