A Beer holding a bindle, walking away sad as a man waves bye in the background.

Quitting Drinking

As a Crohn’s sufferer, if you want to feel healthy, you need to make lifestyle changes. Most of us usually start with the basics: watching our diet, cutting spicy food, quitting smoking.

Why I quit drinking alcohol

Once we’ve completed these essentials, however, we may still require further lifestyle changes. This was the case with me. Years after I quit all of the above, I still had far more health problems than I desired. I, therefore, decided to take a further step in improving my well-being and quit drinking alcohol.

Up until that point, I drank regularly. I loved it. I had many terrific evenings. I’d hang out at clubs, bars, go to house parties, you name it. Of course, the next morning, I’d often suffer for my indulgence. Some of the symptoms I’d experience include abdominal pain, frequent trips to the bathroom, fevers, and vomiting. Hence, although I had a bit of a party lifestyle for quite some time, I determined I had to stop.

I quit drinking for health improvements

True, drinking was never specifically banned by my doctor. But experience showed me that I was in a much better overall state when I cut out alcohol.

This is not to say it wasn’t an adjustment. Quitting drinking took tremendous self-control. I had to resist temptation. It was particularly difficult at parties or on a date, since there was all this social pressure to drink. Then, too, because drinking is a social lubricant, I was sometimes a bit more awkward or shy without it... at least until I learned to adjust.

Fortunately, over time I learned I did not need it as a crutch. Indeed, today, I feel better being energized naturally. My true personality emerges in social situations, not some artificially-inflated, drug-induced state. Plus, when I go out at night, I’m sharper than my contemporaries, more alert, a fact that, when I was single, at least, served me well on the dating scene.

Do I miss drinking at times?

Sure. I wish I could go a little wild and crazy now and then. But I suppose I had enough drinking experiences in college. Besides, I really feel I don’t have a choice. That lifestyle no longer works for me. Frankly, as far as I can tell, regular drinking contributed to the damage to my intestines that eventually led to my first intestinal resection.

The next year I needed another surgery after losing a ton of weight and being virtually unable to eat. I don’t ever want to be back in that troubled place again. If quitting drinking improves my health even marginally it’s more than worth it.

Finally, crazily enough, when I’m at a party, sober, in most instances, people don’t know. Unless they see me order my drink it just usually goes under the radar. Yes, more often than not, they just assume I’m drunk like them. So why put myself through the physical suffering? For so many reasons then, drinking just doesn’t seem worth it.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear about whether or not other IBD sufferers on here drink alcohol? And if so, if you’d ever considered quitting? I look forward to your responses in the comment section.

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