Its now 1 year 4 months since I stopped the booze, if anyone on the internet or in the forum as a member stumbles on this thread - I hope it gives them a bit more drive in stopping their drinking if they have a problem.
I dont know if my liver is getting worse - my hands are redder and I am more tired than ever right now - but one thing I know - is that if I had carried on drinking - I would not be here. I would be in hospital - maybe even beyond that.
So - living without booze - whats it all about? Whats it like?
Well life is great. Simple as that - KISS (keep it simple stupid).
At first when I thought "life is great" - say in the first month or so after stopping - I would ask myself - "am I really just telling myself that to try and make myself feel better?" "am I kidding myself" when really all I wanted was more booze. The answer is no - I wasnt kidding myself - getting out of bed in the morning (whilst hard because of fatigue) was still a thousand times better than dragging myself up at 1pm - as I had done for 8 years or so - still hung over, wondering how I could get to the shops to get more booze and if I still had alcohol in my system putting me over the drink driving limit.
The question of "was I kidding myself" was coming from alcoholism. At a fairly deep level I suppose. It was alcoholism/addiction (even though I never craved booze - maybe because I never left it long enough being without it?) telling me to go back to my old ways.
So how is life great then without booze?
Without booze you can drive without worry (I like driving with my roof down) of being stopped by police. Now - I can drive around and should a police officer ask me when I had my last drink - it would be a pleasure to say 16 months ago - but you can breath test me if you like :)
Without booze you can go on holiday, you can build sandcastles on the beach with your kids - NO - make that a FORTRESS on the beach with your kids. You dont think about booze all the time - the days fly by on holiday even without booze - your days go by and you wish they had been longer. With booze - you want the day to come to the point where you can settle down with a glass and ten cans. Without booze - you go to bed thinking about what you can do next day on holiday. With booze - the next day on holiday is sh** - because all you do is spend the day recovering - waiting for your next settling moment with cans and a glass.
Without booze you can work better - this is a tricky one for me - because I dont like my work - but at least I can do it better, and again - it goes fast. Im not thinking of booze coming this evening all the time. It simply doesnt come into my head. You can get things done without booze - and actually feel rewarded on completion of a task. I had forgotten what that is like. I think they call it "job satisfaction". Now - without booze - I can also consider looking for work which I may enjoy more - or making my own office to work alone. With booze this is out of the question.
Without booze I have changed things around the house. I have moved my two boys into one room - having ripped out the old fitted wardrobes, removed the wall paper - painted the ceiling, re-papered the walls, laid new carpet, bought bunk beds and built them, put up shelves, changed the wiring etc etc - the list is endless it seems. How rewarding is that? I will describe seeing my boys (2 and 5 yrs) now asleep at night - the little one snoring and out of his duvet - the wrong way round in his bottom bunk. The "big" one (proud to be on the top bunk!!!) sleeping soundly the right way round sorrounded by teddies. I cant tell you what its like to see your boys in a room like that - which I made for THEM - fast asleep. Its very very uplifting and you feel proud of your achievement.
With booze - I would never have bothered doing the room, they would have stayed in separate rooms and I would have blundered through their younger years botching things up as time went by. Without booze the whole dynamic has changed for the boys - they are together in a room - they are closer. The 2 year old shouts out in the morning to his big brother just above him!!!!
Without booze I watch a sunset. Well - this one is for me really as not many are interested. Last night I sat on top of a small mountain - alone - in my car and watched it go down. Its more than just a sunset - my interest is cosmology (one interest) - and my thoughts - clearer than ever - were on General Relativity and also nuclear fusion. It doesnt interest many people - but I tell you - sitting there considering things such as the bending of spacetime by that massive star (our sun is quite a large one - bigger than around 80% of the other stars in the universe) causing our planet to sweep round it in a manner described perfectly by relativity - for me is a real treat. The point? Would I have been able to witness that with clarity if i'd still been mashed on booze? What I am saying is that what YOU like - you wont witness if you are slashed up day after day. Yesterdays type of sunset is fairly rare - its the right time of year, I had a spare two hours to go out at the right time of day, the sky was clear. I have missed many of those and not realised it. This is the danger - when dragged down by constant boozing you dont know what you are missing. Then - when you recover - you realise what you were missing and wish you'd never got into the booze in the first place.
Without booze I can take my eldest to school in the morning and not worry about breathing. I can smile and chat with other parents - instead of holding back. Now I can walk with PRIDE with my son through the school gates. These are the proudest moments of my life to date. I want MORE - I am now greedy for more. With booze - forget it - just make sure you drop the kid off and dont forget to buy your cans on the way home. Its a joke with booze.
Theres more of course - a lot can happen in 16 months - christmas, kids parties, driving out, meeting people, work, food even!! - the list is endless.
The main thing is - if youre reading this as a drinker - I cant stop you. But trust me - there is a MEGA life without booze and theres nothing to fear in stopping and everything to gain. You'll only see it when you stop.
I hope I stopped soon enough - but even if not - I have gained extra years for CERTAIN - and they alone have been worth stopping for.
Good luck in stopping - Living Without Booze is real, possible and far more rewarding than a mountain of cans.