600 Days Since My Last Drink

In a couple of days’ time it will be 600 days since I last had an alcoholic drink. Even saying that still seems almost foreign at times, but despite that I have a sense of accomplishment and pride over it as an achievement.

For most of my adult life (and a fair amount of the time before I became an adult) I’ve had a love/hate relationship with alcohol. I’ve loved it, but with the benefit of a lot of hindsight I’ve been able to see that alcohol has hated me quite a bit, and there have been many times where I have teetered on the edge of alcoholism, or perhaps more accurately I’ve been more of a functioning alcoholic than I’d ever have liked to admit to anyone or to myself.

I stopped drinking on December 27th, 2019. Originally I’d planned to stop on New Year’s day, 2020 but for some reason I started a few days early – I think it was that basically there wasn’t any joy to be had in it for me anymore. I’d been toying with the idea of stopping drinking for some time. I’d done the odd stint here and there but, bar one stint of nine months, had always lapsed back into old habits of picking up a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer on my way home on a Friday night and then again on a Saturday. This in itself was quite a step down from my drinking heyday where I’d think nothing of drinking to the point of blacking out, thanks largely to the ‘pursuit of happiness’ and my lack of an ‘off’ switch once the beers started to flow.

Christmas 2019 was different though. My wife and I had been through some tough times in 2019, for which I bore a lot of the blame, and while my drinking was moderate and generally only on the weekends, I wanted to do something over the coming year that would challenge me and hopefully go some way towards being a better person. Having a teenage daughter too, I wanted to try and set an example for her, showing that I could have a good life without alcohol, something that I had completely failed to grasp in my teenage years.

So on December 27th, an in-between day, I started. I started with a goal of a year without alcohol but was sceptical I’d get through it. I figured that if I got through to February, my wife and daughter would probably go ‘you’ve done really well, you don’t need to do a year if you don’t want to’. Only, by the time February rolled around, my desire to not drink seemed to have gained momentum inside me. I was enjoying waking up with a clear head on the weekend, my sleep was improving, and I felt more rested for the first time in ages. I decided to keep going.

And then the pandemic struck. Life changed for all of us quite rapidly, lockdowns came, and life became challenging as we all tried to adapt. 2020 allowed me to become grateful for sobriety, and to recognise that for me it has become a source of strength and allowed me to cope much more easily with the disruption of COVID. It’s been something that has made life easier for my family too, because I’ve been less grumpy or moody.

Looking at life now, I wonder why it took me so long to do this. It has also made me wonder why no one ever encouraged me to do this before, and why in the worst of my problem-drinking days no one ever pulled me aside and told me I might have a problem. In two days’ time it will be 600 since my last drink. I’m not saying I won’t ever drink again – there are still occasional times when I think I would enjoy a drink, but that is tempered by a couple of things. Firstly, the self-knowledge that one drink probably won’t be enough, and secondly, in stopping drinking rather than giving something up, I have actually gained more out of life and that is something that I’m not ready to relinquish just yet.

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  • Thank you Tim! I myself am at 60 days and although testing , I believe that the pro’s of AF life far outweigh the con’s.

    By Jaime
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    September 18, 2021
  • Tim, thank you for sharing your story. It’s so inspiring and one I can certainly identify with. It may just help me make the switch.

    By Pam
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    September 18, 2021
  • Hi Tim, congratulations on your success. I also quit just prior to COVID and I’m about 30 days off my 600. Our stories are quite similar in a few ways. Best wishes to you.

    By Karen
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    September 18, 2021
  • Very grateful to read this article. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    By Donna Marie
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    September 18, 2021
  • Whilst I’m only approaching 400 days you sound just like me Tim. So much easier to cope through these lockdowns. The wife is also impressed!

    By Adrian Chapman
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    September 18, 2021
  • CONGRATS!!!
    I love the thought process the you stopped rather than gave something up, had never thought of it that way.
    I stopped on March 15, 2020, and have remained sober. As a single mother, I did it to keep the peace at home with my teenage daughter when lockdown started. I thought 30 days, this COVID thing will pass….no problem!
    I have found greater happiness, am less stressed, and found strength I didn’t know I had.

    By Margaret
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    September 18, 2021
  • Well done Tim! That is a massive achievement!

    By Emily
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    September 18, 2021
  • Thanks for sharing your success with us. I am at the very beginning of sobriety and I need to hear from folks like you. It encourages me to take it one day at a time, be kind to myself and not give up.

    By Marianne
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • I love your story. I identify with it. I feel so much happier and stronger without alcohol but then I have a drink and I’m back to square one. I haven’t quite got past that yet point where I give up, feel great and think I’m able to handle it again. I’ll get there!

    Congratulations Tim and thank you for sharing.

    By Kelly Jones
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    September 18, 2021
  • Great job. Don’t ever turn back

    By Tom Sorensen
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Tim, so much of how you project your experience resonates with me so thank you for sharing your journey. It’s encouraging to see another who does and has felt the same way I do about alcohol.

    By GLEN
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Your family must be proud of you.
    Well done!

    By Sue Aidone
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • That sounds so familiar. Such a great achievement for you and love how it has changed your life for the better!!

    By Jennifer
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    September 18, 2021
  • I’m only a month behind you! I gave up alcohol on 20th January 2020. I’m so grateful l haven’t been drinking during the pandemic, as l know I’d be a mess, drowning my sorrows and frustrations every evening. Well done Tim!

    By Meredith
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Inspirational Tim 🙌

    By Lynne
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Congratulations Tim. Wonderful for you – wonderful for your family. Well done.

    By Wendy
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    September 18, 2021
  • Well done Tim.
    Very inspirational in my case as my adult brain has accepted that alcohol no longer provides a useful return on investment but my semiconscious mad monkey brain still wants to “party for one”

    By Mr Walker
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Fantastic Tim. 7 years AF for me. It just gets better I think. No more being tired, grumpy and moody. Who needs such heavy baggage? It’s like moving to a brighter planet. Dave

    By Dave
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    September 18, 2021
  • Bravo! Such a seemingly simple story, rings so so true with so many, including me! Thanks for posting it, and congratulations on your success!

    By Marsha Michael
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • July 1 was the start of Dry July as usual but decided to extend the no alcohol days until the end of lockdown. I can honestly say this covid lockdown has been a blessing for me. I haven’t had a drink and don’t intend to start drinking again ever.

    By May
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • awesome accomplishment! Huge congrats to you!! So uplifting to read this post!!

    By Jo
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Well done Tim.

    Your story resonates with me and helps me stay on track.

    By ST
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Thank you for sharing your experience, TRUE strength, and hope for all of us that struggle, clean up, take two steps backwards, regret, pick up and start sobriety again. Thank you.

    By Julie
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • What inspiration. Thank you. I heard every word – I am a stop start right now – however the good news is I have moderated massively – to the point that if I do have a drink it is really not accepted by my body anymore and I am letting my body decide for me now. It is saying “enough”. But again I stop start but so much more stop than start. Proud of you – well done!!! Reading your journey gives me more inspiration to be just like you.

    By BEVERLEY STACEY
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Thanks Tim. I’m enjoying my third week alcohol free and love the way you frame it, that it’s a powerful choice to stop drinking that becomes clearer and stronger because it’s what you want more and more as you experience and reflect on the benefits rather than something all consuming that you’re helpless to control. Well done.

    By Kate
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Well done Tim. I stopped drinking 2.5 years ago and wondered why it took me so long.
    The benefits of a clear head and better sleep every night are only a couple of the advantages of not drinking. Add in the weight loss, return of motivation, peace of mind and no more anxiety and that is the picture of a much happier me.
    Long may it continue for you Tim and for me.

    By Sue
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • I am so proud of you and respect your efforts so much. Setting an example for your daughter is so important and she will never forget it. I wish that my Father had stopped drinking but it never happened and so we never really had any kind of relationship because he was never present. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    By Janie
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Tim, this is so inspirational, it reflects my situation in someways.
    I get to the point were I have to change and then feel the benefits of sobriety only to get 3 or 4 months in and forget why I stopped. 600 days is mega and you should be proud of your achievement. I’m 14 week in at the mo and have a couple of urges for a Saturday binge, keeping strong. Matt

    By Matt
    |
    September 18, 2021
  • Thanks for sharing and well done on your positive attitude to a better life …

    By john wijnberg
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • Fantastic! And yes, it resonates with me too. Thank you. I have more power now through your experience. – thx!!

    By Jimmy
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • Encouraging to read this Tim – helps me on my journey to a sober life – thank you for sharing

    By Jane Carmichael
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • I’m the opposite to these comments. I was 4 years sober and for all the reasons you talk about Tim. And despite knowing how better my life was without drinking (energy, sleep, husband, father, role model, health and exercise, career) I started again in the pandemic and haven’t been able to pull myself back out. It is reading stories like yours Tim that reminds of what it was like being sober and encourages me to get back to that life. Looking back over the past 16 or so months and comparing with the previous 4 years – it is a no brainer. Thank you Tim and we’ll done. You are an inspiration to me and so many others who struggle through the same journey and simply cannot have 1-2 and stop.

    By J
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • Incredible, very inspiring Tim , I feel I have much the same sort of drinking habit . I would love to be able to do what you have done . I read this & feel determined. Thank you

    By Tracey Dixon
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • Congratulations, very inspiring.

    By Matt
    |
    September 19, 2021
  • There are over 80 thousand points of energy in the body that Chinese Medicine takes into consideration. These are electrical points.

    And we pour something into the body that short-circuits all 80000 points.

    Glad you stopped. Eat sweets, remap your energy, go inside yourself. Glad to hear you don’t drink!

    By Harvest
    |
    September 20, 2021
  • Thanks Tim, great achievement. For me it’s been 18 months. I expected to feel healthy, but didn’t expect to feel so much happier and content. Sounds like it’s a bit like that for you too! Who’d ever want to go back to drinking?? It’s NOT our best friend eh?

    By Laura
    |
    September 20, 2021
  • I’m in awe of your journey Tim. You have inspired me. There is no more “joy” in my party for one. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m hoping this will be day one for me.

    By Elizabeth Briggs
    |
    September 21, 2021
  • God good on you Tim,
    I try do many times,but always fail,now this is my second day,
    Not drinking,
    You need to be really really proud,Tim,
    Hopefully I can do 600 days also,
    Thanks Neville

    By Neville Falkenberg
    |
    September 27, 2021
    • Hoping to do a couple of weeks …

      By Nemies
      |
      October 10, 2021
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