It’s been more than 200 days that I have avoided consuming any alcohol. When I hit 100 days, I wrote an article outlining 57 benefits. To be honest, I would be struggling to come up with another 57, but that first lot still stands true. I am still thankful I have managed to hang on, and although it wasn’t always easy, it was definitely worth it.
When I hit about day 190, I thought “When I hit 200, that will do. I have made my point. I can live without alcohol. I am not addicted. I can have a drink.” Occasionally I really still feel like having a drink, especially in the early evening. But I always manage to resist thinking to myself that the enjoyment I got from a glass of wine would not equal the disappointment I would have in being so weak.
Those last days before I hit 200 were probably the hardest as I battled within myself; deciding whether or not I should jump off the wagon.
Would my family be disappointed in me? Would I be disappointed in myself? Surely I would be ok. But the more I thought about, the more confused and anxious I got. It was not until day 200 ticked over that I realised I didn’t want to go back. I just didn’t want to throw away that success.
It would be a bit like a football team giving up after winning one premiership. I decided I wanted to keep winning.
There is something special about people who don’t drink. Have you noticed? They are more in control of their lives. They don’t rely on trying to escape their reality. They usually have it, (or at least appear to have it) under control. I want to be in control. I don’t want alcohol to rule my decisions. When alcohol is always there, tempting you to find the easy way out, then it is in control. You are not in control; it is.
Alcohol and nicotine are similar. I often tell people that giving up smoking was the hardest thing I ever had to do, Hard, in the sense that it really challenged me, and it was really difficult to persevere. I actually had to move interstate, hang out with people that didn’t smoke and purchase about 200 packs of chewing gum to succeed. But after I gave up, I looked at smokers differently. “They don’t even know they stink,” I thought to myself. “Do they know how weak they look being so dependant on a stupid drug that kills you? Are they stupid?” I still think those things when I look at someone huddled in some corner behind a building, puffing away. It’s almost like “Nothing else matters, as long as I get my nicotine… I will feel better.”
So now, when I see a drinker...I find it hard not to ask similar questions. “Do they know how silly they look?” It sounds harsh but I wonder if people used to think that about me. I wonder how their drinking affects the people around them. I wonder if they are addicted. I wonder if they drink too much on a regular basis. I wonder how much time and money they have wasted on it.
Something everyone hears is that it doesn’t matter what other people think. Well that’s bullshit. After 54 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that the only things that matter are relationships. It doesn’t matter what strangers think; but what your closest friends and family think, is important.
If you get drunk all the time, you will find that the only people that will want to be around you are other losers who want to get drunk all the time. Good people will avoid or dread spending time with alcoholics because they don’t want to waste their time on unreliable, unpredictable, dishonest people who constantly put their relationships at risk. Drinkers hang out with drinkers because hanging out with people with bad habits helps them justify their own choices. They don’t feel so bad if everyone else is doing it. No matter how stupid it is!
Now, before I get off my high horse… let me point out the purpose of this article. It is not to make you feel guilty or bad, It is not so I can tick a big box called “saving the world’. Far from it. I still battle with deciding to drink or not to drink. I am writing this to help myself stay on track. The last thing I want to be called is a hypocrite. So the more I shout “Don’t drink!” the more I feel inclined to stand by the decisions I made.
Some people I have shared my story with are honest enough to admit they wouldn’t and couldn’t give up alcohol. That’s totally OK. Everyone is different and copes with life differently. I have friends who definitely can control their drinking. Some of us are built with weaker genes, though. Does alcohol cause people close to you to be embarrassed or upset? Does it have a negative affect on others? If so, it might be time to have a good look at giving it up, for good.
If you feel like alcohol is controlling your life, it really is worth trying to live without it for a while. I totally recommend a book called “The Alcohol Experiment”. It actually kick-started my whole adventure with a 30-day challenge to experiment, alcohol-free. My nephew, Pete, suggested it. It’s important to find people around you to encourage and support you. The people that love you will want what’s best for you.
You’ll be surprised how much more time you will have on your hands if you stop your alcohol consumption. You will have more energy, more creativity and experience more productivity!
With all my spare time, I decided to learn how to make a puzzle game app for phones!
Download it for free on the App Store or from Google Play. It’s called POP BANG.
Being determined seems to be the key ingredient in building apps, AND giving up alcohol.
Set yourself some small goals and go for it. The big goals will come, eventually if you can kick the smaller ones.
Encourage me by like or sharing this post. Encourage someone you care about by sending it to them. If you need some encouragement, let me know and I will see if I can help.
Seriously... it is time to give up alcohol :) Be determined to be a better you.
If need some reasons, check out my previous article.
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