1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

SeaFM

Pelican
Just finished year number 2.

I used to read this thread all the time while I was still drinking. I knew for years that my drinking was a problem and that I needed to stop, but I was very resistant.

I still don’t know if I’d call myself an alcoholic, but for sure I was a habitual drinker, and once I got started, I didn’t stop. Definitely a problem drinker.

I don’t do moderation, still, in any area of my life. I’m 100% or I’m 0%. On or off. Binary, I guess you could say .

I did develop very serious health problems which I am convinced are directly related to my alcohol abuse.

What I’ve learned is that nobody escapes the consequences of alcoholism. It might get you when you’re 30, 40, 50 or even older, but it will get you. The fact is that we’re all on this planet for a short time, and I’ve become a big believer that the earlier you cut out that poison, the higher your quality of life will be as you age.

As I creep towards 50, I’ve become increasingly aware of this.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I feel extremely lucky to be alive right now. I have no doubt that had I not stopped drinking, and continued to ignore the symptoms I had that I blew off as hangover or drinking related, I’d be dead, or in a very bad situation with a very bleak prognosis.

I didn’t want to say it, but I might as well. I had digestive issues for about a year, and it turned out to be a cancerous tumour in my colon. I’ve been through chemo & radiation together, the surgery to remove the tumour, and about a foot of intestines, then more chemo after that.

I was extremely fortunate that it had not advanced through the colon wall, because that is when things get very difficult.

I did nothing high risk other than pound beers 5 nights a week for 25 years. My diet wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t terrible. I kept myself in decent shape for the most part. I had stretches where I let the pounds creep up a bit, but you’d never have called me obese. I had regular check ups. Bi-annual physicals were a requirement of my employer, which never showed any issue, but still, I got it.

So it’s been a rough 2 years to say the least. I lost my job over it. I can’t pass the medical requirements anymore. I’m adapting to life with 1 foot less colon than I used to have, but even in this respect, I had a top tier outcome, which means I had no ostomy, no bag, and I can control my bowels, so believe me, that’s the gold medal in the colon cancer world. The only thing is that I pretty much need to take a dump soon after I eat, so must plan accordingly.

I had just got married, and had a son in the months prior to diagnosis, which seemed like a cruel twist of fate, as I had finally “grown up” and had a family of my own. The thought of dying while my son was so young is what bothered me the most. I never needed any extra motivation to beat the disease, but if I did, that would have been it. I had him so late in my life that even if I have perfect health for the rest of my life, I’ll probably not see him turn 40, or ever know his children.

I made poor choices, and I’ve paid for them, but unfortunately I feel like my son will pay for many of them as well, and that’s a burden I’ll always carry.

However, I was sold a bill of goods by our beloved social engineers. I grew up in a broken home. A single mother. A latchkey kid. I believed in all of the feminist clap trap. I had a series of failed relationships where I always took on the peacemaker role. It took me many years of trial and error to discover what you guys call the red pill. To figure out that the nature of women hasn’t changed, at all, in spite of what has been hammered into our heads for the past 40 years in schools, in the media and in the corporate world.

The company I used to work for went all in on progressiveness. Almost all of the senior managers are women, or gay men. The President & CEO is a woman. They went completely woke, though not broke yet, but the coronavirus is probably nailing their coffin shut by now.

Funny story, the CEO had a big project underway with all of the female executives nationwide, and there’s a lot of them. The details were never made public, but this happened in the fall of 2016, so I’m 100% positive that it was Hillary related, and about breaking glass ceilings, all of it.

Well, when Trump won the election, it was like someone detonated a nuke in the corporate headquarters. The power structure just wilted. Our strong female leader was incapacitated. Seriously.

What ended up happening was the Chairman & CEO of the parent company (a man) had to step in and settle everyone down. Was glorious. Project shelved indefinitely, in case you were wondering.

I seem to have gone off the rails here, but it’s all connected. I was essentially living an extended adolescence before I stopped drinking. The majority of my friends from before are still unmarried and childless. An alarming number of them. It’s definitely the result of bad social engineering. It’s too common to be otherwise.

But I turned myself into an old school family man, and I’m seriously leaning towards the Owen Benjamin homesteading ideas these days.

Our society is sick. Our schools are rotten. Our governments are colluding to bring us all to heel. These are things that I believe to be factual now that I would have dismissed in my younger days.

Ok, before I get started on Trump, I better end this. I apologize if it doesn’t all belong in this thread, I just started coding like Zuckerberg in that movie.

Going forward into year 3 of my new life, and extremely grateful.
 

asdf

Robin
I want to start my sobriety journey starting today. Back during the beginning of the pandemic mess i went sober and i lasted 3 months but the drinking started again with just a few at a friends birthday get-together, then to a couple times a week, then it became a daily coping mechanism for all this bullshit happening in society. It has made me realize that moderation is just not an option for me. Lets see if i can make it to the new year and from there push forward to a whole year.
 

asdf

Robin
Saturday night, lots of political doom news online in contrast to the comfortable mundanity of my everyday life. An average setting for me to pound a six pack down or more but I didn't tonight. Had some friends over and I've declined to drink before so it wasn't weird but it's obvious that socially it just doesn't work when one is drinking and the other isn't. By 2 am I noticed how childish and lowbrow the conversations were. If I had been drinking I'm sure I would have been laughing. Maybe I'm just being a downer. But I'm sticking to sobriety.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
I am getting back on the wagon as of 12 October. I will have last drinks this evening and then commit to another year.

I'd completed a one year wagon plus some months change back in 2019. It was not difficult, not even at the start. I thought I'd take up moderate drinking afterwards and would simply quit at the first signs of trouble. Didnt work out that way, not even close.

This past year I'd probably drank 3 times more than any other year.
When you're young it would seem that money, parents,friends, logistics, closing time and work/uni all conspire to restrict your drinking. I do not seem to have any constraints left- what really got me was all night online ordering. When I run out I simply order more.

I'll probably die soon if I keep this up. Gambling losses, weight gain, social ostracism, dereliction of my work and problems with the law.
Ladies and gentlemen, the joys of drinking!

I am optimistic about this new wagon- because with the previous one I made a crucial mistake. I consumed tonnes of gourmet coffees, cappucinos and tea. I thought this would be my new pleasure. Rubbish, all of it. Its also probably half the reason my drinking got out of control- come evening time and its impossible to relax, no matter how much alcohol I drink. Ive been completely caffeine-free for three weeks now. Irritability, anxiety, depression are all significantly reduced. Insomnia is completely gone. I'd previously have been prepared to pay a small fortune for the ability to simply fall asleep come evening time.

I wish you gents good luck and prosperity on your own wagons. I'm hoping to post something positive here in a month or so.

Thanks for the post, pirate. Yes, caffeine abuse can really mess with your sleep and stress chemistry and it is -- of course -- worst for precisely the men that are most drawn to it; and that includes quite a few hard drinkers who try to use it as a crutch when they get off the sauce. For such men, the Full Mormon lifestyle is really best; no alcohol, no caffeine, no stimulants or depressants of any kind, regular exercise, a simple wholesome diet, and regular restorative sleep. That's what I would strongly recommend to you; get some weeks of that under your belt, and let the weeks add up to months and the months to years, and you will find your life profoundly changed for the better in more ways than you can easily imagine.

Welcome aboard as of October 12, 2020 and I hope to hear more from you here as time goes on.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Just finished year number 2.

I used to read this thread all the time while I was still drinking. I knew for years that my drinking was a problem and that I needed to stop, but I was very resistant.

I still don’t know if I’d call myself an alcoholic, but for sure I was a habitual drinker, and once I got started, I didn’t stop. Definitely a problem drinker.

I don’t do moderation, still, in any area of my life. I’m 100% or I’m 0%. On or off. Binary, I guess you could say .

I did develop very serious health problems which I am convinced are directly related to my alcohol abuse.

What I’ve learned is that nobody escapes the consequences of alcoholism. It might get you when you’re 30, 40, 50 or even older, but it will get you. The fact is that we’re all on this planet for a short time, and I’ve become a big believer that the earlier you cut out that poison, the higher your quality of life will be as you age.

As I creep towards 50, I’ve become increasingly aware of this.

I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I feel extremely lucky to be alive right now. I have no doubt that had I not stopped drinking, and continued to ignore the symptoms I had that I blew off as hangover or drinking related, I’d be dead, or in a very bad situation with a very bleak prognosis.

I didn’t want to say it, but I might as well. I had digestive issues for about a year, and it turned out to be a cancerous tumour in my colon. I’ve been through chemo & radiation together, the surgery to remove the tumour, and about a foot of intestines, then more chemo after that.

I was extremely fortunate that it had not advanced through the colon wall, because that is when things get very difficult.

I did nothing high risk other than pound beers 5 nights a week for 25 years. My diet wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t terrible. I kept myself in decent shape for the most part. I had stretches where I let the pounds creep up a bit, but you’d never have called me obese. I had regular check ups. Bi-annual physicals were a requirement of my employer, which never showed any issue, but still, I got it.

So it’s been a rough 2 years to say the least. I lost my job over it. I can’t pass the medical requirements anymore. I’m adapting to life with 1 foot less colon than I used to have, but even in this respect, I had a top tier outcome, which means I had no ostomy, no bag, and I can control my bowels, so believe me, that’s the gold medal in the colon cancer world. The only thing is that I pretty much need to take a dump soon after I eat, so must plan accordingly.

I had just got married, and had a son in the months prior to diagnosis, which seemed like a cruel twist of fate, as I had finally “grown up” and had a family of my own. The thought of dying while my son was so young is what bothered me the most. I never needed any extra motivation to beat the disease, but if I did, that would have been it. I had him so late in my life that even if I have perfect health for the rest of my life, I’ll probably not see him turn 40, or ever know his children.

I made poor choices, and I’ve paid for them, but unfortunately I feel like my son will pay for many of them as well, and that’s a burden I’ll always carry.

However, I was sold a bill of goods by our beloved social engineers. I grew up in a broken home. A single mother. A latchkey kid. I believed in all of the feminist clap trap. I had a series of failed relationships where I always took on the peacemaker role. It took me many years of trial and error to discover what you guys call the red pill. To figure out that the nature of women hasn’t changed, at all, in spite of what has been hammered into our heads for the past 40 years in schools, in the media and in the corporate world.

The company I used to work for went all in on progressiveness. Almost all of the senior managers are women, or gay men. The President & CEO is a woman. They went completely woke, though not broke yet, but the coronavirus is probably nailing their coffin shut by now.

Funny story, the CEO had a big project underway with all of the female executives nationwide, and there’s a lot of them. The details were never made public, but this happened in the fall of 2016, so I’m 100% positive that it was Hillary related, and about breaking glass ceilings, all of it.

Well, when Trump won the election, it was like someone detonated a nuke in the corporate headquarters. The power structure just wilted. Our strong female leader was incapacitated. Seriously.

What ended up happening was the Chairman & CEO of the parent company (a man) had to step in and settle everyone down. Was glorious. Project shelved indefinitely, in case you were wondering.

I seem to have gone off the rails here, but it’s all connected. I was essentially living an extended adolescence before I stopped drinking. The majority of my friends from before are still unmarried and childless. An alarming number of them. It’s definitely the result of bad social engineering. It’s too common to be otherwise.

But I turned myself into an old school family man, and I’m seriously leaning towards the Owen Benjamin homesteading ideas these days.

Our society is sick. Our schools are rotten. Our governments are colluding to bring us all to heel. These are things that I believe to be factual now that I would have dismissed in my younger days.

Ok, before I get started on Trump, I better end this. I apologize if it doesn’t all belong in this thread, I just started coding like Zuckerberg in that movie.

Going forward into year 3 of my new life, and extremely grateful.

SeaFM, that sounds like a rough couple of years, I'm glad to hear that you got as good an outcome as could be hoped for under the circumstances. As you obviously realize, going forward you will need to take exceptionally good care of you health and the wagon will be a necessary component of that. You should also make sure you optimize your nutrition as much as possible; that doesn't mean going overboard in any one direction but it means a healthy, wholesome, and various diet, excluding only foods that you really can't tolerate. You should definitely consider making or sourcing some bone broths, beef or chicken -- they have unmatched nutritional value and are particularly useful for recovering oncology patients for many years after treatment. They are easy and inexpensive to make at home, and can really make a difference -- check out this forum thread for recipes and more.

Welcome back aboard for year 3 as of October 18, 2020 and I look forward to hearing more from you here over time.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
I want to start my sobriety journey starting today. Back during the beginning of the pandemic mess i went sober and i lasted 3 months but the drinking started again with just a few at a friends birthday get-together, then to a couple times a week, then it became a daily coping mechanism for all this bullshit happening in society. It has made me realize that moderation is just not an option for me. Lets see if i can make it to the new year and from there push forward to a whole year.

asdf, when you say "let's see if I can make it to the new year" that makes it sound as if you were an observer talking about events that are outside your control. But of course, the truth is that it's entirely up to you whether you make it or not -- after all, no one is going to force a drink down your throat. If you realize that a one year drinking wagon is best for you -- and it certainly sounds like that would be a good idea -- then you should make a solemn decision, commit to it, and then just stick to it no matter what happens. You should remember that no matter how you feel at any given moment, no matter what your moods or desires or frustrations may be, and no matter the circumstances you may find yourself in, you can always stick to your decision once you've made it. Just remind yourself of this very basic and obvious fact whenever you need to, and let time take care of the rest.

If you decide to commit to a 1 year wagon, please post your start date here and I will be delighted to welcome you on board.
 

SeaFM

Pelican
Hi Lizard,

Been a hell of a ride indeed. Thanks for the words. Sorry about the delay in responding, I’ve been jackhammering F5 in the election thread.

Got clear scans back last week so things are looking good.
 
I dont binge drink or even get drunk, but have alcohol troubles.

Over the last few years alcohol just having 3 or 4 beers causes me to feel lethargic and achy the next day. I only drink 2 or 3 times a week but its becoming disruptive as i'm missing workouts or getting mild headaches whenever I drink.

Its a shame as I love the buzz from booze and I love seeing my mates in the pub.

Cant see a way around it so i'm strongly considering the wagon now.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
I dont binge drink or even get drunk, but have alcohol troubles.

Over the last few years alcohol just having 3 or 4 beers causes me to feel lethargic and achy the next day. I only drink 2 or 3 times a week but its becoming disruptive as i'm missing workouts or getting mild headaches whenever I drink.

Its a shame as I love the buzz from booze and I love seeing my mates in the pub.

Cant see a way around it so i'm strongly considering the wagon now.
How many drinks per sessions when you are doing "only 2 or 3 times a week?" I noticed that the calories really add up. IPA/non-light beers are at least 200 calories. 3 times a week with 2 beers each session is 6 x 200 = 1200 calories minimum per week. Now add that up over a year 1200 cal/week x 52 weeks/year = 62,400 calories per year if you are only drinking 6 beers a week. But I know most folks who drink are drinking more than that. Couple that with high sodium, high carb, low nutrition food consumed while drunk and the extra calories will quickly add up.
 

monsquid

Kingfisher
How many drinks per sessions when you are doing "only 2 or 3 times a week?" I noticed that the calories really add up. IPA/non-light beers are at least 200 calories. 3 times a week with 2 beers each session is 6 x 200 = 1200 calories minimum per week. Now add that up over a year 1200 cal/week x 52 weeks/year = 62,400 calories per year if you are only drinking 6 beers a week. But I know most folks who drink are drinking more than that. Couple that with high sodium, high carb, low nutrition food consumed while drunk and the extra calories will quickly add up.
Like LOZ always says, it's the insidious and slow creep of the casual drinks that rob our ability to enjoy life as it is. I noticed that since getting on the wagon my day to day appreciation for simpler things have returned. Does that mean I don't get bored or seek an emotional exhilarant? No. What it means is that I am able to go through the highs and lows more even keeled, as intended by nature.
 
6 more weeks to go for me. Took until this fall, about 9 months in, to really start understanding the full impact.

Really it improves the quantity of good days, because no disgusting hangovers. No doubt that would be roughly 1-4 days per month. Always “on” and ready to get it done.

And it also improves the quality of good days, when you can stand alone and enjoy observing and participating in the world without needing anything except yourself.

I’d like to enjoy 1-2 drinks responsibly on special occasions in the future. But this is so great that I don’t want to mess it up.

Final vice is coffee, which is way harder imo.
 

MtnMan

Woodpecker
6 more weeks to go for me. Took until this fall, about 9 months in, to really start understanding the full impact.

Really it improves the quantity of good days, because no disgusting hangovers. No doubt that would be roughly 1-4 days per month. Always “on” and ready to get it done.

And it also improves the quality of good days, when you can stand alone and enjoy observing and participating in the world without needing anything except yourself.

I’d like to enjoy 1-2 drinks responsibly on special occasions in the future. But this is so great that I don’t want to mess it up.

Final vice is coffee, which is way harder imo.
I gave up coffee this year when I started having heart palpitations. I do not think it was the coffee, I think it was massive sleep deprivation from a newborn baby and low magnesium. However, I stuck with it and it has been pretty nice. I enjoy not getting a headache, and I enjoy knowing that it is no longer an addiction. That being said, I sure do miss coffee, especially now that its dreary "stick season" in the northeast. Still would recommend it though, but I did not experience nearly the benefit from cutting out coffee compared to not having hangovers any more.
 
I gave up coffee this year when I started having heart palpitations. I do not think it was the coffee, I think it was massive sleep deprivation from a newborn baby and low magnesium. However, I stuck with it and it has been pretty nice. I enjoy not getting a headache, and I enjoy knowing that it is no longer an addiction. That being said, I sure do miss coffee, especially now that its dreary "stick season" in the northeast. Still would recommend it though, but I did not experience nearly the benefit from cutting out coffee compared to not having hangovers any more.
You can try replacing coffee with 'yerba mate' which is a leave that is popular in South-America. You can buy it in tea bags but traditionally you have to drink it in a container cup with a straw.

I find that it has the same effects as coffee (wakefulness, energy spike) without its negative side effects (caffeine crash, addiction, dehydration, jitteriness). It is my experience that the effects are more significant than green/black tea.

It has also great health benefits (high quantity of polyphenols, antioxidants, etc.)

Anyways, I don't want to derail this thread but I though I'd throw this in
 
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