7 Things I Learned So Far During My 4 Years Without Drinking Alcohol

7 Things I Learned So Far During My 4 Years Without Drinking Alcohol

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I have learned so much about myself over the last four years. None of that would be possible if I had carried on drinking alcohol.

Alcohol not only intoxicate’s your body, it obscures so much about you which makes you who you are.

Take a look at this video… There’s a lot more to quitting drinking alcohol than trying to boil things down to a few lessons… But, for the sake of making a video, here’s my take on some of the best things that I’ve learned.

7 Things I Learned So Far During My 4 Years Without Drinking Alcohol
Transcript

Today I wanted to talk about the seven most important lessons that I’ve learnt since I stopped drinking alcohol.

Number One

Alcohol was hiding so many different problems below the service that I was unaware of or that I had made myself unaware of. It’s the behaviour of drinking and the physical consequences of all that alcohol, it is how it makes you feel in the moment and afterwards.

Alcohol also causes a lot of those problems. It is the cause. Once that starts to be established in your life it becomes a vicious circle because … the alcohol starts causing more problems than it was originally solving.

If you think alcohol is not there as a problem solver, think again, because that’s the reason why most of us drink. We start drinking in the first place, to solve problems of things like:

  • Peer pressure.
  • Being shy with other people’s company.
  • Not being relaxed.
  • Not being able to sleep.
  • Having a problem on your mind that you don’t want to have on your mind.

These are all problems, that we use alcohol for.

Once the alcohol is out of the equation then, you have all the underlying things that alcohol is no longer masking. For instance – just one big instance – one thing that I noticed nearly straight away after a couple of weeks of being off the booze, was – how the food that I was eating was affecting me.

It takes a long time for a lot of these issues to come to the service when you are no longer under the influence of Alcohol, but they eventually do.

When you deal with another problem you peel back another layer of the Onion until eventually you get to the heart, the core, of who you really are.

I am nowhere near that, I am still peeling back lots of layers. I’m still peeling back some of the problems that were caused either by my drinking or because I ignored them or because I just didn’t realise that they were there.

So, that’s the first one.

Alcohol uncovers many things that you have to deal with. But the beauty of it is that you can deal with these things now, where before you couldn’t deal with them, because you were dealing with this huge, big, fucking, crisis in your life, that of complete, permanent, intoxication.

Number Two

I now have emotions that I didn’t realise that I had. How could somebody not have emotions? For a start, you may drink to avoid:

  • Peer pressure.
  • To handle other people.
  • Because you don’t want to feel sad.
  • You want to feel happy.

Your emotions are being manipulated by a tool, alcohol.

Eventually the alcohol becomes the default way of either suppressing or lifting certain emotions and you can’t get those emotions without the alcohol, you can’t feel happy without alcohol. You can’t deal with the emotion of being angry without drinking alcohol. You can’t go to sleep without alcohol. You can’t talk with other people without alcohol.

Many people – I did it for a number of years – use alcohol as an emotional suppressant. Anybody, any psychiatrist will tell you that it is not a good thing to suppress your emotions both for you as an individual and for anybody around you. It’s just not a good thing to do.

Suppressing them with a thing like alcohol, adds an extra level of fuckedupness. It’s just not good.

Number Three

So, that’s another thing that I found, my emotions started to come back.

It is like the first one I was talking about, it takes a while to peel back the layers and realise first of all, that these emotions are absent and that you were using alcohol to be able to enhance certain emotions.

I can out now go out with my Friends to Restaurant’s and Parties and be perfectly happy without alcohol. I don’t need alcohol any more. If I have a problem, I have no choice but to solve it myself. I’ve got nowhere to hide. You have to start thinking – ‘How the fuck are you going to deal with these things? How do I deal with these emotions? How to I deal with that problem?’

You have no choice but to do that and once you give yourself no choice – what’s the result? You have to deal with the problems. You find a way. We’ve always done that anyway. You’ve always dealt with your emotions. It’s just that before you dealt with it the most expedient way that you knew how to deal with it, which was taking a drink.

So, when you stop drinking you become just much more in control of your emotions and once you’re in control of your emotions you … eventually start to control your reality. That’s what’s awesome.

Number Four

I realised that while I was drinking, I just couldn’t be bothered with so many other things in my life. I would go to the Pub, I’d spend money and then I’d spend more money.

I’d probably say to myself, I’m only going out for two or three drinks, but I’d end up staying for ten.

I used to hang out with some dodgy people as well. I had some good friends, but I also had some acquaintances that now as a Sober Person, I would cross the road from.

When I was drinking, there was procrastination in everything:

  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Hobbies
  • Doing something physical – health wise.
  • Exercise
  • Spirituality
  • Learning
  • Intellectual

All those areas in my life were always under procrastination. I’ll do it tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.

There are huge opportunity costs involved in drinking alcohol. Time and money, you could have been spending elsewhere. The dreams you have to put on the shelf because you’re just not capable of getting to that level and reaching the heights that you need to get to, to achieve your dreams.

I think it was Robert Green, who wrote a book on Mastery. He said to get something to an expert level, you need to dedicate 10000 hours of deliberate practise. Deliberate practise. I don’t mean just going through the emotions, but learning to get to that stage.

How can you do that when you are in the midst of an intoxication of your brain? It’s just not possible. And all the while, the clock is ticking, life is slowly seeping away.

So, I don’t do that anymore, when I put a plan in, I do it. It’s not because I am fucking super human or anything like that – I don’t drink!

I’m a lazy person. I sometimes prefer just to sit on my arse and do nothing and watch a whole series of Hell’s Kitchen. That’s what I did when I was ill for the last few days, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. I had other things to do. I wanted to do other things. But I was sick and my brain wasn’t functioning.

For three days, my mind wasn’t functioning. With alcohol, for thirty years I did that deliberately to myself, intoxicating myself so that my brain wasn’t functioning. Maybe not a full thirty years but I drank for thirty years, over thirty years, especially in the last ten years and I look back and I think ‘Ah stupid, stupid, stupid.’ I look back now, at the last four years and I think ‘Clap on the back, smart, smart. ‘

That’s my fourth thing.

Number Five

Booze is Boring
I really understand this now. Booze is boring. Nothing more to it. It’s a boring, time suck, it’s a boring life suck.

It’s just repetitively doing the same shit over and over again.

You might be doing it in different places but generally you’ll be drinking the same alcohol and the same drink. Whether it’s Red Wine or Beer or Whisky – or whatever it is – Vodka, once you get into that intoxicated state, there is no difference. You could be on the moon for all you care. As long as you’re sat or stood there, with your particular drink, you don’t care. It’s boring.

Let’s look at things from a memory perspective. A Guy recently asked me why life seems looked as though it was slowing down, since he stopped drinking. I thought he was trying to say that his life was boring now and I was saying, ‘Yeah, yeah, but you’ve got to push yourself out there and do things that are more interesting’. He said ‘No, I meant since I stopped drinking last year, I remember so much and that year seems to have been so long in comparison to other years.’

And the reason why is because when you drink alcohol, every moment, everything you do is the same. It all sort of melds together into one big sort of mess.

Whereas when you don’t drink alcohol you do different things. Even though you might sometime still be sat on the couch, doing your own thing, watching the TV, and wasting time, in general you’re doing different things and life just isn’t boring anymore.

You have to get out there, obviously, and do these things, life is going to be boring if you do boring things. But in general, if you don’t and you follow your passion and find the passion in life then life is not going to be that way.

Number Six

The fog lifts.

It was one of the first things that I said when I started making these Videos.

I felt like I had a wet towel over my brain when I was drinking and after a few weeks of not drinking that wet towel was lifted. In retrospect, everything I did before was done in a fog and now the fog has cleared. It was like someone going around short sighted and then finding out there is a place called Specsavers and they go there and get a pair of glasses and they see the world as really is, for the first time.

Have a look at this video? I think it is brilliant, it’s of a kid who has got glasses for the first time. The Parents didn’t know that he or she was short sighted and when they put on the glasses the Child could its Parents for the first time. It’s a lovely Video. Watch this.

Video Clip Is Played.

It’s nice that. I think when you have to face and deal with reality you start to see life in a different way. You haven’t the alcohol tunnel to run to and hide whenever there’s a problem, whenever there’s an issue that you can’t deal with or an emotion that needs to be suppressed or whatever.

Dealing with life, once you get the hang of it, is invigorating. Solving problems on your own. Sounds bad but that’s the way I thought about myself. I was like ‘Jesus, I’m solving these issues on my own for once.’ It was because I wasn’t dealing with a lot of stuff, I was hiding and suppressing a lot of things, not just emotions but also different situations that happened in my life that I didn’t want to deal with.

Once that fog lifts you start to be able to see a lot clearer and to be able to deal with these things.

Number Seven

You become a lot more socially competent. I have become a lot more socially competent. When you drink, you might think that it gives you Dutch Courage, which it probably does, alcohol lowers your inhibitions and all that kind of stuff and makes it a lot easier for you to deal with people, but it’s not real communication because alcohol dulls all your senses.

You start to miss so much of what people are saying to you and how people are trying to communicate. A lot of communication is in subtle signs, in language tones or facial expressions and other forms of body language and you miss those signs. The more you drink the less you are able to communicate what you want to say.

When I thought about myself the day after, it was always with a head shake. Did I really say that? Did I really do that? And that was only the big things that I did.

Imagine all of the other things that I had done – that people do when they’re drunk. Just sit in a room with someone who’s drunk for a couple of hours and notice the small little annoyances, not that they’re doing anything deliberately, but just because of the drunkenness.

Things start to come out that shouldn’t be said. Facial things, the way people look at you, you shouldn’t be doing that. What you communicate is not the real you when you are drunk. What you communicate is the drunk you, the druggy you.

When I stopped drinking, I was a little bit socially awkward because I didn’t have that crutch. But I got over it, in some ways I am still getting over it. I feel like a different person now from that perspective.

One of the biggest things that chased me around throughout my life. was shyness with other people and that’s gone. It’s still there, but I can deal with it. I know how to deal with it quickly and easily without fucking up my body.

Number Eight

Finally, the biggest thing that I notice about myself now is that I don’t have to conform with society anymore with regards to the things that I know that are bad for me. And that’s not the only thing.

So many different things have come to light. As I said at the beginning you uncover many other areas of your life where you are conforming for the sake of conforming. Following the heard. I don’t have to do that anymore.

Most people, a lot of people, are uncomfortable with peer pressure and going against peer pressure. They’re uncomfortable getting outside of their own comfort zones

It’s a huge relief and a burden lifted off your shoulders when you don’t care about that kind of stuff anymore. You don’t care what other people think. You won’t let other people dictate what you put in your body. I find myself being just so much more socially capable. I’ve got a huge bigger, better say with who I hang out with and as I say what I put in my body and how I think and the things that I think.

I am not cowered by a drug anymore.

There are many other benefits as well:

  • More self control
  • Vitality
  • More self esteem
  • More Confidence
  • Better Health
  • More money
  • More control over my money and many different aspects of my life.

Anyway, I’ll leave it there, if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you have any suggestions for Videos as well, I would love to hear them. If I can do a Video of them, then I will.

If you want to come over to the website we’ve got a lot of different resources if you’re trying to quit drinking. We have a lot of Videos, Video Courses, Audio Books, Books, and a forum, so you are very welcome to visit at https://www.alcoholmastery.com.

Take Care of yourself, keep the alcohol out of your mouth and good luck to you.

 

Many great things can be done in a day if you don’t always don’t make that day tomorrow


Until next time...
Onwards and Upwards!

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About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

If you want help quitting drinking alcohol, I recommend you join our Mastermind Coaching Program. Here you will find all the help you need with daily exclusive informative videos, Q&A's, and monthly Roundtables on relevant topics. The Mastermind Coaching Group has many supportive members at various stages of their journey. Here you'll find non-judgemental motivation, support, and accountability. Click here for more information.

2 Comments

  • Erin

    Reply Reply January 22, 2017

    Hi Kevin,

    Really great insight in this post, I enjoyed reading exactly what I too am realizing over time without drinking. Any toxic crutch, whether it be alcohol, smoking, drugs, takes time in two ways, while your using them (i.e. life is boring) and when your dealing with their consequences, which in many cases can be the physical and emotional damage it has caused your body. For example, I’ve recently learned that drinking alcohol raises a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by 50%! There is no warning label that describes these dangers of alcohol, and I believe that too needs to change. I also believe we need to educate, properly educate, young people with a stronger, clearer message about how long a path of destruction can take to undo if they choose drugs and/or alcohol. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences and insight!
    Erin

  • Debbie Allen

    Reply Reply July 1, 2017

    Dear Kevin, Thank you so much for sharing all that you have been through. You have opened my eyes to a lot of things that I have been feeling and going through. I was abused very badley as a child..so bad I almost died a couple times…I used alcohol to suppress the bad memories..I relized by doing that my abusers still had control over me..but not no more Im free of it for first time in my life.. I feel alive for the first time in my life! I could not have quit alcohol without your insight..thank ..thank you! Sincerely Debbie

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