Before & After: One Year Without Alcohol

by Rebecca A. Watson on March 23, 2014

in habits, health, life, Recovery

 

 

before after pics one year no alcohol When I went to post this, I was all concerned because I couldn’t take the picture exactly as it had been taken before. We live in a new house. I had to get a new phone (hence, new camera) because our American phones wouldn’t work here. I cut my hair. This wasn’t exactly the same photo one year later.

And that’s true. It’s not the same. I posed in a room facing the same direction at the same time of day. I’m wearing the same thing. But I am not the same human, and life (thank goodness) isn’t conducted in a cold, calculated lab. It’s messy and changeable.

So as I go through the last year of my life and compare it to the years previous, it isn’t going to be an exact science. I’ll leave that up to the researchers of the world. This is what I’ve noticed is different in my sphere — my existence. The before and after is so staggering, I doubt my before-self would even believe it.

 

no alcohol hangover free yes!

Of course this is an estimate. Anyone who knows anything about drinking knows that hangovers are a tricky beast, impossible to predict and unlikely to be cured quickly.

Although I wasn’t a heavy drinker before I quit, I will say that I’d have an extra glass or finish off the odd bottle occasionally during the week and most certainly on the weekends. And while I didn’t wake up feeling like I’d closed Brady’s in Seabright (or Mackenzies downtown Minneapolis), I certainly wasn’t chipper the next morning.

Waking up to what had already been a sunny morning, finishing breakfast around noon and popping Aleve was not how I wanted to spend my weekends. More often than not, that was the story. And the days during the week when I woke up with a dry mouth and the thought, I shouldn’t have had that last glass of wine, pops into my head? Those weren’t the most productive either.

Now I seem to wake up most days around 6:30 a.m. without too much trouble. Even on the weekends I’m up around that time because I just love the stillness of the morning and having the whole day for my very own. It’s so wonderful to greet the dawn, write my morning pages and drink some coffee before Sante wakes up.

And by the time we’re finished with breakfast (which I actually enjoy instead of looking at as a way to mop up my hangover), most of the world is just getting out of bed. I love my clear head, and it loves me.

happier body no alcohol

There are all sorts of things that booze does to your body. Not all of them are bad if you’re a match for the moderation thing. If you’re like me and can moderate but hate it and occasionally go overboard, the detrimental stuff can be scary to read.

Although I didn’t drink like what one might consider a derelict drunk, I certainly had in the past. And still tried to once in a while. My body let me know it did not like this in the form of aches and pains. Some made sense: my stomach didn’t like all that wine. Others, not so much: Why does the top of my head feel tender, like it was hit by a frying pan?

Over the past several years, I’ve gotten more and more into cooking and feeding myself good and whole foods and working out to give my body the treatment it deserves. It was something important to me, and here I was drinking in a way that didn’t honor that.

Since I’ve stopped, I’ve felt noticeably better in many ways. Of course, the hangover symptoms went away pretty quickly, although the dehydration took about a month, Now I can run several miles without complaint, where before I hated. every. minute.

My head no longer feels like I was attacked by something from the kitchen. And I’m sure I’ve lost weight — my body has been changing for the better. I’ve donated every single pair of pants I owned before I quit drinking, and many of the clothes I’ve bought since aren’t a good fit anymore either.

money saved from not drinking

This is another instance of estimation. I kind of figured out how much I was drinking before I quit and how much the average bottle of wine or 6-pack of gluten-free beer cost. But it doesn’t really take into account going out for dinner or drinks, because we didn’t do that often.

It also doesn’t take into account the special things I would buy when we were celebrating or what I would bring to other people’s homes during dinner parties to make sure I didn’t look selfish whilst I drank a load of their wine.

Regardless, that’s still a ton of cash, which I’ve used to buy other yummy beverages, go on vacation (hello Venice!) and of course, buy myself treats.

treats for not drinking alcohol

I have simply never been good at giving myself treats. Yes, once a year I buy yarn to make myself something luxurious to celebrate my quitting smoking. But beyond that, I’m not good at spending money on myself.

One of the things that really helped me, especially when I first quit was giving myself little things as a reward. Like nice teas or a big piece of cake or a walk in the woods. While I don’t do it quite as often now, I still try to reward myself.

Like Friday I made cake that we’ve been eating all weekend. Last night I sat, knit, drank tea and listened to The Bubble Hour. And today I’m having brunch with the girls, and tomorrow I will be getting a 90-minute massage. That’s gonna be nice, and interesting because apparently they massage your boobs in Germany.

sober penpals no alcohol

OK, so we’re not really corresponding by snail mail. And many of those 81 are either MIA or experimenting with moderation. But I’m psyched because when I started the 100 day challenge, I had no idea many months later that I’d be approached by Belle (the brilliant blogger behind the challenge and Tired of Thinking About Drinking) to help her out.

It came right when I had moved to Germany and was wondering how on earth I could volunteer a little of my time when I knew very little German. She asked if I’d like some sober penpals, and I thought, This could be where I can help. I think I have. And I’ve made some friends along the way.  

recyclingbin

 

Every Tuesday morning the recycling truck would drive down our tiny street and wake me up. It was about 6 a.m., far too early to be tossing everyone’s empties into a giant truck, but somehow the city was exempt from noise ordinances, so there it was.

I listened as it drove closer to our stop. I could hear it heave bins up into its claws and pour the contents into its massive belly, but it was always our bin that stood out. The crash of glass was very distinct. It was full of bottles, or at least that’s what it sounded like to me.

I would cringe and wonder who else had heard it. Had Sante? What about the neighbors? God what an exhausting way to start the day. These days I take my own glass bottles to the great glass gathering place every neighborhood has. That’s how Germany rolls. No weekly glass pick up. No weekly anything pick up really, unless you pay a bundle extra.

I probably walk to that area about once a month now, partially because they reuse the glass bottles my drinks and Sante’s beer come in, but mostly because the wine consumption in our house has gone way way down. This would’ve been a walk of shame for me a little more than a year ago. Now, it ain’t a thing.

 

mentalhealth

Mental health is one of those things that can be a little harder to quantify, or really describe in pictures and numbers. When I saw this graphic and thought about my headspace before I stopped drinking, I could’ve checked off almost every single thing on that list.

I’ve written about it before, but since I’ve quit drinking, my depression has gone from serious to seriously manageable. While there were other things I did during the same time (upped my exercise and started meditation), I know that quitting booze definitely helped.

When I first thought about what I’d put in the after section, I figured some calm serene yogi or something, but I’m not that either. I’m a work in progress, and although most of those things don’t creep up on me anymore, I’d be lying if I said they were completely gone all the time.

no more counting drinks stop alcohol

In order to moderate and not act like a total lunatic, lunging for everything alcoholic in sight, I spent much of my time counting how many drinks I’d had, how long it’d been since my last one and if it was possible for me to have another. The math in my head was easily manipulated, and it took up way too much energy.

Since I stopped, I haven’t really given my drink consumption much thought beyond the occasional, Maybe another coffee isn’t so good, since I’m shaking like a leaf. This means I’m free to sit at the Biergarten and enjoy the view and more, importantly, the company.

Every bit of my attention is concentrated on what my friends are saying. My creative energy is being directed into the present moment. And sometimes I’m thinking just a little about pastry, but seriously not as much as I was wine.

 

traveling more without drinking

Part of me didn’t want to include this, like somehow it doesn’t count because we moved to Europe, and I would’ve never traveled like this if I still lived in the U.S. Like it’s not a fair comparison or something.

But then I realized that it completely is fair to compare, because I doubt I would’ve ever been able to handle moving to another country, learning a new language and traveling like a gypsy if I had continued to drink. Duh.

Travel and seeing new culture is important to me, as evidenced by My (Nothing’s) Impossible List, but while I was drinking, I only visited five countries in 12 years. Now I’ve been traveling so much, I wrote an entire post on staying alcohol-free on vacation. I’m, like, an expert.

Honestly, sometimes I feel like my entire life was waiting for me to stop boozing, because as soon as I did, things just started falling into place. And they continue to. It’s almost comical how rad my life has become. The thing that blows me away is that this is only the first year.

I wrote awhile back (at 200 days) that I would revisit this decision once a year, around this time. Before I wrote this post, I was pretty certain the answer was to re-up for another year, but after looking this all over, I am completely sure. It’s not even a question.

The question is: What other amazing things are waiting for me? If not drinking started the domino effect, what’s next? I’ll just be chilling here, writing, living, doing my thing,  patiently (well, most of the time) waiting for the Universe to show me what’s next.

 

 

cheers

Cheers to another alcohol-free year.

What about you? How has not drinking changed your life? If you like this post and are interested in reading more, I suggest starting with my 100 day post, or just check out all my posts about not drinking and recovery.

Wondering if you should quit drinking? Check out my audio class here. In the 20 minute class, I’ll walk you through my simple test to tell you if you should take the 100 Day Challenge and tips on how to do it.

Photo Credits: mislav-m, Lululicious, Nicole Lee, ZenSpa, kylesteed

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Nameless Here March 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I love this, so reassuring. It is so very true how we can see the differences. My doctor always tells me she can see the booze on my face. And I spend (spent) over 6 grand a year on beer and cigs. I am so trying to get clean of this habit/ritual/desire.
My son happened to see your before and after pic and asked what it was about. I told him about you moving to Germany and he quipped “she quit drinking “before” she moved to Germany, that’s like trying to quit in Scotland or Ireland…said with affection of course. Our heritage.
He said he could see the difference in your face.
Good on ya my dear. Keep it goin’

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Rebecca A. Watson March 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Ha! Yeah, your son said what a lot of people did, especially because the part I moved to is like German wine country too. But I’d already quit when I got here *and* the Germans make killer N/A beer here. 0% alcohol deliciousness. So I can’t complain.

I’m glad you are reassured by my post. It makes me think I’m making the right choice too 🙂 Good on you for working to get a handle on your habit/ritual. It’s totally worth it in my opinion. Hugs and thanks for stopping by!

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Hannah Watrous March 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm

I really enjoyed reading your journey of a year with no alcohol. I agree 100% I stopped drinking 16 year’s ago and my life is pretty much in sync with yours. I wake up early on weekends without hangovers and passionate about living my best life. I pursue several athletic activities and travel often. Healthy Self Care and genuine relationships are my biggest blessings.

I wish you well in all your new endeavors.

Cheers,
Hannah Watrous

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

Hey Hannah! I had no idea you stopped drinking, but your attitude and life outlook are really great, so I’m guessing you made the right choice 🙂 Super big congrats on 16 years!! Wow, what a blessing. And I agree: genuine relationships and self care are so huge. Thanks for stopping by and for the well wishes!

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carrieonsober March 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Hi Rebecca,

That’s a great post expressing so much of how awesome being sober is!
Congrats on your one year. I’ll raise my 0% beer to you and your success and good on you for helping with the 100 day sober penpals 🙂
You rock.
Keep on inspiring x

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

Thanks so much Carrie! I’ll raise my 0% beer to both of our successes. Ahh! Tastes delish 😉 It may not always be easy, but it’s totally worth it I think. Thanks for stopping by.

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Em March 24, 2014 at 12:49 am

what I do find strange is that in your after picture your eyes seem to have more white under the iris-which is looked at as a bad thing- you don’t seem to show much difference except that you look a little more unhappy being sober.

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gina April 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm

I think she looks great and very zen.

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Rebecca A. Watson April 21, 2015 at 7:40 am

Thanks gina 🙂

Lilly March 24, 2014 at 6:23 am

Wow wow wow! Congratulations girl – that is seriously awesome and amazing and what a great – and inspiring – post.

I love at the end how you say it isn’t even a question – why would it be with all those great gains? Why would you want to go backwards?

So proud of you and can’t wait to see what’s around the next bend for you. It’s just going to get bigger and better, it’s obvious.

Also, I hope you have some super special awesome one year treat planned? With all that money you’ve saved how can you not?

Love,

Lilly xo

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 8:09 am

Thanks so much Lilly 🙂 Yep, it’s pretty obvious the answer is to stay living this lucid life. This weekend has been full of cake and friends and today I go get a massage so yeah, I think that’s pretty special. Oh! And I also bought yarn for a new sweater I’m gonna knit! Yeah 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the well-wishes.

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Karen Lee March 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

Loved your article and the comparisons on your various `before` and `after`scenarios. Although our addictions are different (mine was gambling and smoking), the clarity of mind that cones with time and giving up those things we found comfort in (alcohol and smoking for you, gambling and smoking for me) and finding other healthier pursuits appear to be similar. Congratulations on your sobriety (every day is precious) and I look forward to reading more of your European adventures. Bon appetit!!! By the way, when I was stationed in Germany in the mid-80s, I do not remember ever hearing of NA beer or wine…happy to hear they’ve started producing them.

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Hey Karen, Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats. It’s so interesting isn’t it how addictions and our stories can be so similar even when so many other things are different? I think it’s great because we can relate to eachother and feel so much less alone 🙂 And the N/A beers here are great: they have them at the end of the 10ks I’ve run. Love it!

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Momma Bee March 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

What an inspiring & wonderful post! I just found your blog thru Belle’s and I look forward to reading your older entries! Congrats & thanks for sharing!

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Momma Bee March 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Congrats to you! What an inspiring & wonderful post! I just found your blog thru Belle and I look forward to reading your older entries! Thanks for sharing! Hugs

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thanks so much Momma Bee 🙂 Glad you stopped by! Hugs to you too.

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Jen March 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Congrats girly! You sound and look amazing – inspiring. xxoo

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Awww girl, thank you 🙂 xoxo

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Kristen March 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Congratulations on one year sober!! Love this post for all the concrete positives you list. Love the one-year photo and the one word that jumps out is ‘clear’. Your eyes seem brighter and more focused. You have more definition in your face. It’s amazing to see. I’m so glad you’re planning to continue. The rewards just keep coming.

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Hi Kristen, I have to agree with you about the word clear. That’s the word both me and my hubby said when we saw the photos side by side. Thanks so much for the congrats 🙂

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Paul March 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Big congrats my friend!!

What a wonderful thing!!

I love the comparisons you did there – very cool. We change in so many ways, and what I enjoyed was that you mentioned the thing that we don’t often discuss and that’s the $$$ we used to spend (or lose). NOT including my DUI (which in of itself, with legal fees, insurance, treatment center, living on my own, etc cost about $30K alone), my drinking probably cost me and my family about another $50K if not more. There was a year I took a “sabbatical” (was going to write, but just drank) plus all the cost of the booze, of course.

And of course, the other types of costs you spelled out.

Unlike the other commentor saying you look unhappy, I think you look vibrant – did they not see the other pictures of you? Oh well. You look great! And it’s amazing how things change…outlook, perspective, etc. What a gift we are given (unlike the massaged boobs…you need to pay AND tip for that…lol)

Thank you for sharing this, and your journey. 🙂

Paul

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Gosh isn’t it wild how much money we spent on our habits? I can’t remember what blogger wrote about it, but she said her electric bill was noticeably less when she got sober, just because she wasn’t leaving the oven or the TV and the lights on every night. There are those costs you can quantify and there are those you just never knew you were spending until you stop.

Thanks so much for the compliment…I *feel* pretty vibrant 🙂 It could be that I just got back from that massage tho. Ha!

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Denise March 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Hello!!!! Pen pal friend of mine:)…..I just found your blog through Belle’s today. Wow. You are an inspiration! I love your pictures and your words. I look forward to reading and learning more . Thanks so much for all you do. You have been a light for me through lots of dismal and bleak days …I definitely prefer sunny! Congratulations on 1 year! You are awesome.
Denise

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Rebecca A. Watson March 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Hello Denise! So glad you found your way over to my blog 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words and your congrats. Big hugs to you!

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Mrs D March 27, 2014 at 1:12 am

Great post.. love all of it.. love the photos.. love the sentiment… love the honesty. xxx

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Rebecca A. Watson March 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

Thanks so much Mrs. D!! 😀

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afteralcohol March 28, 2014 at 3:44 am

A year! Goodness. I really enjoy this post too. Not that I’ve read any blogs that get to a year and say they wish they hadn’t bothered (30 days, sure. 6 months, sometimes. A year? Never) but this is so nicely laid out it’s really powerful to read. And you sound so happy!

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Rebecca A. Watson March 28, 2014 at 9:10 am

Thanks afteralcohol 🙂 I really am most of the time. Glad you stopped by and cheers to you in your quest as well!

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john April 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Congratulations! one year is a big deal i happy for you! Mpls – SP is a great place to be sober. i sobered up in Fargo spent a couple of years in Mpls area now live in Door County Wi.

breathe and be well

john

jjacobii on instagram

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Rebecca A. Watson April 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Thanks! I love Door County. What a beautiful place. I actually live in Germany now. I never was sober in Minneapolis, but it’s still a great spot I think 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and be well!

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Layla August 6, 2014 at 3:40 am

Congratulations! And I’m inspired – maybe I’ll do something like that a year after I got over my eating disorder (starting from when I looked at my life and realized that I had control over more than 50% of it 🙂 )

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Rebecca A. Watson August 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Hey girl! Yes, would love to read a post about that 🙂 I think it’s a great idea.

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Doxidaddy September 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

A large part of it (70 days in) seemed to be its presence as a habit. 7 pm, start drinking, guitar practice, video games, tv. It’s fear of what lies beyond the comfort of the habit – fear of failing, mostly – which keeps you gripping to it. Although I was never a violent or angry drunk. I smile a lot and make jokes. I have kept a job through it all and took night classes in math and science with straight A’s. A textbook high functioner. It never felt overly destructive. It just was. I had a code involving good rules like never driving, keeping food on hand which did not require heat (added that rule when one night the fire dept was ravenously rapping on my bedroom window), and not doing it in front of people whose opinions I cared about. And so it went for 14 years but towards the end there was an earnest desire to quit but no idea on HOW even though warning signs were there. Waking up in the morning on the floor with wet jeans was one. Not a few times a year, every day without fail. What helped and gave some space enough to think about life without drinking, even though it’s hard not to think about it everyday and run algorithms tied to promises about keeping it moderate this time, was having my gallbladder removed. Itself not a consequence of alcoholism but divebombing to the floor days after surgery is a bad idea no matter how much alcohol is still pickling your brain.

It’s still hard. Tonight I had a carrier bag and money ready to stop at the 7-11 on the way home from walking the dogs as we used to do almost every day. Part of it is pride – not wanting to imagine the clerks thinking, “I knew this guy would be back,” and part of it is fear of what alcohol will do to my newly rewired digestive tract. For us moderation isn’t an option. We can try taking the life raft across the shark infested quicksand but eventually the air will leak out and we’ll sink. And be eaten by sharks.

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Rebecca A. Watson September 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Good for you for getting past that and not buying the booze. Way to go on 70+ days! That’s awesome! Yep moderation isn’t the best idea for some of us. And that’s OK.

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Amy October 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Congrats on your transition to a healthier, sober you. I am at day one. I’ve decided today that I don’t want to die from alcoholism (well, I’d decided that years ago, but haven’t yet acted on it….until now). I plan to spend much of today reinforcing this plan by reading blogs and success stories such as yours. I have told myself for years I can moderate my drinking. But I have inevitably made the recurrent progression from two beers on Saturday night to two beers Friday night also, to two beers EVERY night, to four, six, whiskey, eight beers, more liquor, etc. So today I’m resolving to persevere, be strong, and walk away from a nearly lifelong affair with a habit that has likely costed me thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars in actual alcohol spending as well as my alcoholic “collateral damage.” Wish me luck!!!

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Rebecca A. Watson October 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Amy! This is fantastic news 🙂 I am so happy to hear you’re feeling empowered to make this change. I’m rooting for you. And you’ve definitely got the right idea: read lots of sober blogs. Not just right away. Every day 🙂 And comment. Get engaged with our community. There is a lot of support here. Big hugs to you!

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Bee January 16, 2015 at 9:04 am

I’ve just started my year without booze at http://www.theadventuresofbee.com/ and I’m noticing already some cravings but also some amazing health benefits. It’s a challenge, but worth doing! Great to see someone else who has already done it. Best wishes!

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Rebecca A. Watson January 19, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Hey lady! thanks for stopping by and for the comment. I will check out your blog. And super glad you’re trying a year without alcohol. It’s awesome!

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Bee January 31, 2015 at 11:39 am

Thanks for coming to visit! I will be writing more up today! 🙂

Lynsey71 February 20, 2015 at 7:53 am

Hey! One of your sober per friends here, Belle sent me over from my inbox to say HI!

Thanks for your support and love seeing the blog, something weird….you actually look like the image I had of you in my head when we were writing!

Anyway I’m still going day 154…not always talking but always lurking.

Lynsey x

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Rebecca A. Watson February 20, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Hey lady! Super happy to hear from you and so glad that you’re doing on day 154! Yay you 🙂 That’s pretty funny that I look like how you pictured–I guess my “voice” matches my face. Hope you’re well. Stop by and let me know how you are any time!

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Meredith March 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

Hi there,
I was searching for tips on being sober and your blog came up. I just started my quest to be sober with my husband. I appreciate you sharing your story. It gives me comfort and strength. Thank you.

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Rebecca A. Watson March 16, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Hey Meredith, Thanks so much for your comment! I’m happy to hear what I write helps you. I wish you and your hubby the best of luck! It really is worth it to make a change 🙂

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Sugarfree April 6, 2015 at 11:45 pm

WOW! I stumbled across your page by accident and I LOVE it! I decided to quit drinking for the month of April as altho I’m not a “drunk”, a nightly wine or 3 has become a habit. And not a good habit! So I’m cutting the cord. Today is day 5 and I’ve got a cracking headache for the second day in a row but I’m guessing this is normal. Like you, I’m great at my nutrition and exercise, but the wine has dragged me down. My first big test is tomorrow for a normally boozy lunch…planning on ordering mocktails and pretending they’ve got booze in them to stop any sniggers about my no drinking xx

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Rebecca A. Watson April 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Hey Sugarfree 🙂 Thanks for the kind words! I appreciate it. Let me know how you’re doing with your booze-free April. It’s tough at first but definitely worth it. You’re worth it, especially if you are taking care of yourself in other ways. And I certainly don’t think you have to be a drunk to quit drinking. Just someone who prefers to not drink. Best wishes and keep in touch!

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mysoberlife May 2, 2015 at 8:47 am

It just goes to show the benefits of giving up drinking far outweigh when you carry on drinking. Well done 🙂

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Rebecca A. Watson May 2, 2015 at 9:26 am

Thanks!

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jorge July 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Well, thank you for sharing your experience. I started to quit two months ago after decades of spoiling my life since I was 16. The first two weeks I started reducing my consumption and a month ago I quited. It is difficult, it is an everyday fight but when I am busy I do not think about it. The list of godos things that are happening is just too long, on the other hand sometimes I feel depressed but there is no doubt that it is the best choice ever. Just want to be able to go on this way……. Thank you It was very useful to read your post. (sorry cause of my bad English)

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Rebecca A. Watson July 31, 2015 at 10:00 am

Jorge that is awesome! I am super happy for you. You’re right, sometimes the choice is really difficult but it’s SO much better for some people to just not drink. And life continues to get better 🙂 Thanks for your comment and really, your English is very good 🙂

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MP September 30, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Today is my day 100! I hope to make it to 200 like you. I was also, like you say, not a derelict drunk but definitely liked my wine and cocktails. I also have several alcoholics in my Catholic family tree and plenty of personal reasons that it’s been so much better to just stop the alcohol. The clarity and tears have been worth it. I don’t network enough and have found your posts inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing yourself. Taking a deep breath and stepping forward on this path.

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Rebecca A. Watson October 6, 2015 at 9:50 am

Yay MP! Congrats on 100 days and also the commitment to 200 🙂 It is well worth it, I think anyway. I’ve got alcoholism in my family too, so I think it’s better to avoid it all together. Unfortunately, no one really talked about it so I think it’s good to speak up so the next generations know why there isn’t any booze around and why we make these choices. Best wishes in your journey. Keep me posted!

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Mikerose18 November 13, 2015 at 4:11 am

I think you are gorgeous in both before and after pictures!

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Rebecca A. Watson November 13, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Thanks! I know I feel more gorgeous in the After one 🙂

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Elliot January 16, 2016 at 6:05 am

I’m grateful i found your blog, i feel related. you make me feel motivated

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Rebecca A. Watson January 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Thanks Elliot. I’m glad I could help you relate and hope you’re still feeling motivated!

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Sandra March 23, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Thank you for letting us read about your experiences with and without alcohol. Just what I needed to read. I’m 93 days without alcohol and my sleep and anxiety especially hasn’t been this good for probably 20 years. I hadn’t recognized how my glass of red wine to relax had crept up on me until I decided to stop drinking it. My anxiety was 24/7, sleep in the gutter and my emotions were all over the place. The first few weeks were interesting as I think I was experiencing depression. I am thrilled to report I now sleep through the night, no more 2 or 3 hours awake beginning at 3am and I wake up feeling happy! Not a ball of anxiety and fear. I predict I’m am done with that stuff as I am so relieved to feel calmer and rested. Bring on some awesome lifetime adventures!

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MS April 17, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I’m 21 days sober after a nightly glass or three, or more of wine; and for sure more on the weekend. This has been for almost 15 years. I’ve tried to take a break and cut back three times before and could never quite make it; so I am now determined to quit for good. That decision somehow makes it easier than trying to “take a break”. it’s been hard though; especially since I used alcohol to destress and manage my anxiety. Being able to read people’s journey’s to sobriety has been my biggest support so far.

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Iona June 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm

I’ve gone three months without drinking so far. I wasn’t exactly an alcoholic before, but I did find that I was gradually drinking more and more: one glass of wine with dinner became two, then a couple of years later, three until I was either not drinking or finishing the bottle.

So now I’m trying to reset my metre by taking a year off the sauce. I haven’t missed it much so far, despite the cold (I’m in the southern hemisphere here). I did develop a raging sweet tooth that I didn’t have before during the first couple of months, but that seems to have died down again. I’m sleeping better; I’ve lost weight; I feel less depressed and my writing (I’m a writer) hasn’t been affected (I feared it would be). None of my friends have pressurised me to drink — everyone’s been supportive. It’s been great, actually.

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Rebecca A. Watson June 13, 2016 at 7:26 am

Wow Iona that’s great! Congrats to you! I know that fear of losing the good writing but it’s amazing how not drinking actually helps! Congrats to you and enjoy your year off alcohol 🙂

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David August 18, 2016 at 7:36 pm

I am on day 4 of recovery. I have drank 30 beers a day for the last 8 years. The only time I did not drink was in jail. It’s very reassuring to hear other people’s stories. The funny thing is I am a evangelist. I’m doing this for myself, my wife and kids, and God. Thank you for your story.

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Rebecca A. Watson August 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Hi David! Congrats on getting to day 4! Keep on doing this for yourself and you will be on the right track 🙂

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Becky October 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Your blog is very inspirational. Thanks for all the helpful tips to quite drinking.
Someone posted earlier that your after pictures had white showing under your iris in your after photo. I wanted to let you know that my mom had this and it was because of an overactive thyroid. Just thought you might want to check that out. Perhaps your were just looking up in the photo, but if the whites show when you are looking straight forward it could be an overactive thyroid.

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Enrico December 31, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Where did you take the last picture with the glass ?

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Rebecca A. Watson January 1, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Hi Enrico, that is in Venice 🙂

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