You Can Quit Drinking

Make a Decision, Get Support

Man With Coffee

Getty Images

No matter how far your alcoholism progresses, no matter how bad it gets, you can quit drinking. It takes you making a decision that you want to quit and then finding some kind of support.

You don't have to wait until it gets as bad as it did for Jeffrey, but even if it does, you can still find your way back, as he explains:

Jeffrey's Recovery Story

On November 7, 2009 I decided that I wanted to die. I was alienated from my wife (still am) because of a suicidal rage I was in a week prior because of excessive drinking. I drank all week and for some reason, I decided that November 7 would be my last day on Earth.

I bought a 30-pack of beer and a fifth of bourbon. I nearly drank it all. I called my wife in a stupor, had an argument that I can't remember and smashed my cellphone into little pieces. I drove (thank God no one was killed) to the local convenience store to find a pay phone to continue the argument.

They Just Wouldn't Shoot Me

Inside the convenience store I had a moment of "clarity." I decided if I got the police to show up that I could have a "showdown" and they would shoot me dead. I fell on the floor and told the clerk to shoot me if she had a gun. Of course, she called the police.

When they arrived, I asked them to shoot me dead. When they didn't comply, I fought with them, hoping they would use lethal force. Even in cuffs I smashed my head against the glass in the back of the car until I was incoherent.

They just wouldn't shoot me. I spent three days in a mental facility just to sober up enough to be released to my new therapist.

Not a Drink Since

I have not had a drink since that day. I drank for 20 years before that. I am an alcoholic and can never drink again. I went through the stages of alcoholism, and I am fighting to reverse the effects. My brain has never functioned better than it does right now.

I feel the pain of the damage I have done to my wife and children and am working very hard to try rebuild myself and my relationships. I have feelings like I've never had, good and bad. I have desires for a better future, which I've never had.

Just Stop Drinking

I have a plan, thanks to a lot of support, to make sure that my life is better than it was. I'm not where I want to be, but I know that I will get there.

If you're struggling with alcohol, just stop drinking. Don't over analyze the "who, what, why, where, etc", just stop. You can't see anything else until you stop.

It takes a lot of humility to admit you have a real problem, but you can stop drinking.

Find Some Support

Find support. This forum saved my life even after I stopped drinking. The people on this forum are real, and, whether or not they know it, their advice and comments, at the very least, made me want to live another day to hear what they had to say.

I am in no way over my addiction; I must fight every day. The fight gets easier and easier. I can't say enough about the people on the online support forum I participate in; without them, I don't think I would be sitting here.

-- Jeffrey

Getting Help

If you decide to quit drinking, there are many different kinds of support available to you. There are treatment and rehab facilities, pharmaceutical treatments, support groups, and even Internet meetings and online forums.

Find something that works for you, and if it stops working, try something else.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

By Buddy T
Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.