How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today, to mark the end of the 365-day challenge, I want to talk about living the benefits of quitting drinking alcohol, and staying off alcohol.
And there we have it…Day 365…Challenge Done!!!
I have learned so much about so much doing this challenge, from a personal level to a professional level. It has given me a much better understanding of the subject of habit change and in particular changing the alcohol habit – extermination of the habit, to be precise. Hopefully, a lot of that has transferred out to you in these videos.
Today’s video is all about living the benefits of not drinking any more. Now, starting every day without a hangover is one thing. It’s something that as drinkers we have all experienced, at one time or another. In this video I wanted to talk about what it’s like to get away from the whole boozy life. What is it like to get up every morning and not have to think with a drinker’s brain any more. What is it like to be free of that self-made mental cage?
First of all, thanks to everyone for sticking it out until the end of this challenge.
365 videos done in a year.
No matter how many videos you watched during the year, I hope you got something out of it.
I know it’s the end of the challenge, but not the videos.
I’m going to take it easy for a little bit, but there’s still going to be a couple of videos up every day.
There’ll be one up today if you’re watching this in real time, just explaining what I intend to do now.
I think this is a fitting end to the challenge, to dig down again into the benefits of quitting alcohol, but from a personal perspective.
One of the obvious things that causes people to quit in the first place is the hangovers.
That’s obviously one of the huge benefits of stopping.
You just don’t get any more hangovers ever again.
It’s something that has a huge knock-on effect in your life.
Drinking has a negative effect.
Not drinking on the other hand, and treating your life like you want to expand it, has a very positive effect.
When you drink day after day, the more you drink, the more effect the alcohol has on you.
The more you don’t drink, the less of an effect alcohol has on you.
When you get up everyday, and you know there’s not going to be a hangover at the end of that day, when you know that you’ll get a good sleep that night because you haven’t been drinking, it’s a good feeling.
You can get up the next morning and plan what you want to do the next day.
That has a positive knock on effect for the rest of your day, week and life.
Knowing you won’t be self-sabotaging at every turn because of instant gratification.
The closest approximation I can come to a hangover, because to be honest, I can’t remember.
I remember vaguely what it’s like to have a hangover, but it’s like the feeling has dulled.
It’s been 4 1/2 years since I’ve had a hangover.
That feeling is escaping me at the moment.
I can remember the bits and pieces in detail; the jerking awake in the middle of the night, the sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for myself…The closest approximation I can come to feeling that kind of thing now is when I have a really big cheat meal.
There’s a lot of fat in it, a lot of sugar or salt in it.
It just affects my body.
If I eat a lot, and go to bed feeling stuffed…I don’t do this very often.
I often try and keep it 2 1/2 hours before I go to bed, so I can get the best sleep, just from that perspective of having my body digest food while I’m asleep.
Anyway, if I do go to bed with a full stomach, feeling stuffed, and I’ve eaten some of the wrong types of food, then that’s the closest I can come to nowadays of having a hangover when I wake up in the morning feeling sort of down.
Believe me, it’s not even a hundred times less the feeling I was getting when I was drinking.
So, that’s no more hangovers.
Relaxation is the next one I want to talk about.
I’ve never felt so relaxed.
People talk about drinking to relax, and it’s another one of those things that we build up this picture of what alcohol does for us, and that happens to be one of those things.
Think back to the first drink you ever had in your life.
When you took that first sip, did you think to yourself ‘I feel so relaxed now. Unbelievable. I don’t know what this feeling is’? You didn’t.
We just don’t do that.
The first thing you think of is ‘what the fuck is this?’
My first feeling when I tasted it, was that it tasted like vomit with petrol in it.
I had tasted petrol before but I don’t know how.
I think as a young boy, you dabble into these things.
I think that’s one of the reasons we start drinking and smoking.
Anyway, that was the first feeling.
I was with a friend of mine, in our backyard.
We had like a tent made up.
It was like a rickety old shed we’d built out of cra
p. The point was that that was my first impression, of petrolly vomit going into my mouth.
But I couldn’t say I wasn’t drinking it to him.
We were drinking for a purpose, to grow up.
To feel like we were adults.
And it wasn’t adult-like to turn it back.
You see adults around you drinking all the time, so if you’re not drinking it, then there’s something wrong with you.
I couldn’t tell him that.
He was probably having similar thoughts as me anyway.
My point is that the last thing that was on your mind when you were drinking was ‘how relaxed I feel all of a sudden. I’ve never seen this before. What is this stuff? I must do this again’.
You don’t do that at all.
Relaxation comes into it much later.
It becomes a part of your routine, and you become accustomed to it.
You discover that you can relax.
It’s not something that’s has always been there, it’s something you built in your head over the time you were drinking.
It’s when you stop drinking that you realise a lot of these things about your drinking life.
You start comparing life before and after drinking.
You will discover, if you haven’t yet, that you don’t need to relax as much anymore because you’re not as anxious anymore.
That’s mainly why people an to relax, because they’re anxious, and they want to get out of anxiety into relaxation.
So, if you’re relaxed, you don’t need to relax.
That’s the way I feel more in my life now.
I’m much more relaxed and less anxious.
I don’t need to relax more. I’m already relaxed.
That’s the problem with drinkers.
Drinkers need to relax because they are a lot more anxious in their whole outlook.
The alcohol causes that.
The alcohol is a direct cause and effect factor in them feelin
g anxious in the first place.
People need to relax because they have this complete anxiety, which is building up, and the more people drink, the more they have to drink.
The more people consume alcohol, the more anxious they’re going to get.
The more you get into this, the more you need to drink, the more shit is happening in your life because of your alcohol drinking, the more your body is reacting to it and causing you anxiety.
You’re getting anxiety from many different directions and not just the alcohol.
It’s not the alcohol that’s at fault here, it’s your body’s reaction.
It’s the way your mind reacts to it.
It’s the way all of this affects your life around you, how others react to you; how you are reacting to others, how you are reacting to your work and your life.
Alcohol changes you from the inside out.
As soon as alcohol gets into your body, you start to change.
This is the problem.
This is where you have to deal with it.
Living the benefits of an alcohol free life means you are not as anxious as you were, so you don’t have this same type of anxiety anymore.
You don’t need to relax as much.
The third big thing is sleep.
This is one of the big things that will change in your life. When you drink, you don’t get a good sleep because of the alcohol.
Your body is on red alert.
All the security systems are kicking in.
Your body is there underneath trying to get rid of this toxin, changing one toxin to another, and so on.
It tries to battle the effects of alcohol.
When alcohol gets into your system, your body can only deal with one unit of alcohol per hour, which is about half a glass of wine or beer.
The rest of the alcohol that we put into our bodies is firing around.
Your body is trying to fight against that.
It’s like a wildfire.
You fight one fire here, and another one breaks out.
You need someone else to put that out.
Your body is trying to fight these fires all the time.
Your body tries to do it as you sleep. One of the ways your body can deal with this is to put you in as much of a comatose state, just to get you out of the way as much as possible.
It cannot deal with the immense amount of toxin you’ve just put in it while keeping you conscious at the same time.
You don’t go into a sleep, it’s a coma state.
Your body underneath is not sleeping.
There’s no recuperation about this sleep.
You’re not getting the sleep you need.
You’re not getting the sleep when you don’t drink alcohol.
You have trouble going to sleep, and then you might have a restless sleep.
So, you’re getting to the cycle of either drinking or not drinking when you go to sleep and either getting into a coma state where you’re not getting the recuperation that you need, or you’re having a fitful sleep because your body is not used to going to sleep without the alcohol.
Once you get out of that, out of the fitful state of a restful sleep – it took me about a month before I was on a very level sleep again, where I was able to have full night’s sleep without that recuperative sleep that I hadn’t had in a long time. Once you get over that, your sleep will be much better than it ever was before.
Again, it’s one of those things I can go back to one of the closest approximations of this; it’s when I eat a heavy meal and my body is trying to digest the food while I’m asleep.
I wake up during the night, and I won’t have as restful a sleep.
But again, it’s nowhere near the type of sleep I was losing for years when I was drinking.
There are so many other benefits.
The benefits to your relationships.
People say it’s a social thing to drink, but there’s nothing social about it.
Taking any drug is a selfish act.
The more you take this drug, the more into yourself you get, the more you give to other people.
When you don’t drink, you socialise for the sake of being with the people that you want to be with, not for the sake of putting a toxin into your body.
Financially, you’ll just be much better off.
I’ve saved in the region of 60 grand, and that’s just on the money that I would have spent on alcohol and all the other shit that I was spending money on because of drinking.
That’s not taking into account the opportunity cost, the money I could have earned with a clear mind.
It’s just like night and day between the type of business I’m building now, and the type I was trying to do before I stopped drinking.
It’s not the same level of commitment
going into it, the same levels of thought or care.
All those things are going into the business I’m growing now, and not the one I had before.
How can you, when your mind is so distracted by self-caused ill health.
You know it’s self-caused.
You might try and push it down, try and drink over the cracks in your mind.
But that kind of drinking makes those cracks wider.
It doesn’t fix them.
The only way to fix those cracks is to stop the drinking.
Stop the toxification of yourself.
Stop the self-sabotage.
When you handicap yourself like that, you handicap yourself not just in any area where you’re losing money, but you’re losing so much more.
You’re losing your relationships, your health, time and a lot more.
I have so much more time on my hands, it’s unbelievable.
Even if I wasn’t trying to do stuff, I would be more productive.
I remember when I was a drinker, watching programs like Judge Judy, just looking for problems with people.
I watched program that people had so many problems that I could lift my head and say ‘at least I’m not there yet’.
Jerry Springer, I used to love it.
Those programs showed me a different type of a person who was way worse than I was.
In my mind, I was never going to get to that level.
It’s another form of excuse.
You’re talking about memories.
All the memories that I’ve dismissed over my life, lost over my life.
I’ve said this before, that the times when you finish work just boiling down to the very basics of this.
When you finish work in the evening, you have time to yourself.
This is your quality time.
What do we do? We drink.
We tend to stay in the same situation over and over again.
Only just the memories become mixed up with every other time you’ve done this thing and you can’t distinguish between one memory and another memory.
But the memories of the individual situations you have tend to disappear, because you can’t form good memories when you’re drinking.
Alcohol is one of the only things that can pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is a protective membrane wrapping up your brain.
It’s to protect you from a lot of things, a lot of bad shit in your body that you don’t want to get into your brain. That includes drugs too.
Drugs can pass through the barrier as well.
You’re talking about something which is used as a solvent to clean shit.
You put a penny into alcohol, and it will clean it up nice and bright.
That’s exactly what it does to your brain.
It cleans it up, and not in a good way.
It stops you from forming those memories.
We’re talking about all the special occasions in your life; birthdays, weddings, graduation, all those times you were supposed to be celebrating.
These are things you hold on to when you get older.
The drinker doesn’t remember any of that shit.
They remember stuff because they see photographs afterwards.
Two years down the road, they go ‘oh yeah, I remember that’.
But they don’t.
They remember the photograph.
They might remember arriving there but a lot of the stuff they don’t remember because the drink has robbed them of those memories.
Time and memories are parallel roads you get back once you quit drinking.
These are things that you get more time even though you have the same amount of time.
You do more and remember more.
The first holiday that we had down in …I think it was in October or November, I can remember a lot of details from that holiday.
When you ask me about holidays we had before I stopped drinking, I can remember very few details.
Your memory improves once you stop drinking long-term.
So, you get the double bind for your book.
You get the time you’ve gained because you don’t drink anymore, you don’t have to think about drinking anymore, you don’t have to put up with the hangovers anymore.
You gain all the time because you get up every day with a clear mind.
You can think much better about your life, about what you want to do with your life.
You can piece things together, and tomorrow, you’ll remember it.
Your knowledge will start to accumulate.
I’m not saying you don’t do this stuff, but when you’re not poisoning yourself with alcohol, it becomes a lot easier to do these things.
And, the accumulation becomes a lot wider.
So, you gained so much more time.
The last 5 years for me have just seemed like I’ve done so much more.
I’ve done so much in those years than I’ve done 15 years before.
That’s being conservative about what I’m talking about because as a drinker, you tend to do the same things.
As a non-drinker, you get bored fairly quickly and so you tend to try out new things more, go to new places, seek out new adventures and so on.
You deepen the bonds with the things you figure out you like doing.
You deepen your understanding.
Your experience expands.
Your knowledge expands.
The more you can expand your knowledge and experience, the more you get out of it and the less bored you are.
Whether it’s climbing mountains and thinking, or getting to know yourself more, or thinking of a hobby.
For me, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about my health, nutrition, and how I could form a basis of lifelong health with just choosing the right foods.
From that, I think about a bigger garden.
The idea was always to try and plant some food, greens, and other vegetables and melons.
Stuff I really like to eat and I want to grow organically.
You’re expanding all the time.
For me, gardening is not something I’m taking to naturally, but it’s a gradual process.
I will learn as I go along.
There are many good teachers that will help you with intricacies of any subject.
YouTube is good, Amazon is there as well.
I think there are going to be millions of entrepreneurs produced over the next few decades.
The way the job market is going, people don’t have that job security anymore.
People will start creating their businesses.
That’s the way I see things.
Places like YouTube will expand.
Online universities will expand.
People are trying to teach and educate themselves.
I guess the idea about this video is to talk about living the benefits.
It’s alright talking about the benefits of drinking from this perspective before you stop drinking.
You can think about these things, but you don’t really get what’s happening because at the beginning there’s a bit of fear about what’s going to happen in future.
There’s a fear about all different aspects of life.
It stops you from really seeing the potential that’s available to you once you stop.
That potential is there, and it’s only through experience that you get an understanding of that.
When you’re starting this journey, you’re starting with a drinker’s brain and mentality.
So much of that has to change in order for you to become alcohol-free permanently.
I think you can do a fairly good job of that in two or three months.
I think if you start out with the right mindset, you can take on this very quickly.
By 3 months, you should be able to get to a stage where you’re thinking ‘I never want to drink again’.
That’s my whole purpose in this, to try and get you to think about things from that perspective.
Once you start doing that, and the benefits start to show themselves in your life…and everyone will get different benefits.
You can look at the benefits from those perspectives I’ve talked about.
I started out with relaxation.
With that, you have the anxiety caused by the alcohol.
Once the anxiety levels lower and you start to expand and think about how to improve yourself, the anxiety levels will lower.
You become much more relaxed as a person.
You won’t need to take anything to relax.
Sleep is another thing, you will naturally go to sleep and you don’t need to take anything.
You will wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
With the finances, relationships, and so many other areas of your life.
These are the general areas were you find improvements, but every single person will find theirs slightly different.
You live the life where you feel happy and content.
You discover something that was holding you back, and now that you’ve released yourself, that you can push forward into almost anything you want to do.
That’s the beauty about stopping this one vital thing in your life, this one poisonous aspect.
It’s like moving yourself from the city into the country.
You get so many benefits from different aspects that you didn’t think were possible.
Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section.
Thank you very much for sticking it out these past 365 days. I don’t know what’s next but I have a few ideas.
I’ll still be doing this, it’s not going to stop because I finished the challenge.
I’ll talk about it tomorrow.
Until tomorrow, take care.
If you want to come over to the website, you can get our starter pack which is a lot of videos to try and help you get over the initial stage, the first 30 days, and then the 90 days; to give you the opportunity to put your own propaganda in your own mind.
Hope you got something out of this video.
Until next time, take care and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
Congratulations Kevin. Well done on completing the videos.
Excellent one today as always.
I particularly like how you explained about alcohol causing anxiety and making it worse.
Doctors don’t talk about this enough.
Wow, 365 days 1 year, bloody hell that went quick and I’ve learnt so much. Kevin, l would just like to thank you for all of your wonderful videos, your personal correspondence with me and your general support, without it l reckon l would be back on the grog just through bloody boredom but l get a daily reminder re the evils of Alcohol it is now entrenched in my brain and shall remain there till l die.
Good luck to you and your family,
Best wishes, wonderful thoughts.
Craig Fawcett. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Good one Kevin! In my second month now and I do have moments of peace and feel glimpses of excitement for the future.. It’s good to hear your perspective on the benefits of living a booze free life and it gives me hope to keep an open mind and allow all this good stuff into my life. Every day I walk further from my old life and the shadow of booze is becoming faint. thanks
I would like to thank you Kevin for these videos. I can’t believe it’s been 1 year already. I always look forward to watching your daily videos. I’ve been AF now for 17 months and if it wasn’t for the help and the inspiration of you I probably wouldn’t have made it this far. I have learned so much in this last 17 months about alcohol than I have learned in my lifetime. I do only have one regret is that why I didn’t quit sooner.
All the best and thank you so much.
Paul Swiech. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Massive congrats dude! Huge accomplishment. Honestly, I had serious doubts a year ago when you said you were going to do a video/talk/hike every single day of the year. I thought there was no way that was possible, but you did it! You definitely inspired me to set bigger goals beyond quitting drinking (over a year for me now). Still getting something out of your talks and appreciate your commitment to this project. Very, very important work amigo. Keep on going!
Thank you man, for your commitment of 365 days of these wonderful, and very helpful, informative videos.
I personally am indebted to you, and really appreciate what you do.
Thanks for saving my life.
Thanks for all the Vids Kev
Great messages today Kev. Nearly 3 years for me now. You really ‘get it’ – your insights have helped me greatly.
For years I have been existing every day using only a small part of my brain power and my capacity to enjoy life and help to make others happy. The transformation in my life has been truly amazing. I am so grateful and aim to help others who have also fallen prey to the false promises of alcohol. The benefits of stopping alcohol have been much greater than I had ever anticipated. Your level of understanding is truly phenomenal. I read your messages every day – I am usually awake when they drop in. I now have so much more thinking and living time. I have my life back. Yesterday I got a much improved consultant report on my health and should avoid a transplant. It is unlikely I will have a full life expectancy but it will certainly be Quality time. It has taken three years to see real recovery in many ways – but for ‘waking up’ to my self-inflicted slow suicide I am certain I would be dead by now and would have died in pain and squalor having created a memory of misery for all. I had an Olympic standard commitment to auto-destruction. I should have chosen a different hobby!
So Kev Onwards and upwards – I doubt you will ever know the full extent of the good you do. Every good wish to you and your family. Take care and God bless you.