1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Spectrumwalker said:
*There is a caveat to this though. I'll allow myself one night in 2020. If I can manage to go see Def Leppard, Poison and Motley Crue in concert I won't be able to hold out not having some joy juice. But that's it I swear on a stack o Bibles!
The wagon admits of no caveats. If you are planning on drinking at any time during the next year, then you are not on a 1 year wagon. No exceptions for weddings, wakes, joy, or heartbreak; no exceptions for concerts that should have been attended 30 years ago if at all. :)
 

Bolly

Pelican
Aww well shit. Puritans. Throw me a bone, I was in diapers 30 years ago. Haha just messin. In all seriousness though my bad TLOZ. I didn't read the OP. All well put too, I appreciate the thread. But I suppose I'll tuck my tail and see my way out... :wave:

If I don't go to the concert I'll report back in a year anyway if I'm still kickin.
 

NoMoreTO

Pelican
Another Q for the Puritans,

I started my wagon the day after my birthday last year, this year there is a leap year just after my b-day, can I drink 1/4 of a day into my birthday operating on actual calculated orbit or should I wait til the day after and accept this burden of the leap year?
 

Teedub

Crow
Gold Member
Beyond Borders said:
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-E...TF8&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.
I read Jason Vale's book over December which is basically a modern update of Carr's, which he acknowledges in the opening. He was a practitioner of Carr's stop smoking model (and worked as a therapist at the London clinic) and adapted the principles to drinking — since he was in a mess and applied the model to his own alcohol addiction.

I think there might actually have been a falling out over it, but apparently they made up before Carr passed away. He self-published his book (then called Stop Drinking 4 Life ... now, Kick The Drink, Easily) 2 years before Carr did his, which is why I think there was no formal lawsuit.

I suppose you could make an argument that all art (of which literature is one), and self help books in general, borrow heavily from works past, and at least Vale acknowledges that Carr is the one who pioneered the 'there's nothing to give up' principle. Similar to game manuals tipping their (fuzzy) hats to Mystery etc.

And like Carr, Vale is also negative in regards to AA and the concepts of 'alcoholism' and 'recovery'. I won't go over the reasons, as you'll already know exactly why.
 

Speculation

Kingfisher
NoMoreTO said:
I am wondering about how guys on this thread have:
(1) positively integrated drinking back into their life after the challenge.
- do guys feel that they had a new default of 'not drinking' that put away that weekend warrior attitude?
- is it easy to slip right back into those habits after being away a whole full year, has anyone practiced other forms of restriction successfully?
(2) made the decision to continue alcohol free.
- I notice a lot of guys signing up year by year, perhaps people have found the renewal of the wagon challenge easier than saying "I quit for good?
I took a year off drinking in 2018. My original plan was that after my year off I would come back to drinking in a moderate and social way. This was so that I wouldn't get the drawbacks, but still get the positives of alcohol as a social lubricant.

In 2019 when I first started drinking again I didn't notice any negative effects to begin with. I'm guessing the time off allowed my body to heal itself completely from the effects of long term alcohol use (not abuse, but still a handful of drinks regularly erodes the body over many years).

I noticed that drinking at a reduced rate still sapped my motivation, hangovers were starting to get worse and the amount I was drinking was starting to creep up. In other words, despite my plan to moderate my drinking I was moving back towards where I started.

Towards the end of 2019 I realised that all my good work was being undone and that I needed to consider stopping drinking again. My experience in 2018 gave me a lot of confidence though and I knew that life can be very rewarding when you don't drink. So here I am, back here again.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
NoMoreTO said:
Another Q for the Puritans,

I started my wagon the day after my birthday last year, this year there is a leap year just after my b-day, can I drink 1/4 of a day into my birthday operating on actual calculated orbit or should I wait til the day after and accept this burden of the leap year?
Accept the burden of the leap year. :angel:
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
musashi said:
In for another full year as of Dec 31st. 4 years deep, let’s fucking get it boys!
Awesome, love hearing that musashi. Love how those years are rolling on.

Welcome back aboard for year 5 as of December 31, 2019 and I look forward to hearing more from you here over time.
 

musashi

Sparrow
Hey Lizard,

One of the realities of quitting is that I’ve become insanely busy living the life I should’ve have been living 20 years ago. So many things have changed it’s almost surreal. When I have some spare time I’ll write up a small essay and maybe that can contribute to others seeing the light and making the 1 year commitment in their own lives. You have no idea how grateful I am that you started this thread! Thank you, sincerely!
 

SiverFox

Robin
I've known for years that alcohol has been a major factor in all of the bad decisions that I've made in my life. Although not a daily drinker, when I binge things can get out of control.

Looking at the calendar, it's now been 151 days since my last drink and my last catastrophic decision. I never thought a year on the wagon was possible but put me down for a 1 year wagon starting Aug, 17 2019
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
SiverFox said:
I've known for years that alcohol has been a major factor in all of the bad decisions that I've made in my life. Although not a daily drinker, when I binge things can get out of control.

Looking at the calendar, it's now been 151 days since my last drink and my last catastrophic decision. I never thought a year on the wagon was possible but put me down for a 1 year wagon starting Aug, 17 2019
Thank you for the post, SiverFox. Welcome aboard as of August 17, 2019 and I hope to hear more from you here as time goes on.
 

Teedub

Crow
Gold Member
Not drinking has, on occasion, been a bit difficult. Especially as I'm establishing my own business at the moment which presents challenges that I normally would have tackled with "sure... but I'll have a couple of pints later on", and so on. I suppose I'm still in 'the adjustment period', where your brain is still trying to accept that alcohol isn't something you 'do' anymore.

Ultimately, I know that stress, nerves etc are only ultimately exacerbated by alcohol in the short and long term. I'm reaffirming my stance by reading various books, including one by a woman called The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. Bit trite in places, a bit unrelatable in parts, a bit mean girls perhaps... but any book on the topic is a good one and it's also one I can pass on to female friends and relatives.

The only issue is, I have a reactionary mindset in life in general, and I'm incredibly angry with the alcohol companies for marketing it in the way they have. It's poison in a fancy glass and I want retribution.
 
I became a non drinker many years ago. I was worried that Id get DTs or whatever if I tried to quit. It was amazingly easy to quit once I decided to focus on it. For me, it was when I realized a relationship I have was causing me to want to drink. I still foster that relationship but realize that I have to control my emotions when dealing with that human. Lots of things can be the root of anxiety and I think, combined with genetics, anxiety is what leads us to seek a state of intoxication.

There are old friends that I no longer hang with, but I talk with them over the phone. Life is much different when sober. I grew to feel at home bellied up to the bar, and all the sights and smells and the "camaraderie" it brought. (Bill Bryson pretty much nailed it in 'A Walk In the Woods') I still miss going to bars. They're akin to little communities that you can join for the price of a few beers and a few hours of your time. Unfortunately, for an alcoholic, it becomes a place to poison yourself trying to escape your demons.

Non alcoholic friends will never really understand why I decline to join them for "a drink or two". That leads me to look like a dick when I decline their invitations to meet up. Ehh, its a small price to pay. All in all it was a great decision and its one I wish I made sooner. Looking back its almost as if it was a past life.
 

Hannibal

Ostrich
Gold Member
My relationships in life started to go to hell due to binge drinking once or twice a week, so I quit November 1st of 2019. Since then I've had about four drinks as I go to social situations (one was a best friends wedding) at which point id remember the wagon and stop.
Benefits so far seem to be a clearer head and more time in a week to do things. Drawbacks, I'm a lot more boring and reserved now.
 

TigOlBitties

Kingfisher
I remember when my drinking was really starting to get out of control and people were trying to convince me to stop. The thought of never drinking again was pretty terrifying. Life seemed like it would be so boring, and I thought people would think I was strange for not drinking.

I legitimately love not drinking and it's been 16 months since the last one. Being sober around drunks is very eye opening to how terrible alcohol can be, and the more I'm around it the more I wish I had never started. Life certainly is not boring without it either. Boring is relying on booze to numb your unhappiness, and waking up feeling like shit and ruining another day. Going out sober and really connecting with people is significantly more satisfying. Most people don't think it's strange that I avoid it either, and the ones that do can kiss my ass. A sober, confident mind is a blessing and I'm very fortunate to have finally realized it.
 

SeaFM

Kingfisher
NoMoreTO:

With regards to incorporating responsible drinking in to your future, I suspect that it’s not a possibility for most of us in this thread.

When someone tells me that I can just have 1 or 2, a) I know that I won’t and b) I think “what’s the point of having one beer?”

To me, that is a great question. What is the point?

I don’t see one.

If I’m out in a bar, which is extremely rare these days, but I will go for a special occasion like a milestone birthday, whatever. I’ll have a club soda with lime.

This seems to be the universal drink of former drunks. All bartenders I’ve ordered it from just seem to know the deal instantly.

It’s never been a problem.

I don’t black out, I don’t have to worry about my car, I don’t feel like death for a day or longer afterwards. You get to have something in your hand that looks like a drink, gives you a tingle when you drink it and you don’t make bad decisions, or have to piss every half hour or deal with any of the bad stuff I’ve already mentioned.

Giving up alcohol has nothing but positive benefits.
 

NoMoreTO

Pelican
SeaFM said:
NoMoreTO:

With regards to incorporating responsible drinking in to your future, I suspect that it’s not a possibility for most of us in this thread.

When someone tells me that I can just have 1 or 2, a) I know that I won’t and b) I think “what’s the point of having one beer?”

To me, that is a great question. What is the point?

I don’t see one.

Thanks for this.

Not to annoy the guys on this thread with temptation, but if I can keep the bad habits reined in, I would like to:
- Have a Pint of beer after playing sports with my buddies with my wings. I find it relaxes the body after playing BBall.
- 1to2 glasses of Red Wine with Dinner
- An Old Fashioned because its my favourite cocktail
- A celebratory shot related to hearing big news, such as a baby or business deal etc.

The goal would be to be able to take part in some social level of drinking. I do believe there is some inherent value to some social interactions associated with drinking. The issue is how we over indulge, binge drink, or drink alone.

I am past the part stage (39 years old) so for me the issue is more related to drinking alone as a crutch, packing on useless calories even drinking moderately, or having a hangover after overdoing it even slightly.
 

SeaFM

Kingfisher
You can do all of those things without alcohol.

Everyone is different of course, but I see trying to de-escalate from binge drinker to moderate, responsible drinker as a version of “just the tip.”

You might just stick the tip in at first, but before too long it’s going to be full strokes.

Anyway the decision is yours.
 
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