For many years I had a niggling voice in the very back of my mind about the booze. The little voice used to say things like:
- What would life be like if you didn’t drink alcohol anymore
- What cool stuff could you achieve in your life if you were no longer tethered to alcohol as a means to have a good time
- Could you achieve health, fitness and weight goals easier and more consistently if you did not have alcohol dragging you back down into excuses and setbacks
- Would removing alcohol help me live better, happier and more truer to myself
I ignored all of these thoughts forever and a day until June 4th 2019 when I decided to take massive action to explore them. The conventional model of just “giving up” the booze and not going out as much and basically turning into a social hermit did not fit the bill this time, I had tried this before and it did not work for me, on any level.
I found oneyearnobeer.com and instantly the shape of this approach appealed much more to me – it was packaged as a challenge which my male ego found alot more attractive. The challenge aspect to this was crucial to being able to speak openly and excitedly about this with my alcohol consuming mates down the pub. It made it more accessible and acceptable which resulted in more “fair play to ya” comments than “ah here have a drink will ya”, although there was a fair few of the latter too.
I sit here as a man who has not consumed a drop of alcohol in 429 days now, a feat that thus far seemed utterly impossible and ridiculous to me.
The reasons why you would undertake something like this are super important and I revisited the list below many many times, especially in the first 90 days or so as I was conditioning myself to engage with a life where alcohol no longer plays a part.
I was recently on a night out with some of my mates. These are mates that I have known since school so there is no hiding from this gang, they know me inside out. We got talking about my alcohol free journey so far and some of them asked why I decided to do this. The reasons above are great motivators to myself when temptation arose but I think to remove alcohol from your life completely forever the reasons need to be deep and genuine.
I said that I no longer felt that alcohol suited me, I always drank too much, regretted too much, could never remember really what happened and while drunk I often behaved in a way that I did not like. I didn’t like the person I became when I was under the influence of the booze, it wasn’t the real me. My friends agreed with me that it didn’t suit me either and as we recounted a few nights out and I heard it from their perspective, it just solidified it in my mind – consuming alcohol turns me into a person I don’t like or want to be and I am not willing to tolerate that anymore.
Couple that with the fact that I have proved countless times during this year that I don’t need alcohol to enjoy myself on a night out. In fact, I found the opposite to be true – I can go out socially, drink 0.0 beer and have a better, more enjoyable night than when I was drinking. It’s bizarre but that has been my experience.
I’m looking forward to achieving my next milestone – 500 days alcohol free.
Yours in health and happiness,