Sarah K, London, United Kingdom
Joined Sobersistas: January 2018
Why did you decide to give up alcohol?
It has been on my mind for quite a time. A lot of my time was spent in bed recovering from drinking and my hangovers were beginning to last for 2 to 3 days. I was no longer drinking for enjoyment, just as quickly as possible to get drunk. There was no relaxation any longer. It was stressful, always on my mind. I was beginning to feel very uneasy and full of regret.
How long did it take between thinking you should give up and actually committing to it?
I woke up New Years day with the hangover from hell and decided to see if I could do dry January. In the back of my mind I was hoping it would lead to total abstinence.
What was the most difficult thing about giving up?
At first, saying no to social events. The majority of my friends are heavy drinkers and I could not be around them. At all.
How did you manage your triggers?
I have found it incredibly easy to give up drinking – I am so grateful for this unexpected benefit. Once I changed my lifestyle – stopped seeing drinking friends so often, not making excuses to not see friends who didn’t drink, it all fell nicely into place. Your lifestyle must change – I saw this immediately which is why I think things were so smooth. I am very lucky.
Did your social life change?
Hugely, but it had to or I would not be where I am today. It was a change I was happy to make.
Do you understand why you drank?
More and more so the longer I abstain. My brain is waking up again! I have an addictive personality – the gym and exercise have replaced alcohol. Whilst I will have to deal with this eventually at the moment I am happy with the swap!
How did others treat you when you told them?
Very supportive. My family were tired of my drinking. My partner was on the verge of leaving me. It was a breath of fresh air to everybody.
What tools have you used to support your journey?
I read a few sober diaries initially. It helped strengthen my resolve, reminding me why I was doing what I was doing. The gym has also been my rock. Instead of wine o’clock, I head for a run.
What was the easiest thing about giving up?
Am incredibly lucky and grateful that I have found it simple. Perhaps showing my desire to get clean.
Do you think you’ll give up permanently?
Absolutely. My life has been enriched beyond compare. Drinking scares me and sickens me equally. I am not judgemental but I will never drink again.
What does the future hold?
Endless possibility!!! I have a new job and have been promoted within the first 6 months. Would never have happened rolling in smelling of booze with a cracking hangover. I have completed my accountancy studies – something I put off for over 4 years. My personality has changed- the real me is home. Life is a much happier, beautiful place.
How much money do you think you’ve saved since you gave up? I would have spent at least £60 to £80 a week minimum on wine, more if I think of the other vice that came with my drinking. My debts are being paid off, I have money for nice things. I can’t imagine my life a year ago. Borrowing £20 to buy wine.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about sobriety?
How much I love every aspect of it. I occasionally go out with drinking friends and I can still have an amazing night. I do not need alcohol anymore. Drinking to increase my confidence was actually eroding it. I feel the best I have in 2 decades.