MY BATTLE WITH THE BOTTLE Part 1
I quit drinking 1 month ago yesterday.
I’ve done it before. Three times.
The first time was in 2013 when I decided that I needed to get healthy. I had a new baby, and my body was failing me. I went on a paleo diet after having multiple issues with my joint, my mind and my weight. I felt as if I was a 50-year-old in a 30-year old’s body.
I quit booze, gluten, dairy and grains & you know what happened? My life got better, I felt young again, I had energy like never before, I was happy, my anxiety went away, my depression was at all-time lows, and my family was seeing the benefits of not having a whirlwind of emotion blowing through the house every few days.
This lasted about 14 months. I got bored and started drinking again.
For the first little while, it was fine. I had a couple of businesses which kept me busy and I stayed healthy, but then I drank to much and my life got chaotic again. I gave up again for another 12 months after my second son was around 2 years old.
Once again, I did well, but I did not see the same benefits as last time so I got back on the horse sooner rather than later.
This kept going on time and time again. The third time I gave up for a year. One week after giving up I took psilocybin and met my higher self. I worked through a lot that night, and I credit this for turning my business around which at the time was in around 200 thousand dollars debt and not doing well.
I sold the business 2 years later with no debt.
I don’t think I could have done this if I was drinking.
I constantly have a voice in my mind telling me “You will never fulfill your potential if you are still drinking”. That voice has been there since I started getting serious about life. This voice has never left me and I knew it never would.
The first 30 years of my life was just one big party. I had a lot of fun in that time. I gave no shits, I drank, took drugs, made friends, met interesting people and explored the human universe. I don’t regret anything from that time, but deep down I know that I was like that because I didn’t believe that I was special. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of another persons love and devotion. I felt uncomfortable being the center of attention. I felt uncomfortable walking in to a room or talking to someone else.
I hid it well. I hid all my emotions well because inside I was in turmoil and the only thing that would save me was being around others, keeping busy and altering my consciousness with drugs and alcohol.
In my late 20’s I discovered psychedelics and my mind began to change. I started asking myself questions and my mind started wondering if all this shit that we do is really worth it? Do I care what other people think? Do I care about this job? Do I care about money?
The last thing to go for me was the party lifestyle. It took having a baby to get there, but I still didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin, so I kept using this tool to fit in and to get over this constant feeling like I needed people to like me. The truth is, most of me knew that I really didn’t give two shits.
I’ve come full circle again. Covid happened and of course I could see the whole world was going to shit. Lock downs and human misery were being inflicted on the public over a virus which may be more contagious than the flu.
I had a hard time with this, my kids were suffering, my wife was suffering and the only solace we had was booze.
This was good fun for a time, but eventually it became a problem. Booze was my escape from this ideocracy.
I began to become increasingly ill a few months ago, my energy levels were very low, I was getting chest pains and acid reflux and my life was falling apart again.
Time was up for me and I needed to decide If I wanted to keep punishing myself.
I decided this time was for good.
I’m now one month into my new life of sobriety and I am loving it.
A few things really stuck out to me the last couple of days. One is that in previous attempts at this life I was always trying to live my party life but only through the guise of a sober individual.
I was still trying to keep up with everyone, scared of people thinking that I was boring now. Rather than just admitting I was tired and going home, I would stay out and feel miserable. I tried to be a people pleaser. Nothing had changed apart from my drinking. I was still the same gutless people pleaser that I always was, except now I didn’t have the ability to mask my displeasure with that sweet anesthetic.
I feel as if things have changed for me now. My want to talk is only there if I want it. I don’t feel obliged to have a conversation. I don’t feel uncomfortable with pauses in conversations. I don’t care what you think.
It’s like the intensity of life has been turned down from 10 to around 3 or 4.
I now start the day at 4.30am with a coffee and a walk in the dark with the dogs down at the Manly foreshore. We get to the beach and we watch the sun rise from the horizon. Then we go home.
I work out, when I get home and then get the kids breakfast before starting work for the day.
Life has gotten simpler, easier and more enjoyable. My relationship with my wife and my children has gotten better and more fulfulling.
I now have a single-minded purpose. To improve my children’s lives and to teach them how to think and to live. I want them to be happy and that is the only thing that matters to be any more.
I don’t need the nights out, the Martinis at the end of the day or the cider on a sunny afternoon. All these things are nice and relaxing, and I wish I could enjoy them, but the truth is, I can’t, and I never will be able to.
While I have potential to uncover in my life, I will never be able to “calm” my brain with booze. I would love to, but I value my family’s happiness and most importantly, my own happiness more than the former. You cannot have one without the other.