There are few things that I have done in my life that have challenged and changed me so radically.
There are few things that you will ever do YOUR life which will change YOUR life so radically…
Quitting putting this poison into our bodies is probably, the most monumental thing which can change the course of our lives. But, it’s only the beginning…
This journey is not just about stopping putting the alcohol in… It’s about deconstructing the quick fix, instant gratification mindset and behaviour that keep us locked into the spiralling habits that sink our futures into sad mediocrity.
Stopping putting this stuff in is the first battlecry of someone who has had enough, who wants more.
It’s that first step into a magical journey where almost anything is possible…
How’re you doing?
I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today I want to talk about the life changing magic of quitting drinking alcohol.
Quitting drinking alcohol is not about just getting rid of the alcohol.
It’s about extracting and deconstructing and pushing behind you one behaviour, and that’s the behaviour of trying to find instant gratification whether in a drink or a drug.
For most of us, it’s alcohol.
That is the form that this behaviour manifests itself in in our lives.
It could be anything else, but this one behaviour has got so any influences throughout our lives.
It has tendrils it spreads out and infects everything else, every other part of our lives.
Getting rid of this one behaviour has an effect on so many different areas of your life.
When I stopped drinking, I had the idea hat I wanted to get alcohol away from me.
It was affecting my relationship with my son.
I knew it was affecting my health and different parts of my life, but it’s not until you quit and get away from it for a while, and you’re not under the influence of the behaviour, that you start to understand how much of an effect it has.
When I stopped, it took me 6 months before I realised that there were other things I needed to change, and one of those things was my nutrition.
It took me about 8 months until I finally did.
It was about 6 months and my father went into the hospital and I realised it was his nutrition that was the reason.
I did a lot of reading, and spent a lot of time online looking for information.
My conclusion was that I wanted to take up a diet called a whole food plant based diet.
So that was one of the repercussions of me stopping drinking. It was because I was thinking like this.
I was thinking about change and looking for changes.
Another part of my life which I think would have happened anyway, but a lot slower, was reinventing what I do for a living.
I was already sort of in the midst of doing that when I was back in Ireland because we knew we were moving to Spain.
I was a forester in Ireland.
There are trees around here, but nowhere near the same amount, and nowhere near the growth in forests in Ireland.
I knew I wasn’t going to do it over here.
Apart from the fact that I didn’t want to do it physically, I was tired of lugging a chainsaw around and just spending my time in white dumb forests.
So I spent a lot of time working out how to get some money in Spain.
That was definitely going to be online because I figured that if we didn’t like it in Spain after spending a year, I could move and it wouldn’t affect my business.
But a year after we moved here, I stopped drinking, and the growth I’ve seen in my learning skills and opportunities, in all the things that I have happened since I stopped drinking, has just grown exponentially.
I just feel like time has slowed down.
I have more time to do more things nowadays.
I have more energy to do more things.
I have more memory and more money.
2 and 2 just now adds up to 4.
There are a lot more when you add these things together, the cumulative effect of these things all at once is just a lot greater than they would be on their own.
This is one of the areas I can say that my life has improved. There are a lot of other areas as well where my life improved because I got rid of the one behaviour.
The magic of quitting drinking.
When you take a look at everything involved in life in general, and everything that alcohol drinking takes away, the thinking is improved massively.
The thinking is the root of everything.
Once you think straight, you can act a much more determined and focused way.
Once you start actin in determined and focused ways, you start to think better and clearer, and it just becomes a more vigorous, positive circle when you’re spiralling upwards instead of downwards.
If I take just that one element in thinking, and how much it has just altered in many different paths…
I think about things from the perspective of…I’ve drunk for most of my adult life.
I drank for most of the life that I can remember.
I’ve been a drinker before I could actually be a drinker.
My first drink was at 12.
I can’t remember much before I was 12, so most of my memories are of me as a drinker, only the last 4 years are not.
So, it was always in that vein that I was a drinker.
This is who I was as a person.
One of the things that have happened since I stopped giving it thoughts is that I no longer think in that way.
I know that just because I thought something before, doesn’t mean to say that I have to continue thinking about it.
It’s the same thing with all this stuff with alcohol mastery.
Some of the things I thought in the beginning, some of the videos I made, I look back at some of the things I’ve said, I think they were wrong, or they just evolved and changed and probably will again.
But it’s that understanding that there’s nothing wrong with change, and if you don’t change your thinking along with the knowledge you’re thinking…so you’re getting better knowledge about yourself and your environment and about what’s good for you, and you’re changing your thinking along those lies.
If you stick with your thinking just because you’ve thought it in your past, you’re doing yourself a massive injustice.
One of the things that have really changed in my outward views, is the fact that I focus my energy now on goals, both long term and short term.
I had goals before, but I can’t remember them.
They were just really wishy-washy, so a vague hope that one day I’d get there.
Things like that.
I didn’t have a plan.
I saw myself really when I had images of myself sitting beside a fire on a Sunday afternoon, in a pub drinking a pint of Guinness with a flat cap and the overcoat and just behaving in that way; seeing myself as the old guy sat in the corner in a pub.
That’s the way I think I saw myself eventually.
Now I don’t see that at all.
I see myself when I’m 70 or 80 still travelling.
I want to do a lot of travelling.
I see myself as still learning and doing things completely different from what I’m doing now.
To be honest, I haven’t thought that far ahead.
I’m thinking 10 years ahead now, so when I’m 60, what do I want to be?
I want to be fitter than I am now.
That’s my goal.
If I had not thought this previously, I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.
I would have thought to myself that it declines as you get older.
It’s not something you do that changes things.
I’m trying to learn from many different aspects of myself now.
I’m trying to improve my nutrition, my exercise and still be a lazy bastard.
I don’t like exercising a lot.
I don’t like running.
I’m not really into doing stuff like that.
I love walking, but I’m no into cycling, or 10-mile run.
I’m not into having a goal of running a marathon.
I used to be but I knew it was never going to happen.
It was something I was never into all my life.
My goals are trying to fit in to what I believe in myself.
Yoga is a perfect example of that.
It’s something that is really going to show its benefits the older you get.
It strengthens your bones and makes your tendons a lot more supple.
It does a lot for your breathing.
So that’s one area I want to focus on.
I want to focus on nutrition and the best kind for me now and in 10 years time because that’s going to change.
It’s learning and developing that as I go on.
But none of this would have been possible if I hadn’t stopped drinking alcohol.
It was the common denominator with all my ills.
Not only was I causing so much physical and mental damage to myself, causing myself damage in my wider circle of life, with my relationship with my partner, my son, my work and the people I worked with, it has an onward impact on everything in your life.
But it also had a preventative modality as well where I couldn’t focus my mind on other things that needed my attention.
The best analogy I can come up with is that when you’re drinking, your body is able to process one unit of alcohol per hour.
Your liver is able to metabolize that 1 unit per hour, and your liver has got so much more to do.
It’s the place that stores the glucose in your body, the place that has a lot to do with regulating the glucose, it filters your blood, it just does so many different, essential tasks, but when it’s metabolizing alcohol, it can only metabolize the alcohol.
It can’t do all these other jobs.
So, your life is like that.
When you’re drinking, the rest of your life is suffering in just the same way.
While you’re drinking alcohol, while you’re drunk, while you’re overcoming the consequences, there are so many other things you can be doing with your life.
Life is very short.
You never know when you’re going to go. You never know what will happen around the corner.
It all boils down to one thing: the life changing magic of quitting alcohol.
It has allowed me to see myself as a growing person instead of the stagnating person that I had become at 45 years of age.
Stagnated and just doing nothing with my life and going downhill.
Since I stopped drinking, slowly but surely and gradually, my life has just taken an upwards trajectory.
And I’ve seen myself now in a different light, I see myself as a person who can and is capable of growth.
I can be whoever I want to be.
There are limitations, but most of them are the ones you put on yourself.
I’ll stop it there.
If you have any more questions, leave them down below.
Come on over to the website, we have loads of videos, the forum.
There will be so much more coming in the next few months.
I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
DON’T JUST GO THROUGH LIFE, GROW THROUGH LIFE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!
Good one Kevin! Inspirational.
Suggest you do give cycling another try as it is actually much like your walking in that you can get a fair amount of exercise at a reasonable pace, and it is pretty gentle on your joints. I roll along my way at a pretty easy pace, and if need be, I will get off and walk up some hills. Just a really nice way to explore the world and it is easy to stop and investigate interesting people and places along the way. Also, it forces you to be aware of your surroundings and live in the moment. And when you are exploring new places, you never know what might be waiting around that next bend in the road. Much like quitting the drink in that regard! Maybe a theme there?
My journey started about 4 years ago, when I became fully aware that slowly my body was falling apart. I had no doubts that alcohol was a big factor in this. So things had to change. I started running, 3 times a week. I really had to force myself to be consistent but I made it through the first year. I was loosing weight and my fitness was improving but not as much I hoped for. I cut down on my drinking but still was not able to quit completely. I also had problems banning the bad food from my diet since I kept longing for fat and salty food. So after two years of running I stopped drinking. I managed to do so for half a year but during a holiday I gave in and within no time I was drinking as much as
I did before. All this time I kept running. I became aware of pains in my upper right flank during runs after having had a few beers the night before.
And these pains really made me run worse than running after a few days without alcohol. I didn’t feel fit. 3 years has passed since I started running, and in this period I started to realize that my husband, family, friends and colleagues would never stop drinking, so my new objective was to deal with that. I stopped drinking again on the 1st of november last year. My husband has accepted my choice and does not discourage me. I am thankful for that, but actually I don’t really care for his opinion on this matter any more. I have made my choice.
After I quitted, I had a few months of an upset digestion and sugar cravings. My bowles seemed to have calmed down now and a few weeks ago I stopped eating food with added sugars (in my case primarily cookies and sweets). And yes, I feel better than ever but also know that there is still a lot of work to do. I now have the feeling that I am getting too obsessed with health and fitness, so I want to put my attention on more intellectual topics now. My head has cleared up considerably so my next objective is to concentrate on my learning skills and to bring theory to practice. Let me try to get rid of the irrational fears I drank away for such a long time.
So I suppose I just want to say that indeed it is never ending journey, but you learn how to do it along the way. Kevin, your website really helped me, especially on the bad days, so keep up the good work. Cheers, Marleen