5 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Drinking

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Before we start, here’s the boring bit.

Disclaimer: If you or any other person have a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Always seek proper medical advice.

Please remember that anything written in my post is purely relating to me and my experience. It is not intended to upset anyone and it is not aimed at other people, whether they drink alcohol or not. This is my story and hopefully you can read it in the light-hearted way it was written.

I wasn’t going to release this post, but its something I feel I need to do. If it helps someone else in a similar situation, I’m happy.

I just want to be real with you here, being sober isn’t a perfect solution for a perfect life. Online you only see the good bits, here I want you to read the reality. Plus I have some books to give away so I have space to buy new ones 🙂 Keep reading for that later in the post!

Right, that’s that done. A bit about me:

On the 26th July 2020, 135 days ago, I decided to have my last alcoholic drink. It was one of my favourites, red wine. At the time I didn’t realise it was going to be my last but 135 days later and I still don’t want to drink. I’ve done Sober for October, reduced my drinking and all the other stuff you do when you think you are drinking too much. This time something different has happened, my mindset towards drinking has changed.

For those that know me, you know how much I love a drink and you probably also know that I don’t have an off switch. I say love and not loved, because even though I have quit and I don’t want to drink, I still think about it and love the idea of it. Unfortunately the reality isn’t quite something to love, I drink too much, my mind does funny things and I become a dickhead. I no longer get anything out of drinking alcohol.

For those thinking, “why doesn’t she just limit her drinking” or for those that want to compare their drinking habits to mine. Please don’t- they are not similar in any way and it doesn’t help anyone.

Anyway, here are the things I’ve experienced along the way:

1. The Days Become The Longest Ever

In my drinking days, on average, I’d open a bottle around 6pm. This was the time I thought acceptable, though sometimes it would be a bit earlier. I would continue to drink until around 10-12pm. This would average between 3-7 days a week. Add up all those hours and I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. Include the time spent hungover and not very alive, you can imagine how much time of my life I was wasting. Include the hours during the day that I thought about opening that bottle around 6pm. It was A LOT of hours spent thinking about drinking.

I’ve filled my new found time with hobbies such as reading, writing a load of shit on here, learning new things and helping others- as well as being more present and focused in my work and personal life.

2. You Feel Every Feeling There Is

This one makes me laugh. I’m quite an emotional person anyway- I feel everything that everyone goes through and I just want to help everyone and save the world. Unfortunately, I can only do so much and I struggle knowing this. I take others problems on as my own and when you have enough of your own anyway, it becomes draining.

Add the alcohol and I become even more of an emotional idiot. These emotions range from being fucking angry to not being able to stop crying like a baby, emotions that are ten times worse than the ones I feel when I’m not drinking. I also cant control these feelings when I have a drink.

Take away the alcohol and I have all those same emotions but to a lesser extent and I’m more capable of controlling them. The only problem this time is the problems of life are still there and I’m not blocking them out through drinking. I’m having to face them problems and face my feelings. Something I’ve not had to do before in the last twenty years. This makes me quite emotional, as I learn new skills to allow me to become resilient and solve the problems rather than ignore them.

These new emotions are good ones, I’m able to feel more strongly, love more deeply and have an intense feeling of happiness.

3. Your Relationships May Change

I’ve been a big drinker most of my adult life, I don’t really have any relationships from before this time. When you change your lifestyle, its inevitable that you will change as a person and this changes the world around you.

People form opinions of none drinkers, they think they are boring and unsocial, they stop inviting you out. Sorry to tell you this but this hasn’t changed for me, I was boring and unsocial before and I’m still boring and unsocial now. Yes I probably did things to entertain others and may have been a laugh on nights out, however, I have no idea what conversations we were having as I never remembered them. I just know I probably had a good night out as I remember the celebrations we had before that dreaded one drink too many that tipped me over.

In happier news, now I don’t drink, I can remember the good times we have. Our conversations are more meaningful and you don’t need to worry about me getting home. I’m more likely to go to events that I will enjoy- so if I come to one of your events its because I want to be there and not because the drink is persuading me to. I’m so much happier and this means I’m better company.

Some of my relationships have been a struggle, as people have lost their drinking buddy or they feel nervous about inviting me out. This only makes them stronger as people become open and honest about things. Some of my relationships have deepened as I realise I have more in common with people than I knew before. Both are absolutely fine and mainly people are happy that I’m happy.

4. You May Have The Worst Nightmares Ever

This has been scary and quite an eye opener! I did a funny, sleep….eye opener, oh well never mind!

I’ve died, I’ve seen dead people- sometimes famous ones (David Bowie was an absolute C***), I’ve witnessed murders (in Rotherham, so.. you know) and been murdered, I’ve been pregnant and had a baby. I’ve been in a plane crash, I’ve witnessed a plane crash and then ran to the scene to help people. I’ve won the lottery, I’ve travelled the world, I’ve worked in various countries doing various jobs. I was a Princess in a foreign land with the most beautiful dresses and hair I’ve ever seen, (apart from my sisters hair which is the most beautiful in the world). I toured with the Spice Girls and was in a Steps band. I actually was in a Steps band not THE Steps band, in real life. I have pictures to prove it! 🙂

So yeah, been there done that. None of it was real though, they were all dreams or nightmares! Most of the time I woke up crying and others I was sobbing, sobbing and couldn’t stop! Like silent crying, that shit is absolutely scary!

I’m no doctor, but I understand the vivid nightmares are down to the changes in your sleep patterns when you’re not full of chemicals. Rapid eye movement levels, etc. When you drink you don’t have great sleep, its less deep sleep and more going in and out of different levels of sleep. When you don’t drink, after a few weeks you have more natural sleep, its deeper for longer. The electrical brain waves are different in heavy drinkers to those who don’t drink and that causes the vivid dreams and ability to remember them. Or some shit like that, you get my drift.

5. The Natural High Is Addictive

This has been the most enlightening experience yet. When I drank, it was to get that buzz of the first glass of wine. The one that you get the satisfying pop of the cork, then the comforting glug glug as it goes in the glass. You drink it and it gives you that warm familiar feeling. The second glass was kind of the same but didn’t quite have as good a buzz as the first. I drank more glasses to try and feel that feeling but it never happened, I just became more drugged and less aware of things.

Now I don’t drink, I regularly get an intense euphoric feeling and its more intense than any other feeling I’ve had before- apart from that one you naughty buggers! Dirty minds eh. I feel so addicted to this blissful, delirious satisfied feeling that I get from little things in life, it can be the perfect sunrise or sunset, it can be a perfect coffee I’ve drank, it can be a song that comes on that touches me, it can be a chapter of a book that made me feel strongly about something, it can be something that someone has done or said something that you didn’t expect. It can literally be anything that makes me perfectly happy that gives me this sense of enjoyment and happiness.

I’ve never had that feeling before and its one that I want everyone to experience at some point. You may have a similar feeling when your children do something you absolutely love. Though this feeling I’m talking about is more about when something happens when you least expected it.

Conclusion

There we go, the bits that nobody tells you about. You have the longest days of feeling fucking emotional, feeling the loneliness you’ve ever felt with the shittest nightmares, with a ridiculous feeling of euphoria. You question who you are and why you are here. You miss the stupid things like who you were before and your drunken nights out and your beer shits. You miss the different bottles of wine and the flavoured gins and the port at Christmas. You have FOMO and JOMO all in one evening! You even miss chatting to Ralph down the big white telephone- wonder how he is doing these days. You miss feeling sorry for yourself the morning after and you miss the PPD- post party depression.

But would I go back to all of that? No, no siree I wouldn’t! Not for all the money in the world.

Now then, THE GIVEAWAY!

If you or someone you know, would make the most of these books- keep reading.

My ‘quit lit’ that has helped me on my journey:

This Naked Mind by Annie Grace was a turning point in my alcohol free journey, it was the book that made my mind up for me. If you read this book you can be assured that you may stop drinking. The Unexpected Joy of being sober by Catherine Gray was a good real life read about the reality behind drinking and quitting. The Sober Survival Guide is another real life read of Simon Chapple‘s own experiences. None of these books are classed as self help or tell you what to do, they simply give you facts and experiences to allow you to make your own decisions. They may also give you ideas of how you can support those people around you, that may be struggling. I hope these go to a good home and help someone else.

TO WIN, you can either:

  • Comment below on this blog post
  • Follow me on Twitter @winebooksand and comment, like or RT the new post
  • Follow me on Instagram @linz_broganblogs and like or comment on the new post

T&C’s- Each action above counts as one entry, you may enter more than once. All entries from all countries will be counted. Winner will be notified on Tuesday 15th December 2020– you will need to provide your postal address.

The WINNER has been notified, please check your emails or message me with your address at lindseybrogan@hotmail.co.uk

If winner doesn’t contact me by the end of this week another winner will be chosen.

Please note this post or giveaway is not linked to any organisations or any of the authors.

This is my story, written by me, for my blog only.

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this post. These books were ordered by me and paid for out of my own money and all opinions are my own. I only recommend products and services I trust.

102 thoughts on “5 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Drinking

      1. I would love to win these books, I struggle each day staying alcohol free. Thank you so much for the opportunity 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stating how it really is. A no longer toxic recall for anyone wanting, and needing to become no longer toxic. Clarity for a much happier, productive life. Thank you for the much needed positivity!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Amazing. I love this honest and beautifully written post. What a journey eh!? I think it’s great you read these books and are sharing. And that it worked for you! I had to learn that it’s ok to ask for help and only got sober with the help of AA. It worked for me! The Big Book is so old but also a good read. In AA they call that euphoria the pink cloud. It has faded for me BUT I still don’t ever want to be that person ever again. Thank you for sharing this!!! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful and honest post Linz. I bet it feels good to get your thoughts and feelings out there.

    I’ve been teetotal for about 6 years now because I developed an intolerance to alcohol and it makes me really ill. I was never much of a drinker beforehand, but I totally relate to what you’ve said about people thinking non-drinkers are boring! I actually have a post scheduled about life as a teetotaller, lol.

    Thank you for sharing your story and I’m sure it’ll help others too xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well written. I agree wholeheartedly, especially that the days are VERY long…I found myself registering for classes reading several books, doing home projects…!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing. I’m just starting This Naked Mind tonight. On Day 3 of no alcohol.
    Can’t wait to finish the book and continue reading more to educate people about the truth of alcohol and it’s addictive nature.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love love love this! Super raw, informative & incredibly relatable. I’m a little over a year sober & I’ve been wanting to read all three of your book suggestions; such a great idea for a giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bloody hell! I felt like this was written about me. So relatable and perfectly written. I too, have stopped the booze and don’t miss it one bit. It ruled my life for too long. Thanks for your story.

    Like

  7. My story is long but I’ll try to quickly condense. I started listening to a podcast called ‘how I quit alcohol’ which led me to a Facebook group called The sober social, which led me to This Naked Mind. By this stage, I had decided to go 12 months alcohol free starting January 1,2021. But I found after completing This naked mind, that I already did not want another drink. And so, am now into my 3rd week sober. I have been a binge drinker, and almost daily drinker for the last 30 years or so. Turning 50 in a couple of weeks, and decided to gift myself with sobriety, and see what wonderful changes will take place in my life. Peace out ✌🏻 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for telling your story! This Naked Mind is a wonderful book and there is just something magic about it that makes you not want to drink! Good luck and that is such a fab gift for yourself x

      Like

  8. Very relatable. I am on day 83 and share these feelings. The high is such a gift. And the other stuff is also very true. I would love to win these books but because I already read two of them (tnm is really a gamechanger) I really want to give them to someone less financially fortunate and in the start of this journey in my world without wine group or just someone that can really use this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reading this at 2:30 a.m. because after another successful challenge of NOT drinking I decided I did great and drinking again would be fine. Bad move on my part. All the things I hate about drinking are back, including waking up at 2:30 feeling wide awake. Thank you for writing this, I needed to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have never dealt with anything like this, so my understanding is limited. I personally don’t drink, but that is because any amount of alcohol contributes to my migraines, which I am already struggling with. People often don’t understand why you can’t just ‘limit’ yourself or ‘have self control.’ It’s not about that. It’s important to do what is best for you, and you know in your gut what you need. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope other people struggling will see it and feel encouraged and supported.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for your candid observations about AF life, some that were a surprise to read. I bought and read both of Annie’s books which highlighted my unhealthy drinking patterns and I’ve done a few sober months with some success. But I seem unable to make AF a permanent lifestyle and I so want it. I also realize additional reading about other people’s journeys to obtain the AF life is the best next step.

    Your comment about feelings hit home for me. This week I had a terrific interaction with a client I’ve been counseling (I’m a grief counselor for hospice and with the pandemic, work has more than doubled), and afterwards all I could think about was uncorking a bottle of merlot. While I easily identify clients’ feelings, I seem to be wary of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. There is a lot of sober groups and support on Instagram it helps to join some of those. Your work must impact on your life also, I’d definitely get some more coping mechanisms in there for when you want to open a bottle. Realise those triggers and work on them. Good luck x

      Like

  12. I struggled every day to be sober but I’m winning so far. Today will only be day 12 so I have a ways to go but I’m looking forward to the journey. Loved your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing your journey, a lot of the struggles you mentioned are things I’m unfortunately familiar with as well haha. I think those books you recommended would be a great next step.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your honesty here is so refreshing and I have no doubt it has been a difficult 135 days but it sounds like you have come a long way — so you’re to be congratulated. I haven’t ever struggled with alcohol as I rarely drink it, but I know people who have and I’ve seen both the negative while they live with it and the positives when they live without it. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yes to all of this! I am 26 days in to my journey and feeling ALL the feelings ☺️ Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing in such a beautiful way!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for sharing this! And congrats. I’ve actually just started drinking again. Only occasionally but it’s after 8 years or so of not drinking because of my anxiety disorder. Doing what feels right for you is so important x

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good luck on your journey. I gave up alcohol in April 2019 after my grandfather was given a terminal diagnosis. I was also on sick leave so it could have very easily been a situation where all I did was drink. I’ve since allowed myself a glass every so often since my wedding day but I’m in a better place now, and it’s easier to manage without the need to escape.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s so great of you to share your story. Many people can learn from your experiences and hopefully gain some insight. My mother overcame alcoholism after many years. It takes a lot of mental willpower.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. This is such a beautiful read. I haven’t had an alcoholic drink in my life ever but the way you described it in the first paragraph of the 5th section, really really had me feeling it. It’s very brave of you to share your experiences with us. Thank you for this. Lots of sunshine your way!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

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