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Beating Alcohol Abuse: 101 Days to Sobriety

Updated on March 30, 2009
My love and my vice
My love and my vice

Definining the Potential Problem

Do you or a loved one have a drinking problem? Will you admit it? Perhaps you do not know how to define what such a problem is. No, it does not mean that you are hiding bottles all over the house, or taking swigs out of a paper sack. Merely knocking back more than 2 drinks a day as a woman may qualify you in the category of abusing alcohol, particularly if you do this on a regular basis. For men, you get to have one more per day. And let's not kid ourselves either. A "drink" is only 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol. Measure it out before you pour your next cocktail, or host your next gathering and you'll probably see that each "drink" is really closer to two.

Do you make "rules" about when you can drink, pace yourself, or intersperse alcoholic beverages with water? That may be an early red flag, as well. A person that does not have an issue with alcohol does not need to pay such close attention to when or how much they imbibe. Sorry, but we are going to be brutally honest here. There is no room for shades of gray when it comes to this dangerous, but legal drug.

Some can stop at just a taste, or a glass.  Others, cannot
Some can stop at just a taste, or a glass. Others, cannot

Resources for You and for Me

Going to the Next Step

While no one ever wants to admit they might be addicted to alcohol, oftentimes, the awareness is lurking in the back of their mind, long before any problem ever arises. It does not take an arrest for DUI (driving under the influence), being drunk at work, or a custody battle for a person to be aware of the fact that drinking is taking over more and more of their life. The Internet contains a number of tests and questionnaires designed to help people figure out of they or a loved one has a drinking problem. The easiest, most simple one is an acronym: CAGE:

1. Do you need to Cut down on your drinking?

2. Are people Annoyed by your drinking?

3. Do you feel Guilty about your drinking?

4. Do you ever need an Eye-opener (i.e. another drink) the morning after drinking?

If you said yes to two or more of these questions, then its time to put down the bottle and seek help immediately. Do not wait. Alcoholism (alcohol abuse) is progressive. It gets worse over time. Drinking increases and the urges get more intense. It takes more and more to feel intoxicated, which often drives the person ingesting the alcohol in the first place. If you wait 5 years to get into recovery, it could be significantly more difficult than if you stop now. Plus, not to state the obvious, but you could end up hurting yourself or someone else in the process, if that has not already happened.

Stop the madness!
Stop the madness!
The media sure can be tempting!
The media sure can be tempting!

What Next?

What if you think you have a problem? Get help as soon as possible, and don't try to get sober alone. See your doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist, or at least to a good therapist. There are definitely some things to discuss. At the very least, you will want to get into regular face-to-face meetings that will keep you "honest." The touchstone program with the most success is AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous. Many people - even those without an alcohol addiction - are probably familiar with the 12-step program of AA. There are chapters in every community all over the United States and in many countries throughout the world. There are similar programs with other approaches, as well, such as Rational Recovery and Women for Sobriety. You may want to see if there are chapters in your area. Some have on-line chat rooms and message boards for extra support.

Talk to your doctor, your spouse or significant other, and perhaps even a trusted friend. See what they think about what program may be best for you. Let them know that you are embarking on a new chapter in your life and ask for their support. This includes, no offering you drinks, no invites to tempting locations, and being available for phone calls and more when you need it.

A Very Powerful Video About Recovery

So What's My Story?

I have known for the past 5 years (maybe more) that I abuse alcohol. I drink too much wine. Only in the evenings. Only a couple of glasses. But every night! Alcoholism runs in my family. But even if it is not in your family, it does not mean that you are immune. I am a member of the Women for Sobriety community and I am recommitting myself to a sober life. There is no "moderation." I believe that you cannot drink a little bit if you have a problem. I stopped drinking 2 days ago. I am pledging to go 101 days (with the intention of carrying that forward for the rest of my life) without any alcohol. I plan to "keep myself honest" by writing new Hubs describing my journey - the ups, the downs, and everything in between. There will be more resources, as well, for those that wish to join me along the way.

Day 1: Monday. Thought about the left-over Chardonnay in my fridge most of the day. It was not easy. I have not gone a single day without a drink since Lent (and even then, it was only 2 days over the entire 40 days - an entirely failed effort!). Fortunately, the kids had lessons at 7:00, which made it late when I got home.

Day 2: Tuesday. We're not through it yet. My husband is out of town, and it would be easy to drink without his watchful eye. I am taking the kids to a movie tonight to stay out of the house. Once I get home, it will be 8:30 and time to bathe the kids, wind down and generally "safe" for me. I'll enjoy plenty of popcorn at the film.

Looking ahead.... "Happy Hour" on Thursday at work. Got to make excuses for that one. Plus, this summer will include a bunch of celebrations, including my good friend's wedding in Hawaii! Can I make it the full 101 days? Summer is a time for relaxing. This dog needs new tricks.

What Alcohol Did to One Woman's Life


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    • profile image

      tomUK 6 years ago

      I am 21 I recently split with my partner and she willl not let me see my son. I have always drunk but NT as heavily as now. I drink atleast a bottle of whisky a day just to feel numb. My family keep.trying but no matter what they do I seem to find more alcohol. The number I am the happier I feel but everyone else don't share the happiness since I hit the bottle hard. I take my hat off too you your a strong person so stick at it , all the best ,Tom

    • profile image

      george 7 years ago

      you have made me see life so differently. Now i know why my kids look at me and my siblings look at me the way they do. I have always used alcohol to numb my pain, I am a almost 50 year old guy and. Today saw what i really am. you are about my daughters age. And i see the look on your face is the same as hers. I have become divorced over my pain. i am sorry about your dad, know know this dads love there little girls more than anything,and I see how much you love your dad. i am going to AA tommorow before it's to late. thankyou for your vid it has made a difference.

    • profile image

      martha 7 years ago

      It seems like an impossible task. Today is my first day and I have the shakes. I have been collecting the children from school while drunk, I have lost my self control. I have to beat the problem its sad to admit but my life seems so empty when I'm sober, the temptation is so strong. One day at a time, starting today.

    • profile image

      Virgil 7 years ago

      Are you still sober? I hope it worked for you.

    • Amy M profile image

      Amy M 8 years ago from Manzano Mountains

      1 day, 1 hour, 1 minute at a time. You can do it with the help of your higher power and strong support group.

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      Hello again, I very, very, very much appreciate your comment. And you are right about 101 days, versus one day at a time. I have tried several times in the past to get and stay sober. I congratulate you for your 23 plus years of sobriety. And thank you for sharing the serenity poem again. Much thanks, New Day

    • khadilkarprakash profile image

      khadilkarprakash 9 years ago from India

      No. No. No. It does not work that way. No 101 days promise to be honest. I can share from my experience. It works only One day at a time. If you can't stay away from your first drink, even for one day, try one hour at a time. try one minute at a time, try NOW I will not take that fatal drink. I am sure you will succeed. Conditional sobriety does not last for long. You will never win or lose in this battle. Ultimately I had to surrender On June 10, 1985. Till today I am sober.

      It is selfish program. Don't try to sober the world. I can change me alone. Remember the prayer "God grant me the Serenity to accept the thing I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      OMG, pgrundy, you brought tears to my eyes!! 7 years. That is wonderful!!! Since college, the longest I have gone is 21 days. UGH. Yes, I am still at it on Day 5. The weekend is ahead of me, but I am feeling pretty good. I will post a new hub over the weekend reviewing a few books that I am finding helpful in sobriety. I went to one AA meeting a few years ago when I lived in a different city. Yes, there were professionals there, but we didn't click. I know there are a number of meetings here where I live now too. I just need to get up and go. I am working online with women for sobriety. I have loads of friends there from my 2 years on and off the wagon in 2004-2006. Anyway, this is a book. :) I so appreciate your comment!! New Day

    • profile image

      pgrundy 9 years ago

      Hooray for you! I hit my 7 year sobriety date May 25. If I had stopped at your age, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. Have you tried AA? I'll never forget the first meeting I ever went to--I expected to walk into a roomful of bum with paper bags and there were all these nicely dressed professional people sitting in there laughing and talking. You know they literally saved my life. Hang in there--I hope you are still at it. Never give up. I'll be cheering for you!

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      Terence, I thank you so much! You cannot know how much it means to feel supported. It was risky for me to post here, but I feel like it is a greater risk not to stop drinking. Much appreciation. New Day.

    • terenceyap07 profile image

      terenceyap07 9 years ago from Singapore

      You are brave and I bow down my head before you in respect and admiration.

      These are my personal e-mail adresses: and .

      If you should need to share your thoughts or just vent out your feelings, I will be here for you. We will see this through.

      You are not alone.

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you MummyAnn, so far so good. Day3. I really appreciate the support. :)

    • MummyAnn profile image

      MummyAnn 9 years ago from UK

      Hope all goes well, I'm thinking of you, good luck!!

    • New Day profile image

      New Day 9 years ago from Western United States

      Thank you Sweetie Pie. I will let you know how it goes.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Good luck in your quest and I wish you all the best!