Stop Drinking Alcohol 55 – How I’ve Saved Over $15000 Since I Quit Drinking! (The Written Part)
I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery. This is Stop Drinking Alcohol 55.
I got a request this week to talk a little bit more about my alcohol quitting journey and stuff. To be honest with you, I struggle sometimes to find any more things to say about myself on the journey. It’s gone beyond quitting alcohol now, and it’s all about change for me – it’s all about where I’m gonna go next.
Alcohol is really, really part of my past. This is where I’m holding onto all the alcohol stuff, is by talking about it and by helping other people going through the same journey that I’m going through, the journey I’ve been through. So I don’t think about it from a personal level anymore.
It is what it is. I just feel like I’ve changed so much in the last year, and I’m a lazy bastard! If I can do it, anyone can do it.
I was reading last night about karma. It always struck me in the past as being a bit woo-woo! It’s sort of a bit ‘way out there’ with the new-age travellers and hippies and all that kind of stuff.
Something else about it really struck me when the Dalai Lama was talking about it. He was saying that karma actually means action. You’re suffering now or you’re going through the stuff now that you’re going through because of the stuff that you’d done in the past. And I always thought that meant it was a good vs. bad thing, “you’re gonna get yours, Jimmy” – but it’s not.
All Roads Lead To Your Now!
When it boils down to it, it’s on a really personal level. It’s everything you’ve done in the past, all the directions that you’ve taken, all the decision that you’ve made, all the choices that you’ve made, have all led you into the spot that you’re in now.
Choose Your New Directions
It also bodes for the future that everything that you do now in this moment, every choice that you make, every decision that you make, is going to lead you into a definitive path in the future. So what you do now is what matters more than anything else.
I just wanted to share that because it’s weird how you get fixated on specific perspectives about things, specific meanings…especially when it comes to language. Language can have a thousand different meanings, a million different meanings to different people. I go on about language a lot in addiction and quitting addiction because I think it’s such a massive part of what holds people back as well as what pushes some people forward.
All About Change
So for me at the moment, it’s all about looking at my future, so I try and visualize the place that I’m gonna be and work my way back from there. I start from where I want to end up, and then take the steps backwards to see how I’m gonna get there.
Everything that I do now is about change. It’s gonna happen anyway – change is inevitable, change happens everywhere we go, it’s just a question of who is going to direct the change. Is it you that’s gonna direct your own change or are you just gonna leave it to chance, are you gonna leave it until the bottom of a bottle.
Money and Savings Since Quitting
As the title of the video suggests, I wanted to talk a little bit about money – how much I’ve actually saved over the last year since I haven’t been drinking. It’s a massive amount but nowhere near as much as I would have saved if I was back in Ireland.
I was working it out and basically I saved – I lost, I should say – about 50 quid a day, 50 dollars a day just by days missed from my work. I don’t know what that adds up to, I’ll add it up at the end and put it up. But, I also spent probably about 60 Euros here a week going out and drinking out, plus another 60 on top of that eating out when I was drinking. So eating all the shitty, crappy foods…
And then being Spain, a lot of wine over here, and very cheap, so I probably put it at about $20 on that for what I spent on booze to take home. So by not drinking in Spain, I’m saving myself about 12,500 a year.
If I was in Ireland that would be double!
In Ireland, I used to spend 300 Euros – easy – a week, in the pub, on Guinness.
And then it was more expensive than to eat out. The days when I wasn’t working, I was earning really good money working in the forestry in Ireland, so…I’d say on average, I probably lost about 300-400 Euros a week – more, sometimes, because I wasn’t going out working. On a good day in Ireland, I’d make 500, easy.
Pushing My Ethical Buttons
I used to have a lad working with me, and he was one of the things that really kept me from really falling off the wagon, because I could live off a couple of days work. If I did two really good days work there’d be no problem. It was because he had a wife and a young family; that was pushing all my ethical buttons, so there was no way I could do that. He really kept me on the straight and narrow that way, but then he left and got a better job – I wasn’t paying him enough. It coincided at the time with the forestry industry everything taking a dump in the market and people weren’t really looking for timber products, the construction industry in Ireland went to shit. Of course then, I drank as much, just because there’s not enough money, there was always enough for drinking.
Anyway, the point is that in Ireland, 25K a year I spent or I missed out on because I was drinking.
Unplugging Your Brain
When I was thinking about the moving to Spain – over the last year since I got here, or the first year that I was here I should say, before I gave up the alcohol – I’d been doing a bit of coding for a while, purely for my own websites, and a lot of article writing.
My brother-in-law is a real estate agent and he asked me to do a rental site of his business so that people could actually put up their own properties if they wanted to rent them out without having to come into the office or anything – an automatic thing.
With me, was learning the coding for it and then doing all the stuff that I needed for that part of it and then learning some more coding so that I could move it forward.
It took me so long to get up to a certain point and I just couldn’t get myself past that level. My brain was fried with it, and it wasn’t just the code and it was just all the booze. I mean, you sit there and you’re so tired – I think, energy-wise, it takes a lot of energy out of me just doing the creative side of anything more than the physical side. I’d feel more tired after doing that. I really found it hard to concentrate and I didn’t finish it.
He actually asked me to do another job for him recently – to do a database – and thankfully I had the intelligence enough to go and find somebody in India who can do it a lot better than I can, a lot quicker and a lot cheaper.
We’re doing that now, but in the meantime I was digging out all the old files for this previous thing and looking through them. The ideas were just snapping into place. It’s amazing how, when your brain is really unplugged from the alcohol nipple, that it frees it all up again.
Watching Football Matches in Bars: Now and Then
We were off up to a football match tonight, Arsenal playing Southampton. Going to the same bar, same people are there. Beforehand, I used to drink maybe 6-7 pints. If I got away with it, I would’ve drank more, but then a good partner – she used to keep me in check. After that or during the match, I’d probably scoff down 2 or 3 packets of crisps – potato chips. Also peanuts, and afterwards go for a big, greasy burger, chips, French fries, the big thick ones. They tasted nice but they don’t do your heart any good.
Tonight, or every time I’ve gone up now in the last year, it’s been maybe a pint of orange juice and a couple of bottles of water. Whereas before, the whole thing would cost me 35-40 Euros a night, now it’s a fiver – 5 Euros.
Things are a lot cheaper on this side of the fence.
No More Dealing with Post-Alcohol Symptoms
Another thing is that I enjoy everything more. I went to my sister’s the other night to her house-warming party. It wasn’t a big piss-up with loads of drink – it was me, the sister with her husband and her four kids, and my dad and Esther.
There was only one bottle of wine on the table. But I knew at the end of the day that there was nothing in the background that was going to stop me from having a good time.
What lifts off your shoulders when you know you’re not gonna drink anymore is the fact that you know that there’s gonna be no more hangovers. You know that there’s not gonna be no more of that drunken stupidity – no more regrets about that. There’s just gonna be no more drunkenness.
Free Yourself from the Chains and Ledgers
When I think back and I know some people will accuse me of looking through rose-tinted glasses, but when I look back at the times when I was drinking, although the compulsion was to stay, the drunker and drunker you get you just don’t remember it. If there is a buzz to it, it’s only in the first two or three drinks, and then it starts to degenerates then into something which is not enjoyment.
I think part of that is to do with your brain knowing what’s going to happen. The brain knows what’s around the corner. It knows exactly what you’re facing the next morning. It knows you’re acting like an idiot and you’re making a show of yourself. It knows that you’ve lost self-respect, and all these things weigh down on you. It’s when you quit, you know you’ve quit, that you get this massive weight off your shoulders. That weighs down heavily on anyone, especially the longer you do it.
It’s like Scrooge, years ago in the Christmas carol – Charles Dickens, and Marley’s Ghost at the beginning, and he came in with all these chains and ledgers strapped to the chains and they were all the bad deeds that he’d done over the years. Link upon link upon link, and that’s how you feel – it’s just this massive weight, and when you do quit, you get all that freedom which is unbelievable.
So, that must have been the most rambliest rambling video that I’ve ever done.
Until next time.
I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
Onwards and upwards!
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Onwards and Upwards!