Why I’m Quitting Drinking in 2013

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About Karl Thompson

I teach A Level Sociology in Surrey, England. I also write the Realsociology blog which offers sociological commentary on a range of issues. In the spirit of eudaimonia I also enjoy running, voluntary simplicity, Buddhism and thinking about meditating.


  1. Start by finding new friends. It is amazing that we tolerated some of our *Drinking Buddies* simply because we *were* drinkers. We poisoned ourselves long enough, gave up meaningful relationships and replaced them with Socially awkward drinkers. We find time to replace those things that were counter-productive, are able to deal with more challenges and clearly choose our friends. The Drinking Bond is all you share, when you remove the drinking, you may have nothing in common with your Party Friends. So, get new friends. Ones that adhere to the new values and outlooks you have in life, and you will wonder how you found all that spare time to drink in the first place.
    Look at your old bar habits and spending associated with drinking. Save or buy yourself something with that money you saved, and you will forget (if not already) those hazy lazy days in bars and bottles. Your real friends will still be there, and you will be able to clearly see them for once. And your judgement in choosing friends will improve into more meaningful relationships than the shallow booze buddies that amused you before. You will do fine. Better than fine. Your health will improve, your outlook on life will improve, you will save money, think clearly and make additional wise choices as a result.

    Oh, Congrats on the decision: you will never regret when you stop drinking, like you ‘the morning after the night before’.

  2. Wishing you continued success one day at a time. There are numerous resources out there. The twelve steps have served me quite well for some time. Blessings on your journey. You do not have to got it alone. Peace

  3. Gotta say – this me at 35. But I’m female. Now at 48 I am soooo glad I stopped. Yup, I lost a lot of friends, but I gained many more. My career improved, until now my lifestyle is actually what I dreamed of in my 20s. Not married nor do I have kids (equally not suited to it) but I enjoy life. I give back to my community and I enjoy my hobbies, including o long-wished for Miata. So carry on – it’s more than worth it – and so are you.

  4. Good for you Karl, for following through on something that you want to do. The reasons for my stopping drinking were to confront myself because I used alcohol as a social crutch. I wanted to be able to be comfortable in any social situation while 100% sober, to be able to carry on meaningful conversations, to be able to go see live music and dance without any drinks. It took time but I got there (sort of, I’m still self-conscious but I work through it).

    One thing that I don’t agree with here is the notion that binge drinking is a “youth” thing…I don’t believe binge drinking at any age is ok. It’s completely embedded in our culture though that it is, and there is a lot of pressure when you’re young (even teenaged) to do it. You’ve probably noticed, as I did when I stopped, how much alcohol is part of the daily conversation in so many things we do, that it’s become a given, the norm, and that the people who don’t drink are the ones who stick out, who are “weird.” I find that fascinating…and disturbing.

    I’m not judging people who drink. I can’t. I binge drank throughout my 20s and into my early 30s. But I do encourage everyone to question why they drink, to really think about it (taking that further, to question why they do anything). I would love to see the culture that portrays drinking as “cool” and the only way to have fun changed.

    Best of luck on your journey.

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