Quit over 6 weeks.
I am quit over 6 weeks. This has been by far the longest I have managed to stay away from alcohol since I started 27 years ago. And I have had almost no thought on going back to drinking since I quit (except for once in six weeks).
I have tried and failed quitting many times over the last few years. I tried moderating my intake. I tried "only on the weekends." Nothing worked. The only one that has worked for me is me stopping outright altogether.
How did I do it?????? I think a culmination of events and factors, along with a change in mindset, helped me cross the line in the sand.
First, I had another of my many drunk moments in front of friends. Maybe some of you out there recognize this? It seems to you everyone in the room is drinking and having a good time. You realize or figure out the next day that you were the only one drunk and making a fool of yourself. Well I had one too many of those days. I never want to make a fool of myself like that again. The shame and guilt of the following days is just too much to bear.
The second reason why I quit was to improve personal relationships.My drinking was causing problems in my family. Problems between me and my spouse, and me and my kids. I had to accept that my drinking was causing these problems, and that the only way to deal switch this issue was to stop altogether. Since I quit, our family life has improved drastically. It isn't perfect, but its far better that it has been in years.
The other thing that made me quit was getting my head ready. Getting my mindset ready. I now understand what benefits alcohol has for me. None. There is not one good reason for me to drink anymore. I cannot come up with a single reason to drink. The negative are huge, the benefits are zero. So why put myself and my family through that again?
I will admit, there was one time having a drink crossed my mind in the last six weeks. A brief, flash of a moment that went away as fast as it came. I was going through a very very stressful event with a family member with a health issue. Very briefly, the thought of having a drink to cope came to my head. After all, that's how I coped with stress for years and years, so I guess I had myself conditioned to having this response to big stress. That thought was immediately followed by "Imagine how much worse this would feel if I were drinking."
For those of you who have tried to quit before and it didn't work out, my advice is just try again. If I can quit, anyone can! Seriously! You just have to figure out what works for you. Consider why you need to quit (you already considering why if you are on this website). Then get your head around how to deal with quitting. It's not easy, I know. But after going through the last six weeks, and now into week seven, I can honestly say it isn't as hard as I thought it would be.
Good luck to everyone. Talk soon