A Story of Restoration: Quitting Alcohol
My life was in shambles. I had lost 3 different jobs within the year. My spouse had left the house and taken our children. My health was going downhill quickly, and I couldn’t cope. For the past five years, I’d been struggling severely with alcohol use disorder.
I didn’t want to admit there was a problem at first. I drank a few glasses of wine in the evenings, but that would never be enough. I had a fifth of whiskey hidden away in my sock drawer so nobody would know. Or at least, I thought they didn’t know.
Looking back, I’m sure they knew. My own children probably even knew. They were young, but they noticed everything. They noticed when I started shaking because I couldn’t get a drink. They noticed when I disappeared at soccer games to drink in the bathroom stall. They knew. They all knew. I knew they knew, but I didn’t want to admit it.
I was floating on a cloud of denial. The skies inside my brain were overcast, and I couldn’t see the world beneath me. Once my family left our home, my cloud came crashing down, and I fell with it. I’d had problems before, but now I know I’d only made it worse because of my alcohol problem. I needed to fix it, and I also needed to get better.
My main motivator to stop was my family. Although, my health should’ve been just as important.
Background Of My Health
As I mentioned before, my alcohol use disorder took a huge toll on my health over the years. My brain felt cloudy, and I would always forget things. My stomach was always hurting, and I gained a decent amount of weight. I also struggled to retain information. It was really hard for me to keep up, and those problems were just scratching the surface.
It was hard, feeling miserable all the time. I didn’t want to get out of bed most days, and when I did, I felt like I was dragging the weight of another person with me. To feel better, it was common for me to drink early in the morning before anyone woke up. When my spouse left for work, I would disguise my alcohol as other beverages so my kids wouldn’t know. It sounds almost desperate as I talk about it now, but it was so hard to go without alcohol.
Trust me, I tried, time and time again, but I always gave in. The withdrawal symptoms were too much for me to handle, and I also had to take care of the kids. How could I manage if I was that sick from withdrawal symptoms? I felt like I was drowning in a sea of my own failing relationships, the responsibilities I couldn’t handle, and the effort it took to try to disguise what was going on. I was completely exhausted.
I knew I was sick and tired of my drinking habits. I was miserable, and I was alone. Nobody I knew would help me, so I had to help myself. I got on the internet and looked for an alcohol treatment program. Not only did I need to get better for my family to come home, but I needed to get better for myself as well.
I knew I could do it, but I realized I needed help to see it through. So, I contacted Vertava Health about their alcohol treatment program and started my journey toward a better life.
After I finally took that plunge and got through my treatment program, I noticed all kinds of benefits of giving up alcohol. I’d like to share some of them with you here.
One of the most physically obvious benefits of my quitting drinking was my weight loss. I’d always struggled with my eating habits, but my drinking just made it worse. With less control of myself due to blacking out so much, I would eat excessively, which caused my weight to balloon. For some people, though, they may act differently than I did. When some people drink, they may eat unhealthy foods, and their alcohol use disorder could actually lead them to be malnourished. People who struggle in that way will likely gain weight when they stop drinking.
Another one I noticed would have to be how much better my sleeping habits became. Before, my sleeping schedule was all sorts of messed up. I was up late a lot of the time drinking, or if I went to bed at a decent time, I’d wake up many times throughout the night. Now, I’m able to sleep comfortably through the night with no interruptions whatsoever.
Overall, I’ve just felt much better physically. My body seems to be healing itself as much as it can, considering what I put it through. I also have made some positive changes regarding the things I put into my body. My alcohol use disorder has really opened my eyes to how much the things you put in your body can affect it. Now I can find joy in exercising and eating better than before because I know I’m taking care of my body and doing what’s best for me.
When I was struggling with alcohol use disorder, my brain always felt like there was a thick fog in it — thick enough that I could only see what was directly in front of me, and anything else was forgotten. I blacked out quite a bit in my time struggling with alcohol use disorder and therefore also struggled with remembering things. I was always suffering from issues with retaining new information. It was really hard for me to take in a new concept and be able to use it.
After I stopped drinking, it was like a vast wind took over and whisked away the fog that was dwelling in my brain. Things are so much clearer now. I can remember everything and no longer struggle with memory loss. The clarity I got from stopping my alcohol misuse was honestly surprising to me. I didn’t realize how bad it had really gotten until I was able to reset it all.
For the longest time, I felt alone. Even when I wasn’t, I felt like I was. This resulted in me developing some severe social anxiety. At some points, I felt like it was necessary for me to drink in order to be “fun” to be around. I was taking my self-doubts and projecting them onto others when that was not really the case.
After I stopped drinking, I was able to reform some of my old friendships and create new ones, too. I was also able to go on outings with my friends, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like I needed to drink to be fun. I have always been fun, and I’m glad I no longer let my self-doubts control me like that.
Home Environment Benefits
When you have a spouse and children, creating a safe and comfortable home environment is really important for everyone in the home. Children are extremely sensitive to their environments and need stability. As you can imagine, a parent with an alcohol use disorder can have a lot of difficulty creating that kind of environment. After becoming sober, the weight of guilt was lifted off my shoulders. Being able to ensure that my children feel safe and aren’t exposed to situations that could cause them harm is one of the best benefits for me and also for them.
One of the last benefits I saw was the financial benefits. Without spending so much money on alcohol, I was able to save some money and go on vacation with my spouse and our children. I didn’t feel like a freeloader anymore, and I contributed. I found a sense of pride in being able to contribute. Saving money has also been something I’ve been proud of. It honestly relieves you of so much stress and worry when you’ve saved up enough money to have a nest egg for emergencies. That is just one less thing to stress about.
You Are Not Alone. Get Help Now
I know at times it may feel like you are the only person who has problems like this. I know that I did. I isolated myself because I didn’t know what else to do, and I ended up making things worse. Sometimes, we think we’re doing the right things, but we end up causing more hardships for ourselves.
I knew I needed help, so I took the opportunity I had and got the help I needed. By doing this, I was able to get myself healthy and also brought my family back together, finally. It’s been a long road, for me and I’m sure for you, too. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Alcohol use disorder can be extremely dangerous, so it’s best to speak up when you’re struggling.
Call Vertava Health today at 888-759-5073 to take the plunge into a world that you deserve and are capable of. It’s time to take control of your life and your health. If I did it, you can do it, too. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, you should know that I do.
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How much weight will I lose if I quit drinking?
The amount of weight you lose after quitting drinking will vary from person to person. Some factors that will affect your possible weight loss include what kind of alcoholic beverage you drink, how often you drink, how much you drink, and also your other habits such as eating and exercising.
What are the benefits of cutting out alcohol?
There are many benefits of cutting out alcohol. The best benefits would include those associated with your health. Remember, alcohol is literally a toxic substance and therefore will have negative effects on your body. You will see an overall improvement in your health once you stop drinking alcohol. There are other benefits that are not related to your health but are related to your relationships. When you quit alcohol, it offers you the opportunity to try to mend some of those important relationships you may have lost during the time you were struggling with alcohol misuse.
Will I lose belly fat if I stop drinking alcohol?
You could lose belly fat if you stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol has what are called “empty calories.” What this means is that the alcohol doesn’t have any nutrients and therefore will likely turn the calories from alcohol into fat. Once you stop drinking, the amount of calorie intake will be less, and you could lose weight as a result.
Does skin clear up after quitting drinking?
Skin could clear up after quitting drinking. When you stop drinking, your liver is under much less stress, and as a result, your skin could be left looking more clear. Alcohol also causes inflammation within the body, and that can lead to a variety of other issues such as acne.