It’s been nine months today since the last day I got on the piss. The last time I took out my anger on another person. The last time I almost completely lost control.
The last occasion I drank was at a party of mutual friends. My ex-girlfriend was there and the combination was enough to deflate my self-esteem.
Needless to say at the time I was completely out of control of my actions and took it out with violence by kicking holes into walls, punching dents into people’s vehicles, basically being a complete and utter jackass.
Later that same night my ex-girlfriend gave me a call asking me to come spend the night. Being the hopeless romantic I happily obliged and ten minutes later… well that’s none of your business…
That night I asked her to go out with me again. But this time I made the promise that I wouldn’t drink. That was probably the most intelligent decision I made that night and let me explain to you why.
My biological family had a history of generational domestic violence. I had a history of going off the rails when on the drink too. So for me, it made a lot of sense that alcohol played some part in that story.
It became more obvious over the few times I had lost control that there were patterns that could very well have been responsible for my actions. It was important for me to learn that alcohol was never the reason why I was so aggressive when drunk but actually I was just really emotional in general. Alcohol just brought that side out of me.
So learning to detach myself from the misery of the jail cells, to save my previous relationships, it was a smart move for me to simply give up on the beersies altogether.
So heck yes I’m proud of that. Not drinking has had a massive impact on my outlook on a few things. It has saved me an unknown amount of dollars across the year. My flatmates used to decorate our wall unit with the bottles of previous night woes. Seeing those bottles always reminded me of the huge investment I was saving by not buying a $30 bottle of Smirnoff Vodka every couple of weeks or so.
The other thing not drinking has changed is getting my relationships back. I’ve proved to those closest to me that I’m learning from the mistakes that I’ve made. They feel more comfortable knowing that I’m not going to go overboard and it has alleviated significant anxieties of those who lived with me.
The last biggest thing that has changed for me is that I’ve learnt to respect my own limits more. See the idea was never to completely abolish drinking but instead, it was to learn to have an appreciation for not needing too. If I was feeling slightly anxious before a party, which was always, the smartest thing to do was not drink. By taking proper measures to prevent certain disgrace was the most powerful management skill I’ve gained from my period of abstention.
It also goes beyond me. Not drinking over this period emits a certain kind of presence which actually inspires other people to follow in my footsteps. The maturity of respecting limits, and when not necessary, encouraging my mates not to drink either.
This way we all saved something! We all saved money, we all saved friendships and the coolest thing is that we all grew together! To feel proud of the growth that we didn’t need to drink anything. To feel a mutual respect for being the last ones standing by the end of the party and also being completely fine the next without any hangover.
By no means was I the only one in this! Some of my closest mates had never drunk at all. Another concept that was rare and is impressive at the same time. But this means that socializing together at parties, in restaurants, or just chilling can be a sobering affair.
Every time I said no to being offered a drink, my chest was held high in the respect of knowing that a year ago my answer would have been yes. Saving a few bucks on an RTD was such a humbling experience like somebody recognised your potential or some shit…
But now It’s completely out of the question and I’m extremely proud of that.
Thanks for checking in!