It's difficult for me to admit this, but alcohol has become a problem in my life. I can't rationalize it away anymore. I'm ready to just stop drinking, but I would like to hear stories from people about the positive benefits you noticed when you cut alcohol consumption way down or completely out of your life, either with or without help.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (35 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Just to give some background: I'm a woman in my 30's, and I live in Chicago. I don't binge drink, but I drink just often enough for it to bother me. On weekdays, I'll often (not always) share a beer with my SO after work, or drink a glass of wine while cooking, and then another while eating. On weekends, I'll drink on average two beers a night (with pizza or something) if I stay home, but more if I go out. Therein lies the problem: I sometimes don't know when to stop when socializing, and I'll become sick or overly rambunctious and feel shame the next day. I've grown to absolutely hate this feeling, and anticipating it has helped curb things a little when I go out. But despite being an extrovert who loves to make people laugh, I suffer from social anxiety. Unfamiliar people and situations cause me to drink more to feel comfortable.
I know it doesn't seem like I drink a lot, but it's really crept up in the past year or so, and I don't like that it's become a habit to drink (even a little) almost daily. I come from a family where addiction was an issue for a couple of extended family members, but not my parents. I thought (foolishly, I know), that might make me safe from developing a problem.
However, recently, a close immediate relative revealed to me that they are receiving help for meth addiction. This came as a complete shock--I never imagined that this was part of their lifestyle at all (good job, great marriage, wonderful friends, etc). They are doing great in recovery, but it made me examine my own destructive habits, and I started to confront my drinking.
Some recent , particularly embarrassing, episodes have brought this to a head. Besides feeling shame about my losses of control, I'm more anxious and depressed than usual. In addition, I've noticed that all of this drinking is taking a toll on my physical health as well.
So, if you've faced this before, please tell me how it's going to help me, in the long and short run, to stop this destructive habit. I'd like to hear all of the little ways that being sober has changed your life, physically and mentally. I need to know why this decision is awesome. It's too easy to rationalize just having *one* beer, or *one* glass of wine.
I know I should also be dealing with this in therapy. I have crappy insurance and very little money, so I would welcome any free or sliding scale therapy suggestions. Also, is Alcoholics Anonymous appropriate for this type of drinking? So far drinking has wreaked havoc on my sense of self-worth and confidence, but hasn't caused any other glaring problems. I'd like to prevent causing permanent damage to myself or others.
p.s. I've discussed this with my SO, and he's being very supportive and wonderful. He asked me what he can do to help me, and I told him that words of encouragement, rather than policing, would be the best for us. Is there any other kind of SO support you've found helpful?
Thank you very much. Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org