Young Woman Bravely Decides to Spend a Year without Alcohol

The Huffington Post published an article by a young woman who began to realize that her frequent and excessive drinking might well be creating problems for her. Courageously, she decided to go a year without drinking and see what happened. Even more courageously, she had the self-discipline to follow through on that decision.

Kelly - Sobersenorita
Image by Kelly Fitzgerald on her blog
According to her story, she had been drinking excessively for years. She tried to keep her drinking at a reasonable level but each time she started, she’d continue to drink until she did foolish things, had blackouts, ruined relationships and blotted out her own emotions and personality. This is a typical story for any alcoholic. But she got tired of the damage and made the change early enough that she didn’t need rehab. Perhaps if she had gone on another year or two like this, it would have been out of her hands. Maybe she would never have had a prayer of staying sober for a year unless she had outside help.

As she spent this non-alcoholic year, she learned about who she really was and how she could solve her own problems without trying to drink them away. These are common lessons that a recovering alcoholic needs to learn in order to stretch those new, sober days into a new, sober lifetime.

Many people do need the support of a rehab program and well-trained staff to learn these lessons. The runway to full-blown addiction is different for everyone. For one person, a few years of drinking will be enough to make rehab necessary. But someone else might be able to quit on their own even after a few decades of excessive alcohol consumption.

If you care about someone who is drinking, how do you tell which is which? Check these points:

  • Is there obvious damage occurring to relationships, work, finances, legal situations, health but they still drink?
  • Have then expressed a desire to stop drinking but they’re drinking again?
  • Do they solve problems or conflicts by using liquor?
  • Have they promised repeatedly to control their drinking, cut back or quit and then they break that promise?
  • Do they get hostile or accusative if they are approached on this subject?

If you’re seeing these situations, then you could just save their life by getting them into rehab. It’s far better to make someone mad by overriding their hostility and getting them into rehab than to let them wind up in an accident, harming themselves or someone else as a result of their drinking.

Kelly Fitzgerald may have provided the new awareness some young people need to make a similar change in their lives. If there’s someone close to you that needs help, or if you need help yourself, read her story. And then reach out to get help before any further damage can be done.

Kelly’s story can be found here:


Karen Hadley

For more than a decade, Karen has been researching and writing about drug trafficking, drug abuse, addiction and recovery. She has also studied and written about policy issues related to drug treatment.