Struggling with alcohol and dreading the party season ahead? Do you think you are drinking too much? Here, nine everyday people tell Lifestyle News why they gave up alcohol - and list their top tips so you can do it to.
1. Entrepreneur and mum Gabrielle Olga, of Queensland, did not want to give up alcohol. What made her quit was a deep knowing she needed to.
She says she was unsatisfied with where she was in life, and had a persistent feeling that everything she wanted (and hadn’t yet achieved) was on the other side of drinking.
Now, since giving up, Gabrielle has ticked off goals she couldn’t seem to reach when she was drinking - including being promoted at work and moving into her dream house - and, as a bonus, she lost 15 kilos.
TOP TIP: Expect it to take multiple attempts before it eventually sticks.
Every “failure” is a gift of awareness – you will learn something from each try until you eventually have all that you need to kick the habit for good.
Remember to give yourself love and grace – it’s hard!
2.. Best selling author and speaker Brendon Watt, who moved to Texas from Queensland, says alcohol creates a place where you live in delusion - what you think you are creating and what you are actually creating are two separate things.
When he realised what he was creating was the destruction of everything - his relationships, friendships, family, trust with people, and his body. He knew he needed to make a different choice.
It got to the point where he realised if he kept going, he had no future.
TOP TIP: Get honest with yourself and from there ask - who am I choosing this for? For me, one of the things that didn’t work was when I tried to choose to give it up for other people.
It didn’t work until I chose it for me.
Advice 1) Get brutally honest with yourself - Is this the life I desire to create?
2) Ask, who am I choosing this for?
3. Small business owner and meditation expert, Gary Huxtable, of Victoria, says not drinking is very much socially acceptable nowadays, especially with the growing popularity of non-alcoholic drinks.
He says people need to think about why they drink, as for many, heavy drinking is triggered by stress or lack of confidence..
TOP TIP: Challenge yourself to a time period. The first few weeks are difficult as you’ll have ingrained habits.
Once you can go to a couple of social gatherings and enjoy non alcoholic drinks it gets a lot easier.
Eventually you wiil get to the point where you have zero desire to drink after seeing others suffer from hangovers, and the way they act when drunk.
4. Ashish Thakkar describes himself as a digital nomad, and is currently living in India. He made a decision one day to quit both cigarettes and alcohol. And just like that, he did.
TOP TIP: You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. If you want to quit, you should quit.
Most people drinking are doing it only to be part of the group or they’re just not happy with who they are when they’re not drunk.
5. It's hard to believe Kathryn Elliott, a popular alcohol and binge drinking coach from Victoria, struggled with binge drinking for more than 30 years.
She wasn't dependent on alcohol, but after a big night out she was often filled with shame and remorse the next day,
Kathryn says giving up was the best decision because she now feels much more aligned to her own values, and has a better relationship with herself.
TOP TIP: Focus on what you will gain rather than what you might miss out on. Mindset is really important.
6.. Queensland man Tommy Uhlich says it's empowering to be the minority, adhering to the maxim it's better to be a tiger for one day than a sheep for 100 years.
The top mortgage broker says since giving up alcohol, he has amazing energy levels and can't even remember what a hangover feels like.
And as a bonus, his business has gone from strength to strength - he was named one of Queenslands Top Mortgage brokers last year.
TOP TIP: Just do it, you wont regret it!
7. Being a small business owner Gabrielle Collard started to resent all those lost mornings where she couldn't get started.
Later, with the hormonal fluctuations of perimenopause, alcohol started to make her feel unwell.
Not only would she get headaches from drinking anything alcoholic, during the night, she would wake up with a terrifying depression. TOP TIP: Less people care that you're not drinking than you think. Before giving up, I thought there would be a lot of pressure from others, with friends questioning me in a negative way, but that hasn't been the case.
Yes, you get reminded that booze exists at every turn, but the pressure to join in is mostly internal.
8. Australian small business women Natalie Clays, who now lives in the USA and helps people with addictions, gave up alcohol mid-pandemic in 2020,
She says she realised drinking was no longer something she did socially or occasionally, it was something she did every day,
When you realise you can't have a good night out without booze, it's a problem, Natalie said.
TOP TIP: Realise that you're not actually giving anything up; you're getting free of a toxic poison that controls your life.
9. After almost 20 years of binge drinking, sole mum Alisha Burns, of Victoria, finally accepted she could not drink in moderation.
She says she knew drinking wasn't great for her health, but underestimated the impact it was having on the rest of her life.
TOP TIP: Try alcohol-free drinks and mocktails when out while you are transitioning so you don't feel like you are missing out as you adjust your social life.