I'm giving up alcohol. What should I expect?

I drink soda water and fruit juice a lot - I can make it as sweet as I like it, which isn’t very sweet at all.

I partly agree on the better sleep, but it may take a few days to kick in, as you may have more intense dreams the first few days, even with only a 1-3 a day habit. I experience this, too, but I actually like the dreams because I rarely have memorable dreams, even though they do make my sleep more restless.

But yeah, weight loss. Almost as much as cutting down on sugary drinks.

And has anyone mentioned the money you save? Even beer ain’t cheap, and wine and hard liquor can get devilish expensive. Save it up and go to a really good restaurant once in a while.

Hmm, should he order a glass of milk with his dinner? (ducks and runs):stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve seen one or two people online(never in real life) claim they know they are an alcoholic or drug addict even though they’ve never touched booze or pills in their life. They say a parent was one and they just know they are too which is why they have never touched it.

And I know it doesn’t apply to the OP but IF you are an alcoholic with a large daily alcohol intake going cold turkey can be dangerous or even fatal. A lot of people don’t know it but alcohol withdrawal can kill you, you should never try to just suddenly quit a large drinking habit.

I stopped drinking at the start of the year, and have had both positive and negative effects.

I was drinking every day, most days 3-4 beers or equivalent, sometimes quite a bit more.

The biggest positive effect is financial, I’m not spending hundreds of pounds on alcohol, and the second biggest is no hangovers, and feeling physically better most of the time - I’ve not been physically ill since I stopped.

The biggest negative effect seems to be the opposite of other people here - severe insomnia. This ultimately lead to significant mental issues, needing medication and time off work. This isn’t the first time I’ve had mental health issues, although it’s been depression in the past rather than anxiety. I suspect I was using alcohol to self medicate for whatever’s going on, but without some in depth therapy that I don’t really need right now, I doubt I can know for sure.

It’s also caused some problems with socialising, although less than I suspected. Many of my friends are big drinkers, but none have had any problems with me being around and being sober. What is an issue is that, frankly, drunk people - even drunk people that I genuinely like the company of - can be fucking annoying when you’re sober.

One other observation, or rather two linked ones - stopping wasn’t as difficult as I expected, but it hasn’t got any easier as time’s gone by. I think about alcohol daily, many times a day. Part of this, I suspect, is being more or less constantly exposed to booze. Wherever I go I’ll walk past pubs, there’ll be alcohol displays in supermarkets, and people will be talking about it or referring to it on Facebook, or just in general conversation wherever I go. Also, if I’m going to socialise to any extent, it will be in places where alcohol is being drunk, as I can’t expect all my friends to stop as well. This constant thinking about it is probably what surprised me most.

For what it’s worth, I don’t identify as an alcoholic, and I’ve not necessarily quit for good - although for financial reasons, it pretty much needs to be for at least the next three years. As the months have gone on, I’m thinking it’s more likely to be permanent, though.

I’ve quit a few times in the past. I agree with the earlier comments: better sleep- yes; lose weight- yes; more cash in your pocket- yes.

But each time I noticed a general sense of just feeling healthier, but without anything specific to point to. It made me realize that when I regularly, or semi-regularly, drink alcohol, I always have a feeling that I’m about 75-80% healthy. When I stop drinking, I find that I just feel really good most of the time. But the only drawback I have found is that whenever I stop I realize how much I miss the ritual of it. The ‘clink’ of the wine glass setting down on the counter, the reassuring ‘glug glug’ of my glass being filled, sipping it as my wife and I prepare dinner, the process of making a cocktail, exploring the liquor store for something new and different… it’s an enjoyable ritual. The effect of the alcohol in my bloodstream is just part of it.

Good luck.

My sincere thanks to all who have posted their support and their experiences. I am in Week 2 of my sobriety. Things got a little shaky on Saturday evening. I had worked all day at a horse show and was very tired and sore. The idea of sitting quietly with a glass or two of wine or Fireball was very alluring and, in the past, I would have done that without hesitation. This time, I decided that what I really wanted/needed was comfort and pain relief, so I took a hot shower, rubbed some arnica on my back, and relaxed in my recliner with a tall glass of water with a twist of lime. No, not nearly as sexy as whiskey, but I felt better about myself for it, which seems to be a big part of my motivation to not drink.

I do miss the ceremony of alcohol – the beautiful color of merlot, the cinnamon smell of Fireball, the pop of the cork – but am trying to find ways to recreate that in non-alcoholic drinks. Fruit juice with sparkling water, in a wine glass, is nice.

Mostly what I’m experiencing these days is an ever-renewing sense of having a little piece of my life back under control. Ever time I think about having a drink and decide not to, I feel this litte “Atta Girl!” and figurative pat on the back from the Universe. And, I’ve lost 2 lbs!

An unexpected ripple-effect: my roommate has also cut back on his drinking. I think he feels uncomfortable drinking when I’m not, not out of courtesy to me but more from a sense that I’m showing restraint and he’s not. This is a good thing for him, since he doesn’t have much impulse control to begin with.

Atta Girl! {Pats jayrey on the back} :slight_smile:

Ah, yes, a nice Lait au Chateau Cherfoucauld, I would say a recent trayonage, a '12, certainly. They turn to fromage so rapidly…

You will notice a decided increase of assholish behavior from certain friends who try to be very insistent that you should “loosen up” and"one drink isn’t going to hurt"…then laugh it off when you tell them to stop trying to force alcohol on you (“Relax,I 'm just joking”)

Surprisingly, I didn’t find that happened at all. I expected it to, and was somewhat prepared for it, but I was certainly pleased that it didn’t.

I’ve had people ask why I stopped rather than cut down, and my answer to that is that I’ll have a better time if I’m not drinking at all than if I’m always thinking about how many drinks I’m allowed, or whatever. Most people seem to accept that.

Man, this is such a bullshit example of internet attention-whoring. I feel like the only reason someone would say this is for attention. Our media portrays individuals overcoming addiction as a personal triumph, and I wonder if bored shut-ins want to be a part of that group.

My brother decided to quit smoking. But he didn’t tell anyone. One day he was at my mom’s and wanted to step outside. My mom assumed he was going for a cigarette, but he hadnt had a cigarette in 3 months. I thought it was smart of him- nobody to give him grief if he fell off the wagon along the way, no ‘helpful’ advice or people asking him about it. He was able to quit on his own, which was his success.

That’s great he was able to do it on his own. But most people need the support of others when they are quitting an addiction. They need people to be accountable to.

I quit a year ago this month. Without changing anything else about my lifestyle I lost 45 pounds.

I know I have given you hassles in the past but have come to respect you as the quality poster you are. Kudos to you for staying off the alcohol. I myself quit for 2 yrs but that was a couple yrs ago. I know what it took for me to quit that long, wasn’t easy to be consistent.

Good luck to you, PlainJain.