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Don’t Try Not Think About Drinking Alcohol – You Can’t | SDA3

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol, Year One | 19 comments

(0.08) Mindset
(0.49) Self-help journey
(1.45) Ups and Downs
(2.57) Tip of the Week

Welcome to the 3rd Thursday Tally

It’s great to be off the alcohol for three weeks now! My mind feels clearer than ever. I’ve done a lot of work on the website, tidying things up etc. I’ve really clicked with my yoga classes and I’m on the third week in my 5k training. None of this would be possible without having first given up the alcohol.

My Mindset

I don’t know really what has changed in my mind over the last few months, but something has really clicked into place. In the past, I’ve always viewed alcohol as something that was a major part in my life, something that I enjoyed doing, even associating it with my identity as an “Irishman”… Oooh what a stereotype ha ha…

My ‘Geeky’ Hobby

Since I was a teenager, I’ve had a fascination with phycology and self-help. I’ve spent a lot of money over the last thirty years buying courses and books, mainly to try and figure what makes me and others tick…I know, I’m a bit of a weirdo, right!…

Having gone through hundreds of these things I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that most of what’s being said out there is bunk, writers trying to sell books and courses. They’re generally making mountains out of molehills, looking for the ‘new’ angle or ‘quick fix solution’, and mostly causing more problems than they’re actually curing.

A lot of what’s being written is just too generalized. Most of it tries to help everyone and ends up helping no-one. We’re all individuals with different problems in our lives and we try to deal with those problems by using our own unique skillsets. You can read clichés until the cows come home, but you need to know how you can relate the advice to YOU and YOUR life.

Only around 10% to 20% of the books and courses out there are going to help YOU. The materials I’m talking about are the ones that once you’ve read them, you have the map of what you’ve got to do next… you know what steps YOU have to take in order to achieve YOUR goals.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that some of the stuff I’ve read over the years has just flown straight over the top of my head. Now, with a bit more life experience, I’m beginning to understand things on a more fundamental level.

I’m not sure exactly how I got into this state of mind that I’m in right now. Whatever it is, I’ve turned a corner in my life and I will never drink again! That’s something killer for me, it’s an awesome feeling.

So, I’m on a journey of self-discovery, trying to figure out exactly what has happened in my brain?

What is it that flicked the switch?

Where is the switch, and can I bottle what it’s made of?…

Ups and Downs

One of my “Up” moments again has to be staying off the drink.

Of course!

Another up, was feeling exhilarated coming out of my yoga class and again when I ran for more than 3 minutes, the first time in years since I’ve done that…

I went out again to my favorite local restaurant this week. When I’d stopped drinking in the past, I was always envious of other people who were still drinking, not this time, not even for a second! I didn’t even try to substitute alcohol with a coke; I just had plain old water.

I lost 6 pounds last week which brings me a little closer to my goal weight. I’ve a long way to go…57lbs to be exact…give or take that is! I’m not obsessing about my body; I find having concrete goals makes it easier to focus on what I have to do. Just living a healthy lifestyle, good food and exercise, is enough and will get me to a weight that is natural and easy to maintain… I’m not gonna swap an alcohol problem for a dieting one…

One of my “Downs” this week was putting my back out. I’m trying to move forward way too quickly with my exercise routine. My brain still thinks I’m living in an 18 year old body instead of one that’s 46. It’s going to take a bit of time to recover from the years of poisoning…maybe walking, running, yoga, cycling, press-ups, sit-ups, lifting weights, and dancing for joy at finally being free is too much at once…the heart is willing but the body (or back) is weak.

Tip of the Week #3

Don’t try to not think about drinking alcohol!

Trying to suppress your thoughts about drinking only leads you to think about it…when you’re trying not to think about drinking, your brain has to think about it in order to remember what it is that you’re trying not to think about…Confused?…Me too!

Try not to think about a bright pink elephant standing on its back legs wearing a tutu…

It’s impossible…How can you not think about it?

Imagine if you are dieting. You have a big bar of chocolate in your fridge, your favorite type.

You keep saying to yourself “I’m not going to eat that bar of chocolate in the fridge!”

What do you see yourself doing?

Eating the bar of chocolate, right! You’re brain doesn’t hear the “not going to” part of it, it can’t process that…it only hears “eat the bar of chocolate in the fridge!”

A much better way of dealing with these inevitable thoughts is to be positive…say to yourself “I am so glad I’m a non-drinker” or “My life is so much happier without drinking!”

Or just acknowledge that you’re thinking about a drink, accept it and move on…

I hope you got something out of today’s Thursday Tally, see you next time…

Onwards and upwards!


Previous Tallies

Tally 1
Tally 2


  1. Ethan bigham

    Very helpful stuff my dude, I’m 23 and feels like my life has kinda been
    taken over by the alcohol. Really like your videos inspired me a lot

  2. AlcoholMasteryTV

    I wish I had stopped drinking at your age Ethan, life is way too short.
    Good luck to you mate!

  3. AnywaySo

    Really inspirational! I’m 31 and have been struggling for 10 years with
    alcohol amongst other things. One week ago i woke up after a 3day long
    party, and felt a discomfort in my liver area. Started googling
    liverfailure and stuff and so on.. Now, one week after ive only had water,
    healthy food and worked out, and the pain is gone. Hopefully i will be as
    strong as you! Great video! Good luck 🙂

  4. AlcoholMasteryTV

    Thanks mate! I wish you the best of luck. It’s hard for a while, gets
    easier as you go, and is well worth it.

  5. RLP1989

    beginning my meditation and yoga again for energy work that got screwed up
    cos of my abuse, but yeah this goes for anxiety, don’t try not to think
    about it and direct your energy and attention elsewhere, and it’s useful as
    just observing the cravings as just the drinking part of you dying, observe
    without becoming attached! This is getting easier as the days goes on and
    i’m only 26 days in as I type this 🙂

  6. AlcoholMasteryTV

    I got into yoga and meditation before I quit. It’s really become one of the
    fundamental rituals in my life, keeping me focused on what I have to do as
    a whole. I tried to visualize the cravings as the struggles of my alcohol
    golem, it fighting to stay alive, me fighting to destroy it. Good for you
    on 26 days. It gets easier and easier.

  7. Kevin Jacob

    I just discovered your videos, and you make the idea your putting forward
    very easy to relate to. There is no preaching, simply sharing your
    motivations and methods. Really inspiring. I quit alcohol for 3 months
    about two years ago, and in that time I went from an unfit, living for the
    weekend 28 year old into running 10k races, even participating in Yoga with
    my then girlfriend, similar activities to yourself. I went home for
    Christmas and slowly slipped back into old habits, and it’s taken until
    now, and a grim hangover after a drinking session with another Irish ex pat
    to motivate me again into abstinence, and I hope permanent abstinence. Well
    done on having the balls to do these videos, and do them right. I’ll
    continue to watch!

  8. NotAMystery

    You talk about self-help books, what books do you think are worthy of a

  9. brognar123

    are you single? being single and not drinking i find to be next to

  10. Khadija Huseynjanova

    i want to know how u deal with when episodes come…i feel like all my
    organism & brain switches off and, i am just zombie,all i need alcohol.how
    u deal with this?

  11. blito

    I stumbled across your website last night after a day of off and on drinking. I can probably count on 2 hands the number of days I haven’t had anything to drink in the last 22 years. Like any good alcoholic, nobody in my world knows the extent. I’m not married and have no kids so it’s not too hard for me to hide. But I’m so tired of it. I have been for a long time, but I always find solace in it. Or I think I do, until I hate myself for giving in yet again. Anyway, it’s evening here now and I haven’t had a drink all day. I’m watching your clips and I feel like you are a mirror image of myself with how genuine you are and how honestly you speak. They’re like the conversations I have in my head all the time, I just never follow through. I look forward to watching them all and catching up (and staying sober) and having somebody to go through the tough times with. I’m excited for the first time in a LONG time, thanks.

  12. The Man

    o’hara is the best adviser on youtube on the demon drink

    • Dave

      Oh, man!

      Did you hit a nerve.. my thoughts exactly only its been FORTY (40) years for me.

      I am drinking now. I just discovered Kevin and ordered 2 of his books.

      I’m afraid to quit cold turkey cuz I’m afraid I might die. I have gotten the shakes and this has happened since July.

      My body has been screaming at me for 6 months!

      I can’t tell you how much I love to drink, mostly alone (no wife, no kids, and a GF who puts up with it)

      I’m a functioning alcoholic – I rarely get “drunk’ but always have a nice buzz going in the evening

      I have a good job that I love, but damn, the blackouts are increasing and I”m drinking more and more to maintain my buzz.

      Can’t wait to receive the books from Kev

      Good luck!

  13. Danny

    I just wanted to say that I am on day 2 of no alcohol. Watching your videos has helped me alot. Has made me feel more confident and helped change the way I think about alcohol. Example, when you mentioned changing your thoughts about alcohol into positive ones. Im so glad you have many video journals. I am going to watch at least one a day. Its very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. You are appreciated. : )

  14. Neil


    Just fell off the wagon after 30 days. Found an excuse. I just had the best month – brilliant at work, calm, happy, in the gym etc. Wife 🙂 Sitting here feeling sh*t and then thought I’d look and see how it is for other people. I just watched the first 7 weeks – the change in the colour of your skin, smile, eyes, everything. It just says it all. Just the physiology (is that a word?) of it just rings a bell and makes me want to do another month.Its been a 2 day lapse and I will learn from it. Good for you for sharing and being “human”. So much rings true with me. To find that strength. I quit with the intention of quitting for 3 months. Friends arranging a party for when I started again ? I cant quite believe that life would be great without “it” – yet it was for a month – brilliant. Its so weird. To commit to stopping forever ? And I tick every question in your John Hopkins list. Some shameful sh*tty stuff. But its fun Neil eh – the life and soul and he has a great job and a great life – but the wreckage ?? the rows ?? the anxiety ?? the lies ?? the fat 🙂 Thank you Kevin – I am drinking as I write this and thinking about having another go. This is more real for me watching you than a lot of stuff – its like looking in a mirror except my ears are a bit less sticky out – good man.

    • Kevin O'Hara

      Most of us click almost all the Johns Hopkins list, almost every alcohol drinker. Take it one month at a time, one week, or even a day.

  15. wendy

    Thanks for sharing your progress. You’ve come a long way from this video. Kudos! I am getting back on the wagon. You helped keep me sober for 4 days straight! Starting again today. After a night of beers and waking up thinking…Why did I do that? Again, thank you for your videos, they really do help.

  16. JJ

    Excellent tip thank you! Good reminder. I stopped drinking 40 days ago! It was like you said, like something switched in my brain. Enough was enough. I feel free. Just found your videos. Videos like yours and books and talking about it and facing it head on has been how I have stuck with it. Very thankful to find your site.


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