What happens when you stop drinking? I’d always imagined my life would remain pretty much the same as it always had been.
I figured I’d still be the same person, doing the same things, living the same life… just minus the booze.
How wrong I was.
Removing a mind-altering, time-sucking, hangover-inducing, anxiety-creating, mood-destroying drug from your life turns your world upside down… in a good way!
Sobriety brings with it some surprising side effects 🙂
1. You become easily pleased
There will come a time when you return home after a bad day and find yourself massively cheered up by a bubble bath and an early night. You – the person who used to need an entire bottle of wine to switch off – are happy with a cup of tea and a good book.
Even though you sometimes worry that it sounds a bit sad and nerdy, you don’t really care because a) you’ve finally mastered the art of self care and b) you feel so awesome in the morning.
2. Your productivity levels go through the roof
When you’re trying to function through the fog of a hangover, just getting to work on time feels like an achievement. When you stop drinking, you acquire a new superpower: the ability to get stuff done.
The problems that used to have you diving face first into a glass of wine just get dealt with, and you begin to wonder how on earth you ever managed before.
3. Your tastebuds change
Herbal tea? Infused water? All that flowery, namby pamby stuff that you used to hate? Well, you will probably start drinking that.
A lot of people find their sense of smell and taste improves in sobriety, so you can pick up subtler flavours. When meal times are about eating rather than drinking, you have a new appreciation for good food.
4. You can basically eat what you fancy
A bottle of wine contains around 600 calories – that’s the equivalent of eating three doughnuts. When alcohol stops sabotaging your weight loss efforts, it’s a lot easier to lose a few pounds without having to be super strict with your diet.
Plus, the fact that you’re not hungover all the time means you’re far more likely to do some exercise and actually stick to your workout goals.
5. Some friendships may change
There’s no avoiding this one: you will have friends who feel unsettled by your decision to change. Maybe they think you’re overreacting or they miss having you as a drinking buddy. Don’t worry about this.
Some people will drift away, but your real friends will stick around, or move in closer. Sobriety is a great filter for your life – it helps you get clear on who and what should be in your world.
6. You realise you’re not quite who you thought you were…
Alcohol-free living forces you to go against the grain and stop following the crowd. If you’ve spent a lifetime trying to ‘fit in’ and stay under the radar, you might find that suddenly, you’re not so bothered about that anymore.
One of the top regrets of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself”. Now’s your chance to make sure that happens.
7. You discover you’re capable of far more than you knew
When you stop drinking – and you achieve something you thought you couldn’t do – something shifts within you. I’ve seen this time and time again with the women I coach.
Once you’ve overcome one big challenge, it forces you to reassess a lot of other stuff you’d previously dismissed as ‘impossible’. Who knows what you’ll tackle next – the possibilities are endless 🙂
Let me know:
What’s surprised you in sobriety? No matter where you are in your alcohol-free journey, I’d love to hear what unexpected side effects you’ve noticed!
Good luck Cathy, you can do it. If you need any more help and support to really make sobriety stick, be sure to check out my online coaching programme: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
No one ever regrets waking up hangover free! 🙂
I hope you are doing well since your restart. I know I’ve started and restarted twice since August myself. I’m now 2 months 10 days sober. You got this.
I have drink my whole life not for a fact but because I just love wine. I am an airline captain for a major airline, I did not get in trouble or anything adversely happened. I just was on a layover and decided not to drink anymore. It has been 45 days for me and I feel absolutely wonderful, I still have tons of wine and liquor in the house I have no craving for it and I just don’t drink. I go out with my friends who do and drink club soda cranberry or grapefruit juice in a wine glass they feel like shit the next morning I feel great, it’s Saturday morning I’ve been up since 530 I am incredibly productive. Because I quit on my own, and I am a real health nut, this was something that I can aluminate from my life that does all the good in the world. I don’t miss feeling like shit. I am just so happy and I do believe I can stay the course.
I was a binge drinker, and did not realize that much of my life revolves around that Friday or Saturday that I absolutely “needed”. I was putting myself first on the weekends instead of my family. I’ve missed out on so much in life, even by binging once or twice a week. I now have much more productivity, quality time with my family, and a new brighter outlook on life. Fridays are no longer that focused-on day of the week, any day of the week is “Friday” and can be enjoyable once you have a clear mind and are free of the shackles of alcohol
That’s a great point – when you’re drinking every Friday and Saturday it can dominate your week and take time away from other important things. I’m sure your family really appreciate having you fully present for the weekends!
One of my biggest motivations is not wasting anymore valuable time that should be spent with my family. My boys are teenagers and my drinking has turned me into a selfish mother … I can’t believe I’ve admitted that … but it’s true. My behaviour does not match who I am inside. Does that even make sense?
Hi Julie, I relate to this so much as I am also the same. Friday and Saturdays are/where my “drinking” days. I have just managed my first weekend this year with out the weekend drinking which feels great! Drinking during the week isn’t an issue for me (as I am good at just the occasional drink with the knowledge I have work tomorrow and don’t want/need a hangover for that) but the weekend was always automatic. Without the drink this weekend I managed to spend some quality “me” time and also spring cleaned my flat… feels pretty good to have done that and I know I wouldn’t have if I had had a drank! Thanks for your post as its made me feel less like a fraud for being on here!
I have a feeling ill be white knuckles tomorrow..day 3
Hi I hope you kept it up! I’m coming into my second month now and couldn’t even bare to have a sip of alcohol. Just not interested in it anymore after 20 years of drinking
I had a team lunch today. Usually a very boozy afternoon. I stuck to my goal and stayed sober. I’m proud of myself and so looking forward to a hangover free tomorrow x
Hurrah – that’s great Tamsin, well done!
I am nearly one year sober, and so much has changed in my life. I now sleep better (and on the nights I don’t- reading a book for half an hour at 2 am works so much better than wine!) I love knowing that if I get bored at 8 pm, I can go for a drive cus I’m sober!!! There’s so much more….
I love being able to jump in my car too. Congratulations on nearly hitting the one year mark Margaret, that’s fantastic!
What a great point, knowing you can go for a drive in the evenings! This is so true and such a great realization. 🙂 Thanks, Marvaret!
Great list! A few more to add – with sobriety, you look better and see better and feel a million times better than when you were drinking. Happy August, Kate and all!
You totally do! Hope you have a great summer Jane 🙂
My additions- you reclaim Sundays and find your own way of making them special ; you look younger ; and endorse that you learn to love the little things, and lose weight ( if you need to )
I’d forgotten about reclaiming Sundays. Also – just how long the weekend is when you’re losing time to drinking 🙂
I’m only 10 days of it I’m only 8 stone but I just can’t stop eating I’m not complaining as I need to put a bit on but I’m craving chocolate n sweet things is this normal not normally into sweet things
6 days sober. Not easy but feel incredible. Was so used to coming home from work and sipping on a refreshing cocktail followed by several glasses of wine with dinner. All I did was substitute the alcohol with seltzer on ice with fresh mint and lime. That did the trick!
Congratulations on your 6 days Inga – keep going!
This sounds like me I have t quit yet though but been thinking about it. It seems to be getting in the way of things I want to accomplish.
I made better choices than usual yesterday. Going to try tonight to not have anything at all to drink. Reading these emails sure has helped me
Like many people, I am a binge drinker and drink only once or twice a week. My issue is I cannot stop at one (though I don’t usually get completely plastered). My husband, on the odd occasion he makes a comment, will say you get “the taste” for it Sam and you can’t leave it at one!! He is right.
I know that I only drink for one or two reasons – boredom or as a reaction to things – someone has upset me, to feel better, to feel confident, to mask other emotions etc.
However, I am now at that point where I realise it is holding me back – I am not getting done in life what I want to. And life waits for no one. I know absolutely that simply cutting down does not work for me. It has to be abstinence or nothing else.
Thank you for sharing your journey with sobriety. I appreciate your honesty and clarity. Xx
I know it can be hard to decide what to do when you’re a binge drinker and not drinking every day. It sounds as if you’ve already made up your mind to stop (which is great!) but I have a blog post here that I think you might find helpful: https://thesoberschool.com/good-enough/
And if you need any more help and support from me, be sure to check out my online course. The next class starts on 1st October: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Sam thanks for your comments. They really hit a chord with me.
Thank you for your message. I am determined to keep going. As I said, I only usually ever have a drink at the weekend – I work in a bar so there is always temptation there. However, I had no problem not drinking at all this weekend. Long may it continue. I wish you lots of love and luck with your journey. Xx
EVERYTHING is better in sobriety. My whole quality of life has improved. Relationship with my significant other, friendships, my skin, sleep cycle, emotions, physical health, job performance, outlook on life in general, etc. is 1000% improved. Most importantly, I LIKE myself again and have a lot of self-respect and self-love. That produces a confidence that attracts the RIGHT kind of people too. As long as I stay sober and continue to do the next right thing, life has a funny way of working out in my favor and even if it doesn’t, that’s ok! There’s a solution to everything and it all happens the way it is supposed to and settles properly. Three months was when I really felt the difference and now close to six months, it’s even more incredible. Life keeps getting better and better when you put the booze down!
It took me a LOT of tries, false starts, flirting with sobriety, etc. and I NEVER thought I could do it for more longer than a month, but when the pain of staying the same got too great, I made the change and it’s the best decision I ever made. For anyone out there doubting, feeling hopeless, etc. it can be done and YOU CAN DO IT. Stick with it until it sticks!
Wow Laur, your comment has inspired me so much. As has this blog post. Thanks for sharing
I’m SO glad it has! Stick to this site, do Kate’s class if you can, and utilize what resources work for YOU! Let me know if you need any online recommendations for podcasts, other sober women, groups, etc. Always happy to help!
Yes please – thank you! I would really appreciate any podcasts etc that you could recommend. I am sitting on my bed right now at 6pm having just got myself trough a pretty tough hour of temptation (this is night two). I think I’m going to need all the support I can get. Thanks so much
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s a burner email so I don’t post my personal one in the comments. We can chat there, or I can give you my actual email if you’d like!
To get started, I really love: The Bubble Hour, Adventures of a Sober Senorita, Mrs. D is Going Without (she has a blog and books), A Happier Hour (book), and a book written by the famous news anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, on panic and addiction. She will come up in a simple Google search. Message me if you’d like for more info and I’m happy to share my story, hear from you, etc. I’m just a 28 year old girl in Washington D.C. staying sober one day at a time!
Laur I’d love some recommendations if you don’t mind x
I just posted to Maddie above, but here are some good ones I really like: The Bubble Hour, Adventures of a Sober Senorita, Mrs. D is Going Without (she has a blog and books), A Happier Hour (book), and a book written by the famous news anchor, Elizabeth Vargas, on panic and addiction. She will come up in a simple Google search. If you’d like, here’s my burner email (don’t want to post my actual email in public haha). It’s email@example.com. Feel free to reach out any time 🙂
Thanks Laur, I have sent you an email x
What an amazing post! Congratulations – alcohol free living clearly suits you!
Thanks for helping me along on my journey Kate! Your website and course were a big puzzle piece in helping it all “click.”
Laur, I have been reading this blog for the last three days. I am on day 2. I am going to print your post. It is incredibly motivating and inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to write it.
Aaaw Sophie congrats on 5 days! I completely understand what you’re dealing with. 6 months is really good because it’s half a year, so it’s not scary and can be broken down into small steps to reach the larger goal. I am 19 days out from hitting the one year mark and life is AMAZING! If you ever need someone to help you keep going, need advice, etc. feel free to reach out. We are all in this together here and we humans rarely do things solely on our own!
Are you still living in DC? I live in the area! I am looking for others to connect with that like spending time doing things other than drinking (it seems like alcohol is everywhere and is what everyone likes to do to celebrate/relax/de-stress). I would love some advice from you since I know you’ve made it to 1 year…congrats!
I’ve eagerly awaited my first Monday email, wondering if I’d make it to today alcohol free. I’m extremely pleased to tell you that my last drink was 8 days ago and reading back through your posts were a real help to me, Im using the sober time app and really feel empowered! Thanks Kate I’ve put my name down for the coaching wait list too!
That’s great to hear Katie! The first few days are some of the hardest, so keep going, it’s worth it – this will get easier and better. Have a great week! 🙂
I needed to read this today, thank you Kate.
Today is my 2nd day.
I just listened to your Pep talk about not drinking tonight and is exactly what I need to hear, I will listen to it as much as I need to do I can be reminded over and over again why I can’t drink.
I’m glad it helped you Kelly! If you need any more support to make sobriety stick, do take a look at my online course – we go into a lot more detail there. Keep going 🙂
My productivity is insane!!!! The energy that I have is incredible . Sometimes I look back at the end of a day and recap all that I have done and am amazed. At those times I think about how I was doing it all before … I now realize I wasn’t doing .. I’m so happy I have a life now .. I am present! No hung over wishing my headache would go away..
That’s brilliant Dee – here’s to getting stuff done 🙂
Thank you for your post and all of your comments. I am only 7 days A/f but feeling inspired and determined to change my relationship with alcohol once and for all x
Go for it Debs, you won’t regret it! 🙂
I love the fact that there is a life after 4pm, so much more time in the day now.
Yes, the day doesn’t stop at wine o’clock anymore!
I have two things that immediately come to mind when I think about what has surprised me most about sobriety: 1) how much more slowly I experience time. When I was drinking, every day felt like a repetitious blur and I thought that was just an unavoidable part of getting older. Now that I’m sober, I experience life so vividly and clearly that time has almost seemed to slow down stretch out. I feel like I’ve gained years back, which is a incredible gift. 2) I’m much more of an extrovert than I ever thought. When I was drinking I isolated myself a lot, mostly without realizing it. I’d always thought “I’m just an introvert who needs lots of alone time” but once I stopped drinking and started really liking who I was, I wanted to get out more, socialize, and experience new things. I still enjoy my alone time, but I no longer feel the need to shut myself away from the world for long periods of time. I’m celebrating 220 wonderful AF days today.
Congratulations on your 220 days! I was really interested to read that you’re actually more extroverted now. That is a cool thing to discover. Often it goes the other way, and people realise they are a secret introvert! Either way, it’s great to have a much better understanding of who you really are and what you need 🙂
Wonderful post Kate! I couldn’t agree more
Thanks Abby! I hope you’re well 🙂
All great stories! Keeps me going!
I’m glad we’ve inspired you Candace 🙂
I love the peace of just being sober being free of the weight of thinking about alcohol.
I no longer think about getting alcohol after work or if one bottles enough. I come home now and have tea put my feet up and just chill out . I no longer have any desire to drink poison,it has nothing to offer.
Many thanks Kate your blogs and others online helped me to see through the illusion and act now on day 43. Very happy to be free❤️Xxx
It sounds as if alcohol free living suits you Rhoda! Many congratulations on your 43 days! ❤️
Not drinking has allowed me to explore having a loving relationship with myself! One that is full of caring and fun activities: eating well, excercising regularly, trying new things- meditation, positive affirmations (yep, they work!), cooking, drawing, pottery class! Plus my close relationships are vastly improved because I am emotionally grounded. Bottom line – I am loving myself and I am happy!
It’s nice to actually be nice to yourself, isn’t it?! It’s good to hear from you Tracy, I’m pleased all is well 🙂
Thanks Kate – this is all so true. It took me several goes at sobriety but my brain has definitely shifted this time. Over two months sober now and not going back! All the things you mentioned I can sooo relate to, especially about being more productive. I can’t believe the things I’ve achieved since stopping drinking 9 weeks ago. I have joined a gym and actually stuck to it!! I have finished lots of work projects I would never have before…and also a huge one for me had been my interactions with people. I found that, even when talking with friends, I used to have this anxiety there, like, as if I was worried what they would think of what I had said or if I sounded dumb or looked ugly or whatever…but now it’s so weird because I’m talking to people confidently without any angst. It’s such a liberating and wondetf state to be in. If anyone is trying to get sober, keep at it! It may take several goes but that is part of it for some people and you will get there
That’s such a good point about anxiety… alcohol can really worsen emotions like that. Congratulations on your 2 months Kirsty!
Over 7 months now and my relationships with my husband and children is a hundred times better..
Ive made new friends
I run nearly every day and love it!
I like myself whereas before I truly hated myself and sometimes wished I’d never been born (dramatic but true)
I no longer try to fit in by changing myself or my views just to be liked!
I honestly don’t care what people (apart from my immediate family) think of me.. their opinion is theirs and I’m more concerned about what I think about them!
I stay awake through films and read books and remember them!
I’ve got to know myself and I quite like me actually
I sleep like a baby
No more night sweats and waking at 3am heart racing
I could go on and on…..
Rachel, I could have written your post! So much of it resonates with me. And doesn’t it feel amazing?! I never knew NOT drinking could give me more confidence!
I love this list! Congratulations Rachel, alcohol-free living clearly suits you 🙂
So far I’ve enjoyed not rushing everything to get home for that wine. And so taken more notice of what I’m doing. And my kids seem to like it that I’m not lying in bed all morning with a headache!!
I’m going on holiday tomorrow – by now I’d normally have had a bottle of wine to help me relax….instead I’ve packed in record time. Aiming to continue through holiday. Done 2 weekends now and only me and the kids going away not big boozy do so hopefully will be ok. Have the pep talk downloaded!! ☺️
If you search for holiday in the search bar it will bring up a few posts that I’ve written about staying sober on holiday and how awesome that is. I hope you have a great time! 🙂
I vowed to take a 100 day challenge, 72 days ago. I knew I couldn’t do it quietly so I’ve told everyone I know to keep me accountable. I just wanted to see if I could do it – I didn’t think I’d learn all that much, but wanted to be proud of myself for following something through that I started……….. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve learnt SO MUCH!
I’ve learnt that other people don’t really drink as much as I thought they did. Once I step back and look through sober lenses, those that I thought were drinking “with” me and therefore giving me permission to do so, were only drinking one or two and then switching to soda or water while I powered on into oblivion.
I’ve learnt that my taste buds have changed! I love fresh, crisp, clean food and not the constant stream of grease and comfort food my hungover body was craving.
I’ve learnt that I enjoy quiet nights in with a cup of tea and a movie.
I’ve learnt I can be just as social at morning gatherings than I can at evening events, because I’m waking up fresh and guilt – free.
Speaking of guilt free, I can happily have my Sunday afternoon nanny-nap knowing I’m doing it to recharge and relax, not to aid the recovery of an epic hangover from last night’s bender.
I’ve learnt I am loud, funny and opinionated WITHOUT the assistance of alcohol – and therefore I don’t have to feel debilitating guilt over a night out where I was the focus of a conversation or two – because it was 100% the authentic me and I don’t have to apologise for that!
I’ve learnt to love exercise and have joined a PT squad where I actually show up. Every time. Even mornings!
I’ve experienced yoga and meditation classes, and can be alone with my thoughts which used to scare the bejeezus out of me.
I’ve learnt that I’m strong, that I CAN follow something through and that I will continue to do so because it feels incredible!
It’s so satisfying when you realise that you CAN follow through on your goals. I love your post Sandra – very inspiring! And a huge congratulations on your 72 days 🙂
Sandra, every word of your post really resonates with me, like when you say that now you can be “alone with your thoughts” without fear, and how you can indulge in guilt-free down time and naps just because you want to, and not because of a hangover. Such a liberating feeling!
I want to thank you so much for the pep talk! I was sitting in the bathtub with mascara running down my face because tonight is the bachelorette finale and I won’t be able to celebrate with wine. I know it sounds like a silly reason but something snapped and I thought tonight I will just give up. Then I randomly decided to check my email and found your pep talk. It has put me back in a logical mindset to stay strong throughout the night. Thank you for saving me from a mistake I know that I would regret in the morning.
I’m pleased the pep talk helped you today Holly! Keep going. If you need some support to make sobriety really stick, I’d be happy to help you with that – my online course guides you through everything you need to do, day by day, step by step. Here’s some more information: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I so relate to every single post so far, but my biggest surprise is how much calmer and less anxious I am! I don’t freak out and over react like I did in the past. I’ve been AF going on 6 weeks now, which I have NEVER been able to do! Thank you so much Kate!
Eileen, I’m so pleased to hear this! Congratulations on your 6 weeks. Here’s to many more amazing, alcohol-free days ahead 🙂
I like myself and people like me.
I don’t pick fights.
The anxiety of feeling not in my body after a day of binging is no longer present.
My eyes are clearer.
I take better care of hygiene.
I have an intoxilock on my car and I no longer have to worry that my leftover BAC will make me late for work.
I can commit to social engagements.
Yes… FREEDOM! 🙂
I thought I was giving something up, a big something up. What I didn’t count on was how much more I would get. So many bonuses of the AF life. 7 weeks and counting!
I always say, sobriety isn’t really about giving anything up, because you get so much (unexpected) good stuff in return! Keep up the great work Amy!
After 45 days I am
Bolder and beautiful
Exceptionally fit and
Thank God for this…days gone by like a mist almost a year
Hi Kate and thank you for your posts…. they really do help us all. I really started binge drinking about 10 years ago when going through empty nest syndrome, sending the three children off to college, one by one. I was also very burnt out from being a nurse for 34 years. Toward the end, I was drinking so much in single episodes that I would black out almost every time I drank…several times a week… and either call in to work “sick” and stay in bed all day hating myself and having anxiety attacks over what Was going to happen for calling off, or waste my weekend laying around because of being hungover so bad I couldn’t join my family in fun outings…. most of which I had planned for us! I finally was fired from my well-paying nursing job in June because of awful attendance; a job I worked very hard at getting and just let it slip through my hands. Since then I’ve realized my first priority was to quit drinking, which I have, and secondly to take a break from this profession for a bit. I then moved to another state for the summer and I’m spending the summer taking care of my two beautiful little grandchildren (ages 5 and 2) not drinking, going to exercise classes with my daughter, and do not miss alcohol one bit. I worried at first how it would play out because my mind was both obsessed with when I could drink again, but also hating the idea of being hungover, unable to care for the busy grandkids alone…they stopped going to daycare so I could have them this summer. Your encouragement in your posts have helped immensely and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m clear headed, living my best life making wonderful precious memories with the grandchildren and my daughter and her husband, losing weight, sleeping well, and using those calories up on good ice cream instead of rose’ wine. I’ve also got a job ready and waiting for me when I get home in four weeks. Thanks again, you’re the best ❤️
It sounds as if everything is coming to together for you Karen! Thank you for sharing you story and congratulations on your sobriety ❤️
THIS IS WHERE I AM AS OF NOW. I HAVE TO MAKE CHANGES…..and I am scared
Hi Kate. I’ve drank lots of wine in my lifetime I’m 54 and it’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I stopped drinking for 3yrs in 2012 felt great . But slowly started occasional bottles wine here and there. I have cut out again for two weeks .life is definitely clearer happier. You see life completely differently sober .colours are brighter the air is fresher and life is for living properly instead of in a fog with my bottle of wine . X
Exactly – life’s too short to waste it drinking! Well done for getting back on track Angela 🙂
I know this is directed towards women but I am a man and this has been very helpful . I have recently stopped drinking . I was a weekend drinker . I have notice that my energy level through the week has sky rocketed and my daily work outs are way better than before . I also have noticed restaurants I would go to at the lake I visit are actually horrible sober . They used to taste good after a day of drinking on the boat . I will make my own meals from now on , save money and much healthier . Good food tatse even better without the Booz !
Thanks Nick – well done for stopping and I totally agree with you about good food tasting better in sobriety. I think your taste buds improve!
Hi this is so true for me I am now day 81 and so happy.
Every one of these points have happened to me.
I feel like I have woken up from a decade of sleep!
Absolutely loving life, I completed a 12 km walk/run on the weekend
That’s a lot further than the “couch to fridge” that I use to do lol
Happy days x
Congratulations on your 81 days Amanda – it sounds as if this alcohol free lifestyle suits you!
Hi! I’m Sarah and today I can happily say I haven’t had a drink in 7 months. Kate’s program in January gave me the foundation and inspiration I needed to walk away from the crutch of alcohol. I’m now at my first (very boozy) family reunion and I’m doing great. I’m not hiding like I thought I would need or want to. I am engaging, participating because I love these people whether they are drunk or sober. When I was drinking i was so judgement of their behavior even while matching them drink for drink. It is interesting to observe myself and actually feel my emotions rather than numbing them out in hopes of just getting through the day, event, hour, minute… I’ve learned so much about me AND there is still more out there to discover which I find exciting!
Yes, it was hard at first but now it is just how I am living my life and I actually don’t think about it much. Oh, probably because I’m happily eating ice cream rather than guzzling red wine while checking constantly to make sure there is enough left in the bottle for my next glass.
Congratulations Sarah! It’s lovely to hear how well you’re doing! Enjoy your family reunion – give me ice cream over wine any day
I have been wanting to cut back on my drinking for quite some time. Alcoholism runs on both sides, so I have to be extremely careful. I believe that stumbling across your blog was a blessing. Having struggled with anorexia in the past, and currently taking meds for anxiety and depression, I often found myself drinking heavy at night as a means to drown things out and forget. However, it clearly just made things worse. I am on day 3 of not drinking at all and I can’t believe how different I feel. I wake up not feeling guilty, and I am excited to start my day. I am so happy and much more interested in doing things with family and friends, as opposed to crawling into a hole alone. I have been able to focus on all the positive aspects of my life instead of the negative-which the drinking only amplified. I also quit smoking as well. Kate, thank you so much-you are truly an inspiration. As for the rest of you lovely ladies, keep up the great work.
XOXOX from the U.S.
It just keeps getting better Margaret! Keep on going….do it for yourself!
Thank you Karen!
Is there anything like your website or books for men that you’ve come across? The men in my life are in their 40s, successful and I’ve been to their AA meetings and it seems like old men, women and maybe more blue collar workers. I mean absolutely no disrespect. I have a deep admiration for any man or woman attending those meetings. But drinking is such a social popular thing and even though I abstain as well, it’s just always in my face! And I abstain because my husband is an alcoholic. So anyway, I think you blog is amazing and so helpful. I would love to know if you’ve come across anything for men like this.
I would like to share my experience to inspire at least one person to give the AF life a try, just like I was inspired by a blog 289 days ago.
Surprising things that have happened:
I feel happy, content just waking up, living my life, going to bed…everything just feels so much better than it ever has before.
My huge mood swings and very dark thoughts have almost completely disappeared.
Clarity – at first painful as I am now seeing things as clearly as if somebody had ripped off my eyelids… no longer making excuses for people’s behavior and as a result dropping a few toxic relationships. This has cut deeper than I thought but has only impacted my life positively.
Clear skin, clear eyes, down two dress sizes.
Realizing that I matter: My abstinence has gone hand in hand with a lot of introspection, mostly during those first few months when I spent most of my non working hours staring into space trying to understand why I had been drinking so much for so long and finding the link to my perfectionism and underlying insecurities. Already in my 50’s, I had never before realized that the only opinion that matters is mine; this is very liberating and confidence building.
No more drunken texts to the ex.
I admire what you are doing to help women around the world.
I stopped drinking a month ago,I have never felt better.
I stopped drinking in November after 36 years of heavy drinking. One surprising and slightly disturbing consequence has been vivid flashbacks of an event in my teens that I hadn’t thought about for years. I’ve now been diagnosed with PTSD and lucky enough to be referred to a specialist for a treatment plan.
Another upsetting consequence has been the change – and even loss – of relationships with a lot of friends.
My productivity at work hasn’t surprised me, I knew I was letting myself down badly which was having an effect on my business. Now, AF, I can do everything I set out to do in a day and more! But the surprising thing for me, the knock on effect, has been how much more productive everyone around me is. Now they can see their boss putting in the effort and being totally committed, they do it too xxx
Day 39. My intention was to do the Dry January. Have not felt the urge of drinking yet. So just kept on going AF. I am less anxious and feel better all round. My B-day is coming up on Saturday. With lots of wonderful friends coming over. I felt like I am expected to have a drink on this occasion. That was before I stumbled on the Sober School. Read all your comments, and they were just what I needed to realise that I don’t HAVE to drink if I don’t want to. Thanks all. Will stick to my AF beer!
i have been sober for five months today. needless to say there are numerous benefits! but I still have very little energy. guess i really did a number on myself, huh?
I’m about a week in, was the kind of guy who would easily polish off an entire bottle of wine every night. I know I’m doing the right thing, but by god, nobody warned me the awful smell that would be coming off of me after dropping the drink!
One thing I’m very glad for is I’ve started having dreams again, which has been a very exciting experience to live again.
I’m a lot less anxious since quitting drinking. I actually started drinking to quell my anxiety but of course it only exasperated it. I’ve always been a huge health freak and clean eater, into fitness so drinking was completely not in alignment with my views. I feel so much better now.
I actually googled “does food taste better you quit drinking?” and landed here. It has been that noticeable, I had to know why! I quit about 3 months ago now, and that is one thing that keeps surprising me. Things I have eaten almost everyday for years taste significantly better!
My sleep has improved, that one took a couple weeks to kick in. My skin and face shape has also changed for the better… I am notorious for having a poor memory, and these days I am finding that it is easier for me to retrieve information.
I hope everyone else is experiencing all of these positive changes and using them as motivation to keep it up 🙂