In my first round of Sobriety, at around the ten-month mark, before I spectacularly fell off the wagon, I started to get comfortable with telling people that I didn't drink. I'd actually revel in their curiosity – “are you an alcoholic then?” they'd ask me.
I've been reading "Pour me, a life" by AA Gill who died recently and it is by turns hysterically funny and full of dark comedy. In it, he talks about how "normal" people drink for light relief and how we hardcore drinkers drink to escape reality. It's a slow death that can only be arrested by not drinking at all.
Getting past the first two days is a significant accomplishment. People who haven't experienced addiction may scoff if you mention how (rightly) proud you are of your achievement but they don't know how hard you have struggled just to get this far.
If your past drinking pattern has been to stop for a few days before going on another bender or even managing to keep your alcohol consumption to weekends only you'll have built up a lot of unresolved health issues. Those of you that have been consistently drinking on a daily basis will experience the worst withdrawal symptoms.
This is not intended as a guide for heavy daily drinkers. Coming off the booze when you are physiologically dependent can kill you. If you are dependent on alcohol to get you through the day, then you need proper medical supervision. Going cold turkey can give you all manner of terrible withdrawal effects.
For those of us that consider ourselves to be simply “problem drinkers” rather than “alcoholics” what are the options? And how do you go about reclaiming your life from drink?