Looking back at the year 2015, I can say I’ve never done and seen more in my life in a one-year span. I credit giving up alcohol for 10 months to my sense of accomplishment. Getting mental space to think helped so much. The money saved on late nights out, the physical energy acquired from many good nights of sleep, and the discipline to develop my will-power muscle.
Drinking is such a big part of the society we live in today(especially if your a 24 year young adult). Most of us start drinking in high school to fit in and hang with “cool” kids. No matter where you go people love to add booze to the equation. The image of drinking is an image of we associate with good times.
Drinking is fun and eases tension but there’s danger lingering in its shadow. When used in excess or abused as it often is by many different age groups, we begin to fall into more negative behavioral patterns. We sacrifice our dreams, goals, and values to conform to what seems to be the norm and party our lives away.
A night of drinking is an uncontrollable roller coaster ride; it’s physically thrilling, it’s anxiety-producing, it’s pleasing and scary at the same time, it’s a voluntary submission to an involuntary experience. For me one drink went to 8,9,10 drinks – sometimes ending with my head resting on the toilet seat.
Why would I get so hammered when I went out? – How could I be benefiting from this in any way?
My memories are vast getting wasted on a numerous accounts and acting out of character just to impress people or to look “cool”. If I were followed by a partial spectator[he be nodding his head in disapproval like that guy in Happy Gilmore] pointing out to me that I’m making a fool out of myself and living a life without integrity, deep down a person that’s out of alignment with who he wants to be.
Some examples for entertainment value: trying to start fights with people 3x my size, steeling beer from frat-bros, passing out in a marsh, throwing trash bags in a strangers back seat, doing a cartwheel over a parked car, buying a pizza to give out to strangers and passing out on a parking meter after, spewing chunks at my work x-mas party, gambling hundreds of dollars away in Atlantic City – just to name a few……
Drinking is a way out of dealing with current life situations, pain, and lack of self esteem. Instead of confronting our problems we tend to consume toxins to hide the pain and negativity that often come with them. If we do not shine a light in the dark places in life its hard to move forward with a positive attitude. With becoming more mindful of whats is bothering us on the inside, our problems then become easier to heal.
When doing stupid/ idiotic things, reflection is key to finding out what the causes were for our actions and if we want to unconsciously carry on living that way. Giving yourself space is so important for these reflections to take place.
Waking up with a hang-over turned me into a couch-potato and the progress of whatever good things/momentum were going for me (meditation practice, eating healthy and exercising, finishing a book that I started, all which I have found to be a super important foundation for optimal living) went down the crapper. These were the main things I knew helped me accelerate becoming a better person mentally, physically, and spiritually by integrating them into daily habits. When doing them all I felt so much lighter and clearer – the difference they made in my life was real and tangible.
The answer isn’t to knock ourselves down when we get something good going for us, the answer is to learn that consistency is important for growth. Instead of just aimlessly drifting down stream, I learned last year that it is important to sit down and figure what we want out of life. Whatever it is that we desire, we get this one life to accomplish it. Things become easier the clearer we are.
After some deep reflection I came to a conclusion that my drinking was holding me back from my ultimate potential in life and being genuinely happy. Having experimented with taking 3o days off from drinking and noticing the effects it had in my life, I asked my self:
“I wander what would happen if I gave up drinking for a year?”
The new year was approaching(2015) and then in December playing out what I could accomplish if I gave up drinking for a whole year in my head. Right then and there lightning struck in my head and I said : “F**k It, why not”
This single decision changed my life in so many ways that I did not know were possible.
RUNDOWN OF AWESOMENESS:
December ’14: Decide to give up drinking for a year, Started Blog
January: Tried a float tank for the 1st time
February: Took my Mother out to a fancy brunch for her B-Day
March: Snowboarded in Colarado for the 1st time
April: Coachella / Vegas trip
May: Signed up for a 3-month personal development course
June: Had Couchsurfers stay at my house
August: Went to my 1st yoga class
September: Saw the Phillies play @ Fenway Park(Boston)
October: Ran marathon, Saw Niagara falls, Went to Europe for the 1st Time
~~~ My 1st drink in 10 months was on the night of halloween in Prague ~~~
Being so close to my 12 month goal, sometimes you realize things happen for a reason. I was in Prague and had an opportunity to taste some of the best beer in the world! I looked back on all that was accomplished in my soberness and took a sip of amazing beer that was handed to me. The tickling of the tingling bubbles cracking around in my mouth was pure bliss.
In this span of time I read more books(14) in 10 months than in all of my life. My mind was the clearest it had ever been. My body: in the best shape of my life. Doing things I thought that would happen further down the road of life;”someday”.
One of the major downsides of this experiment was spending less time with friends and loved ones. Giving up alcohol came with such sacrifices. Another being in sin-city(Las Vegas) being sober. I still made the best of it, plus how many people can say they partied in Vegas sober.
One of the best parts of giving up drinking is the money you save. This part alone should make people question their regular drinking habit. The act of drinking out in most cases cost a lot of money. You have the cabs, pre-game drinks, gum, late night munchies, and tips all coming into the money equation. (I’m sure there are people out there who would love to travel but yet say that travel is to expansive and it seems they blow hundreds of dollars on the weekends drinking.)
This was a major reflective period in my life that open me to many doors that I did not know were there. The sober times I spent alone allowed me to engrain myself with many positive habits such as journaling, meditating, working out, eating healthy, reading everyday, gratitude, and positive thinking. Most of these habits became a strong part of my morning routine which set me up to attack each day with the right mindset and vision.
I would not change anything if given another chance. Learning in this endeavor that sacrifice is needed in order to tackle big goals, ideas, and dreams. I highly encourage anyone to give up drinking whether it be for a a week, a month , or even a
The single act of refraining from alcohol is a game changer. One is bound to feel the power of rejuvenation. Hundreds of other people are expressing their successes all over the web from the same concept I am presenting you with. Having sipped the sweet nectars of fermented wheat and fruits alike for many years I know the joy that it brings to people. Drinking is a easy way for people to open up that would not normally in social settings(I know because I’ve been this person). With the subtraction of alcohol one can grow into the person that drinking makes them feel like, naturally.
What do you have you lose? What do you have to GAIN? What is stopping you?
Feel free to comment below with you thoughts, feelings, objections, likes, and dislikes!!!