Surprising Results from Three Months Without Alcohol

Brad Hopkins KPMG on three months without alcohol

Brad Hopkins, Director at KPMG’s Infrastructure & Projects Group, reflects on the corporate culture of drinking and his three months without alcohol.

Personal drinking habits are an unusual topic to kick around with colleagues. The magic little liquid holds a cherished position in corporate Australia – its ubiquity and impact on our work environment is rarely spoken of.

I have never been regarded as a big drinker and I never thought of myself as having a ‘drinking problem’. Despite this, I was challenged by a friend to tackle three months without alcohol and I finished this stint in May 2017. Now I’ve decided to do another three months, and I’d like to encourage others to have a go. My motivation is old fashioned curiosity – the original stint was so surprising that I’d like to see what might happen next.

So, what can you expect if you join the experiment? I am sure it will vary dramatically by person but I have described a few of my own surprises below.

One month is a good start, but longer is better

I had quit alcohol for a month once before but was persuaded to try a longer three-month stint this time around. The longer break was recommended by a friend, Chris Raine, of Hello Sunday Morning. Hello Sunday Morning’s mission is to provide tools and support to help people assess their relationship with alcohol. The thing I like about this organisation is that they don’t tell you how much you should drink. Instead, they help you learn something about yourself and your habits.

For me the first month was largely occupied with self-congratulations and predictable outcomes. I lost some weight and saved some money. Far more interesting things happened in months two and three. With time my concentration began to improve, my stress levels declined and my sleep improved.

Why did these changes take so long to materialise? Research on the impact of long-term, low-level drinking is patchy at best. Some theorise that alcohol, even a small amount of alcohol, has a neurological impact which alters our brain long after any hangover abates. Recent studies show that drinking small amounts of alcohol (e.g. 14 units per week) over extended periods is linked to changes in the brain and poorer long-term cognitive function.

Although the research is scant, I find it hard to imagine something that has such a significant impact on our brain in the short term (drunkenness) not having some cumulative impact (concentration, sleep, mood) in the longer term. These longer-term impacts could take time to abate once we stop drinking.

Successful people drink less than you think

For the first two weeks of my sobriety it felt like corporate Australia was awash with booze. I counted no less than twelve work-related drinking opportunities across fourteen days. Friday afternoon drinks, lunches celebrating arrivals, departures and successes, boozy nights out with clients or colleagues. In the corporate world, all of these events provide shared experiences that strengthen our relationships. Alcohol helps people bond at a fairly low cost compared to more thoughtful alternatives.

As I talked more about my sobriety, people shared stories about their own drinking habits and I discovered a lot of non-drinkers and highly disciplined drinkers lurking in the shadows of corporate Australia. Many of these “well considered” drinkers were highly successful business leaders and entrepreneurs who had turned away from alcohol for a variety of reasons.

Some of these people had well-evolved strategies for avoiding alcohol without being conspicuous about their abstinence. They would accept a drink and hold it as a prop, do the rounds at functions and exit early or restrict themselves to half a glass of wine nursed through an evening. These are the tips they do not teach you at graduate training.

Concentration is king

In the second month my concentration began to improve dramatically and the modern curse called “distraction” finally departed. Despite digging through the research, I haven’t been able to uncover why my concentration levels jumped. The cause is probably multi-faceted and I suspect that sleep is a big part of it. Alcohol is a notorious disrupter of sleep – although it helps us drift into sleep, the sleep is less restorative and more prone to interruption. My sleep gradually improved until I was getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night in the second month.

Frankly, the reasons didn’t concern me as much as the outcome – I was delighted with my new cognitive superpowers. I had one of the most productive and successful periods of my career.

Moods matter

The modern workplace revolves around our ability to think and interact with other human beings. Our reality as modern workers is that our mood directs much of our approach to people and problems. Mood can skew how you approach somebody, or indeed whether you bother approaching them at all. Whether you are calling on your emotional intelligence or solving a problem, having some control over your mood seems important today.

Any level of hangover, even from one or two drinks, makes me a little bit grumpy. For me, alcohol was a handbrake and encouraged a mindset that was muted and homogenous. As the experiment continued my moods shifted to a place which allowed me to engage more fully with the people and circumstances around me.

Stress less

Like many of us, my job is stressful and it probably always will be. As my dry spell wore on I realised that the glass or two of wine shared with my wife over dinner was actually a way of dealing with a stressful day.

It turns out that alcohol is a terrible antidote for stress and anxiety. Recent research shows that, for some people, being stressed reduces the impact of alcohol resulting in more drinking to achieve the desired result. Drinking causes short-term relaxation but reduces our ability to manage stress. For me, abstinence made me better at dealing with and responding to stress at work and at home. I was harder to rattle and recovered more quickly.

What comes after three months without alcohol?

I am going to dive into a further dry spell for another few months without alcohol. It is not easy, particularly when habits have been entrenched over many years. Whether your own challenge is work stress or Friday night socialising, there are good strategies for dealing with this.

If you’re thinking of giving up or cutting back on alcohol yourself, Hello Sunday Morning offers an app/online program, free for Australians, called Daybreak. Join a community of people on the same mission as you, and see if you notice any of these differences in yourself after three months without alcohol.

Check out our blog on the link between stress and anxiety or chat to a Health Coach on Hello Sunday Morning’s Daybreak program to help you find the best strategies for you.

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  • Inspiring and very interesting, thank you. Alcohol is a daily part of my life for more than 30 years, it does adversly effect home life or work but I am curiuos to see what I could benefit from stopping this unnecessary habit. I like drink but am not getting anything from it. Starting today, Sunday will be tough,as this there is a huge sporting event this afternoon. But this is day 1.

    By Conchur
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    September 2, 2018
  • Thanks for your words. I have been a heavy drinker for 20 years, at least 2 bottles of wine or so a night, I’ve always keep my employment. I’m in week 4 today without a drop, it’s either or for me. The craving has only just stopped. My turning point was my wife doing an impression of me stumbling around talking gibberish and saying how much she hated it, she’s never said anything before. My concentration is coming back, my sleep is better, energy is up. Losing a kilo a week. I have a bottle of Vodka in my draw, it disgusts me, I can’t look at it but I know it is there, this is my choice, a present to myself. I love me, I’m a good person, I deserve this.

    By Littletboy
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    September 12, 2018
  • I gave up drinking 2 months ago, great article and can totally relate. If I want to sit on the deck and relax with a beer, i do with a ZERO % beer. Works a treat.

    By SteveP
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    November 2, 2018
  • I gave up drinking one month sober. My drinking was affecting my wife and son and my job. I feel great!.

    By Sean M
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    December 8, 2018
  • I am an American! can I join in your challenge? Today is January the 9th I am going to try this until February 9th and see how it goes….

    By Kathryn E
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    January 9, 2019
  • Have you ever had the opportunity to go out drinking, but asked yourself whether it might just be better to stay home and remain sober? But you decide to go out, and have more than you thought you would. The next morning you try to get up and totally wish you’d stayed home. On another occasion you stay home and don’t drink. It’s such a good feeling when you wake up the next morning feeling good. Think about how good that feeling would be if you always woke up that way. That’s how I eventually cut down to practically no drinking. As you age, the after-effects of drinking are only going to feel worse. Believe me. I’m nearly 70. Drinking and hangovers take up a lot of your life that could be so much more fruitful and serene.

    By Clyde R.
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    January 24, 2019
    • Agreed Clyde R. I’ve had period where I’ve stopped drinking sometimes for several months and have always returned. After an overindulgence in French bubbles for my birthday over 5 weeks ago I was sick for two days. I can’t tolerate much alcohol it seems particularly as I’m older so it’s time to recalibrate. It’s been over 5 weeks and I love the mornings. I wake up every morning and say “I’m glad I don’t drink”. So far so good. Would like to think that I could return to having the occasional glass of wine with dinner. Will have to see how it goes.

      By Fifi m
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      June 30, 2020
  • I’m An Aussie and we have a reputation to be big drinkers, I used alcohol for stress relief but for the last month have not had a drop feeling so much better and healthier and I’ll be taking on the 3 month challenge

    By Kim Richards
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    January 26, 2019
  • I totally relate to this. It’s day 27 without alcohol for me and I still occasionally get pangs. I was also a daily wine drinker to relieve the stress of the day. I found I needed to change my lifestyle to do this and as a result joined a gym. I have never been a gym member and found the whole experience daunting to begin with. Particularly, when working long hours with a long commute. It gets easier with each week. Alcohol is a sneaky distraction that fast becomes a very unhealthy habit. Sadly, so many people are unhappily caught up in this socially acceptable and legal pastime.

    By Helen
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    January 26, 2019
  • Day 36 here in a Canada.

    By Bundo
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    February 5, 2019
  • I’m from Bernie in the UK and I’ve stopped drinking now for 6 weeks. Getting right back on it next week though…

    By Billy
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    February 23, 2019
  • Week 9 here. I am wondering if I will ever drink again. Scared to now as the new me is so much better and happier. Been self medicating for about 32 years. Now I am facing my fears without alcohol and life is showing me how brave and clever I can be. Best decision I ever made.

    By Dee Dee
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    February 26, 2019
  • Hi……I am 47….and on my 1225th day of soberity today. I.e 04.03.2019 (last drank on 26.10.2015)…after abusing alcohol for 22 years. ..and after expericing all the benefits of non drinking for 3 yrs 4× months..I kick myself for not quitting alcohol decades before….

    By Deepak Luthra
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    March 4, 2019
  • I woke up last Friday, 1st March, decided no more nightly glass of wine that often became a bottle ( sometimes followed by a large gin ). Having alcohol in the fridge was as important as having milk, more sometimes, depending on my shift as a nurse in a v busy ward the only alcohol free nights were the ones I did nightshift I don’t drive, so didn’t have to factor driving early next morning into the equation . This has been my way of life for about 18 years. Prior to this, I only drank when I went out but that was often 3 nights a week and involved drinking a lot more, having frequent terrible hangovers. This was a pattern for about 5 years prior to that I would have described myself as an occasional binger.friday night, my partner came home with a box of wine , I told him I was stopping for a month ( after I had finished the box) . It was gone by Sunday. Tbh, I didn’t even really enjoy it and felt as though I was drinking fast to get rid of it. I’ve now had 3 sober nights not craving at all, no physical signs of withdrawal apart from insomnia, slight pins and needles and feeling a bit ill at ease. Not sure if I’ll stay off completely after the month ( I really did enjoy a nice glass of wine)….. but …I’ll hopefully be an occasional drinker or at least do no farther damage-. my poor liver needed these changes . Just hoping my sleep comes back soon. !

    By Onetiredwoman
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    March 6, 2019
  • 3 months no booze. All good so far.

    By Stoney
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    March 6, 2019
  • 2 months and 2 weeks without drinking , I started in dry jan and haven’t drank or gone out since , after awhile it just becomes a habit.

    By Des
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    March 13, 2019
  • I had quit drinking a little over a year ago, for about four months. I got terribly ill and had to go into the hospital It wasn’t related to alcohol but it sent me in a downward spiral. Then I hurt my back and that was all it took to get me to start drinking heavily again. I had lost 50 pounds a year ago when I quit, I gained 60 pounds back. A few days ago I was really disgusted with myself. I have not had anything to drink in three days. I have 3 1/2 liters of 40 proof on my kitchen counter, I look at it every time I go into the kitchen. I have decided to try this for the next 100 days, my daughter gets married the day after that. Thank you all for the encouarging words, I found this website about an hour ago and it is helping allot with the article, and all the comments.

    By Joe
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    March 16, 2019
  • Chris D Canada; I’m going on my second month of no alcohol, I am surprised how easy it has been,,i sleep better and I am losing a pound a week. I still go out and socialize and I drink Heinekin 0 % beer, it makes me feel like I’m not losing out on the social factor but can still drive home after. No legal worries. I definitely sleep better to.

    By Chris Descoteaux
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    March 17, 2019
  • I am 54 and I have been drinking almost every day for years. My family is French Canadian; we think of wine as food and not as alcohol. Every day I would have a cocktail with my spouse when I got home, and then we would share a bottle of wine with dinner, and often finish it off with a liqueur. I stopped three weeks ago after an unrelated health issue. I don’t know what did it, but suddenly I said, I’m done, no more. I was unfocused, my sleep was disrupted, I needed to lose some weight and I had the feeling that my body was falling apart. Fortunately, it seems I wasn’t as addicted as I thought: I had no side effects, and already I am feeling much better; I sleep very well, I am sharper at the office, my heart rate has dropped and I have lost a few pounds. When going out, I tend to choose restaurants that interesting non-alcoholic drinks and I don’t feel like I am missing out at all. I am really looking forward to more improvements in the weeks ahead.

    By Torontonian
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    March 17, 2019
  • I gave up on 21st of Janurary last , had a blowout on Paddy’s night literely. I drank 7 pints but threw up 8 which means repainting the bedroom again. The hangover was the worst i have had in thirty years blinding headache , vomitting etc So nobody told me that after 8 weeks off I needed to start slowly! Gone back off it hopefully forever!

    By Trent
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    March 25, 2019
  • Ive give up for 3 months now it started with just for a month and i felt so good after the first month I continued ive drank for 30 plus years but i started to black out and feel so anxious and embarrased thinking what did i say or do. never felt so good and i hope to continue my sober life the thing thats been the hardest is friends wanting me to keep drinking and I am no longer the piss head clown who they cannot wait to tell me how I behaved and laugh about when I was dying inside

    By Annie
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    March 25, 2019
  • Rob 21 days today sleeping better trying to stop feeling sorry for myself I’m 58 time to grow up lasted 6 mos 2yrs ago alcohol consumed my life a liquid in a bottle will not run my life thanks for comments inspiring good luck to all

    By Robert Checker
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    March 31, 2019
  • VERY cool & VERY helpfull to read other People’s Stories. YES to quiting for ever!!!!

    By Jonnie
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    April 6, 2019
  • I have made up my mind to try this for 31 days to see how I feel. I don’t drink during the week, never have. I do drink on Fridays or Saturdays. I have been experiencing some black outs the past 3 weeks. This is not what I want. I love the taste of beer but don’t need all the reminders of what I said, did, or how I functioned. I’ve been told and asked have I tried AA or a out patient rehab. I have and it was great at first week or so; but I met allot of fake people during this after I maintained my sobriety. My grand parents died from alcoholism and I don’t want to see myself in this situation. I’ve read many of your posts and its funny how much we may have in common. Its more of a social attraction vs. the physical dependency. Thanks for reading

    By Christopher Adams
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    April 9, 2019
  • Drinking excessive alcohol an marijuna while taking 1000 mm of depakote is no joke waking up to seizures everyday an blackouts after stopping it’s like almost being little again

    By Vince owen
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    April 21, 2019
  • I teach and have a long commute. I have been drinking too much for years but especially after my mother, brother and two dogs died. Well i went to the doc’s and she sent me for an ultrasound. They found a kidney tumour. My doc asked me whether i drank when she went through my report. I said “yes” and toldher that it was about 2/3 bottles of wine a week and loads of crisps. She said she could tell from my ultrasound pictire that my liver was rough and i drank. Anyhow i went home and poured it down the sink. I thought was the booze or the wooden box at this rate. Now i have been dry for over 90 days and am so proud of myself.I feel more awake and with it, have lost some weight and am getting things done. I look back and think what a slave i was and what a waste of time, money and health. The tumour diagnosis and what she said about the liver did it. I have no desire to drink again.

    By Yasmin
    |
    April 30, 2019
  • Very inspiring. I stopped for 27 days last year, then drank beer nonstop for 4 months, I was abroad, came back now 39 days dry. Going to continue. I am 62 and started drinking at 15. I can relate so much of what has been said by others. I am trying not to look back on all the waste (time, health, dignity, self respect, lastly money) and look forward to 47 good, useful productive years

    By Angelin Perry
    |
    May 12, 2019
  • I’ve been drinking for far too long. It’s 22 days today I’m staying sober and I have to say it’s a challenge of my life.

    By Tomasz
    |
    May 17, 2019
  • I am 37 and I have drank much daily for 20 years. Sometimes fifths a day for years on end. Only time I didn’t was for a week I was in jail split up over the years. Decided to quit for my mirage because I love my wife. Three months sober tomorrow. I feel a lot better lost weight have energy and sleep better. If I can do it anyone can!

    By Jeffery motyka
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    May 27, 2019
  • I am 67 been drinking since I was 15.came to the point where I was drinking 2 bottles of whisky or rum a week. Got to a point where I wasn’t even enjoying it, I wasn’t getting drunk and wasn’t getting headache or hang over. Some nights I would think I don’t even feel like a drink, but I won’t sleep if I don’t have one. Came the day I got ill, not from alcohol but my Asthma. Had a bad chest Infection for about a month which wouldn’t go away. Eventually I felt so Ill I went to see my doctor. I hadn’t taken anything for my illness up to this point, but continued my two bottles of spirit a week. I actually felt like I was dying after being sick for a month. I got medications from my doctor and it occurred to me how stupid I was. I had been abusing my body for years and not taking care of myself. I stopped drinking that day. In my 7th week now. I have sometimes fancied a drink but have had a cuppa instead. I am eating healthily and exercizing. I am feeling a lot more energized. Still not sleeping well. Falling asleep OK but waking every 2 hours. I still have whisky in the house but haven’t touched it. I am hopeful I won’t drink again, but am making no promises. I shall try my best though.

    By Diane
    |
    June 7, 2019
  • I am 66 and have been drinking 4+ pints of beer almost every day for about 47 years, I have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetis.

    By Phil, S
    |
    June 9, 2019
  • I am 66 and have been drinking 4+ pints of beer almost every day for about 47 years, I have high blood pressure and type 2 diabetis . need to loose about 30kg in weight ,gave up drinking two weeks ago and I feel good now and the weight is coming off the start was hard but its not going to the bar that I think that I miss most

    By Phil, S
    |
    June 9, 2019
  • 3 months and 1 week alcohol free and still going after 45 years drinking. Never felt better. Great improvement in memory. Fitness, plus lost 3 to 4 kg. More relaxed and actually socialising is so much easier. Definitely worth a try. Changes your life for the best.

    By Kevin S
    |
    June 29, 2019
  • I did Dry July (2019) and managed quite easily without alcohol so I have just kept abstaining. So it’s been two months now and I’m trying for three and after that I plan on only drinking occasionally. I’m not a huge drinker but I reached the stage where I was having 2-3 glasses of wine every night, and every morning I would wake up feeling guilty and full of self loathing. It’s fantastic not having that negativity any more. I only used to drink wine with my dinner (never without food) so my trick now is to eat dinner earlier and once it’s out of the way the urge for alcohol disappears completely. Good luck to everyone trying to cut down or totally give up.

    By Nettie
    |
    August 27, 2019
  • Hello, I stopped the booze on June 10th 2019. That’s three months this Saturday. I’m 40 and I’ve spend all my life in hospitality. Bars and restaurants. So the culture along with the free stuff is pretty full on. I’ve been picked up in the street falling asleep and at the bottom of steps trying to save a dollar by walking home and woke up in hospital a good few times and after a Sunday roast and a 4 pack in June, i looked around the room at the conversations and also at my life and thought. Fuck this is bullshit. Tomorrow morning I’m doing this. I cant do another 25 years wasted. If I dont act before I’m 41 it’s too late. In these 3 months I’ve learnt to swim, got my drivers license a car and a payrise, and I’m 3 weeks into saving money after paying every debt I had. I could not have done this before I stopped drinking. But I had to drink to the point where I could get pissed off enough to stop. That’s the problem, that’s what takes years. Thanks for reading.

    By Seadog
    |
    September 4, 2019
    • Thanks so much for sharing! Wow, well done on how far you’ve come!

      By Admin
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      September 11, 2019
  • 20 dry days behind me after drinking pretty much every day for 25 years. Addiction, habit, boredom or just social acceptance? Who knows it’s been quite difficult some days but I’m more determined now having read a lot of comments from various people, so thanks and stay strong.

    By Lolly
    |
    September 14, 2019
  • 6 months and a half without a drop of alcohol. I started drinking at a very young age, it was never an addiction but it did have a lot to do with my life. About 7 months ago at age 19, 260 pounds, I was diagnosed with a fatty liver and so I immediately stopped drinking. This has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken, I have changed into another person, more responsible and disciplined. I feel like never before, I lost over 55 pounds and have tons of energy. (I also started a strict diet). I honestly recommend this to anyone reading this. I have also been a smoker since a young age, about 14, but last week I said fuck that because I have proven to myself that discipline, controlling my body and my temptations are my top priorities.

    By Kalil
    |
    September 17, 2019
  • I really enjoyed reading this article and everyone’s comments. I’m only a newbie so reading everyone’s great results is inspiring. I only started yesterday, and so far I’ve been tired, and had a mindsplitting headache. (I cut off caffeine yesterday too so my body is probably in shock!) I researched the top 20 superfoods, such as eggs, berries, nuts, avocado, so while cutting out alcohol and caffeine, I’m also going to improve what I’m eating. I figured if you feed your body well, you won’t crave things you don’t need. On a side note, a few years ago I lost my husband in a sudden car accident – do you know how my body responded? I was not physically able to have an alcohol, tea or coffee. It’s like my body was in such a state, that my brain refused them. It wasn’t even a conscious decision. And so I lost 6 kilos in 3 months. Although I’m sure that was due to stress and shock as well, I must say that my body was in a very good condition to deal with the stress, due to cutting out alcohol and caffeine. I just think it’s interesting that sometimes your body tells you what I needs from you!

    By Renee
    |
    September 22, 2019
  • I am 10 days without alcohol. I am 39 years old and have drank since I was 14. Always had an excuse. Recently I have felt like I was losing my mind couldnt remember what was real and what had been said and what I had watched on the TV. Already I feel me again. My wife has cried she is so happy and it makes me think what sort of person was I. Heres to getting to know me again. Must say the sugar cravings have been weird but feeling good.

    By Pepperpot
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    October 11, 2019
  • I am starting day 15 tomorrow. I drank pretty heavy for 22 years. The first week I really felt bad with headaches, naseau, and super sleepy, and fatigued. My teeth hurt, my eyes hurt, my heart hurt. I am just now in the last day or so been feeling better and less fatigued. I started vitamens, working out 3 times a week, and sleeping alot. I have not had any cravings. 2 nights ago I got bored and wondered what it would be like to grab a beer, but that is as far as I took it. I changed my direction of thinking and that was the end of it. I have been reading everything I can about what my body is going through. I have been reading everything about how the body heals. I am definately just taking it day by day. I seem to be an all or nothing drinker so I am just focusing on nothing. I have lost 9 pounds in 14 days. Thanks for sharing your stories.

    By Sheila
    |
    October 14, 2019
  • My name is KarI and I’m from the UK, I only found this article today when looking online for inspiration. I’m Day 20 into a planned month abstaining from alcohol, but I may not stop there…… I would say I have been a moderate to heavy drinker for the last 15 years, but I’ve only ever really been a lager drinker, I’ve never been a big fan of spirits or wine, that said there have been evenings where the shots have come out and I’ve over indulged. I can easily get through 12 cans of beer in a session, no problems at all and my average weekly consumption would be anything between 10 & 16 cans (440ml cans) per week, mainly consumed at the weekend. some weeks could be double that if there’s sport on the TV or nights out etc. When I was just 15/16 years old I would binge drink with my friends at weekends. Life has been a bit of a struggle over recent months, struggling with some form of depression and or Anxiety, which is totally alien to me as I always thought it to be incomprehensible and always thought mental illness was a myth… I’m pretty certain my problems have a lot to do with my relationship with Alcohol. The longer I go without alcohol, the easier I am finding it to say “no thanks, not today” & I honestly don’t know when or if I will have another drink now. I have a beautiful wife who I have been with for 15 years and 3 amazing children & the older I get the more I realise how fragile life can be & just how much I want to make sure I am around for them and make sure it’s not my actions as a drinker that could rob them of a father and husband. I feel so much better already, my hands are steady, my sleeping is getting better, my moods are improving along with my concentration and energy levels. My fear still now is I don’t really know what a life without alcohol means because it’s always been my way of having fun, can I have fun without it? I’m still working that one out. One thing for sure is that if I do have a beer or two after my month off, there is no way I will return to the levels of drinking I was previously at. It’s been great reading everyone’s stories and really helps keeping me motivated, so thank you to everyone, It’s only fair that I share mine.

    By Karl from the UK
    |
    October 22, 2019
  • I felt so much pride from reading all the people on their path to clear themselves of alcohol. I’m the mum of a man who has mental health issues as well as alcohol problems. Being labelled as an alcoholic it didn’t really help his depression. His wife of a few years, who knew of his problems, has sent him to me as she does not want him around her family in a drunk and depressed state. I nursed him back over 10 years ago so together we are facing his demons. I am so proud of him. We’ve had the sickness, nightmares, aggression and crying but he makes me proud. I can’t imagine how you all face so much to rid the demons, but it’s the light at the end of the tunnel whereby, he was clean once and he can be again. Good luck everyone and happy positive dreams.

    By Mum of Son who cries with pride
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    October 24, 2019
  • It is really interesting to read each and every person’s different reaction to stopping drinking. I’ve done it before for 2 weeks and once for a month, 5 years ago. other than sleeplessness and headaches for a week or so I got back to normal. Now, on my 20th year of heavy drinking, at least 8 of daily drinking, and over a year and a half of trying whole heartedly to stop and never making it passed 3 days sober, I am now on my 30th day, entering week 5 and going for at least 3 months if not forever. This time the withdrawals were real and they were scary. I have heart pounding terrors of waking up scared that I was dying or someone wanted to kill me, but not remembering why. My wife would wake up frightened for me and hold my hand to comfort me. that lasted a week. Headaches lasted until a few days ago. KILLER headaches like I’ve never had before. I thought it was a tumor or a stroke, I am not kidding. That reminds me of the terrifying anxiety which I’ve never had. I’ve had it about a year and a half, which is when I decided to try to quit, but alcohol makes it go away temporarily, but then it comes back. It used to be just a general unease and worried feeling that got worse, but slow enough I forgot I didn’t used to be like that. I convinced myself I just was starting to not like people, even thought I’ve always been a people person, or that I was just getting older. But the last 3 months became a constant fear or panic feeling that I may be dying of liver disease or heart disease or was having a slow onset stroke, so many different horrible scenarios went through my head. And believe it or not, I still managed to keep drinking, telling myself I was working on it, that I needed time to be able to take off work and detox and be able to go without sleep until I was back to normal without risking going in to work like a psycho zombie. In the end, I did need the time off. I took 5 days off and then luckily had a slow hit at work and they offered us not paid time off, so I took another week. It really helped. I was able to focus on not drinking and sleeping as much as possible and drinking water, eating soup and vitamins, etc, until I began to feel normal ISH. the best thing I have to report is that from about day 20 I can sleep as soon as I lay down and turn out the lights, 8 hours straight. I can’t remember such long sleep without being wasted, which meant being hungover and exhausted anyway, since I was a kid. It’s amazing. However, I slept 10 hours last night, glorious, but I am still tired. This worries me, but reading that some people’s symptoms keep disappearing into 2nd month gives me hope. especially the concentration part. I have started working a lot again and not had time or energy to work out. I am going to focus on that this week 5!!! I hope some of this can help someone. I truly thought I was incapable of stopping. My family knows I love to drink and I am a goofy happy drinker, but no-one knows the extent of it. I thought, they are going to find out because I am going to die soon from booze. the gig is up! It was terrible. I have always been a healthy and positive person. The point is that anyone can feel the helplessness but don’t believe it!!! Even after 100 fails, you can succeed, like me!!! finally!!! Love you all.

    By Pete
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    October 26, 2019
  • 42 years of drinking … day 24 … should of done this a long time ago. Feel great!

    By LT
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    November 1, 2019
  • I have wanted to stop drinking for a long time as it was getting way out of hand – Every day I’d wake up hating myself and would tell myself I wouldn’t drink that night but of course I would and so the cycle went on – I listened to Annie Grace and the science behind alcohol addiction and something just clicked – I can’t explain it – I haven’t had a drink for 95 days and I have no desire to drink either. I no longer wake up with that dreaded guilty , self loathing feeling. I sleep better , have lost pounds and gained pounds £££! – I have more energy and basically LOVE life . I was caught in a trap and honestly never thought I could break free – I am so happy to be sober and I refuse to go down that damaging road again.

    By Sheryl Kinnaird
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    November 10, 2019
  • Just entering my third month sober after many, many years of heavy drinking and drunkenness. I am waking up, rather than ‘coming to’ and to start the mornings off smiling and cheerful has amazed my partner, I am quite simply becoming a far better version of myself. My initial intention was s dry month, but I literally feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life and I’m grasping it with both hands. Good luck to everybody on a similar path, all your stories inspire me.

    By Debbie Bagshaw
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    November 21, 2019
  • I have not had a drink for 3 months 12 days and 22 hours. I quit because I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have been a solid drinker for 40 years mostly beer. I have had a bit of rough patch a couple nights ago and seriously considered going back to my old ways. I made it through those couple days and after reading your letters I have a new hope. I know I can’t go back I am a all or nothing guy so controlled drinking is out of the question. I love not waking up sick and not worried about what I said or did the night before. I actually am sleeping not just passing out , I am more aware of myself and others. I am no longer dreading the past and I do feel positive about the future. I can name a hundred reasons not to drink and to be honest I can not name one good reason to drink. I went to AA however I don’t feel comfortable there. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to write your thoughts , they were inspirational.

    By don roper
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    November 23, 2019
  • I’m on day 25 of a planned month off drinking. Re-evaluating how I feel about alcohol. Was drinking mainly white wine which was becoming one bottle leading into another. I wanted to break the cycle of drinking out of habit for a while and pleasing other people if that makes sense – wine with your husband at the end of the day, girlfriends who think you’re a party pooper if you order a soft drink. Just clicked one day in my head that at 47 years you have to live the life you want and not fit in with others. I’ve been happier, much more relaxed, less jumpy, enjoying my cuppas in the evening. Sense of humour and optimism about life has improved. Looking better, going to the gym 3 times a week. Not binging on cheese and crackers! Will be testing next month in December when social life gets busier with Christmas but I would like to go out and not drink as I know I can have a good, enjoyable and stress free life cutting out the booze. Great to read everyone’s stories, good luck all.

    By Lucy Lu
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    November 24, 2019
  • Yes it is tough giving up, not until from deep within your core, that you really are just fed up with the sickness that dictates your life then sobriety can be achieved & every day without booze will be a real treat, excitement comes back & really over small things a cup of tea for example movie’s & actually understanding the whole thing to name a few having a conversation & making sense.I am ten months in now & after a while i stopped counting by the week i find now i am overwhelmed with actually just eating well exercising & feeling tired i do have a hatred for alcohol & the negativity it produces.

    By mark cuckow
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    November 26, 2019
  • 9 weeks sober today,initially stopped for GoSober October.It gets easier with time,celebrated with a 6 pack of no alcohol lager.Enjoyed but decided to do another month,now completed and looking forward to onths and celebrating with more no alcohol lager and readdressing after that.Slow and Steady,hoping to stay sober for further month at a time and celebrating with no alcohol lager.

    By Sean
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    December 3, 2019
  • I am starting week 6 of not drinking. Best decision I have made in a long time. You have nothing if you don’t have your health. Alcohol is littetally poison to our bodies. If you wear out your shell, where will you live? I choose health.

    By Jules
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    December 9, 2019
  • Hey. I’m from the UK. I have been clean of alcohol for 5 months almost and it does make a difference ! I used to finish work for the week and then binge drink. I felt I wanted to see how long I could go without. Aha. So far so good !!!

    By Amanda Caren
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    January 15, 2020
  • Hi. Nice to know that I’m not alone with a drinking problem. I been drinking booze since I was 13 years old. I am now in my 30s. I came from a alcoholic background and growing up has a kid I was always around family who drank a lot. Growing up with everyone drinking, I just thought that was a part of life. I continued to drink and never had anything good come out of alcohol! Blackouts, acting like a complete fool, sick nights and mornings , bad conscious, depression, stressed, anxiety,fighting with my spouse , parents, etc the list goes on and on. It’s a demon on your back! I don’t want to be a slave to booze and want to be in control. I recently got diagnosed with hemochromatosis (high iron) my doctor said it’s a gene passed on from my parents. I really believe it’s from drinking the large amounts of booze in my life. Anyways I’m on day 23 and I’m feeling good. I’ve lost weight, my skin as really improved, I look more younger. I sleep better and my energy levels are coming back. I must say that it’s a struggle to let go because to me it felt like booze was my best friend when I was lonely and bored. Now it’s gone ! some days are hard but I have learned to train my mind . Every time I think of booze I instantly switch my thinking off booze. It really helps. Prayer has helped me a lot too. Without jah (god) I would of never got through this alone. I don’t know if I will slip cause it did happen a lot before when I tried to stop but I know this is the longest I went without booze, and I will continue to go longer. I wish the best for everyone and keep it up. You got this !! If I can do it anyone can 😉

    By Rose
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    January 23, 2020
  • 2020 Dry January , second time doing it and its much easier this time hopefully go till Easter this time,

    By Trent
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    February 2, 2020
  • Just completed 31 days of not drinking alcohol, this is not the first time i’ve given up and reverted sadly back last year around April 2019. Interestingly it’s not the giving up that is hard, it’s constantly having to explain why i’m not drinking which is unbelievably irritating… Difference this year is that I’ve tried to focus my energy on getting fit and so far it seems to have worked, sleeping better, lots of energy. Not yet noticed a big weight loss but i’m sure that will come with time. Fingers crossed this time i can stop drinking permanently.

    By Jim
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    February 5, 2020
  • Day 37. Feel great. Why didn’t I try this sooner? So much easier to get up and get things done.

    By John
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    February 8, 2020
  • I am 71 years old. I have not had a drink since December 8th. I got sober in jail. Turns out It was the best thing to ever happen to me. A real blessing the desire to drink has left me.

    By JR
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    February 12, 2020
  • I’m on 12 days so far and the start of my second weekend. My plan is to go six weeks w/o a drop. I know it’s still early on but have not experienced weight loss, better skin or sleep. On top of that I feel like I’m being robbed by going through the weekends w/o drinking. The comments will help me keep going so hope it improves.still having strong urges and suffering from extreme boredom

    By Tony E
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    February 15, 2020
  • Day 46, had planned a dry Jan, now thinking I’ll keep going. Feeling better, sleeping longer, (no more night sweats too), general levels of wellbeing and emotional resilience feel stronger. I was not a heavy drinker – 2 glasses a night max, all about short term stress relief.. much less stressed now without. Really appreciate this resource. So much cultural convention around drinking to keep ahead of.. Thank you,

    By William
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    February 17, 2020
  • 28 days. Aka 1 month without drinking. Never a full on drinker but would have a couple by the end of the week. The sugar cravings was the first thing I noticed. Definetly waking up better, and all the other benefits that comes with. Think im going to go for 3 months after learning this. Definetly an eye opener. Im 30 now, turning 31 this year. Been a Dad for 4 months now. Things are more important, time is more valuable ✌

    By Joel
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    February 22, 2020
  • I quit 2.21.2020 so it’s just over 2 months and counting. I feel great but I keep telling myself I can maybe handle drinking a couple of drinks a week. I’ve been having this feeling the past 2 weeks now.

    By Jay J
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    May 2, 2020
  • Heavy drinker for 35 years. Three months dry tomorrow for me. I’ve done a month a couple times. A couple weeks several more times. I can attest that it keeps getting better the longer you go. Sleep, weight, mood, money, motivation, clarity, etc. keeps getting better. Life is better sober. Give it a try.

    By Mark is America
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    May 16, 2020
  • One month today 17/05/2020. Glad I made it but honestly feel empty. No spouse, no kids, in a new city social distancing and self quarantined here in the US. I’m happy for everything I read here and also jealous. Thank you all for the open discussion.

    By Rashad M
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    May 17, 2020
  • Great read. I’m from Norway and on my 5th week. Never been a big drinker but am becoming aware that I have been drinking more than I thought. I read somewhere that neurotransmitters spike from alcohol, and without alcohol reality can seem mundane, or you don’t feel as creative, inspired, aroused, and so on. It takes some time for the transmitters to stabilize to the point of being equally inspired and energized without the high of alcohol, but I’m already feeling a huge deal of clarity in my life – both personally and concerning my surroundings. It’s like I’m opening up to a lot of different hobbies, interest, goals etc in my life, and that I am taking myself and my feelings seriously. Strangely liberating. I realise that there’s a lot of untapped potential in me that I thought I could only reach through alcohol. And another thing… I’ve NEVER been as aware of how social media/commercials etc are directed at drinking alcohol! I almost can’t go by a single day without seeing how it’s glamorized – and I live in Norway where alcohol advertisement is not even allowed! I’ve been very deliberate about choosing alcohol free accounts and that inspires me a great deal. Overall, I feel very good. If someone told me I’d be doing this a few years ago I’d never believe them. Also, it’s so easy to find AF-alternatives that actually taste good. The thing that surprises me the most is how certain friends (I guess “friends” is the correct term) are trying to push alcohol on me, or are reacting negatively in any way. If it was the opposite, they’d have all my support, so that has also been a wake up call. I’m really glad I’m doing this.

    By Bea
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    May 25, 2020
  • Excellent. I have just completed no alcohol for 28 days and this has inspired me to go another month to acheive better results. I am 43 and alcohol has been part of my life since I was 18. Always waking up with a hangover and feeling groggy but returning to the bottle at night. The feeling I have now surpasses the kick you get out of drinking and that terrible after affect. Thank you.

    By Craig
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    June 6, 2020
    • Such an interesting article. I’ve been AF for over 4 months after a long habit of drinking 3-4 glasses of wine every night . So easy to slip into that habit and tell myself that it’s not a problem .
      It wasn’t as easy quitting as I thought! No physical effects but terrible cravings. . I persisted and now feel so much better in ways I couldn’t have imagined. It’s just a general feeling of well being, of being “well”. Everything feels better.
      I encourage any one who’s thinking of changing their relationship with alcohol to give it a go. The results might surprise you !
      Thankyou for this site. It is a wonderful resource as is the Daybreak ap

      By Jennie
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      June 18, 2020
  • Thank you everybody for your honesty. I’ve got half a cask of white wine in the fridge. When it’s empty, tomorrow night, that’s it. I’ve been drinking a litre of cheap cask wine a night for 30 years – abusive ex-husband long gone but the habit remains, even though my new husband is lovely. My biggest guilt is that my drinking has encouraged my husband to increase his drinking. But he’s diabetic. If he doesn’t stop, he will die early. I couldn’t live with that. I don’t know if I can stop drinking but I’m going to give it a bloody good shot. I’m sick of not going out at night because neither of us wants to be the driver. I’m sick of being overweight. I’m sick of the guilt. I’m frightened that if I don’t stop, I will get sick and my husband will get sicker. Everybody’s comments here have given me a great deal of hope. Thank you so much <3

    By Jen
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    June 20, 2020
  • Hi I’m 42 and have been a heavy drinker . I went cold turkey now for 3 months. I can see Dan Murphys from my bedroom window. I feel so good no shaking in my hands when making a cup of tea. Everything I read on this page is true. I’m never going back to being a drinker.

    By Shaun morris
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    June 21, 2020
    • Dear All, Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. I am 52 and have been a functioning alcoholic for most of my adult life. I have not had a drink for 13 weeks, I am proud of it and it feels good. But what’s next….?
      Will I ever be able to occasionally have only one or a few glasses of wine at dinner? Do I really want that…? Yes I think I would love that, but would it be possible…? So far, restricting myself to only drinking on certain days or only a certain kind of drinks or a certain amount started off promising, but after a while there was always an excuse to break the promise. Funny, that that excuse was always someone else or an event outside my control: a lunch, business dinner, meeting a friend, etc.
      I think the only thing to do, is to continue to ban alcohol out and to appreciate the fantastic things life has to offer.
      Thanks for reading and warm regards to you All.

      By alex van der zwaard
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      June 28, 2020
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