Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 52 – One Year On! (Transcript)
How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery. This is Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 52.
One year on since I quit drinking. Just a short one this week because I’m doing a video about what I’ve learnt during the first year since I’ve quit drinking. It’s gonna be a bit of a long one so if you’re gonna watch get yourself a cup of coffee or a pot of coffee. Hopefully, it will be of some value to you. I’ll put a link down below as soon as it’s done.
I was a bit apprehensive before Christmas about facing the whole holiday season without alcohol. And to be honest, it went without a hitch. The topic of alcohol did come up on several occasions. Mostly my sisters wanted to know exactly what I was doing. They were very inquisitive about the website. One of them had even had a look at some of the videos, which was a bit embarrassing to say the least. Not because I don’t want them to see what I’m doing but it’s just one of those things. It’s much more difficult, I think, to show it to your family than it is to strangers, just to put it up online. But I got good reviews. You can’t go wrong when your sister gives you a good review!
The Spirit of Christmas and the New Year
All in all, I have to say I really, really enjoyed the whole atmosphere of it all, Christmas and the New Year. I really got into the spirit of things. I know it sounds a bit corny but the only spirits I’ve ever got into before is the 40% proof type. But I had a good time. It was surprisingly good.
Throughout the whole season I didn’t have one time when I thought I wanted to drink. Actually the only time I did think about drinking at all was when my son sent me a message that night he’d missed his flight. It wasn’t because he missed his flight. It flashed across my mind for the briefest of seconds. And really it was because I’d spent so much time looking forward to him coming over and the immediate thing that flashed in front of my mind was that he wasn’t coming over. That I wasn’t going to see him all over Christmas and that he’d be sat on his own in his flat with all his mates gone to their own homes and he’d be on his own over Christmas.
All that flashed through my mind within a couple of seconds and once that had gone and I thought, jeez I got to look and book a new flight. Everything was grand. Even my sister said it to me, I think I’ve said it before. She said that when I called her because my credit card wouldn’t work online so I had to call my sister to get her to book a flight for me. I told her, and she said, “Don’t be drinking now.”
But yeah everything turned out well. I booked a flight for him and he got the flight the same day, but he had to take two flights. He had to make a stopover in Madrid, so he spent all night awake in Madrid for his troubles. But when he arrived, all was forgiven, so.
An Alcohol-Free Christmas with my Son
We went out a lot. We went out walking loads. I think I’ve done more walking with him over the week he was over here than ever before, in a one week period anyway. We talked a lot, we chatted a lot about different things, including his plans for the future and he was asking me about how I was going on and all this kind of stuff.
He didn’t hardly drink at all. I was afraid of that before he came over, because I know he likes to drink, and I was afraid that he’d get over here and he’d just wanna go out and stuff on a bender. He didn’t. I didn’t see him drunk once even. When we went to my sister’s and nobody seemed drunk. I don’t know if it was me, whether just because I was drunk on all those occasions before that it seemed like everyone else was. Or, I wanted it to seem like everyone else was, if you know what I mean.
The first slurred words that I heard from his mouth was when he got home – he left on New Year’s Eve. It was planned like that because just to let him go home and have a bit of crack with his mates over there. You know, it’s a better New Year’s celebration for New Year’s than being with his old man. I called him in the evening just to make sure he’d arrived home safely and to wish him Happy New Year. It was only then that I heard him slurring his words and not too badly either. I spoke to him the next day and he did say he’d had a skinfull.
A Good Influence and How Christmas Used to Be
I was there so many years. But the big thing I can take from it is that I think I had a good influence on him. Not only because I wasn’t drinking and he said how much better I looked and how much he was thankful for that, which I’m delighted about. But also because I just didn’t have drink around the house. I mean, Esther still had a few glasses of wine over Christmas. She doesn’t drink that much. But there wasn’t any massive amounts of drink around the place, so I really have to ask myself the question whether I was encouraging him to drink in Christmas in the past, I think that’s a big thing.
It was just before Christmas even started I’d stock up the place with plenty of drinks, and it all had to be drank between the time that we started the sessions before Christmas and by the time everyone went back to work after Christmas. So, it’s no wonder we start the New Year with such massive hangovers.
Life Lessons from Quitting Alcohol
I’ve learned so much in the last year since I quit drinking, and most of that has to do with obviously not having alcohol inside my system anymore and just being capable of doing so much more with my life. I’d hate to think where I would be now if I hadn’t stopped drinking. I don’t even want to think about it, the possibilities are sort of endless anyway so there’s no point. But, the main thing is that I feel like I’m outside of that horrendous loop that I was in, the vicious cycle I was in for so many years and I feel like finally I’m completely free of it. I felt that sort of – not immediately, but – I sort of felt it coming on, I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know where it was gonna lead me. I was completely unsure about everything at the beginning.
Like I said, when I look back at some of the earlier videos, I’m sort of shocked at where I was or the space that I was in. Where my head was, sort of the damage that I’d done. It was shocking. And that kind of thing was looking back is a great thing to do for everyone, because honestly if you’ve got pictures of yourself before you’ve quit and then look back at them after a few months, you really see the difference. And it’s scary from one perspective but worth it from another. It’s completely educational; it opens up your eyes to the real damage that you’re doing to yourself.
One of the personal lessons that I’ve learned is that it’s not an easy process by no means. It’s a hard thing to get through. But, all the symptoms and the side effects and the cravings and all that crap doesn’t last long and it’s mostly inside your head. There’s outside influences but the only thing you can really control is what’s going on inside and how you react to things. It’s not an easy process, but as I said, it’s well well worth it. After a year there’s no way I’d go back on the alcohol, and it’s completely because I’ve changed my whole mind-set. It’s not just because I don’t drink anymore and I feel healthy because of that, but it’s because I know exactly the damage that it was doing to me, so I couldn’t do it now. I couldn’t go back.
Improvements All Around
I feel much better about the way that I’m conducting my own life. Talking about conducting it, I feel that I am in control of it and capable of conducting my own life again, whereas before, it was just that vicious, horrible looping circle that I just couldn’t get out of.
Everything has improved. I can’t name one aspect of my life that hasn’t improved.
My health I feel 100% better. Still a long way to go, I still can see the improvements that I wanna make, but at least I can see those improvements now. It’s not all about being hungover and that masking everything else. That’s lifted now and I’ve no longer got that so I can feel the problems now. I can feel where I have to do some work and which direction I have to go.
My financial problems have all but disappeared. They’re not financial problems anymore, it was more worries. I’ve never been a spendthrift or spending or into buying shit or anything like that. Mostly it was to do with worrying because I didn’t know where my life was going to, so if you don’t know where that’s going then you’re thinking, “Jesus, where am I gonna be in ten years’ time?” If I feel this way now, if I feel this bad now, where am I gonna be when I’m feeling ten years worse?
Another area that’s really improved is my memory. The year just seems to go fair, I’ve taken on the slow-down aspect. It just hasn’t sped by previous years. Mostly because I’ve been participating in every part of my life instead of just being like a drunken passenger where most of the time I’ve — I don’t even know how to describe it now. Just a horrible way of living. Tripping all the time. Half-asleep, in a dream world. It’s not even a world where you dreaming, it’s a world where everything is spinning.
Other areas that have improved: relationships. Relationships are a two-way thing. When you’re drinking it’s a fairly selfish past-time, so when you’re not drinking anymore you’ve got a lot more time, a lot more patience, a lot more willingness to give, so your relationships are definitely gonna improve, not only close relationships but your social relationships. So yeah, everything has improved.
A Word of Thanks
So that’s Stop Drinking Alcohol Week 52. One year since I’ve quit drinking.
Thank you to everybody for all the comments that you left both on YouTube and on the website. Thanks to all the people that have subscribed to the channel, that have subscribed to the newsletter. I appreciate every single one of the sentiments of encouragement that I’ve received during the year from people who are on the same journey or who have every intention of getting on the same journey. So thanks to everyone.
Up Next on Alcohol Mastery
Next week is a start of a brand new year on the site. We’re talking a little bit about that. Then, I’ll tell you about some of my plans for the site. If you’ve got any questions at all, if you’ve got any suggestions about what you’d like to see me include, either on the site or in the content please let me know. Don’t assume that somebody else is going to ask the question or make the suggestion. I’m open to anything, open to all comers.
Like I said, doing a video in the next couple of days on the things that I’ve learned over the past year so I’ll leave the link down below for that.
Until next time…
I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
Onwards and upwards!
Thanks for visiting the site.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!