How did you stop drinking?

Old 05-17-2010, 07:03 PM
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How did you stop drinking?

Hey everybody,

Definitely new to this site, but not new to problems with alcohol. I'm 22 years old and have recently spiraled into a problem (again). I come from a strong family heritage of alcoholism. Last summer I was drinking around 1.75 liters of vodka every 2 days, but went through the AA program and went dry for a few months. I was living with my girlfriend (of 4 years) and all was well until our relationship ended. I relapsed hard into alprazolam and other benzodiazepines and alcohol combinations. I've since stopped the benzo use, but still find it difficult to not drink every night. I typically drink around 10-24 beers, 2-3 liters of wine, or a bottle of hard liquor a night depending on what I have available. Unfortunately, I'm borderline functional so my friends haven't noticed much of a change. I mainly drink alone as I feel guilty drinking in excess around family/friends. My alcoholism has, however, affected my schoolwork. I have delayed my college degree an additional 2 quarters due to apathy towards class attendance. I really want to stop drinking, but I feel almost as if alcohol is my only comfort.

The AA program did work, but I was by far the youngest person at every meeting and it felt awkward. My aunt is very active in AA, and I had no problem getting support from the community... but I still felt out of place (being so young)

My question to the people here who have been successful in overcoming their alcoholism is:

What, to you, motivates you to avoid alcohol use?

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Old 05-17-2010, 07:21 PM
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My question to the people here who have been successful in overcoming their alcoholism is:

What, to you, motivates you to avoid alcohol use?


Welcome Everydaything !! I was pretty much on the same program of alcohol and benzos...I am 20 years older though...have been off both for 5 days now...having my ups and downs, but what motivates me most is...THE CONSEQUENCES...Physically, mentally, and spiritually, short and long term. This is a great place, so good luck !!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:23 PM
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Last time I drank, almost a month ago, I got SO incredibly sick. Just sick of being sick, and every time I think about drinking or popping a pill, I remember that I don't want to be sick anymore.

I have an uncle in AA! Frequently I'm 1 of the youngest people at the meeting. But it's cool cuz I can learn from all the older folks.

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Old 05-17-2010, 07:25 PM
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ps my DOC is also alcohol & benzos. And weed, but not frequently.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:29 PM
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Hi story is pretty similiar to mine except I'm older. I too functioned pretty well, but my tolerance was getting so high, and I was drinking so much, it was coming to a point where I fear that woulda stopped. I was scared of the blackouts and not remembering the night before.

So...I picked a realistic date a few weeks off and quit. I found some recovery sites I'm on every day. I'm at 30+ days and doin ok so far. I'm motivated by not going back to that horrible dark place where my life revolved around drinking. The depression and lack of confidence is something I don't want to go through. I don't want any more blackouts.

Sounds like AA was pretty good to you before and maybe you should consider that again. Whatever you decide I wish you luck. Stick around here and you will find support.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:32 PM
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Hi!! and welcome to SR!! just like KingofNewYork.. the consequences....they just go too big and I have too much to that I have 112 days sober...I don't know why I ever drank to begin feels so good to be living a sober life...

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Old 05-17-2010, 07:50 PM
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AA and this site help out tremendously. I will add that the hangovers, 3 arrest, wasted money over 27 year period, shame at relapse, and those God awful withdrawal symptoms! I truely believe that another relapse would be a death sentence!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:56 PM
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Hi everydaything

I drank to (nearly) the end not wanting to die was my initial motivation...but not wanting to give up the life I've built since is my inspiration now

If AA worked, why not go back - maybe you could find a meeting where you felt less awkward?

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:14 PM
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Welcome Everything! I can relate to what you said about feeling that alcohol is your "only comfort." I drank to turn my thoughts off, to reward myself, to pass the time, and just to feel "normal." Problem was, the bad stuff about alcohol got worse and even the "good" stuff about it got bad. And my "comfort" became an obsession. I discovered that I was using it alot to get over using it alot.

What's keeping me from going back to it right now is how I feel when I wake up in the morning (like I can handle things now), not feeling bad all the time, and not having to think about it constantly (counting drinks, hiding drinks, pretending I'm sober, trying to avoid drinking too much.... etc. etc.) I guess you could say I feel a new freedom that I hadn't had in years.

Keep reading and posting. I wish you all the best!
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:26 PM
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Welcome Everydaything

What motivates me to quit drinking? Blackouts, driving drunk, idiotic behavior, loss of self-respect, an unmanageable life, to name just a few.

I'm like you--22, still in school, and was still relatively functional before I quit. Are there other AA meetings you can go to where you'd feel more comfortable? My home meeting has mostly students and recent graduates, which helped quite a bit.

Welcome to SR.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:55 PM
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19 years old - Addiction counselling, few months Abstinence
21 years old - Total isolation inc no job, 6 months Abstinence
22 years old - Total isolation other than Thursday nights where would drink 12 glasses of wine, 9 months 'Moderation'
24 years old - Consequence, failed business in Spain etc, 6 months Abstinence
27 years old - GF, new job, Kick boxing etc, 9 months 'Moderation' with couple drinks every month and then back into resultion
29 years old - Recurring throat infection set off by binges meant was ill for a few weeks after each drinking night, 1 year 'Moderation'
30 years old - Quit job, move near to family, total isolation, 6 months 'Moderation' drinking once every 3 weeks
31 years old - Geographical to foreign country, 6 weeks Abstinence
32 years old - Girl of Dreams (eyes roll),total isolation except her, 4 months Abstinence
34 years old - Consequence moving back into mothers, 4 months Abstinence
35 years old - Resonance Treatment ($4000), 6 weeks Abstinence
37 years old - Addiction counselling, antabuse, anti depressants, 5 months Abstinence
38 years old - Rehab ($9000), 5 weeks Abstinence
38 years old - AA sober since due to working the steps and spiritual awakening

i've never written that before, how insane is that all...all that time wasted on pointless never once occured to me that i was ill, i thought that i should be able to make a choice and man up and people would tell me that too...

I met a good friend in AA, he's been sober since 25 and i said how come you have got in so young...he was drinking 24/7 by 22 and had the psychological problems incuding breakdown by 24...guess that will take you to where you may need to go before really being willing to change?!

Honestly i am sitting here and it seems like another person lived all that...i'd strongly advise you to go back to AA and work the steps which is the whole point of AA and get your spiritual awakening...

By 38 i had begun seriously isolating, GFs weren't an option anymore and i had pushed family away, i just didn't want to hurt anyone anymore, couldn't stand another person looking at me with those sad eyes and didn't want to be hurting anymore...i would have killed myself definitely if it had gone on a little longer but most alcoholics will keep going until they drop dead affecting negatively anyones life they come into contact with...check out family and friends section if you need anymore proof of that!

AA saved my life!

Good luck, was good to write that down:-)
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:21 PM
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Yeahgr8, you said it exactly. When I look back, it seems I'm looking at another person... this clumsy alien failing to negotiate the straight line between intention and accomplishment; a caricature of an accomplished being; a veteran of injuries sustained in the cold war between bravery and the bottle. why did i stop? i made peace with the enemy. i said, "i'm not fighting you anymore. i'm letting you go." i turned and walked away. but there was something helping me. i didn't want to die in that trench.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:26 PM
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l used common sense. (among other things)
I just doesn't seem logical to be "under the influence" all day or hung over.
That and a lot of very bad experiences help me.
Wish you luck.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by AWOL View Post
Yeahgr8, you said it exactly. When I look back, it seems I'm looking at another person... this clumsy alien failing to negotiate the straight line between intention and accomplishment; a caricature of an accomplished being; a veteran of injuries sustained in the cold war between bravery and the bottle. why did i stop? i made peace with the enemy. i said, "i'm not fighting you anymore. i'm letting you go." i turned and walked away. but there was something helping me. i didn't want to die in that trench.
I like that, very good!!!
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:35 AM
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The fact that I accept that I am an alcoholic and drug addict. That really helps on the level of being 24 and totally sober/clean. Which in itself, without that total acceptance, would be very difficult. I got sober at 23 and have 10+ months.

My recovery is what fundamentally motivates me to avoid alcohol use!! The thought of putting chemicals into my body seems like a foreign concept to me now. One that I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to do. I love my sobriety and my recovery with all of my heart and I am so grateful every day for it. I know that to drink would be to lose everything in my life. It would happen very quickly too. I wouldn't last long.

My life now is totally built around my recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction. Everybody close to, and some not even that close, know that I'm a recovering alcoholic. So it's really great as I have nothing to hide and my future depends upon my recovery.

I like who I am now. I have work to do still but I know that it will be worth it.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:36 AM
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The why has to do with the fears and anxieties building up, and the quantities getting out of control, so that it was getting hard to get to work with all the drinking I had to fit into my day.

The how was a little odd. I couldn't quit, though I wanted and tried to every day for weeks, so I painted myself into a corner, deliberately. I told my wife how much I was drinking (I was a hider, so I knew she'd be shocked). I told her how I snuck it into the house and when; I showed her where I stashed it. I asked her to come with me to the doctor so that I would be forced to tell the truth. I haven't had a drink since that appointment - 15 days - so it worked, so far. I feel great. Quitting, by the way, is more frightening in prospect than it is as an experience. The long term staying quit is the hard part, so they tell me in meetings.
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:53 AM
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Almost 3years and 4 months Here.. ODAAT.. A.A. is a Great Thing if You Want To Live Sober! My Story is A Long One So.. in a Nutshell.. it Had To Get Bad Enough.. it Did.. i Began This Stretch of Sobriety in The Hospital (Almost Drank Enough For Full DT's) i Went Back To A.A. and Got a Good Sponsor.. i Began To Work on The Steps To The Best of My Ability..
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:16 AM
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Hi there,

I read your question but also the information you shared about yourself.

Without wanting to go into comparisons I, and trust me I can hit the bottle pretty damn hart, am shocked at the speed the disease of alcoholism has developed in you. To give few pointers, I didn't start to drink until I was 22 and it took me 30 years to get to were I am now.

I hope you and the others won't jump on me and I apologise if this inappropriate but my advise to you would be to get to not just the nearest AA meeting ASAP but also to go to a serious counsellor with the legal ability to prescribe drugs. One who might be able to help you find underlying physical and mental problems that may currently be obscured by alcohol use.

Please understand me clearly: I'm not saying they exist because I have neither the training or the experience to suggest they do but your use is so much and in such a short time at such a young age that I fear for you more than many other alcoholics or even myself.

It's almost as if you should not be worried about stopping but more about getting you to a place were they can and help you to stop and figure out what it is in the first place what has made this happen so quick and so badly.

I have come to believe that alcoholism is a debilitating disease and like diabetes needs careful management and that some of us are better at it than others. I also believe that some people have the disease in a more severe form than others and that it can take some people longer than others to develop it to a point where they seek help.

I also, as happened with me and my husband, believe that things can happen to you that can aggravate an already pre-existing condition to develop into full blown case of alcoholism.

But one thing I'm fully convinced about is that you are ill if you cannot drink small amounts on social occasions or even alone sometimes because that is all you need and want than you have to be extremely careful with any potentially addictive drug and you young man (said in motherly voice) are not just walking away from them but running headlong into them.

I hope that you will take responsibility for yourself and make the right choices with regards to your illness.

Go carefully.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:12 AM
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What, to you, motivates you to avoid alcohol use?
Until I could get out of the 'cloud' I was living in, it was hard for me to find motivation.. I clearly wasn't thinking of my friends, family, work.. however the very real threat of losing all three became my motivation, and ultimately truly wanting sobriety more than anything else. I knew I 'should' quit for a long time, and every time I 'quit' I knew I'd drink again there for a while. Until I pretty much hit a few 'bottoms' within months of each other, I couldn't see far enough outside of my own misery to notice anything that would motivate me. Once I was done, everything in my life became clearer, and more important. My health and sanity number one.. my marriage that was crumbling and needed some major repairs, and my job that I kept only by true luck.

I don't know that anything motivates me at this point, I'm simply a non-drinker and alcohol has no place in my life so I just don't think of it really. I'm too busy, and the hard recovery work and counseling I went through laid out a pretty solid foundation for my success.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:44 AM
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No more lying, hiding, and pretending. No more feeling like sh!t for days. No more being too drunk or sick to respond in an emergency. No more wasted money or time. No more risk of getting a DUI and/or hurting or killing an innocent person.

I've got my kids' respect back, my self respect back, and I can look the world in the eye without shame and regret and self loathing.

My house is cleaner, my mind is clearer, my dogs are well cared for.

There are more advantages to staying sober but those are the biggest positive things for me.
THese are things that motivate me to stay sober, but, as Dee says, doing damage to myself by drinking just got really old and was wearing me out fast. I didn't want my life/situation to get any worse than it already was, so quitting drinking was necessary.

I used a combination of AA meetings, counseling with an addiction specialist, and SR to quit drinking and stay sober. And now with almost six months I'm feeling so much better about myself and the rest of the world that I don't even 'want' to drink anymore... besides, I don't know if I have any more recovery left in me and don't want to die finding out.
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