10 Things I Realised After Quitting Alcohol

Written by Kajsa IngelssonJanuary 29, 2019

I stopped drinking 30th of june 2017.

That’s 18 months, give or take 568 days ago.


I always had a very turbulent relationship with alcohol. First time I drank I was around 12 and downed half a bottle of vodka, straight up. I got so drunk and oh so sick. My parents grounded me for a month, thinking (hoping?) I learned my lesson.

I think that I had a problem with alcohol from that very first sip, or rather let’s call it what it was, gulps. But at the time, it felt like love at first sight. As a seemingly shy kid, I felt like alcohol made me brave, relaxed and cool. It made me feel like I was on the inside, being part of it all rather than alone and looking in. FINALLY!

As the time went by I started to drink to ease the pain. Pain from feeling like I did not belong, that I wasn’t understood or worthy. I decided at the age of 14 that I wasn’t ever going to process any of the sexual abuse or other traumas that I was going thru. Just keep walking forward, any means necessary became my mantra. Alcohol was the walking stick that kept me going.

At 21 I finally left my dreadful and coldhearted hometown Malmö, Sweden. I already graduated in the tough school of life, majoring in both hard drugs and alcohol. The city that never felt like mine was too small and the taste in my mouth far too bitter to ever think twice about leaving. A one way ticket to an exciting new love in Barcelona, now how cool was I? Even better and lucky for me we were soon to figure out that we both had the same profound love of getting high. There could be no stopping this party.

(You just gotta keep walking)

Fast-forward to 25 and my personal and total rock-bottom in London. I was flat out. I could no more. A weak and fragile shadow in a dark hotel room met my brother as he came to pick me up and fly me home to my mother. Time for rehab Kitty K..

(And how do you FEEL about that?)

I wish I could say I stopped from that day on, but that’s really not the case. Drinking and drugs lost their luster after rehab but still got a hold on me, luring me in, convincing me that I could control myself and that I deserved it. I mean, who was I without it and how the hell do you have fun sober anyway?

(Stop. In the name of l o v e. Before you kill yourself)

It wasn’t until a few years later I surrendered to myself, to life and to the goddess within and without. I decided I wanted something else than chaos. Something real; relationships, energy, health, emotions, LIFE. I wanted to be wild, free and completely me.

(Walk thru the pain and see that the monsters you have been running from so long are just shadows made up by your own mind. The past can’t hurt you no more)

Of course there’s so much more to this story, but i’ll save it for another time. However I do want to share what I have learned since going sober, for whatever it’s worth.

1. Sobriety is so relaxing.

Even the few moments when it’s boring and feels like deprivation, it’s still relaxing. No madness (or very little at least), no chaos, just the peace of being me.

2. Feeling the pain of my emotions is really hard.

It really is. But i’m not running and hiding anymore, and I’m realizing that emotions are just emotions and meant to be experienced and then let go off.

3. You’ll have to explain yourself. A lot.

Even some of my best friends where like, “oh but you don’t have a problem. It’s just because you drink when you are sad.” NO. Look here, if someone tells you they have a problem, chances are 99.9999% that they do. It’s not an easy realisation to make or share. Show some respect.

4. Now I just say no thank you, next. 

As i’m becoming more in touch with myself and what I want, i’m not afraid to say no anymore. I don’t keep people around just because; if we aint on the same vibe then i’ll nod my head and back away.

I am responsible only of my life and my actions and I will make whatever decisions that are right for me and promotes my self-growth.

5. Hangovers are not normal.

I mean come on, how can you live that over and over again knowing that you willingly are doing it to yourself? Nah, i’m good, thanks.

6. People who do drink spend a lot of time encouraging people who don’t drink that they should.

Maybe they are feeling guilty, or maybe they are threatened by the fact that you’ll remember everything. I don’t know what it is, but being sober makes people uncomfortable. If I could get a € every time someone said; Oh but just have one ffs, this is just a break don’t worry you will be able to drink again, you were so much more fun before, ok but just have a beer then, ect ect.. I’d be richy rich by now. Again people please, it’s such a bad look on you. Please stop. I’m not analyzing or questioning why you are deliberately poisoning yourself now am I?

7. Mo money in the bank.

All of a sudden going out to eat was not such a hefty affair anymore.

8. I’m no longer humiliating myself.

This one is self explanatory right? We all know how it is to spill secrets, end up in the wrong bed or all the other embarrassing shit that gets a green go when drunk.

9. I’m picky.

Ok, anyone who knows me will laugh because even as a drunkie I was picky. But now? You want me to go out better make sure that the music is on point, the company needs to be stimulating and the food delicious. I see, hear and feel everything. Tickle my senses, please. If not, I have 40 different teas, a huge cuddly pitbull and plenty of blankets at home. So yeah, i’m good.

10. Connecting with others gets real.

I am here and now, 100%. My mind is not on that next line or calculating how many glasses everyone else had just so I won’t seem too excessive in my drinking. I am listening and devoting my time and energy into my relationships. And btw as for the most intimate ones, yes it is awkward at first but sober sex is soooo much better 😉

It’s been a long journey so far. I had to relearn a lot of things, basically everything from 15 to 25. It’s been hard work and it felt so unfair. But now? Single best thing I ever did for myself, hands down. If you are contemplating whether or not this also is your path to walk, I’ll leave you with these 3 lines;

  1. it gets easier with time. I hardly ever miss it anymore now, but in the beginning? It was tough.
  2. when I get a craving, I say oh ok, take three breaths and let it pass. It never lasts more than 30 seconds/a minute.
  3. surrounds yourself with good, patient people who loves and gets you.

It’s the hardest decision I ever had to make and it hasn’t been easy, but I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. What’s the point of living if you are not fully alive?