Giving up Drinking

nickmsmith

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At 2-3 drinks per night you’re definitely on the lighter end of the daily drinker spectrum. Still, you’re saving yourself lots of money, if nothing else. Alcohol ain’t cheap. Even natty light/hamms/Busch light would add up on cost with daily drinking.
 

chris m.

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I was drinking one to two beers a day during Covid. I started to get a bit of a spare tire, and had other undesirable symptoms that I didn't correlate with slightly increased drinking. I was worried I had a brain tumor or something.

I went to an endocrinologist, he did a bunch of blood tests. All my blood indicators and hormonal levels were within normal parameters, but he said that the most likely situation was that my liver was having to process alcohol and so wasn't as able to properly process various hormones in my body-- estrogens, testosterone, etc. He said that being half Asian doesn't help since Asians have more difficulty metabolizing alcohol. He said to go cold turkey. So I did. His diagnosis was spot on. After about two months on the wagon the pounds melted off, my libido was fully back, other symptoms went away, etc. I bought some non-alcoholic beers and I drink those once in awhile when I want the taste of a beer to go with Mexican food or other things that taste great with beer.

I play gigs regularly and am not "triggered" by playing in breweries. Perfectly happy to just drink water. By putting my health first and foremost it was quite easy to give up alcohol even though I used to love the feeling of a mild buzz and certainly loved the taste of good beer, a nice glass of wine, or a well mixed Manhattan. I've allowed myself to have a half drink split with my wife, twice over the last few weeks, figuring that small amount shouldn't be enough to affect my liver and hence my body. But that's it.
 
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nickmsmith

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Beer is the primary available food source for chromium. Chromium is known to lower LDL cholesterol and among people taking beta blockers it has been found to raise HDL.
What the science is showing is that chromium is beneficial in naturally improving the performance of your red blood cells.
Beer typically contains higher quantities of manganese than you would find in your food so no additional supplements are needed to maintain structural health of your bones.
Here's an interesting peer-reviewed study from the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine regarding the improvement to plasma health in a randomized study of men at least 1 year post coronary bypass surgery
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1296981/

It's not my place to argue the many logical reasons to enjoy a beer now and then.

Yep. Like most other things in life, variety, control and moderation are key.

some people just don’t have the ability to stop when appropriate.

I feel like a inflated balloon after 2 beers, so it’s easy for me to stop.
 

Flat6Driver

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Good for you for quitting. Alcohol is an interesting thing, as a chemical and the "social" aspect. Some people it really affects, some people can manage. No way could I manage the quantities that the OP cites.

I do drink a little, a beer here or there. I have pretty much stopped drinking in public all together.

Which makes brew pubs, bars and places to check out a band/act places I just don't go since 2020. I don't know how to reconcile this either: I find the concept of "drinking" abhorrent. If people are to say, "let's go drinking..." that grates on my ears lately like nothing else does. Maybe cause encoded in that is something else? I'm not sure. It's not "let's go drink some Tang" (or iced tea). This is my hang up, nobody else's and I can't sort it out in my mind.

I also haven't played out in public in a long time either (Feb 2020). Maybe that's some of it?
 

buster poser

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10-12 oz a night is a fair bit, I was probably there with you for a 2-3 year stretch at a little bit older than you. Gave up the hard alcohol four years ago, and about a year or two later, my years of complimenting that with big IPAs and porters (mostly) gave way to light lagers/cider/seltzers, which I still have, but generally only on weekends. When I do have a 'big beer' I find three is more than plenty and tend to stop at two.

Most positively for me, I dropped 45lbs down to land under 170 inside of six months, the first 20 coming off in 5-6 weeks. My weight has remained under that threshold since, but most of all it's nice not waking up with 'that' feeling in your head, and the doc not asking you to come back to talk about your liver numbers. Hope that'll be your experience too, good luck!
 

Telekarster

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Good for you man. Wise decision. I'm many moons older than you, but you are wise beyond your years. You'll thank youself more and more for it. Addiction to any substance can come on quick or slow... it all depends on your own body. I have a friend who gets addicted to things almost immediately. He tried chewing tobacco once, got hooked immediately, was on it for over 5 years before he quit. Then he smoked 1 cigar... same thing. Today he stays away from all such things, cause he's finally figured out he has a highly addictive system. As for me, I have a very high tolerance for such things.
 

String Tree

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I've never had a problem with alcohol in my life. Never drunk, hungover, etc. I've only occasionally kept beer around the house.

Then came the lockdown in 2020... I thought to myself, why not grab a 6-pack of my favorite while I have the chance? Well they didn't have it in a 6er, so instead I came home with a case of 24.

My occasional drinking quickly turned into regular drinking. Again, not getting wasted, but consistently having 2-4 beers a night.

The calories were starting to add up, so eventually I switch to rum & soda. Again, not a lot, 1 drink a night. But over time that turned into 2-3 every night, and this went on for about 6 months or more.

When I finally decided to calculate how much I was actually drinking, I came to about 10-12oz of 60-proof liquor every night. That may not seem like much to some of you, but for an almost 40yr-old who never really drank, that's quite the leap to make in a year.

So last week I stopped. I was expecting bad withdrawal symptoms, but honestly a week later, I only really miss the buzz - I haven't really had any other symptoms.

Not sure why I'm sharing, but this seems to be as good a place as any.

More Power to you.
-ST
 

telemnemonics

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Good job getting your priorities straight!
Lockdown messed almost everybody up at least in some ways to some degree.
Given the ease of stopping, I wouldn't call you an alcoholic but that's not my call anyhow.

I've been off all the sauces for 23 years but a couple of years ago the pants size thing became a thing.
Quitting snack carbs and dinner carbs took effort but I didn't have to go to a rehab!

Well dammit the holidays are tough!
Snacks and candy and dessert and pies.
And parties, but my wife and I are kind of hermit artists so that's not an issue.
 

BigDaddyLH

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Mr Steady Habits here. Not drinking any more or any less because of the pandemic.

The only change is that I discovered K-dramas on NetFlix and so discovered Soju. But I'd be drinking something else so I'm still drinking the same amount.
 

telemnemonics

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Good for you for quitting. Alcohol is an interesting thing, as a chemical and the "social" aspect. Some people it really affects, some people can manage. No way could I manage the quantities that the OP cites.

I do drink a little, a beer here or there. I have pretty much stopped drinking in public all together.

Which makes brew pubs, bars and places to check out a band/act places I just don't go since 2020. I don't know how to reconcile this either: I find the concept of "drinking" abhorrent. If people are to say, "let's go drinking..." that grates on my ears lately like nothing else does. Maybe cause encoded in that is something else? I'm not sure. It's not "let's go drink some Tang" (or iced tea). This is my hang up, nobody else's and I can't sort it out in my mind.

I also haven't played out in public in a long time either (Feb 2020). Maybe that's some of it?

I can go to a club to see a really good band, or to a food & drink place with family or friends, without a problem.
But after folks have had a few drinks, it becomes them separated from me because they get loud, make generally stupid jokes they think are hilarious, and are kind of separated from my reality, really separated from any other sober persons reality, like say a cop or a person on the street who isn't drinking.

If I'm in an up mood and want to connect, I can fake a similar behavior set, but for me it's still kind of being alone in a crowd.
Sometimes they are entertaining though!
Similarly there are people I have nothing in common with who want to talk to me (sober), and after an hour or so of no topics that interest me but that they are excited to tell me about, similar burnout happens.

I've been clean & sober playing bars and it did not make me want to drink, while it did make me happy and a kind of high to play out.
So I can certainly see not being attracted to sitting in bars watching others drink for the sake of the buzz.
Many bar bands are kind of serving to boost up the social thing for drinking, while not being music I would pay $20 for the privilege of seeing live, if not also drinking and carrying on in the revelry of dropped inhibitions.

Nothing wrong with not consuming that scene, given that it's sort of a whole scene.
 

Telecasterless

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I wish I could give up drinking. I mean, I probably could, but I just don't want to because I really enjoy it.

I don't drink excessively, but I am probably the textbook definition of a functioning alcoholic, in that I habitually go for a beer/wine when the work day is done. On weekends I will have more. I like to drink, I like the feeling of being buzzed and I almost rarely ever get a hangover because I don't drink very much at one sitting, so I don't feel disgusted and disappointed with myself in the morning, so the "need" to quit isn't very compelling. Other than the obvious medical concerns associated with drinking. Which frankly should be enough to quit, but....

Maybe if I incorporated more routine exercise and required myself to get up early, then I would taper off in the evenings.

But good for you Sir OP, I commend you and am envious. But hearing that you did it, at least gives me hope that I can do it too.
 

Festofish

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I gave up drinking for the most part several years ago and started smoking “tea” instead. I’m talking morning to night. My partner and I recently quit and I feel better than I have in a long time! I stopped by a friends house a couple weeks later and he had one ready to go. I hit it a couple times…nothing crazy. The next morning I felt like crap! It felt somewhat like a hangover. I’m done! I’m upbeat and positive for the first time in years. It’s a personal thing and I don’t condemn anyones personal choices but man…quitting is a worthwhile effort! I like that comment above about not giving something up but replacing it with something healthy. We can do it!
 

jondanger

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I wish I could give up drinking. I mean, I probably could, but I just don't want to because I really enjoy it.

I don't drink excessively, but I am probably the textbook definition of a functioning alcoholic, in that I habitually go for a beer/wine when the work day is done. On weekends I will have more. I like to drink, I like the feeling of being buzzed and I almost rarely ever get a hangover because I don't drink very much at one sitting, so I don't feel disgusted and disappointed with myself in the morning, so the "need" to quit isn't very compelling. Other than the obvious medical concerns associated with drinking. Which frankly should be enough to quit, but....

Maybe if I incorporated more routine exercise and required myself to get up early, then I would taper off in the evenings.

But good for you Sir OP, I commend you and am envious. But hearing that you did it, at least gives me hope that I can do it too.

There was a few years there where I was running 3 miles 3 times a week and also drinking 2-3 fifths of vodka a week so I don’t know, you might be surprised what you can throw at your body if you really set your mind to it. I personally can’t recommend it.
 

fjblair

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I've never had a problem with alcohol in my life. Never drunk, hungover, etc. I've only occasionally kept beer around the house.

Then came the lockdown in 2020... I thought to myself, why not grab a 6-pack of my favorite while I have the chance? Well they didn't have it in a 6er, so instead I came home with a case of 24.

My occasional drinking quickly turned into regular drinking. Again, not getting wasted, but consistently having 2-4 beers a night.

The calories were starting to add up, so eventually I switch to rum & soda. Again, not a lot, 1 drink a night. But over time that turned into 2-3 every night, and this went on for about 6 months or more.

When I finally decided to calculate how much I was actually drinking, I came to about 10-12oz of 60-proof liquor every night. That may not seem like much to some of you, but for an almost 40yr-old who never really drank, that's quite the leap to make in a year.

So last week I stopped. I was expecting bad withdrawal symptoms, but honestly a week later, I only really miss the buzz - I haven't really had any other symptoms.

Not sure why I'm sharing, but this seems to be as good a place as any.

You drank two or three drinks a night for six months and expected to have bad withdrawal symptoms? That's Reefer Madness level hysteria.
 

telemnemonics

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I gave up drinking for the most part several years ago and started smoking “tea” instead. I’m talking morning to night. My partner and I recently quit and I feel better than I have in a long time! I stopped by a friends house a couple weeks later and he had one ready to go. I hit it a couple times…nothing crazy. The next morning I felt like crap! It felt somewhat like a hangover. I’m done! I’m upbeat and positive for the first time in years. It’s a personal thing and I don’t condemn anyones personal choices but man…quitting is a worthwhile effort! I like that comment above about not giving something up but replacing it with something healthy. We can do it!

Nice, sounds sane to me.
Not wishing to debate but the recent idea that tea all day is no problem?
Cough quacks like a duck...
 

Greggorios

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Also, when that bottle was getting low, I found myself worrying a bit as to when I was going to be able to get a fresh one, and how I was going to conceal it from my wife.

You've got my respect for listening to yourself and recognizing that the situation required your attention. That's no small thing, particularly your comments quoted above-for me that characterized drinking almost from the beginning. Even in high school I always bought an extra 6 pack and stashed it so I'd have a back up in case the keg ran out. It was that way for 20+ years and progressively got worse until I was able, for one brief moment, to see myself clearly and become honest with myself. I was lucky enough to find some wonderful people who stuck out their hands, said hello and offered to help. I wouldn't trade this life without booze for anything. It's a much easier way to live.

Good luck and don't be shy about reaching out for any reason.
 




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