My countdown to 4 years sober
Welcome to Wisequit, my website dedicated to helping people stop drinking. I’m Nate from Chicago, IL, and in August 2016 I made a very big decision: to quit drinking forever. I vowed that if, by some miracle, I made it through 12 months, I’d create a resource to help others. So here it is.
My drinking hell story
I started drinking when I was 15 and drank regularly until 42 years of age. Of those 9855 days of existence, a conservative guess would calculate I drank 9000 of those days.
Fun fact: that’s probably $150,000 pissed away for nothing except a sore head the next day. It beggars belief.
By some miracle, by 2016 I wasn’t an end-stage alcoholic who was destitute in the streets. Quite the opposite in fact. I was a highly functioning corporate warrior who had a great life – on the outside anyway.
One thing many alcoholics will agree on is this: we’re a cunning breed and projecting a fake image is second nature. I was no exception: it looked like I had my shit together, but inside I was miserable and my life was unravelling. I was a shell who existed to get through my day so that I could drink at night.
Nothing excited me any more: I was a lousy father who dedicated little time to his daughter. I did the bare minimum at work, just enough to slip by unnoticed. Even getting married for the second time wasn’t enough to create a genuine smile on my face. Looking back on the pictures showed a red puffy faced guy who looked miserable.
The worst part of my existence was that the alcoholism, that I’d always had under control, was progressing. I needed more, more often. What was once social drinking with the friends became a mix of beer, wine and spirits on my own at home. This isn’t sustainable long-term. It doesn’t matter how strong your will is, eventually the alcohol will break your spirit and you’ll surrender to its immense power.
Biting the bullet
In complete honesty, if I’d known what was in store for me over the first 12 months I probably wouldn’t have stopped. It was hard and the side effects opened up a whole new can of worms for me. But I’ve made it through and although I know my battle with alcohol will never be over, I’m thankful everyday for making the changes I did.
Now it’s your turn
But enough about me. This website has been created for you. If you’re on this website you may need to change your habits and get some more natural happiness in your life. One of the most common questions I asked myself in my drinking years was “am I an alcoholic?”. I also see this question pop up a lot on forums about addiction. It’s like we will do anything to find a reason to not give up. Any logic that demonstrates we’re still under control in our life, we’ll throw ourselves at it! For example, we create rules like “if I don’t drink on weekdays then there’s no problem”. This thinking is really common and is usually flawed.
But maybe you genuinely don’t have a problem? Maybe you do? Let’s firstly deal with this question. If you come to the conclusion that you probably do have a problem then you need to get hard and commit to a life of sobriety. There is no middle ground, no grey areas. You can either drink responsibly or you can’t so let’s try to answer that question now.