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This is What Happens When You Quit Alcohol Completely For A Whole Year

Kelly Fitzgerald had a typical life like any of us these days- She worked hard and led a full social life. This meant lots of parties and functions that had plenty of alcohol. On May 6th, 2013, however, she decided to quit alcohol for good. It was having a bad effect on her life.
 “On May 6, 2013 I took my last drink.  I will never forget how it felt.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I was tired of being the party girl, I was tired of feeling like shit, I was tired of disappointing and embarrassing my friends and loved ones.  I decided I needed a big change. Trying to drink in moderation hadn’t proved to be the best option for me.  It never worked.  Enough was enough.  I tried something that I never did before – stopped drinking alcohol completely.” She said on her blog.

When You Quit Alcohol Completely For A Whole Year
On the left, a peak drinking time. On the right, a few weeks ago, almost one year sober. Image Source: www.sobersenorita.com

These are the lessons she learned in that one year she did not drink alcohol:

1. Heightened senses
She feels everything with a heightened sensitivity.  Emotions, smell hearing, muscle pain, hearing and taste got heightened. Her emotions have gone crazy-“I cry at the drop of a hat, I’m offended easily, and sometimes I am so happy I feel like I’m going to burst.  I actually care what people think about me…” And although she is sometimes overwhelmed, the feeling is amazing.

2. Self-understanding
Not drinking has made her realize who she is. She has realized what she likes and what she doesn’t and can easily socialize with friends and family. “I’m learning that person who was under the cloud of constant alcohol black outs for the last several years was not me.  I am not the stupid embarrassing things I did, I am a real person who does not mix well with alcohol.” 

 3. Alcohol stopped being fun for her
She had been trying for years to regulate her drinking but kept failing. Alcohol started out as fun and as a social thing but she realized it wasn’t fun anymore. It was in fact the root of most of her problems. Bad things happened to her when she drank and she should have stopped earlier.

 4. Life is manageable
Her life used to be a total mess when she drank and she felt comfortable that way. After fighting the scary first days and months, being sober is her normal now. Drinking used to be her answer to everything and especially when things went bad, but now she is prepared to face anything and can handle it in a healthy way. “Additionally, less bad things have happened since I stopped drinking alcohol which was the cause of many problems in the past.  I am now present and thankful for each day.”

 5. Worthy of love
Alcohol had been sabotaging her romantic relationships for a long time. Alcohol “supported, encouraged, and justified bad decisions of all kinds, especially those related to men.” After she stopped drinking, she realized that she was capable of having a normal relationship and she did deserve to be loved. Oh, and she did find a loving and amazing man who shows her that she deserves all the love in the world!

6. Toxic people bring toxic habits
When you quit drinking or doing drugs, one of the things you have to do is change friends. She realized that she had nothing in common with some of her friends and that some had completely different goals and outlook on life. They felt fake and when she made the decision, she found out who her true friends were. “There are those who will love you unconditionally, those who won’t bat an eyelash, and those who will still offer you cocktails after they already know you don’t drink.” She has since learned how to get rid of toxic relationships without feeling bad about it.

7. She is not perfect and that is ok.
Guilt, shame and regret are some of the feelings one gets when you quit a nasty habit.  According to Kelly, however, it’s a beautiful thing to finally feel those emotions she tried to numb with alcohol all those years. “Not only am I learning to feel them, I’m learning how to deal with them, and live a healthy and successful life.  I have made mistakes along the way and I will never be perfect.” There are good and bad days but she has learned to not beat herself up. Alcohol is her story of perseverance.

“I never thought that sobriety would be my preferred way of life, but now I can’t imagine going back to my party girl ways.  I never dreamed I would feel SO happy, full, and healthy living a life without drugs and alcohol.  I was always that girl who needed alcohol to have fun and now I am a testament to the fact that you don’t need it to enjoy yourself. I wake up every day feeling relieved that I never have to feel hangover.  I hope that by sharing my story other party girls (and boys) will have the courage to put down the drink and live the life they have always imagined.  The best is yet to come.” 

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