Finding my true voice has been the best thing that has happened to me since giving up drinking. Before I always needed a drink especially if I was going out on a date, meeting my friends in a club, I’d always have a beer before hand to give me the courage to take on whatever came my way that evening. Now I get an even bigger high, by knowing that I don’t need to rely on that shit anymore.
I look back on the times when I was so drunk because the beer took over and I just got so drunk binge drinking that I’d end up missing a great evening. Now, when I walk into a party I’m confident and smiling. I’m being myself, finally. Before then I was shy. Alcohol made me into the ultimate ‘party animal’. I was there at the start and at the end, I was the one to liven things up and make everyone laugh. Sober, I was just this quiet and shy person, drunk, I was on fire. Seriously funny at times and capable of talking my way into situations I think would be impossible to do sober.
Till then, drinking alcohol had been a huge part of my life. At school, in college and later in jobs working alongside work colleagues who hit the bars straight after work on a Friday night. I was there. In fact there wasn’t really any time to sit back and think that life could be better without alcohol, I was having just the time of my life. Sure there were times when I hit the bottle too hard and during the hangover the next day I wondered why it was that I needed to drink so much. But at that point I felt that drink was some kind of life vest and it was almost alien to think of going out without it. I couldn’t imagine a life not drinking alcohol!
When the time came and I decided not just cut back alcohol, but actually stop drinking it, finally being without drink came as a shock. How was I going to manage not being the party animal, make people laugh and be the life and soul of the party? Well, It was strange at first to walk into a bar and ask for water or orange, or coffee. It was strange for other people to hear me say, ‘I don’t drink’. Some people accept it as not being anything odd, others saw it as a threat. And some, after they’ve got drunk, will lean over and say that secretly, ‘[they] wish they could do the same’.
Giving up drinking has given me a new lease of life. Read my 5 steps that I found totally helped me to overcome my reliance on alcohol and eventually find the confidence to give it up.
Something happened to me that finally made me think and it was losing a good friend to leukaemia at 33. At the time he was the same age as me, and it made me realise that life is short, hard and totally not to be taken for granted. Life is for living and reaching the end, before looking back, smiling at some of the stories and knowing that you’ve sucked the marrow out of life, leaving no stone unturned. I couldn’t do this continuing to drink and get myself into a sorry state. I feel I’ve been put here to do some good, and not that I’ve stopped drinking I feel I have so much more to offer the World.