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1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-01-2013 05:17 PM

I've been reading cardguy's binge drinking thread and certain comments there and in other threads inspired me to suggest this 1 year drinking wagon challenge for 2014.

Why do a 1 year drinking wagon?

It is a great way to take stock of your life and get a reset. And it's also an amazing challenge to discipline that incites creativity, change, and new directions. Last but not least, throwing away the crutch of alcohol will force improvements in your raw game skills.

Guys often warn about the damage inflicted by porn, but drinking is far more devastating to a man's psyche than porn. Very often guys will look for any and all reasons for the decline in their libido, and blame it on "aging", when in truth they need look no further than the sauce.

Yes, there are those who can do fine with drinking for many years. But this is a genetic gift and it is rare. And even for those dudes, drinking will almost always catch up with them by their late 30s / early 40s at the latest.

And by "catching up" I don't necessarily mean the obvious things like bad hangovers or blackouts. Sooner or later almost all drinkers will start to feel a strange flavorlessness, a subtle sense of deadness, creep into their spirits. And they'll blame it on anything but drink...

As I wrote in an earlier post, one of the most subtly devastating ways in which drinking diminishes men is the boredom that drinkers start to feel with everyday life. And I know from the experience of myself and others close to me that it takes months -- sometimes as long as 6-9 months -- before you begin to recapture the feeling of a natural thankfulness for the everyday and the relishing of simple things from the middle of life that drinking so insidiously blurs. This is why a 1 year wagon is the way to go.

The wagon must be absolute -- your honor is staked on not having a single drop of alcohol, for any reason, for the full 365 days. And do yourself a favor and do not substitute weed or any other drug. Just suck it up and live like a Mormon for a year for the manly hell of it and see what insane thing emerges on the other side.

I feel a good day to start the wagon is January 3rd -- the first Friday of 2014. New Year's Day is a terrible cliche, and January 2nd might just be the night to get that last weekday drunk in. Plan on having the last hair of the dog sometime on the evening of the 3rd. And then just let it go.

It is fascinating to observe the changes that come along with this one year. Take the challenge and find out for yourself.

*************************************

By the way. I have noticed that absolute, not-one-drink abstention from alcohol for a full year is stunningly difficult even for guys who consider themselves very disciplined or "up for any challenge." A friend of mine who is a cocky motherfucker and one of the toughest guys I know simply couldn't do it -- he broke at the 5 month mark and said it was the toughest thing he had ever attempted.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 05:21 PM

lol - I'm in. Although I am hoping to give up alcohol for the rest of my life.

Will report back here over time to let you know what changes I feel.

I started as of Saturday.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - pants - 12-01-2013 05:35 PM

Without hijacking your spirits, I´m in for January, and not only quit drinking, but no tobacco, no fast food, no late night staying up in front of the computer. I actually think the one about good sleeping patterns is a huge one.

And at the same time i plan doing serious training for a month. I might even throw in some yoga!

Lol, classic new years, But I have done it before, and It really makes a difference.

So I am 1/12 in, and maybe I will extend it from there.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Basil Ransom - 12-01-2013 05:45 PM

Why not just limit yourself in quality and quantity?

Most of my drinks are red wine, and usually only on dates (though many say it's a healthy habit to have one or two glasses a day).


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 05:55 PM

I would advocate moderation for most guys. But I need something more drastic. I really want to put an end to my crazy alcohol binges.

And I could use the extra cash as well.

They are my two main concerns.

I am not so bothered about the health side of things since I think moderation is probably quite a healthy way to be.

Still - it will be interesting to see if I get a different perspective on life over the next few months. Maybe I will feel more in touch with my senses and more alive? Who knows...


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Vitriol - 12-01-2013 06:03 PM

(12-01-2013 05:55 PM)cardguy Wrote:  Still - it will be interesting to see if I get a different perspective on life over the next few months. Maybe I will feel more in touch with my senses and more alive? Who knows...

I didn't drink for several months a couple years ago when I was broke and had some health issues. Honestly, I ended up being really fucking bored. The only positive that came out of it was that I was able to get in really good shape and consistently exercise every day.

To me it doesn't make sense to totally quit like this unless you think you have a serious problem or can't control your drinking.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-01-2013 06:03 PM

basil,

The challenge is aimed at guys who feel their lives have been made worse by alcohol. True moderate drinkers are rare -- most guys here who like to drink -- love to drink. This is for them.

A true drinker -- someone who drinks because he loves to be drunk -- will not naturally or willingly become a moderate one. And the wagon, the complete removal of the drug, confers great benefits on the true drinker that cannot be realized in any other way.

It is sometimes possible for a true drinker to go back to being a moderate drinker after a long wagon -- but that's a different story...


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-01-2013 06:08 PM

cardguy,

I'm very happy you're on board! please post regularly on how you're feeling, for better and for worse.

I believe you will be shocked at how the joy and feeling for life, pleasure in the most simple day to day existence, returns as your binges grow more distant in time...


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-01-2013 06:09 PM

Vitriol,

Several months won't effect the really serious changes -- but hey, you got a taste of them, getting into shape, etc.

No, the deep changes come toward the end of the first year -- after the "boredom" passes...


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 06:14 PM

Yeah - in the past I have noticed a subtle 'boredom' that kicks in when I have gone a couple of weeks without drinking. Hopefully that will go away with time.

Equally - boredom can be quite useful. Since it is your brain challenging you to find more interesting and creative ways to spend your time.

I will probably use some of that time to deepen my interest in philosophy (something I have being slacking on recently).


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 06:15 PM

I am on board as of Saturday 30th November 2013.

Useful to note now the exact day I started - so that I can refer to it in future updates.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Pyre - 12-01-2013 06:24 PM

Im in. Prolly save my life and keep me outta jail.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Pyre - 12-01-2013 06:32 PM

(12-01-2013 06:03 PM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  A true drinker -- someone who drinks because he loves to be drunk -- will not naturally or willingly become a moderate one. And the wagon, the complete removal of the drug, confers great benefits on the true drinker that cannot be realized in any other way.

For sure, Id be going out to get drunk as my main priority, not to fuck girls. This leads to being pretty unhealthy.

I had a couple psychedelic experiences which "enlightened" me that I drink too much and ought to give it up. These experiences kept me sober/moderate for a couple months but I gave up.

What are you guys going to be ordering at bars/nightclubs? Water? Coke?


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 06:45 PM

I don't go out much anymore. I am 31 and bored of it to be honest. To be honest I don't actually like bars anymore. I usually just wind up in them when I am already hammered.

Still - I was in the bar the other day with a friend. And late at night I wanted to reign in my drinking and had some bottles of water (never done that before).

And I really enjoyed it. Made a refreshing change from all the processed crap I usually drink in bars.

I know there will be more interesting options - but for me I will stick with coke or water when I next find myself in a bar.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - bacan - 12-01-2013 06:48 PM

I'm supportive of you guys. I want to reduce my alcohol consumption this coming year and not binge drink. I can't figure out if giving up alcohol completely would be best. Seems like the ideal scenario for me would be some small amount of alcohol.

Are you guys worried about not being able to share a bottle of wine or a round of beers with a girl you are trying to get with? That's my biggest concern.

I would also consider giving up drinking when I'm out and no one has to know what's in my glass.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Pyre - 12-01-2013 06:55 PM

(12-01-2013 06:48 PM)bacan Wrote:  Are you guys worried about not being able to share a bottle of wine or a round of beers with a girl you are trying to get with? That's my biggest concern.

I would also consider giving up drinking when I'm out and no one has to know what's in my glass.

Yes! In my apt not bad, I can make a round of mixed drink away from where they're looking and just pour OJ/Cranberry/Sprite for me.

At a bar/restaurant I don't know!? Order something cryptic that girls are not familiar with (bitter & hops?) ? If we're sharing a bottle of wine, pretend to sip but don't, then get rid of it by spilling on the floor? Get up yourself to go to the bar and order a coke for you but mixed drink for the girl away from her? I've found girls won't drink if you don't drink so this is problematic....

I heard George Clooney is offered shots all the time when he goes out and what he does is he pretends to take them then lowers them to waist level and dumps it on the floor.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - thegmanifesto - 12-01-2013 07:01 PM

(12-01-2013 06:45 PM)cardguy Wrote:  I know there will be more interesting options - but for me I will stick with coke

Wow.

I would stick to drinking before doing blow.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - el mechanico - 12-01-2013 07:03 PM

I wonder which road Ali will take on this thread?


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - cardguy - 12-01-2013 07:08 PM

Personally - I am not preachy about this.

I actually think getting drunk is good for you. It seems like it wipes your mind clean and allows your mind to focus on different pursuits the following day. It is hard to explain - but I get a zen like feeling of tranquilness after getting drunk. Almost like I defragmented my hard drive (to use a geeky term) and now can decide on a new direction to head in. Instant karma - as John Lennon might have said.

But - that is by the by for me.

I wanna' save cash. And I know some bad shit will happen if I continue with my binges. I have being really lucky so far. The only smart thing I can do is stop before something bad happens. Stopping AFTER something bad happens - is too late and the opposite of smart.

Also - it will be interesting to see what effect it has on my life in other ways. I am intrigued.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Beyond Borders - 12-01-2013 10:35 PM

Two things.

Make your last drink taste like shit. You've got to get out of the mindset that you're making a sacrifice. If you're giving it up completely, I imagine it hasn't been that good to you, so why convince yourself you're saying goodbye to an old friend?

For your last drink, buy a tall glass of the foulest-tasting shit you can imagine and drink it neat, slowly, forcing yourself to taste it for what it really is. Think of it as a poison as you drink it (that's essentially what it is and why it has the effects it does).

Second, don't substitute with other types of drinks when you go out. It's not normal to drink constantly without stopping - we only do that because alcohol is dehydrating and addicting at once, causing us to get thirstier as we drink it. And once again, you don't want to give yourself the idea that you're sacrificing something.

Order a water or coke or whatever if you're thirsty. But once you're done being thirsty, stop. You wouldn't walk around with a fork in your mouth all night, would you?

I know I've pushed it a dozen times already, but read this before you get started to get yourself in the right mindset. http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Carrs-Easy-Control-Alcohol-ebook/dp/B004AHKC3O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1385954955&sr=8-5&keywords=allen+carr I'm not saying all of you are going to fail, but your success rate will go up drastically if you check it out.

I'm glad some of you other guys are hopping on board now too. Will be like having a network of non-drinkers without hanging out with a bunch of dorks at AA.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - MidniteSpecial - 12-01-2013 10:38 PM

I just got back from a nice dinner with friends on the Hudson River. Had a big pitcher of Sangria me and a girl split. Walked out of their feeling great.

This would be to hard for me. I need some incentive/motivation.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-01-2013 11:52 PM

Pyre, great to have you on board. I hope you can also use this thread to post updates from time to time.

I think it's a good idea for everyone who gets on board to post their exact starting date for the record, like cardguy did.

I'll post mine, though it's old news at this point. The last day I had a drink was February 12, 2007.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - MidniteSpecial - 12-01-2013 11:58 PM

Damn. I really do want to try this I want to try this lizard. What are some of the pros you have noticed since being alcholol free? Maybe I will do the whole month of December to start.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - Beyond Borders - 12-02-2013 12:00 AM

My stop date was Sept 11, of this year (coincidence lol).

I actually stopped about a week or so before that because I was feeling like shit but made that the day for my last drink ritual.


RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014 - The Lizard of Oz - 12-02-2013 12:27 AM

MidniteSpecial,

The single biggest pro that I've noticed over time is this sense of increased interest in and attention to the simple things of everyday life. Like literally chuckling at some random shit I see on the street, or being completely riveted by something I read in the Travel section of the forum about a place I will probably never go to (but who knows?).

It's something that I found is dulled over time, and by degrees, in people who are serious drinkers. They become people who can only experience -- diminishing -- enthusiasm when drinks are involved but are otherwise more and more jaded and indifferent to all sorts of things in life. It's an evil process because it happens slowly and it's usually attributed to other things, like "just getting older" or "just the way life goes". But after I gave up drinking, I realized that it was the alcohol, not these other excuses, that was really doing it.

That's the biggest benefit which comes over time -- it probably takes the better part of a year to kick in so it requires some patience. But it's worth the wait.

Other things that can kick in sooner:

-- Higher libido. Like literally thinking about fucking and pussy twice as much as one used to when drinking regularly. It's crazy how much hard drinking kills libido over time.

-- Staying in better shape, keeping off excess weight, training harder. Pretty self explanatory. Hard training and hard drinking can go hand in hand when you're very young, as in early to mid twenties. After that they pretty much part ways, unless you're a genetic freak.

-- Staying young. I look about 8-10 years younger than my age, according to what other people say. That's good genes, sure, but I wouldn't get the benefit of those good genes if I was still drinking. Guys that I know who've kept drinking have aged pretty badly. Someone I knew who kept drinking hard looked like he aged about 10 years in a 2-3 year period. Guys' faces get bloated and there is a weird softness to them sometimes.

-- Saving money. Like cardguy noted, alcohol isn't cheap, especially if you buy it in bars. That's money you can spend on other things in your life.

I think that if you try it you'll thank yourself as time goes on. I found it fascinating to observe all the changes that come with not drinking -- some of them are not even easy to describe and are just something that you have to experience for yourself.