That’s it: I’m no longer a drinker

I’ve made a big decision: I no longer am going to drink alcohol. At 63, that’s huge, especially after I

I’ve made a big decision: I no longer am going to drink alcohol. At 63, that’s huge, especially after I had been drinking my whole life. For a year or so in my 40s, I tried to stop but the pressures of work and children got to me so much. But now, I’m giving up for good.

One thing that made me feel so guilty about have a few glasses of red every night was that my mother died from liver issues caused by alcoholism. She always told me not to make the same silly mistakes as her but I kept thinking that I didn’t have as much of a problem as her.

That was until I had a wake up call recently. My son came over with his partner and they made a joke about how they couldn’t believe I wasn’t drunk already. I was shocked and said “I don’t get drunk!” but they insisted that yes I do, and I often forget where things are or repeat myself. I was so embarrassed. This was my son who I love so much, and my future daughter-in-law – I felt so ridiculous and couldn’t imagine how they saw me. I was a lush, a drunk old woman who couldn’t hold her liquor. I called my daughter and asked her if I drank too much and she went quiet. She said that she knew I loved my wine but did get concerned thinking I’d end up like Nanny. That’s really all I needed to hear. I went to my doctor and asked him what to do, he said that my drinking habits classified me as an alcoholic so I needed to work to get my health back. I threw out all the alcohol in my house and was determined not to be swayed.

It’s been two weeks now and so far, so good. I’ve been invited to a work function and will need to just stay on non-alcoholic drinks. My ex-husband is a reformed drinker as well and he said he often felt left out socially due to his tee-total status. He said people would say that they didn’t invite him because they didn’t think he’d wanna go to a pub or restaurant if he was sober. It’s a sad world we live in when we think we need alcohol to have a good time.

I hope other over 60s can make a similar change if they want to. I had no idea that drinking a few drinks every day meant I had a problem with alcohol, but it does. I used it as a crutch and now I am going to learn how to be fun without a glass in hand. Wish me luck!

Tell us, have you had to give up drinking? How did you go?

  1. Marlee  

    My mother was an alcoholic and had an enlarged liver when she died. I have never been a drinker, but my daughter tells me that red wine is good for heart health in moderation. I don’t like red wine, but love Moscato and have now been introduced to Gin and Tonic and the tonic water helps me with aching legs in bed of a night. My doctor tells me that 2 units of alcohol a day is safe for women, but we need to have two alcoholic free days per week, so that is what I am doing now. I am 73.

  2. George Covacs  

    This article totally confuses alcoholics with moderate drinkers.
    If you tend to drink excessively by all means give it up but don’t, in the same breath, lump us moderate drinkers with yourself.
    I really enjoy one or two glasses of bubbly with my dinner and there’s no way I will give this pleasure, which greatly enhances my dining experience, up anytime soon.
    I don’t drink excessively and resent being lumped together with alcoholics!

    • John LEAR  

      This story is about someone elses journey not yours. Lighten up

  3. Judy  

    I gave up drinking 23 years ago, in my mid 40’s because I was diagnosed an alcoholic. It hasnt been easy but I am so glad I managed to do it on my first attempt. I have no problem being around social drinkers but as long as I have my coke zero or pepsi max I can cope. My three grand daughters have never seen me with a drink.

  4. Gail Walslh  

    This article raises interesting questions: There are the recommended daily ‘limits’ for alcohol consumption and yes it has been stated here and there that ‘red’ is better for you. Are some women are more ‘affected’ by alcohol than others? Does this classify them as alcoholics – when in fact they have no more or no less than others who are ‘offended’ by the suggestion that they might also be classified as alcoholics.

    I am affected by small amounts of alcohol. It is interesting to ‘try yourself out’ with a breathalizer which can be purchased to measure your ‘ status’. I was shocked to find that half a glass of wine and half a glass of soda water on a hot day, for me, showed a personal reading of .06

    Because of my reputation for being ‘tiddly’ when others drinking the same amount weren’t, I was seconded into an Alcohol Awareness Campaign being conducted at a boat show. My fellow ‘testers’ had consumed almost a carton of heavies and had minimal readings, while my 2 glasses of wine, had the breathalizer going bonkers. Educational for the onlookers – and a great demo for the need for ‘dry’ drivers on the water or on the roads.

  5. I have found that I simply don’t enjoy the daily tipple anymore since retiring. I have a glass of wine if I feel like one if I am out to lunch or dinner but I am more likely to go without these days. Summer I like a weak while wine spritzer and the occasional baileys is always welcome.

  6. Jane Williams  

    I used to drink. I didn’t have to give it up, I just lost interest in an alcohol.
    Mind you I saw my father get very close to being an alcoholic, both my children cannot get through a day without a drink, and many of my husband’s relatives died from alcohol related illnesses. All I see on TV these days are out of control young people fuelled by alcohol creating havoc on city streets.
    I can live quite happily without a drink at age 64.

  7. At 58 years of age and 58 kilos and being born in 1958…..(just threw that one in, got nothing to do with anything) I have determined that I cannot drink alcohol of any description anymore. After half a bottle of wine I can be totally fine, or think I am, then after a few hours “sleep” I wake up and cannot get back to sleep as the banging head and vomiting keep me entertained for many hours right up until lunchtime….Even by evening time I am in a non functioning state and incapacitated. What a lightweight I am. And that is a regular occurrence with me in the last few years… that has to be it. Done. Who would deliberately do this to themselves? Me apparently. But no more.

  8. John Rolfe  

    bah humbug at 62 I work my butt off just to survive I enjoy a few ales on Friday as I relax I exercise and eat healthy I do not consume alcohol to excess. I don’t intend to live the rest of my life living like a monk, I don’t smoke I don’t practise sex helps if you have a partner and I’m not interested in the things us old people are supposed to do. So I’m just living my life the way I want.

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