“I wore my handbrake out” – Jamie’s story of perseverance and how he choose between abstinence and moderation

I always had an on-and-off relationship with alcohol.

From a young age, my friends and I loved partying – we lived for the weekend. Friday and Saturday nights were spent at the pub or nightclubs often not getting home till sunrise. I was also very involved in sport and I would abstain from alcohol completely while I was training and competing. However, once the season was over, I would “let my hair down” and that would always get out of hand. It’s almost like there were two versions of me.

It got to a point where, as much as I loved a beer or a night out, I struggled to control my drinking.

The urge to continue drinking was so strong it often led to blackouts, embarrassment and shame. Social events and holidays revolved around booze, whether it was dinner out, visiting a friend at their place or going to a sporting event (which was usually a full day of drinking). There were times where I was a daily drinker, binge drinker and both.

As it progressed, I found myself leaning into booze at times of stress as a way to relieve my anxiety, however the relief was only temporary and it would make things worse overall. Deep down, I knew I had to change.

Typically, after a big period on the booze I would flip the switch and take a month off. “Feb-fast”, “Dry July”, “Ocsober” – I did them all. I found myself much happier, healthier and more productive during these months off. Once the month was over, the goal was to moderate my drinking. However, that never quite worked out for me. I found moderation really difficult. At times, I pulled it off and it took a lot of will power and bandwidth to do so, but then it would only last so long before my drinking would once again become unmanageable and I was back where I started.

Moderation was not for me, life was far better when I was completely sober.

It took me years to come to this realisation. It was during one of these months off that I knew I needed some help and I discovered the Daybreak app. I created a profile and shared my first “day one” in June 2019. I was astonished by all of the support and encouragement I received from a community of people that were dealing with the exact same issue I was. I found it refreshing to speak honestly about my situation without the fear of being shamed or judged. Instead, I was heard. People I had never met were rooting for me – that was powerful.

It was through reading other members posts on Daybreak that I got onto some really valuable resources in the form of podcasts and audio books that would end up being crucial to giving up for good. The How I quit alcohol podcast was great as I was able to listen to other people’s journeys and I felt like I wasn’t alone. After reading William Porters book Alcohol Explained, I fully understood how alcohol affects the body and it greatly reduced the desire to drink.

I like to look back on my old posts for a bit of motivation and insight. I had a total of 9 “day ones”; 5 of which were in a 4-month period, right before I quit for good on 13.12.2021. It just goes to show that staying alcohol-free is a skill, and like any skill, it must be honed and practiced until you eventually get it right.

Once I admitted to myself that I had a problem and that I needed help, that’s when the path to recovery began. I don’t crave alcohol anymore, nor have any desire to return to drinking. Life for me now is far better without alcohol. It still has its ups and downs, however I find myself much better equipped to deal with whatever life throws my way, without numbing it with booze.

Shortly after I quit drinking, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It explained my impulsivity and why booze is not an option for me anymore. When I was a young man, I lacked confidence and thought there was something wrong with me. Turns out it was ADHD. Alcohol gave me a false sense of confidence and identity, almost masking the symptoms. I probably wouldn’t have had the diagnosis if I hadn’t quit drinking and I feel so empowered knowing this and staying alcohol-free.


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  • You are, and always will be a massive inspiration for me 🙂 your commitment and resolve will stay with me for the rest of my life, and whenever I get into a spot where my bad habits start to become unmanageable, I think of you and that helps me so damn much. You’re a mate, a coach and an inspiration but above all you’re a shining light on my path that keeps on the straight.

    We’re both too awkward to say it in person, but always want you to know the above 🙂

    By Dennis :)
    March 29, 2024
  • Beautiful mate. Really proud of you and the inspiring man you are.

    By Robbie
    March 30, 2024
  • So proud of you, Jaime.
    You’ve inspired many and have really planted the seed 🌱. ♥️

    By Tilly
    March 30, 2024
  • Jamie, thank you for kindly sharing your story. The book “Alcohol Explained” also changed my views profoundly. I read it three years ago and haven’t touched alcohol since.
    My life is so much better. Wishing you continued peace and success!

    By KD
    March 31, 2024
  • Wow! Thanks so much for sharing Jamie. Your story is very inspiring. My younger care free days were pretty much the same as you, however that little whisper in my ear about drinking is these days, more like a roar. I have been on the moderation path for a while now but absolutely feel it needs to be more. Love the alcohol free weeks then blow it up with a binge. Time to be kinder to myself which means I’ll definitely start listening to those podcasts. Helping me turn my weeks in months. Hopefully I’ll be writing a similar story to yours. 👍

    By Corinne
    March 31, 2024
  • Thanks for your story
    I relate to it.
    I’m trying to change my relationship to alcohol and like you say other people, like yourself, are great inspiration and help with my motivation.

    By Kerry Walker
    March 31, 2024
  • Thanks for sharing. Very insightful

    By Sal
    March 31, 2024
  • Thank you for sharing. I resonate with much of it. Well done

    By Eve
    April 1, 2024
  • Motivating Jamie – thank you x

    By Jane Carmichael
    April 1, 2024
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