10 Reasons to Stop Drinking
Why should I stop Drinking?
Why should I stop drinking? That was a question that I used to quite often ask myself. As an alcoholic I quite liked being drunk, thank you very much, so why should I stop?
I had my circle of alcoholic friends with whom I could get drunk without feeling any guilt whatsoever, in fact, if you didn’t get drunk, they started to get concerned about your health! When I was drunk, I had no cares in the world, all my problems just disappeared so why the hell not, the last thing in mind was quitting drinking.
I have now been, what I class as a non-alcoholic, it’s just coming up to twelve months since I stopped drinking. I can’t say that I’m dry because I’m not, but I no longer drink daily or even weekly and when I am drinking I now know how to reign myself in. It’s still there though! Oh, yes! Even though I have stopped drinking regally, When I do drink, it’s just like meeting up with an old friend again and I know that if I’m not very careful; me and my old friend will become inseparable once more.
I’m writing this, not as a way of patting myself on the back for stopping drinking, but in the hope that it will be of use to someone who is out there, still thinking that being an alcoholic is OK, like I did. I’m not going to preach or even tell you about the medical risks of what you are doing because, I know that won’t work. No, what I’m going to do is list just ten of the simple things that I don’t miss about being a practicing alcoholic.
Reasons to stop drinking – Childs Play
Before I quit drinking, I missed out on a huge amount of my own children’s growing up. To be honest, I set the scene well by being drunk at both of their births! You think that they like the drunken dad; he fools around, does silly things and buys lots of presents that he can’t really afford, but they don’t like it really you know.
Thankfully, my children never disowned me, although I know that they were embarrassed sometimes to be seen with me, but now that I’ve stopped drinking, the enjoyment that we get from just being together is immense. Dad can now see straight enough to play games, he can stay awake long enough to watch TV and we don’t spend all day in a pub. I’m so glad that I sobered up before it was too late and all their childhood had gone.
Reasons to stop drinking – Bumps in the night
You know that you've been really drunk when you mysteriously acquire bumps and bruises in the night and you have no idea where they came from. They say that you bounce better when you’re drunk. Not true, you just don’t feel it until the morning. I once opened my front door with blood pouring down my face. I had apparently fallen and cut my head and hadn't even realised it.
If you are waking up with these mysterious bumps and bruises that you didn't feel at the time they occurred, then imagine what else there might be that you don’t remember from the night before. It might be time to stop drinking.
Reasons to stop drinking – Really Bad Days
Alcohol is a depressant. I suffer from depression anyway, and for years I tried to use alcohol to cheer me up, but hey, guess what? It doesn’t work! I could fill several pages of this article with all the people that I have met in my alcoholic times who are alcoholic and depression suffers. Which came first, the alcohol or the depression? That is debatable, but there is no doubt that alcohol made my depression worse. I was hospitalised on several occasions, having made attempts on my own life; some of them were only half-hearted attempts, others were not so.
If you are drinking to cheer yourself up; then trust me, you are in a downward spiral. You drink, it blots out your worries, but then you wake up again and, not only are your worries still there, they are worse. So, you drink again, only more this time, and so it goes on.
Since I did stop drinking, my depression hasn’t gone entirely, I won’t lie, but it is nowhere near as debilitating as it was. I’ve even started to reduce the dosage of my anti-depressants so I am living, breathing (thank god!) testament to the fact that quitting drinking can help ease your depression.
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Reasons to stop drinking – Parting of Ways
Have you noticed how your circle of friends and acquaintances has been reduced in size lately? Or perhaps you find yourself in a new circle of friends now, the drinkers.
I never had a huge fan base, as it were, but over time those friends that I did have just started to evaporate. I didn’t notice at first, it was a gradual process, but I guess they just got tired of seeing me drunk and embarrassing myself.
Even though we live in an enlightened world, people still seem to fear both alcoholism and mental health issues and judge sufferers unfairly. If you have a friend who is needs to stop drinking, then he needs your help, not your best disappearing act! You wouldn’t desert a friend with any other dreaded disease so don’t desert a friend with this disease. It is curable and the best medicine for it is support from family and friends.
Reasons to stop drinking - Wondering where you left the Car
They make light of alcohol induced memory losses in the movies, but an alcoholic blackout is no fun when you really have lost your car. The only upside is that you can console yourself with is at least you didn’t try to drive it home.
When you wake up in the morning and find no car on the drive, then that really gets your mind spinning. The biggest fear of course is did you have an accident and ran away. Fortunately for me, my biggest problem was only working out in which pub car park my car had been left, but cars and alcoholics really don’t mix for the obvious reasons.
If you are an alcoholic and you haven’t stopped drinking yet, you are probably drunk driving when you don’t even realise it and I don’t mean because you feel too drunk. When you drink high volumes all day, every day as I did, you have alcohol in your bloodstream, even first thing in the morning. No amount of black coffee and cold showers will get rid of it. Until you actually stop drinking heavily, it’s always with you.
Reasons stop drinking – Being a Regular Guy
Getting a bit lavatorial here, but seriously, I don’t miss the explosive starts to each and every day. I won’t dwell on this point, but excessive alcohol really does play havoc with your digestive system and accidents of this nature are really unpleasant and embarrassing! I won’t dwell too much on this point, but suffice to say that, since I stopped drinking, morning visits to the bathroom are a little less fraught.
Reasons to stop drinking – Solid Foundations
Remember that solid stuff that you used to ingest in between drinks? Well, that was food and it tastes good as well as doing you good.
Towards the end of the reign of alcohol over my life, I had reduced my food intake to just a few mouthfuls a day. For the professional alcoholic, food becomes an irritating necessity that interrupts the flow of alcohol and, rather annoyingly, it sobers you up a bit too.
I have now rediscovered food and it’s great! Actually, since I stopped drinking, I’m now over eating, but eating when sober, I can taste the food and I think it also acts as a psychological replacement for the beer that I used to drink; it’s something to do with my hands and it fills me up.
If you are replacing food with alcohol, not only are you missing out on the taste, you are doing long term harm to yourself. It’s not one of the side effects of alcoholism that is usually talked about, but even now, nearly twelve months on, my doctor still has me on six vitamin tablets a day.
Reasons to stop drinking – Eyes Wide Open
Seeing the wonders of the world again sounds a bit over dramatic but it’s true. The first thing I noticed when I stopped drinking was the smells! It was weird to start with, but I could smell the grass, I could smell my food, I could even smell fresh air. Walking around in a constant alcoholic haze, you barely notice what is going on around you, but I promise you this; stop drinking and you will see a lot more of the world.
Reasons to stop drinking – Watching the Finale
There are many things that you miss out on when you drink and to many people this one would appear to be so unimportant as to not even warrant a mention. I hadn't realised just how many of the films that I thought I’d seen I actually hadn't. I have found that, most of what I watched while drinking, I really hadn't taken in at all and I hadn't actually got to the end of just about all of them.
I must admit that the novelty of watching TV has worn off a bit now, but at when I first stopped drinking, I could sit and watch it all day long and never fail to find something new. It’s only a flippant point, but it really does highlight how completely unconnected with the world you become when you drink heavily every day.
Reasons to stop drinking – Power Walking
And finally, for this edition anyway, one thing I really do enjoy, now that I’ve stopped drinking, is bladder control. OK, we're back to that bathroom topic again, but trying to walk in a controlled fashion when you are urgently in need of a toilet is no fun at all. You keep telling yourself; I’m going to make it, I’m going to make it, I’m going to…………… No I’m not!
Stay Safe, Stay Sober
I’m not on a crusade against alcohol and I try not to take myself too seriously, but, if any of these points has you thinking then perhaps I have done some good. Whether you choose to stop drinking or not is entirely a matter for yourself, so long as you are not harming anyone else.
My drinking cost me everything, in the material sense, but that doesn’t worry me anymore. I am far happier a sober pauper than I ever was a drunk wealthy man. Give it try, you will enjoy it.
Read reasons to stop drinking - part two
- 10 More Reasons to Stop Drinking
When you’re an alcoholic, You know all the medical reasons that you should drop drinking, but you don’t really care. Here are some of the many other things that I don’t miss, now that I am sober.
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