I have had a love hate relationship with alcohol over the years. I’ve commented many times before, that almost all the trouble I’ve ever been in has been the result of consuming too much alcohol. It has the potential to turn a seemingly respectable person into a moronic fuckwit. I’m also confident, 90% of you reading this will have at least one incident they’d rather forget about which was the result of consuming too much booze.
Alcohol is also a huge gateway drug for me. Give me a few beers and I’ll go from being a health conscious, level headed guy to a cigarette smoking, junk food slob within the drop of a hat. Every good intention goes completely out the window.
Alcohol can turn people into Gremlins
It has the ability to turn introverts into extroverts, and shy and reserved individuals into opinionated pricks. We have all seen this happen at corporate functions or after work drinks. Take Alan from IT, normally the quiet family man, suddenly turns into a loud-mouthed obnoxious arsehole after a few drinks. Happy to square up to bouncers and work colleagues alike. Then, you have Ann from Accounts, normally a shy and reserved divorcee, who for the best part goes unnoticed in the office, yet, give her a few G&Ts and she’ll blow anyone who cares to shake their dick at her.
Let’s take a typical Thursday night out in the City. I’ve lost count of the amount of times a few of the lads have popped for ‘just a couple’ of drinks and turned up to work on the Friday morning off their tits on coke and smelling of pussy, having not been home all night. ‘Just a couple' turned into an all-night bender. Let’s be honest here, if they had popped for a coffee at Starbucks after work, the chances of them sniffing coke off a whore's arse at 3 am probably wouldn’t have happened.
Whilst it might appear that I’m against alcohol, I’m not. I’ve got so many great memories of being on the piss. It’s made boring nights out fun and has helped me unwind after a tough day at the office.
But, it’s also caused me to have some terrible memories. Fights, arguments, breakups and some decisions made I've come to regret. But, like so many people do, I made excuse after excuse choosing not to blame the alcohol. At the time, they are minor incidents that an apology or flowers could easily make up for. And, ironically it would be a beer that’s offered by way of a “sorry” if it was one of my mates. How crazy is that? Make up by the very same means that lead to the bust up in the first place.
Alcohol has the potential to expose people’s inner demons.
I love a beer as much as the next man. At least I used to. Nowadays, I’m liking it less and less. But over the last year or so, it’s started to affect me in a very negative way. Whereas a few beers used to give me a bit of a lift and was fun, nowadays it has the opposite effect. It makes me withdrawn and not want to mix socially. I feel like shit for the remainder of the day, if I drink in the afternoon, and I’m good for nothing the following morning and that quite often continues throughout that day. The worst thing is it only takes a couple of beers for my daily routine to go to shit. Kiss goodbye to meditation and clean eating. Then there is the terrible night sleep and negative mood the following day. The knock on effect that alcohol has, has started to take its toll.
I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions
My relationship with alcohol is a complicated one — and has been for a long while. I’ve come to the realisation that it just doesn’t serve me anymore. It doesn’t help me reach my goals in any way, shape or form. And, as I get older, I’m all about reaching my true potential — mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Lately, I’ve been finding that if I have a big session, I suffer with terrible anxiety the following day. Maybe it’s me getting older, or maybe I’m just getting wiser, who knows. What I do know, is that nowadays I put a different value on what a good night out is. I have started to value a productive day working on myself and my business, over and above a few beers after work. If I drink when I’m out, I know I won’t be able to meditate when I get home, which then has a knock on effect to the quality of sleep I get. Everything snowballs from there. Whereas, I can actually go out and have a great night with friends, whilst not drinking, still adhere to my evening routine and have a productive day the following day.
It might have become part of society, but it doesn’t have to be who YOU become.
I’m not jumping on the moral high ground about alcohol. The last thing I want to do is come across preachy and let’s face it — fucking annoying! I’ll leave that for the vegans and the anti-Brexit Mafia.
The reality is I’ve changed...a lot!
Which is why I have decided to not drink for a year and see how I feel. Will I ever drink again. I'm sure I will. It is only for a year after all. But I am ready. I have goals I want to achieve and I believe the only thing stopping me at this present time is alcohol.
So wish me luck
I would love to hear from anyone else who has given up alcohol for any length of time, or anyone who has or continues to have issues with alcohol. What are the challenges you've faced, or solutions you've found? I have a small group over on closed group on Facebook called Extraordinary Men. We discuss relevant topics that help men find their purpose and intent in life. Come check us out.