At the beginning of the year, I decided that I had to quit drinking. I had a daily alcohol addiction for over five years, and even though I told myself differently, I knew it was slowly killing me. I enjoyed unhealthy amounts of beer, bourbon (my favorite), vodka, rum and wine. In fact, I had some nights where I had all of those in the same night. Yuck.

I did a lot of research on how to quit. I knew I wasn’t going to AA, but I read their basic literature anyway. One of the more interesting methods I found was not how to quit, but how to taper off using beer.

Ultimately, I just quit “cold turkey” (means- with no help).

It was incredibly tough, and I went through some pretty gut-wrenching withdrawal symptoms. I felt so bad that I was tempted to just have a small amount of alcohol just to ease things out, but I didn’t. One of my methods I used to help me quit was to keep a small bottle of bourbon in the house; it was easier for me to look it and refuse to drink than feel anxiety about not having it there

I never touched it and ended up giving it away after a week.

Now, over two months later, I haven’t had any alcohol and I don’t have any desire to go back to drinking heavily. At this point I would probably just get sick if I tried to drink like I did before anyway. But I do feel comfortable in saying that I could go back to having a few beers every so often. I quit my addiction, which was daily heavy drinking. I reset my mind and body to look at alcohol just like any other substance that is not healthy for you; it’s fine in moderation.

I also started running more. Since I stopped drinking, I run almost twice as much as I did before! Now I run 5+ miles at least four days a week (with shorter distances on the off days). The increase in exercise helped me feel better than ever and also helped me get to sleep without the booze.

Would that work for every person addicted to alcohol? I have no idea, but probably not.  If you have a problem, get help and find the best method that will help you reclaim your life and get healthy again.


5 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. I am so incredibly impressed, Brian. Your determination to make your life better is something I really aspire to. If anyone can get past this, it’s you. Sounds like the running has made a huge difference, and I get the idea that having some physically and mentally engaging activity is an important part of recovery from any disorder. My guitar has meant the world to me in my eating disorder recovery.

    Planning on running any races soon?

    1. Thanks Joanna. I waited on writing about my alcohol addiction because I was just so embarrassed, to be honest. I didn’t want to admit just how far I had gone. When I said that I drank daily, I mean every single day, probably about 5 times what’s considered an “average” drink. But then I thought that maybe sharing this information would be cathartic for me, and could possibly help someone overcome their addiction.

      That’s interesting that your guitar has helped you through an eating disorder. I agree that engaging in other habits or hobbies can help tremendously. I was a mediocre runner, and quitting alcohol has allowed me to become above average.

      I’m not much into races, but I’ve been thinking about doing my first half marathon this fall at the OBX Half & Full. What about you?

      1. I completely understand the embarrassment. It was always easier for me to admit that I’d starve myself four days a week than to admit that I’d be bingeing and emptying out my cabinets the other three because it was socially acceptable to a certain degree to starve one’s self thin. I only started to recover when I was able to admit the more embarrassing half of the problem. These things are hard enough to fight as is, it’s really frustrating that they’re also socially unacceptable. Really, kudos to you for being able to open up about it.

        A half marathon already…woah. I’m still struggling through my second 8k next month. The OBX race looks beautiful though. Post pictures when do you it please! I’d like to live vicariously through better runners’ race pictures…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s