When I cut out drinking five years ago, I started to write yearly posts about where I was and how I felt about myself, life, you, the world, etc.
I skipped this year because I’m happy. TBH, I forgot about the yearly appointment because I don’t think about drinking like I used to.
Drinking too much might be a disease for some. For others, hangovers and expenses might be the problem. But people are starting to understand that drinking ethanol excessively is probably not a successful life strategy.
A friend of mine, Max Fawcett from the National Observer, posed a vulnerable question on Twitter yesterday that started a pretty incredible response. I’m not saying Max has an issue. He just asked a question A LOT of people in their 30’s and 40’s are asking, and it reminded me that I needed to write the “I’ve been sober for X years” post, but I’m bringing some friends.
WHY DO WE DRINK?
I’m not a massive fan of “quit” when we talk about changing your life or habits but to each their own. We all drink for different reasons, and getting introspective about it at times is healthy.
When drinkers hit 40, their internal clock starts telling their nervous system to fuck off.
Hangovers become 2-3 day events.
Lifestyle catching up with pre-cancerous free radicals included in alcohol.
We get fatter, faster and slower/less motivated as a result. We stop producing melatonin and serotonin because booze tells your blood-brain barrier your body doesn’t need it.
It’s Fake News.
But the real kicker is living a muted life experience and not having “tools in your toolbox.”
We never acquire tools or learn how to respond to this life experience, negative or positive, properly when we’re not present. Period.
When I decided to invest in my wellness, I was a fucking mess. Not a “living under a bridge” horror, but void of the ability to accept and respond to life around me. Good or bad.
“Misery” isn’t a strong enough word when you look up and realize you can draw a straight line to your lack of perspective and shitty health when you use booze to “get through” life.
Do what you’re told
We’ve been conditioned over the last hundred years to treat alcohol like a solution.
The solution to forgetting a lousy day is funerals, getting fired, fighting with your spouse, etc.
The solution to kickstarting a having a good time. Weddings, anniversaries, BBQs, long weekends, birthdays, etc.
We’ve been told we need it for social events, or those events suck.
Give someone with psychopathy alcohol; they can skate through these experiences without having to enjoy or learn from them – that was my problem.
Dude. It’s only the greatest decision you’ll ever make. Productivity, sleep, emotional stability, internal health, general happiness and pride. My god.
— Dean Blundell🇨🇦 (@ItsDeanBlundell) October 15, 2022
What happens when you decide to change anything in your life?
It’s uncomfortable and awkward. When we decide to change coping mechanisms, we feel like we’re caged animals, but that goes away if we’re serious about being happy, mindful and present for this life experience.
Life experience is why we’re here. It’s the only thing we’re guaranteed of. Experiencing this life. The only other guarantee? You don’t get to choose when these experiences end.
So why would you stain this life experience? Why would you mute the presence of being in this miracle we call being alive?
Why would you continue to handicap yourself and your ability to respond well to an experience?
The odds of being born into existence are 1 in 400 quadrillion.
There’s a promise for people who find a way to live without alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Everything gets better, according to everyone who decides not to treat booze like medicine.
There’s the rub. It isn’t. Like cutting a path through the forest, habits are comforting, and we think that path is the only one.
Later today, I’m going to watch the Bills game at the World Famous “Bills Helmet Bar.” 5 years ago, that would have called for 1/2 a 26 to get socially comfortable.
Now, I take CBD drinks (beer, coolers, etc.).
Cannabis (TCH/CBD) therapy is an outstanding replacement therapy for drinkers.
When was the last time you saw someone drill Cannabis and start a bar fight?
The answer is never. And there’s no blood-brain barrier crash, hangover, or 24-hour triggered depression or anxiety.
You might be full from eating a Costco-sized bag of Wine Gums, but there’s no hangover PTSD, and you’re liver/internal organs will thank you.
Many people who’ve moved on from alcohol as a substance have found a lifeline in Cannabis, and I FULLY support it.
Get Some Therapy, Baby!
RUN towards help from people qualified to help you.
AA works for people in immediate trouble. There are hundreds of mtgs, virtual and in-person, every day. Throw a toonie in the basket and listen to people who know how to live a better life by doing it.
Get a Psychiatrist and a diagnosis.
Most of us don’t have drinking problems; we have coping issues.
You are figuring out why is job one. If you abuse any substances, you do it because you don’t want to live your life experience for your reasons. You want to fix that because knowing what you control and what you do not is the key to your ongoing daily happiness.
A good therapist can give you a starting point and perspective you don’t have, and that [respective is foundational to personal change. Knowledge is power; if you had it, you’d be powerful enough to live this life experience without being affected.
Don’t Be Scared
“We don’t have a problem with things; we have a problem with our judgement of things” – Epictetus
Zoom out. Booze is fun until it isn’t. The Idea of not being able to have it is scarier than anything else because we attach negative value to muting our wants. You don’t “need” it. No one “needs” to handicap themselves. No one “needs” to drink. We want to. Wants and needs are two different things, and when we sacrifice the need for want based on external values, we fuck ourselves. Every time.
When you’re healthy, those needs become your wants, not the other way around.
I want to be happy and healthy. I want to experience this life on life’s terms. I want to be able to respond well to things that happen. This means I need to remove whatever prevents me from my desired life.
There’s nothing scary about that. Not to me. Not today.
Make it about YOU
Changing your perspective changes your life and relationships if you make wellness about yourself.
The pride you feel in yourself trumps shame.
Resentment disappears, and gratefulness becomes your most incredible tool.
My wellness and the tools I have to be grateful help me respond to EVERY life experience and let go of all my resentment for the ones I didn’t think I deserved.
Failure is my favourite teacher, and experiencing failure is nothing more than a school to me. I LOVE those experiences for the tools they give me in the future, as much as I love successful experiences. Maybe more. There’s no fear of the unknown or negative interactions when you don’t care about the outcome others do. I care about what I learn and how to benefit from EVERYTHING.
I’m more productive, happy and emotionally bulletproof than ever because I fear nothing this life can offer. I need all life experiences to create tools and the objective perspective to LOVE this life. We all do, and there isn’t a psychologist worth his degree who’d tell you otherwise.
In no way am I judging drinkers. Booze is fun. Everything in moderation is fun. I’m sharing this because I love these conversations.
I’m obsessed with “Being Better” after years of thinking my entitlement to this life needed to be serviced by free will. I get it right and wrong in the same breath, but as one of the 8 billion life trainees in this world, I’m human.
Like you. Like Max. Like anyone who wants to be happy and leans on knowledge from others. It’s why we’re here.
“Freedom is really better described as the opportunity for self-discipline.” – Dwight D Eisenhower
(I’m a stickler for quotes and LOVE philosophy)
If we can find a way to experience absolute emotional freedom through a bit of discipline, we need to do it.
That’s absolute freedom.
I devour books and podcasts on personal liberty and discipline, which affects EVERY area of my life, giving me the freedom to enjoy it all without handicapping my experience. I’m constantly running decisions and my subjective experiences through the filter of “being of good character” and “acting for the common good” because I believe that’s the fruit of this life.
I don’t value anything negatively and soberly welcome every experience.
Having said all that
You do you. If the shit we put on here makes you laugh or encourages you to think differently, that’s all I care about.