Sober Story: Shane

This week’s Sober Story comes from Shane, a 56-year-old living in South-East Auckland.


Mrs D: How long have you been in recovery?

Shane: This time about 35 years.

Mrs D: What can you tell us about the last months/years of your drinking before you gave up?

Shane: My drinking was getting more often and way out of hand , still not every day though.

Mrs D: What was the final straw that led you to get sober?

Shane: I began to get very sick whenever I drank, and it was affecting my everyday life. I knew that if I didn’t get help something terrible would happen. I was out of control.

Mrs D: How was it for you in the early days? What was most difficult?

Shane: It was very difficult giving up as my whole life revolved around drinking. Socialising with friends didn’t happen for a while and took a lot of adjusting to when I did begin to re-enter my socialising stage, which was important to me as I had a lot of friends (or so I thought).

Mrs D: What reaction did you get from family & friends when you started getting sober?

Shane: My family was very supportive and I wish my mum was alive to see me get sober, my biggest regret is she didn’t. My friends adjusted to the new me over time and my really good friends loved me all the more for changing my life for the better. They they knew I was a good person, just that when I drank I turned into a very different guy.

Mrs D: Experts say relapse is often a part of recovery, was it a feature of yours?

Shane: Not the second time I gave up, (I had previously given up for 9 months as a wimpy test, but went back to it because I thought I could be a responsible drinker). The next time I was so determined to get well – I knew I was sick – and went to AA in the beginning and just tuffed it out when I got tempted. The longer I gave up, the more I felt in control of my life and life was becoming better. I had more money in my pocket, my job was getting easier to handle, I had more time to do the things I wanted to do.

Mrs D: How long did it take for things to start to calm down for you emotionally & physically?

Shane: Funny question 🙂  Once I stopped I kind of felt relieved as I didn’t have to make excuses for my drinking. But it was a while – about 1 or 2 years – before I lost the “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I could do with a drink” feeling.

Mrs D: How hard was it getting used to socialising sober?

Shane: It initially took me years to socialise sober, as my particular crowd I hung with drank a lot and they still do. But without exception they now all accept me as a sober person. I can socialise now anywhere really and it is no trouble. I can still put my foot in my mouth sober and say the wrong things – that hasn’t changed!

Mrs D: Was there anything surprising that you learned about yourself when you stopped drinking?

Shane: OH YES!!! I began to like myself again and to respect myself. I became a better person. Life without was changing me and I liked the better person for it. People also liked me more and had more time for me. It was like I was starting another life. That’s it – my second life. I thought I’m starting my second life and I’m sober this time.

Mrs D: How did your life change?

Shane: In my second life I was a much better person – sober for a start. This time I was in control and life was good. I was enjoying being alive and I had not felt like that for years. Every day got better. I couldn’t believe not drinking could change me this much.

Mrs D: What are the main benefits that emerged for you from getting sober?

Shane: The best thing from being sober was that I met my best friend and married her, and we have 2 beautiful daughters . I am successful in my business and have been very fortunate to know many people that I would not have met if I was still drinking. I’ve also recently been able to move to my dream lifestyle in the country with my family. Life is way better being sober.

Mrs D: Would you do anything differently given the chance to go through the process again?

Shane: If I could do one thing differently, it would be to have given up the drink when my dear old mum was still alive. She used to try and support me, and she used to say to me “if only you would stop drinking life will change for you in so many ways you can’t dream of”. I miss her so much.

Mrs D: What advice or tips would you have for those who are just starting on this journey?

Shane: My biggest tip and advice is to carry on staying sober, life gets to be good and gets better every day. HONESTLY. Change your life for the better. Imagine living in a house without a person with a alcohol problem. Be that person who your family can love again. Become that person that is respected and is welcome in other homes. Become that person that people smile at in the street when they see you.

Mrs D: Anything else you’d like to share?

Shane: Life being sober for me has changed so much that it really is like having a second chance at life. I was so sick of being a drunk in the end something really had to change, my life was spiralling out of control. Now, I had heard that before and it sounds so dramatic, but when your life is shit it really is no life. So I urge anyone that has a drinking problem that going without can be – in time – not such a big deal. Being in a sober environment is much more rewarding, and it does get easier one day at a time.


  1. Jimmy89 5 years ago

    Thankyou Shane for the great testimony, Im 28 and im 12 days sober, its getting worse my drinking I know i have to stop or end up sick also. Take care mate. Jim from Kawana , QLD ,Australia

    • iyke 5 years ago

      goodday, i know you are beyond 12+ and successful as i write.just want to encourage you and all others out there. at this early stage as the bible said,…shun all appearance of evil…you’ll do good to keep off the alcohol “zones”. the grace of God is sufficient for you. iyke 27years+

  2. soberhomelasvegas 5 years ago

    Great Story Thanks For Sharing…..

  3. Tom4500 5 years ago

    Great story. Inspirational. Thanks, Shane.

  4. Eschia 5 years ago

    I am so glad I came on this site today to read your story and the lovely comments from your family! That is really great!
    I’m at 4+ mths sober and I’ve already felt the many positive changes of being sober. I love living my life sober and hope to never go back to that dark place of drinking. My 50th Bday is coming up in August but I don’t plan to celebrate by drinking. I plan to celebrate by having a nice supper, spending a day with my family and being present to remember, and reflect, on this important milestone in my life. Booze takes me to dark places and I’m much enjoying the light.
    One day at a time, we become the people we’ve always wanted to be. Happy 24!

  5. DavidFS 5 years ago

    Thanks Shane, your honesty and forthrightness about yourself and your journey is really helpful..

  6. Shane 7 years ago

    Thanks for your nice compliments people,
    both my daughters and my wife know me as a sober person, I gave up drinking before I met my wife and got married, I didn’t have a glass of bubbles on my wedding day or a glass of bubbles on any special occasions with my daughters of my wife. I didn’t have any booze when they were born even.
    Now it does sound cliché, but going without does really change your life for the better, my girls have grown up with a respect for alcohol, and manage their drinking well, and my poor wife, she has the odd drink alone still, but she has always got a sober driver.( she hasn’t got a drinking problem)
    I know it is tough in the beginning, but do carry on one day at a time, and that’s all you have to do to overcome a hazard and get your life back, Thanksamuch.

    • CherryJo 5 years ago

      You are inspirational Shane. I think ‘real’ stories, like your one, are one of the best parts of this community. Constantly reading about that freedom that comes from leaving alcohol behind and and the benefits of living life properly – is very motivating. Cheers

    • CocoaKath 7 years ago

      Such an enjoyable read! I can relate to your story on so many levels. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for inspiring.

  7. Anonymous 7 years ago

    Couldn’t be more proud of you Dad. You really are an inspiration and the best role model I could ever wish for. I know Nana would be very very very proud of you too. Love you always xxx

    • Rosieoutlook 7 years ago

      That brings tears to my eyes. How fantastic to have an inspirational dad and even better that you acknowledge it. Xxx

    • CocoaKath 7 years ago

      Beautiful 🙂

    • NoBoozeBritt 7 years ago

      I can only assume that you are Shane’s daughter, and your comment brought tears to my eyes. The reason that I’m giving up drinking now is because I have two very young children – who are the absolute most precious things in my world – and if I quit now, they’ll never remember their mama as a drinker! Hearing you support your dad just renewed my resolve on a tough day. Thank you. I hope my kiddos grow up to be as awesome as you!

      • iyke 5 years ago

        great mum, there is nothing as rewarding being a good example….and nothing as awful being a bad one (luke 17:1-2) keep it up His Grace Is Sufficient For You. Iyke 27Years+

  8. FUNCAR13 7 years ago

    I think this is my favorite Sober Story yet! Thank you for sharing it, Shane. It is delightful to know that the best is yet to come.

  9. Furtheron 7 years ago

    Terrific story Shane.
    I completely agree to the live being so much better sober and like you say I didn’t expect being sober would change me so much as a person. I overheard my wife say to a long term friend of ours – actually I’ve known this friend since I was a kid and my wife since she met me at 16 years old… she said “I got back the man I knew was always under there. The one we all always admired”

  10. Seizetheday 7 years ago

    Loved reading this. It’s so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing. Xo

  11. Shane 7 years ago

    Good for you justjane, my first year, I didn’t know what was going on all I knew is that I wanted to stop drinking, it got better and better as the years went on and a life living without is so good. You are on your way.

  12. morgan 7 years ago

    SO inspiring, thank you for telling your story and encouraging everyone to keep going. It is good to be reminded that it can take 2-3 years before our minds stop the automatic, oh, I’d like a drink, suddenly appearing. I thought I was repelled by wine/alcohol now, but suddenly tonight got a smell of my partner’s & suddenly felt drawn to it. Damn! So I am glad I read this, thank you.

  13. justjane 7 years ago

    Shane, this is so good to read. I love hearing from people who have been sober for years – it inspires my confidence. I am nearly at one year, and still have the occasional “I’d love a glass of wine” thought. Blood stupid really – it’s just a one way street to nowhere. Thank you.

    • Gilbert 7 years ago

      I’m the same as @justjane.Nearly a year.Great to read and see a bright future ahead.It just confirms what I know in my heart.Thanks 😀

  14. Anonymous 7 years ago

    Love you Mr Shane xx, from Mrs Shane

    • NoBoozeBritt 7 years ago

      Okay, this is officially the cutest family ever. 🙂 What an inspiration!

    • PJNT 7 years ago

      I can see why, he sounds like a top bloke 🙂

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