“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.” ~ Cassandra Clare
Life is full of choices, and the choices we make, make the people we become. The choices we make regarding our physical and mental health impact our long-term wellbeing. They impact our jobs, our social connections and ultimately the time we get to spend doing.
Making a choice to reduce your alcohol intake or quit drinking is another one of these life choices. For some it’s an easy choice and for others a painful one. But regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, it’s a choice that comes with some great benefits.
We want to take you through some of the improvement and progress that you can notice if you decide to quit or reduce your intake significantly. We want you to be informed of the things you can start noticing after a couple of weeks, all the way to 12 months down the track.
Quick disclaimer here – everyone’s experience is their own. What happens for one person may not be your experience. We would encourage you to hope for as many of these great benefits while keeping in mind that you are as unique as your fingerprint. Seek medical advice if you need guidance on what’s happening in regard to your health.
1 Month - Better sleep and other benefits
Research shows that one month in, some people start to feel a sense of achievement and control over their relationship with alcohol (O de Visser & Piper, 2020). It’s important to recognise the small wins and keep an eye out for the inner critic that might downplay what you’ve done well. Increased mental clarity often appears after a few weeks and partly this comes from better sleep. Sleep has an impact on so much of our everyday functioning and if it improves from a reduction in alcohol you might find that you don’t wake up as often and you experience more deep, restorative sleep than you did before.
Your liver gets a nice holiday at this stage and it doesn’t need to work quite as hard to keep you healthy. Relief on your liver gives it an opportunity to stay well and minimise any damage that alcohol might have been trying to cause. Research also shows that some people experience an increased libido after reducing or quitting alcohol. It can be a surprise for some, but alcohol rarely has a positive, long-term effect on people’s sex lives. As some of the areas above start to improve, it can result in an increase in your overall health and well-being. This is the time that withdrawal symptoms such as urges, cravings and thoughts around alcohol can start to reduce as well and become much more manageable.
3 Months - Continued liver restoration and broader health benefits
Hopefully, you’ve started to experience some of those benefits from the 1 month list and it’s ok if it took a little longer than a month to notice them. If you find that one aspect from that list is still something you’re struggling with, such as sleep or lack of mental clarity, we encourage you to seek medical support to see if there are other things in your life affecting that part of your health.
After 3 months, your liver will continue to experience that relief as mentioned above. Your sleep quality should continue to improve, and this (amongst other benefits) should provide an improvement to your overall health. At this stage your risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease and several cancers starts to reduce (World Cancer Research Fund, 2007; Roerecke et al., 2017). Many will notice that their blood pressure has lowered if it was high before making changes. This is similar to possible weight loss. For people who have experienced weight gain due to drinking excess alcohol, weight loss may be part of the AF (alcohol-free) experience. Finally, you may start to experience a boost in your overall mood and a less intense experience of anxiety or depression.
6 Months - Improved Focus
You’ve made it to 6 months! That’s fantastic! At this stage, you’ve continued to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. This is the point where some more intangible benefits start to appear. Some people find that their self-esteem improves and ability to be self-compassionate also increases (Collison et al., 2016). Because of these internal changes, relationships often improve or become more possible. For anyone dealing with mental health challenges before or while they were drinking, a reduction in alcohol or going AF often reduces the intensity of the experience of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety (Beyond Blue, 2020).
Many of the benefits listed above such as improved memory and ability to focus and concentrate, will continue. Increased quality of sleep can have some positive effects for many people. It might mean the ability to get up earlier and get more done in the day. For some, they find that meditation, reading or other activities such as a pottery class, become more possible. Sleep dictates our energy levels to an extent (SleepFoundation.org, 2020) so exercise or any form of movement can become easier and more enjoyable.
12 Months - Reduce Cancer Risk
Abstaining for 12 months is a massive achievement so celebrate your success whatever it may look like. By now you’ve improved your overall health, physically and mentally. You’ve also reduced your overall risk of having an injury or accident (Alcohol & Drug Foundation, 2020). Often people report needing fewer sick days from work, and your heart is a whole lot healthier than it was 12 months ago. Your immune system is also functioning better, and your liver is loving life at this point too. During this journey you will try lots of techniques, strategies and ways to change your relationship with alcohol. Figure out what works for you and leave the rest. Continue using the strategies, tools and support team that has helped you get this far and don’t hesitate to reach out for support when you need it to stay on track.
We hope this has been helpful, seeing some of the benefits you can experience over time. Remember that everyone’s experience is different and you might not see the same changes for yourself at the same time as others. It’s ok to make your own path and, where possible, be patient with the process. You’re not alone in this. Check out the supportive community on our Daybreak app or get some health coaching support to encourage you along this path.
Adf.org.au. 2020. Guidelines For Low-Risk Drinking – Alcohol And Drug Foundation. [online] Available at: <https://adf.org.au/insights/guidelines-for-low-risk-drinking/#:~:text=’To%20reduce%20the%20risk%20of,’&text=’The%20less%20you%20choose%20to,risk%20of%20alcohol%2Drelated%20harm.> [Accessed 15 October 2020].
Beyondblue.org.au. 2020. Beyond Blue. [online] Available at: <https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health> [Accessed 15 October 2020].
Collison, Daniel & Banbury, Sam & Lusher, Jo. (2016). Relationships between Age, Sex, Self-Esteem and Attitudes Towards Alcohol Use Amongst University Students. Journal of alcohol and drug education. 60. 16-34.
de Visser, R. and Piper, R., 2020. Short- and Longer-Term Benefits of Temporary Alcohol Abstinence During ‘Dry January’ Are Not Also Observed Among Adult Drinkers in the General Population: Prospective Cohort Study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 55(4), pp.433-438.
Roerecke, M., Kaczorowski, J., Tobe, S., Gmel, G., Hasan, O. and Rehm, J., 2017. The effect of a reduction in alcohol consumption on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Public Health, 2(2), pp.e108-e120.
Sleep Foundation. 2020. How Sleep Satisfaction Affects Your Energy Level Throughout The Day – Sleep Foundation. [online] Available at: <https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-improving-your-sleep-satisfaction-can-increase-your-energy-level> [Accessed 15 October 2020].
World Cancer Research Fund. 2007. Alcoholic Drinks. [online] Available at: <https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/exposures/alcoholic-drinks> [Accessed 15 October 2020].
290 CommentsAdd a comment
I’m three months in now. Better sleep happened almost immediately, along with really vivid dreams that I can now remember. Generally feeling happier and more confident. Hangovers, unfulfilled promises not to drink and embarrassment tend to lead to self loathing which has been a joy to shake off. Overwhelming smugness is another side effect which I have to keep in check. Sadly no weight reduction. Chocolate consumption went through the roof. No-one warned me about that! Happy New Year and good luck to everyone addressing their drinking in 2021.
Many thanks for your message. I’m about to try! Encouraging information. Good luck to all.
I’m at three months now and your comments made me laugh because they are so relatable… I’ve experienced the smugness and no weight loss for me because somehow Ice Cream has come crashing into my life in a big way…can’t get enough of it… Good luck to all on their path to sobriety!
3 months no alcohol Was a binge drinker on Fridays after work but I wanted to lose weight and feel better Now walk after work and fasting once a week helps fruit & vegetables increased Feel much better have energy better then ever…lost 15 pounds so far not easy sweets get in the way ..Chocolate..
These comments are indeed relatable!! I am too now hooked on of all things…. Diet Dr Pepper which does happen to go incredibly well with chocolate peanut butter cups!! I am 39 days dry after several years of alcohol abuse. Carry on with strength all it’s worth it.
Four months today. I noticed that the darkness under my eyes has significantly reduced, my memory has improved, and aside from these new ice cream/ chocolate cravings, it is not helping with any weight loss. I’m always battling with those extra ten pounds, but being sober hasn’t made much of a difference for me in regards to my marriage, self esteem, confidence or motivation yet 🙁 I still have daily acid reflux as well, something I thought would go away after maintaining the no alcohol lifestyle.
I’m nearly 6 months ! I feel great can’t ever see me drinking again don’t miss it at all !! Got through my first Xmas last year and New Year’s Eve it was fine . I do more running now and my family life is so much better best thing I ever did !! Oh yeah and sleep really well now .
I’m 10 days AF after drinking regularly for several decades. I laughed … I went over my former wine buddy’s house today and we went for ice cream. At home I’m thinking of charging Ben & Jerry room and board. Great job though! I hope … nope … I know I’ll be there in about 2.5 months.
I’m 1 month and I’ll quit with the ice cream but my chocolate has thc so…..
I feel you on the weight loss thing! My doctor says it may start to come off around 6 month period when I am no longer replacing alcohol with popsicles! Smug Club, for sure. 🙂 Best to all.
I’m having much less anxiety, and the anxiety is easier to calm down. I’m on calmer water now – I do miss the buzz, I won’t lie, but the after-booze fizzle isn’t worth it. The fizzle lasts longer than the buzz! That’s one way to reframe alcohol if you are close to a cocktail – “When you drink, you get fizzled!”
That’s good to hear. I was expecting instant weightloss! but I’ve definitely increased sugar intake, it’s getting better though, at day 53. I’m totally smug also, I have to keep it in check
I definitely feel this as well. No weight loss for me. Smug Club too. I replaced it with sweets. Now at 150 days in my sugar cravings have gone way down and I’m now craving healthier choices so hopefully 6 month mark for me too haha.
I stopped binge drinking 5 weeks ago. Not being able to walk was the last straw. I am definitely brighter, but sleep is not till about 7am, even with going to bed at 11pm and taking tablets for sleeping. My body aches, mainly legs, but I am walking so much better from hobbling with my son’s walking stick to stop me falling over. I did fall over and could not get up without help and massive effort, even two weeks after. My ankles and feet ache off and on and I still get shivers at least once a day, although over in seconds. I have blocked sinuses and acid reflux now. Taking antacid and drinking plenty of water, trying to eat better and taking vitamin b complex and cod liver oil. Have been suffering Candida lately as well, although canesten now seems to be working. Itchy all over before. Not so much.
Sober for one and half months. I lost 15 kilograms. Don’t feel bad if you have not lost weight. I guess I was just obese and cutting all those calories made a huge difference. Thank you for telling me about the chocolate craving. I didn’t know or understand the sudden craving. I’m drinking pots and pots of rooibos tea without sugar. My coffee intake also increased with half teaspoon of sugar in a mug, low fat milk. My appetite decreased dramatically. I exercise 3 times a week. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I am in remission for the first time in after 10 years. The alcohol was so damaging to my health because the added inflammation on my already compromised immune system. I was so stupid! Smugness yes it is there! I didn’t understand that either. Thank you for this forum. I have not tried non alcoholic no sugar wine. I still wake up with that bitter morning after boozy smell and taste. Good luck to all on this journey! Courage!
same- no weight loss! if anything weight gain!
I had a month sober and blew it I promised my son I would continue being sober because he likes to be around me sober. I never saw my dad sober too much ad he had better reasons to drink like Vietnam I also endured countless hate filled speeches that drove me to believe in the white race is the best race mentality. I hate that shit but children are like dogs u raise em right they turn out ok u raise em wrong they turn out all fucked up in the head.
1 months totally free going for 2 months. Worth fighting
Don’t put your race down.
The Democrats have you brainwashed.
6 weeks no wine 15 pounds down.
Ha, same here. Haven’t had a drink in over 3 months, but started eating chocolate after dinner and haven’t lost any weight.
I love this and I sure do relate to the “overwhelming smugness” of which you speak! So true.
Hope you’re still enjoying your AF life.
Alcohol is full of sugar or carbohydrates that turn into sugar. You have to eat healthy sweet snacks.
Earlier this year I managed 4 1/2 months AF. I was an everyday drinker , 3-4 wines a night. I was surprised that I experienced all those things( including the increased chocolate consumption!) but felt absolutely wonderful. Have slipped back but Thankyou for the reminder of the benefits. I’m inspired to start again.
Jennifer I also did 4.5 months last year and then went back on it. Lockdowns don’t help. I’m back on the dry 14 days and determined to stay off it…
Before lockdown 1 I had stopped for 4 months then gave in I’ve drank constantly since and I’m about to embark on AF Again. Wish me luck!
One thing, for sure. The gains are amazing. I seem to have so much more time. My time in the morning is not spent by a major hangover.
It gives you a whole new lease on life. Surround yourself with people who care to take care of their health. Take care of yourself, for sure!!
3 months in, no change at all, don’t feel better , sleep quality much worse, I’m more stressed and miserable tbh, everyone is different, you read so many positive ha ha stories how wonderful life is, time for a balancing opinion. Don’t believe everything you read
I have been working on reducing my alcohol intake, from 2 drinks a night to 2 a week. People think I don’t know what a drinking problem is but as you say everyone is different. I am ready sleeping better, waking up with more energy, and more confidence to do different things, also more able to manage complex emotions in relationships with myself and others, I know I’m saving money, and experience less age related pain… reducing alcohol is the best thing I’ve done this year. Thank you
Age related pain. An excellent observation as overall body inflammation decreases wit less alcohol. Surprised it is not in this list.
I am too. Inflammatory issues such as arthritic hands & feet feel
less onerous. However, increased loneliness during isolation & living alone no family increases. Includes loss of 20 years of psychiatry due to PTSD from childhood.
Mif June 17, 2021
I was a binge drinker for 30 years, and have stopped drinking now for one month. I feel that I’ve only just started to get to know myself, for the first time in my life (I’m 47). Drinking is so normalized and is a part of British culture. I think it has got worse over the years. The effect it has on you, and your behaviour towards others changes drastically as a result of alcohol. I look back at how I have behaved or treated people and have felt a deep shame, and almost remorse. It is not the real me. Yet, aside from this introspection that the removal of alcohol has brought, I also feel very alert and healthy, I am also far more positive about my life and situation.
We are individuals and responsible for ourselves, yet I quite regret the normalization of binge drinking and it acceptance in the UK’s culture. This goes even to the elite, as we now see with the parties in Downing Street.
Quitting drinking as well as smoking cigarettes 9 months ago, all benefits everyone has mentioned, but I sure have seen more money in pockets
This makes me so happy.
Kate I hope you are having good luck with your reduced alcohol consumption. I would go AF feeling great then think I could do alcohol reduction which always turned into OVER drinking after a few days. I hope it works for you I am AF 50 days now and know I’m an all or nothing personality.
Good for you. I couldn’t do that. It was all or none. I’ve been sober 9 months and loving it. I’m more alert and sleep like a baby. I drink non alcoholic beer. Very proud of myself. You go girl🎉
I stoped drinking alcohol 3 moths ago plus quit smoking I feel so much healthier. I have high blood pressure but it’s normal again. Think the booze and fags caused it
Just experienced my first alcohol free Christmas and loved it! I am approaching 12mths ‘off the grog’ and feeling pretty damn happy with myself. Loved your article, thank you for your inspiration & support!
Ma little over 3 months AF. I could have written this article as I’ve experienced about everything in it. I’ve experienced some weight gain which is welcomed since I’ve always been around 135 when 155/160 is desired. Don’t think I could ever go back even though I miss it. The benefits are ridiculously wonderful!
Had been binge drinking for almost 2 decades… although i have always been sports oriented. I was able to down a bottle of gin in 2 hours!
16 days into my AF trip, I have never slept so well, and have been living blissfully since then (except for the first 48 hours that were absolutely horrendous). Initially wanted to target 40 days, but now considering a much longer period. Oh and I lost 8 pounds so far!!!
I want to and need to but i am scarred I can’t. Its not the action im addicted to its the taste. Wine is my poison. Im going to to try again in the next few days to stop.
Thank you for sharing. It sounds like it’s a tough time for you right now and we want you to know that there is support available. Check out the Daybreak app to connect with others who may be going through a similar experience or reach out to a health professional such as GP. Lifeline is also available for support 24/7 on 13 11 14. Take care, The HSM Team.
One day @ a time, friends. I have been sober (alcohol & tranquilizers) for over 40 years, but today is THE critical day. I was very very sick and was committed to a tough rehab unit. Slowly, the sober life made sense and the desire to drink & use faded some. Everyday is a gift & new opportunity. So enjoy, and take it easy.
I know exactly what you mean Aaron. I didn’t crave anything except red wine (I used this as part of my denial that I even had a problem). I tried portioning out 6 oz a day, and just caved after a couple of days. I stopped it all and never looked back. There is a great book called “Godspeed” by Casey Legler. It was an aha moment for me. I have felt exactly like you and thought I was giving up so much by going sober. Instead, I realized Sobriety was something I had. It is mine to own and nourish and I LOVE IT!
I have been sober for a month now. I too had a big addiction to wine. It was nothing for me to polish off a bottle or 2 sometimes 3. Memory loss, mood swings and no self control. I had gained so much weight and got very sedentary. My health was at high risk for stroke or heart attack. That was the wake up call after seeing my lab results. I have grandchildren that I want to be around to enjoy a long time. Since quitting I started exercising everyday and have lost weight with WW. I feel 100% better! I never thought I could quit but I did it! I take one day at a time and am really enjoying my life now sober. Sorry this is so winded but it’s awesome to be able to share. God bless!
Try alcohol free wine. You keep the pouring, glass-holding and drinking effect and it still has the beneficial compounds , resviritrol etc. It buys you time until cravings are gone.
Just came to the conclusion a bottle of wine a night was a negative. After 1 month I am feeling really great, evenings are so much more and waking up without the effect of alcohol is a pleasure. Looking forward to 3 months and trying to reduce chocolate a tea consumption.
Really encourging to read all the replies.
No booze for last 2 months, feeling better, but have replaced the evening drinkies with 0 beer. I now have to ween myself off that as well as evening chocolate intake, rarely ate chocolate before. But finally sleeping better, still waiting for the energy increase to kick in, am feeling tired all the time.
But am going to continue, no hangovers are excellent !
I know what you mean. I used to drink red wine daily, for almost 10 years. Barely ever taking a day off. I started tapering in spring/summer 2020. But for months I seemed to fall into the pattern of 1-2 days sober, then back to drinking. I was not raised religious but started reading the bible about 2-3 years ago. It slowly started sinking in, and I asked Jesus to help me stop drinking. Very soon after that I stopped, and am now nearly 5 months with no drinking. Looking forward to extending the streak into 2022 God willing.
Hi Buddy, you are an inspiration. I have been sober for 30 days. Used to experience blackouts and was very nasty. My normal personality is quiet and somewhat shy. Brought up with an alcoholic mother. Still no excuse. Feeling better about myself.
Tough life as my son passed away and shortly after my sister died of cancer that increased my drinking. I am a Christian and god has helped me. I have no desire to drink and my guilty feeling have gone. Take care.
Hi. Have you read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace? She also has an app The Alcohol Experiment. I found both to be incredibly helpful!
Yes I read ‘This Naked Mind’ and now 7 weeks 4 days AF! this book isxwhat convinced me to stop – no question! Alas NO weight loss, NO skin glow. Sugar cravings insane, NO good sleep, headaches, BUT I realise Ibhavd to be patient, I’ve been drinking for loooong. 55yrs old, proud of myself. The days seem sooo much longer. Gotcthrough my first Saturday party, and found thise drinking so entertaining. I hope I never drink again, THANKYOU Annie Grace. Alcohol is soooo not good for us. Keep on everybody, we can do this!! JBean
That was me. Read Allan Carr’s book The Easy Way to Quit Drinking and a book called The Sober Diaries. HUGELY helpful and relatable. Whatever you think alcohol is is all a lie. I am delighted to be alcohol free… and I make some pretty awesome mocktails. Current fave: NA lite ginger beer with a splash of cranberry and fresh lime. Not too sweet, a little spicy, really excellent. AND YOU CAN HAVE AS MANY AS YOU WANT. 😉💃🏻
I am two months in and feel better. Just don’t have any cravings now or desire to drink . This I find so strange after years of using it to handle any pressure .
Try reading Allen Carr’s ‘the easy way to control alcohol’ OR listen to his audiobook, same title. It’s absolutely brilliant.
Read (or listen to) Allen Carrs How to Control Alcohol.
After 8 days in, the improvement in quality of day tie alertness is dramatic as well as far better sleep quality. this has resulted in better mood management (I lose my temper far slower if ever now.)
I am three years and three months sober. It was incredibly difficult to leave alcohol behind physically and socially but, as time went on, I felt stronger, more clear-headed, healthier. Now, after taking the time to look at the reasons behind my addiction, I feel more my authentic self than I have felt since I was a very young child. I can honestly say I do not miss the liquid I used to seemingly not be able to do without. I like the way I feel. I like my ability to act and think with clear intention. I like my life. The changes have be amazing cognitively, emotionally and physically and I am grateful every day.
john – that’s beautiful – so happy for you – and also – the biggest encouragement I’ve found — thank you x
Brilliant description Elizabeth ! Authentic self Yes!
This is a wonderful comment and really resonates with my own experience.
I’m now 6 weeks AF, the longest period without drinking since I was 18 (I’m now 65). I’m not experiencing all the gains I hoped for but I wouldn’t have been classed a heavy drinker in the first place; I was consuming an average of about 20 units a week. My skin colour has improved and I wake up feeling better, however, still having days when I feel pretty grim. Hoping for more benefits as time goes on.
I’m about to begin the first 3 months of 2021 alcohol free, I’ve got 40+ years of habitual drinking to beat, I’ll be revisiting this list along the way, to remind me why I’m doing it, thanks.
I ended 42 years of alcohol consumption on 7 December. I never knew what real sleep was until now. I wake up restored and ready for another sober day. You go Sue!
Hi, I stopped drinking on the 4th January. I’ve probably been drinking since the age of 13. I’m a very fit and healthy 46 year old but just had had enough of it. Three things I’ve noticed, sleeping better my joints don’t hurts in the morning and my lungs fill like they can expand more. I’ve made sure that I’ve not become preachy about not drinking. I’d highly recommend the audio/book ‘Drink? By Professor David Nutt. It’s not a self help book but talks about the science and social aspects of alcohol.
I’m about the same in use and desire to change. My partner and I have vowed to quit for two months as our initial goal. Hoping I’ll feel so great I’ll stay off alcohol for good.
Here is how it worked for me after failed attempts after 1 then 3 months then 6 then 12
I stopped counting days and months and just kept it in the day then days turned to weeks to months to years (About 26 but who cares)
One day at a time
Yes I’m three months sober. Today I am sober one day at a time. I
For me everyday I say to myself, today really isn’t a good day to drink. And, if I find a reason to have a drink, I will never find a reason not to.
Hope you’re doing well
I stopped drinking in October last year. Just at 3 months. My bp and weight loss good. Feel great with all the listed benefits experienced. You will save a fortune as well. Good luck.. Not going back
It’s been a month now and l haven’t had a beer or smoked a joint. My b/p is going down,the quality of sleep is incredible,l didn’t know l could sleep this well without alcohol,but ice cream and donuts have come in the picture,lm looking forward to many more months alchohol free,after 30 years of drinking,l dont miss it
Hi Peter, that’s great that you quieted and you are feeling better , i quieted drinking for a month now and i went through a lot of symptoms ,the one is still not going away that easy its my b/p and bloated and constipated ,just wondering if you been through the same and if they eventually went away ,thanks in advance
I too Peter feel so much better. My husband still drinks everyday but for me the benefits outweigh the initial buzz feeling. My blood pressure has dramatically gone down, ive lost 20 lbs. That i gained in lockdown from covid and my energy is over the top. I’m only 2 months sober but i pray for continued sobriety. I know i can have a drink….but do i really want one.? I sure crave a sweet though but i dont overindulge but the craving for sugar is there. These stories on sobriety are uplifting to say the least.😊
How is it going… are you still alcohol free
I’ve just clocked up 5 months and my sleeping has improved dramatically along with marked reduction in stress and anxiety. I never intended to completely stop but now I’m not so sure. Life is good. AF. 👍 good luck to all it’s definitely worth it.
Three weeks in and I am seeing an increase in energy. I can sleep. I feel clear and optimistic for the first time in 20+ years. I am letting go of all mind altering substances to include coffee. White Cheddar rice cakes are my crutch. I will take each day as it comes, onward.
Today is 8 months free. Did 3 rehabs, hospital, groups before doing it on my own. This time I looked in the mirror and found I enjoyed feeling healthy and strong and wanted to reverse damage of 20 years. Returned to fitness and great nutrition. Train 5-6 days per week sensibly. No groups just lifestyle change and personal accountability. We all have a spirit inside that is power to overcome anything. It’s deep and can be hard to tap into but have faith it’s there waiting to grow.
I’m back to my ideal weight and body fat and almost full strength despite some neuropathy. New addiction seems to be coffee. Not crazy but for me 5-6 cups per day is a “fix” that helps and sleep is less but very deep (5-6hrs). Do it for you. It’s personal, private, and powerful. Lead by example and don’t do it for anyone else. Your positive energy will infect those closest to you and protect you from the darkness that will always lurk somewhere waiting. Face it, challenge it and overcome it.
Thank You. Your comments really resonate with me.
What a mindset to have and strong spirit, thank you for articulating it for those who appreciated reading your powerful words.
Just read this Chris as I get ready to embark on my 30-day challenge. Very powerful and encouraging, thank you.
How did you go Sue?
I have just hit the one month into my three.
In the next two months I will wean myself off sugar. Because this interupts energy levels etc too
I too have drank for at least 40 years, every night. I am now 2 months sober and do not ever want to go back to those times. Still tired, and really miss a Manhattan, but its just not worth it. Love getting up in the mornings and feeling human and not hung over. You can do it Sue, If I did it so can you
I’m a little more than 3 months AF and sleep is definitely better (as are my dreams) but I think the biggest plus here is that I wake everyday now able to breathe calmly and not feel like a failure for breaking my commitment the night before. When I say or write this I always include “no jinx” because I know this is precarious and I don’t want to ever be over-confident. Still…this feels great!
(No jinx ☺️)
I gave up six years ago and I am now😘AF.
I’m sure it has provided huge health benefits that are unseen, so to speak.
I did not need alcohol in 2020 in fact it honestly never came to mind. I want clarity and focus not fuzz and disorganisation.
Thank you to the HSM team it helped to talk and be free.
I just achieved my first 12 months of being alcohol free. It was my first Christmas & New Years without alcohol since I was a teenager, I’m 46, and it was easier than I thought.
I just wanted to share that I’ve felt all the benefits listed in this article and more. One of the key ones is my wife commenting that we fight a whole lot less. Another one is knowing my children are observing me not drinking and hopefully that will rub off on them when they are adults.
When I quit I didn’t set a time frame but more of an open goal. At this point in my AF journey, I’m now seriously wondering if I will ever drink again.
A really helpful article, thank you.
After many failed attempts to start, I have now committed to giving up alcohol. My alcohol intake has steadily increased over the past 10 months, to what is now probably 4 or 5 bottles of wine a week. I’ve put this down to lockdown and having worked from home since the start of Covid-19 and needing to relax, this obviously isn’t helping though.
I’m 46, gone from being slim, active and full of energy and enthusiasm, to overweight, tried all the time and and generally feeling pretty crap about myself.
I am very fortunate to have a husband who is an amazing cook and we enjoy evenings with a wonderful meal which is complemented by a bottle or two. What else is there to do a the moment?!
I’m conscious that if I don’t take action now I never will.
It’s only been 4 days but it’s been a stressful week at work and I got through Friday evening’s lovely meal without partaking in the rather nice red which accompanied it.
Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
I now have 2 to 3 mid strength beers of an afternoon rather than a few heavy beers then red wine with dinner and post dinner. Admittedly, I may have a few more xxxx gold after golf on a Saturday. Would this be deemed a bit improvement in consumption. My wife has stopped drinking altogether due to some health concerns. Thanks Jon.
big improvement that last post should read
Question for you Jon: My circumstances are similar, my husband still drinks a couple (high alcohol 8%) beers 4X a night, and I find myself irritated with his drinking, which never happened in the past.
I know this is my issue, and nothing to do with him. I don’t even like beer(red wine was my thing), and I am frustrated with my irritation.
Is this an issue for you and your wife? How do you handle it? Thank you.
I’m 4 months AF. I have been drinking most of my life, my 30’s and early 40’s were destroyed by my drinking. Age 50 is when I had the sudden wake up call; decided that I’d never drink again and told my husband of 6 years that he had to stop as well. I don’t really miss it, but my marriage is still shaky, daily acid reflux, no weight loss due to a surprising ice cream addiction 😂😂😂, still unmotivated. However, I’ve been battling with darkness under my eyes for years and I’ve just recently noticed that the darkness is fading! It shows how much alcohol ages you, and I’m so happy about the difference in my appearance. Suddenly last summer I decided to never drink again and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to live AF. No more worrying about what I said or did yesterday or making a fool of myself, which is what keeps me from drinking every day since. Now, to exorcise the sugar junkie 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
I stopped drinking 3 months ago. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. But 3 months in, my sleep is still shocking. I’m awake most nights at 2 or 3, and I’m exhausted. I have the sugar craving, which is fine, but every evening I reach for a glass of zero alcohol wine and I reckon I’ve still got a habit. Why can’t I go an evening without a glass in my hand? It feels the same as a nicotine substitute for smoking would be so maybe I haven’t stopped in my head.
Hey there. I was an every day drinker for about 13 years! Literally everyday 12 beers no worries!!!. For me it was obviously the feeling that I loved but I also noticed it was the action of buying myself my reward for making it through another day of work etc. Plus I genuinely enjoyed the taste of beer and all the different options that I could try and enjoy. What I did was replace doing this with different things like kombuchas, coconut waters iced teas always stocked in my fridge. If I feel like something special I grab a cold one of those and reward myself with that! Might seem silly but has really helped me stay strong for the last 2 months.
I am 3 months AF this week. I began drinking in my early 30s. By 45, I was drinking daily, and vodka was my drink of choice. Over the covid year things spiraled quickly for me. After losing two family members I started drinking extremely heavily. One night I was laying in bed snd I thought, I’m going to die if I don’t stop. I had gained weight, barely got out of bed, hid bottles from my husband. The next day I stopped. I read how to detox at home snd did it without telling my husband or 3 sons. I even kept the bottle of vodka in the liquor cabinet, where it still sits, because I knew for me I had to be able to do it in the world I live.
My greatest pleasure these days is tea! I have dozens of different teas snd I have replaced my vodka addiction with a tea one lol.
I also started IF and have list all the weight I gained. On days like today, when I face stress or strife, I face it raw. And I drink tea.
I did the same thing. I noticed I always had to have a drink in my hand. Habit I’ve had forever and I can only say that that is what my parents did and my grandparents…
So I just replaced it with yummy drinks. Things I normally wouldn’t spend the money on but since I wasn’t buying alcohol I was saving money. I drank A LOT of those drinks but after a couple months it got easier and easier. This has been my process for the last 6 or so months. I’ve binged and restarted numerous times but I will not ever go back to the point I was at a year ago.
Hey there, I am now 75 days in and feel a l lot better in general. I was a everyday vodka and beer drinker. i now cringe at the thought of vodka but I genuinely like the taste of beer so I have been drinking the 0 alcohol beer. I don’t know if I am setting myself up but for now it seems to be working for me. The sweet cravings have gone thru the roof. I haveso many questions I need answered related to health.
I find that if the first drink I have after work is a cup of milo I don’t want an alcoholic drink after that probably because of the milk content. Working for me at the moment! Good luck
So happy to see I am not the only Milo addict here now…I am 6 days AF today and acquiring a good taste for Milo 🙂
2 months and feeling a lot better. From sleep and clear skin. I only had one surprise. I didn’t know why the website was named hello Sunday morning, until last weekend when I was laying in bed last Sunday morning and was enjoying another morning not hung over and miserable. Then it just dawned on me. Hello Sunday Morning!!!! Thank you for your website
3 months and counting, i had to quit due to alcohol related pancreatitis. I feel great, no more flare-up, better sleep, weight loss and better eating habits, although the craving for chocolate and ice cream increased. Looking forward to spending more time gardening, playing with the kids and being a good husband to a wonderful, supportive wife.
I hope i am successful at quitting. I have horrible panic attacks while falling asleep and i use wine to knock me out lol. The hangovers are horrible the next day and i have bad anxiety. I am a everyday drinker for sleep. Something has to change because Im dependent on it. smh
Thank you for sharing. It sounds like it’s a tough time for you right now and we want you to know that there is support available. Check out the Daybreak app to connect with others who may be going through a similar experience or reach out to a health professional such as GP. Lifeline is also available for support 24/7 on 13 11 14.
Take care, The HSM Team.
I am currently 4 full months in. Stepping into month 5 and I am feeling great. I didn’t like the dependency I had on drinking beer. I really enjoy it but i was what made me “feel” happy. I can have that feeling without it. I also really liked very expensive beers and I have noticed my spend going down and i have lost about 20 pounds. I am a relative active person and this was not a surprise becasue I just started picking up my workouts even more. Other then that, I do consume non alcholic beers to just scratch that itch. But I really enjoy not drinking alcohol. Once the full 12 months is up I am really looking forward to cracking that Westmalle Tripel and enjoying the beautiful taste. I think I will change up my lifestyle a bit after this full 12 months going AF and switch to 1 week of drinking with 1 month off and see how it goes. Will build a schedule around it Haha.
Yes! Yes! And Yes! I never wanted to give up drinking -it was like losing my loyal friend- but all of these + things began happening for me when I became sober! Everyday I marvel in the fact that I am happy, sleep well, and am calm and focused. The weight gain came (and quite a bit ) -but my 12 step program mentality is now helping me correct the weight problem! 3 years sober !
💪 this gives me hope! Thank you!
I’m three months way down on consumption! I used to drink about six-eight beers per night for three/four days per week. I’m very active in my job and like to run and exercise but my relief was sitting down with “a beer or two” at night that grew over time. Never problems sleeping but felt tired for a time. Weight loss occurred and bloating went away. Much more flexible and feel younger.
Im 4 months off alcohol as was diagnosed with t2 diabetes in january. Only 36 and did drink alot when younger but not much since 2018, dont miss it at all so far and am trying to ditch it completely as its very bad for my condition now. Am losing weight but thats due to diet and excercise everyday. Not sleeping any better then normal. Maybe after a year i might see all these real benefits.
I have been mostly AF for 6 months now – I had a glass of wine a month ago and another the month prior to that. I drank nearly every day previously – some wine each day. Maybe I never was enough of a “problem drinker” in the first place for this to make a big difference. I have always been very fit, eat healthy and love the gym. I’ve not lost any weight. I don’t sleep better or have any sense of increased clarity. My skin isn’t noticeably glowing or anything like that.
Still, I know it’s the right choice for someone who works hard in the gym and avoids junk food so AF for me.
I am almost at the 6 month mark!! I have lost weight and my mood is good, haven’t felt this great in so long. and who knew I had such a sweet tooth.
It is nice to read all the comments and be able to relate. Good luck to everyone!
I’m at 8 months. Used to drink about a 5th a day. It has amazed me, the adjustment period. I lost weight, then gained weight, now I’m losing again. I have gone through a host of other weird things week to week. I am just NOW putting the sugar down. I would say it’s at about 20% of what it was when I quit. It’s okay. Eating candy is better than ingesting alcohol, and your body will adjust. I don’t have nightmares anymore, off an ssri, and so much more. Even at 8 months I’m still experiencing changes. If your body learned to live with alcohol for a long time then it will take time learning to live without it.
Hi Rita I’m 2 months clean today went into rehab April 2.had a very scary withdrawal in the hospital I was near death caused by lactic acidosis scary scary. I am improving my sugar and BP but get dizzy spells I was sleeping better in rehab but have been home and can’t sleep maybe I felt safe in rehab but its nice to hear that its a day to day thing I get frustrated some days and cry and feel I will never feel better. But this helps me remember it took me 1 year to become a 1 handle of vodka a day morning to night everyday no rest. And it doesn’t take a home thats been destroyed to be built in 2 months…thank you again for sharing just need encouragement now
Diane. I just lost my nephew from vodka. One handle a day. His wife and kids left him during Covid. He cut way done on drinking hoping they would come back. He was doing really good. But after being gone 13 months she served him papers. He stopped eating and drank a handle a day. Doctors told him to stop drinking 5 years ago or he would die. It took 2 months. He hid it well from all of us. Since he was just in his home by himself. He called every day very lonely. My sister finally went to his home. They got him to the hospital. They did dialysis and tried to save him. But were to late. My heart aches for his mom. He was a wonderful person we had his memorial on Saturday there were so many friends on zoom. He was loved by so many. I’m not a heavy drinker. Bit I think I’m going to stop drinking because of this. I was having 1 to 2 drinks a night. Don’t know when that started. But since all this happened I’m down to 1-2 a week. I enjoyed reading all the experiences.
Diane, today 12/6/2021 I am at my 3 month mark of AF. I was a very heavy drinker, I would say close to a handle of Vodka a day, everyday for over 3 years. I hid it very well from my Partner, family members and Co-workers. I ended up in the hospital the weekend of Labor Day because my left foot turned purple and swelled up double the size. It turned out to be a severe skin infection and the doctors had no idea how I got it. Subsequently, they questioned my alcohol intake and I decided that day I had to come clean with myself, partner and family members. I spent a week in Rehab and the withdrawals were absolutely horrendous. I couldn’t even walk myself to the bathroom because of the shakes. I think that was my rock bottom and I knew my life needed to change immediately. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I took that step that day. I was terrified that I would never last sober but I am taking everyday as they come. My sleep is better albeit very vivid dreams and I did lose weight with and increase in exercise, close to 20 pounds since I stopped drinking. As others have mentioned here, my coffee and chocolate cravings and intake have increased 10 times fold but those 2 are better than Vodka. Anybody that is struggling with quitting, it’s not an easy step but once over that threshold you may never look back and live the rest of your life AF as I am planning on doing. Thank you everybody for your posts. I’m glad to have found this site.
I was having 2 to 5 drinks a night, sometimes shots of liquor, sometimes very strong stout beers. A couple of months ago, finally decided I was tired of waking up every day with a light hangover plus the extra calories were making my weight loss goal harder.
I feel a thousand times better now. I’m sleeping better, the weight fell right off, and my brain is much clearer. I was always counting the calories of the alcohol in my diet, but often it would make me wake up at night and binge eat and ruin my day. Problem solved!
I still love the taste of a good beer, so I often have ONE (just one) on Friday or Saturday nights. It was hard to limit at first, but now it just feels normal and I’m not thinking about booze all the time.
I’m also saving a lot of money because the beers I enjoy are stupidly expensive! (Think ~$6/bottle)
I highly recommend the AF or AR (alcohol-reduced) life to anyone!
I am 2 months sober i became an alcoholic in just 1 year drinking 1 handle of vodka a day. My BP is down now I take my regular medications for that and has been great very scary I did go into the hospital to detox and had to stay for lactic acidosis. They also said im diabetic so im working hard. I just want to know will things get better.i I know im still early in recovery but I have good energy days and days i cant get up i and im not balanced. I just would like some encouragement and would like to know if anyone still had trouble thinking straight. I notice I am always forgetting and putting things away in the wrong place but i catch myself and get anxiety a frustrated. i just need to know i will be okay. Please if you could just give me some advice and timeline while in rehab ladies were working out after 2 weeks i still havent got that energy and when i wake up feeling ok its just for a bit and i get exhausted. My sleep is horrible still…Thank you
Hi Diane – everyone goes at their own pace I am sure. You are doing great things! Take care
A handle a day is a lot. I drank 1/3 of a handle a day. After two years of that my PCP called me in to have more blood work done because my liver enzymes were triple what they should’ve been. My sister has cirrhosis and is having a difficult time financially because of that…and she has been drinking every day for almost 50 years. I couldn’t afford dealing with cirrhosis, especially living by myself. I’m sure you have fatty liver, just as I do. As I said, a handle is a lot so your liver has a lot to expel. Remember, your liver is one of the most forgiving organs we have, but it might not be so forgiving if you return to drinking.
I’m 4 months and counting. I lost 30-35 lbs & feel and look great. More focused and determined during my career journey. This pandemic really helped me. Plus, I feel more at peace. I quit drinking beer and wine due to personal health scare. GOD is always watching.
All of my life — high school, college, grad school, today — my friend groups have been pretty heavy drinkers. Great, fun, supportive people, but heavy drinkers. After I became single, I started drinking a lot at home. Why? Boredom, rewarding myself for working hard, etc. For the past five years, I’ve tried to keep my drinks to fewer than 7 a day. Yeah, that’s a lot, but I could somehow manage the next day if I “only” had 7. Last week I finally realized I’m gonna die — I have an immune disorder, high BP, high cholesterol, weird pains in my gut. I had to leave an important meeting just to get home and have 3 drinks to stop a panic attack. I’m at day 4 and feel great. My sleep is already better. Worried about the weekend coming up.
June 12th,19 days in, sleeping better, eating better , just finding things to do, thanks all.
I am 3 months off alcohol,it was affecting my work, not anymore.i kinda look at drinking with distain now.my self-esteem is improving as is my confidence, alcohol used to be my shield, reward, Icebreaker, hobby,took over my life really.i have gone caffeine free too now.i still smoke, small steps.
Think about quitting at times but because of life circumstances nothing takes the edge off like a couple of beers.
I have been trying to cut back as I have been drinking quite heavily over the last year. I don’t think I can or want to quit entirely but I don’t want this running away from me either and end up doing something stupid that has life long consequences.
I love playing golf but I can only play decent if If I’ve had a couple. Nothing completes the round like sitting outside on the clubhouse patio with friends and a pitcher. During Covid, golf was our oasis, take off the masks, breath the fresh air and have a beer and a small sense of normalcy.
It’s so nice to read these comments from so many others that are in the same boat. I was ashamed of my drinking and felt ashamed the next morning by how many beers I had the day before. I never really had a hangover, cuz my alcohol level had plateaued. It was just a habit. ( The only alcohol I dank was beer , throughout the day) I would quit for 2 weeks and start drinking again. I finally decided to quit and drink NA beers…. it worked for me. It worked cuz I didn’t feel like I was missing drinking. I can still socialize with friends and not feel guilty the next day.
I feel so much healthier, enjoy nutritious meals, (as I love to cook), better skin and working out. I can’t wait to get to bed at night, when I used to stay up til 2:00 am.. Drinking used to take up a lot of my time, now I use time wisely. Every chore is not put off any longer. I’m only 2 months in AF but so thankful to God for helping me with this new life. I m proud of myself but I know God was with me every step of the way.
Reading these comments has helped a lot. I wish everyone Good Luck and Peace in their lives.
Hello SM. I am 97 days AF and since day 40-50 i haven’t had a single craving for red wine or beer. Me and my partner drank most nights and me quitting has reduced her intake as well.
Quitting i think made me depressed at first as i needed 9-10 hrs sleep a night and i didnt feel any benefits until about 3 weeks ago when i suddenly noticed i wasn’t craving a nap anymore at the wknd and i felt good to go all day. I sleep now 7-8 hrs every night up from 5-6 and i feel much more relaxed, focussed and a calmer , nicer partner and dad.
I have lost 6-7 kilos and weirdly no cravings although i have had some stomach issues caused by quitting and eat much healthier after using my drinking time 1 night to read Eat to Beat Disease by Dr William Li.
Work is also better as I am not as tired after lunch and i feel i can handle stress better. I have a work party next month and im taking the car because i aint drinking and don’t want to ruin how good it feels not to drink.
Glad i found HSM as it inspired me to keep going after a few weeks when i felt like having a drink as reading everyone’s journeys made me realise it was worth keeping going. Many thanks to you all xxx Take care and keep being good to yourself xx
Good to hear Marc!
We’re glad that you’re along for the ride – hope you keep the changes up, and take care of yourself too 🙂
The HSM Team
Have been AF for 5 months now, never thought that I would be able to do it. Have lost 11 kilos, sleeping much better and while I still forget what I was going to do next it comes back to me much quicker.
I am AF for one month but have an insatiable craving for sugar. I hope it goes away soon. I am gaining weight.
Try fresh, sweet fruit!
Hello, I’m 3 months AF in a few days. Im 62 and have been a heavy drinker for well over 20 years. I have gone AF for a month or two previously and one time I went 3 months.
Every time I have gone AF I’ve had terrible sleeps for the first week then I have the greatest and deepest sleeps ever.
Sadly this time the great sleeps haven’t happened.
thank you for reading
I’m at 6 months now after years of stop/start attempts. I do get tempted every now and again but after 6 months the downsides of alcohol just don’t seem worth it anymore. The positives are so many I couldn’t list them all here but if I could give my top 3 in no particular order
1. You can show up everyday for your life
2. You learn to forgive yourself
3. A huge decrease in anxiety
I’m going to keep travelling this path. I really focus now on the things I would jeopardise if I went back to alcohol. Again this is a long list!
Best of luck all. You can do it!
Hi- I’ve been drinking wine almost every night of the week, 2-4 glasses a night. I’ve been doing this for years and I really want to stop. I keep coming to the “no drinking type websites” and they are all so encouraging, but then 5pm comes around and I cave to wine every time. It’s a habit and for some reason I am so scared to change it. I guess it’s a comfort and one that I know I need to change. I will get there…I will keep trying.
Hi Camilla, I can relate. I was a 3-4 drinks of white wine per day. I read every article on what alcohol does to your mind & body. After work 2 glasses weekends 4 bottles. I’ve quit for various reasons in the past after the accomplishment I was back to my pretty wine glass and wineing down (pun intended). I realized it was an oral fixation for me and chilling with my pretty gold rim, cheery quotes, elegant crystal wine glasses was glamorous. After retiring at 58 I celebrated for two years in which 3-5 glasses turned into 2 bottles and a joint per day. I would have a private party everyday and enjoyed every minute of it. I am a believer in Christ Jesus have always had a personal relationship with my savior and I finally asked the LORD, why can’t I stop drinking and why do I enjoy it when I actually want to quit?!The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I was feeding my flesh that can never be satisfied. My flesh enjoyed what I gave it and it will die once I stop feeding it. WOW hallelujah moment. I began to see my flesh as a rabid dog (similar symptoms). I now put ice tea and flavored fresh fruit water in my wine glasses. I’ve been sober minded for 3 months and delivered for life. The cravings was instant as if I never dranked. Nobody but GOD! TMI “no more constipation.” My prayers are with us all. Grace and Mercy be unto you.
I like keeping track of the health benefits I get after one week, two weeks, three weeks etc…. of sobriety. Sleep better, decreasing risk of disease etc… but what happens to any of those benefits if you relapse for a night with 3 or 4 beers after 5 wks of sobriety? Do the benefits you finally started to acquire disappear and you have to start over again?
Anyone a daily drinker but liver is good?
1 month AF, longest period of my adult life ( 34). Sleep better, get more done, lost ony 3 pound up to now. I was drinking over 100 units a week with constant body aches. Target set to go to Xmas.
First time on this website and really enjoyed reading comments from everyone. It’s been since Feb.11 2021 since I had a drink. Feeling great except like some other comments I thought I would loss weight but have actually gained due to my cravings….
Ice Cream galore, Pralines & pecan, also carbs..
Also feeling like I have arthritis in my knees and hands. Some one told me the alcohol was masking it …
Other than that I’ve been feeling great and trusting in God and living one day at a time..
Hi everyone. I have just started my AF journey because of cerebellum damage to my brain which the doctor thinks is alcohol related. Have already noticed improvement in my sleep and temperament. Fortunately I am not overweight so a few extra chocolates won’t hurt.
It is interesting, reading so many success stories! So many of you have focused long and hard for your own betterment. Remember that being alcohol free is a life choice. It is not a diet. This is your life, and your body needs you to stand up for it. Listen to your body’s needs and you will follow it’s messages, not your mind’s; the ego is a powerful thing. I did it and am still my old self again after 7 years. They have flown so quickly that I hardly know what’s happened in between, but I can tell you that an old habit never ever ever ever even gets tempted into entering the scene again. I decided, never again, I am the only speaker in my life, not some foreign substance. The only foreign I want in my life is languages and travel!
So, here is the reason for my rant; I have been free of alcohol for 7 years now. Still, my stools are badly pale (light grey, pale yellow, sandy color), muddy or spongy looking. It is actually quite creepy. I have yet to have a normal poo. Recently, my fingernails have also changed, in that they sometimes appear blueish at the cuticle, but this comes and goes. But the worrying thing is that they are a normal light pink until the top third, at the end of the nail bed where they are a darker pink. Every single nail is like this, and have been for the better part of a year. The darker pink area is also visibly raised. I am almost 56, getting vertical normal ridges, quite deep ones at that.
Does anyone have these same symptoms? Stool related to nail bed changes? I do not know what to think. About 2 years ago I relayed my query to my GP and he told me to not take it so seriously. He said everything looks fine.
I have read some articles about nail color, and they all say there may be an underlying health issue. Same thing with the stool issue. I would definitely go see a different doctor for a second opinion. Good luck to you!
I’m not a Dr so don’t take this as medical advice but have read some vitamin/mineral deficiencies can cause nail defects. Perhaps a B-Multi might help? May be worth finding a good naturopath to get things in order. We all need different amounts of different things. They can give you herbs like milk thistle for your liver/digestion too and help correct any dysbiosis. Always good to reconsider your relationship with sugar as well. Fructose apparently has a similar effect on the liver as alcohol. More gently cooked veggies, beans and a little berries works for me
Hello Blue Bamboo,
2 years is a long time. Have you had any doctor visits, lab tests or x-rays since then? If not I would suggest that you go for an exam …..just to be on the safe side. Wishing you the best!
Does tapering work and will you have a seizure?
It worked for me. I went from drinking very heavily every night to only a few, then down to a couple of drinks per night over a few months. Then to none. Buy plenty of fruit. The sugar cravings and dehydration are no joke.
Now I M 35 years Was A Chronic Alchoholic for atleast 14 years ..Now Quit Alchohol since 5 months without Any Medication…On 3 rd March 2021 (last day of my Alchoholic life)when I see tears in mother due to mine Alchoholism then I realised that I’ll never ever touch Alchohol bcz every drop of Alchohol in my body will give Drop of tears in mom’s eye that day I promise to my mom n god that I will never ever take Alchohol in my life .My Mother is Reason for Quiet Of mine bad habit…. Thanks to god n mom ♥️👍🙏🎉
Day 9 today alcohol and nicotine free. Tomorrow is my 39th birthday.
I feel alright, sleep is getting better after first 4 days of bad sleep. Sugar craving is through the roof. I also have started eating a lot more of everything.
I am single and do not have a family of my own. Used alcohol and cigarettes to hide my broken heart from myself after a significant relationship failed 9 years ago. I want to love myself again and hopefully another.
I no longer want to waste precious time drinking my life into numbness.
I had gone carefree for two years until my PCP had concern about my liver studies. I suffered a tragedy that no parent should suffer, which I used to justify my drinking. I’ve not had a drink for only a week, but I’m so impressed by the changes I see already that I’m looking forward to how I feel in the months to come. I did not like the vivid dreams and the difficulty falling asleep, but that has abated as well. I’m looking more forward to the differences I will see in myself than I did looking forward to that time in the evening that I set aside to start my evening of drinking.
Six weeks free from alcohol at the moment,one year is the goal!!
7 weeks AF. 12 pounds shed, seems to have leveled off. Sleeping better with vivid dreams. Really realizing how much alcohol was slowing me down, overall. I feel better, with no fear of hangover.
I feel enormous pride, and I’m making some other decisions that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Better nutrition, more consistent workouts. Reading daily.
I miss beer quite a bit, but I like my new lifestyle a bit more.
I have been a boozer for over 40 years,heavily for the past 20.I was in the process of moving house,and their was no way I could deal with it all intoxicated.5 months in without booze and started to feel the affects on my body.lost 12 pounds,even though like many,now have an inexplicable craving for chocolate and ice-cream.my blood pressure is back to normal now after being very high before.I haven’t used any counselling or medication,I find fizzy water with a little cordial seems to keep my alcohol cravings down .like everyone says one day at a time.
I drink the 0% beers now Alan. I only have maybe one a night or one at lunch on a sunday or after doing the mowing etc. It tastes like beer, no booze.
They everywhere in australia now. Not so sure on overseas
For the sugar cravings and dehydration, nothing beats fresh fruit for me. Best of luck to all!
Its pretty clear that the person who wrote this does not know what the phuck they are talking about. I mean they have a sixth grade education and have never heard the word scholarly. However the content is nice. Don’t expect these great things though. Just being real.
It’s been 2 months now I can’t believe how deep I sleep at night. This benefit alone is sufficient motivation to go on.
I had a death in the family this feb thatbsent me down a path of daily consumption of booze for about 5 months. More days then not I’d drink around 10 beers or 2 bottles of wine. Sometimes almost both. The worst thing is it didnt affect my university grades, my job or my home life. This was bad as no one knew and I didnt see it as an issue. Finally I started getting chest pains, my BP was crazy and I felt terrible. I realised I wasnt drinking out of grief anymore and was just drinking for the sake of drinking. 2 weeks sober. First week horrific withdrawals but now sleep has drastically improved, BP had dropped and eating habits have improved. Dreams are more vivid but I have started having relapse dreams… oh well. One day at a time.
Finally admitted to my family what was the worst kept secret. A bottle a night of red wine slowly became almost 2 bottles everyday. 7 nights a week. Blamed lockdown & other factors. It has caused me to do and say things that have fractured my family unit. 5 days now which is the longest in years without a night of drinking and no urge to drink anytime soon. I want to go back to having a glass of champagne with my wife and not hiding bottles around the street.
I’ve been a heavy drinker 30+ years. Decided last Wed to go to my doctor + get treated for past PTSD from trauma + head on car crash. It’s only 8 days in but the low dose meds are making me not feel like alcohol + im eating 1/4 as the anxiety + panic is going. Skin looks fresh, sleeping like a baby + feel back in control
It was time.
I wish you all the success in the world. But a word of caution about ‘ just the one glass’ it doesn’t work for most people. It’s easier to abstain than regulate, take it from bitter experience. 28 days in to what I now believe will be my freedom. Was drinking 20 to 30 units per night, was beginning to take it’s toll after 30 years.
I am 4 weeks in!! Feeling really good, very active and positive, Weight loss is slow but my sleep is so much better and my choices , really hoping I can keep going for at least another 4 weeks 🤞
Nearly nine months in and WOW– a couple of weeks ago I feel like it all gelled. I woke up a new person. My house is clean (mostly) and organized (80%). I wake up an hour earlier than I used to NOT TIRED and not hungover! I exercise regularly, walk the dog, remember appointments. I make to-do lists for my job to keep me on track. I have a domestic routine that involves getting all the tasks that were once impossible to even ponder– DONE! 10/10 would go AF again.
Gotta say, glad I realized what I was doing before it was too late. Drinking a six-pack every other night is definitely not moderation. But the thing is… The only reason I hadn’t quit was because the people around me were telling me I didn’t have to, or shouldn’t. “Nah, a beer every now and then is fine, you don’t have to quit!”
Gotta say, didn’t really expect that from my grandparents, lol. But I’ve been off alcohol for 4 days now. For the last few days I was wondering why I was feeling sick, irritable, not getting hardly any sleep, cold sweats, the whole shabang. Then I looked up the symptoms for alcohol withdrawal and, surprise! That’s exactly it.
All I have to say is thank god I didn’t let it get to the point where I actually feel like I need to drink. If I had known it was doing this to me I would have quit years ago (am 23 for those who are wondering)
Looking forward to all the benefits, better sleep here I come!
Hello all, I’ve been sober since mid March and I’m curious as to what this smugness is about and how if manifest it’s self? I was pushing 300lbs + and have managed to get to 275lbs. I made the choice to cut out the sugar and carbs. I think that’s helping. Still working on the energy thing and thankfully my memory is improving. For a while I had to search for words to finish a simple sentence. Please someone advise on the smug thing. Thank you and much success to all on this amazing journey.
66 day’s Alcohol free and feel a whole lot better,my aim is to do one year!!
Firstly, thank you Alyssa Sterry. Really interesting.
I was wondering if you know what the effects are of having a drink after a long period of abstinence? Also, does having the ‘occasional’ (one beer a month) subvert the benefits of what you outlined in your article?
I had my first drink in 3.5 months yesterday (a half pint of beer) and am curious to know whether I am undermining the health benefits of not drinking in any real sense…
I also want to say congratulations to many of you that have posted! I think giving up drinking is an incredibly hard choice to make (until you’ve got no other option).
I’ve never felt compelled to drink when alone, but have used it has a social lubricant for most of my adult life. It became less of an assistant and more of a curse as the years went by to the point I was making choices while under the influence that were having significant consequences on my life.
Making the decision to not have alcohol as a major component in my life has been, I think, a bit of a revolution! However, I believe I’ve had it simpler than many of you so I just want to extend my congratulations and my best wishes. In my opinion, you’re literal supermen&women.
I really recommend you search out the Recovery Radio Network and/or checkout Russell Brand’s book (and audiobook) ‘Recovery’. I believe both have been huge influences on who and where I am today.
All the best
At 8 months alcahol free, it has been an eye opening journey. Making me reflect on why I drank, what it was doing to me and my family and what had happened with alcahol in my parents lives, that still continues. Its a difficult journey, I won’t lie but oh my god, the feeling I have when asked what I want to drink and to be able to say with a sense of belief in myself that I actually DON’T drink any more. I’ve known for years my relationship with alcahol was mostly one sided, it took more than it gave me resulting in horrific hangovers, depression, sleep deprivation and a feeling of disgust that I was allowing this to control me, my free time and most importantly my children’s lives. I have found that changing your routine is absolutely key, so when you would normally drink, have something planned that will get you through this period. Get some nice drinks in, I found fizzy water with ginger cordial an absolute must, it gives you a back of the throat kick, put ice in a nice glass and its a refreshing drink, that gets you through. Brew Dog do great AF beers, you cannot tell they don’t contain alcahol. Read the blogs and listen to the podcasts “Alcahol explained” is a fantastic read, from a scientific approach, but easy to understand. Avoid social gatherings for a good while. I recently went to one, it was eye opening. The behaviour of people I know well whilst under the influence of vast amounts of alcahol was toe curling, things were said and done that cannot be un done and by some, non of it will be remembered. I no longer have to worry about this, its utterly life changing and it changes how you as a person view yourself, which is the most important thing. If alcahol is controlling you and you need to change it, plan ahead, write it all down, do some research and be kind to yourself. The benefits are incredible, the smug feeling is overwhelming and not to be underestimated. You are finally controlling what has controlled you. Hangover free days, utter joy. Weight loss, its patchy but does come, you’ve goto do some exercise, be prepared for this, as the huge amounts of crap you eat do replace some of the cravings. The cravings, they get less powerful and less often but still come, at least for me. Stick with it, go for a walk, think of how far you have come and the life you can have. Your worries and problems are still there, they still need to be dealt with, but with a clear head and guilt free mind are easier. It doesn’t solve everything, but it makes you be honest, it makes you look at your habits and realise we are responsible for our behaviour and the consequences. Dig deep, stay focused because if I can do this, you can also.
I’m looking forward to the health benefits. I believe my mind will become more clear as time goes on and I often look up articles that predict what I will experience going forward from my 3rd month of sobriety I am at now. Health and clear mind is my priority now. It’s incredible how long I have forgone it, but feel I am back on track for life now.
Have you continued to receive mental clarity and benefits as time has gone on, or is month three pretty much the most relevant?
Thanks for your post, it was informative.
I’m 3 months alcohol free. I don’t sleep well. I slept much better when I drank. I work and am in a good relationship for many years. I’m just bored. It was better before. My appetite has really increased. I don’t want to gain weight. I guess I’m replacing booze with food. Not good. At least I must be getting healthier (from what I’ve read in articles). Not really feeling it though.
30 days today. I was a very heavy drinker. A liter of 80 proof bourbon a day. I had 2 mini strokes during the month of August. The last one put me in the hospital for 6 days. I knew I had to quit or would die soon. I chose to live and watch my granddaughter grow up. I sleep much better,bowel movement has returned to normal,and mental clarity has improved. My family and friends tell me I look healthier now. The thought of drinking again terrifies me. That fear is greater than any craving. I’m now looking forward to 60 days clean.
Too rye aye!
Thanks for this article. It really helped motivate me for a 3 month break.
Today I am 87days AF
I have decided to take it to 6 months.
Closing in on month three and am also very proud of myself. I try not to beam so much around old friends who were old drinking buddies, including my wife, who still loves it. I am confident she will consume less over time because of me. My friends are super proud of me as well. Drinking was a problem and they are blown away at what I was willing to do to correct the it. This is my second time going clean for three months. Last time, I made it to six months before I gave in. This time, I plan to quit for good. Last time, I did not take into account that if I worked at it, I could have and do everything I did with the use of alcohol, without. Ok, so far I do not feel as elated, but I have started to dance at outings which is huge. Because once you cross that hurdle it is all starting to go downhill. Approaching people without the drink, dancing and having conversations you remember is great. Now, observing other people get drunk can be entertaining. They only notice you without drink until they get drunk, then after that it is game time. Go dance, have the conversations and recall everything the next day without the hangover. It’s great. Do not be the person in the corner. Then your time will be terrible. I think a lot of us picked up alcohol in our teens, when we were supposed to be learning how to socialize without drinking, we instead did drink and it became the crutch. Now sober, you must relearn how to socialize. Oh it will be awkward at first, but you are learning, see? And once you become adapted to it, as your body adapts to everything, you will be unstoppable. I know I am not all the way there, yet, but I realize I am moving in that direction. Come with me!!
Posts are all inspiring and mirror much of my journey. I am doing The Alcohol Experiment with Annie Grace. Free and wonderfully filled with the right balance of science, inspiration and a tremendous community. Highly recommend. Also, I have transitioned to AF beers e.g. Heineken and Becks make really great ones and I was an IPA fan.
I’m 3 months in. I feel good. Watched someone drink a bottle of wine in front of me last night. It was offered but I didn’t want it. Before, I’d have had 6 beers and half a bottle. I’m not smug because I know this is a long journey. I’m just happy that I aren’t doing things that embarrass my family. Yes, chocolate bullets & sorbet are my go to.
For those who do get craving I can highly recommend Heinken 0.0.
Good luck everyone!
After 42 years of habitual and periodic binge drinking, I decided to pause and educate myself on my relationship with alcohol. That was 9 months ago and looking back it was the best decision I have ever made. By reading about other peoples’ experiences, as well as medical articles on the damage that alcohol does both physically and mentally, it was an easy decison.
My intial motivation for change was a photograph that my daughter took of me huddled up on a cold outdoor patio, sipping on a pint of lager. As a 57 year old man, not how I want to appear. I now choose to live the last third of my life in good health and the best way for me was to remove alcohol, make different dietary choices and get regular exercise.
Alcohol free benefits that I have experienced are an improved sleep pattern, better skin, increased mental calrity (with time) and an overall feeling of wellbeing. Not to forget a significant financial saving which I have used to reward myself in different ways.
Hi, this feels very strange,, I don’t do social media so never get involved in chats…. I was looking up” what happens to your body when your alcohol free for 52 days “. Yes. Sounds sad, I am counting days. But I really didn’t think could do it. The first week was incredibly tough and no benefit outweighed the desire to drink. So I decided not to plan and every morning I woke up I asked for help to god to make this day an drink free one, and before I fell asleep I’d say thank you for your help. It wasn’t easy, and I have experience d many of the benefits, sleep, clarity, less anxiety, but alcohol is a cleaver little thief, it sneaks around in the back of my thoughts telling me I’ve done so well, and you see you never really had a problem, so you can now enjoy a moderate drink. … but I fell for that the last time on day 10 AF. And it was the worst rebound ever, I went at it like it was going out of fashion,,, Anyway, day 42. And I hope to be able to do day 43, and that’s how I manage my challenge, I hope and pray for anyone who needs it and wish you well, be safe and stay strong
I’m at the 7 month mark. I travel a good bit and to be honest, am not enjoying not drinking. I was not a heavy drinker nor an addict of any kind. I have a little social anxiety and it would alleviate that.
I want to drink every time I’m out. I thought this would subside but it’s only become worse.
I’m currently at a resort in Mexico and am envious of all the people I see enjoying their cocktails.
Not sure what to do.
Stay strong 💪 it’s a poison that’s become socially acceptable. The systems broken, not you 🥰
I’m 61 years old and I’m 4 years post-last drop of Wine, 2 years post spirits and 4 months post Beer. Since the last Ale, which I’ve enjoyed since a small boy having been given sips from my Fathers tankard of Strong Brown Ale at the Dinner table, I’ve shed 6.5 kilo’s, I eat less, enjoy a better sleep and my skin, nails and what little hair decorates my bonce is improved. I’m mentally far sharper than I can recall being since my late 30’s. My confidence has improved and clarity of purpose too. I’m fitter from being able to walk and cycle more often and further without fading and I know deep within that I’m far more contented than I have been for a long time. Never a heavy drinker as such and abstaining during the week, I was tending in the middle of the Covid 19 restrictions, to let go on weekends a little too freely to the detriment of quality time with my Son and work around my old house. As a health worker, you might think the need to have a drink would be greater given the current circumstances, yet I’m enjoying not feeling anxious about my work or some of the appalling people I am compelled to work with and report to. Benefits too are more money in the bank (3 k per annum-estimates based on 2020 grog spending!) and finding I am completing more tasks at home in the evening’s as I’m not sinking into the couch with another Beer and ignoring the myriad of jobs to do on my very old but beautiful home. There have been times when I’ve really fancied a Pale Ale, but they pass and quickly too and at 16 weeks, I think I’m doing ok.
I was a daily drinker for 12 years working in hospitality and managing bars. I’ve now been sober for 6 months and over the last year I’ve been sober for 300 days (had a relapse, but coming back stronger than ever) I’ve now decided to give my body 12 years of sobriety to make up for the damage I caused myself physically and mentally over that time. I feel nothing short of super human. Sleep is easy, I don’t wake up with a feeling of regret or dread from the events of the night before. Relationships are healthier, friends are closer (those that stayed and supported rather than the ones that judged and left). I’ve become active in sports and generally overall my life is much better. Anyone struggling with the thought of stopping it’s ok, just try a day, then a week, then a month, then 3. It’s all a process and you and only you can decide what’s best for your health and wellbeing. We are all authors of our own books. Every day is a page. You decide what the genre is 🙂
ha…I agree with the chocolate consumption and everything else..I’m at 3 months. Trying to get through another 3
I drank around 2 to 3 bottles of wine per day, everyday over covid lockdown, so almost 1.5 years… and before that was a binge drinker for 10 years..I was miserable. I almost lost my job and my girlfriend. One day, after blood tests my Dr called me and said my liver results were bad…very bad and I could have permanent liver damage.. and that I had developed diabetes type 2. That was the point I knew I had to do something…so I stopped drinking. It was hard, very hard…but I did it . I’m 6 months sober now and feel great . I have almost reversed my diabetes and my liver is back to normal. My relationships with family, friends, and my girlfriend is so much better. Life is simply better.
Alcohol is so destructive, you get caught up in cycle, but you can break it. It takes something big for you to wake up and take control. But, simple truth is, it’s no way to live. Trust me.
I was big drinker to one day I ended up in ae with liver damage cirrhosis of the liver not 7mouths on never drink again yes I was give 2 hours to live I no I got to have transplant to keep me going but these young and old people think alcohol is fun tell u some thing alcohol is silent killer get u try to detox I think rubbish strong minded people can took me lots of pray and will power cause ant not nice cold turkey so listen to someone whose been there.
Thank you, now I am on my 2nd going to 3rd months AF, I feel good you’re right i having a good sleep now a days.
I am now at the three-month mark. I have lost 30 lb and feel great. The urge to consume sugar was overwhelming at first. I lowered my bad carbohydrate intake and focused on vegetables and fruit along with my favorite lean meats. I found strawberries and watermelon very helpful for the sugar cravings. As far as chocolate was concerned I used very high cocoa level dark chocolate. This made the sugar volume very low and also the carbohydrates. I put 1/3 of a serving into my oatmeal in the morning and it makes it taste delicious with some blueberries, strawberries or watermelon. I feel great but have some struggles still. Nothing will make me return to alcohol. Quitting is so worth it!
Awful article. “Improved sleep” “overall health” “ liver has chance to be healthy”. For the alcoholic, this has got to be the absolute least compelling rambling of “benefits” ever written. Talk about vague, unexciting, and un-motivating. This article wouldn’t get someone out of bed in the morning. “By now the paint has dried and you can return to your miserable life knowing that your blood pressure has gone down by an unspecified amount…”. congratula -Zzz zzz zzz
i hope you are well. after reading your response i felt compelled to answer. i am a 54 year old woman who had a severely damaging relationship with alcohol for 30 years. at least 1 bottle of vodka a day for the last 3 years and 2 bottles of wine daily prior to that. in january 2022 i was admitted to hospital with ascites and a belly being the size or a full term pregnancy due fo fluid build up bearing in mind i am a slight 8/12 stone.. the agony was indescribable. i underwent numerous tests and had 6 litres of the 10 litres of fluid drained. i have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease and will be dead within a year if i continue drinking alcohol.i always thought it would never happen to me but guess what ….. if that is not a wake up call to anybody i dont know what is. not bothered about sleep etc that is an added bonus on top of the chance to live. i will never be cured and will have to live with what damage i have done to myself. i still dont know what to expect in my future as only 3 months in . i wish everybody the best of luck on their journey to becoming alcohol free. hope this helps shed some light to support people in stopping although i will never preach.
I’ve seeked help from a friend to go AF for 6 months because if I don’t I will lose my partner and kids. I need to do this!! Xmas coming up is a bit of a worry though. Any advice is much appreciated x
I decided to stop drinking on 9th October, John Lennon’s birthday and have gone 48 days so far. My sleep pattern has improved greatly and my alertness increased. I have lost around half a stone in weight too. Bearing in mind that I have been drinking for over 50 years and thought it would be harder than it has been but didn’t have any problems. I reckon I have saved around £75 per month so far also. Smugness has been another feature and I’m not ashamed of that and the longer I abstain the more it will grow and I don’t apologise for that. I urge anyone trying to stop drinking to stick at it. You can do it.
Very encouraging to read the messages here and know it can be done. I am really struggling. I do four maybe five days without a drink, start to feel great – and smug – and then I will get stressed about something -usually work- and the only thing I want to do is drink beer. I’ll drink about a litre, then the next night a litre and a half, then the next day two, this can go on for a bout a week, and then I won’t sleep, wake up feeling bad, I’ll stop for a few days and the whole cycle goes on again. It’s been like this for years and I don’t know how to break it. The longest I did was five weeks but that was about ten years ago. Fed up with drinking but don’t know how to stop it. If I get into a binge cycle I end up with nasty depression as well. Any advice?
I’m a 39 year old male. I started drinking at age 15. Since around 18 I never went longer then a week with drinking heavily socially. Once I reached my early 30’s I began drinking a 12 pack a day and most of the time I would run out and go get another one. I would also go through 2 packs of cigs.
This all took place after work around 3 or 4 pm. After sometime with that routine I developed terrible anxiety hangovers Which led me to drinking in the mornings. I was the guy buying a case of beer at 7am from a local covienent store. I would even switch up the stores so it didn’t look as bad. If you are wondering what I do for work to spend so much on booze. I’m self employed. The pandemic hit and started beinge drinking for 3,4, even five days straight. I wanted to be able to stop, when I would try and go a couple days to sober up if I had to be somewhere for work, I would lay in a fetal position on the couch , clenched jaw, unbearable anxiety, shakes and night sweats. During all those times I would say to my self ” please God make this stop
I will do anything”.
Last February we lost power do to a harsh freeze for a few days. I drank heavily for about a week and 1/2.
During that detox period for some reason I was able to make it longer then 3 days with drinking.
Then a week passed,then 2,3 and finally 30 days sober. I felt better but the urges were still difficult to subdue. Then 2 and 3 months passed. I started working out and business got better. I was thinking clearer and I didn’t get overwhelmed as easy. This February will make 1 year sober. Now my cravings are 100% gone.
My relationship s with friends and family are better then ever. My overall outlook on life has changed.
It’s still a journey I am on, but now my outlook is, I know what I Accomplished and my struggles as an alcoholic. Now I wanna see what I can do sober.
I quit drinking because I knew I would end up dead at an early age and I have to much life ahead of me to spend with family and enjoy lifes ups and downs.
Your life is precious. Don’t let alcohol steal your time here on Earth. You have to do it for yourself.
It’s an extremely hard battle to fight,but I promise, When you finally are able go without for a period of time that clears your mind and allows your brain to heal it’s self.
Then you will start living life again.
Once you experience that, you my friend are a winner.
Stay strong, never give up, it’s never to late to make a change.
Best of hope,
This February will be 12 months alcohol free af
I hope you can help me give some idea I’ve had the shakes and was drinking so much my blood pressure was so high I was hospitalized 2x I have stopped drinking 2 months now goofed-up on 3 ipa at a Christmas party which I didn’t want to go I feel worse now than when I was drinking many ipas. I have the willpower to stop but I can’t figure out why I feel like crap my sleeping is awful I wake up 3x during the night I’ve even prayed listened to meditation healing music at night. Nothing seems to help I drink waters with lemon I don’t eat junk food any tips appreciated thank you
I have been reading this site’s comments every night to help me not drink. After a decade or more of nightly red wine consumption that culminated in two bottles a night, I am trying to stop, or at least cut it in half or less. No one understands this nightly battlefield as you do.
I can’t tell you how inspirational these comments and stories are. I have learned so much. I didn’t realize my joint stiffness and also neuropathy were alcohol related. I read that the neuropathy may never resolve, and that breaks my heart and scares me for what I have done to myself. I do hope the joint pain will resolve, the blood pressure will come down and the sleep will improve. Your notes show that these changes have happened for some of you.
Thank you to each and everyone of you brave souls for sharing your stories and comments, fears, weaknesses and wins. Please know that you are helping this lurker….every. single. night.
peripheral neuropathy, im fighting it myself I think. Been told it might be that, but im going to prove the doctors wrong. I offered the doctors a sprint race when im done and show them my cure for it. Chocolate is part of it, but dutch chocolate only. Hang in there my friend, its hard. Stay positive and don’t count days. Do it. Always here for a chat. Take care.
Hello yes I have had those issues. Hand numbness. High blood pressure. I feel worse now than when I was drinking. If you read my 2 comments. I just stay away from drinking and friends who live in the bar scene 3x a week. I wish you well.
3 months sober now, the struggle is real, everyday I want a reason to drink but Im pushing through. I have never eaten sweets, now that’s all I want. Zero weight loss, more of weight gain. Im less anxious and sleeping so much better.
went AF 50 days ago after ending up in the ER hallucinating and delusional from withdrawal. I’m still craving drinking every single day but it IS getting easier. I’ve lost almost 30 lbs and my blood pressure has gone down. I was drinking between 5-7 thousand calories per week! I mainly eat whole foods; I don’t eat crap. I just recently have started to sleep better. My mood is still really low. I never was big into sweets/soda but I’ve been loving chocolate like the rest of you guys 🙂 and diet ginger ale. SO GOOD!
diet ginger ale. Lol.
Its been a month now since i am off the booze ( promised my 6 year old daughter on her birthday i would stop) feeling better than ever !! Lost 3 kgs just like that and feeling like the top of the world! Also my GERD Symptoms seem to vanish too. Going to 3 months now
I’m 3 weeks in to my abstinence journey. I had a huge drinking problem, started off drinking on weekends with friends, turned into week days, then every day, most days I would sit there watching t.v or playing video games until I couldn’t see the screen anymore. I was drinking nearly 16 pints of Stella artois, kronenburg 1664, sanmiguel on a nightly basis. Even though its only 3 weeks, I feel so much better, constipation is slowly getting better now I have bough tablets from the pharmacy. As I lay in bed now, life is looking good, I’m feeling positive, only I can screw this up.
let’s go week 4
All the very best to anyone out there who is struggling with alcohol, I know how difficult it is, you have it in you to be what ever and who ever you want to be. Stay positive, keep going forward and take one day at a time. Lots of love
354 days today. It started as a dry January, maybe drop a few pounds I picked up working from home with the COVID era. I haven’t gone a year without alcohol since I was 16. Now 57, and I just enjoyed the best year of my life. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week, half marathon this February. God is great, I’ll never drink again.
well done bro, you beat me by 14 days. Great stuff. I also started gym , eating more than I should. Im 6ft 1 and was 59kg when I was in hospital due to drinking. Im now 81kg an getting in great shape. I feel so much better too. But I do get depressed alot of thinking what drinking caused. Lost everything, wife n kids,my job of 23 years, was nearly on death bed, my health was shocking. Everything would have been ok if I didn’t drink. Money,life,etc. Its hard but live on. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. You only live once. Once again, well done bro.
I tried dry January a few years ago, and succeeded. Unfortunately I discovered when I started drinking again that I’m unable to moderate long term. Within a few months I was back to 8-9 drinks a night every night.
After showing my butt Christmas Eve I resolved to quit permanently after 20+ years of daily drinking. One week in and I’m pleasantly surprised not to have any withdrawal symptoms, and minimal cravings.
It seems moderating is very difficult if not impossible for me, but total abstinence is relatively easy.
Word! This is a great piece of motivational text that is vital for 35 million Americans fighting the battle to keep sober . Two things that makes me stay sober, 1. Stop drinking gets your senses back (especially smell and taste). People that claim that wine and other alcoholic drinks enhances food flavor can stop lying. Alcohol paralyzes brain cells and prevents us from sense life and everything around us 2. Stop drinking boosts self confidence and you stop feeling sorry for you yourself. This is the number 1 for me and what keeps me going. I’m much more myself staying away from alcohol than when drinking. In the end — to stop drinking must come from me and not from anyone else. It’s never worth it to get someone help if they didn’t ask for it — but if you do, plenty doors open up.
Hi. Almost 3 months off alcohol now. Felt no problem up to a week ago. A serious accident and surgery caused by my drinking was the decision maker for me. I went all out and gave up a lot of Juno food also with it and found it easier to go all out. Since returning to work the desire has returned but choose not too drink, not sure why the urge came back as I do love and appreciate my job so much.
I am on day 78. I’ve been a heavy drinker since probably the age of 17. Going out every weekend and during the week too. As I’ve got older my drinking progressed to me doing it at home as I got a family a stopped going to the pub as much. I was never one to get up in the morning and drink but every evening without fail. Between 4-6 cans of lager. Not good. During lockdown my drinking increased massively. Definitely drinking a lot more then I should be doing. Then one day I decided to stop. I’d tried before but I’ve never been as successful as I have been this time. I’ve just managed to get through Christmas and now only got new year to worry about. My target is 100 days which I will hit on 20/01/22. And once I hit that I honestly can’t see me ever drinking again. My life has improved so much. My sleep. My relationships, especially with my children. My happiness. I’ve lost weight and Look and feel much, much better. I always knew I needed to stop drinking and never thought I’d be able to. I hated the fact that my kids had seen me drunk. And I hated the fact that I was normalising drinking for them. I can look forward now with hope and can actually make a go of things. I am getting up off my backside and getting things done instead of wasting days in constant mediocrity of hungover-ness. In January 2022 I’ll be 41. And I never ever plan on going back to my old drinking ways. To everyone who is trying to quit this evil drug I wish you all the luck. If I can do it ANYONE can do it. It’s a mindset. Good luck xxx
Stop counting days, weeks, months. Just stay positive. Live life. I use to think, 2 days yepee. One week, well done, it goes on and on. Stop counting. It does wonders, after my first few weeks ,felt like there was a drink waiting at the end of each week, each month. Be strong and let your motions run you. Dont let drinking do it to you like it did in the past, alcohol runs your brain cause it was use to it.
I quit 6 months ago I am skinny but still feel bloated (skinny fat ) and I feel worse now than when I was drinking ipa beers 3x a week my sleep sucks. And am still trying not to drink it’s a struggle when most of my friends go out 3 x a night in our small town what should I be doing I’ve been drinking lots of water with lemon and only 1 coffee per day I don’t eat junk food at all. I do have high bloo pressure most likely due to drinking
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
MAY WE CELEBRATE A NEW YEAR
OF TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES
PHYSICALLY SPIRITUALLY & MENTALLY
ITS A NEW START TO OUR JOURNEY
BLESSINGS TO ALL
I just did my first Christmas and New Years in 25 year alcohol free. It has been 9 months of no alcohol and it hasn’t been easy. Not drinking was easy, dealing with life’s stresses without alcohol has been the difficult part. It has been more of a mental ride than physical. Feeling physically good but mentally, I have never been so drained. I need to find new ways to relax and destress without the instant mind numbing effects of alcohol. Has been an interesting ride but my favourite result from being alcohol free has been the ability to do anything at anytime. If the wife needs fuel in her car or the kids need medication I can go out at anytime and do it. Sounds like a small thing but was so handy to have the ability to do these things late at night.
Twenty weeks in and not missing the hangovers one little bit. Weekends are still a struggle though, but weirdly got through Christmas and New Year without too much trouble. A big problem is boredom, especially during the dark winter months. Until you stop drinking you don’t realise how much of our social lives is based around booze. Social
events are manageable until the proper drinking starts, then you tend to gravitate towards those in the room who are “dry” while your friends who drink turn into zombies. To have a drink now would feel strange and wrong. Alcohol literally stinks. But it was fun. I just need something else to replace it with.
Thank you for this information it has been extremely informative and helpful.
I noticed a person had mentioned that their chocolate consumption went through the roof, I had a similar thing but mine was ice cream 🙂
I had a very boozy few years, always ‘social’.
When I stopped drinking for the first 4 months all I thought & dreamed about was having a drink. After that time I saw the benefits, I have completed a year & I never want to go back.
I have energy, passion, drive, concentration & guess what? I am still fun to be around – the drink did not make me funny/fun – I did!
Having my partner commit to the year also helped as we pulled the other through a wavering moment, we joined a gym and we removed all alcohol, wine glasses or anything else that reminded us of booze.
I found that many of my friends also wanted to try to stop or cut down, they did temporarily, however, this journey needs to come from within when you are ready!!
Reading these comments is reassuring. Was a heavy drug user recreationally for about a half decade in my early 20s, quit cold Turkey but about 13-14 years ago I hit the bottle.
I mean I would drink prior to this, weekends etc like many 20 somethings. But it was never a weekday occurrence… I went awhile without. I was always pretty active too.
Then I started to see a jump. New roommate with his own addiction issues. Thought my good path would rub off as I was doing quite well but instead I slid. Drugs were less of the issue but drinking, couple beers a day at first… then that doubled… mixed with some heavy hitting Friday and Saturday nights.
Met my wife and figured I’d stop, I didn’t. Stress from work and a desire to feel that buzz kept me going. I’d have periods I’d clean up… a month, maybe 2 at most. But then back and usually back heavier, at least for me. Binge drinking every weekend with a day or two during the week every week… probably 4-8 drinks min per sitting.
I’ve complained for a long time about a fear of premature death. Weird how no one wants to hear this. I told my mom last year I wanted to give it up and the reaction was “no don’t stop”… very unexpected.
Due to some tests the past 6 months I started to pay more attention to my metrics. My BP was higher during a liver scare in July’21 so I stopped cold Turkey and got the BP back to normal in like 3/4 weeks. Then I lost control again.
November I pulled the BP monitor out… regularly over 140/95, scared me a lot. Plus I had a kidney concern show up on a test from that period. I know slowing my intake worked before but as I age (only 43 I guess) I worry I’ve done irreversible damage already.
I had my last sip November 30th. The BP has mostly seen improvement but I still see higher numbers than normal. I guess it’s only 36 days and I’m reading more longer term improvement is possible as I abstain and this is keeping me a little level. I work out 6 days a week, I’ve dropped 10-12 pounds… I assume the BP will improve with more weight loss and exercise. It’s stubbornness is making me nervous af though, I am seeing my physician mid January for more kidney tests (so far so good, may be okay) and I’ll have to ask him then.
I’m embarrassed I allowed this to happen to me and I feel silly being this scared of what I’ve done as I’ve done this to myself. Still I thank everyone who shared as it does somewhat help reading what others have gone through and the possible bright light at the end of a tunnel here.
Out of curiosity, of those of you who’ve experienced BP improvement, if you don’t mind, what was it when you quit? When did you notice it started to improve and if it returned to normal (without meds) how long did it take? I’m hoping to avoid meds is why I’m asking.
Today is 60 days for me and I feel worse than ever. My anxiety is through the roof, my panic disorder has become more severe, clinically depressed, I can’t sleep more then 4 to 6 hours a night, I have restless legs, arms, shoulders, I have hot flashes mostly cold flashes, being cold has never hurt so bad, I have normal low blood pressure, and I do exercise often, I had gastritis which feels like it went away after a month of not drinking, my abdomen is still tender. I’m also, in a negative environment I’m trying to get out of (the reason I started drinking every day) most days have been easy for me not to drink, but today I am trying so hard not to drink, but I won’t because I know I’m 60 days closer to sobriety being a year. I don’t have any help I’m doing this all on my own. This last week was my first attempt to get help and now I’m waiting for my counseling and doctor appointments. Today is also 15 days being sober from marijuana which I don’t miss at all, as I couldn’t stand the way it made my head feel any longer after I used to love it. My head is still in a fog which it has been for years. I don’t have much of an appetite and I have lost 25 lbs. Some days I have to force myself to eat. I’m 46 and it I might be going through peri-menopause. I will have a blood test to find out in the near future. Last blood test said I’m not in peri-menopause which was a couple of years ago. The doctor told me my symptoms could all be from stress. I’m waiting for my body to adjust from sobriety which I hope it eventually does, I feel like I’m in hell mentally and physically. I left out few things of what I’m going through physically and mentally.
I was a very heavy drinker for many years. Came close to not making it a few times and even ended up in icu for a few weeks. I managed to walk out of icu and leave drinking behind me. I’ve lost 60 lbs in 3 months of no alcohol. But I love me some gummy bears and chocolate!
Sober 3 months. No changes. I’m 118 lbs. not bad but truth is I feel worse off than when I had been drinking why is that
Hello, I think the reason you feeling worse is because the serotonin that’s in your brain is low right now which causes you to feel down. It will get up eventually give it about 6months. Keep up the good work!!
I’m 55. Up until my last divorce in 2009 I could always stop drinking.
Even up until 2016 I would regularly not drink for weeks at a time. Then I started drinking every day after work. Just drank pretty much every day. Planned my life around it.
I’ve been AF for 79 days today. This article was the first one I read about becoming alcohol free because I wasn’t sure I could. I know I can now. Next it’s the 60 pounds I gained since 2016
That I get off!
BTW, the TIME I have now! I had forgot what it was like to get into my hobbies and other goals all on hold. Hmmm.
Also like the first commenter: I have had extreme smugness, even apathy.
I suppose that comes from not ever before having to deal with my own BULLSHITE.
I’m also 55. I was a weekend binge drinker up until the shutdown. I’ve always jogged or speedwalked on my lunch hour when at the office, but that changed while working from home, to my husband and I going on a 5 mile walk with 2 beers in a bag. When we got to 2.5 miles to turn around, we’d have a beer first as a reward (negating the exercise). We had zoom meetings with family every Thursday, and we’d all toast to each other at the end. We felt alone and turned to drink. Well, since March 2020, I continued this schedule, minus the lunch hour drinking because I’m back at the office. I decided on New Year’s to only drink on weekends. After one week, I was surprised how good it felt, so I tried Dry January. I’m only on day 17, but you people are inspiring me. I just started sleeping better, having interesting dreams, working out 6 days a week, skin is softer, drinking 100 oz. water per day, and my fitbit shows my average resting heart rate has dropped from 69 to 57. I haven’t lost weight although I am careful what I eat. I think it’s because my body is in shock. I get bored, so I do more housework & healthy cooking. My hubby is proud of me, has really cut back his drinking, but hasn’t quit. Has anyone noticed, like me, that their eyesight is better in the morning? I know I can go past January, thank you for the inspiration!
Four months alcohol free. Life physically and mentally so much better. Diminished anxiety. Increasing self esteem and confidence. No weight gain. Improved complexion. Improved relationships. I was a daily physically and mentally addicted alcoholic. It wasn’t easy but SO worth it.
Great advice, and very encouraging.
Alcohol is just not good when it tricks you into dependency.
It’s a lie.
I have battled with depression for a long time and I can assure you that when you stop. . . . You will be (you) again. 8 months of kicking that lie out of my life and I’ll never look back. So get (you) back. It’s a con, and you have been railroaded and (you) aren’t that stupid. ❤️
Love your truth about “the lie”. We’ve all been brainwashed about alcohol at some point. Took me many years to realize that it does NOT make anything better. So why continue the lie? I’m in my 60s… I’ve tried quitting three times before. But I truly believe third times a charm. I’m four months happily AF.It’s also so wonderful not to have to lie anymore to the question every doctor asks : “ how much do you drink?“.
Great advice Sean, I was a heavy drinker for over 40 yrs could probably count non drinking days from that time on one hand but after you stop drinking you realise it was just unwanted baggage that you carried with you.
Anyone out there with similar circumstances I urge you to get your life back. Life is beautiful without alcohol.
One month alcohol free and completely surprised by how much better I feel both physically and emotionally. I’m done with alcohol. Forty years was plenty. For some reason it has hit me over the head that the root word of intoxicated is TOXIC. Aha! Guess I’m a bit slow 🤣
It is inspiring to see so many comments of success… I would be celebrating 4 weeks today but I had a relapse ‘celebrating’ a little food fortune.. I woke up the next day feeling sluggish and disappointed but with perspective I made the right decision
I too started a carb binge but joined the gym a couple weeks ago and started counting macros, amazed to see that I’ve underwater for years but still put on weight with empty calories…
Sleep still eludes me but I still wake up feeling better than I did before. I saw a comment of 40 years sober and I hope to be able to say that myself one day.
It’s been 4 months for me. Sweets, especially ice cream was a real problem in the beginning. I took a hard look at why I was now eating ice cream every night when I hadn’t before and realized I was now replacing the relaxing/rewarding experience I received from alcohol with ice cream. I switched to sipping on a diet pop (which I have now also eliminated) and it worked to fulfill the sweet craving. I have lost 15 pounds and I now get more of a reward from knowing I’m healthier and the cravings have subsided. Sleep has improved dramatically as well!
It’s a bit bizarre. I’ve spent nearly 40 years drinking. I’ve struggled through dry months. Done a 90 day break. I suppose over the last few years I’ve drunk most days. I’ve now been off the sauce for couple weeks, I feel great. I’m actually worried I might give up drinking…. Because it feels so good. I don’t really want to give up but I don’t want to give up feeling great.
Hi,I’ve been a light but regular drinker for years,Mr Average.Now retired, found more time to open a bottle. Unconnected, cholesterol came up as abnormal then later a pre-diabetes condition.Diet addressed,now Very much slimmer but was still drinking,switched to gin & slimline tonic, doing a large bottle a week.Now quit 3 weeks feel exhausted & constantly constipated.Is this a symptom of abstinence? Take care guys
Hi Ian, I found that I had a bit of a haze and some fatigue for weeks following my attempt to quit. I think the longer it’s been going on and the more you drink the more this can occur. The first time I tried it took a couple weeks… this time it took a couple months. Nov 28th was my last sip and throughout December and parts of January things were “off” mentally and physically.
I’m feeling a lot better now but I still have some ways to go I think. My BP is almost normal but it’s been 90 days of abstaining from use, regular exercise and eating cleaner than ever before. I hope continued better treatment of my body fully normalizes the BP but I will continue to trim down which will also help.
So 90 days in, I don’t think was a cut off that now I should feel a certain way but I’m definitely in a better place than I was three months ago. Just keep in mind that the affects of heavy use are a lot harsher than our drinking culture would have us truly consider… it takes time for the body to get back to normal.
Nov 28th – 43yo
Metabolic Age 49
February 26th – 43 yo
Metabolic age 45
Working out 1hr + 6 days week lifting and cardio. Eating 1800-2000 calories a day. No added salts (switched for potassium) lots of fruits and Veggies… still snacking on chocolate but within my caloric allowance. I’ve had Pizza and Chinese and other heavily salted foods but always offset by exercise.
Point is, keep working towards your goals, don’t be discouraged by the hiccups along the way. We may have hurt ourselves a bit but it seems like with time we can fix this.
Three weeks AF, miserable want a drink every afternoon. Cant relax, eating chocolate, drinking soft drinks and coffee which i never bothered with before. Only good thing is the mornings! Cant sleep much at night but sleep late in mornings. Miss the social side too. When will i feel my happy self again ? Dont want to go anywhere or do anything. ☹️
2 weeks for me. This is the longest stint I can ever remember…very sad. I can relate to the others…Def feel mostly better. Still have the urge to grab a few brews on Friday and Saturday. Haven’t decided if this is permanent. My biggest concern is I don’t know if I can ever go back to just social drinking. I like to drink the majority of the day on Saturday and Sunday. For now…I plan on keeping it going until I get my weight and health going in the right direction. Hopefully Ill learn to enjoy life without the bubbly escape. GL all!
Man man man I was drinking heavy for 7 years strong I’m 33 know …last year I lost 2 jobs due to alcohol abuse …Im one year sober on march 1 2022..every since I put down the bottle …life been great
Thankyou I’ve just done a month no drinking.and am looking I’ll and tired
I have been sober for 40 days now. I was a binge drinker for many years my responsibilities came first but the minute I didn’t have any responsibilities it was a free for all. Usually a couple times a week. . I finally feel I’m at a place where I won’t be looking back. I have found a new love for excersize. ( weights.. squats.. abs.. walking.skipping) but Specifically a weighted hula hoop
I put the music on and work out for an hr sometimes. I think it’s really important to find something to replace the drinking with and to look forward to.
I do have lots of regrets and lots of inner healing and self love and forgiveness I still need to work on. But one day at a time right 🙂
We’ve got this!Dont give up
I’ve been sober for 6 months straight. I have been an alcoholic for 30 years and finally decided to stop drinking with the help of AA and my support system. I feel so much better, mentally and physically and I’ve lost 45lbs!! I’m so thankful and humble to have reached this milestone.
Day 53 of being sober 💪❤ sleep is finally coming back feeling way more refreshed when I wake up
To all the people who have been feeling smug since stopping alcohol, I`d like to say “quite bloody right” you have every right to. Keep it up.
482 days sober and loving life. Lost weight and blood work is all healthy. Kidneys and liver function tests are normal. Mentally doing great. Even back into fitness. It’s so worth it. Just make sure you have people around you who understand and support you not sabotage you. Good luck and enjoy the journey
That’s so Awesome! Congratulations ! I’m 47 Days into my own personal Detox!
I’m in my 12th month alcohol free. I was a daily drinker, some weeks drinking more than a half gallon of rum and more than a handful of beers. I’m 65; my bad drinking habits go all the way back to when I started college. Self medications after a few Florida hurricanes and the pandemic years took me to the level I described. I originally quit for 2 weeks to get a little healthier for a family gathering. Two weeks felt so good I thought, “Why not 3 months?” Here I am.
Was it easy: No, it took 3 months before I started feeling better and 6 months before I lost any weight (I’m a 6’1″ male, weighed 211 when I quit, 190 now). Almost had that habit changing first drink many times – didn’t and always reminded my self in the morning the power of discipline.
What next: I’m healthier, happier, more energetic and clear thinking. It’s not a hard no forever, but right now I’m thinking 2 years is a good number to shoot for.
3 months on going without a drop of alcohol. My withdrawal symptoms are kicking in big time now. Lack of sleep, low mood, no energy I have every possible side effect how can you possibly feel better from not drinking it.. I can’t see any thing improving any time soon the only positive I have got from it is I no longer have brain fog I have a empty hole!
Stay strong my dude. I know when I was at about this point there were a lot of scary things going on I was worried wouldn’t go away. I stayed the course, kept eating better, kept trying to workout more and abstained. I’m almost at 5 months myself and for the most part, most of the issues I had struggled with have disappeared.
My only concern at this point is a stubborn BP that has started to peak again. Granted the bad diet before I made changes may also be a factor so this could be unrelated to the boozing and this is something I have to deal with. But it’s still come down quite a bit vs day one. I was even testing “normal” for quite awhile until the last week… and I think I’m trending down again.
Point is, it takes time and while I can appreciate the anxiety, I went through it terribly too, still do with the BP, as you allow your body to heal, you will start to feel better.
After on and off attempts at going AF, I’m now feeling confident that I will remain AF for the rest of my life. Journalling has helped a lot. I never did that before and it has made the difference this time around. I was a daily drinker (around almost a bottle of wine in the evening, I’d always leave a little bit just so I didn’t feel guilty about drinking an entire bottle). Now I’m feeling much more confident and yes, a little bit smug! Trying hard not to get into the ice-cream habit but I figure a bowl of ice-cream is better than a bottle of wine!
Give it a go
I’m 2 months and 10 days AF and as someone who works in a liquor store and drank heavily daily for about 7 years, I am incredibly proud of myself for my progress thus far. I have noticed a huge difference in my sleep (also no more hangovers!!!) my diet has been so much better, my face is no longer red and puffy, I’m losing weight like crazy, and my relationships have significantly improved. I used to drink so much that I would constantly forget things people would tell me and spend a lot of time alone. Now, I’m spending a lot more time with family and friends and taking up hobbies I’ve always wanted to do but would always “put off.” I’m so excited and optimistic about my future for the first time in years! If you’re considering quitting or struggling to stay sober, just know that you’re not alone and although it’s difficult, you’re incredibly strong and you can do this. Just watch out for those sugar cravings everyone is mentioning! So far, I haven’t noticed any weird cravings except coffee. Coffee and tons of water. I bought myself a 64oz water bottle on Amazon and it has been life changing for detox and weight loss, so I highly recommend investing in a nice big water jug and chugging that thing all day everyday. Good luck to all 🙂
I will be 10 months sober in 1 week.
The benefits are incredible. The first 21 days days was hard, buy I had to remember my WHY.
I am 3 months and 26 days AF and have never felt better! I was an everyday drinker, a beer (or so!) in the afternoons and then a wine (or so!) in the evenings! My anxiety was through the roof and my face was puffy and ugh, I felt awful but didn’t even know it. Since stopping drinking I sleep SO well, my face isn’t puffy anymore it’s normal again, no weight loss but that’s because I’ve replaced booze with coke!
As for my anxiety I’m like a new person and so much happier. My relationship with my
Husband is 100% better.
I can’t imagine drinking again knowing this is what life can be like without it.
6 months sober. It’s a mindset and yes you should and can do it. Everything is true. Now that I am back in charge it is powerless. Like punching your bully in the nose, knocking him out and becoming a much better person. Did it myself but had family support. Do it. Be a badass.
I’m almost at 6 months. I feel so much better now! Yes, my sweet tooth is back but seems to be calming down. I also was hoping for instant weight loss but it’s happening just now. Belly fat. Yay! And yes I do have ice cream before bed but others are noticing the weight loss and complimenting. Keep going y’all! 👍
3 months in also. I to have a chocolate crave. It is sugar replaced by sugar. I have been drinking more water to help. I did lose a few pounds but I believe they are back.
Thanks for being here❤️🤗❤️🤗
I drank to forget the bad memories, then i realized drinking made me remember the bad/sad things . Not drinking alcohol has helped me look forward not backwards.
To Sandy – I’m 10 days in too , not as confident as you sound but giving it a good shot 🙂
I am almost five months sober, and I really don’t have any huge & obvious improvements, except I know my health/bloodwork has improved drastically. I still have problems sleeping, like always, and it’s getting worse. I don’t remember my dreams anymore. I feel edgy and moody. Short tempered. That’s never been ‘me’.
My skin is better and eyes clearer, I’ve lost a lot of weight. I’ve saved money (or rather spent it on other things). So yes, a few good things. I will continue, though, although maybe not permanently. I miss having a glass with friends. It is easy to stop, but hard to quit 4ever – when you are single. Good luck to everyone else out there!
For me 5 months. Love it. I have lost 12 kgs. I started running. Badly and very slowly. But I started. Skin clearer. Mood better.
I will not be going back to the old ways. Bye, see you on the flip side booze.
I’ve hit 6 months AF. I did have 4 drinks between October 2021 and New Years Day 2022. Then quit. I was hiding my drinking by of course tossing the bottles and cans in the recycling before anyone would see them, day drinking every weekend – a 2 drinks on weeknights. I also started to drink a variety of alcohol in one session so I’d feel better about “not finishing a bottle” or crushing 4 beers all at once.
Hangovers and increased appetite, feeling fatigued, greyish skin etc. were evident.
My doc told me that I had better reduce the intake or be prepared to develop cirrhosis like another patient of hers did as a result of continued alcohol abuse. That patient died. Wasn’t even 50.
The enzyme that helps metabolize the alcohol wasn’t fairing well. In fact, all my life I’ve always had terrible hangovers – way worse than anyone. And I knew that I wasn’t meant to drink. But I still used it to deal with stress and feeling overwhelmed.
I have been sleeping better – almost immediately, more productive, happier, and lost weight (I haven’t even been able to get to the gym in the last 3 months but that’s another story). It just all of a sudden happened. And yes, THE CHOCOLATE consumption was through the roof! I mean, I’m of Swiss decent so naturally I eat chocolate every day but not THAT MUCH. But that has subsided. I do make myself a decaf cappuccino almost every night.
Anyway, good for y’all!!! It was hard as hell for me but I’m feeling so much better now and don’t even think about it that much!
Nearly 3 months sober for me and I can’t see me going back to alcohol….the very idea of it is enough to put me off drinking.
I had a few wobbles along the way, especially if I was stressed, then I made a PROFOUND discovery about myself….
I found that I was creating situations where I was becoming angry, stressed and resentful of others…I eventually realised that this was alcohols way of saying “you’re the victim, you deserve a drink just for having to cope with these people etc.”
In reality of course I was not asking for help in everyday tasks and that overload of work was creating my stress so I felt that a drink was a “just reward”, and although I resisted the “call” it was hard a few times.
I have called this “self enabling” as that describes it nicely for me…I am my own worst enemy. Now that I know this I nip things in the bud as soon as I recognise this effect starting to manifest
Hope this may be some use to others
Stay strong, it gets easier every day.
So i had my BP done on Monday this week which was very worryingly and i knew i had to do something pronto. I have been drinking a bottle of wine every evening for the past 3 years due to lockdown and undergoing 2 traumatic experiences which have scarred me for life. I stopped Monday as soon as i knew what i was doing to my body, it is something i have needed to do for years but i guess i just needed that reality check. I have been experiencing horrific night terrors did anyone experience the same?
Ok… so I’ve posted many times about my road. Last week I hit 6 months… more improvements to discuss.
So as of todays date I have been sober for 192 days. I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds, I’m sleeping great, I work out daily and all around feel terrific.
All my medical testing came back with healthy liver, healthy kidneys, healthy heart… have a routine check up next month as that will mark 1 year since the liver told us something was going wrong if I didn’t stop.
I’ve carried alot of anxiety over the Blood Pressure bit which was over 145/95 consistently in November. It started to improve rather quickly when I decided to stop playin… but it wasn’t like normal right away.
I spent months lamenting the damage it looks like I did. Thinking about how the BP numbers hang around in a higher range than they used to and how long I have to sit to get a measurement that was remotely good.
Today… just to see.. I sat down at a machine in a Safeway and just measured… right away no waiting. Great number… did it again just to make sure it wasn’t a mistake… better number.
After 6 months of taking my health back I have normalized my BP. So even tho this reads 3 months… that may just be a “start to improve”… the net can suggest 1 month… it’s all contingent on how long and how much you were hurting yourself.
For me… 6 months, just a title over and I’m back to my old self. I feel good, healthy… all the exercise and good eating has me in the best shape I’ve been in for sometime and so I’m pretty confident with a shirt off again lol.
I was so worried how hard this was gonna be… now? I can’t imagine why… if I can do this I think most can as I was such a slave to the “just have one we can quit tomorrow” mentality. You can beat this thing and when you do, your body can forgive you. Stay strong y’all
Thanks Ron, this gave me hope:)
35 days…35 long days!
The fight can be incredibly challenging, but in the end I know I’ll be so much happier.
Happier already-no waking up to a hangover and the shame that comes with it. Need to keep my feet on the path! Keep yr fingers crossed for me, pls!
Had Covid and stomach virus at the same time 6 weeks ago. Lost 18lbs in the first 4 weeks. Have not had alcohol for 6 weeks and lost another 5 lbs in 2 weeks. Want to loose another 12 lbs and won’t drink alcohol until at least Sept 1st. Thanks for the article! 😁😁
3 weeks no booze, after escalating during Covid. I’m a health care worker. So isolation was real bad. Feel great, no real cravings. Working out everyday. Eating well, before it was mostly booze calories. Sleep is something I had trouble with, no more.
Six months no alcohol,,,at first rapid weight loss,,,not my aim,,,,so started eating more and levelled out ,,,now will concentrate on my weight ,,,,,in age 77 male
1 month alcohol free. I feel better. Look better. I’m way less social though. I never was social until I started drinking. But it’s fine I don’t like people that much anyways. I drink a lot more water. I didn’t really replace it with anything unhealthy. I’m just way more productive when I’m home. I wasn’t really over weight before but I have lost a little weight any my body looks more trim than before. Kinda of excited to see what It will look like in a few months.
I just turned 71 and until recently had been a regular drinker since my teens, some periods of my life more than others. A year and a half ago, I dropped from 4-8 commercial beers a day down to just two a day. The day before NY’s Eve 21, I stopped drinking alcohol completely. My healthy crutch has been sparkling water in a can. If you look back at family pictures, I’m always holding a can of beer. I had to laugh recently looking at a Father’s Day picture of me with the family. Nothing changed unless you look closer at the can.
Improvements. Surprisingly, I didn’t notice substantial changes after I cut down my alcohol consumption by 50-75%. But the last six months are easily noticeable. I’m skinny and have gained 6 needed lbs. Increased libido. Sharper and deeper thinking. More creative on many levels. Better health all around. An amazing feeling of confidence, accomplishment, and FREEDOM. Highly recommended.
4 months sober from alcohol and feeling great. Sleep is amazing, health is amazing, and I am down 27 lbs. Probably the happiest i’ve felt in a long time. No more anxiety, or depression. Enjoy things I have not in a while. Never looking back to that poison.
I took a 75 day challenge of no drinking. Today is day 76. I need to decide if I will continue with no alcohol.I’m 68 and took the challenge to show a good example for all the heavy drinkers in my family. Both my sons are trying to quit now.
Just a month in for me, looking much better in my face, no weight loss overall though but that’s something to address over time. I’m a 53yr old male who has been a heavy drinker for 30yrs so feel as if it was now or never. I have a partner that still drinks daily and is reluctant to stop but I can see her consumption dwindling so a good sign.
One physical aspect of a life time of drinking is that my testicles have shrivelled to almost nothing, this is a constant thought on my mind, as is a worrying lack of libido. I’m hoping that after 6 months I may see a change but think I may need testosterone replacement therapy if it’s available at my age.
Boys, alcohol shrinks your bits. Be warned
I’m now 2 months sober after about a year of ambivalence about it and doing dry January followed by 3 mths of gradual reduction. I was really bothered by how much space it was taking up in my life even though I was “ functional” I knew it was negatively affecting me. Poor sleep, Low energy, looking very aged and not exercising as much as I wanted. I had attributed much of this to menopause but now I sleep a bit better, definitely have more clarity, more energy and have essentially replaced my drinking time with exercise. I don’t miss alcohol at all even when I’m around others who are drinking. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made
At 3 months AF, I have almost nothing but positive things to say. I did drop weight right away, but it mostly came back and I’m fighting it. Without the carbs from alcohol, I am craving sweets like so many others have written. But that’s the only drawback. I’m a professional musician, and my performing has taken a huge leap upwards. I’m a much cleaner and clearer performer, and I’m having way more fun than before. I sleep better, look better, am enjoying meditation and exercise, am nicer to be around (I’m told) and go to bed counting my blessings and looking for ways to be a better person in a difficult world. My biggest regret is that I didn’t do this years ago. But life has its own timing and logic sometimes.
When I re-read this, I saw that it was a little too much unicorns and rainbows. When I said that craving sweets was the only drawback, that was an oversimplification. I should mention that I had tried to go AF seriously a number of times. I quite for 4 years when I stopped smoking so that I wouldn’t have a weak moment. But otherwise, my “quits” were for a couple of days. When I failed, I felt really weak and hopeless. I would resign myself to feeling as though I would never be able to fix a bad situation — I was just not strong enough or “good” enough. This time around, I took a different approach. There was no negotiation. No “maybe on the weekend” or “just for a couple of months.” When you negotiate, you can f–k with the rules and conditions. What is a weekend? Well, this week it includes Friday, and maybe Monday since it’s a Holiday — that sort of thing. So this time I said “Game over with alcohol. No bargains, no games, no deals, no BS.” 100% in the past, or as I like to say, AF AF!! When my inner child gets bratty and tries to tell me what to do, I can say STFU, you don’t call the shots any more — I do! I’m glad I found this comments section. I’ve enjoyed reading other folks experiences — they’ve been very wise and helpful.
No drinking alcohol in just over 3 months. (I did have one small shot of tequila a few weeks ago, and found the taste almost disgusting, fortunately.) I do feel a small improvement in my health, and hope to gain a greater degree of overall improvement as my “alcohol free” life continues. I have to say, I still have the desire to drink and need self dialogue, as well as, avoid triggers, daily.
I month today. Feeling good about it.
Only 3 weeks into my journey. feeling better health wise mentally getting stronger eating and sleeping well. getting support from my wife and family. your path from 1-12 months is amazing to follow. thanks.
I am 7 months sober now. First 4 months were really difficult with all the chemical changes in the body and withdrawal symptoms eg: anxiety/ depression. Gets better after month 5. Come month 7 I feel like a normal person, the majority of the body chemicals have now settled and withdrawal symptoms have gone. I have also lost about 5kg as well and have a more healthy lifestyle which includes daily exercise and green smoothies. I don’t miss alcohol and don’t see myself drinking again having gone through the difficult withdrawal symptoms that came with not drinking. Is very very difficult to start off with but gets better with time as the body starts to heal itself. Skin and hair look healthy and you really start investing more in yourself eg: with love and care. Looking forward to reaching 12 months.
I used to smoke weed and drink. I am now 7months clean . I feel alot better. now its all mind games.
Addiction comes in many forms and I am sure I will relapse, hell im 4 beer in now. First alcohol consumption in almost 4 months.
That said the benefits I have experienced are unfathomable, to me atleast. Sleep, libido,depression, anxiety and self worth aswell not to mention a sence of general well being.
For 15 hard years i have been drinking almost everyday(minimum 4/7 weekdays)
At 32 years old living a live large die even larger attitude, a sudden onset of gastro intestinal difficulties(severe) had me scared s**tless, (pun not intended) there were alot of s**t,blood, bile and other bodily fluids foaming out of me.
panic and a sudden fear of my own mortality had me quit the nectar.
Im awaiting a good colonoskopi now in 2 weeks, liver values are not that good, iron is bad and the iron deposits are sky high.
TLDR: i have been reading forums and articles like “are you an alcoholic?” ” does 8 beers a day give you problems?” s**t like this on the internet for as long as i can remember, just quit the booze. it will kill you and its not worth it.
I came to this site when I began my journey and continue to come back as I go on. Currently just passed the 250 day threshold and feel great. The first month was quite difficult mentally because I continuously tried to convince myself “one drink isn’t bad” or “I deserve it” but luckily I was able to hold on. Sparkling waters, diet sodas and fruits like grapes have helped me greatly getting the carbonated feeling and sugar in my body that I missed from alcohol. I have also experienced the craving of sweets that others have mentioned which in moderation hasn’t been too bad for my weight. Initially I lost 20 lbs once I quit but getting back into a regular powerlifting routine (almost obsessive) I have gained a decent amount of good weight back. One day at a time turns into one month at a time rather quickly and it gets easier with time.
I’m currently on 2 weeks AF and planning to do 6 and see how I feel.
Skin is glowing, sleep is refreshing.
One thing I noticed is my mood has been low, which is normal apparently. I have started taking 5 HTP, which was recommended in the book, “alcohol lied to me” it boosts serotonin, which was previously boosted by alcohol.
Chocolate craving definitely there too!
I’ve previously done 4 week AF periods and always feel good. I’m now doing them more regularly, before I quit altogether.
this is a great article and the comments are good too – so thanks
i am off it 10 months – the weight fell off me at first too very fast. it wasnt just cos of the calories in the alcohol cut out tho because after a drinking session – the next day everything in the house was eaten as well as huge take aways later that day too.
it was like a plague of locusts moved through the house
I come back here from time to time when i relapse. had my colonoscopy last night and it was clean:). im Glad there is moderators checking comments. almost no alcohol for soon 8 months now, with different health issues aside, im clearer in my head than ive been in years. one foot at a time and we all will make it. I wish every one of you the bliss I am feeling now knowing i dont have cancer. Stay strong!
I was tired of living my life so lost. So I came here, and
it changed my whole outlook on life! I love myself more, I’m
more energetic and positive. It’s not all about me anymore.
The groups are a learning experience with counselor’s who know what they are talking about because they’ve been thru it already.
I owe it a lot to them, because of them I get
to keep my family!
AF since Christmas and already down 10 pounds. I am also doing intermittent fasting, eating just one meal a day and have cut way back on sugar. At first, my anxiety was through the roof. I felt like I did not know what to do with myself and aggitated. It seems to be subsiding. I was a first class wine lover and looked forward to my first glass after getting home from work. One glass would lead to two, and would escalate to almost 3. Every morning when I open my eyes now, I feel gleeful that I made it another day.
Going on 4 months with the exception of a small glass of wine at Thanksgiving and one on Christmas. Now I don’t even care to do that. The benefits of not drinking are so great, I just don’t want it. My skin is now clear, I work out every day and actually like it, my head is clear, I’m more pleasant, I’ve repaired relationships and am down to the weight I was in my 20s. I thought the social aspect would both me, it doesn’t. I don’t broadcast I don’t want a drink, I just don’t. I never thought I would be this person or writing this, but if you are me 4 months ago and reading this I promise it’s possible and so worth it to abstain. Other posts on here about chocolate, though, yes that is totally a thing.
I’m 7 months sober and feel great .
It’s been over 6 1/2 months with no alcohol. I have now moved past the brutal sugar cravings. I am down 10 pounds, great blood pressure, liver function is great, cash in my pocket, and lower anxiety. Overall I am so proud of myself!
40days in and I am noticing increased sharpness in mindfulness and decision making, I love it. Can’t believe I’ve dumbed myself all those years. Also, my appetite reduced significantly, daily portions shrank with no additional effort. Craving for chips stayed, but I can somehow distance myself from eating what’s not so healthy. Realised that food might not be the only pleasure in the world. Good luck to everyone starting!