28 People Who Have Given Up Alcohol Are Describing The Moment That Led Them To That Decision
"I was screwing up all my relationships. It cost me way too much, and it definitely wasn't worth it.”
Note: This post contains mentions of alcoholism, addiction, and overdosing.
1. "A family emergency happened and I was too drunk and high to drive or be useful at all. I hate that feeling — of being needed and dropping the ball. So, I quit everything and I won't ever go back."
2. "I realized that I was never satisfied with how drunk I was. I always felt that I wanted to be one-more-drink drunker. It's like having an insect bite: the urge to scratch is there and if you scratch it, it goes away for a bit before coming back stronger. A few decades of this got tiring, so I did Dry January, then kept it going. I haven't drank for two years now and am very happy with the choice to stop. I still want to be one-more-drink drunker than I am now, but I realize that it's always going to be like that. The itch is easier to ignore if I don't scratch it."
3. "For me, high-functioning alcoholism started to get out of hand and quitting alcohol was supposed to make everything better. It later turned out that alcoholism (and previously smoking) were coping methods for untreated mental health issues. I am slowly getting those treated, but it's one hell of a slow going."
4. "Anyone that I've ever been close to is gone, from middle school on up. I've lost 11 people in the first year of the pandemic due to overdoses. I was just as bad or worse than those falling around me. I don't fully understand what has made me change. All I know is that I wake up everyday wanting more for myself now. I didn't even get clean when I had my daughter 14 years ago. I hate saying this but my kids came second and that made me feel like I had no emotion."
"Children, significant others, money — in my experience, none of that will make you sober. The potential you have now is being limited. We were being stunted by our use. It blocks our way from being our best selves. It took me a long time to realize not only was I capable of so much more, but I also deserved more. I'm not sure what made me finally turn that page, but I'm so grateful I did. Life is so wild. I'm sober going on five years."
6. "I woke up laying on my back on a gurney, being rolled down the hallway of a hospital. They asked me if I knew where I was, and I had to tell them 'No.' The last memory I had before that instant, I was smiling and dancing and having a fabulous time. They said, "You've been in a car accident. There was alcohol found in your system." I knew had driven myself to the party that night, so they didn't have to say anything else. I could fill in the blanks. I lost my truck, my left eye, and pretty much every shred of my self-respect that night. I've been sober since."
7. "When the drinking and getting drunk itself started to become a hobby, I knew I had to knock it on the head. Also, I started suffering really badly with 'hangxiety' which is a horrible feeling, and one I don’t really want to encourage."
8. "I was out of options. I flunked out of college three times, moved home, and kept drinking around the clock. One day, I fell down a flight of stairs at 7 a.m. Mom came up crying and said, "I can't do this anymore." She gave me the push I needed and I've been sober ever since through the help of a fellowship. It was the best decision I've ever made and I couldn't have done it without her. Been sober five and a half years. My life is beyond my wildest dreams. I've no desire to ever drink or drug again, because I know where it brought me and where it will inevitably bring me back to."
9. "Just had enough. Woke up one day feeling like crap and had spent a shit load of money the night before on booze — and it was an everyday occurrence. Decided I didn't want to live like that anymore. About six years clean now. Wish I had done it 20 years ago."
10. "Waking up in a jail cell to the sound of a dude pissing on a wall will really make you question your life’s decisions and how you got there. I've been sober a little over seven and a half years now."
11. "After someone head-butted me in the jaw, I lost my cool and almost murdered him. Whatever people do to me, I should never lose my calm — I'm a huge guy who can handle it. Great men walk away, and being sober can help a lot. Violence should be used only when other people are in distress and want assistance. So, I've been sober for almost a year."
12. "My girlfriend at the time believed in reincarnation and wanted me to go with her to get a past life regression. Long story short, one of the 'lives' I remembered was in Wales: I drank too much and died from it. So, I quit drinking."
13. "It became more essential to me to feel productive and ready to do things early in the mornings than it was to stay out and party late at night. Going out on an alcoholic binge doesn't only take up an evening. You usually have to sacrifice the next morning as well, whether it's to sleep in, puke, or lounge around feeling like shit. That is something I no longer wish to do. I enjoy getting up early and doing things that make me feel better in my body rather than worse."
14. "I stopped drinking after I got blackout drunk while hanging out with some guy and couldn’t remember if we had sex or not."
15. "I was unemployed and unemployable. Depressed. My wife left me. Had a complete mental breakdown. A good psychiatrist got me into Alcoholics Anonymous more than 30 years ago and I've been clean ever since. It has saved my life."
16. "I don't like how drinking makes me feel. Or the taste. Or the price. Or drunk people."
17. "I self-medicated for an old injury for over 20 years, mainly with alcohol. It also helped take that constant stress and anxiety down from my stressful line of work. After so many years doing this and continuing to struggle with chronic pain, I started to realize that the temporary relief booze provided in the evening just didn't outweigh the magnified pain and hangover every morning. I was just intentionally adding to my own misery. Dramatically 'scaling back' has made my life exponentially easier, especially in regard to relationships. I'm not as much 'fun' as I used to be. But I'm clearer, kinder, more thoughtful of others, and so much less likely to screw stuff up when I'm not racing to feed that demon."
"I'm not entirely sober today, and realistically, I probably never will be, but I'm confident I can enjoy a few bumps with friends and family and not drink my pain away until the small hours of morning. I simply DON'T want that hangover anymore — ever again." —u/Lutefiskaficionado