Why Alcoholics Stop Drinking-When they hit bottom life sucks


I’ll never forget the night before I decided to stop drinking alcohol for good. The next morning I found a local program for Alcoholics. I hit bottom after getting into a fist fight with a guy who was twice my size.

It was not a pretty sight when I awoke to discover I had road rash all over my body from wrestling on a brick-paver driveway. As I looked intently in the mirror that morning, with a beer in my hand already at seven o’clock, I said: “Who the heck are you.” I realized what I had become sucks.

For several days prior to making the final decision to stop drinking, I had begun to think of the things I valued the most in life. Thoughts of my children, wife, home and business were evidently present in my mind. These are the kind of thoughts that will make an alcoholic stop drinking.

Ever since my mother had passed away, six months prior, my alcohol consumption had gradually escalated.

What had begun as something fun to do, three years ago, was now gripping my life so much that I felt as if I was in chains. I began to realize that I had turned into an alcoholic.

Being addicted to alcohol is a feeling that is unexplainable. Your body experiences the sickest feeling of filth at times like no other sickness I’ve ever experienced. The disease is definitely in a class of its own

As I look back on it now, I realize that God had His hand on me working to nudge me toward recovery. Now eleven years later – He has slowly become my everything in life. If He had not protected me during those horrible years, surely I would have died.

I have to say that it was when I looked in the mirror, the morning following the fight; I realized I was someone that I did not want to be. I was concerned about my children having a responsible dad to look up to.

I knew that if I continued to pour alcohol into my system on a daily basis that I would eventually loose my wife, business and beautiful home. It was a healthy fear that I was experiencing.

It had to be my decision to quit drinking and get help. When I entered into my first AA meeting I wondered, “Why am I sitting here with these alcoholics?” As the meeting began, I realized that my life had become unmanageable.

The power of alcohol in my life was stronger than my ability to resist it. As I listened, I was thoroughly convinced that they could help me. For the next three years I attended alcoholism support group meetings regularly getting help to stay sober one day at a time.

The reasons why alcoholics finally hit bottom and stop drinking are too enormous to count. Every recovering alcoholic’s story is different about how they hit their bottoms.

I can say that there is really no pleasure in living a life filled with anger, pain, shame, guilt, and physical addiction. Hitting bottom was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. Today, I am glad I got into a fight with a guy who was a walking giant compared to my physical size. I needed to have my butt kicked in more ways than one.

If I had to give you an answer for why I stopped drinking, it was because something inside said that life’s worth living sober. I believe that was the voice of God answering the prayers that my children were praying over me on a daily basis. Not long after I was able to get free from alcohol on a daily basis, I quit smoking too. I believe that my children’s prayers were answered once again because my daughter told me that she was praying for me to stop drinking and smoking.

As life continued on… my wife at the time could not stop drinking. I eventually found myself in Al-anon meetings getting the tools needed for detaching from an alcoholic. She only hit bottom once but could not stay sober after six months of trying she went back to her old ways.


2 comments to Why Alcoholics Stop Drinking-When they hit bottom life sucks

  • Elisabeth

    So are there some alcoholics who just never reach that place where they want to quit badly enough? Did your wife ever become sober?

    My A has decided to leave me and pretty much blames me for his being so unhappy. I feel like he’s not one who will ever hit bottom. He has too many people always there to catch him. For years, that person was me. I don’t know who is next for him, but I wonder if he’ll keep repeating the same patterns (he was married to someone else before me and the end was kind of similar to ours). But I wonder – is it possible that our relationship was part of the reason he couldn’t stay sober? Could my wanting more from him and not loving him unconditionally (because I wanted him to become a non-drinker and non-smoker and take care of his health in general) have caused his various relapses? I want to hear no, that’s not true – it’s all on him, but maybe my expectations made him depressed and that’s why he couldn’t stay sober? Is that possible? Am I his rock bottom? Does that happen? Or am I just his excuse and he’ll continue to drink? He’s the only A I’ve ever known, so I don’t know how they think when it comes to their addictions.

  • Debbi

    Elisabeth:
    I am in the same spot as you wondering if I or our relationship was the reason my A never hit bottom and being blamed for everything. Did I too not love him unconditionally and if so did that contribute to the demise of our marriage.

    It is so frustrating and your mind keeps playing this over and over searching for the answers. So I feel for you Elisabeth and do know what you are feeling and thinking and reasoning for the answers. But every post here points to the “blame game” and they always blame everyone else even when they hit that “rock bottom”. It is not until they get into a good recovery that they start to recognize and start to admit that these behaviors were their fault and their reactions due to the alcohol.

    I hope for the final answers for you and myself–one day we will see the light, whether the “rock bottom” arrives for the A or not.

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