I stopped drinking alcohol almost two years ago, the day after celebrating my 40th birthday. During the time at which I stopped, I was drinking two bottles of red wine per week on average. No, that isn’t a typo. Not two bottles a day, but two each week.
I had (and still have) a challenging but well-paid job as well as two young children to look after. Despite this, alcohol had become a big problem for me. I had no recognisable ‘off switch’ and would often drink to the point of having blackouts during a night out. The shame and anxiety I often felt following my most recent bender were crippling. I was aware that I didn’t drink ‘normally’, as I hadn’t done so since my teens. I hated myself for it, and it was getting worse. The nights out were getting more extreme and the weekly bottles were becoming more and more essential to my everyday existence.
I knew when I woke up with a bad hangover two days past my 40th birthday that I couldn’t continue to follow that path. The thought of quitting drinking entirely did terrify me. For me, it was the worst-case scenario. But I knew that I would destroy everything good in my life if I continued.
Then, something like a miracle happened. I reached out for online support and found the website soberistas.com, where I found an entire community of people just like me. I soon realised that my own relationship with alcohol, my secret shame, was shared by many people in our society. It is a natural consequence of what alcohol does to our brains.
I will be two years sober in February 2019 and I’ve never been happier. I have no desire to ever drink again, because through sobriety I have discovered my best life.