1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

TigOlBitties

Kingfisher
I've tried to do the moderate drinking thing in the past, and it always ends in disaster. I know how tempting it is to have a few drinks, get a nice buzz and be like everyone else. That buzz will not be worth it, and the risk to keep going will be there. I told myself in the past only 3 beers, which eventually turns into 6, then 12, then bottles of whiskey, then back to being a miserable drunk.

We are conditioned to think that we need booze in social situations, but once you truly give it up in your mind you'll realize how unnecessary it is and that it was never that great of a high. I can't emphasize enough how great it is to finally let it go.

You can still go out, be social and have a great time. Except now there's no risk of making an ass of yourself, feeling like shit the next day, wasting money, drinking lots of unnecessary calories, etc. Drink a non alcoholic beer if you miss the taste.

I'd rather go to sleep every night knowing that tomorrow will be another drama free, great day than think I'm missing out on something that doesn't even matter.
 

SeaFM

Kingfisher
Not to mention the health implications. Drinking is linked to practically every bad thing that can happen to many organs. Many cancers are linked to alcohol.

Something will get every one of us eventually, regardless. No need to help it along.

I am just speaking from experience here. I was a 10-15 beer a night drinker, 5 nights a week, if not more often from my late teens to late 40’s.

You can’t live that way without paying for it eventually. I had a few motivators to clean my act up. One was health related, the other was becoming a father. I can’t allow alcohol to shorten my life, and I can’t be that guy anymore because I have a kid to raise. I’m not going to be a sloppy drunk of a father.

I always hated preachy ex drunks so I hope I’m not coming across that way. It’s just my story, and maybe it will inspire someone reading to take control of their life.

I read this thread here and there for years before actually jumping onboard.
 

Hannibal

Ostrich
Gold Member
SeaFM said:
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.
Your mileage may vary, but I have never had success with the "moderate drinking" lifestyle. After four or five beers, the ability to self moderate goes right out the window.
 

bacon

Ostrich
Gold Member
Hannibal said:
SeaFM said:
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.
Your mileage may vary, but I have never had success with the "moderate drinking" lifestyle. After four or five beers, the ability to self moderate goes right out the window.
I would say the problem with moderate drinking for people with a past of serious drinking is that it is close to impossible to become a moderate drinker. You have deeply rooted habits with alcohol and a brain wiring that lights up when alcohol is introduced to your body as it seeks that sweet intoxication effect. That slight buzz you feel from your first couple drinks will not be enough, your body will want more and it is conditioned to overpower your logical thought that you should stop after 2 or 3 drinks. I would say this is akin to drug use, some people can use drugs in moderation only partaking on occasion and never get addicted but for those with a past of heavy use it is just better to not get high. I think in a way it might be easier for drug addicts to go cold turkey because drugs are easier to avoid as they are illegal and less a part of general social gatherings. Obviously, that isn't the case with booze and just because drinking is an integral part of daily life for millions of people, it is a terrible idea for former drunks to try to "fit in" and become moderate drinkers when doing so will almost never work out.
 

SeaFM

Kingfisher
I always found it tough when I would try to slow down on the drinking since it was more or less a part of everything I did.

Your behaviour changes when you stop. One easy example is that I don’t go to bars anymore to kill time, or because I’m bored at home. As mentioned earlier, I’ll go for a special occasion and I just won’t drink, but for sure I’m not going to walk down to the neighborhood pub, sit at the bar and drink 8 club sodas.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I just read the OP of this thread for the first time.

Although I don't agree with OP that "drinking is far more devastating to a man's psyche than porn," I am certainly glad I have (mostly) stopped using alcohol and drugs.

As I discussed on a certain other thread, I have had problems with drugs and alcohol in the past.

Also, I used to be prescribed psychiatric meds, and although I would usually take them as prescribed, it wasn't good.

I have now gone since around New Year's with almost no drugs, psychiatric meds, or alcohol. I did smoke weed once and I had a beer last night (after which I felt like crap). I also take sleeping pills for insomnia, but that's it.

Overall, I feel a lot more alive. Last year, I was on anxiety meds (benzos) for almost the entire year and I would drink alcohol on top of the pills. The whole year felt like it lasted about 2 months. I could sit at home and binge-watch TV for days at a time without getting bored or feeling motivated to do anything else.

Now I can't do that anymore. Time feels like it is going by a lot slower (which is a good thing) and I am more motivated to do things like go back to school and go to church on Sundays.

I just wish I would have realized years ago how bad drinking/drug use is (at least for me personally).
 

Lampwick

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Lampwick said:
I'm in as of February 3rd, 2019. To prevent substitutions, I'm going very close to full Mormon: no porn, no cigarettes or vaping, no cannabis or any other drugs. I'll have the occasional cup of coffee though.

I've been cultivating a much better mindset since I started a regular sleep schedule with bright light therapy.
Well it's been a year, and I made it very close to my original promise: no alcohol, no cigarettes or vaping, no cannabis or any other drugs. I slipped really bad on porn, that one has been a real struggle, but I have stayed away from it for the past 60 days. This is the longest I've ever gone without getting high, which is something I'm particularly happy about.

Looking back, I've gotten myself into some real jams: getting hammered and saying stupid things in professional settings, waking up in the ER, waking up in a random house in a very rough part of Jamaica, getting arrested, showing up high to every single job I've had, etc.

I've never really thought I had a problem, as my usage has never really been extreme. But I definitely have had a problem with self-control. Not drinking has really agreed with me, and allowed me to eliminate my other vices, which were more of a problem for me personally.

I'm considering whether to keep this rolling. I do miss drinking, but I also enjoy the more enhanced self-control, focus, and sharpness I have now. Thank you Lizard of Oz for the wonderful gift of this thread. You have made a decidedly positive impact on the lives of many men, including me.
 

Zenta

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Rob Banks said:
I just read the OP of this thread for the first time.

Although I don't agree with OP that "drinking is far more devastating to a man's psyche than porn," I am certainly glad I have (mostly) stopped using alcohol and drugs.

As I discussed on a certain other thread, I have had problems with drugs and alcohol in the past.

Also, I used to be prescribed psychiatric meds, and although I would usually take them as prescribed, it wasn't good.

I have now gone since around New Year's with almost no drugs, psychiatric meds, or alcohol. I did smoke weed once and I had a beer last night (after which I felt like crap). I also take sleeping pills for insomnia, but that's it.

Overall, I feel a lot more alive. Last year, I was on anxiety meds (benzos) for almost the entire year and I would drink alcohol on top of the pills. The whole year felt like it lasted about 2 months. I could sit at home and binge-watch TV for days at a time without getting bored or feeling motivated to do anything else.

Now I can't do that anymore. Time feels like it is going by a lot slower (which is a good thing) and I am more motivated to do things like go back to school and go to church on Sundays.

I just wish I would have realized years ago how bad drinking/drug use is (at least for me personally).

I'm pretty much the same on most fronts.

As of today I'm 2.5 months sober of weed. I have 100% quit drinking but I have drastically reduced and have had 2 beers since 2020 which is pretty good. I am taking .25mg benzo for sleep at night which is a very low dose, would like to eventually get off it completely in a few months. Porn is my real issue and seems to be the one I can never shake for more than a week. I will just need to try harder and do it.
 
Read this entire thread starting over a year back, some posts multiple times. I knew I needed to do this, but never fully felt it until now. I'm still on the fence about an official wagon, but deep down I feel now is the time for it as I turn 28 this year.

Even in the past 5 weeks since I've started, I feel like there are the physical clean benefits that just keep compounding. There is the assurance that you're never going to have a complete "write-off" day, which is just existentially depressing in and of itself (besides the physical pain). There is a massively reduced risk of doing dumb or dangerous things.

But easily the number one thing is that you have to go back to the basics and make do with who you really are and what the world really is. There's no dulling veneer you can splash on life to make things seem alright. If you are bored with the people you are with, if you are bored/dissatisfied with the life that you live... there's no easy way out. And I think that's why Lizard recommends a full 1 year. Because that will give you the time and trials to rebuild that ability that we all have to be proactive towards life and also appreciative of the simple things that never required that splash of dulling veneer.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
Zenta said:
Rob Banks said:

I'm pretty much the same on most fronts.

As of today I'm 2.5 months sober of weed. I have 100% quit drinking but I have drastically reduced and have had 2 beers since 2020 which is pretty good. I am taking .25mg benzo for sleep at night which is a very low dose, would like to eventually get off it completely in a few months...
That's good to hear.

As far as sleep, try Trazodone (if you haven't already). It is not a benzo and it will put you right to sleep.

Getting off the .25mg benzos, even though it is such a small dose, will be hard (especially if you're taking a long-acting benzo like Klonopin or Valium as opposed to Xanax). You will probably have some withdrawal symptoms for the first few days, and after they wear off, you might not feel 100% for a while. But I would say it's best to bite the bullet and get off the benzos as soon as possible.

Benzos are not good. When I was on benzos, months felt like weeks and weeks felt like days. Also, it affected my memory in a bad way and it lowered my inhibitions (kind of like alcohol) and caused me to do some REALLY stupid things. And all that was just from taking a low dose. When I would abuse them and take too many, I would straight up black out.

Zenta said:
...Porn is my real issue and seems to be the one I can never shake for more than a week. I will just need to try harder and do it.
I don't watch porn because I used to watch it when I was younger and I became desensitized to it. It does nothing for me.

I am in a situation (caused by my past drug and alcohol abuse) where I don't have a woman in my life at the moment. I am trying to fix things with my wife but that is likely to take years (if it happens at all). I am not interested in getting with other women.

I am trying to do NoFap, and it is HARD (no pun intended). I can make it 3 or 4 days. I know I need to stop because I just feel like shit afterwards. Plus, I know it's wrong on a spiritual level. Hopefully, once I make it past a week or two, it will get easier.
 

rainy

Woodpecker
A few months ago I quit hard liquor altogether. Too often a gin/vodka tonic turned into 4-5 in a night. Most nights a week. I used the excuse of the pressures of running a business. I had starting going extremely low carb and suffered a horrendous hangover for the first time in years. At that point I said, no more.

Plus the reality of being a father I reflected on, when my son gets older, and with a daughter on the way, do I want to be the father who had a couple drinks every evening as my parents were and still are. No.

I no longer drink Sun-Thur. No liquor or beer. I limit myself to two glasses of wine on each of Fri and Sat. It's just enough to relax but there no longer is any buzz and the desire to get a buzz or get drunk is completely gone. There is no longer the habit of getting off work and making a cocktail.

I sleep better. I wake up refreshed. I am mentally sharper. Weight is coming off too.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
55 days no alcohol as of today. I did a year sober back in 2014 after having some really bad blackouts while living in Japan.

In December I went to a friend's birthday party and had about five drinks. No blackout or anything crazy but wokeup the next day feeling like crap. The thing was that the drinking didn't even enhance spending time with friends. It only seemed to make me tired. However, I do seem to enjoy drinking when I'm by myself and drinking after a long or stressful day at work. To me that's red flag. Every time I go to a social event and people are drinking I am glad I am not drinking because I personally see no benefit from the drinking as soon as I leave the event.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Gold Member
monsquid said:
55 days no alcohol as of today. I did a year sober back in 2014 after having some really bad blackouts while living in Japan.
It doesn't have the "party" reputation at all, but it is really hard to avoid alcohol in Japan.

The Japanese in general know when to say when. Their faces get all red after about three beers and they call it a night. Well, with exceptions of course.

But for foreigners? This place is like a 24 hour college campus. Hard liquor everywhere, any time of day, no rules, no restrictions. You can buy a JUG of whiskey at the 7-11 and drink it right there on the street at 4 in the morning and nobody's even gonna look twice at you.

A lot of my expat friends developed some serious drinking problems from living here. Without the pressures of Japanese society to keep us in check, we basically fill up all the free time with unhampered boozing.

I had to stop completely. There's no moderation for me, especially here. I honestly believe the drinking would have killed me if I hadn't stopped.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
etwsake said:
monsquid said:
55 days no alcohol as of today. I did a year sober back in 2014 after having some really bad blackouts while living in Japan.
It doesn't have the "party" reputation at all, but it is really hard to avoid alcohol in Japan.

The Japanese in general know when to say when. Their faces get all red after about three beers and they call it a night. Well, with exceptions of course.

But for foreigners? This place is like a 24 hour college campus. Hard liquor everywhere, any time of day, no rules, no restrictions. You can buy a JUG of whiskey at the 7-11 and drink it right there on the street at 4 in the morning and nobody's even gonna look twice at you.

A lot of my expat friends developed some serious drinking problems from living here. Without the pressures of Japanese society to keep us in check, we basically fill up all the free time with unhampered boozing.

I had to stop completely. There's no moderation for me, especially here. I honestly believe the drinking would have killed me if I hadn't stopped.
Wise choice. That's why I stopped drinking in 2014, although I was near the end of my rotation in Japan. I was starting to spiral out of control on the weekends and if I hadn't stopped I would have messed up my career like a few others. The expat culture is a fishbowl. Japanese culture, while seemingly polite at first glance, is very insular and distant. Tokyo was a concrete jungle full of too many people, train noises, transmission lines, and lack of privacy. All these things turn you into drinking to dull the senses. Outside of HUBs, expensive hotel bars, or Roppongi there isn't much to Tokyo. Don't get me wrong I had a blast but also it's a double edged sword.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Lampwick said:
Lampwick said:
I'm in as of February 3rd, 2019. To prevent substitutions, I'm going very close to full Mormon: no porn, no cigarettes or vaping, no cannabis or any other drugs. I'll have the occasional cup of coffee though.

I've been cultivating a much better mindset since I started a regular sleep schedule with bright light therapy.
Well it's been a year, and I made it very close to my original promise: no alcohol, no cigarettes or vaping, no cannabis or any other drugs. I slipped really bad on porn, that one has been a real struggle, but I have stayed away from it for the past 60 days. This is the longest I've ever gone without getting high, which is something I'm particularly happy about.

Looking back, I've gotten myself into some real jams: getting hammered and saying stupid things in professional settings, waking up in the ER, waking up in a random house in a very rough part of Jamaica, getting arrested, showing up high to every single job I've had, etc.

I've never really thought I had a problem, as my usage has never really been extreme. But I definitely have had a problem with self-control. Not drinking has really agreed with me, and allowed me to eliminate my other vices, which were more of a problem for me personally.

I'm considering whether to keep this rolling. I do miss drinking, but I also enjoy the more enhanced self-control, focus, and sharpness I have now. Thank you Lizard of Oz for the wonderful gift of this thread. You have made a decidedly positive impact on the lives of many men, including me.
Lampwick, congrats on completing the 1 year wagon -- that's a real achievement and I hope you take some pride and satisfaction in it. +1 rep point from me.

Although this thread is devoted to the drinking wagon and to the men who need it most -- the true hard drinkers -- there are certainly also men who use alcohol as a kind of gateway substance that loosens their inhibitions and leads them to the abuse of even more dangerous drugs. For these men, a Full Mormon lifestyle is the best possible choice. If this is the way you are, I very much hope you will consider extending your wagon for an additional year, and that you will continue your near-full-Mormon lifestyle (with the occasional cup of coffee) alongside it.

Lastly, the consumption of pornography is something different in kind from the abuse of drugs and substances, and does not belong in the same discussion. To think of the two as intimately related to each other will only lead to confusion about both; it is best to consider them separately.
 

filio

Pigeon
The Lizard of Oz said:
13 years for me today, and extending for year number 14.
Congratulations! This thread, your thread, and your dedication to it have been the biggest inspiration for me on my own journey, and it has made my life immeasurably better.

I'm sure many others will agree!

Thank you for the continued support!
 

niledelta

Robin
Gold Member
Did a 14-month stint up until about a year and a half ago (my username has changed since then. Original post was #2000 – https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-30625-post-1678288.html#pid1678288 ). I'm getting back on the wagon. I keep telling myself I don't have a drinking problem, but what is seen as normal drinking today is dysfunctional, at least as I am coming to see things. On Sunday I experienced a reminder of the wickedness of the allure of alcohol, and I have decided to protect myself and build a wall. My life's ambition is to start a family, and I don't believe I can maintain a relationship with alcohol, along with managing a family, in spite of the lies I repeatedly tell myself.

Have met too many good men who have given up drinking to think that I should know better. Drinking is something that encourages me to dissociate from whatever feelings I have, happy, sad, anxious or otherwise. It retards me, weighs me down, puts the brakes on my spirit. I need to unshackle myself. I originally planned to just give it up for Lent 2020 but I will now commit to a year.
 
Top