Social Issues
Guy Stops Drinking Alcohol, Shows How Much Sobriety Changed Him In 3 Years (Interview)
Giving up your vices and guilty pleasures can lead to a happier and healthier life that’s full of purpose. Even though you might not see the changes day-to-day when you give up drinking alcohol, they’re very apparent to others.
Guy Stops Drinking Alcohol, Shows How Much Sobriety Changed Him In 3 Years (Interview)
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Giving up your vices and guilty pleasures can lead to a happier and healthier life that’s full of purpose. Even though you might not see the changes day-to-day when you give up drinking alcohol, they’re very apparent to others. One of the things that can keep you motivated is documenting the changes and looking at the photos side by side.

Well, one man has made the phrase ‘one day at a time’ fit both his fight with alcoholism and documenting his journey through sobriety. These last three years, Kenny D. has taken snaps of how he looked when he quit alcohol at key stages in his journey of sobriety. The changes within the first month are already huge and he is almost unrecognizable in the final pictures.

“I took a picture of myself the day I got my first sobriety coin, 24 hours sober. I felt so ill and I looked so bad, I wanted to remember it so I wouldn’t forget. The day I got my 30-day coin, I thought my look had changed drastically so I took another selfie,” Kenny told Bored Panda, talking about the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sobriety coins given to alcoholics who stay sober for a certain amount of time.

Scroll down for Bored Panda’s full and exclusive in-depth interview with Kenny who got back his life, regained his health, and discovered new depths in his character by giving up drinking. For more powerful Bored Panda posts about sobriety and how much people change when they give up alcohol or drugs, check out these articles here, here, here, and here.

“I liked showing my family and friends the side-by-side of 24 hours and 30 days to show the change," said 37-year-old Kenny, who works as a railroad engineer in the American Pacific Northwest. “Of course, they were skeptical because I had spent the last several years terrorizing my family and friends while I was drunk. So I kept them to myself mostly for the first year, but I always took a selfie every time I got a coin. On my one-year anniversary, I took my picture and posted a side by side on Reddit and called it the Progression of Sobriety. I thought it would just be something uplifting for people to see, I had no idea I would get the kind of response that I did. The post was flooded with comments from people asking me about alcoholism and how I stopped drinking. Asking how they can stop or how to help their own friends or family stop. And a ton of good positive kudos and congrats for my transformation. So after the first year, I felt like I’d make it a bit of a tradition to post my progress on my Sobriety birthday on November 2. I also keep with the tradition of taking it in my bathroom just for continuity. Year two was last year and this year was year three.”

Kenny revealed how much of a problem drinking became for him, as well as how it brought him to the edge. “I started drinking in college. But it didn’t become a real problem until about 10 years ago. I began drinking often and always to excess. I discovered at one point that I could not control the amount I drank once I had taken the first drink. I could not drink without getting drunk. So I decided to quit. I would last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, one time for a year. Always with relapses in between. By 2016, I had gotten to the point that I would get drunk every day. I drank 12–24 drinks a day and I was blacking out 3–4 times a week. I knew I had a problem but I didn’t know what to do. I used to stand in the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror and wish I wasn’t a drunk. I would wonder how I got this way. Sometimes I was just indifferent to whether I lived or died. I just wanted it to be over and I didn’t care how,” he explained the pit of despair he was in just several years ago.

“The last time I drank, I had a week of vacation and I had bought myself a case of beer and was going to ration it for the week. 3–4 beers a night,” Kenny went into detail about how he finally got sober. “The first night after I put my son to bed, I opened my first beer. That was at 8 p.m. By 11 p.m., I had drunk 19 beers. Something inside me said, 'Kenny, your life is no longer manageable.'"

“A friend of mine had gotten sober a year before and I did the only thing I could think to do. I reached out for help. I texted her and told her I had a problem and I needed help. The next morning, she picked me up and drove me to my first 12-step meeting and I’ve been sober ever since.”

Kenny was also very open about the greatest challenges that he faced after he got sober three years ago. “My greatest challenge was the working of the 12 steps. 12 step recovery is a complete overhaul of your life. It is a fact-finding and fact-facing process. It caused me to face how I felt about other people and to clean up the mess I had made in my life while I was drinking. All I wanted to do was to stop drinking and to get my life back. I had no idea that I would get a whole new life that was full of more joy, happiness, and freedom than I could have possibly imagined.”

He continued: “The biggest difference between myself now and three years ago is that today I live my life by a set of spiritual principles. From morning to night, I run all of my decisions through a sort of spiritual filter. I do my best to not be resentful or spiteful or angry, though I am human and I have a tendency to forget sometimes. I’m not a saint. If I have a problem that I can’t tackle with stuff in my normal spiritual toolkit, I get on the phone to my sponsor or another alcoholic-in-recovery."

"There is always somebody around to help, I just have to reach out. The most difficult part about living with such success in sobriety for me is avoiding what they call ‘resting on your laurels.’ Getting complacent and going back to my old way of doing things. I get over it by going to lots of meetings as often as I can, working with other alcoholics, and practicing the spiritual principles in all of my affairs."

"In my personal life, I’ve become an avid reader, I love to learn new things and read nonfiction and biographies. I’ve recently begun painting and that has opened up a whole new part of my brain that I didn’t know existed,” Kenny said about his newfound passions.

“And as you can see from the pictures, I’ve lost 75 pounds (34 kilograms) since I got sober. I eat much cleaner and I exercise now. My favorite form of exercise is DDP Yoga. Awesome program and it completely changed my whole perspective on exercise and healthy living. Three years into sobriety, every day is an awesome day and I can’t wait to experience the next awesome thing or meet the next awesome person whom I can learn something from.”

Comments (147)
Awesome job Kenny! Keep it up.
Herb Eaversmells
Having children has made me cut way back. The occasional beer or drink is all I have now. A night out with friends every few months. I just couldn't be in a situation where my kids needed me, and I wouldn't be able to help if I was drunk
Woohoo congrats Kenny! What an accomplishment and inspiration. Keep up the good work!!
Demi Zwaan
"Guy stops drinking alcohol" makes it look like someone who drinks a few glasses of wine a week stopped. This guy was a full on alcoholic, not just someone who drinks. Obviously being an alcoholic is bad for you and getting sober is an achievement. Having a glass of wine at dinner or a beer when you get home is not the same.
Electric Ed
Looking at these I thought I need to go sober too! Amazing change! But then I read "Kenny used to drink 12-24 drinks each night…". I guess 2 is not so bad that I'd need to go sober, right?
Tor Rolf Strøm
Good job! Hope he's one of the 5% that actually makes it from a 12 step program.
Betsy Catlin
i had my last hangover 15 years ago as of December 16th, i would be in jail, rehab or dead if i hadn't quit. good job sticking with it!
Maria Cristina
Congrats , you R a New person !!!
Daniel Lewis
A toast to sobriety!
So awesome, he lights up the room with his smile and looks happy. Great story!
Night Owl
Congrats! Getting and staying sober is a big achievement especially since alkohol is so prevalent in our culture
Serenity, courage and wisdom are powerful gifts. It's easy to see how Kenny feels about receiving them.
Alcoholism is not just a “vice and guilty pleasure“. Stop the trivialization.
Dan Beck
19 months sober next week for me! Feeling tons better. Doing all I can to make sure I don't go back.
My dad has also been an extreme alcoholic and has suffered many health issues because of it. Growing up he has never been physically abusive, but going to bars every night really has taken its toll on me. I worried and cried for years about his drinking and I wonder if it's why I have depression (I love my dad wholeheartedly regardless). His alcoholism has sent him to the hospital now for falling and hurting his hand, effecting his immune system and causing really bad allergies and skin issues and almost having a heart attack. My brother and I drove him to the hospital on father's day for almost having a heart attack. His body was having withdrawal symptoms for not having a drink in less than 24 hrs. He has since cut back but still chooses to drink because he has "control". Please find it in yourself to get help; at the very least for family and friends. You are WORTHY of love. You CAN change. Help and hope is there: I believe in YOU.
Lauren Baker
As someone with a family member who is 11 months and 1 day sober and is a recovering alcoholic this gives me hope! Great job! ?
Cherie of Numenor
You look fantastic. And I know that you feel fantastic. More importantly, you feel peace and serenity.
Way to go :)
Blue Cicada
Roughly 1/3 of Americans drink alcohol rarely or never. Congratulations, Kenny, on your 3 year accomplishment, and welcome to the sober club!
Jess Gerhart
You look absolutely fantastic and gorgeous and handsome!! Congratulations!’
Grumble O'Pug
Zoe's Mom
He has light.
Congrats Kenny! That is an accomplishment to be proud of.
Bored Fox
I stopped drinking alcohol 2 years ago but I just gained more weight because I became addicted to energy drinks. Nowadays I just try to drink just only one 0,5 litre can of energy drink every day.
Marika Stanway
It warms my heart to see this. Having lost loved ones to king alcohol, I have seen the battle very close indeed... Kenny, if you look at these comments, you've done amazing x And I know, that nobody appreciates it as much as you do yourself. Do it for yourself, nobody else. You have given yourself the gift of life, that, keeps giving :)
He looks so happy in the last pic! This is heartwarming!
The joy just shines out at you in the pictures from 6 months onward. Keep on fighting the good fight Kenny!
Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Wow, his transformation is incredible- he looks wonderful in the last picture. So glad to learn that he was able to overcome his addiction.
Talk about turning back time. I have enormous admiration for his determination to stick it out- well done.
Rich McCormick
Congrats Kenny. Your 3 years looks very sexy on you. I've been sober for over 25 years. Don't miss that or the cigs! Keep going..... forever! HUGS
Darren Patrick
Great Story and Proof People can change. Sobriety is real and anyone can achieve it Just believe in Power Greater then yourself {God} and don't drink and if you do, don't beat yourself up get up and do it again, never give up.
Vonny Browne
When people are happy they simply can’t hide it. You can see it in their eyes. Kennys eyes are sparkling and his skin is glowing. Awesome man, your liver is loving you! <3
Very awesome Kenny. Remain sober, it's good to always be in control.
random ann
He looks as good as he feels <3
Liz Karsa
Really fantastic job!
Well done kenny!!!!
The brightness in your eyes tells your story. Just wonderful. Congrats!
Diana Phil McMillan
Fantastic! Wow! So proud of you!
Markéta Mužiková
Looks more like those loosing weight real stories
This guy looks WAY younger 3 years later. It's unbelievable!
Donna Reynolds
Your smile is radiant Kenny! Great job!
Alicia Terese
Wow he looks like a completely different human!!! From the inside out! Way to go!!!! Amazing in so many ways ?
Cg Protech
He stoped drinking alcohol and started smoking pot. That's why he looks happier.
Praise God!!!! I am SO very proud of you!!!! Keep going buddy and post these pics all over your house to remind you of what an amazing joy you’re doing. BRAVO!
Master Markus
OH NO, why did it have to be Alcoholics Anonymous? Now you Jesus'd him up!
The only difference is he's not smiling at first then as he gradually goes on he puts a bigger smile. But good for him to stop drinking.
Rafal Balcerzak
Normally people gives congrats when someone is going out of the addiction. But is the person that manage to do that, deserves to be called inspirational, a hero, or should we really call that accomplishment? Compare this person to the similar one that never had that kind of addiction. Would you say that second person didn't accomplish anything? Of course. I say going back to normality is not an accomplishment. That dude just put his shit together however should never loose it in the first place. It's very good to see someone that is ok after being miserable anyway.
June Clavelle
Did he also step in a time machine? He looks great! Congrats to him on his sobriety.
"You look terrible, sir." "That's because you've never seen me sober." Hobson and Arthur "Arthur" 1981 Well done, sir.
Louise Gerathy
Fantastic. I wish I could find a way to show a couple of people in my life how they could beat alcohol snd see how amazing things could be if it was no longer in their lives. Keep inspiring others Kenny :)
Vonny Browne
When people change and they’re happy they can’t hide it. It’s seen in their eyes. What an amazing thing he’s achieved. Awesome grit feat Kenny! Your liver is loving you man!!! <3
Ms E
Wow, what a good looking guy during this process! The first photo should be at the end again, to compare side to side. What a journey. Good job <3
Kerry Ericksson
To each is own but I won't give up my few drinks I enjoy in the evenings for anything as they relax me.
One note about 12-step programs, because these types of posts tend to encourage people, and I'd like to see such people succeed. 12-step programs statistically are rather ineffectual by themselves. If you need to stop drinking, please see your doctor (if you can) and look into an actual plan that has much higher success rate. Definitely use a 12-step program for ADDITIONAL support if it helps.
Elly Clifton
You look so well
Robin Patton
Sobriety looks really great on you! Congratulations and wishing you a lifetime of miracles.
Mark CM
The only difference I see is the expression on his face. Go back to drinking mate. You were probably more fun when pissed anyway. (Now awaiting the down votes from the humourless PC crowd ... lol)
Donna Baker
You look Marvelous. And I'll bet you feel awesome too
Chris Gregory
Brilliant man. keep it up, help others and NEVER go back.
Daniel Murphy
I am happy for him and his determination to make major changes In his lifestyle. Kudos to him. By my opinion in how to approach life is totally different as that of his. I know that only live once. Therefore, I would go with the signal that my heart sends to my brain. Go ahead and have fun. But be moderate in all your adventture.I will never go beyond what I am ccapable to handle. But having fun, is the most favorite life and how I live it. Peace on earth and peace to everyone.
Fantastic! Just put a little weight back on...
Elaine Dodge
KENNY! You rock! Well done! Keep going!
Id row
Quitting drinking definitely helped with his liver and demeanor, but the diet and exercise are what transformed him, not quitting the booze.
So he basically just smiles a lil bit wider on each photo. Boohoo
Kat Brew
Patti Vance
This comment has been deleted.
It's beautiful watching his smile grow bigger and bigger! Happy for you Kenny!!
Dorothy Parker
The joy in his expression and his clear-eyed look tells the entire story. I'd love to know how his relationship with his son has changed.
Samantha C
aw, I appreciate this post so much
Fair enough looks good. Don't have to give up booze to lose weight
What a difference! Well done, Kenny! You look fabulous.
I love hearing stories like this. It takes one day at a time but once you start down that road the results are amazing. Congrats on your sobriety.
i like how he's happier and happier the more the time passes
Shawnie Motschenbacher
This warms my heart. My husband is almost a year alcohol free and has become a totally new man and so much happier
Let's drink a toast to Kenny!! Awesome job on 3 years!! Cheers Mate!!
Rubee Tubesteak
I LOVE THIS! I have five years, five months without booze myself. The thing that helped me was people sharing their own stories, exactly like this. AWESOME, Kenny!! ODAAT
Shana Boykin
This is the kinda stuff that makes me so happy!
K Lane
This is an amazing transformation! It's like he actually grew younger. Amazing man x
Aušrinė Kuzaitė
Jonathan Greenstein
Awesome! So happy for you. Just keep going, one day at a time. I'm in my 12th year of sobriety. AA saved my life. Then I saved it by reminding myself every day of how close I came to losing everything. My kids grew up never knowing the monster that alcohol changed me into. Eternally grateful.
Lacey Heward
Wow! So proud of this guy!
Nice he has a better smile seemingly happier and lost alot of weight. Good job dude.
Bruno Cunha
Well done
I loved seeing the transition. I am sure his family is so incredibly proud of him! I am and I don't even know him!
Naomi Helferich
Such an inspiration! You look amazing, keep it up.
James Thompson
What he didn't touch on are the initial physical affects of stopping. It's brutal. Shakes, anxiety, depression at first. Also, BP doesn't mention just how dangerous stopping suddenly can be. Now, please don't think that I'm advocating drinking. The opposite actually. But people can die from alcohol withdrawal. It's not as simple as just stopping sometimes. If you constantly drink, you need to get into a supervised detox center. Otherwise it's very possible to die from alcohol detox. I've had family member that have done so.
Maria Marenkova
Difficult to believe that it's the same guy. Great job! Congrats!
Jon Wong
this is encouraging to me , & must be to others. love that layback look & confident smile.
Panda 2 Me!
Wow what a difference!! Well done that is amazing!
WOW! I'm alcoholic, but... to be honest, I've never drink that much. I mean, from a six pack, I drink like 3 o or 4 cans. And I go to sleep. I feel bad for people who are not able to drink a little alcohol, and they let alcohol take over control. It's sad. But I'm gad for this guy. It must be terrible losing control like that. It's a blessed man. :)
Well done champ. ?
Johnette Pace
Bradly Cooper cousin
I love stories like this. It's terrible how hollywood encourages people (even tweens & teenagers) to drink & not just one glass, but several glasses. I can't stand alcohol, but have a drink once 1-2 years because I love margaritas & ice wine, but I could never understand why people have to drink so much or get drunk. Of course after growing spiritually & understanding that it's just an addiction to cover up ones emotions just like drugs, work, food, chocolate, relationships, shopping, sex, even self help programs, I get it. The bottom line IS, the evils of society don't want us to get well. We have to be smart enough and do it for ourselves. Learn how to love ourselves & every 3-6 months, be working on our issues & releasing our childhood trauma. Do it for ourselves, NOT for anyone else because when you do it for others, you will always relapse. Hugs to all who want to heal.
Nancy Massi
Proud of him! The work and willpower are clearly seen.
Kyle Boyer
I'm 2 months in ? easy desision
Bless you Kenny!! You have so much to be proud of!!
God bless you!
Pretty Pangolin
You can put the pictures in order by how broadly he's smiling! Awesome job!
Vitali Prakapchuk
This comment has been deleted.
Ryan Murphy
Good on him, but why is it so often people who quit drinking can't help but mention it every 4 seconds, especially at dinner parties?
Bente H. A
By the grace of God?hugs from a Friend of Bill W.
Ian Smith
Guy Shares What Being Sober For 3 Years Did ***FOR*** Him
Daniel Lewis
I'm drinking right now.
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Oscar Jeong
How can he keep the same phone for over 3 years?
Anybody knows how's doing Kenny now? Drinking again?
El Dee
I was at the lower level of drinking, about 15 drinks a day. I was never drunk, never out of control and enjoyed how it made me feel, I enjoyed the social aspect too. Unlike this guy I never terrorised anyone and was always in a good mood, if slightly groggy in the mornings. I think unless you run into REAL problems with your behaviour you'll never do anything about it. I have noticed that most of the ex alcoholics I know all ENJOYED being out of control when they were drinking, something I never liked and always avoided. Without the problems causing you to give up it's the slightly lighter drinkers who can be more at risk , perversely. In my own case I didn't give up voluntarily, a change of medication for a long term illness forced my hand. Drinking whilst on these meds would make me feel ill after having two or three drinks, not enough to feel anything. It actually broke my heart and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it. Despite my health I feel something missing..
Clinton Yew
What I see: Stop drinking for 6 months and you have enough money to upgrade your phone. and sadly, even if you continue not drinking the next iphone is still too expensive to upgrade...
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