So often the question comes up: What made me quit drinking? Although I believe it was a combination of divine intervention from the universe, me getting tired of my bullshit, and the destructive consequences of alcohol misuse, along the way I had some personal interactions, I’ll never forget. These long-lasting words of caution and words of advice helped me to take the plunge into sobriety when I was finally ready. If you’ve heard some similar words from essential people in your life, maybe these quotes could be what you need to understand to quit the alcohol finally.
1. “If the things that happened to you happened to me when I drank, I would never drink again.”
This line was said to me by an ex-boyfriend and I’ll never forget his face when he said it to me. He was annoyed and couldn’t understand why I kept engaging in the same dangerous shenanigans while drinking. His words left a lasting impression on me because I realized he wasn’t just criticizing my drinking, but he was putting himself in my shoes.
He was one of the first people that mentioned sobriety to me. I don’t think he did it with the intention that I would actually one day get sober, but I did. And he was right. The countless bad hangovers, the blackouts, the waking up and not knowing where I was or what happened, the injuries, and losing purses and cameras, were all signs that something needed to change.
2. “Do you think you have a problem with alcohol?”
This line was said by my mother and in the most loving way possible. She was never the type to get angry at me or scold me for my drinking or the things that happened as a result. During the particular phone conversation, I was crying to her after a night out binging on alcohol and cocaine. I masked my deep hurt and pain by telling my mom I was upset over a boy. I’m sure she knew that it was much more than that and when I voiced that I had a hangover, she gently asked, “do you think you have a problem?” To which I replied, “No of course not!” I couldn’t see it then, but it’s another conversation that I will never forget. It was another sign of another life beyond my drinking.
3. “You really don’t remember anything from last night?”
In college, I immersed myself in the binge drinking culture. I found it fun, spontaneous, and carefree. I felt important being able to drink more than anyone else and organizing and participating in all of the social events I could. College is also the time when I began having regular blackouts. My blackouts varied from remembering nothing to having a spotty memory of things that occurred the night before. I assumed everyone who drank had blackouts. I thought it was typical for college students and drinkers to blackout.
It wasn’t until one of my friends asked me as I tried to piece together a confusing night, “you don’t remember anything?” that I learned blackouts weren’t normal at all. They were a troubling sign of an alcohol issue. My friends were astounded that my memory did not hold any signs or clarifications from my night out. That’s when I knew deep down something was wrong.
4. “You can’t control yourself when you go out.”
My husband said this to me when we were dating, and I was still drinking. Our fights were always about the same thing. He was angry that I drank too much, or I was sneaking cocaine bumps in the bathroom, or we were both drunk and fought about things that wouldn’t have been a big deal if we were sober. A few weeks before I got sober we were having one of these same discussions where Fer said to me, “you can’t control yourself when you go out.” Although I felt like it was a gut punch at the time, he was right.
Once I had one drink, I could not control the amount of alcohol I put in my body after that. Then when I was wasted, I could control even less what happened to me, what decisions I made about myself and my body. It’s not a surprise that this is unsafe for anyone. I tried hard to control my drinking for years, and when I finally surrendered the fact that I couldn’t, and I didn’t want to try anymore, I was able to sustain sobriety.
5. “You will live a life beyond your wildest dreams.”
After 3 or 4 days of not drinking or using drugs, I messaged the mother of one of my best friends. I knew she was sober and I asked her for any advice she could give me about quitting drinking and staying sober. She recommended some literature, and she said, “I know this sounds cliché, but you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams.” I didn’t know what it meant then, but I 100 percent understand precisely what she said now. She suggested my life would be a thousand times more beautiful sober than when I was drinking. She meant it would exceed my expectations. She indicated that my life wasn’t over, it was just beginning.
I might not have known it at the moment, but these conversations would encourage me to get sober. The advice I never wanted, words I didn’t agree with, and some I didn’t understand ended up changing me in ways I’ll always remember.
About the Author
Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.