When did you first give up drinking and why?
For the longest time I was just a social drinker. Granted that entailed binge drinking, no off switch, and usually blacking out at the end of the night... but I did it socially! Then, in my 30’s, alcohol crept into my life more and more, and having a beer to relax when I got home and some whiskey after I put a few more hours of work in became my new normal.
But towards the end of my drinking career, socially drinking Kevin was still there but also I began drinking a lot more at home by myself as a way to “reduce stress”. Work had become my life and I always brought it home. My main coping mechanism for stress was to end nights in the basement, with whiskey usually, then passing out and waking up on the couch in the morning with all the lights still on!
It got lonelier/darker in my head and I was disgusted with myself that I couldn’t control it. Finally, I got to the end of my rope on 1/22/2019 and signed up for therapy one drunken night. I knew I had to try something different this time in order to unf*ck myself. It took me a few months longer to really get my head right but after our vacation in April of that year I recommitted to this path and that was 480 alcohol free days ago.
Opening up and not keeping thoughts/emotions bottled up inside like I’ve always done has been the biggest key to my success. At first it was only to my therapist and my wife, but then to family, friends, and eventually in this community. In sharing and connecting with others here I have truly been able to heal more every day.
What would you say to people who are scared to stop drinking because they feel like they’ll be forfeiting their social life?
It took some time for me to get comfortable being out socially, so if you’re starting out, take it slow. Everyone is different but I tested myself little by little and now I have no problem hanging out with anyone drinking. I just might leave a lot earlier than I used to since I’ve learned that no actual interesting conversations happen 5+ drinks deep.
I’ve also learned that more people question their relationship with alcohol than will admit. Ultimately, all that matters is that you are doing what’s right for you and no one else and if you need help, reach out. DM me or anyone you trust if you need to talk it out. You’re not alone!