I’m going to talk about how I finally quit alcohol after hundreds of relapses, and if you’re watching/reading this, you’re probably sick and tired of always promising yourself that you’re going to quit tomorrow.
That’s the biggest lie. I’ll quit tomorrow and all addicts do it, I was very guilty of it. I quit drinking hundreds of times and always relapsed and went back drinking and heavier than ever.
Because alcohol is progressive, it’s a progressive disease that gets worse over time. Whether you’re sober or not, it just keeps growing, it’s a ugly monster in the closet. No one wants to look at it. But today we are going to finally give you the tips you need to get sober forever.
So I started drinking when I was 17. I took to it like it was a magic potion, because it gave me a ton of relief and it also did something in my body.
I must have had a lot of alcoholism in my family because when that alcohol hit my lips, I just got lit up.
It was like speed to me, and I could stay up all night. I was manic, I was excited, I wanted to talk to everyone in the world, and alcohol was great for a few years.
I mean, I thought I was the life of the party. It made me able to talk to girls that I wouldn’t normally talk to, it made me just very charismatic, but it turned against me and every single year that I drank it got worse and worse and worse.
But, I wanted to hold on to it just like a baby wants to hold on to milk because you know I was getting so dependent on it that I was scared when I only had two beers left in the fridge. You know if my supply got really low I got nervous.
If you’ve ever watched the show intervention, you’ve seen these addicts and alcoholics panic when they run out of their supplies, it’s an ugly thing, it’s just insane, what I believed when I was drinking.
I believed that I could get a better buzz if I didn’t eat food – so I started starving to death.
I believed that it would thin my blood and help my heart after I had a heart attack when I was 32.
I got fired from so many jobs. I broke up with so many girlfriends. I got in so much trouble. It was a tornado of disaster.
At the end of it all, when I was 36, I finally stopped. I had enough. I was rocking back and forth on a urine soaked mattress in a dark room, unable to talk to anyone, barely working.
I only worked two days a week as a caregiver, and I could drink at work so that wasn’t really a job, and I couldn’t even take a shower, and my legs were gone from sitting all the time, just drinking.
So, what finally did it for me – now I did go to AA several times. I got my one year coin, you know, I was in and out quite a bit. I got sober on my own many times without AA, so I’ve done it both ways.
But at the end of it, at the very end, not even my heart attack stopped me when I was 32. What really stopped me was when I was 36, so I drank for four more years after my heart attack, more than ever, and on heart meds.
So, I’m getting wasted twice a day, not eating, drinking on heart meds, and my life was a total mess. I was gonna die. People were saying I was gonna die, and the only thing that stopped me was I absolutely hit rock bottom.
And it wasn’t from anything I did. It was someone that shamed me, they came over to my house. They made fun of me while I was naked and trembling with alcohol withdrawals and I couldn’t kick them out of the house.
That was pathetic enough for me to say ENOUGH. Now this is probably the 170th time that I said that, you know, enough is enough, but this time, I just knew it was, I was done, I mean, it was in my heart, it was in my soul I could feel this thud of resolution, I was done.
So after that guy left the house I picked my last few beers, put them in my backpack and walked back home from my ex girlfriend’s house, and I nursed on those two beers, and that was it, I was done.
This is what I did. I stayed home. I slept for three days. I had the shakes. Now don’t try to quit alcohol on your own if you’re drinking super heavy you can die from withdrawals, so you need to look into some medicated rehab centers.
But what I did was I slowly started to nurse myself back to health. I couldn’t even hold down yogurt towards the end of my drinking. My stomach was so irritated and swollen from alcohol abuse, that I couldn’t even hold down yogurt.
So when I got sober, I just slowly started to eat soup and nurse my way back to health. Then I started to work again. Then I got another job so I had two jobs. I got rid of all my old friends. Okay.
Because here’s the thing, you have to get rid of everything. You have to get to the point where you are willing to walk away from your old friends, all of them; If you’re with a girlfriend or boyfriend and they drink, or they don’t care if you drink, or they’re doing drugs, you have to get rid of them too.
I walked away from a girlfriend. I walked away from old drinking friends, and two years in sobriety, I drove away from that town. I lived in a small town. Everyone knew me, I was the town drunk, I had a lot of bad associations in that town, and they say it all the time in AA you have to get rid of everything, people, places and things that remind you of your drinking.
Two years into my sobriety, I worked two jobs, and just went home at night. I didn’t talk to anyone. In fact, I was so lonely I got a stuffed pink turtle to talk to. That’s how bad it was.
And I just read self help books. I started eating healthy, I started to go to the gym again, I picked up racquetball where I left off.
And I drove away from that town with a new girl who didn’t know my drinking past, and she was sober, and she didn’t want me to drink, she supported my sobriety.
But I was alone for two years. You can’t just jump from one lover to another, okay that’s codependency, you have to just sit still with your emotions, they’re going to surface, it’s going to be a roller coaster. You can go to AA if you want, you know, there’s nothing wrong with AA.
But when I got sober, I was done. I knew it in my heart and I knew it wasn’t a lie, and I wasn’t romanticizing drinking anymore. There was nothing cool about it anymore. I could care less if the rockstars I looked up to drink, or the beat generation writers drank.
I could care less about any of my idols who drank – all of those role models sucked, they were negative, I grew up with them. They made me think that alcohol was cool and drugs were cool.
I got rid of all of those associations, I changed the books I read, I changed what I watched on TV. I didn’t even watch TV. You got to stay away from anything that makes you stressed out, and news is very stressful and very negative. Okay, you have to change everything.
So when you’re ready to change everything and you mean it and you can feel it in your heart and you’re ready, then you are ready. You’re ready, and it’s one day at a time, and it’s going to be a roller coaster, you’re going to have these crazy ups and downs. And when you’re down, just remember that you’re alive for a reason.
Now is the time to give back. Okay, now is the time to give back because as alcoholics we get very self centered, it’s all about us. So when you get sober, you can get a sponsor if you want and they’ll help you, they’ll guide you through the steps, or you can do it with online therapy.
But either way, you have to stop depending on your own will, because your own will got you where you are, you have to take accountability. No one else forced you to drink. You’re here right now at this time, feeling the way you do because of YOU.
You drink because of you because of your trauma, I know you probably have childhood trauma. We all do. And I climbed out of that. I had the lowest self esteem, the lowest self worth, because my dad and my friends were all bullies and the teachers were bullies.
I got bullied left and right growing up, and alcohol was my only relief for a couple years and then it turned against me. So you have to realize that it’s your life, you have to take accountability for it right now and stop right now.
If you’re hitting it hard, get medical help. But if you’re like me, I just started drinking healthy protein shakes, I started to work out. If you’re weak, just go for a walk, go around the block, and then the next day, walk a little bit further and then the next day walk a little bit more until you get your strength back.
Then start looking into working out and jogging and pick up your hobbies again, you had a lot of hobbies and passions before you started drinking. It’s time now to pick those back up, start journaling and get a sober friend, there’s plenty of online help to guide you through this hard time.
I’ve been sober 13 years. You can do this. Alright, so that is how you get rid of relapsing, you have to absolutely know that you are done, that you’ve been lying to yourself, and you have to stop romanticizing the alcoholics and drug addicts, if you’re watching dramas on HBO, get rid of that stuff.
You’ve got to stop watching that crazy stuff. Stop watching the horror movie shows, you know, anything that’s negative, anything that’s dark, you have to change all of that.
Because God is good, and the light wins, the light always wins over darkness. I know because I was very dark. I had demon alcohol. I almost killed people under the influence, and people are dying all the time from alcohol related deaths, it’s life or death.
Sobriety is the only option right now, because if you go back and drink, it could be prison, death, or insanity. Those are your only three options. I love you guys, hit the subscribe button. Click the link under this article to check out the online therapy. It will help. And I love you and we’ll talk to you soon.
Erik C Johnson