What 1 Month of No Alcohol Did for Me
A selfish, subjective, politically incorrect & grammatically incorrect reminiscence with an unnecessary long subtitle.
At 24 years old, you probably wonder/wondered — ‘Shouldn’t I be having as much fun as possible with my spare time?’
Uh…Yep, pretty obvious. I’m not about wasting my 20s doing activities that don’t interest me, or doing things where I wish I were doing something else. I still live by that everyday. Unfortunately, for my health, one of my many vices and pastimes is drinking. A lot. Of. Drinking. I drink with my family, my friends and here’s where the main problem was — alone.
Drinking alone says a lot about who you are to everyone else except you, because you’re drinking to eleviate yourself from whatever you are feeling — could be due to boredome, loneliness, depression, family problems etc. So in a way you don’t really know what harm you are doing to yourself (again, subjective here) and with regards to the ‘off switch’ effect it has on depression, anxiety and all the other fun stuff that comes with life. I did a pretty good job in keeping my independent drinking hush hush from the majority of my friends and family but my younger brother started to see me a certain way, which then effected my ability to be a good influence (duh). That fucking bothered me the most. I also made excuses to myself not to spend time on my real hobbies/side projects... you can see where this is going…
So let me get to the day that made me realise I was not on a good path:
One day, mid-last month (The summary)
Drunkness level — 0/10
- I started drinking with my parents at 11am (Calm down — it was a champagne breakfast, my family are not a bunch of alcoholics)
Drunkness level — 3/10
- I then almost finished a bottle of Gin with 2 friends at the dam (dam/n delicious) 1–5pm
Drunkness level — 7/10
- I then met up with another 2 homies for ‘dinner’ and had an excessive amount of Jaegerbombs (its what the cool kids are drinkin’ nowadays) 5:30pm — 8pm
Drunkess level — 9/10
- According to my friends, I then insisted we head to a different part of town where the bars close really late and ended up acting a fool at two bars who didn’t want to close, but I insisted they’d stay open, which eventually got me banned from both bars. (BT Dubbs — I don’t remember any of this to this day.)
Drunkness level — Amnesia/10
- Ended up falling asleep at around 3am in the same clothing and woke up with my shoes on at 8:30am.
BONUS DOUCHEBAG POINTS — This all happened on a SUNDAY NIGHT.
Side note, this wasn’t the first time I got too drunk to remember what happened. A similar thing happened a few weeks before with family. So that was strike one.
I went to see the doctor that day to ask what was the best way to quit drinking without getting ill. Notice that I didn’t want to quit drinking completely (I enjoy it socially, and I think its more than okay to have a few glasses of loud-mouth soup to destress and treat yowself around like-minded people.) This isn’t an alcohol prevention essay, I noticed I had a problem with drinking alone, and I made a decision to fix it at the core — mind and body.
After 20 minutes explaining all the above to my doctor, and after listing to 20 minutes of horrific stories of people around my age getting into similar situations, he suggested I quit completely for a month and see a psychologist. So I did. Psychology didn’t really help me (To my knowledge at least.. also, I didn’t book a follow up session, so thumbs down on my part right), but damn did this month off alcohol open my eyes.
This is what I took from being sober for a month:
1. *Drumroll* — I was more productive — *Crash Cymbal*
Work- Woke up religiously at 7am everyday for the past month, taking on more responsibilities, delivering on my creative tasks with less difficulty and most of all, able to think clearly.
Music- This month, 12 full length songs were completed (production, vocals, mixing & mastering) as opposed to the 12–20 ‘beats’ I made a month that sat on my computer because of my lack of confidence that people won’t like it.
Side plug — I’m releasing the music I made during my sober month soon. With confidence too.
Business- I took on more freelance creative work, resulting in more cash.
2. I realised why I drank so much
Boredom - I realised that when I was watching TV, producing music or listening to music — I drank to make it more interesting.
Question I used to ask myself — “Why not make the boring room that you’re alone in an adventure, instead of going through it in a dull way?”
Answer - You become dependant on alcohol to make everything interesting in the long run. Dummy.
Also, most days after work was completed and Slack was closed, I saw it as a treat. However - I didn’t know my limits. While drinking a 1/3 of a bottle of whiskey on a Wednesday night might sound like a gentleman’s spa day, none of us are characters in Mad Men and its not 1954.
Depression - I’m not going to play sadboy here, but everyone has a certain amount of depression, I just dealt with mine (like alot of people) with alcohol on a regular basis.
Shame: Deteriorated Relationships & Reputation -
OH HOW WRONG I WAS.
E.g When I was out in public with friends/family in the later stages of drunkness (level 7 and above), I used to see old colleugues, aquaintances and be fearful of even saying ‘Hi’ because of how they would judge me in my state… when in fact I just came off as a dickhead because I didn’t greet them.
3. I saved a lot of money (Duh)
I spent a good amount of my earnings towards drinking, whether it was with friends/family or alone. If you do drink regularly, do yourself a favour and take note how much you spend on alcohol every month,. I could bet money (see what I did there) that you’d be surprised. Its a mindfuck actually.
Spending money on alcohol isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re starting out in your career like me and have ambitions to run a business one day, pretty sure some of that cash could be better repurposed towards your goals.
4. I know my limit (Damn well took 8 years of drinking)
This is probably one of the biggest take aways. Some people have always been gifted at knowing their limit — when to get a glass of water and get an Uber. Unfortunately, I was in the pool that constantly pushed my limit to see how much I could drink without blacking out. And guess what happened? I fucking blacked out (Thats not a win frat boys and girls). It’s all about drinking in consideration.
So look, I wasn’t an alcoholic my any means, but I realised that I was on a path directed at that scary town. Theres too much on the line for all of us —
Why make something you can control the reason why you don’t achieve your goals.
Alcohol/Vices can be a good time and I would seriously reccomend taking a month off to reset yourself if you drink similarly to what I did. I’m going to have my first drink in a few days, looking forward to it only because I appreciate it way more, and to waking up with no shoes on.
If you always had your drinking in the bag, kudos to that.