Things that Almost Broke me when I Quit Drinking. Part 2 of 3: Who am I?

Drinking was my hobby. It was my go-to solution when I was happy, sad, celebrating, stressed. Or at least I thought it was a solution. Boy, was I deluded! This delusion stemmed from a lifetime of drinking, living in a high functioning alcoholic society and an upbringing where alcohol supposedly fixed everything.

I knew no different – it was ‘normal’ to tackle life with alcohol. So when I quit drinking on 1st January 2017, I no longer had my go-to elixir of life at my fingertips.

Who was I without alcohol? I had no idea. I had repeating feelings of living in limbo. For many months, I felt like a no-one because it seemed alcohol had stolen my identity. I didn’t know what to do without alcohol! It had stolen my hobbies and my ability to tackle and enjoy life wholeheartedly. My hobby WAS drinking. How sad is that?!! Even though I had a great career, friends and relationships, I felt like they all were starting to play second fiddle to alcohol. And I knew at that point, if I didn’t stop drinking, I’d lose all that. It was a no brainer: I had to get off that train early, before it crashed.

For 6-9 months after quitting, I had to re-establish who I was and what made me happy. It was so damn lonely at times – I had massive FOMO and was hating not being amongst my drinking buddies. I nearly joined them on several occasions but thanks to some amazing friends, I stuck it out.

If you’re desperate for a drink, ask yourself if the hangover in the morning will feel better than waking up sober and with a clear conscience.

It took MONTHS to find the new me. Experimenting with different hobbies, meeting new friends and getting out and about meant that I now have a raft of interests in my life that are part the new me.

If you’re feeling lonely and unsure about who you’ll be without alcohol, please know that over time, the new you will flourish. Social networks and online meetup groups for gardeners, dance classes, cooking schools and hiking all are worth thinking about. After all, what have you got to lose? Just go once, and if you don’t like it, no-ones forcing you to go back. Then again, you might love it and discover a new passion you never knew you had! Or better still, reignite a passion for an old hobby like painting, running or volunteering.

In closing, I know MANY people who couldn’t stay off the booze because they were unable to face the loneliness head on. And I get it – it’s awkward, painful, isolating and uncomfortable at times. But I invite you to push through it and tackle what’s at the root of these feelings. Write it down, every day. Talk to someone. Ask for help and research, research, research. Your knowledge is power. I found the the more I learned about what was going on for me, the better I was able to overcome those feelings.

You are worth the investment and once you come out the other side, the new you will thank you a thousand times over.

Go well, be strong, and I wish you success in becoming the person you chose to be.

Hugs from New Zealand,

NoWineImFine xxx

PS I took this en route to work last week. We had the shortest day of the year down here in the wintery Southern Hemisphere – roll on summer! ๐Ÿ˜˜

15 thoughts on “Things that Almost Broke me when I Quit Drinking. Part 2 of 3: Who am I?

    • You are an inspiring work in progress Wendy – your blogs have been a massive help. Your passion for volunteering shines through in your tweets. How wonderful youโ€™ve found something so rewarding. Big hugs ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ๐ŸŒบ

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel that after quitting alcohol, it is almost like learning to walk again except I am learning how to LIVE again. I forgot what it was like to actually have hobbies and entertainment. My whole life revolved around getting my next drink and I had little time for anything else because I would usually be black out drunk by 6:30 or 7 at night. I was absolutely terrified of giving up alcohol and it actually was not even in my plans until a few months ago. I had absolutely no intention of giving up! Now, I am so glad I did because I am beginning to experiment life with genuine emotion and feelings. I am learning how to develop meaningful friendships and have real conversation with people.

    It’s a great life! Glad you are enjoying it!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh wow, your message reflects everything I used to despise about drinking! So pleased you took the plunge and are now feeling like the โ€˜real youโ€™ is flourishing. Itโ€™s a cool place to be. Hereโ€™s to happy living ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๏ธ๐ŸŒบ๐Ÿ”†

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi lovely! Thanks for your note. Sounds simple but it took me 20 years of drinking to figure these messages out.
      As a drinker, nothing else mattered to me. Re-establishing my identity was probably the hardest thing Iโ€™ve done in my lifetime – and itโ€™s an ongoing journey that I donโ€™t regret for one minute. It would be an honour if you could share (although I admit, I donโ€™t know how to do this!). Is there anything you need me to do?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No…I just need to reblog it (which I can only do if I’m on a desktop computer). I didn’t mean to make it sound like it was a simple thing for you, I know it wasn’t. Your way of writing makes complete sense, and I’m sure it’ll help others going through the same thing. x

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks lovely, no no I completely understand. The silly thing is, writing it now makes it sound so easy! But if we rewind to two years ago, I would have refuted, argued and denied every sentence in this article. Ah the human mind works in mysterious ways!.
        And thank you for your message, your kindness throughout this whole journey has meant a lot to me xx

        Liked by 1 person

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