1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

monsquid said:
PrimeTime32 said:
I just completed year three of my wagon challenge and I feel great and extremely focused. I'm definitely inspired by all the people making significant changes in their lives by giving up booze. I would like to sign up for year 4.
Congrats PrimeTime32. Any tips for maintaining? Especially when everything is feeling good, I feel tempted to drink beer.
I don't know if this is a wagon-approved method. But I've found that the new Heineken 0.0 is awesome for whenever you just want that beer taste or want to have a beer in your hand during a social event (like summer barbecue, most don't do mixed drinks). 69 calories (140+ in normal) and it tastes great. Also it's a true <0.05% no alcohol beer. There's more alcohol in ripe fruit.

I usually have one after an intense run or gym sesh, hydrates and the phenols help with recovery/sleep. I think it could also be psychologically beneficial because it detaches the former sloppy buzz "reward" from the act of drinking at social events. You can just do your own thing. And in my experience nobody ever notices unless you point it out, same bottle shape.
 

PrimeTime32

Woodpecker
Thanks for the congrats everyone. My main thing is I dont want to go back to the messed up life I had. I was homeless and constantly in and out of jail due to alcoholism and lots of drug use. I know if I start drinking that eventually I will slip back into that lifestyle. I know that I'm an extreme case, people like me can't just have one drink, I will drink until the whole bottle is gone or I pass out. I realize most people can casually drink. If people want to go on the wagon I support it but for me I truly believe this thread has saved my life.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
NoMoreTO said:
I officially completed my 1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge.

As of Today I can officially drink again. I don't have a real motivation at the moment, so I will give it some thought. Maybe a glass of wine with a nice steak or a beer on a hot summer night. I was at a little gathering Friday night with some drinkers and didn't really feel at all ancy.

Thanks to this thread for putting it out there for me. I had done dry Januarys' and had given up drinking for lent a couple times but this was truly the marathon.

Life has changed a fair bit. Coincidentally, I returned to the Church and sacraments (TLM), gave up slooots, bought a small farm, but mostly the biggest difference in not drinking is not having the urge or compulsion to drink out of boredom.
NoMoreTO, congrats on completing a 1 year wagon. I hope you have been able to take some pride and satisfaction in your accomplishment. +1 rep point from me.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
PrimeTime32 said:
I just completed year three of my wagon challenge and I feel great and extremely focused. I'm definitely inspired by all the people making significant changes in their lives by giving up booze. I would like to sign up for year 4.
This is awesome PrimeTime32, three years is a big deal. You know how much you need this, and it makes me very happy to see you staying on track. Every year that passes secures and solidifies the gains you've already made.

Welcome back aboard for year 4 as of March 28, 2020 and I look forward to hearing more from you on this thread as time goes on.
 

Speculation

Kingfisher
I hit the 3 month mark a few days ago. I had this urge to drop in the bottle shop to stock up on booze before a lockdown, but recognised it for what it was. I reminded myself what the low times recovering from hangovers were like and continued on with my day.

Its pretty sneaky how this kind of thing sneaks up on you. I was thinking 'Hey it won't hurt, its not like you'll be doing anything constructive in isolation anyway'. This time is an exceptional opportunity for self-development and booze would really mess that up.

Hope everyone else is rolling on ok. I know the extra stress at the moment could be very testing.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
Speculation said:
I hit the 3 month mark a few days ago. I had this urge to drop in the bottle shop to stock up on booze before a lockdown, but recognised it for what it was. I reminded myself what the low times recovering from hangovers were like and continued on with my day.

Its pretty sneaky how this kind of thing sneaks up on you. I was thinking 'Hey it won't hurt, its not like you'll be doing anything constructive in isolation anyway'. This time is an exceptional opportunity for self-development and booze would really mess that up.

Hope everyone else is rolling on ok. I know the extra stress at the moment could be very testing.
Awesome. I'm about to hit month 4 in a week. Keep going strong brother.
 

etwsake

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Five years. Five. Years. It feels crazy. It went by like a blink and it also crawled like a snail at the same time.

I remember back when “American Idiot” by Green Day came out, there was a line in a song that said “I haven’t drank or smoked nothing in over 22 days.”

That line stuck with me cause I thought “jeez, how pathetic an addict do you have to be to think that 22 days is a big deal?”

That was before I tried quitting drinking. Then I realized…yeah. 22 days IS a big deal. It was hard for me to make it that far. I’d get close…12…15…17 days, and then I’d drink again, and I’d be right back to zero. I hated that.

So in my previous attempts at quitting drinking, 22 days took on a special significance to me. Every time I was able to get through 22 days, I’d go on to several months. Even a year once. But it always inevitably ended up back at zero.

Well, I’ve gone one hell of a lot longer than 22 days this time. Five years. And I don’t want to go back to zero.

Not drinking for five years is probably the only thing in my life I’m at all proud of. I haven’t done anything else to feel good about. I’m in my 40s. I’m obese. I have never been married. I don’t have children and I never will. I haven’t had a girlfriend in almost as long as I haven’t had a drink. I don’t own any property. I don’t have a car. I DO have a dead end job that lets me barely get by, but I only have a few grand to my name and this virus nonsense is probably gonna wipe that out. Every woman I’ve ever loved left me, and I don’t blame them.

I know my family loves me and I should be grateful for that. I should. But it feels hollow without the love of a woman that actually wanted to be with me. But what reasons have I given them? My sparkling wit? That a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

It’s been a rough five years. I want to drink all the time. I want to open a bottle and disappear and destroy myself. I’ve thought about killing myself a lot, but that’s a fucking dick move, I know. Despite those incredible lows, I managed to not drink, and I’ll be honest, I can’t tell you how. Maybe just that one sad little thing I had to cling on to….my number going back to zero. I just didn’t want to do that. I’ve suffered from intense insomnia, depression, and self-loathing as far back as I can remember, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. At some point, when my parents are gone, I’ll give up and take whatever meager savings I have and buy all the booze at a store and kill myself “Leaving Las Vegas” style.

But not today. That’s the best I can say, for now. I’m not gonna do it today, and I suppose I won’t do it in the next year either, cause despite my self-loathing I’m signing up for year six, as of April 20th, 2020.

Thank you Lizard of Oz. Thank you to my fellow drunks, addicts, partiers, abusers, depressives, and any of you reading this that “gets” it. Thank you. I won’t give up yet.
 

Lampwick

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I'm in for Year 2, as of February 3rd, 2020. Confirming no booze or any drugs since February 3rd, 2019. My issues with substances are more a matter of productivity and general health, rather than life or death. Currently I'm using the lockdown time to work on my meal prep system and study stock option trading. In the past, I would be getting drunk or high and watching TV. I recognize that others here may have bigger demons, and I appreciate the opportunity to participate in solidarity.
 

SeaFM

Kingfisher
I’m just passed 18 months alcohol free.

Im not sure if I posted this before or not, but for those that feel uncomfortable in social situations where alcohol is present and maybe you feel expectations to partake, try this:

Club soda with lime. Looks like a drink, has a bit of fizz and a little tingle in the throat going down. I think it’s the universal drink of former boozers. Every time I’ve ordered it, the bartender seemed to know the score immediately.

The best preventive measure of course is not putting yourself in bad situations.

I’m at the point now where I don’t even think about drinking anymore. It’s just not a part of my life. It’s amazing that I ever got to this point, because I really struggled to put down the bottle for years before I finally did.
 
One problem- lime or lemons often have more bacteria than other parts of bars because hands are used. Unless bartenders wish their hands every time lime or lemon are called for in the drink recipe, you are getting germs on your drinks.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
etwsake said:
Five years. Five. Years. It feels crazy. It went by like a blink and it also crawled like a snail at the same time.

I remember back when “American Idiot” by Green Day came out, there was a line in a song that said “I haven’t drank or smoked nothing in over 22 days.”

That line stuck with me cause I thought “jeez, how pathetic an addict do you have to be to think that 22 days is a big deal?”

That was before I tried quitting drinking. Then I realized…yeah. 22 days IS a big deal. It was hard for me to make it that far. I’d get close…12…15…17 days, and then I’d drink again, and I’d be right back to zero. I hated that.

So in my previous attempts at quitting drinking, 22 days took on a special significance to me. Every time I was able to get through 22 days, I’d go on to several months. Even a year once. But it always inevitably ended up back at zero.

Well, I’ve gone one hell of a lot longer than 22 days this time. Five years. And I don’t want to go back to zero.

Not drinking for five years is probably the only thing in my life I’m at all proud of. I haven’t done anything else to feel good about. I’m in my 40s. I’m obese. I have never been married. I don’t have children and I never will. I haven’t had a girlfriend in almost as long as I haven’t had a drink. I don’t own any property. I don’t have a car. I DO have a dead end job that lets me barely get by, but I only have a few grand to my name and this virus nonsense is probably gonna wipe that out. Every woman I’ve ever loved left me, and I don’t blame them.

I know my family loves me and I should be grateful for that. I should. But it feels hollow without the love of a woman that actually wanted to be with me. But what reasons have I given them? My sparkling wit? That a buck will get you a cup of coffee.

It’s been a rough five years. I want to drink all the time. I want to open a bottle and disappear and destroy myself. I’ve thought about killing myself a lot, but that’s a fucking dick move, I know. Despite those incredible lows, I managed to not drink, and I’ll be honest, I can’t tell you how. Maybe just that one sad little thing I had to cling on to….my number going back to zero. I just didn’t want to do that. I’ve suffered from intense insomnia, depression, and self-loathing as far back as I can remember, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. At some point, when my parents are gone, I’ll give up and take whatever meager savings I have and buy all the booze at a store and kill myself “Leaving Las Vegas” style.

But not today. That’s the best I can say, for now. I’m not gonna do it today, and I suppose I won’t do it in the next year either, cause despite my self-loathing I’m signing up for year six, as of April 20th, 2020.

Thank you Lizard of Oz. Thank you to my fellow drunks, addicts, partiers, abusers, depressives, and any of you reading this that “gets” it. Thank you. I won’t give up yet.
Congrats on the 5 years, etwsake. It's a splendid number, there is no other word -- and making it this far is something that you should rightly feel proud of.

What I wish for you is that the self-loathing that you've held on to for all these years would just fall away one day; not through any pointed effort of your will, but that it would be discarded like something for which you no longer have any use and which you suddenly realize no longer interests you -- bores you, in fact. Maybe you're still too young for that -- you solemnly invoke being in your forties, but I have to say that your writing reads like that of a man who is still young; the emotion has that heat and that brittleness in it. The notions of social and romantic success and failure still have a potency in your mind that is taken for granted, they seem to fill the entire world and leave nothing else; although one can perhaps see the first signs of this becoming more habitual and a matter of inertia -- a passion that still animates but that has lost some of its originary strength.

Some day, some fine morning maybe, you will step out on the street and find that these ideas have lost their sway over you, as if overnight; that you no longer particularly care whether you've been a "failure", socially, romantically or otherwise. This in itself might seems like a loss, since one clings to an obsession with "failure" to the extent that one clings to the possibility of "success"; but eventually, one might grow tired of these thin and harshly limited ideas. Self-loathing is not replaced by self-admiration -- rather, one is no longer able to think about one's own self at all without a shrug; it is too well-understood a subject matter and suddenly one realizes that there is a world outside the self, a world that has always been there and that offers more in the way of interest, variety, and entertainment. You go out one fine morning to sit on a bench and to dwell on the all-too-familiar miseries; but you can no longer focus on them. Your face tries to assume its habitual scowl and fails, you merely yawn instead. And then, because there is nothing else to do or think about, you lift your head and look at what is happening around you with modest but real attention. I think that will befall you one day.

Welcome back aboard for year number 6 as of April 20, 2020 and I look forward to hearing more from you on this thread as time goes on.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Lampwick said:
I'm in for Year 2, as of February 3rd, 2020. Confirming no booze or any drugs since February 3rd, 2019. My issues with substances are more a matter of productivity and general health, rather than life or death. Currently I'm using the lockdown time to work on my meal prep system and study stock option trading. In the past, I would be getting drunk or high and watching TV. I recognize that others here may have bigger demons, and I appreciate the opportunity to participate in solidarity.
Thank you for the post, Lampwick. Welcome back aboard for year 2 as of February 3, 2020 and I hope to hear more from you here over time.
 

xmlenigma

Pelican
I don't know if this is a wagon-approved method. But I've found that the new Heineken 0.0 is awesome for whenever you just want that beer taste or want to have a beer in your hand during a social event (like summer barbecue, most don't do mixed drinks). 69 calories (140+ in normal) and it tastes great. Also it's a true <0.05% no alcohol beer. There's more alcohol in ripe fruit.

I usually have one after an intense run or gym sesh, hydrates and the phenols help with recovery/sleep. I think it could also be psychologically beneficial because it detaches the former sloppy buzz "reward" from the act of drinking at social events. You can just do your own thing. And in my experience nobody ever notices unless you point it out, same bottle shape.
Life time liquor free.. but I started enjoying Non Alcoholic beer with a buddy of mine (who quit).. The feels without the "alcohol"

Which others do you like? Mostly we've had Bavaria or Budwieser 0.0
 

Charlemagne In Sweatpants

Robin
Gold Member
Although the general recommendation is to avoid NA beer while riding the wagon (which I support), I did have a phase many years ago where I tried out a bunch of near beers. Clausthaler (premium, green bottle) was by far the best.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
Although the general recommendation is to avoid NA beer while riding the wagon (which I support), I did have a phase many years ago where I tried out a bunch of near beers. Clausthaler (premium, green bottle) was by far the best.
I tried Beck NA beer last night. Awful taste. Best to avoid NA beers. I think it's my brain trying to cope with the temptation.
 

filio

Pigeon
After some thoughtful consideration I've decided to have my account deleted on rooshvforum.
I'm cutting down on my internet time, and this is one of the consequences.

My wagon is still rolling strong, I wish you all the best for yours as well!

Take care
 

bacon

Ostrich
Gold Member
Two days ago, I completed 6 years on the wagon. 6 years is roughly half the time I spent as a drunk. I wonder if I will change much going forward as I ride this wagon out, but it is safe to say a lot of the old me is pretty far in the rear-view mirror.

Sometimes, I can vividly remember that past part of my life. I can almost conjure up the vomiting, diarrhea and depression of the hangovers. The sense of "normalcy" I felt when I had my first drink in the morning. The random sharp pangs of pain coming from my liver. The brief and fleeting sensation that my anxiety and fears were gone forever after the first few drinks. The shame and confusion of what I did or said the night before.

Looking back, it feels like madness that I put myself through that when the negative effects of alcohol were so apparent.

I wanted to bring up a useful way of thinking that can be applied to guys looking to get sober. Charlie Munger, of Berkshire Hathaway, has a brilliant mind and he has educated people to think about things in mental models. Mental models are ways of thinking that helps us more efficiently understand the world around us. One of my favorites is the inversion mental model, which is a way of thinking about what you want in reverse. Essentially, instead of thinking about what you want, try to think about all the things you don't want.

To better illustrate this mental model, try to imagine a fat guy who wants to lose weight. Instead of thinking about the best ways to exercise and eat better, what he really should do is focus on what he needs to avoid. By simply avoiding eating the wrong foods and avoiding sloth he is going to get results. Obviously, he can fine tune an optimal diet and exercise program going forward, but he would simply stop being a fat person if he developed habits of avoiding what made him fat.

Here is how I would apply this model of inversion to a drunk on the fence about getting sober. The first issue is that they often have part of their identity wrapped around being a drinker, which would create a level of uncertainty about what a sober life would be for them. They would also struggle to mentally let go of the "benefits" they get from drinking since they don't fully examine all the negatives it causes. Such a person, should avoid thinking about drinking altogether, and get a pen and paper out and write down all the things they do not like about their life. A seasoned drinker will likely create a list which will include general fatigue, being in bad shape , poor sleep, irritability and depression in the morning, periodic embarrassment, etc... By writing down all the things they don't like about their life, an honest reflection upon looking at the issues would demonstrate drinking to be at the root of much of their problems.

In my drunk years, I had many moments where I wanted to get sober. I would often think about what a sober me would be like and my mind would ponder about what kind of person this hypothetical new me would become. Would I make more money, have better relationships, be in great shape? I was fantasying about assumptions about a future me that did not exist, and perhaps that is why that way of thinking didn't do the trick. It was too uncertain and unknowable for me to be motivated enough to get sober by thinking that way. I would have been better served if I had just thought inversely and considered all of the large and subtle things which were negatively impacting my life that would go away if I stopped drinking. I hope guys out there reading this considering the wagon will take the challenge to think inversely and examine all the things they do not like about their life. If you were like me, the common source of your problems is likely caused by hitting the sauce.

Sign me up for year 7.
 

squiggly

Sparrow
It's funny, never being been a drinker means I have never had to go full Morman. I might have a drink every few months, and had never had to think about it.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
After some thoughtful consideration I've decided to have my account deleted on rooshvforum.
I'm cutting down on my internet time, and this is one of the consequences.

My wagon is still rolling strong, I wish you all the best for yours as well!

Take care
filio, I've always enjoyed your brief but pointed renewal posts in this thread and have always looked forward to them around Christmastime. Best of luck to you in everything and I hope your wagon keeps rolling strong for many years to come.
 
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