Why I decided to stop drinking

Some years ago, my husband and I were vacationing in New York City.  One of our very favorite tourist-y things to do while on vacation in big cities is to go on walking food tours. Our tour guide was an engaging young man who led us though Greenwich Village, I believe, telling us ‘behind the scenes’ stories of celebrities who lived in the neighborhood, little-known facts about the architecture of various buildings, etc.  All was interspersed with stops at various eateries for different types of pizza, cookies, cheeses – all in all, a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.  One of the buildings we strolled by was the Cherry Lane Theater that Edna St. Vincent Millay’s contemporaries founded.  Apparently, she was a raging alcoholic/addict.  Our guide cheerfully described her as someone who was “a whole lot of fun until she wasn’t.”  That, my friends, is what alcohol became to me, in a nutshell. A whole lot of fun until I realized, first with trepidation, then sadness, and, finally, stone-cold clarity – alcohol no longer contributed anything positive to my day to day existence. It negatively affected my mood, the quality of my sleep – the quality of my life.  I knew that I would be so much happier if I just quit. Having alcohol in the house doesn’t bother or tempt me. I can purchase wine or my husband’s favorite, Maker’s Mark – without batting an eyelash. But – I was seeing a pattern of behavior I became increasingly uncomfortable with. And I no longer felt particularly proud of the woman staring back at me in the mirror. As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you always did, you’re always going to get what you always got.”  Something had to change.

I plan to delve into this topic in greater detail in future posts.  For now, I invite you to share why you decided to stop.  Was it a specific event/crisis? An epiphany? Did you set a ‘quit date’?  Email me at: lifewithoutvodkarocks@gmail.com or post a comment!  I’d love to hear from you.

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8 thoughts on “Why I decided to stop drinking

  1. I can tell you, I have known for a long time that drinking wasn’t serving my life. When I was starting out in my twenties, I worked in a very male oriented career, and I would try to drink like the guys and I had fun. It wasn’t until later that I started drinking daily, and when I started getting in trouble for my drinking shenanigans. I would have horrible fights with my husband, he would look at me sadly the morning after, I started having consequences. I have tried to quit before, and while I was successful life was GOOD, but as the saying goes, “there is no good time that adding alcohol can’t ruin”. So, I am trying again and am happy to have other bloggers that are on the beginning stages of sobriety.

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  2. I was just thinking to while getting ready for work and looking in the mirror at myself. I actually thought wow, I like what I see. I haven’t thought that in a long time. I am on day 17 of quitting drinking. I am happy to have found your blog and looking forward to reading all your experiences in this journey. I just recently posted to my blog why I decided to quit drinking. Anyhoo, thanks for sharing this post long ago so I could read it today!

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    • Oh, I remember those early days so well…. feeling like I was walking a tightrope without a net back then! I remember feeling so relieved, too – and that tiny kernel of pride that got bigger and bigger every day. Hang in there – it gets better and better! Almost 9 months for me now, and I know I’ll never drink again – life is so good!

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  3. Hi, day 2 for me again. Day 1 was on the anniversary of my day 1 where I managed to quit for a year…5 years ago. I know that sounds complicated. But once I quit for a whole year and slipped, only to go back to drinking for several years. Both quit days were preceded by dreadful drunk evenings that caused me great shame…both were after successful no drinking Lenten seasons, where I resumed drinking after Easter and was soon as bad or worse than I was before. I am 50 something also, and my body is suffering from this abuse. I need to stop…I want to stop. Praying for the strength. I am relating to what you are saying here and am so glad I found you.

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  4. Day 14 sober for me today. Doing ok, feeling better physically, but mentally still grappling with the idea of forever. Thinking about moderation but don’t know if it will work for me. I was a binge drinker usually drank until I was black-out drunk. I’m 55 years old and tired of feeling like crap. Drinking used to be fun in my younger years but now, really, it’s only nice the first hour and then it’s just guzzling wine and me getting sloppy and bitchy. So many embarrassing and regretful moments. Why do I still want to drink on the week-ends?

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    • I hear you – forever is a long-ass time. Do you follow the blog, “Tired of Thinking about Drinking?” Belle offers an opportunity to swear off booze for 100 days and then see how you feel. You sign up (I believe there might be a waiting list) and then pledge not to drink for either 100, 180, or 365 days. It’s free and the accountability is nice. You can also get daily emails from her; she’ll be your sober penpal. I drank more regularly but all too often it led to blackouts, regret, shame. I had a high bottom but didn’t care to hang around and wait for things to get worse. The weekend thinking is hard to overcome because, in our society, EVERYONE seems to let loose and drink on the weekend. Once I got through the first weekend, it got easier and easier, which is not to say I don’t still think about the taste of an ice cold martini. I’ll miss that until the day I die. But – and this is a BIG but – I won’t cave and drink because I don’t want to go back to day 1. Every time I forget how crappy I felt at the end, I make myself remember the constant mental chatter, the dark thoughts, the worry and fear I carried with me EVERY WAKING MINUTE. Totally not worth it. As time goes by and you build some sober momentum, and start to be able to enjoy things for their own sake, instead of an opportunity to drink, you’ll enjoy sobriety more and more. If the idea of ‘forever’ bothers you, why not ‘just not today?’ Big hugs!

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