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Don’t Expect Quitting Drinking to be a Magic Bullet Solving Everything

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 7 comments

Today I wanted to talk about just the idea that quitting drinking is the be all and end all. That that’s all you have to do, right, is just to quit drinking and your life is going to change. That it’s going to be a magic bullet for everything else right.

Well, don’t get me wrong, quitting drinking has got all the benefits of stopping putting the poison in your body right, you, get all those benefits, you get the health benefits, you know you stop your liver from disintegrating and turning into mush.

You prevent over two hundred different medical conditions, because of alcohol consumption and you basically reduce your chances of dying from alcoholism. I mean greatly reduce them. You get all the relationship benefits. You get all the societal benefits, you get, you know all the benefits are there from you stopping drinking. As soon as you stop doing this to yourself, then, you’re going to get those benefits immediately.

A lot of the benefits are going to come from the fact that you, because you’ve stopped drinking, you’ve got to change your life, from being a drinker to being a non-drinker. And that involves so many different changes.

I keep talking about this all the time, that when you start drinking, it’s, you’ve got all this outside life, you’ve got all these other things that you do you in your life. Your life is full of different things and gradually over the years, alcohol sort of takes over a lot of the things. You know, you supplant a lot of the past times, that you do. A lot of the emotions that you feel.

There’s, just so much of your life that is taken away by your alcohol drinking, right. And alcohol drinking contracts your life in a certain way and it’s that sort of expansion again if you want, for want of a better word. When you start to fizzle out the alcohol, you take the alcohol out of the equation and then you’ll left sort of naked in the world, you’ve got to sort of look around and sort of think well, I need to change this, I need to change that.

All of these things might not be apparent at first. It takes time, even to come to realise that you have to change a certain thing. I mean a lot of things are going to be there. You’ll see a lot of things in the beginning that you’ll need to change. I meant the obvious ones are, you’ve got to change the way you socialise. You can’t go and socialise in pubs any more, because, pubs are just places where people drink.

And, you know, in a lot of cases, you’ve got to change your friends,
because if you’re friends are heavy drinkers, the two are sort of compatible. It’s something that we don’t like to do, it’s something that we don’t even like to think about sometimes, you know, getting rid of our friends and sometimes, it has to be done, right?

You know, unless you can form relationships outside of alcohol with these same people, these things have to be, sort of, dealt with. I mean a lot of my friends where just drinkers and that’s where I met my mates, was, was in the Pub, you know, over a few Beers.

When I met them outside of the Pub it was generally in somebody’s house where there was a lot of drink and we drank. And that was the glue that held our relationships together, our friendships together and without that Glue. it’s just impossible. It’s like, you, two people are going down two different roads and the further apart these two roads go, the more fractured and splintered the relationship gets, unfortunate, but that’s the truth.

But it’s in these changes that you make in your life, outside of the actual alcohol drinking where you get the most benefits. I’ve done so many different things now and I talk about memories and the last four years, just seems like forever, compared with what went on before. I could spend ten years before, doing things and the memories wouldn’t be there, because a lot of the memories are exactly the same.

You know, there being in a Pub and one Pub is just the same as another fucking Pub at the end of the Day. You know, one drinking session is just the same as another drinking session, whereas, one mountain now that I climb, it’s completely different. You know, its different tracks, it’s different terrain, it’s different, it’s different when I get to the top.

The walks that I do, fair enough, you know they’re sort of similar, but most of the time, it’s exactly the same walk that I do, but it’s the way my mind is thinking and the thoughts that I have while I’m walking, which is half the reason for me walking. Those are completely different, so, its’s a different set of circumstances in every, in every walk.

And just the changes in so many different areas of your life all add up to something very special. Something that you wouldn’t have thought about before. As I say there are many changes that you will make in the future, because you’ve stopped drinking that you cannot even fathom now, because they’re coming from, you’re coming from a mind of a drinker at the moment.

Your mind is that of a drinker. And that’s the way you’re thinking, so it’s impossible to make changes in the same frame as mind that you – what was the old Einstein quote was – “you can’t solve a problem with the same frame of mind that caused the problem”.

So, it’s only this gradual movement outside of your comfort zone. Outside of the alcohol drinking zone and it’s starting to probe down fresh new alleyways, that you start to unravel a new life for yourself and it’s when you do that, that the beauty comes, you know, that the real special times come and, you know, those are where you get the real benefits.

So, that’s really the message for this video. Is the more you drink the more contracted your life becomes. The more involved your life becomes, just around that one tool, that one focus. The more, the further away you get from that drinking, the more expanded your life becomes, the more full it becomes, the more colourful.

If you have any questions about that, leave a comment down below. Just one thing before we end this, we’re, if you want to contribute to Alcohol Mastery at all, you can go over to http://www.patreon.com/AlchoholMastery and become a patron of the show for as little as $2 a month, it really helps out, helps the whole show keep going.

If you want to sign up for the newsletter, which is a daily email with, you know, it’s basically a reminder to try and keep you on track and keep you going on this journey, then go over to https://www.alcoholmastery.com and you’ll see it in the sidebar on this side, on the right-hand side.

“Problems can not be solved with the same mindset that created them” – Albert Einstein

Until next time…
Stay Safe
Keep the Alcohol out of your Mouth
Take Care
Bye Now
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Peter

    Kevin, while I agree with many of your opinions and positions as related to drinking alcohol, I must say that I cannot go along with what seems to be your position in regards to the need to cultivate new friends and abandon those who still drink. Apparently you have actually relocated in a different country now and obviously this separates you from your old drinking crowd. Yet most of us have ties that bind us to where we currently live and therefore the existing relationships remain around us. I firmly believe that in order to stop drinking alcohol on a regular basis you need to convince yourself (as you have) that alcohol is actually a poison to your body and will ultimately do you physical, mental and social harm. And once you actually believe this to be true, it should not matter that those around you continue to drink.

    I have many old friends and family members who continue to drink, and some drink to excess on many occasions. Yet there have always been at least some in this group who either do not drink or rarely drink. Now I am among those who do not drink alcohol for health and social reasons. But I am still the same person with the same friends and family. After 1.5 years without alcohol my life has improved vastly and I am much happier and more productive, but I can proudly live that new lifestyle among my old friends. And I have inspired at least one old drinking buddy to follow my lead.

    I have an old friend who quit drinking over 40 years ago through joining AA and making that group her exclusive base of friends. She does not socialize to any degree with anyone who is not a sober AA “believer”. I could not follow AA for many reasons, but the main reason is that I did not want to abandon my existing relationships simply because I might be tempted to return to the drink. Joining AA seemed like an escape from reality much like getting drunk was an escape from reality. My goal was to live a healthy and natural life free of alcohol without turning away from my existing world of friends and family. I believe my choice was the right one for me.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Hi Peter,
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t think I ever said you have to abandon those who drink. My position has always been to distance yourself from those friends who are doing you harm. I did move to a different country, although I moved a year before I quit drinking, so we did cultivate some friendships which involved alcohol in that year. Also, I have two sisters living here in Spain, and their extended families, who all drink to different degrees. Some of my best friends here in Spain are drinkers, so I would never suggest that anyone limit themselves to nondrinkers. I think that’s a very tall order and not very healthy. However, I do believe that you can judge a person by their five closest friends. If your five closest friends are all heavy drinkers, there’s going to be an imbalance in your own life. That was my position when I was a heavy drinker in Ireland. Most of my friends were heavy drinkers. Moving to Spain certainly reduced that imbalance, but it certainly didn’t correct it.
      My advice is this, we are surrounded by alcohol and alcohol drinkers, and you have to build a resilience, unless you want to move to a completely non drinking country and start afresh… Not very feasible for most of us. Friendships are there for mutual benefit. As I said, I have no problem in mixing with people who drink, even drink heavily, so long as their heavy drinking doesn’t impinge on my life or health. I am the only one who makes that decision. If someone is feeling constantly pressured by their friends to drink, they have to re-evaluate that friendship. You have to think of your health first, friendships second. You can build new friendships, it’s much more difficult to rebuild failing health. I don’t see any problem with having friends who drink, so long as they know that you don’t drink, end of story. So long as they understand that what they put in their body is their concern, and what you put in your body is none of their concern.
      Most of all, I find the company of drunken people boring, as I would find company of any other drug user. I’m quite happy sitting with people, having a laugh, until it gets to a certain point, then I make my excuses and leave. That lifestyle holds no attraction for me anymore, and I have to say the same for most heavy drinkers. I have some friends who will stay friends for life. And obviously my family are my family for life. But, I have spent so many years in the company of drug users, and for me personally it’s time to move on to different pastures.

  2. Wulf

    Inspirational man, sick of feeling sick from alcohol, found you on Youtube.

  3. Susan handel

    Thank you so much for what you do!

  4. Mick

    Friends who drink, I laugh at there antics, I move away if they start talking complete bollocks.
    If they try to get me to drink, I explain in too much detail and with great passion my reason for not drinking, they never ask twice.

    I was at a birthday party with a friend of mine who has only been off the alcohol for a couple of months, I think he was 75% committed probably had a bit of doubt this made him a bit tetchy. It wasn’t helped by people keep asking him if was still off the booze then saying they preferred him when he drank. As the night went on a drunk woman who used to cycle the same route as him, then slurred I think I could beat you in a bike race. To which he replied very very loudly thats the the sort of thing a pissed up twat would think. Which left the poor woman with a visible shocked and embarrassed look on her face. I know I shouldn’t but, I have to admit it makes me laugh just thinking about it. It was a serious cringe moment and could probably serve as warning that if you socialize with heavy drinkers you may have to be prepared to bite your lip and it may be best to avoid it altogether until your 100% committed to your new life style.

    I’m of the view the commitment needs to fostered in as close as you can get to safe environment. This also makes it easier to get acceptance that you have stopped permanently eg Ive not drank since last summer and feel great sounds a lot more secure than not had a drink for 3 weeks 2 days and it don’t fucking bother me one bit! ha ha. If drinkers get a whiff that your desperate for a drink and running on will power, this makes you obvious source of sport for the less than sympathetic friends. They are maybe not bad people, but you not drinking kind of underlines how stupid what their doing is, so they will poke at you given a chance.

    Its my interpretation so maybe not 100% accurate, but what I learned from Kevin’s books was, you get used to not drinking in the house. eg you get in from a work a trigger goes off it says drink a glass of wine you counter with a glass of orange, after time a new habit you get in from work no alcohol trigger. It dawns on you, you haven’t thought about alcohol for a bit your confidence starts to grow, you think Wow I can actual fucking do this. You can even start to think its so easy. Thinking this too soon can be dangerous.

    EG you meet up with friends in a bar.

    Trigger 1. The walk to the pub, trigger 2. The pub, trigger 3. The pub door, trigger 4. The smell, trigger 5. Your mates all looking jolly, trigger 6. The smiling bar maid, trigger 7. The piss take because your not drinking. Thats a lot of triggers for a beginner, if you don’t break at that point, you may go home feeling like you have missed out. You will be in danger of convincing your self that you can just have a drink on a Friday night etc your confident you can do orange in the week. This is 100% the start of the derailing process. My advice and something that worked for me. Avoid masses of triggers in one go. Maybe after a few months go in a pub and have a coffee notice all the people not drinking alcohol. Or just get more distance from your old drinking self so that you can handle multiple triggers. Mentally rehearse experiences with multi triggers until you feel good standing there drinking your orange genuinely happy and 100% sure you made the right choice. Don’t make this hard for yourself. Don’t do anything your not ready for. Pressure from drinkers and society is your biggest enemy until you get this addiction put to bed 100%. Being a none drinker is worth any amount of effort. I now feel sorry for drinkers, old triggers repulse me and only serve to remind me of all the time money and health I wasted when I was a alcohol addict. Being happy and having fun sober is a million times better than getting pissed. Alcohol free and proud, best feeling in the world.


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