1 Year Drinking Wagon Challenge for 2014

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Irishman, glad to have you on board. If you feel like it, post a starting date on the thread.

What you say about your father and your uncle is exactly what I've observed about the difference in aging between hard drinkers and those who give it up. It's good to have such an example right in front of you. Makes things really clear.

Irishman said:
Ya Im in too.

My old man quit cold turkey when he was around my age and he is now a beast. Razor sharp social skills, fit as an ox, tonnes of energy. Nearly 60 and he can run, lift and work all day. He looks years younger then his brother (a big drinker) who is actually ten years younger then he is.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
If I could make a suggestion. Let's have this thread be nothing like an "AA meeting".

I've always disliked tears and group hugs and the drama of "falling off" and "getting back on" and so forth. And I'm no fan of reddit whining, either.

I think it should mainly be about guys getting on board (if that's their decision) and posting dates and then occasional updates on how they're doing, the good, the bad and the ugly. Just quiet commitment to an honorable and difficult effort of one year's duration, or more if desired.
 
Single Dad Swag said:
Any time I try to go a night or two without alcohol to "prove to myself I can do it"… I toss and turn all night, wake up covered in sweat, heart races, and have the most freaky nightmares you can imagine. DTs maybe? I don't know, but yeah, I would probably need some serious in-patient care to pull some shit like this off.

Yeah, that's the withdrawal process. I get them for about 2 nights after a blackout binge. For you, shit that might last 5-7 days. You're best bet is to suffer em out, although in the past i've used xanax since i have no addictive craves for xanax.
 

Vitriol

Pelican
Pyre said:
Single Dad Swag said:
Any time I try to go a night or two without alcohol to "prove to myself I can do it"… I toss and turn all night, wake up covered in sweat, heart races, and have the most freaky nightmares you can imagine. DTs maybe? I don't know, but yeah, I would probably need some serious in-patient care to pull some shit like this off.

Yeah, that's the withdrawal process. I get them for about 2 nights after a blackout binge. For you, shit that might last 5-7 days. You're best bet is to suffer em out, although in the past i've used xanax since i have no addictive craves for xanax.

That's actually terrible advice. You can die from alcohol withdrawal. Someone in his situation is probably going to need a doctor to give him tons of benzodiazepines to prevent seizures and death when he's getting severe withdrawal symptoms.

Anyone who has been drinking consistently for years on end like that needs to be monitored when they decide to stop.
 
I've started doing MDMA when going out, rather than drinking myself to oblivion. It's not a bad idea but it makes you very soft, as if all testosterone exits the body when you come up. Plus your dick turns into a clitoris

Second thoughts, Mines a pint
 

Mentavious

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Single Dad Swag said:
I probably should've stayed out of this thread. Just reminds me how impossible this shit is for me.

I drink myself to sleep nightly. Whiskey. Straight. Been going on for the better part of a decade. I know I need to cut the shit out, and I've tried… but never last long. In the last 5 years, I doubt I've been sober for more than 2 straight days. I know it's killing me. I'm extremely high-functioning. I hold down a director-level position for a large creative firm and am a high-ranking chair member of a pretty influential industry association. I don't lie to myself and pretend that I wouldn't be even more functional if I cut the boozing out.

Any time I try to go a night or two without alcohol to "prove to myself I can do it"… I toss and turn all night, wake up covered in sweat, heart races, and have the most freaky nightmares you can imagine. DTs maybe? I don't know, but yeah, I would probably need some serious in-patient care to pull some shit like this off.

Good luck to those of you who can make this happen. I don't stand a chance. I'm not ready.

You have a drinking problem but yet you can operate and excel at a high position for a reputable company?

I don't think that's possible but......some people believe OJ Simpson didn't do it so I guess anything is possible.
 
dreambig said:
A question for you guys that don't drink:

How do you run dates without any alcohol? To be honest, I can't imagine a first date without at least a glass of wine or two. It's an integral part of my seducing a girl and making us both relaxed. I tend to take them to a few bars nearby before banging them at my place. Without any alcohol, they tend to keep their legs shut. What is your way of dealing with this?

who says she doesnt have to drink? always let the lady order first, she'll order some wine, you order a club soda with a lime. she asks you why you're not having a drink, you say because you're retired and there you go.

she'll have as much as she wants or as little as she wants. most times, they'll just have one glass and that'll be it. like a normal person.

but if your game relies upon getting chicks buzzed/drunk, you got work to do elsewhere.

just be positive and encourage them that their drinking means nothing to you. dont say it more than once and just be confident about it. act like its nothing.

-----

to those of you are just starting out not drinking, i suggest staying away from bars for a while til you get your legs under you. i didnt go to bars for probably about 6 months after i quit. but after that i went/go all the time with no problem at all.

there are a million sober date ideas too if you're wondering what you're going to do for fun without drinking.
 
Single Dad Swag said:
I probably should've stayed out of this thread. Just reminds me how impossible this shit is for me.

I drink myself to sleep nightly. Whiskey. Straight. Been going on for the better part of a decade. I know I need to cut the shit out, and I've tried… but never last long. In the last 5 years, I doubt I've been sober for more than 2 straight days. I know it's killing me. I'm extremely high-functioning. I hold down a director-level position for a large creative firm and am a high-ranking chair member of a pretty influential industry association. I don't lie to myself and pretend that I wouldn't be even more functional if I cut the boozing out.

Any time I try to go a night or two without alcohol to "prove to myself I can do it"… I toss and turn all night, wake up covered in sweat, heart races, and have the most freaky nightmares you can imagine. DTs maybe? I don't know, but yeah, I would probably need some serious in-patient care to pull some shit like this off.

Good luck to those of you who can make this happen. I don't stand a chance. I'm not ready.

when you are ready, you should really consider checking into a detox. you can die from withdrawal.

dont listen to the dolt that said take xanax. xanax and alcohol together are lethal. trust me on that one.

whatever you do, DONT TAKE XANAX.

call around to the local hospitals. in most cities they have centers that are very therapeutic, professional, etc where you can go and detox and be monitored by a physician. its usually covered by insurance. i did 8 days in early 2009. thank god i did.

my BP was like 280/200. RHR 100+. shakes, sweats, disoriented. the whole thing. that was because of the alcohol + xanax combination. i started taking xanax to help me "relax" in the time period before i started drinking for the day. pretty soon i was eating those 2MG bars like nothing and drinking with them all day. stay away.
 
for many years it was you know, several beers most nights (5-8) with a few nights of 1-2 sprinkled in. but then over time it became beer and tequila, or beer and scotch. and then those bottles of scotch that used to last weeks were lasting a week. and then it was vodka. a martini at the bar and then beers the rest of the night...became two martinis to get "right" after a work day and then many beers the rest of the night.

then i started buying the big gallon stoly's and drinking those down in a week or less. big glasses of vodka soda. or whatever else we had in the house.

smoking weed all along too naturally.

then i found myself grabbing a drink at lunch. or bringing beers to the office at 3pm for "happy hour"

weekends were kicked off with screw drivers in the morning.

shit just escalates.

i was definitely the guy that got the drunkest at the party.

but the thing that really fucked me in the end was adding the xanax. that shit took it too an entirely different place of being 'snowed out' mentally. it was glorious and wretched at the same time.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
I've drunk less in my life than most people do in just one week, so I'd be able to bust this with ease. I often feel condescension towards people who need drink to feel fun, although I'd never tell them that. It's their life.
 

el mechanico

Owl
Gold Member
reaper23 said:
for many years it was you know, several beers most nights (5-8) with a few nights of 1-2 sprinkled in. but then over time it became beer and tequila, or beer and scotch. and then those bottles of scotch that used to last weeks were lasting a week. and then it was vodka. a martini at the bar and then beers the rest of the night...became two martinis to get "right" after a work day and then many beers the rest of the night.

then i started buying the big gallon stoly's and drinking those down in a week or less. big glasses of vodka soda. or whatever else we had in the house.

smoking weed all along too naturally.

then i found myself grabbing a drink at lunch. or bringing beers to the office at 3pm for "happy hour"

weekends were kicked off with screw drivers in the morning.

shit just escalates.

i was definitely the guy that got the drunkest at the party.

but the thing that really fucked me in the end was adding the xanax. that shit took it too an entirely different place of being 'snowed out' mentally. it was glorious and wretched at the same time.
What you're describing is a typical person around here but yeah you should have tapered down before the xanax came into the picture...

I would like to know from the guys that are quitting where the point is that is too much. At my work the two guys and one of their friends will drink a handle of lady bligh rum and a case of Heineken every two days and you can't tell they are even buzzed.

I've curbed my drinking due to having a kid and eating low carb which kills your tolerance but when I drink it's about half a 750ml or three drinks and I'm fine but if I go over that I have a hangover of sorts.
 

Frontenac

Kingfisher
Funny this thread comes up. I've been toying with the idea of going sober for a good length of time for a couple months now. My problem has always been what to do when everyone else is having a beer. I guess just use some of the lines you guys have posted around here.

I want to do this, and if other men are attempting this too, then it may be a little easier. My potential start date will not be until the new year though because I'm going to Chicago for a weekend, and there's definately going to be some partying then.
 
My relationship with alcohol is weird. I don't like any alcoholic drinks apart from bourbon. I don't even like Scotch Whisky.

If bourbon didn't exist I would never drink at all. It is just that I love the taste of bourbon so much.

But the problem with it - is that drink often leads to binges. Even though the only reason I ever drink it is because of the taste.

But the enjoyment of the taste - after a few drinks - often becomes a gateway to a binge.

Still - I am going to stick with giving it up. But I do miss the flavour. It was the mixture of the flavour and the way it would warm (and slightly sting) the mouth. Before relaxing my stomach. I think I have IBS (and/or a dairy allergy) or something, and I always found that bourbon made me feel better after a meal.
 
I only drink with girls, friends and sometimes ill take some shots or chug a 40 before I go out during the day to mess around. I can't just sit at home and drink alone but ive never been a big drinker. Ill just get a buzz and smoke some to chill. I had fun getting wasted when I was younger and throwing up everywhere.

Xanax definetly doesn't need to be brought up in an alcohol thread lol. You don't remember shit when you mix them.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
SDS, you can definitely do this if you decide to and I really think you should. There is no time like the present.

You'd just have to consult with your doc and tell him you're going to do it, and there are certain medications, one in particular, that you can discuss with him that will allow you to sleep well during the acute withdrawal period (not Xanax or other benzos, you don't really want to mess with that).

But you don't need anything like in-patient care, that's exaggerated. Sleep really is the main issue and there are things that can be done. Then once the acute withdrawal period is over you can taper off the medication and transition to just using a light box, exercise and other things that will enable you to sleep well naturally.

Let's follow up by PM if you like.

Single Dad Swag said:
I probably should've stayed out of this thread. Just reminds me how impossible this shit is for me.

I drink myself to sleep nightly. Whiskey. Straight. Been going on for the better part of a decade. I know I need to cut the shit out, and I've tried… but never last long. In the last 5 years, I doubt I've been sober for more than 2 straight days. I know it's killing me. I'm extremely high-functioning. I hold down a director-level position for a large creative firm and am a high-ranking chair member of a pretty influential industry association. I don't lie to myself and pretend that I wouldn't be even more functional if I cut the boozing out.

Any time I try to go a night or two without alcohol to "prove to myself I can do it"… I toss and turn all night, wake up covered in sweat, heart races, and have the most freaky nightmares you can imagine. DTs maybe? I don't know, but yeah, I would probably need some serious in-patient care to pull some shit like this off.

Good luck to those of you who can make this happen. I don't stand a chance. I'm not ready.
 

The Lizard of Oz

Crow
Gold Member
Kimber, good to have you on board. I think 25 is a fine age to take a 1 year pause if you've been drinking hard through your early twenties. It's really the age where diminishing returns start kicking in. I feel looking back that any hard drinking I did that was 100% enjoyable and non-damaging was before 25.

If you like, please post a starting date when you have one.

Kimber said:
I'm in, like Dreambig i have major concerns that it'll be harder to get girls to fuck but relying on alcohol is probably much worse. I'm still young (25) so i'll do this for 6 months/a year, get my body in order then decide if i want to go back to the drink.

There's a nodrinking reddit for guys that are looking for extra support: http://www.reddit.com/r/stopdrinking/
Seems depressing though - the latest thread was i drank my kids out of a christmas. shit.
 

Charlemagne In Sweatpants

Robin
Gold Member
This thread could not have started at a better time for me.

I hopped on the wagon about 6.5 months ago (5/13/13). It has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done...but I was in a really bad place when I started, and I didn't leave myself much of a choice.

The first few months weren't too bad because they carried a bit of novelty. I found it interesting to put myself into social situations that normal would've been a complete disaster had I been pounding booze like John Bonham. I had a great time mixing it up with friends and actually surviving through the night (I was a chronic Irish exiter). I had to completely restructure my game, since I usually just blacked out and hoped for the best. Instead I was able to pay attention to what I was doing, and learn from mistakes or reinforce what was working. I'll admit that it's still difficult to loosen up and get over approach anxiety, but that is something that I've long struggled with.

As far a general lifestyle changes, here's a quick list...

The Good

- My life has become completely devoid of the crazy, unmanageable shit I used to get myself into.
- I have almost forgotten what a hangover feels like. Almost.
- There has not been one morning where I've woken up with "the fear" - where I had no idea what I did or said the night before.
- My savings account has started to creep back up.
- The line between passing out and sleeping was blurred for me for a long time. After a 2-week adjustment period, sleep became amazing. I've been getting a solid 8 hours almost every night, and I'm fast asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. So good.
- People from all areas of my life have told me how proud they are of me. Gets me right in the feels.

The Bad

- I've been an on/off smoker since college, but smoking has started to become a very compulsive activity when I'm in situations where I would've previously been drinking. This has kinda negated any health benefits I would be getting from quitting the sauce.
- While life is considerably easier, it also has tilted towards boring.
- Whenever I am out, I feel like I am operating with a bit of a social handicap. I am a pretty introverted, laidback person by nature, and not having booze as a way to get out of my head makes me feel more awkward than usual. Reaper has given some great advice in this thread for "owning" your sobriety and not making it a big deal. I need to put in some work here.
- I really miss the bonding experience of communal drinking. When you're out with a bunch of buddies and you give each other that dopey grin and head nod that says you're both on the same level...goddamn I miss that.
- I used to use my drunken episodes as motivation to do things like exercise or productive work-related activities. Since staying sober has been challenging for me (let's face it, I was an addict - this wasn't something I was trying just for the sake of trying), I tend to give myself a pass for doing anything else that involves effort (as such, my fitness has kinda stabilized and I'm a bit more prone to laziness/distraction at work). This has slowly been getting better.

The Weird

- For the first few months I alternated between periods of being super hungry and super sleepy.
- I was hoping my short term memory would begin to come back after years of destroying brain cells. It has not.

Around the 6 month mark I really hit a wall. The only way I can describe it is that I feel completely out of sync, and my mind really starts racing when I'm in social situations, first dates and such. Alcohol was a great way for me to tune out all that noise, and it truly developed into a crutch. I'm really hoping to get some advice from the other guys here who pushed through this plateau and continued on, now that the novelty has worn off a bit. There's some good stuff in this thread so far.

Anyway, that's my story. Best of luck to anyone out there who is trying.
 
Okay, I'm in.

I've have posted a couple times on this topic of boozin' and I can relate to some of the experiences I've read. It seems a number of guys here have been hard drinkers through their teens and twenties and can still generally keep composure while consuming massive amounts of booze, but upon entering their thirties they start to question the value of this practice. I am also that guy.

I love drinking. I love it so much. My true passions in life are girls, money and surfing, but I would give up all three if I could hang around and drink beer all day. The problem is that my love of booze is too strong and it gets in the way of those other things. For years I have tried to drink only moderately, but inevitably my desire to drink too much overpowers my desire to restrain my drinking, over and over and over again.

I am certain that I have had fewer lays by cockblocking myself with booze than I would have had if I didn't drink so much. I've often used the satisfaction of drunkenness as a substitute for the satisfaction of getting laid. Going out and having some drinks can certainly help, but if I judge myself by my own track record then I have to accept that my tendency to drink hard has resulted in fewer lays over time than would have occurred if I have been more focused my getting laid and less focused on drinking. Yes, being the drunk fun guy and even the drunk angry fighting guy has resulted in lays because girls can be attracted to the fun and the drama. But I have had a tendency to rely on that to create attraction, and I would have gotten laid more over the past ten years if I had been creating attraction actively through direct interaction rather than passively by creating a scene for girls to observe and occasionally gravitate towards. It's like the difference between spear fishing and casting from the shore.

And I cringe when I think back on the number of days with good surfing conditions that I missed because I was hungover and lazy.

In terms of money, it's not so much spending money on booze but the blunting affect that consistent drinking has on my appetite for more cash that has held me back. I get such a nice surface level satisfaction from a good wine/beer/gin/whiskey buzz that I become far less motivated to aggressively seek the things that give me a deeper satisfaction, which are getting laid, getting barreled and getting paid.

I'm also rather bored of drinking, in spite of my love for it. I am so intimately familiar with it that there is no mystery left. There is still room to explore and have new experiences in those other three passions. And as I am now in my early thirties, I have to admit that I have less energy to spend on drinking hard if I want to pursue those other things to the extent that I want to pursue them.

I don't want to proclaim that I will never drink again, but I do want to experiment with this year of sobriety and actively push that newly freed energy into more productive pursuits.
 
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