The Moment I Realised Drinking Wasn’t Right For Me

Alcohol Change UK Community Champions | March 2024 | 8 minutes

As we dive into Sober Spring, our Community Champions and staff have shared the moment they realised their drinking needed to change. The decision to go alcohol-free long term felt like the best choice to make.

As a Sober Spring participant, you’ve probably been grappling with all sorts of questions about your upcoming challenge, like why you’ve decided to take it on and how it might work out for you. We hope there’ll be something you can relate to and that you can feel reassured about taking on the next three months with Alcohol Change UK – knowing that others are likely to have been right where you are now.

Here's what our Community Champions and staff had to share:

Realising I couldn’t keep going on like this

“For me, there wasn’t quite a specific moment of realisation...I had taken a month off drinking, telling myself that I would ‘ease back in’ to my drinking after that quick pause. Less than a week after that month-long break, I was right back to my old habits and regular blackouts. I do remember how disappointed I was in how quickly I went right back to my binge drinking after that last break I took. We came to after a particularly bad day and I told my husband: ‘we can't go on like this’. We got rid of all the booze in the house that weekend and have supported each other in sobriety for nearly a decade now.”

Alcohol impacting the management of my health conditions

“I've had health difficulties, such as vertigo that affect my balance and make me feel really disorientated and sick, this usually involves me having to sleep and recover and is one of the reasons why I choose not to drink alcohol as I've experienced similar symptoms without overindulging.”

Wanting to be more in control of my actions

“After witnessing a group of people arguing... this reinforced that i wanted to make sure i was in control of what i was doing and saying. I didn't want to be apologising for things I'd done under the influence.”

Finding it hard to moderate my drinking

“I realised moderation just wasn't in the cards for me and that I needed to make a real commitment to changing my relationship with alcohol. I'm now approaching 10 years of sobriety and couldn't imagine my life any other way.”

Alcohol affecting my work

"I had to change my relationship with alcohol. I was in trouble at work, again. Another missed shift, another telling off, and a final written notice. Initially I wasn't even planning on going alcohol free. Just lying to HR in order to keep my job - a job I didn't even like, but just one that would actually hire me. I hit a point where I had literally nothing to lose by trying a healthier life, and everything to gain. So I tried it. And it stuck. I'm five years alcohol free now, and my life is transformed. I can smile when I wake up in the morning"

Waking up with unexplained injuries

“It was Easter 2021 - the last weekend I spent drinking - I had blacked out at a friend’s house after going around for ‘a few drinks’. I woke up in physical pain from falling over and banging my head, plus riddled with shame and embarrassment. I couldn’t remember much after the first hour of that night. I knew something had to change and the thought of giving up for good entered my thoughts.”

Finding that alcohol was taking up a lot of my time

“I was wondering how I was going to get all of this 'stuff' done. I wanted to live my life my way and I needed more hours in the day to do that. Or, I could address my relationship with alcohol and find that time I wanted, I needed to fulfil my goals. That's when I knew I needed to stop drinking.”

Do you have a similar moment of realisation that you wanted to make a change? Or something totally different? Perhaps you’re coming to Sober Spring from a place of curiosity rather than any specific reason.

But what’s important is that you recognise what feels right for you. By committing to the next three months alcohol free, you can give yourself an opportunity to really get to grips with what is going to work best for you in the long term.

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