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On our 15th wedding anniversary, my amazing wife and I were toasting with champagne at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Florida. Within moments of my first sip, I felt extremely weird. My face, neck, and arms turned red and tingled painfully all over. It started to become harder to breathe. Apparently I was having an allergic reaction to the champagne. We were 30 seconds from calling the paramedics when I felt the reaction level off, then start to slowly diminish. After about 20 minutes, everything was back to normal and our celebration continued.

That was eight years ago. And it was the last time I had a drink.

Now I feel the need to pause here to let you  know that I am not a recovering alcoholic, nor am I an officer of the Bible-thumping morality police (Christian, yes, Bible-thumper, no). The reason I have to say that is because when you tell people you don’t drink, they immediately assume that you just got out of rehab or you just came from a church revival.

What people have a hard time wrapping their head around is that I don’t drink alcohol simply because I FEEL BETTER when I don’t drink.

Prior to my allergic reaction – which, by the way, I believe was a one-time fluke – my wife and I had discussed the idea of giving up alcohol many times. Know when we had most of those discussions? Saturday mornings after having a few drinks on Friday night. Even a single beer or glass of wine would show up the next day in the form of a light hangover and slow us down for at least half the day. You may be saying to yourself, “He just doesn’t know how to hold his liquor.” But really, is that a good thing, to be able to hold your liquor?

When we gave up alcohol, we immediately felt better. Our Saturdays were more fun. We saved a ton of money when we went out to eat. Our livers wrote us thank you notes.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but here are six reasons why I don’t drink alcohol anymore:

1. I like to stay in control.
Alcohol is a mood-altering substance. It’s a drug designed to change the way you feel. It also has an uncanny ability to take away your common sense. There are countless examples of poor decisions made after even a few beers. Ever seen a really bad tattoo? My point exactly.

2. My Saturdays are too valuable to give up.
Life is short enough without losing half my Saturday (or any day after drinking) to a hangover. And yes, a headache counts as a hangover in my book. I’ve got a wife, kids, dogs, parents, a house, and about a thousand other things that I’d like to be 100% present for. Can’t do that if I feel like crap.

3. My health is a top priority.
I know some people buy into the argument that a little alcohol has some health benefits. Keep tellin’ yourself that, sweetheart. I subscribe to the idea that if something makes you feel like crap the next day, it’s probably not good for you. The exception to this rule would be exercise.

4. I don’t need it to have a good time.
One of the most disturbing observations I’ve made as a non-drinker is that the vast majority of adults believe that to have fun, alcohol has to be involved. And business-related fun is no exception. Don’t believe me? Name an after-work social activity that doesn’t involve drinking. Or a social activity at a business conference that is alcohol-free. Stumped ya, didn’t I?

5. High-performers don’t drink (much).
Over the past eight years as a non-drinker, I’ve noticed that the most successful people I’ve met don’t really drink much, if at all. When I see what works for successful people, I like to model it.

6. I FEEL BETTER WHEN I DON’T DRINK.
I said it before and I will say it again: I simply feel better, healthier, more energetic, more focused, and more powerful when I don’t drink. Even though this is the last point in my list, it is the #1 reason why I don’t drink.

 

The only difficult part of being a non-drinker is that I have never found a satisfying answer to the question, “You’re not drinking?”, when I order a Coke Zero at a table full of Margaritas. Like I said, people who drink can’t seem to comprehend why I don’t. And it is sometimes difficult or even uncomfortable to explain why. Maybe I should just carry a copy of this article with me from now and and just say, “Here, read this” the next time I’m asked.

So, why am I telling you all of this? After all, this is not the usual inspirational type of content that I usually produce.

It’s important to note that I am not against alcohol or the alcohol industry. I have many successful friends who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or who love to sample the local craft beers in every city they visit. I actually enjoy talking to them about why they like or don’t like a particular wine or beer. Again, this is a choice I have made for ME, period.

The reason I’m sharing this is because lately I have sensed a growing number of people who are on the fence about giving up alcohol, but simply haven’t yet. I can tell because they show a curious fascination when they discover that I don’t drink. I’ve also talked to some people who actually look sad when I tell them, as if they wish they could stop but just don’t believe they can. So I hope this article IS inspirational to those people.

Maybe I’ve piqued your curiosity about what life would be like without alcohol. Here’s an idea: give it a try. Go alcohol-free for a month, or the rest of the summer, or the rest of the year. See what happens. See how you feel. See where life takes you.

If you don’t buy into this idea, that’s totally ok with me. All I know is that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

 

Do you agree? Disagree? Want to make a public commitment to go alcohol free? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!

 

About mark henson

Mark is the founder of sparkspace...the most inspirational business retreat center on the planet. His blog is read by thousands worldwide each week. Mark's passion is sharing ideas that help people live and lead a rockstar life.

  • Brian Wagner

    Great post! I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve thought of giving up alcohol all together. True, I don’t like the way that I feel the next morning. More than that, I don’t like how I feel that night. I’m always the first to fall asleep on the couch or in my chair. Heck, I’ve even fallen asleep at the fire pit. The rest of the party goes on without me. I have more than one New Year’s Eve party that I can point to as a reference. Then, it’s supposed to help me sleep right? Sure, until 3:30 and then I’m tossing and turning trying to get back to sleep. I admire you for sticking to your guns and telling us about it. Peer pressure sucks.

    • Oooh, I should have mentioned that! Glad you did. I don’t know how people can drink a six pack and not completely pass out. One beer and I usually wanted to take a nap! And you’re right about peer pressure. It doesn’t stop in high school or college.

      • Brian Wagner

        It’s pitiful that I still let peer pressure affect me.

        • Brian, believe me, it’s not always easy. I was at a father-son campout one time as the only non-drinking dad. Rather than deal with the questions, I simply accepted a beer when it was offered to me and then just held it all night. That was a good trick at the time, but since then I’ve decided I’m too lazy to hold a beer all night just to make other people leave me alone, ha ha!

  • Jason Elliott

    Great post Mark. Let me say I feel your pain. As someone who doesn’t drink, and hasn’t in over 20 years, I understand the dilemma of trying to answer the “why aren’t you drinking” question. I have tried a number of different responses, but none of them really feel right. People who get it, don’t need an answer, and people who don’t will never understand how someone can make the choice not to drink.

    Good for you for bucking societal norms, and finding the path that is right for you. I like all six of your points, but agree, number 6 is the real reason. If doing something makes you feel bad, odds are you shouldn’t do it. PERIOD.

  • Holly

    Thanks for posting this Mark! I too am alcohol free and often get odd looks and questions when I don’t order a drink at social gatherings. I always feel I have to explain myself and most never understand as you put it “I feel better when I don’t drink.” We are adults and shouldn’t have to worry about silly things like “peer pressure”.

  • Heather

    I’ve never been a big drinker — 2 or 3 each month — but I recently found out that my son’s neurobiological disorder predisposes him to drug and alcohol addiction. He’s only 10, but middle school — and temptation — is right around the corner, so I’ve already talked to him about this. I feel like I’ve modeled “responsible drinking” thus far, but I’m encouraging him to practice total abstinence, and there’s really no good reason I can’t model that, too.

  • I too am alcohol-free (10 years actually) and feel better because of it. I used to turn red (face, neck and chest) and feel hot/uncomfortable after just a few sips. I also had absolutely ZERO tolerance so even one glass of wine made me feel loopy. I like having a clear head much better – and I prefer to spend my calories elsewhere! The hardest thing about being a non-drinker is that I perceive people around me feel judged by my non drinking. I am absolutely like you – no judgment on anyone else who drinks – but still, people seem to feel judged by it, or feel like they have to make excuses about their own drinking. Have you noticed that?

    • Absolutely. As much as I try to put people at ease, they often become extremely self-conscious about their drinking. We’ve even had friends tell us they don’t invite us out anymore because it makes them uncomfortable to drink around us — that was a truly shocking revelation to us. Drinking is kind of like a club. Seems like you’re either in or your’re out.

      • BillJan

        This has been an issue for me. How do I stop and have my friends ok with it, without the question, “you’re not drinking?” becoming an issue. I n the past, all the responses I imagined sounded like I was being judgmental. Like, “it’s not good for me.” Or, “my health is important,” etc. They’d easily say back, “mine is too.” So the trick was to have a response that gives them the freedom to do what they wish, and for your response to be 100% non judgmental. So I just say, “I’m overly sensitive to it. My body chemistry is sensitive it seems.” This seems to work well.

        • Flippin Swift

          Sounds like you need to ditch the ones that don’t respect your feelings of quitting g drinking, the truest of friends will understand an kick it no matter what, an won’t put that pressure on you.

    • aleksthegreat

      People feel judged because they feel guilty in some way about their alcohol consumption. This is in no way your fault or your problem outside of having to deal with their insecurities.

  • RobFenstermaker

    I quit drinking many years ago after my wife and I had children as I decided at that time that my children would never see me drunk. I find it sad when I run into those who I ran with back in the day who are still living the lifestyle of a 20 year old college student. Yes, I may have had a little too much “fun” back in the day but I find my life more exciting and interesting now without the use of alcohol.

    • Final_Word

      “I find it sad when I run into those who I ran with back in the day who are still living the lifestyle of a 20 year old college student.”

      You’re sad because you can’t join in? If they are not sad why are you sad? Because you feel superior to them now?

      • Amed

        well I cant speak for him but I feel the same as him, it is sad seeing my old friends waste a life living like they are still 20, no family, no commitment, no purpose in life but to work an average job and buy a slab of beer and get drunk at the end of the week. If this is you, then sorry if you take offense, and sorry for having the final word.

      • Flippin Swift

        Why you so salty?! because one feels better without drinking and watching the same doucheflutes try to influence another’s sobriety, seems hardly productive to point out why it’s sad to watch others turn into a boiling stew of turdwater?

      • Checkyourprivilege

        You are not going to believe it but I actually feel this sense of superiority over those who drink , shame on me!😂

  • Thanks for breaking your typical newsletter mold and posting this article. I have been alcohol free since April because I’ve wanted to focus on my health. Since then I have made a huge effort to exercise (been biking 40 miles per week) and have been watching my calorie intake. I’ve lost over 30 pounds as a result and feel great! I’ve been to social functions where the question was also raised, “What? You’re not drinking?!” And my answer has simply been, “No. I have other priorities.” At first, it was weird to hear that response roll off my tongue and honestly, it made me feel uncomfortable to say it. But after a little “practice” it’s no longer a “big deal”, and I’ve grown to not care what others think. All that matters is by living a healthier lifestyle, I am being the “best me” I possibly can! That my dear sir, is a life worth living!

  • The_WB

    Transparent and bold. Two of the qualities I like about you the most. I’ve struggled with this one myself. During my boot camp experience last fall when I worked out 6 days a week and maintained a strict meal plan I went without alcohol. I felt great. My husband joined the program with me. We saved lots of money and made better choices all the way around – about food, how we spent our time and our energy. We have been talking about dropping the alcohol again and your post came at a great time. The majority of our friends are still partying pretty hard and we got a surprising amount of flack about not drinking and spent less time with them during that phase as a result. Letting go of the booze for good probably means a change in our social life. And guess what, that’s fine. Thanks for being YOU in my world.

    • Thank YOU, my change agent friend. One thing I know, when you switch from drinking to non-drinking, your relationships will start to shift. I had a hard time with this at first, but have realized that I truly am limited or empowered by the company I keep, depending on which company I choose.

  • Dawn Shelton

    This is not helping my dream to buy the winery next door to our property.

  • Petra

    Amazingly you’ve written this article for me. I continuously talk to my husband about giving up drinking. He loves having a few drinks and can handle it but I’m bored just sitting and drinking with friends. There is so much to experience in life not just a hang over. I think it’s time to draw that line in the sand…

  • Petra

    I notice that peer pressure is brought up in many comments. The reality is that changing your habits does mean that your social circle will change. Once again, consider what you have in common with your friends. If it’s only drinking, then it won’t be a big loss. True friends will respect your decision and support it. If they don’t, you’ll draw new friends into your life. The beautiful thing is that our choices are always our own – that’s true freedom.

  • Brian Ahearn

    I guess I’m the loan wolf here. I enjoy a good beer and have acquired a taste for certain wines. While I respsect the decision to give it up, and understand completely, I can also make the case for not giving it up on several points.
    1. I can stay in control when I drink in moderation.
    2. When I drink moderately I’m still up around 5 AM most Saturday and Sunday mornings to get my run in.
    3. In moderation, espeically red wine, there are health benefits.
    4. I don’t need it either but in certain situations I think it enhances a good time, especially with friends.
    5. High performers don’t drink much. Agreed, thus the word moderation throughout my comments.
    6. In modertation I don’t feel worse for having drinks.
    As for the Bible thumping, I too am a Christian but not a thumper. I believe a case can be made that drinking – not to drunkeness – is not unbiblical at all. Jesus was accused of being a winebibber and glutton because He enjoyed a good time with the non-religious of the day. Many scriptrures talk about wine but warn against drunkenness.
    Brian

    • Brian, thanks for adding to the conversation.

      You may look alone in this pile of comments so far, but your point is as valid for you (and I’m sure many other readers, too) as mine is for me. If alcohol doesn’t make you feel bad and you enjoy it, more power to ya. It just never treated me well, even in moderation.

      • Dawn Shelton

        Moderation is very Bible thumpy. And that’s okay! (in defense of Bible thumping).

        • I dunno. I’ve always viewed Bible-thumpery as more of an approach or an attitude of the man (or woman), not really the content of the book.

    • Diahn Hevel

      Didn’t want to be the first imbiber to comment here so now that Brian has…..

      Mark, your reasons for not drinking are all solid and I know more people (as I get older) who have made the same choice. While I do enjoy craft beers and delicious wines, I’ve changed my habits for many of the same reasons you shared. The moderation Brian speaks of is essential and what I think we all see is that this ability comes from experiences – good and bad.

      One thing I think we can all agree on is alcohol in the workplace/business setting can be a REAL problem. I was disappointed to read recently of the trend of smaller business owners to offer “happy hours” onsite for co-workers to “hang around a bit after work and socialize….to bond…team build…encourage idea sharing…” UGH… If you have to promote drinking to make all of that happen then you’re not a great leader.

      If those of us who enjoy a drink or 2 would stop giving the non-drinkers a strange look or a prodding comment and just enjoy great conversation while they drink a water or tea, we’d build stronger teams make more profits together. Non-drinkers though, as long as they are not recovering alcoholics, need to socialize with co-workers or colleagues who happen to be enjoying a drink – work, networking, etc. requires that you don’t hide from those opportunities to converse and share. That said, those who drink need to be very aware they may be alienating someone who chooses not to drink – I’ve seen that “bullying” and it’s not healthy at all.

      • Diahn,

        What a great response. I love your advice for both drinkers and non-drinkers.

        • Bonnie

          Here is the reason I have been on both sides of the question, “oh you’re not drinking?” It usually comes from people who think they are going to be judged or preached to by a non-drinker. When I was drinking, I was immediately suspicious that the person in the group was a bible thumper, or fanatical about health, and judging me. Now, I am a non-drinker, because I would drink too much too often. Now when people ask why I’m not drinking, I tell them I have an allergy to alcohol, but I don’t care if they drink. If they are uncomfortable with it, that is their issue (like it was my issue) and I don’t give it another thought.

      • aleksthegreat

        Why do you feel its necessary to advocate for drinkers when the entire world already does?

        • Hmmm…I wasn’t “advocating for” drinkers.

  • Rich Hopkins

    I didn’t have my first drink til I was 29, and moved to Utah, which was such a teetotalling state I felt I had to rebel. I’ve probably averaged 2-3 drinks a year since, with some years going by with no drinking at all. My dad was an alcoholic, so I always figured I’d just save myself the trouble. Frankly, I can’t remember if I’ve had a drink this year yet or not. And it’s not because I’ve had too many 😉

  • Mark Winnett

    Gave up alcohol about 15 years ago, when I had a pancreatitis attack. Doctor said I should not have any alcohol for 3 months, and I decided I did not need it.
    Thank you Mark for a great article. I have found in business settings, that once people get to know you, they respect the fact that you don’t drink.

  • Kelly Hernandez

    Mark,

    I love that you posted this and I feel the same way. Though I have not fully abstained from alcohol throughout my life with an occasional drink here or there, I have always been pretty much a non-drinker. I too am a Christian which has no doubt influenced my beliefs on drinking although do not want to be considered a bible thump-er either (who am I to judge to choices/convictions of others?).

    The other major influence was having alcoholism and drug addiction in my family. As a young girl I realized its destructive power over the lives of others and decided I wanted to never feel so out of control. I wanted to be successful in my endeavors, feel good and not impaired. I never wanted to say the words.. “I need to stop drinking”, so I just never started drinking. Simple as that. I once had a friend tell me that I just need to get over it (my non-interest in drinking). I disagree as those are my convictions and choices.

    Two things I really love about your post

    4. I don’t need it to have a good time.
    One of the most disturbing observations I’ve made as a non-drinker is that the vast majority of adults believe that to have fun, alcohol has to be involved. And business-related fun is no exception. Don’t believe me? Name an after-work social activity that doesn’t involve drinking. Or a social activity at a business conference that is alcohol-free. Stumped ya, didn’t I?
    *** Personally I have experienced many gatherings/parties with no alcohol involved

    5. High-performers don’t drink (much).
    Over the past eight years as a non-drinker, I’ve noticed that the most successful people I’ve met don’t really drink much, if at all. When I see what works for successful people, I like to model it.
    *** I like to model what works too.

    Thanks for posting. I think I may too have to carry around a copy of your article as it reflects so much my same thoughts.

    • Thanks for the thoughts, Kelly. My wife’s mom was an alcoholic, so we’ve had similar thinking in our family, too. Kind of interesting that my parents were alcohol-free and my wife’s mom was the complete opposite…and both of these experiences from our childhoods influenced us profoundly in our adult lives.

  • Andrew

    So, I have been fighting a rather odd behavioral issue of mine where I ravage the internet searching for others who feel the same way as I do about alcohol, and sadly those who do are few and far between. Considering a drunk driver killed my mother, my drunk brother fell off a balcony and is now paralyzed, and my drunk ex girlfriends slept around, my opinions on anything that has to do with alcohol is a bit more extreme than yours. But I like how you brought up many of the problems associated with alcohol. You say one of the most disturbing things about alcohol is how people need it to have fun, well I would agree with you 100% but add that people who drink to have fun are plain out pathetic. I know what you must be thinking right now, that I am extreme and judgmental and perhaps that is true, but if you have grown up experiencing traumatic things that are directly associated with the consumption of alcohol you too may have less tolerance for an entire society that is controlled by the alcohol industry. None the less, the purpose of this article appears to explain what life is like sober, and I can state that from my experiences life is remarkably lonely. When everyone else that you know drinks, and when all they do outside of work is drink, than you somehow find yourself ironically alone despite being surrounded by a sea of people. Personally I have found that unless you go to the bar’s with people, or go to their parties and partake in their drinking activities, it is impossible to form a deep bond and relationship with your peers. People can-not understand why you dont drink, why you dont want to drink, and this unfortunately makes you an outsider that can’t bond over the same activities that most people partake in. Being sober is an isolate road, especially if you are in the market for finding a partner who also doesn’t drink. But these are just my personal experiences, and can honestly say that not drinking has somehow turned into the most defining attribute in my character and has caused a self-inflicted void of friendships. I find it sad that removing one activity (drinking) can lead to being such a social outcast, but this is the society that we live in, I hope that others who have chosen to be sober have not had the same social misfortune. Either way it is refreshing to hear of others who choose to avoid alcohol, whether your reasons and views are as radical as mine or not, thank you for existing because even though I do not know you, your mere existence makes me feel less alone.

    • Andrew,

      Thanks for your reply. I know the feeling of being “ironically alone” as a non-drinker. There are more of us out there, we just gotta find each other! Best wishes.

      • Lisa

        Andrew,
        I recommend you check out local Alanon meetings. Alanon is a 12 step program that helps people who are affected by others who abuse alcohol. From what you wrote about how alcohol has negatively impacted your family, it is my opinion that you definitely qualify for being in Al-Anon. You will find many people in this fellowship that can relate to your past experiences and the suffering alcohol consumption/use/abuse has caused you and your family. Check it out – there is no harm in investigating what this fellowship can offer you. I believe it can offer you freedom from suffering and a beautiful, life transforming fellowship of people who will support you & with whom you can relate. Make sure to check out at least 7 meetings–you want to make sure you relate to the people in the meeting. Make sure you raise your hand and introduce yourself as a newcomer – this is not meant to embarrass you but only to help the members get to know you and introduce themselves after the meeting. Make sure you stick around after the meeting and meet a few people. As you say one can ironically feel alone in a group of people and this can even happen in a 12 step meeting if you don’t put yourself out there. You are not alone, there is a solution and there are fellow travelers who want and even need to help you.
        -Lisa
        Ps…do not let ‘the God thing/aspect of the program turn you off. If you listen you will find that this is a spiritual program, not a religious one and that you are encouraged to find a God of your understanding

        • Pantry Pest

          12 step programs generally don’t work and may make the situation worse. Google “Orange Papers.”

    • Lisa

      Andrew,
      I recommend you check out local Alanon meetings. Alanon is a 12 step program that helps people who are affected by others who abuse alcohol. From what you wrote about how alcohol has negatively impacted your family, it is my opinion that you definitely qualify for being in Al-Anon. You will find many people in this fellowship that can relate to your past experiences and the suffering alcohol consumption/use/abuse has caused you and your family. Check it out – there is no harm in investigating what this fellowship can offer you. I believe it can offer you freedom from suffering and a beautiful, life transforming fellowship of people who will support you & with whom you can relate. Make sure to check out at least 7 meetings–you want to make sure you relate to the people in the meeting. Make sure you raise your hand and introduce yourself as a newcomer – this is not meant to embarrass you but only to help the members get to know you and introduce themselves after the meeting. Make sure you stick around after the meeting and meet a few people. As you say one can ironically feel alone in a group of people and this can even happen in a 12 step meeting if you don’t put yourself out there. You are not alone, there is a solution and there are fellow travelers who want and even need to help you.
      -Lisa
      Ps…do not let ‘the God thing/aspect of the program turn you off. If you listen you will find that this is a spiritual program, not a religious one and that you are encouraged to find a God of your understanding.

    • YouKnowWho

      I totally understand what you’re saying as I hate alcohol with a passion after watching it consume my loved ones and having put up with the BS that comes along with any alcoholic (or addict in general) just because you love them. You stated that not partaking in drinking with others makes you an outsider and I can absolutely understand this one but that’s what makes you the better person. I read your posting and could sympathize with you, many people can. You’re not being radical or extreme, you’re angry and have every right to be. There’s a good book I read (it’s short and not boring) called “Of Course You’re Angry” which is a sort of guide for those of us who have been hurt by the people we love due to their alcoholism or substance abuse. You may want to check out an Alanon meeting, they’re everywhere and with people who feel exactly like you. And one other thing I’d like to add is that although you made a lot of great points one thing you’re missing is the realization of how extraordinary you are and that you, unlike the “people, places and things” you know who need alcohol to have fun you don’t. You stand out from a crowd of drunks, that’s something you should be proud of not upset over and feeling like an “outsider”. You have a healthy head on your shoulders and you can help others in your shoes with your experiences. You can find yourself surrounded by healthy, happy, sober people if you really want to get away from the toxicity around you. Good luck to you, you sound like a decent, good person and you don’t need to lower your standards.

    • Ann

      Andrew, I feel the same way about alcoholics & “the social drinker”. And yes it’s bc of my experiences in life that made me realize how unnecessary & destructive alcohol is. Basically trading deep thoughts and conversation for a high. I’m going through a really difficult break up bc my boyfriend who i thought didn’t really like alcohol (said he only drank to please his family of alcoholics) just told me that he wishes he could drink with friends. I realized how my presence made it “difficult for him to be himself.” He said that his family will talk badly about him and me if I don’t drink, so that’s why i haven’t seen them for 2 years, bc it’s better that I’m not there during social gatherings (making him or others feel uncomfortable). After knowing him 7 years, I’m in so much pain, bc I’ve never felt so alone. I have been in tears almost every day for 3 weeks now. I know I cannot get over my feelings about people who drink to have fun, but it means losing the only person that I’ve spent most of my days with. It’s hard hearing you have the same situation, but I feel a little less alone too. Thank you for your honesty. I know it’s tough

      • Rob Dinwiddie

        Ann. I’m living your story too. I recently married and was abundantly clear that I don’t drink and don’t want to be around people who think it’s fun to get drunk. A year later, I feel like I was tricked into marrying someone who condones alcohol abuse with family and friends. Her kids won’t talk to me and her friends treat us like social outcasts. They all drive drunk regularly, and two have current DUI’s, but continue to drink and drive anyway. I tried an Al-Anon meeting but felt like it’s set up to make it ok for me to be a professional victim. I’m not sure where I’m going from here, but I do know my staunchly held conviction about not drinking will never change!

      • Rob Dinwiddie

        Ann. I’m living your story too. I recently married and was abundantly clear that I don’t drink and don’t want to be around people who think it’s fun to get drunk. A year later, I feel like I was tricked into marrying someone who condones alcohol abuse with family and friends. Her kids won’t talk to me and her friends treat us like social outcasts. They all drive drunk regularly, and two have current DUI’s, but continue to drink and drive anyway. I tried an Al-Anon meeting but felt like it’s set up to make it ok for me to be a professional victim. I’m not sure where I’m going from here, but I do know my staunchly held conviction about not drinking will never change!

    • Rob Flippin Swift

      I’m a 5+ years sober person an I’ve seen plenty people pile out after a few drink’s and it’s a bummer to see those that have mad potential go downhill and still continue the cycle of insanity, I for one broke that years ago and I continue to fight the good fight. The alcohol industry is just like another socially acceptable drug like cigarettes, I’d rather give out weed to those that are detoxing from whatever vice they’re struggling with.

    • Rob Dinwiddie

      I couldn’t agree more, and I feel like you just told my story. I had an alcoholic father who drank himself to death at 53, a 14 year old neighbor who was gang raped while drunk at a party, an 18 year old friend who was turned into a vegetable by a drunk driver, and I could go on. I too look at drinkers as pathetic and I’m happy to be alone rather than be forced to be with them.

    • Rob Dinwiddie

      I couldn’t agree more, and I feel like you just told my story. I had an alcoholic father who drank himself to death at 53, a 14 year old neighbor who was gang raped while drunk at a party, an 18 year old friend who was turned into a vegetable by a drunk driver, and I could go on. I too look at drinkers as pathetic and I’m happy to be alone rather than be forced to be with them.

    • teshss

      I just want to say, ‘over drinking leaves one very lonely and isolated too’…and over enough years can destroy all family relations, friendships, etc…so you may feel the ‘loneliness now…but I am sure as the years go by’, you will find you will have a circle of people, worth having as your friends. But maybe you are looking in the wrong places. I have noticed outdoor, sports minded, active people don’t do the heavy drinking…But I agree we have become a society that revolves around alcohol. I don’t know your age…but I am sure this too will pass.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for posting an article like this. I was on the fence about alcohol as early as 14 (then at age 19, my brother became an alcoholic, then I *really* didn’t want to drink). I knew I was going to encounter it, but I never felt interested to drink. Not to mention I *despise* headaches! Heck, I stayed up until 3am one night doing homework and it felt like a mini-hangover and I told myself, “Good thing I don’t drink.” But anyway, I am 20 years old now. In less than a year, I will hit that age everyone has been telling me about – 21, the “last fun birthday because you get the privilege to drink, just like at 16 you could drive, and 18 you could buy cigarettes”. I am not excited to have to endure the odd looks and the need to explain why I don’t drink to people, but I’ll get through it. Thanks again for this article, I can totally relate to it!

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. Glad to know there’s more of us out there!

  • John

    Thanks for this post! I have recently decided (at 52) to give up drinking! Although I have been blessed with health and wealth I know I will be that much “better off” without alcohol….

  • Pingback: Reasons Not to Drink Alcohol | Legal | Other - Share Your Favorite List()

  • Wayne Anderson

    I totally agree with this I am 36 years old and I have never been alcohol dependent by any means throughout my life and will never say that not one sip will ever pass my lips again, my other half drinks quite regularly and I have no qualms about that either everybody has a choice is there own person. I just simply don’t enjoy drinking and havnt done for some time now. The stuff makes me feel ok at first but then sluggish ,down uncoordinated, socially inept and so on. Six weeks now with no alcohol and I feel more energised ,alert ,more alive and positive about my life.I love life! . No hangovers is an added bonus. I only mostly drank because I felt I would be a social leper and paranoid what people think but that has passed now and I really dont Care what anyone thinks, I am happy and that’s the main thing.

    • Harry Jensen

      Well, said. You may start the evening feeling well, but it all changes
      after you start fuelling up with alcohol. The freshness you felt from the
      workout earlier the same day now turns into feeling like crap and its all
      downhill from there. Not to mention the following day and the potential risk situations you can place yourself in. For me, not drinking is worth all the social pressure and exclusion you may experience.

  • Joe Smith

    I’m so glad that you took the time to make this article. There has been two times were I have contemplated to go out and drink. Upon contemplation, I’ve punched in a couple words into Google and this articles has popped up. Every time I’ve went over your six reasons, I remember why I haven’t drank in over 3 years!

    It’s amazing how the thoughts of going out (drinking) definitely do pop up from time to time. I definitely share the same views and motivation not to drink (strongly). All I can say to you is Kudos, this article has checked my thinking really quick!!!!!!

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  • Harry Jensen

    All good points! Coming from a non-drinker family I still managed to have an occasional binge episode. After seeing how I got myself into unwanted situations after drinking, I no longer felt that alcohol was part of what I stand for. I have tried enough times to take up a rare social drink but it is only a question of time before one drink becomes a few too many and I got tired of day after “regrets”. Perhaps I never learned how to drink at home.. But the longer you do not drink, the more you notice all of the benefits from abstaining. Best decision I ever made, teetotal rules!;)

  • aleksthegreat

    What’s wrong with quitting drinking because you realize its a problem for you? We need to stop stigmatizing people with alcoholism and find common ground. Like for starters the fact that alcohol isn’t for us. Having alcoholism doesn’t make me a monster.

  • YouKnowWho

    I am a proud wife of a recovering alcoholic who decided he’d had enough 3 years 2 months ago (after his 3rd DUI and lots of money spent on lawyers to keep him out of jail probably helped some).
    He is such a hard worker and team player at work but his “team players” always go to the bar after their weekly meetings. He is pressured into going to the bar and declines, reminding them that he doesn’t drink. His boss knows he’s a recovering alcoholic but they still don’t get it. And the fact that he has to explain his decision while he is pressured into going is extremely bothersome. Going to the bar after their corporate meetings is actually encouraged by the company to create that “team” feeling.
    It makes me sick.
    Think of a recovering heroin addict walking around where there are stores everywhere solely for selling heroin, places where people gather to use heroin and “escape the day”, commercials for heroin brands saying how good it is and how incredibly difficult that would be to abstain from. What’s the difference? Just because alcohol is legal doesn’t make it any safer or better for you than another substance. One substance is not safer than another; people still get addicted, ruin their lives, hurt themselves and others and people die from alcohol related deaths just as much. I think it’s just so unfair sometimes but that’s when you have to see how much stronger a recovering alcoholic really is as it takes so much courage and will power to stay sober in a society that hands it to you on a platter.

  • Guest

    I’m glad you’re happier being a non-drinker. However, it is well-documented that moderate drinking is associated with longer life and possibly greater well-being, so it’s not “buying into” an argument, it’s understanding legitimate medical research. And why should exercise be an exception to your rule, but not drinking?

  • Tiffany

    So glad I stumbled upon this article along with all these comments… All this while I’ve felt quite alone in this alcoholic world. My line of job doesn’t help, everyone is a drinker..but I love my job otherwise.

    Agreed to all the social pressures mentioned.. Most of the time when people find out I don’t drink, they tend to judge me and think that I’m a boring person.. They react in a way that it’s almost embarrassing that I’m drinking a non alcoholic beverage .. Or almost wondering why am I even here in the first place.. I really hate it.

    As some of the others mentioned above, not drinking is really the same as not eating certain foods and there’s nothing strange about it.

    Another thing I hate is some of my colleagues would “promote” how I don’t drink: “hey let’s grab some drinks after work!” (Saying to me), before I can even give a reply someone would say “but she doesn’t drink !!!” .. I don’t know if it’s a victim of bullying but I just feel so judged and victimized when I’m in this sort of situations.

    Nevertheless, it’s great to know there are souls just like me and that you guys are proud and confident in your decisions which I’ll need to learn 🙂

    Thank you

  • BillJan

    I just stopped recently. Same thing about Saturdays was an issue for me. But there were a lot of other things. The cost was bothering me. I could buy healthy things with the same money. Also, the calories. I traditionally like to stay below 5% body fat. It’s not easy to do, even without drinking. But WITH drinking it’s impossible basically. And, after stopping, I noticed pretty fast that I was sharper. Wittier. The right thing would come to mind when I needed it, etc. And people asking, “you’re not drinking?” is also an issue for me. My girlfriend is irked by me not drinking. In the past when I brought up us taking a break, she got mad. Even though she only drinks 2 glasses of wine a day. I had to not let that bother me. She can do what’s best for her. When people ask me now, I’ll just say I’m overly sensitive to it, and I feel better not drinking. Which is true. I’ll also bring up the carbs and body fat. I work out really hard, so want to achieve my goals. Thanks for your blog.

  • jane

    Well after another session on the booze on fri as soon i got home at 4pm was drunk by 6pm i conked out by 9pm woke up the next morning and decided thats ive had enough im giving up the booze , i have finally faced up to myself i have a problem . i was out on the saturday a pub crawl but i drank orange juice all day and evening. sunday i walked in the park had ice cream felt great i actually did something instead of thinking about a beer or sat in bed all day with a hangover . its only 3 days but i will keep you posted and i have to keep going because my life well i didn’t have one but now hopefully i can change that jane xx

    • Jane, I haven’t replied to anyone in awhile here since this article has been around for awhile. But I read your comment and just wanted to high-five you and send you some good vibes.

  • Em

    I absolutely enjoyed reading your post! I don’t think anyone really needs a reason to stop, but it certainly is a good idea if it doesn’t make you feel good to begin with. Not only did I suffer from next day full fledged hangovers the next day from one beer the night prior, I noticed every time I drank I got pimples! My immune system was lowered (as everyone’s is when alcohol is consumed), however, my immune system was lowered to the point my body could not fight against the acne bacteria. So… my excuse I tell people is, “I don’t want to get any more pimples.” Usually this works because I am a woman and most woman on some level possess a certain level of vanity. It’s sad when I give the, “I get hang overs really bad” speech, it doesn’t phase anyone! As if it’s a given – something I DID NOT have when I was in my 20’s. Abstinence is definitely a personal choice! I comment you for choosing your health over a silly glass of what every one else is drinking =) Cheers to not being a lemming!

  • Julie G. Alvarado

    I’m making a commitment! Thank you for this article!

  • Veritas2013

    As I sit here, 2 days later, with cuts and bruises all over myself, literally from head to toe, and also ridiculously sore from walking 8 miles, I have decided to stop drinking. My “friends” threw me through a glass table, amongst other “fighting” activities. I don’t drink all the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a problem. Because when I do drink, I go nuts. On this most recent night, I had at least 16 beers and about 14 shots of whiskey. If I had cut my throat on that table, I would be dead as none of the people around me were remotely coherent. The last time I drank (about 3 weeks ago before a concert), I had 17 beers in about 3 hours and felt pretty sober. So, it’s definitely not frequency, but the fact that I can’t “just have one”, or two, or 14 for that matter. I am also a complusive gambler (last bet 3/6/07), so I am not afraid to admit I have a problem, and I look forward to a better life without alcohol. Everyone I know will be SHOCKED next time we are out and there is alcohol and I’m not drinking. But that’s okay. ME FIRST.

  • Liz Anderson

    Great post. I happened to notice the title when I finished reading today’s (9/16/14) post. As a fellow non-drinker, I, too, struggle with the answer to the question of why I choose not to drink. In fact, I often find myself avoiding events where I know the sole purpose of attending is to drink. I really have no legitimate reason to be there.

    I echo your points about enjoying much lower restaurant bills, feeling great on Saturday and Sunday mornings (as well as the other 5 days), and must agree that exercise is the one exception to the rule that “something makes you feel like crap the next day, it’s probably not good for you.”

    I’m so glad I receive notice of your posts now – only wish I did a year ago, too! Regardless, it’s good to know there’s another kindred spirit out there who doesn’t drink and holds similar beliefs.

    • Thanks, Liz. I’ve been truly amazed at how many people this post has reached and how many people have admitted similar struggles and challenges with not drinking. There’s a whole subculture of “closet non-drinkers” out there. We just need to find them and drag them out of the closet with us!

  • Luba Gallinger

    I read this article several months ago and was sorry to see comments were a year old, but am glad to see it is a regular with readers. What I find intriguing is the difficulty and discomfort experienced with not drinking. I gave it up entirely almost a year ago. I had started to have blackouts (not passing out but not remembering anything for a period of time). Yes, I did do a 30 day program because I wanted to focus on why I was doing this, drinking to excess every day for almost a year or more. Daily discussions rarely focused on alcohol, drug or food addictions. It was dealing with anger issues or coping mechanisms, etc. Tried AA, didn’t work for me. I did not want to discuss alcohol or relapse every time. Actually found it incredibly depressing. So I searched out articles like this which I find so positive. One of the most powerful feelings I have experienced not drinking is the sense of freedom to be myself. If I am funny or silly, it’s not “the alcohol”. One of my first parties with friends, they commented how I was still “the same”. I go out to the same functions, football games, pre-games, social get-togethers with alcohol and I almost always order a ginger ale in a wine glass. The server usually asks twice but smiles and never forgets. I still maintain the same circle of friends who have been very proud and supportive of me. The one thing I have changed is that I may not stay as long at a function, since I “can’t drink them pretty”. I feel healthier, my years of IBS are virtually gone and so is the anxiety which is the reason I often drank. Who knew?

    • Luba,

      Thanks for your addition to the comments. This is by far the most read article I have ever published, which is why I leave the comments open. The comments do seem to come in small waves, sometimes separated by months. However I have noticed that the number of readers of this article continues to increase, which is why comments and stories like yours are so important to include as inspiration for others. Thank you, again, and congrats on the upward momentum of your journey.

  • Em

    Hi Mark!

    I am very relieved to find another professional who has given up alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic, but the histamine is enough to say,”No Thank You!” (Which attacks my soft tissues, aka my sinus, thus I can’t breathe, my heart rate increases, and my precious eight hours of sleep is disturbed,” Aside from these side affects, I really do not relish my CNS being affected, nor the fact that my healthy diet becomes obsolete the moment alcohol enters my blood stream (because we all know our body processes alcohol as if we have consumed a poison so any food in the process of digestion, ie pulling nutrients, no longer counts. I might as well have eaten greasy fries and tacos) To tell you the truth, I rather cheat on my diet with greasy fries and tacos rather than consume another oz of alcohol. I really appreciate your post! Reminds me I am not the only one. Since I live in a drinking city, it’s rare to encounter a non drinker. But I rather be the minority in this predicament. Not only do I feel younger, I also look at least a decade younger as well!

    Cheers to sobrity – it’s great to be in total control! 🙂

    • Em, thanks! It’s nice to know you’re out there, too. I get tons of responses here on the blog, but I still don’t run into too many people in real life who will admit to being a non-drinker out loud.

  • Alex

    Can totally relate to what Mark says!

    It’s about our individual choices and how they make us feel. I also don’t like the way alcohol makes me feel and that’s why I choose not to drink it. Some people get on well with it though (so they say) so good for them, my friends all drink which is expected considering many of them are Hungarian and it’s very much sewn into their culture too.

    Nice one for wanting to be “100% present” for all the important stuff. I like that phrase and I think I’ll adopt it if you don’t mind!
    That’s a great philosophy and I’m sure your family will benefit hugely
    from it! (and you in turn of course)

    My father was an alcoholic but it’s actually quite hard to know which negative things in his life were caused by alcoholism, and which triggered it (chicken and egg blah blah) so I’ve given up with that one. I decided that there are way more important things to be thinking about. I mention it because it probably played a part in influencing me not to drink.

    I recently invested in and obtained exclusive distribution rights for a Hungarian interior design product which will be
    introduced to the UK sometime in the next 6 months. I used savings accumulated by careful saving and mostly, my lack of alcohol consumption.

    Just a last note which may be of interest – Last night I drove to a club, stayed for 6 hours, danced all night and drove back in my beautiful MG which was easily paid for with the savings in alcohol I made over the past 15 years (I’m sorry I didn’t mean to gloat). I spent £11 on the entire night and it was AWESOME! OMG It’s so much easier to do EVERYTHING when you’re sober! Talking, walking, dancing, driving (duuuh) and of course …..That.

    Alex.

    PS I should probably mention that I smoke a LOT of weed. It’s only fair I mention that. I’m successful and a complete pothead. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. But only through personal choice.

  • smackyobitchass

    I REALLY would like to quit drinking I can go from 5 to 7 cans of beers a day ..I feel like crap right now hence me finding this article I’m only 29 bUT I feel 60 yrs old … any more tips???

    • I hope you take this the right way, but I suggest you seek out some help, either through counseling or attending a few AA meetings. Doesn’t mean you’re an alcoholic, but I believe that if you’re struggling at all with drinking (or giving it up or cutting it back), then why not go straight to the source that has helped thousands of other people figure it out.

      • cameron

        Mark, I just found this, can we talk?

    • Luba Gallinger

      Unfortunately, I know what you mean….I am 60 years old. You need to talk to a professional to figure out why you’re drinking, what you are not facing. I quit over a year ago, but needed to decide it was forever. If you want it to be a permanent decision YOU have to BELIEVE and understand why you don’t want to do this anymore. AA helps you to appreciate you are not alone but you need to take yourself further. I went into a 30 day ‘camp’ as I call it. Stopping drinking was easy. Understanding why I didn’t want to go back to drinking (or any negative behaviour) was the important lesson. I wish I knew what you know at 29, but it’s never too late and I couldn’t be happier. I still need to remind myself of my reasons regularly but that’s what you need to figure out for yourself. It is difficult but believe me, it’s more difficult to stay where you are. Good luck on your journey.
      Keep searching out articles like this!

      • smackyobitchass

        Thank u

  • Lana

    What a wonderful article. You have inspired me to try going wine free for a while. I’d like to give it up yet it tastes so good. I agree with every word you said. I’m hoping to one day be able to post my experiences of how wonderful it is to NOT drink. Thank you so much.

    • Lana,

      Thanks for your reply. I have a resource that might be helpful. I wrote “The Happy Non-Drinker’s Handbook: A field guide to a successful alcohol-free life.” It’s free and I think you’ll really like it, especially where you are in your journey right now. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can get it here: https://sparkspace.leadpages.net/nondrinkerhandbook/

  • MDS

    I haven’t done it yet and I already agree. My wife and I aren’t alcoholics by any means, but, It would be different if we left it alone. Great article.

  • Terry

    I quit drinking 107 days ago! I didn’t drink a lot, but I liked having 2 glasses of wine or beer several days each week…usually when we went out for dinner. I quit because I wanted to feel better. I didn’t realize how MUCH better I would feel! I am so happy now! Fear that was there before I quit drinking – is now gone! Sadness that was there before I quit drinking – is now gone! I feel 20 years younger, more excited, more innocent, prettier and more connected with people! So glad I quit!!! Reading online what others said about not drinking helped me a lot the first few weeks. Now I don’t want alcohol at all! Yea! Life is good!

    • Terry,

      I love comments like yours because they are like little celebrations! And they are so encouraging to other people who are still on the fence or struggling with giving up alcohol. Thanks for sharing!

  • cdavisla

    Thank you so much for sharing your article!!!!! It’s as if it was written just for me! Thanks man!!!!

    • You’re welcome! Read down through the comments. You (we) are definitely not alone.

  • JJ

    5 years, next month. Although you and I go way back, Mark, i did not know we had that in common. I agree on all your points. I would not change my decision either.

    • As I drove past 2 different Irish pubs/bars on my way home from work yesterday (St. Patrick’s Day) and literally saw drunk people stumbling around outside (at 5pm!), I felt a weird sense of happiness and empowerment….and relief that I would NOT have the hangover those people probably have today!

  • Fiona

    I stopped drinking four years ago after reading Allen Carr’s No More Hangovers book. As soon as I put the book down after finishing, the thought popped into my head ‘well, I guess I’m a non-drinker now’ and I am! I don’t know how that little book works but it was like a light-switch came on. My sister read the book a month later, same thing happened. She still does not drink either and we are both so happy because of it. I simply feel happier most of the time (yes life still has problems but I can handle them much better and I don’t get as irritable). For those that their other half still drinks, my husband does. In fact after I stopped drinking, he developed a fascination for wine tasting and has been educating himself. I’ve apologised to him on many occasions because I feel bad that he’s lost his ‘drinking partner’ as we’d enjoy a nice bottle of wine together. He said not to, as he feels it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and it has helped him too even though he has remained a drinker. He also said he has changed the way he drinks – he drinks less, but better quality and really enjoys tasting different wines. As for me, I still enjoy a day around the vineyards and I smell the wine. I have developed quite a good nose! I think I enjoy treating them more as a perfume, to sniff but not to drink. To me it’s the same as dabbing on Chanel No. 5 and thinking, that smells delicious, shall I drink it? No! And with friends, I’d often say ‘I’m the designated driver’ or ‘I’m on a health kick’ and they’d leave me alone. I mostly drink something bubbly from a champagne flute – a Red Bull is great for a pick me up and looks like sparkling wine, or a Diet Coke in a flute (in France apparently young women call Diet Coke ‘Champagne Noir’ so I have adopted that, call me shallow!). I even drink out of a flute at home, it feels more special. Crazily enough, when I’m out with people I get into the spirit of things and often feel a little tipsy and laugh along with them, even though I’m not drinking. It’s a state of mind that I don’t need alcohol to access.

  • Dredd

    Great article. I’m done with alcohol, the after effects are devastating and my consumption could hardly be described as excessive (one maybe twice a week, maximum of four pints and perhaps a shot of whiskey) but it’s certainly enough for it to take away my focus and drive. Also as someone who has suffered with mild social anxiety alcohol exacerbates all of the symptoms the following morning – sadness, depression, guilt – a whole host of undesirable consequences of drinking.

    My plan is to drink once a week, a maximum of two pints, then gradually reduce my consumption to zero. My social circle will change, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, after all most of the people in my local pub are not friends and some of them bring me down to the point that going to the pub has become an endurance test, where’s the enjoyment in that, I ask myself?

    • Thanks, Dredd. I wish you the best. I know you can do it. I can seem lonely at first, but once you start to build (or grow) your friendships outside the pub it gets a lot easier. Definitely a shift, but one for the better.

      • Dredd

        Thanks Mark. I’m not going to pretend that it will be easy. Any transition takes time and patience. Also agree with you regarding ‘losing’ days after a drink. Oddly enough I stopped drinking for about seven years, when I say stopped I moved to another part of the country and would only drink roughly twice a month, again not excessive amounts, prior to the move I’d already stopped and got myself on to a fitness programme. I think I went back to my old haunt to make friends with my past. Now that’s over with it’s time to move on.

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  • droptozro .

    I haven’t read through ALL the comments, so I don’t know if anyone has already given you this advice. But simply, it seems through most of your points listed you were upset about the dehydration that alcohol brought to your body. You didn’t mention it directly though, so I’m not sure if you were ignorant of it or just ignoring it in the post and not talking about it. If you drink a lot it’ll dehydrate your body over night… to keep from feeling bad/hangover, drink a lot of water before bed after drinking. It’ll re-hydrate your body. I used to do that when I was a heavy drinker long ago after getting drunk or drinking too much, and rarely ever had a hangover.

    I don’t get drunk at all now though. Even then, when I was drunk… I hated it. I hated not having control of myself. At one point I went 3 years without alcohol after drinking for 3 years before. I’ve always been fairly moderate in my drinking in the past though. I went without drinking because I was in a tight knit church that had former alcoholics whom I didn’t wish to stumble, and also because it was a dry county. Money was also tight, alcohol was just not a priority at all.

    Now, after those 3 years and being out of that tight knit church… I returned to grabbing a 12 pack every month or so and having 1-2 beers a night once in a while. I’ve only felt bad once, probably because I stayed up late and didn’t drink water afterwards. Rarely am I ever that dehydrated that I needed water after having a couple drinks in the first place though.

    Overall, I’ve seen both sides. Stay moderate. I steer clear of strong drinks(liquors etc…) with high alcoholic content. Both sides often have their reasons, and understandably so…. as long as no one’s getting drunk I don’t see an issue from the Scripture though. Any judgment made without clear contextual Scriptures on the whole will just be an opinion and the judgment may be wrong.

    • Thanks for the comment. Hydration certainly helps (with way more than alcohol consumption). I always did a pretty good job staying hydrated and I still didn’t like the way I felt after drinking. I know people who seem to able to drink and function just fine. That wasn’t ever my experience, though.

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    i was working because been happily married was a criteria that was

    needed and that i was now lacking owing to my failure to have a child that has made my

    wife leave me for another man leaving me single. I kept on

    searching and hoping i would find a solution to my problem but there

    wasn’t any coming. I contacted lots of spell caster as i saw them on

    the Internet but all were scams as they demanded money from me

    frequently and nothing happened. i had to relocate from Texas city

    United state to Jamaica where my mom was residing and also because i

    became racially abused because of my color .I spent 4 months with my

    mom and together we kept on looking for solution still to no avail.

    There came a faithful day when i met my high school mate who knew i

    was happily married and living in Texas city United state with my

    wife and had to ask why i flew back to Jamaica. I explained my

    problem to her and with sincere desire in wanting my problems solved

    she led me to DR JAMIN ABAYOMI. Although i was doubtful but soon as i

    explained my problem to him,he laughed and gave me a maximum of

    72 hours for my wife to come back and for she go give birth. I

    did all i was asked to do which included me traveling back to Texas

    city United state. I traveled back to Texas city united state,on my

    arrival during the early hours of the morning,my phone rang and guess

    who?it was my wife who called asking for my forgiveness and saying

    she was coming back home. She came few hours later and on her knees she

    pleaded for forgiveness. Although it was a tough decision for me to

    make because of all the pains i have been through. I love her and

    needed her back so i had no option but to forgive her. We sat together

    and while she was resting her head on my chest we had romantic

    conversation and talked about things that we have never spoken about

    and like husband and wife the urge came to have sex and we had sex for

    a very long time that day. The next day which was still within the

    72 hours given by DOCTOR JAMIN ABAYOMI she felt something different in her

    body and immediately she went for a check up and to our greatest

    surprise,she was pregnant. How possible could this be but it happened

    and am very thankful also my skin color that made me racially abused

    was changed to the preferred and now we are now happily married again

    and no racial discrimination. All thanks to DR JAMIN ABAYOMI for his

    solution.

    ARE YOU FACED WITH SIMILAR PROBLEM OR ANY KIND OF PROBLEM.PLEASE KNOW

    THAT DR JAMIN ABAYOMI isn’t on the Internet so kindly contact him via

    EMAIL: drjaminremedy@outlook.com

  • Kevin

    I am the only one in my group of friends who doesn’t drink; I simply just don’t like the taste of alcohol and never have. When I was in college, I had a few drinks to be social, but I never enjoyed it. Whenever I answer “I don’t drink”, people give me that look like “he must be weird” or “he had some kind of problem”. From their reaction, I use to think to myself that I was the buzzkill in the party because I don’t drink. Since 8 years ago, whenever I go out to a bar to watch a sports game, or a wedding, it’s always the same answer “coke with ice please”. I’m used to getting called names by my friends who pride themselves on how much they drink..but we’re not in college anymore! I moved to South Korea 3 years ago, and when I come back to the US to see my family and friends, they all look 10 years older and 30 pounds heavier than me because of all the drinking. I have escaped the life that would have been holding me back, but now I’ve expanded my horizons and my career is much more than it would have been if I stayed in that group. And what I’m most grateful for, is that I married the woman I love and it wouldn’t be possible if we both didn’t see each other at a friends birthday party..and the only ones enjoying a non-alcoholic drink.

    • Kevin, what a great testimonial. I’ve said before I don’t have any problem with people drinking. I know many people enjoy it, but I do love your line, “We’re not in college anymore!”

  • Mark Newman

    Yup, I’m a non drinker. But why I don’t drink with people is simple… ‘I’m on medication!’ or a similar lie! But actually, I don’t go to bars or any places that serve drinks. Neither do I sit around with people who do drink. I don’t care if you drink yourself stupid. I don’t think you are less of a person for doing it, either. But I feel uncomfortable around people who drink.

    • Mark, you just gave me a new idea. When someone asks why I don’t drink, I’m going to say “I have a medical condition that prevents me from drinking.” If they ask what that condition is, I’ll say “The need to be as healthy as I can be.” Thanks for the inspiration!

      • Jo

        I think it’s a shame that it’s not possible to simply say” I don’t drink alcohol”- end of story. Is it because there’s an assumption that you’re a recovering alcoholoic if you don’t give a reason? I really think as with any generational change, alcohol will soon become very uncool. Young people of today seem much more clued in to the damage it can do than I was when I was a kid. Here’s to a new alcohol-free trend.

  • Katya

    Great article. This was exactly what I was looking for at the moment, thanks!

  • bluebear99

    I am glad to see I am not the only one. I have more fun without alcohol and feel great!

  • M

    Hello – thank you so much for this post. I am in the same boat. I have family and friends who have had a much worse relationship with alcohol than I ever did, but I really just want to quit to feel better in general. On day 9 and hope to keep it up and be much more at peace about it. Thanks for addressing the issue for those of us who just want to quit for personal reasons, no matter what other people’s judgements are. Be well.

  • tinydancer1

    If you’re ordering coke zero, then your health isn’t a top priority.

  • no_one_special

    Sorry for the late commentary but I felt compelled to add my thoughts to this.

    I’ve been sober for a little over a year now and I’ve noticed some interesting things in that time. But before I get into that, a little background:

    Unlike many people I know, I didn’t start my serious drinking hobby until I turned 21. I drank before that, sure, but those were few and far between; in high school I think I went to maybe a total of three parties.

    Once I turned 21, however, I went at it and I went at it hard. I was never an alcoholic, though — I didn’t need to drink to be able to function day to day — instead I was a dedicated, hardcore binge drinker. I could never drink in moderation or just catch and maintain a decent buzz. No, if I was going to have one drink I was going to keep drinking until there was no more alcohol available and no way to get more.

    No matter how drunk I got, I managed to keep some level of control; I was never an angry drunk but I was never an aggressively affectionate one either. I never got overly emotional — at least not outwardly so, but more on that later — and even during what became increasingly frequent instances of getting blackout drunk, I never did anything which I felt ashamed or ostracized me among my peers.

    I was always outwardly happy and social when drunk. I found it was easier to talk to people because I actually enjoyed being around people when I was drunk as opposed to being very introverted and reserved in social settings while sober. I could easily get an entire room of people to succumb to fits of uncontrollable laughter and was often encouraged to get into stand up comedy. I was infinitely more confident around women as the alcohol removed all my insecurities and fear of rejection and as a result I had a lot of sex.

    Aside from the extremely bad hangovers the following day, nothing bad ever resulted from drinking. Given the experiences of other people, I know I’m one of the lucky ones.

    A few years ago, however, things changed. Without getting into the personal details of it I’ll just say I went through an experience which left me with a crippling depression. I seriously contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. The only thing that stopped me was the fear that I wouldn’t succeed and would only be left permanently damaged to the extent that I’d never be able to attempt it again and get it right. But worse than that, I didn’t want my failure to be taken as insincere attempt meant only as a form of attention seeking.

    After weeks of being withdrawn, my friends were growing impatient with my excuses for not partying with them. I never told them the truth because I knew they wouldn’t care and it wouldn’t make me feel any better to talk about it. So I’d say that I was exhausted from work, or that I was sick, or just didn’t feel like it. I was out of excuses so it just seemed easier to cave to the pressure and go get wasted than to tell them truth. I told myself “you’ve always been happier when you’re drunk than when you’re sober, so this will help you get out of this hole.”

    As we all (should) know, alcohol is classified as a depressant. I always figured that it was meant to be taken in contrast with a stimulant; one facilitates sleep, the other boosts energy levels. It had previously never occurred to me that it could exacerbate actual, emotional depression. I had seen become emotionally distraught while drunk and having the tendency to cry. I figured that was just how alcohol effected them just like how some people love everyone when drunk, some people hate everyone when drunk and some people go through those three in cycles of different order dependent upon their level of intoxication. I was in for a hard lesson.

    I returned my routine of drinking to excess and as far as everyone could tell all was normal. But inside my own head I knew it wasn’t the case. The alcohol was not making me happy anymore. Despite the smile on my face and my ability to make people laugh and be sociable, I was still figuratively dead on the inside. I just didn’t want to be “that guy” who ruined everyone’s good time with a drunken emotional outburst. So I faked it.

    This went on for several weeks. I figured I just needed some time to readjust and everything would be right again. But despite a few fluke incidents where I did feel okay inside, it just kept getting worse. So I decided that I would just end it once and for all, but I’d be sure there was no chance for survival.

    Through several mutual acquaintances I met a heroin dealer from whom I purchased what my research had told me would be a guaranteed lethal dose. Just after leaving his apartment, I stopped by a gun store and purchased a box of hollow point ammunition for my .45 — I found it morbidly funny I was buying the whole box when I had only needed one — and went back home.

    My plan was to eat the heroin and then shoot myself in the head, confident that even if the bullet didn’t kill me, the overdose certainly would. But it was also Friday night so I figured I’d have one last drunken night before checking out entirely. I load the magazine of my pistol with one round so I wouldn’t have try to do that while drunk and left it on my bedside table next to the little baggie of heroin.

    I went out to where that week’s party was and hit the bottle harder than ever. But knowing what awaited me made it difficult to fake like everything was okay so I left early under the pretense of just going outside to smoke a cigarette. I called a cab and had it take me home. I got home and sat down on my bed and started to take my shoes off as usual but then decided there was no point as it’s not like I was going to be sleeping. I smoked a cigarette while sitting on my bed — not like I’d get my deposit back anyway — and after I finished it I put it out on my bedside table, grabbed my pistol, chambered the round and rested it next to me. Then I grabbed the little baggie of heroin and in fumbling, drunken attempt to open it, I ripped the baggie in half, sending the brownish white powder all over the place.

    I immediately got irritated and threw myself onto the floor in a futile attempt to pull enough grains of powder from the carpet in which to overdose. The improbability of that happening being incredibly apparent, I broke down and silently cried until I passed out on the floor.

    I woke up late the following evening with the worst hangover of my life and wondered why I had passed out on the floor. Then as I stood up, I saw the cigarette butt on my bedside table, then my pistol on the bed and finally the ripped baggie not far from it and the whole previous evenings events came rushing back to me. I made my way to the bathroom and puked like I never had before. After which I decided I was done drinking.

    My friends eventually gave up inviting me to parties when they realized I want going back on my decision. I was often asked why I quit drinking — though no one asked why I drank when I still did — but I never told them the truth. This is the first time I’ve ever told my story to anyone.

    It didn’t take long to realize that I seldom hung out with these people while sober because I didn’t really them, or most people in general unless I was plastered. This realization made me think back to a poster in my 6th grade classroom which said “are you making friends or drinking buddies?” Later in life I’d recall the existence of that poster at parties and “jokingly” answer the question with a question: “what’s the difference?” But now I realize there is a big difference between the two.

    And now it seems I have no proper friends because they’d all rather be drinking buddies. I’ve tried becoming friends with “sober people” but the way their entire identity is based on being sober is just as annoying as those who base their entire identity on getting wasted. Even more annoying is the tendency of the sober people to lay claim to moral superiority, which I refuse to do. I have no problem with people who drink, their life their choice.

    Just like this is my life and my choice.

  • Kelly

    I’m hoping someone is online to talk to. I quit drinking in 2002 for 11 years. Two years ago curiosity got the best of me and I drank again. For two years I have drank at least 3-4 beer daily with the occasional overdoing it at parties or clubs. Back in June I felt it getting the best of me. I didn’t like the feeling of needing that drink. So, I quit for 2 weeks and fell back into it. Friday night I really let it get the best of me and I started drinking mixed drinks. That was the first night I ended up throwing up all night. It brought back all those memories of why I quit back in 2002. Plus, I missed a day of work and this was a first. I know I can quit on my own because I just did last month for a few weeks. Please don’t judge for me not turning to AA. I won’t say anything negative about it if nobody pushes their beliefs about it on me. My family is awesome and they’re a great support system as is my husband. I don’t talk to my dad’s side of the family due to them being alcoholics. I’m just looking for someone who is going through or has gone through the same thing as me and just wants someone to talk to who REALLY understands. Thanks for listening!

    • 54V10R537F

      Perhaps I could be of help. Personally I applaud you for not turning to AA

      • Kelly

        Thanks for the advice. I’ve tried to replace alcohol with a good habit. Never worked, lol. I’m just more upset that my curiousity got the best of me after 11 years clean. I did take a few things with me from AA but I hate the idea of sitting at a meeting making myself seem weak. I was stronger than that with the help of church and my family mostly. I’m shooting to quit after this month as why torture myself. I looked into joining the YMCA. My life is just a roller coaster right now and I haven’t been online for almost a week because of health issues. Hopefully, I can come back and chat more often.

    • Luba Gallinger

      Hi Kelly, how are you doing? I quit almost 2 years ago. Not as long as you, but it was my time. AA didn’t take with me either. I felt as though I was supposed to say what was expected but I wasn’t looking for ” one day at a time”. I was looking to just stop because it was out of control. I had drank wine nightly at home, and if out, always more. My problem began when I started having ‘blackouts’, not remembering periods of time, until I was told about them. I need to remind myself of those times and why I do not ever want to repeat them. You said you remember why you quit in the first place. Think seriously why you quit. You’ve done a wonderful job of it…11 years.
      I think we are way too hard on ourselves. If a person loses 40 lbs but gains 5 back, they have nothing but moral support. Not the same for someone who’s quit drinking. It’s starting from square one, which is not right. For myself, I toyed with the idea after a year, as you said, curious, how a glass of wine would affect me. I went through the mental picture and realized I would have at least 3. So then what? I decided that I would just not drink again. One thing I took away from AA, was a comment a fellow made, that you don’t worry about how many drinks to have, you just worry about the first one. I had decided at one point, that I am not having any, ever! There’s a real sense of relief not worrying about what I could get into, etc. I’ve replaced the habit with ginger ale in a wine glass, home or away. I love it. I don’t analyze it, it works.

  • Elaine

    Great article, Mark. I gave up for 2 years having read Allan
    Carr’s book and, like many people, found benefits that I hadn’t really been
    expecting. For example, I was much more cheerful, had less anxiety, found it
    easier to talk to people and felt like I could actually achieve anything I
    wanted to, (whereas before I tended to put limitations on myself). Also, as a regular
    singer, I noticed after about 3 months that my voice was so much better than it
    had been. Anyway, I started drinking again about a year ago. At first it was
    fine and I was able to drink moderately but it creeps up on you and after about
    9 months I was back to where I started – drinking more than I wanted to. The truth is (for me) everything is better when you don’t drink so 3 weeks ago I stopped again. I decided at first that this would just be for a few weeks because I have a gig coming up.
    However, I already feel so much better that I think I should make it
    permanent. Articles like yours are helping me to decide. Thank you.

    • Elaine, thanks for the honest comment. I used to wonder what it would be like to drink again, but for me I decided it’s an all-or-nothing commitment. I guess I’ve hung in there long enough, though, that it’s really not a temptation any more. Sounds like your life is better when you’re not drinking, so I’ll just encourage you to hang in there, too!

  • Megan Matson

    Thank you! This was just the reminder I needed. I quit for two years, felt amazing, then got curious and cocky and was back lightly drinking for 6 months, then quit for 6 and felt great again, then back for 2 summer months lightly. I had fun being “normal and social” and relaxing into it, but of course 1 careful drink turned into 3, and now the mornings are ruined. I am quitting again today. I don’t even get hangovers or make a fool of myself, I just hate losing the early hours of the next day, those precious first moments of the day when you can either wake up curious, energetic, sharp and ready, as a non-drinker, or you can wake up slow-witted and a little irritable if you had even a glass or two of wine or beer. I also love the point in the comments about “knowing that how I am and feel is my SELF, not alcohol” — it is a big reason I have loved my dry spells. Plus, I have so much more mental energy, and regular sleep patterns, and performance certainty. One tip that has worked for me when people remark on the not drinking: “I just have trouble sleeping if I drink now, chemistry must be different or something, and I truly love sleep!” No judgement. Thank you again for the perfect post (#6: “I just feel better!”) and comments. Very affirming and helpful.

  • Steve Timm

    I love your six reasons!!

    They are six reasons why I don’t drink as well!!

    It is kind of interesting being an outside observer to people I know who do drink. One thing I have found is, that I don’t believe in the casual drinker anymore. I really don’t believe there is such a thing. My experience has taught me that almost everyone that I have known in life who is a social drinker or a casual drinker, at some point, develops some sort of problem with it. It may not turn into full blown alcoholism, but they have some variation of it that begins to affect their life in a non-positive way.

    Speaking as a non drinker, I have never truly understood alcohol intake. Why would a person, knowing how poisonous it is, how horrible it tastes and the effects it has on the body, start drinking. I too get the stares and the comments by some people when I am out and about and am the only one not drinking. I really don’t care what others think of my sobriety!! If a person can’t handle the fact that I am drinking an iced tea instead of a glass of whiskey or beer, they can head over to the nearest exit to get away from me!!

    Anyways, just my 2 cents on the matter!!

    Take care guys and catch you on the web!!

    Steve Timm

  • D. Smith

    Nice article Mark.

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  • Moonshadow Anita

    I quit drinking by choice about 2 1/2 years ago. I never needed it to have fun, I’m already exciting without it. I also actually prefer hot tea or water to any other beverage. My only problem since quitting is the smell on other people at social gatherings. I think I’m overly sensitive. I try not to curl my nose, but I do hold my breath and try to sneak away. The benefits have been endless, thanks for the emotional support and truth.

    • I’ve heard of that same thing happening with people who stop smoking or who grew up with people who smoked. My wife grew up with a mother who smoked. She can’t stand the smell of cigarettes now.

  • Anna Sul

    Since I went alcohol free over 24 years ago I found out how it changed the way some people treated me and thought of me. I don’t value those people’s opinions so much anymore because they clearly don’t really have my best interests at heart. It was clarifying. 🙂

    • I like that: “clarifying.” Thanks for the comment.

  • Lisa Marlene

    I grew up with alcoholic and drug addicted parents who drank and did drugs all the time. It was not fun. They would get black out drunk. Get very violent towards each other and us kids. Cops were at our house all the time. I started drinking at twelve. Many bad things have happened to me since I started drinking I want to quit 100% but it’s hard. It’s destroyed all of my relationships. My best friend lost her mother to alcohol at age ten. I gotten into drunk driving accidents. My best friend is now an alcoholic herself. Drinking is a poison made to look fun, but is it really fun? It’s a form of self escape, destroys your soul, destroys your body, destroys your mind.

    • Well said, Lisa. Great advice for anyone…including yourself. I’m with you all the way.

  • Katie

    Good article. Exactly what I was looking for to help me stop drinking. I know I want to stop and did attempt once where it lasted 6 months. I felt amazing and lost weight at that time. And, even my vocabulary was different since my head wasn’t as cloudy.

    • Katie, I know you can do it. Keep that smart head clear!

  • Gia

    I agree with you completely! I just wish we could meet more people like us outside than on internet to feel sane out in the real world!

    • They are out there. I meet more and more all the time. And the longer I go, the less the drinkers bother me. But I think I’m also hanging out with people who don’t drink very much when they do drink, so it’s a lot easier (and they’re not getting drunk so they don’t care if I drink or not).

  • Ian

    Mark what church do you attend?

    • I’ve gone to non-denominational Christian churches my whole life. Currently not attending any particular church, but oddly enough am studying and spending more time with my Bible than I ever have before. Funny how much you can learn, think, and experience when you strip away all the labels and doctrine of religions (even non-denominational).

  • Brendan Gavin

    Amazing article! I feel like I have a chronic disease sometimes by society judging why I don’t drink. You articulated our defense much better than I could and for that I thank you. Life is beautiful through clear eyes!

  • drflyfisher

    The use of “Bible Thumper” is insulting and degrading. Please try to find a better term to describe those of us who Love God’s Word and try to live by it.

  • Chili Pepper 1996

    Excellent article. Your reasons are very much why I gave up drinking alcohol 79 days ago after drinking for 38 years. I was a social drinker who binged in my 20s and 30s (though never intentionally setting out to do so) and got tired of feeling poorly after even a couple of drinks. In recent years, I’d drink on the weekends but never more than a couple of beers or glasses of wine or a margarita.

    I read Alan Carr’s book, followed by Jason Vale’s and had a lightbulb moment. It presented alcohol in a way I’d never thought of.

    It has been the best decision I’ve ever made. One of the biggest benefits has been how much better I sleep. I started dreaming again! I realized that dream sleep had pretty much faded away for me and now I have vivid and pleasant dreams every night.

    My thinking is clearer, I have more energy, I’m more productive and best of all, I am calmer and more positive than I have been in years. I have had some issues with anxiety in the past and that has pretty much evaporated except for the occasional, normal feeling of anxiety that comes with new situations or stress.

    My husband, who was never much of a drinker, has also stopped. I did not ask him to but after stopping, he felt much the same way I did.

    My friends all still drink and that’s OK. I don’t feel any stress for not drinking around them because, like you, I’ve decided it’s just not for me. I had an interesting experience recently when getting drinks after work – before even thinking about it, I told my boss that I don’t drink alcohol. I’ve never said that before in my entire life. It felt great! I didn’t care what he thought. He just nodded pleasantly.

    One of the things I say when asked why I quit is “I wasn’t very good at it and I like to be good at anything I do”. Kind of tongue-in-cheek but it gets my point across in a gentle way.

    Like another person here mentioned, I sometimes search online for people who’ve made the same decision as me. It was refreshing to find your blog post and read through some of the comments. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the nice reply. And congrats on the alcohol free life.

      So happy that your husband is on board with you. I’m always saddened when I see comments from people who don’t have the support of their spouse. It definitely makes it much harder for them.

  • Gi

    I’m 31 years old and recently I’ve been getting very sick after drinking. A lot of times, not just a hangover the next day, but also vommiting that night then being hungover with a headache the next day and ruining / wasting that whole day and sometimes even the day after. I’ve been thjnking for a while now that I want to stop drinking all together but I’m afraid I won’t be able to have fun in social settings if not. I’m very excited to save a ton of money and be able to wake up early and feeling great the next day but what will I do now without drinking ? Lots of my friends go to happy hour or out for drinks on weekend, etc. I guess I can not go bc I don’t drink anymore or just go but not drink? I’m going to give it a try. I’m excited about it !

    • I won’t like, it can be difficult at first to go out with friends who are drinking and be the only one who doesn’t drink. It does get easier as both they and you get more comfortable with it.

      There’s a pretty good chance that if you stop drinking, some of your friends will change over time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We all grow and change at different paces. Sometimes people are along for the ride, sometimes they’re not. Just remember, how people react to your new non-drinking lifestyle is about THEM, not about YOU. You do what’s best for you. Period. Best wishes!

  • julie

    I, too, no longer drink. I stopped drinking when planning my pregnancy and just never returned. That was more than 20 years ago and family and close friends still insist on offering me drinks. I find their lack of acceptance and understanding offensive. If I had quit smoking, would they still be offering me cigarettes? I know, after years of experience, that their behavior is a reflection of their own internal struggle and has nothing to do with my personal decision.

  • Checkyourprivilege

    I at all do not drink , did experiment as a young adolescent found alcohol wasn’t for me ( think Ave got a light head)
    What baffles me is how some people become antogonistic when i say I don’t drink , someone found it so unbelievable and called me a liar😀

  • Leslie Dalton

    I am not a recovering alcoholic. I did, however, quit indulging in alcoholic beverages May 2014, because I had an alcohol blackout and ended up with a mild concussion to the back of my head. I could not remember the evening before, I had lost hours of my life and injured myself during that time. My boyfriend took a video of me that night and I didn’t recognize myself…I was talking incoherently and had a glazed look in my eyes. I awoke and found a laptop upside down on the floor, screen door broken, hole in wall, etc. I had a hangover and symptoms from the concussion for about a month or two. I will never drink again. It was a scary morning to say the least. Guess what? I love being in control of my life! I have much more time to indulge in my art, exercise, gardening, and having fun not drinking! I’m even more sociable and open being sober than I ever was drunk! I too think it’s perfectly okay for any responsible person to have a drink or two and I don’t mind talking about beer and wine with people. I do have an Non- Alcoholic beer here and there, Bitburger has 0 percent alcohol. Lately, I was at an art event held at a vineyard where there was wine tasting and the server said, “You’re not wine tasting?!” and before I had a chance to answer, she said, “Oh, I see, you’re the designated driver!” I just left it at that. I actually did fill that role, however. The reason I happened upon your page is because my boyfriend IS an alcoholic. I’m looking for answers. I appreciate you and your views! Thank you. 😀 Leslie Dalton