Social Question

Eggie's avatar

What was it like to give up alcohol entirely?

Asked by Eggie (5148 points ) May 23rd, 2012

For any of you who has given up on alcohol, has your life changed drastically? I ask this not only because of the health changes in ones life but has any other changes such as social changes or more successful or social changes has occurred?

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13 Answers

Bill1939's avatar

Habits such as drinking or smoking are emotionally linked to the environment that accompany them. They are, therefore, very difficult to break without avoiding that environment. This includes social environments. Those who had shared your habit, especially habits of intoxication, will often actively attempt to dissuade you from breaking them. Also, being around others engaging in the habit increase the desire to continue it. It is helpful to associate with others who are also breaking the habit. Good luck.

Sunny2's avatar

I had to stop drinking because it made my heart fibrillate. I missed it a lot. I experimented to see how much I could drink without my heart re-acting. 2 tablespoons was my limit. I still have a little now and then, drunk from a dosage cup.
Main effects I notice: parties are not as much fun. And I sleep better. And I don’t feel like maybe I’m an alcoholic anymore.

marinelife's avatar

I tend not to go out to bars.

I enjoy my life more. I am more aware of what’s going on around me.

Charles's avatar

Didn’t affect my social life because I have no social life. If it weren’t for the health reasons, I would still be drinking. I enjoyed a few drinks after work – very relaxing. But due to liver damage caused by alcohol while taking Lipitor (cholesterol medication), I had to quit drinking.

JLeslie's avatar

I only answer this in a semi-sarcastic way because I know @Eggie is young, and I am going to assume the question is about himself, and he is not an addict. I never had to go through giving up alcohol, because I rarely drank. That is my recommendation, never get to the point you have to “give it up” and go through all the horrible shit that comes with it. Once alcohol becomes your crutch to have a good time or forget your problems you get sort of stunted. This is what I hear on shows about addiction, that emotionally the person kind of stops at the age they took up the drinking. A few drinks now and then obviously are not going to do this, and I see absolutely no problem with a drink or two not and then, but now and then is not every weekend, and especially not every day. Any regular pattern suggests “needing” the alcohol in my opinion.

I can tell just by looking at someone if they drink a lot. Their eyes, how they talk, how they always need a drink in their hand, even if it is a pepsi. Even when they are sober.

But, I am very sensitive to it all, because I don’t drink.

fremen_warrior's avatar

I quit almost exactly 2 years ago. Parties are not as fun anymore. Do not take all that “you can party without alcohol” BS at face value unless you actually try to – unless you’re a highly sociable person to begin with of course (I for one am not).

Every once in a while you will get this craving, this urge to get wasted, or just have a beer or a whiskey, or an irish coffee. You will start thinking you might have been an alcoholic because of that. Not necessarily, smokers from what I hear also suffer from this kind of “post partum” e.g. dreaming of drinking / smoking. Heck I had nightmares, after turning vegetarian, of me eating meat and then realizing I wasn’t supposed to – crazy stuff.

My point is, I suppose, you don’t need a ‘strong motivation’ to quit, because that’s not enough. You need certainty, that not drinking alcohol is paramount to you being the person you want you to be, otherwise you won’t last 2 months.

Trust the sober-atheist-vegetarian jelly (who’s yet to kick their internet habit) on this one ;-)

Anyway: Good luck!

JLeslie's avatar

@fremen_warrior Smokers are addicts, I don’t get why comparing to smoking makes someone not an alcoholic?

Do you have friends who don’t drink? Or, and SO who doesn’t drink? I think you would have more fun again at parties and out in general if you were with people who don’t drink either. People who previously only could have fun while drinking usually have drinking friends.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@JLeslie got me there, all my friends do. Actually it’s very odd to find a non-drinking Pole – it’s in our blood (pun not intended). Good point about smoking, but my vegetarian example still stands and it’s practically the same minus the addiction (lest you can prove to me meat-eating is addictive too heh).

I guess if you feel the need to you can make it work somehow, IDK, maybe.

JLeslie's avatar

@fremen_warrior Oh, you are in Poland? Or, just surrounded by Poles in another country? I have to say most of my Polish friends drank like fishes. All of my closest college friends except for one are Polish descent. Some of them drink less now as adults, but they all still drink.

But, I think you have non-drinkers even where you live. America is known for it’s drinking, and if you look at fluther Q’s about drinking you will see a lot of our American jellies don’t drink. I have drinking friends who can’t imagine that there are more people like me who don’t, but there are plenty. It’s just the circle of friends they are in.

Maybe get some Jewish friends, there are a few still left there I think. They stereotypically don’t drink much in America, not sure about in Poland. My one very close family friend who I have known since I was 5 years old is a Polish Jew, and she doesn’t drink. But, this is all stereotyping of course, so it isn’t valid as a sweeping generalization.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@JLeslie thanks for the tips ;-) Yeah I live in Poland. Poles tend to drink a tad too much imho and finding some other teetotalers out here is darn near impossible heh. Some people will be suspicious of you if you never have a drink with them :P But that’s fine I enjoy travelling thoruoghly. Only problem is I used to mainly visit Ireland xD Now that I don’t drink it will be weird to go there again heh.

JLeslie's avatar

Ireland! That’s hysterical, Yeah, not known for their sobriety. Actually, some of the heaviest drinkers I have been around were the Japanese when I was in Tokyo. People drink all over the world I guess.

I promise there are other people who don’t drink. I didn’t but I was out clubbing until 4:00 in the morning back in the day, I still love going out, and I save huge money because I don’t drink. In college my friends used to ask me where I got the money to vacation in Florida and I would tell them if they stopped drinking for 6 weeks they could afford the flight too. You will never be sorry you don’t drink, believe me. Eventually you will meet up with others who either don’t or can take it or leave it.

fremen_warrior's avatar

I’d love to visit Asia, though I’d rather see China (including Taiwan) – that in itself is years worth of travel, sightseeing and whatnot. India would be next, Japan perhaps third on my list.

Surprises me you say the Japanese drink so much, given what I’ve heard about them not being able to process alcohol all that well. It is true that abstaining from the drink saves you money, I even don’t seem to want to drink coke or such stuff anymore either, so yeah.

Anyway, I’m glad to see there are more jellies out here who are on the straight and narrow trying to better themselves thus. One side effect of not drinking anymore – you may become a better person! So be careful ;-)

shego's avatar

I found it very easy to quit, only because I was seriously injured in a head on car accident involving a drunk driver around Halloween last year. I still have some complications from the accident.
I look at it this way though, I don’t want another family to feel what my family was feeling, to worry that they are going to lay their child to rest. It really is something that can be avoided. My friends who were with me during my stay in the hospital have quit drinking, nothing has changed about my social life, except I no longer drink.

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