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Health 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
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The Lizard of Oz Online
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Post: #126
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
@Pyre, I don't know what led to the ban but whatever it is I'm sorry it happened and I hope you'll stick to the wagon as time goes on -- it sounded like a good and necessary decision for you. I'll miss your contributions to the thread.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-09-2013 09:26 PM
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Post: #127
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Fuck it. I'm in. From January 1st.

No Alcohol + No Fap + Hardcore working out = Uber Alpha in 2015 Banana Banana Banana

This might be the hardest challenge I've ever set myself. Now I need to finish all the booze at my place...

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
12-09-2013 09:27 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Online
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Post: #128
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
dreambig, welcome aboard and enjoy those December drinks...

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-09-2013 10:49 PM
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Post: #129
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-08-2013 01:35 AM)Vitriol Wrote:  I was getting "the fear." To me, the fear meant pretty severe anxiety and panic attacks and I didn't know what the fuck was causing them. Looking back I think it was a combination of severe stress, caffeine that was used to try to wake up from hangovers, and heavy drinking over the course of a year or two before I took that break.

Interesting.

I started getting minor anxiety attacks (and one major one) when I was drinking really heavily too. I think it was partly the damage I was doing to my body and my system trying to warn me I was fucking up (stress or fear is often a warning and anxiety attacks often a symptom of health problems). I think it was also a case of not living in line with my goals or principles.

I'd wake up and my mind would start working away at stupid shit I'd done and then move on to the state of my life in general. Not accomplishing the things I meant to - not even trying...Things I did when shitfaced that didn't represent the kind of guy I thought myself to be. Wasted time and potential. My fucked up life patterns. Even the meaning of life, etc.

There were a couple times in my shitty state where I even felt like I might have something seriously wrong with me. I didn't recognize them as panic attacks until I had the big one.

I believe a lot more people have these moments then let on. But the hangover wears off and you calm down and just lump it in as being a temporary effect of getting too wasted. Then you promise yourself to slow your roll the next time around. Maybe even make a silent promise to start making some changes in life.

But you know how that usually works out...

I imagine the phenomenon is a symptom of what Allen Carr talks about in "EasyWay" when he writes how you tell yourself you drink to be happier or more confident or make life more full or have more fun but really it's the alcohol that makes you depressed, insecure, empty, and bored in the first place. A normal, healthy man in his natural state doesn't have these types of symptoms for no apparent reason at all. But since these effects just come later on after the high, you struggle to connect the dots.

Once you do see it for what it is, though, it doesn't take a genius to see that using a substance to cure the ills it causes locks you into an extremely vicious cycle.
(This post was last modified: 12-09-2013 11:42 PM by Beyond Borders.)
12-09-2013 11:04 PM
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Post: #130
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Not to derail the thread, as clearly this is about abstinence, but does anybody have any good experiences with using abstinence to kickstart moderation?

I have no typical "alcoholic" problems like needing or even craving a drink daily, but on the weekends I drink myself stoopid. Im almost 30 now, and have been binge drinking for a decade. I can't remember the last time I went out and had only 3-4 drinks the whole night.

My career is goin fantastic, so drinking hasn't negatively affected my week too bad (occassionally Ill drink hard enough Saturday to suffer on Monday though, not a hangover but just feeling off my game).

Ive realized its entirely a social crutch but paradoxically its ruined social interactions. I have to be sloppy to be completely comfortable im a high-energy bar situation. As to the anxiety mentioned above, I have had a weird habit of just randomly leaving a bar, even if friends are around, definitely a fight-or-flight type response.

Ive tried to limit my drinks, but this has been largely a failure. Once im a few drinks deep, I just want to get drunk.

Ideally Id go into a bar after having a few with buddies at home, then maybe a drink an hour. That'd keep me sharp, not only not wasted. Itd also thicken my wallet. Drinks in Sobe are off the chain.

I just wonder if 2-3 months stone cold sober would change things for me, especially if I could keep going out and socializing, no matter the difficulty at first. The length is arbitrary, but Id like some hard numbers on breaking old habits or fixing anxiety through a healthier and more productive medium.

I remember back in college, which is about a decade ago now. Drinking was not only fun, it was x10 more fun than it is now. There was an energy and zest of life to it. Id be horny, id be social, Id be the life of the party. Now with serious introspection, its a means of dealing with anxiety and not much else. Im not a violent drunk, or a sad sap, but a cost benefit analysis is definitely in the red. As mentioned before its a slow transition.

Has anyone been successfully severely limiting their intake? Can it been ingrained or conditioned, or is it once a binger always a binger?
12-10-2013 12:37 AM
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Post: #131
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
I was going to weigh in here as a proponent of moderation but didn't want to derail.

I did a year of sobriety in my early 20s when I was getting heavily into meditation. I also separately did a year being vegetarian.

At the time, it felt right. It didn't take very much willpower to give up alcohol or meat. Everyone's got different personalities, but I've always felt that if you have something defining in your life, whether it's an art, a career, or exercise, it's not nearly as hard to make these life changes.

I agree with much that's been said. I've been to AA meetings as part of some legal BS I had to deal with when I was 20, and every single person in that room was weak-willed. Alcoholism is not a disease. If you are powerless to any substance, it's an indication that something in your core is chipped or not functioning correctly.

If alcohol is no longer serving you pleasure, and it's something that you're doing out of habit, by all means stop. It shouldn't be hard to do. Replace it with something healthy. Take up an instrument. Read more. Exercise to the point of exhaustion. Learn a language. Start drinking and appreciating tea. Get INTO something, a new passion or hobby that occupies your energy and imagination.

These days I rarely have more than 2 drinks when I drink, and it's usually once a week at this point. 4-5 drinks will give me a hangover the next day. Having a low tolerance is a blessing; it's much cheaper, and also the hangovers just get worse with age which keeps me in check.

For everyday life; your daily routine of making money, exercising, running approaches, getting shit done, etc, alcohol should not be necessary. Save it as a reward.

But if you're on vacation or travelling I see nothing wrong with letting loose. Life is short and there's nothing better than getting into some drunken antics to write a few new chapters in the history books.

"...so I gave her an STD, and she STILL wanted to bang me."

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12-10-2013 01:09 AM
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worldwidetraveler Offline
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Post: #132
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-10-2013 01:09 AM)thedude3737 Wrote:  Alcoholism is not a disease. If you are powerless to any substance, it's an indication that something in your core is chipped or not functioning correctly.

I have to agree. One side of my family had major alcohol problems. I was always under the impression it was genetic and I had to watch out carefully.

I did abuse it but not to the point of being an alcoholic. It was definitely a drinking problem since I wouldn't stop until I was wasted.

Not until later in life did I realize I was suffering from major depression. It was one of those things that said, "Hell, why didn't I see that before".

I ended up hitting the weights really frequently and that pretty much kept that part of me in check. I figured out how to self diagnose myself when I was going into an episode and would work out in order to offset it. Normally I don't need to worry as long as I work out regularly which I do.

I noticed a big side effect to my workouts. I craved alcohol less and less to the point where I just simply don't need it. I will have a drink here and there but the craving of drinking more was gone.

I did some research and apparently booze triggers a release of dopamine not to mention fucking with your serotonin levels. Now that made sense why I craved it and why working out pretty much gave me the fix my brain needed.

At least for me, there were underlying factors that led to alcohol abuse. I still need to remind myself that after two drinks I need to stop otherwise my reasoning will be gone and I could slip back into a pattern.
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 02:53 AM by worldwidetraveler.)
12-10-2013 02:51 AM
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Post: #133
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
I want to address some of the things said in the last few posts.

I don't think there is any problem with true moderate drinking -- as in, someone who has a glass of wine or two with dinner, not necessarily every day, and very rarely more than that. To anyone like that, I have nothing to say about the subject.

While there are surely some true moderate drinkers on the RVF, my very strong impression from reading this forum for a long time, and all sorts of different random threads in various parts of it, is that a lot of guys here are fairly hard and consistent drinkers who love drinking either for the sheer joy of drunkenness, or for the relief and relaxation it gives them, or both; and who drink a little more often, more persistently, and harder, than they might sometimes like to let on.

And that's not surprising. A lot of the guys here are trying to live an intense life that goes against the grain of the society that surrounds us. I think guys underestimate just how stressful an endeavor this is over time. It's not easy to try to have some gumption, to think for yourself, and to act as if you know better than most everyone around. Whether they know it or not, I think a lot of guys here use alcohol to relax and relieve the strain of a life they are attempting to live strenuously and according to their own lights.

Also, such men tend to be ones who crave the experience of interest, excitement and spirituality. It is no mere coincidence that spirits is another word for the sauce. It can indeed provide that experience -- sometimes the real thing when one is young, and increasingly a fading simulacrum as one gets older. And unlike some drugs that are fundamentally solitary and whose pleasure amounts to a concentration that closes off the rest of the world, the experience of alcohol at its best provides a spirituality that is social and that opens a man to the world. Is it a surprise that men who in many ways walk alone are so intensely drawn to it?

The problem, as I've written before, is that as time goes on, alcohol increasingly becomes a false friend that ages and depresses men, and, rather than providing the interest and relief that they seek, coarsens their spirits and drains their lives of the true and great interests of the everyday.

For any man who has this kind of relation to alcohol, taking an absolute break for 1 year is a great and sometimes necessary idea, as well as a real challenge. The challenge usually comes not from a physical addiction to the drug -- I don't think there are many guys here who are alcoholics in that way, though there are a few. Rather, over time, guys will find themselves thrown on their own devices and forced to find other ways to relieve their stresses and to find interest and spirituality in ways that are less crude and mechanical. As this process unfolds, there is often the temptation to fall back on something that seemed to provide these things in a reliable way. But it is by taking the challenge and going through the empty, fallow, or stressful times -- and also times of celebration and enthusiasm -- without any recourse to the crutch of alcohol, that a man can fundamentally change his relation to it and find better ways to face the world in a posture of relaxed and sustained interest.

Absolute abstinence for an extended period of time -- 1 year is a good minimum -- is crucial not because it's some sort of a fetish, or because having one drink will necessarily send you off on a life-ending binge. That's not the point. Rather, for those men who have developed the fraught and intense relation to alcohol that I speak about -- which I believe is true of many, many posters here -- the process of changing that relation and of throwing away the crutch takes time; it's not something that happens in weeks or sometimes even a few months. You have to go through different seasons, times of year, times at home and away, with no drinks whatsoever, to really internalize the idea that the crutch is not there and you better figure out other ways to relax, or be social, or be interested.

And yeah -- I've seen examples of guys who have become true moderate drinkers after going through this process and that can sometimes be fine. But the long work of the wagon has to come first... Wink

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-10-2013 10:38 AM
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Post: #134
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Just avoided beer and buying a Jack Daniels on sale from Rigas Airport. Maybe I can also get on the wagon, atleast for couple of days/weeks/months?

P.S I quit smoking 1 year ago, have had few cigarettes since then. But quitting/avoiding the causal beer during the week and few drinks over the weekend, it actually seems much harder than quitting the smoking.
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 11:09 AM by evilhei.)
12-10-2013 11:08 AM
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Post: #135
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
My drinking is really weird.

I only drink bourbon (with coke in a spearate glass since you ask). And I only drink when I am eating. Since I find it helps my stomach - since I have some kind of IBS/lactose intolerance.

That is fine. But - sometimes those sessions start me off on a massive binge (just being paid and the start of a weekend for example).

But I never drink without food - unless out with friends (and I rarely go out anymore).

So - my foot is in both camps. And on the whole my relationship with alcohol is very good. Apart from those annoying binges.

@worlwidetraveler - how can you have depression without realising? That is something that always intrigued me. Does it mean you are sad all the time - but get so used to it that you think it is 'normal'?

Like I am a complete nihilist. And often feel listless, bored of life and can't see the point of doing anything. Combined with periods where I am incredibly excited about being alive.

But I wouldn't classify that as depression (in my case) since from a philosophical point of view I think it is quite rational to be bored of life. It is the periods of life when you are not bored that seem irrational to me.
12-10-2013 12:42 PM
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Post: #136
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-10-2013 12:42 PM)cardguy Wrote:  @worlwidetraveler - how can you have depression without realising? That is something that always intrigued me. Does it mean you are sad all the time - but get so used to it that you think it is 'normal'?

Like I am a complete nihilist. And often feel listless, bored of life and can't see the point of doing anything. Combined with periods where I am incredibly excited about being alive.

But I wouldn't classify that as depression (in my case) since from a philosophical point of view I think it is quite rational to be bored of life. It is the periods of life when you are not bored that seem irrational to me.

How do you know something is wrong if all you have ever known was this type of behavior?

No, I wasn't sad all the time. It doesn't work that way. There would be times where I would completely shut down. I wouldn't want to get out of bed.

It wasn't like that all the time, but stress would cause episodes like that. Alcohol was a way to escape the melancholy.

I never had an episode since I took weight training serious. I still get bummed out from time to time but that is normal and nothing like what I had went through before.
12-10-2013 12:58 PM
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Post: #137
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Interesting that people mention weight training here. I have noticed the relationship between lifting and alcohol too.

Lifting gives me that release I used to get principally from drinking.

It's hard to beat the rush you get after breaking a PR or banging out a set of heavy deadlifts.

For a while I was happy with that rush alone and the lifting decreased my drinking somewhat naturally, but lately I have noticed that the two are battling in a war for my attention.

I started getting pissed off at myself for destroying my recovery because of overindulging in the alcohol.

You find yourself doing shit in the gym because of too much of this poison. It's fucking depressing.

Like others have said, you only intend to drink 2 and plan on picking up, but then no girls come to the bar and you are bored so you end up downing 10 and feeling like shit the next day.

I want a year free of BS and hangovers.

I want to get strong.

I want to work on improving myself.

That's why I'm in. It won't be easy but I will give it my all. I'm looking forward to the new experience.

P.S. The social element might be the toughest part of this. I am already getting flack just for airing the idea of stopping for a while! And that is from girls!

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2013 08:02 PM by Bushido.)
12-10-2013 08:01 PM
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Post: #138
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
If it makes you quitters feel any better I've cut back significantly, and am enjoying the feeling I get. Not gonna join your zero sum ranks, but I'll skirt your movement next year with heavy moderation. 6 months of a sedentary lifestyle has left me lethargic and breathing heavy like Lindy West on a Oreo's run. I just can't afford the effects of heavy alcohol in the next 6-12 months. Fitness and a clear mind are paramount at this point.

I've cut smoking back to < a pack per day also, and my lungs are telling me thanks. If you guys want the harsh way of quitting, let me know, but its the alpha way.
12-10-2013 08:10 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Online
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RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-10-2013 08:01 PM)dreambig Wrote:  P.S. The social element might be the toughest part of this. I am already getting flack just for airing the idea of stopping for a while! And that is from girls!

Yeah -- this is one thing that almost every new wagoneer will find. While at the end of the day no one really gives a shit about what you do, a surprisingly large number of your acquaintances will find an occasion to try to bust your balls about this in some way. It's as if they resent the fact that you've decided you no longer need to show up for drinking duty...

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-10-2013 08:16 PM
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Post: #140
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Hi gentlemen,
I'm in too, starting today for me.

I'm 36 and I've been drinking since I was 14. You know how it is, it's a downward slope. I strated drinking only at parties, hard binges. As a teenager, I was pretty good at getting drunk and pretty lame at getting laid. Then I started making some money and I've been drinking more regularly, once a week, then twice, then every day. And one day I realised I had a problem. I feel like alcohol is messing with my life. It makes me lazy and wear me out when I need my energy the most.

I'm currently reading Allen Carr's book and I think I will be ok. The only thing that worries me is that I can't get rid of some of my illusions about drinking. I'm french and in my country, wine is a complete part of our culture ; I've been trained to find wine's taste so good that I can't think of it as a foul tasting poison like Allen Carr suggests we do so. I still have to finish the book however, so I bet the topic will be treated fine.
12-11-2013 03:48 AM
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Post: #141
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Glad to have you on board, Frater. You'll be surprised at the effects as time goes on.

I don't think you need to convince yourself that all alcohol is some sort of foul-tasting poison. No doubt some of those French wines taste pretty damn good, but so what? All that matters is that you recognize the damage it's done to you and the great benefits of taking a complete break for a full year. There are very good real reasons to do what you're doing, so there is no need to invent imaginary ones.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-11-2013 10:17 PM
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Post: #142
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Like I said prior I am in for this challenge, I will not tell anyone besides post it here (Jan 6th)...I won't say it publicly until people realize it, and I will still not say...at least until I have made a significant break thru (30 days)

My goals, all of which alcohol has been the majority part of me not pursuing or accomplishing...

Saving money
Getting out of debt
Personality
Anxiety
Social awkwardness
Procrastination
No FAP
Passions
Getting laid
Etc.

This is going to be really hard (I'm drinking right now)
12-12-2013 01:06 AM
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Post: #143
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-10-2013 08:16 PM)The Lizard of Oz Wrote:  
(12-10-2013 08:01 PM)dreambig Wrote:  P.S. The social element might be the toughest part of this. I am already getting flack just for airing the idea of stopping for a while! And that is from girls!

Yeah -- this is one thing that almost every new wagoneer will find. While at the end of the day no one really gives a shit about what you do, a surprisingly large number of your acquaintances will find an occasion to try to bust your balls about this in some way. It's as if they resent the fact that you've decided you no longer need to show up for drinking duty...

I figure who gives a shit about what some random slut thinks. It's like choosing bitches over money - doesn't make sense because if you get your money right you'll be way better off with women anyways. Same goes to getting your life together. You could live a little more loose and enjoy that easy pussy, or you could tighten up your life and your game and have access to a whole new quality of lizzard.

As for flak from friends, ignore or just bear with it - it doesn't last long once they realize you're actually following through (though you may have to explore new friendships to keep yourself mentally stimulated).

And try to keep it in perspective that it's a front. Most of them have often thought about quitting themselves but just haven't had the strength. You've probably even seen some of them crash and burn at it, and if you stick with it, some of them may be inspired and follow in your footsteps.

I've had a few friends take my lead already. Even ones that heckled at first.

Even my mom has stopped drinking now - she's 2 weeks down now and has ordered Carr's book, which I think will seal the deal for her, knowing the way her mind works.

(12-11-2013 03:48 AM)Frater Wrote:  I'm currently reading Allen Carr's book and I think I will be ok. The only thing that worries me is that I can't get rid of some of my illusions about drinking. I'm french and in my country, wine is a complete part of our culture ; I've been trained to find wine's taste so good that I can't think of it as a foul tasting poison like Allen Carr suggests we do so. I still have to finish the book however, so I bet the topic will be treated fine.

I understand where you're coming from. I was big on wine too. Always had a shelf-full back at home and it was a huge part of traveling for me. I admit that when he got to the part about wine I felt a little...uncomfortable. lol

Another point that Carr makes, though, is that even when alcoholic drinks taste good (like wine), it's the sugars and other additives that makes it palatable in the first place. So it's still essentially a poison we had to doctor up to make it taste good, and even then it's not a taste you enjoy the first time you put it in your mouth. It's something you have to acquire - all the more ludicrous that we actually put in work to become accustomed to something that's bad for us...

Anyways, like anything in life, take the principles that are useful to you and throw out the rest. I don't think I've ever come across a philosophy of doing anything in this world that I agreed with 100%. Doesn't mean you'll necessarily fail though - you just tweak it for your own life.

The taste of wine specifically may have been enjoyable for me but when it comes down to it not so enjoyable it's worth the rest of the package.
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 08:47 AM by Beyond Borders.)
12-12-2013 07:56 AM
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Post: #144
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Count me in.

I don't drink often, but when I do...

Something just clicks after that third Bombay and tonic and I proceed to get w.a.s.t.e.d.. Alcoholism runs through both sides of my family and I I drink to blow off steam from a wage earner job. Barring some *knock on wood* unforeseen, massive expense I'll have the nest egg for relative independence built-up at the end of 2014. Drinking can lead to said unforeseen, massive expense, is the enemy of an early, up-and-at-em start, and the hangovers are worse now that I'm in my early 30's.

Thank you for starting this thread, The Lizard of Oz.
(This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 10:29 AM by Baldwin81.)
12-12-2013 10:28 AM
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RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
(12-12-2013 07:56 AM)Beyond Borders Wrote:  The taste of wine specifically may have been enjoyable for me but when it comes down to it not so enjoyable it's worth the rest of the package.

That's what I think too. I used to love expensive and sophisticated wines but when I was broke, I had the cheaper (and the lesser) ones anyway... I guess that says everything about how I was enjoying it...

I can't wait for the holidays : I hope I'll face all this debauchery like a real stoïc !
12-12-2013 12:13 PM
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Post: #146
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Baldwin81, you're welcome and happy to hear you're in. I hope you'll post a starting date when you have one and occasional updates as the year goes on.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-12-2013 11:01 PM
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J.R. '67
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Post: #147
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Biz, Jan 6th is a fine date, the first Monday of the year. Always something to be said for that.

Drinking to relieve stress or social anxiety is particularly nasty and damaging, so you're making a great and necessary decision. Yes, it will hit you pretty hard but the benefits will also be disproportionate. I'll be extremely interested in your experiences over the course of the year.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
12-12-2013 11:14 PM
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J.R. '67
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Post: #148
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Someone in the manosphere posted this today, I forget where I saw it first. High IQ people tend to drink more:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-...re-alcohol

Quote: It means that it is not because more intelligent people occupy higher-paying, more important jobs that require them to socialize and drink with their business associates that they drink more alcohol. It appears to be their intelligence itself, rather than correlates of intelligence, that inclines them to drink more.

I guess when your brain works too fast you become a cynical asshole who "figures it all out" too quickly.
12-13-2013 12:13 AM
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InternationPlayboy Offline
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Post: #149
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
^ yeah, a lot of very smart people I know have either drank a lot of done a lot of drugs. One of my close friends growing up was valedictorian and did man drugs. He gave his graduation speech on X. Later on in college he became a addicted to heroin and we lost touch.
12-13-2013 04:55 AM
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Duke Castile Offline
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Post: #150
RE: 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014
Interesting. Two guys just rolled in and order cokes. Bar is dead besides them. We start bullshitting. Turns out they're waiting for an AA meeting to start down the road. I think I'm going to go when I'm off next.

We were meant for far more than to suffer in our self created prisons only to die alone. It doesn't have to be that way. It never did.
12-15-2013 06:21 PM
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