Why I Quit Alcohol and How It Changed My Life

It's easy to fall into a routine or habit, and for me, that habit was drinking alcohol. I had been drinking for years, but it had become a problem. I was desperate to find a way out, and so I decided to quit. It was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but it was also the most rewarding.

I stopped drinking 13 years ago, and it has changed my life in so many ways. I didn't realize how important alcohol was to me until I quit. Quitting requires a lot of mental energy and willpower, and my alcoholic brain was too shrewd to convince me otherwise. I have a family history of alcoholism, including both parents and relatives who have died from alcoholism on both sides of the family.

At 19, I realized that alcohol was not doing anything to change how I felt, so now I don't spend any money on it. I have found that any form of moderation requires a lot of psychic energy. For the 10% of the time it's difficult, I remind myself why I don't drink. I love waking up without a hangover and replacing alcohol with an elegant non-alcoholic drink such as kombucha, mineral water or a non-alcoholic cocktail.

Around 6 months old, I realized that I'm not socially awkward and that I don't need alcohol to help me interact with others. Alcohol has been shown to cause cancer, heart disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, and other major, life-threatening health problems. One of the most amazing benefits of quitting alcohol is that I now enjoy the inner peace and comfort that I once thought could be found in alcohol. Quitting smoking could be good for me because I feel unmotivated and sometimes don't put any effort into anything.

I decided to spend an October sober (well, sober in California - I smoke marijuana and have a healthy relationship with it) and a week later I had broken up my October sober to go have a drink with a friend. Nowadays, I take small steps in periods of sobriety as quitting smoking “for good” or even for a year seems too difficult. Before quitting smoking, I would have a couple of cocktails most days of the week in the evenings and usually a LOT on Saturdays just hanging out with friends. I spend a lot of mental energy thinking about drinking, wishing I could stop drinking so much and focusing on consuming enough alcohol every day.

It prevents me from doing the things I want to do during the hours I drink (nighttime movies, for example) if there is no alcohol, because it has become a physical necessity. Quitting alcohol has been one of the best decisions of my life. It has changed my life in so many ways - from improved physical health to increased mental clarity - and it has given me back control over my life. If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol, know that you are not alone and there is help available.

Sophia Streeby
Sophia Streeby

Addiction recovery expert from experience and training - I want to help others Quit drinking alcohol and find freedom from addiction daily.