My self-worth and confidence were shot to pieces, and something had to change. Quitting drink gave me some control over my life

As the clocks strike midnight on New Year’s Eve, I will finish a 12-month stretch of self-imposed sobriety. A year ago I had got to a point where I was drinking and smoking too much and – until the moment when I decided to quit – I was largely in denial about the impact it was having on my health. The scale of my drinking was normal for the social circles I was in. Whether the people I was with came together through work, football or friendship, drinking was commonplace.

But by the end of 2016, I felt uncomfortably overweight and my mental health was getting worse. I regularly experienced what I would describe as depression and felt weighed down with angst. On hindsight, these feelings were particularly pronounced after drinking, but they were becoming routine.

My dad made a comment I found irritating at the time: that I looked a little overweight and that alcohol might be the reason

Related: My brother’s punch in the face shocked me out of alcoholism | Darren McGarvey

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".