On Not Drinking and New Opportunities

Pouring beers out in my house.

Last night, I declared on Facebook that I would not be drinking anymore to my community on there. It was well received. Thanks y’all!

Today on Medium, I’m declaring that I will not be drinking anymore to this community.

I’m doing it this way, so I won’t be able to go back against my word.

Here’s why:

Back in the summer of 2011, I went on an all day bike excursion to a reservoir in Boulder, Colorado. We drank a ton of beer and I ended up getting so drunk that I fell off my bike on the ride home. Witnesses said that I didn’t put my hands out to catch myself when I fell and slammed face first into the dirt road.

I wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Thankfully, a nice lady picked me up off the side of the road (she said that God had planned for her to drive down that rode that day), and helped me get to the hospital.

The concussion doctor at CU Boulder later said that I had suffered a major concussion. On a concussion scale of 1–5 with a 1 being a minor concussion and a 5 being a major one, he said I had a level 4 concussion.

Fast forward two years later. I’m in Vietnam teaching English after graduating college. I crash my motorbike while I’m drunk and almost ripped my finger off of my hand.

There are countless stories of me being drunk and dangerous.

Countless.

I’m sure that anyone I’ve known from the age of 17–26 has a story about me being a drunk.

Two nights ago, on the night before my last day of work, I had too much to drink, fell off my bike, and woke up in the hospital. I don’t remember what happened, but apparently I was picked up by an ambulance and taken to a hospital in Austin.

That was a close one and I was very lucky. Thankfully, I wasn’t seriously hurt (except for some minor scrapes on my face).

I’m done with the “close ones” and being “lucky.”

No, I don’t drink Natural Light alone at my house or keep tons of booze around or think about drinking at all times. I live a pretty active lifestyle and sometimes I go out to drink with friends.

I just don’t know how to stop when I start and that’s a problem.

I’m 26 years old and I’m done drinking.

Honestly, there actually couldn’t be a better time for this to happen. I just put in my month’s notice at the job I’ve been at for 1.5 years and had my last day of work, yesterday. I’m beginning a new chapter in my life. I honestly don’t know how this chapter will read, but I do know that it won’t involve drinking.

I’m looking for a new job, I can go anywhere, and I’m excited to see what the next 26 years will look like without alcohol.

I’m planning on, as Kanye once said, “doing dope shit.”

Know where I can do dope shit? I like content and social media marketing, managing teams of writers, editing and publishing, product development, financial technology, working with incredibly smart and innovative teams, and outdoor life. My lease in Austin is up on May 15 and I plan to travel the southwest on My Big Gigantic Western (Sober) Adventure. I’ll also be doing a bit of contract work from the road. Shoot me en email if you’d like to talk opportunity or sobriety — Johnatkins14@gmail.com.

P.S. I don’t care how many kegs your office has or if it keeps 6-packs in the fridge. As long as I can drink my kombucha, I’ll be fine. I’ll never be able to fully control my environment, but I can fully control myself by not starting to drink again. It’s as easy (or hard) as that.

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