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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Weaker

by | Stop Drinking Alcohol | 3 comments

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…what bullshit.

What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.

Today, I want to talk about the statement or quotation from Nietzsche: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Nietzsche was a philosopher who lived in the twentieth century.

He actually died at a very young age from syphilis.

Syphilis didn’t make him any stronger.

It weakened and eventually killed him.

That’s just one point.

I’m not saying that tough times don’t make the man, that’s what the old statement says.

I think you can learn if you go through tough times and gain stuff from them, but it’s not just a general statement that falls for everything.

I’ve heard people talking about this with alcohol saying as they drink more, they get stronger and their immune system is getting stronger in order to beat the alcohol.

That by drinking more, they get an immunity to the alcohol.

Complete bullshit.

That’s not how the whole system works.

Your body is giving you tolerance to alcohol because it’s trying to save your life, its basic aim is to get you through the day, to make you as fully functional as you can be as a human.

When you put alcohol into your body, it makes you less functional, makes you drunk, makes you open to all sorts of attacks from both outside and inside your body.

You can’t think straight.

It just brings you down and doesn’t give you the fully functional aspect that you should have.

Tolerance achieves that by dampening the effects of the alcohol.

You start off, you drink 2 pints of alcohol and the whole world starts spinning, you feel drunk.

As an 18 year old, you’re probably in company where you’re fairly well protected. If you’re in a club, you’re protected by the club staff, if at home, you’re protected by family.

You have your friends around you so you’re protected.

Most in general you will be protected.

This kind of shit happens in the wild, as we have evolved to be in the open and in the elements and wild animals around.

It could be a cold or hot place, you could fall and collapse on the ground, you could freeze to death, dehydrate, boil yourself to death or whatever.

Being in this state in the normal situation without false reality, then you’re at big risk of having an injury.

You’re at big risk of something bad happening t you.

Your body allows a certain amount of tolerance so the next time you drink, you can drink a little bit more.

It’s not meant for that.

The next time two pints of alcohol come into you, the next time this toxin comes into your body, that your body will be better able to deal with it.

The same amount of alcohol won’t cause you the same symptoms.

This is the way we have to look at these things.

When you take a toxin into your system, you’re getting symptoms of alcohol poisoning.

Pure and simple.

So, this is not what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, it’s your body survival mechanism kicking in and trying to keep you alive.

But, what we do is we drink more of this stuff, so we gradually increase the dosage because we can.

I remember being that age and thinking ‘I’d love to be able to drink 5 pints’ when I could only drink 2, and when i could drink 5, I’d think it could be great to be able to drink 10 pints and not look like a complete idiot in front of all my mates.

I remember saying to a guy, one of our old forestry colleagues, he was close to retirement, maybe 60, and I remember a really bad hangover, and the guy said ‘how many pints did you have?’ and I said ‘probably 10 pints, and he said ‘I’m only starting doing that’.

Two years later, this guy had a heart attack and gave up the alcohol, and he was preaching the other side of it.

It’s what we all do, I suppose.

That was a type of conditioning that we all have to put up with.

It’s social pressure.

You’ve got the big and the little monster.

The little monster is all in your head.

If I listen to what this guy is saying as a rational, grown up, adult human being.

I’ve seen a lot and done a lot of things in my life, and there’s a 6 year old guy who’s baiting me like he’s 20, and he’s 6, but that’s banter.

This is what happens.

That’s all it is, words.

If I let this guy’s statements get to my head, it’s me that’s doing it, not him.

He’s just saying words.

I probably said the same thing myself in times past.

So, we have what we call ‘conformation bias’ which is a bias towards believing what we want to believe.

We listen to things we want to see, things that uphold our beliefs, or the beliefs we’re trying to instil in ourselves.

We’ll listen to evidence for that and ignore evidence against that.

It’s just the way we are.

I’d rather get my strength from strength.

Not from having traumatic events.

I’ve gone through trauma.

When I was drinking, it definitely didn’t make me stronger because I could turn around, drink more alcohol and just drown my traumas in alcohol.

It made me weaker.

When my wife died, that destroyed me as a person.

It was inevitable.

You can’t do anything about somebody’s death.

You have to go through it.

You have to go through the grieving process.

It’s something we have to go through as humans.

But when you short circuit the process by drinking alcohol or taking drugs…I remember going down to the doctor’s a few days after and saying ‘I can’t handle this’.

I was distraught and I wanted her to give me some pills.

I’d never taken pills, I wasn’t a pill guy.

I mean I’ve taken a lot of different drugs, but I wouldn’t go down to the doctor for an aspirin. Anyway, different story.

I was trying to get her to give me anti-depressants, something to take away the pain.

She said ‘Look, I’ll give you a sleeping pill to help you tonight, but I can’t give you a whole dose, I can’t put you on to those’.

She was a good doctor and she really saw through hat I was doing.

She knew I was a heavy drinker, and it’s common sense.

You don’t want someone mixing alcohol with barbiturates or whatever they are, when they’re in a fragile state of mind.

I turned more to alcohol because I couldn’t eat, I didn’t want to think about anything.

All I wanted to do was block out my feelings.

And, I upped my scale of drinking to a whole new level, and I did that for months.

There was my son, I had to look after him.

It was a difficult time, but it definitely didn’t make me stronger.

So, from that aspect, I’d rather get strength from what I’m doing now.

I got drinking out of my life, I’m looking at other ways I can improve myself every day.

I’m looking at different things I can do to make myself feel good.

To improve the lives of the people I care about and those are the areas where I believe you gain the most strength from.

From your achievements, from building your self-confidence, from the good things in life.

When I’m talking about the good things in life, I’m not talking about having shit, going places, I’m talking about internal stuff where you’re building your reservoir of your bank account, of self-confidence, willpower, inner strength.

So, yeah, I think what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.

What makes you stronger is your actions, thoughts, choices, decisions, what you do right now from this moment.

Forget the past and whatever has gone on in your life.

There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, it’s futile to even think that you can change the past.

To believe the past has any relevance on today.

I really think you build strength from strength, from doing, from learning, from educating yourself about yourself primarily, about how your brain ticks, how your thoughts work, your particular thoughts.

None of us have the same sort of pattern, we have different things.

There are similarities, but in general, we have slightly varied thoughts, and you have to understand yourself.

That’s where you get strength from, it’s from learning about yourself and your environment and how your environment is controlling you, how it’s affecting your mind.

This is where you build your strength.

You build on foundations that have gone before.

If you start out, start in little steps.

You can’t do it in big steps.

Take one step after another in the right direction.

This is all good.

This is how to progress, it’s to take things from this perspective and to take small steps forward.

If you have any comments, leave them below or on the website.

These comments help other people.

They will see people who have gone through the same situations.

We’re all one community, so let’s help each other out.

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Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!

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  1. Will H

    Hi Kevin

    How are you? I loved the video….brilliant. Gain strength from your strength and small positive steps every day is a great tool to use. I am still on my journey and I am coming up on 6 months alcohol free. Your videos and guidance have been a tremendous help for me as I am sure they are for all who watch them. When I started out even 1, 2 or 3 months seemed so far away but small steps as you say. Now I am looking forward to a year and all the great stuff I am going to accomplish in that time. Big thanks to you Kevin.


    • Kevin O'Hara

      Congrats on the six months Will!

  2. Mick

    Hi Kevin, enjoyed the video, very useful advice about the small steps. I had depression, the depression was very real and had some external reasons, but it was also largely fueled by drinking too much alcohol, even now it pains me to admit that.
    But yes the alcohol was adding to my depression and downward spiral, it was most definitely not making me stronger. (despite giving it 20 or 30 years to build me up Ha Ha)

    The problem is when your really down and feel negative, its very hard if not impossible to imagine happy future feelings. This is probably because we have a strong bias towards our current feelings, we have to have in order to survive, so when we think of future feelings they are heavily tainted by how we feel now. This is not always obvious.

    But I think this is where the small steps work, if you don’t fancy a 3 mile walk, walk 2 miles, if you don’t fancy that try 1 mile, if you don’t fancy that just put your shoes on. What I found was once I got my shoes on, I thought might as well walk around the block, then progressed from this. But even on occasion now I have to go back to just put your shoes on. Well trainers now I run.

    Mo Farah wont be loosing any sleep over my running. But only a few months ago I can remember walking to the village 3/4 mile and thinking wow furthest Ive walked for years.

    I am 90 days without alcohol, I just need Mo Farah to start building his strength up by drinking a couple or 3 bottles of wine a day and I’ll have him yet.
    “after all what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger” Ha Ha Ha


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