34, husband 32, and we quit drinking 75 days ago. Not sure if I'll pick it up again, but for now I'm really enjoying the increased mental clarity and the peace of mind that I will never wake up with a hangover.
I wouldn't say I ever had a problem with it, but I was definitely drinking for no reason, and over time that bothered me quite a bit. We are very introverted people and very seldom go out, so we were just drinking at home with one another in front of our computers. It went from mixed vodka/rum drinks and diet soda to wine to sake to mead to shots only from those little tiny bottles back to wine and finally a three-month beer bender where we were trying all kinds of new and interesting beers and really learning about all that beer can be. It was a lovely drinking adventure. But it was almost every day, and it got really, really old. And I couldn't seem to find my balance anymore like I could when I was in my 20s. I couldn't figure out where my limit was. I was embarrassed to have my husband tell me about the night before because I couldn't remember some parts. I never did anything to be ashamed of, I just couldn't remember. And that was new, having only strong beers and still losing time. That's something that would have taken a whooooole lot of whiskey to accomplish at an earlier time in my life.
At one point I calculated how much we'd spent in the previous six months and it was enough for two round-trip tickets to Rome with spending money. Just a ridiculous sum. That was kind of what really put it into perspective for us and got us on the road to quitting.
I woke up with a headache one late morning 76 days ago and was just done. I was sick of myself, sick of feeling physically unwell the next morning, sick of drinking for no reason besides novelty. I didn't start counting days until the first day with no after-effects. And it's been oddly simple since then to just not. We had sparkling grape juice during the holiday season. We've had ginger ale out at restaurants. I can't say I've lost any weight, but it's definitely much easier to keep a balanced budget now.
I don't expect we'll be teetotalers for life, but I can't come up with any good reasons for drinking for myself right now. And as long as it's working for me, I'll keep it up. There's a phrase in those circles you've been visiting called "fearing the zero". It means that it only takes one drink to reset your counter back to zero, and that the longer you abstain, the greater this fear becomes because you have that much more to lose if you slip up. I guess I'm kind of in that place right now, fearing the zero. I like that I have 75 days of clarity behind me, and a whole lot more to look forward to. And maybe sometime in the future I'll have a glass of wine with dinner again. I probably will. I don't have to fear myself or any addictive tendencies.
You don't have to decide what your future goals are. You just have to decide what you're going to do today. If today you don't feel like drinking, don't drink. Maybe tomorrow you'll feel like it. You don't have the outside responsibility of needing to be sober for children, so you have more freedom to make choices about it, and that can probably seem a little scary. You might need to find a new normal for your 30s like I will probably have to do, be a little more relaxed about drinking or find new reasons to keep it a part of your life. Fortunately, once you're in your 30s, most of your friends (hopefully) are able to be a hell of a lot more mature about respecting your decision to abstain, and you're probably involved in new and varied activities that aren't necessarily improved by drinking. You might even find yourself setting a good example for the rest of them. There is no "normal", only responsible. If you're drinking responsibly, and you're happy with yourself, that's all that matters.