I have recently made it to a milestone – I stopped drinking for 2 years.
I won’t spend too much time talking about my journey to stopping drinking, but just to summarise:
- I drank for around 10-years
- I was a big binge drinker and blacked out quite regularly
- I tried using willpower more times than I can remember
- I tried going to AA and admitting powerlessness
- I thought I had an addictive disease
- I was desperate for a solution
What I’m about to say may well sound odd to some people, but I don’t actually count the days – and I never have done.
I have an app on my phone that I have looked at a few times, mainly to write posts on Facebook, and that’s about as far as it goes.
If I was busy counting the days, that would make me think I had made a genuine sacrifice.
But, I haven’t made a genuine sacrifice. I stopped poisoning myself and was a non-drinker from day 1. These days, I understand alcohol for what it is.
And deciding to stop drinking was a simple and logical choice.
Either way, there was a point in my journey when I was trying to find a solution to my drinking problem. If I saw a blog post that said “I stopped drinking for 2 years” I would have read it. So, I want to share my experience for those people that have stopped or are stopping.
But, for now, I want to share the amazing things that have changed in my life since stopping.
1) You get a boat-load more clarity
Clarity. The ability to think clearly.
When I drank alcohol, this was more or less non-existent. I felt as though I was coasting through life. I was just going through the motions and getting through things.
Rarely could I ever sit down, make plans, make goals, journal, and do all of that good stuff.
I just couldn’t think straight. I describe those times as having a “fog” over my eyes.
Now, when you stop drinking, after a few weeks, that clarity is restored. It doesn’t take long at all.
But, here’s the thing.
A year into my journey, I felt pretty clear about what I wanted and who I was. It was one of the most pleasurable benefits of stopping.
However, this has compounded over time – massively.
Since I don’t drink alcohol anymore, my ability to process ideas, information, and create a vision for my life has become a lot easier.
Sure, the clarity was there early on in the journey – but as time passes it has improved by a boatload. I feel more and more clear about who I am and who I am becoming.
And this clarity has spread across multiple areas of life. I’m able to communicate better, I can make plans and stick to them and I can think straight.
I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of used to it at this point – but if you’re thinking of embarking on this journey, the clarity is amazing.
2) You become better at processing negative emotions
Another amazing thing that happens, is you become better at processing negative emotions.
When I drank alcohol, I often had high levels of anxiety – especially if I was hungover. I’d get this twisting feeling in my chest, and it would often immobilize me. I didn’t want to speak to people and I just wanted to be alone.
When I first stopped drinking, I still had waves of anxiety. And, I’ll be 100% honest, I still sometimes get waves of anxiety to this day.
However, now I stopped drinking for 2 years, I’ve learned how to deal with this emotion much better.
Stopping alcohol wasn’t the only thing that helped me process this anxiety. But, it definitely didn’t hurt.
One thing that helped massively was improving my ability to meditate. I found learning how to meditate more effectively very beneficial for controlling anxiety.
Another thing I did was read an amazing spiritual book called A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Actually, I buy this book for all of the Soberclear clients, because it’s so profound. It explained where the anxiety was coming from in my mind.
It is in my top 3 books of all time. I can’t recommend it enough.
That being said, stopping drinking has decreased the waves of anxiety I get. They’ve become a lot less frequent, less intense and they’re less in duration.
I made this video, talking about alcohol and anxiety you may wish to check out:
Anger and frustration also become easier to deal with.
When I drank, I was quite a lot angrier than I am these days. Those small, annoying things that happen in life would often get to me. As a result of that, I’d have outbursts. Shouting, swearing, punching things.
I still get angry to this day. I’m human and I’m far from perfect. But I’m much better at processing that emotion and not allowing it to burst out. I can sit with it and choose how I react.
This was borderline impossible when drinking.
Now I’ve stopped drinking, it’s almost like there’s a larger gap in-between feeling a certain way and reacting to it.
Free Video Training:
How To Use First Principles Thinking To Get Control Of Your Drinking
Free Video Training:
3) You are a better role model and leader
I’ve read some leadership books in the past. Quite often, those books talk about what you can do to become a better leader.
That being said, what you do is nowhere near as important as who you are.
When I was drinking, I might have said to a friend, a family member, or whoever that I was going to stop drinking for a month.
If I drank on the 2nd week, would that person then see me as a trustworthy leader that sticks to their word?
No. They would see me as fickle and uncommitted.
Now, I’m not saying stopping drinking is going to turn you into the next Winston Churchill. But, when you stop drinking, you become someone different. You become someone that other people can start to trust again.
You become a man or woman that sticks to their word.
Which, in turn, means you become a better leader to those around you.
And, as you start to go towards a better life after stopping drinking, other people start to take notice.
Most of the people in the Soberclear program end up starting businesses, getting their health back on track, and becoming more present with their family and partners.
Who do you think is the more inspiring leader? The drinker who can’t hold his or her word, or the non-drinker that sticks to their word and is busy improving his or her life?
It’s not so much about what they say, but by becoming someone better, they become a better leader.
I know who I’d rather follow anyway…
Leadership is about influencing and maximizing a group or an individual’s efforts towards a goal. And, when you stop drinking, there are tonnes of areas where you can improve your levels of influence.
The first person you lead is yourself. You lead yourself to a better quality of life.
If you have a family, you will probably want to influence them to work towards the goal of a happy household that has lots of love and care.
If you have children, you probably want to influence them to make the right decisions in their life.
If you have a business, you will probably want to influence your customers that you’re product or service is beneficial to their life. Or, you may wish to influence your staff to achieve your big mission.
All of these things become a lot easier when you change who you are – and for me, that started with stopping drinking.
In my experience, I first became a better leader in my personal training business. I was able to lead others into a life of good health.
I also became a better partner in my relationship, and I became a more positive influence on my family.
And now, my mission is to be a positive influence on other people that want to stop drinking.
I would never have had the confidence to lead people to a better life when I was drinking.
But, now the alcohol has gone, I can do exactly that.
4) Your projects move forwards instead of backward
When I drank alcohol, life was like a roller coaster. There was never any linear progress that lasted a long time. Life was always up and down.
I had some ambitions, even when I drank, but I could never seem to make good progress on them.
For example, the first time I stopped drinking for a prolonged period of time (using willpower), I started a personal training business.
This went well. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It made good progress. But, as soon as I started drinking again, everything started going backward again. The business soon disappeared into a pit.
Another example was in my relationship. When I was sober, I had a girlfriend. When I started drinking again, that relationship went out the window.
I’ve dropped out of college courses, I tried to start a YouTube channel and I almost dropped out of University in my first and second year.
When I drank alcohol, all of the big projects and goals I had set for myself rarely moved forward.
However, now I stopped drinking for 2 years, my big projects and goals are moving forward.
When you stop for a prolonged period of time, it gives you a new sense of confidence. You know that the work you’re doing today isn’t going to be destroyed by a drug later down the road.
You start to realize that each action you take to push your project or goals forward is a step in the right direction.
You’re not going to get knocked down and punched in the face in a few month’s time.
This only happened to me when I went through the First Principles approach to stopping drinking. I didn’t feel this way when I stopped using A.A. or willpower. When I understood alcohol gave me nothing, I knew I would never drink again.
All of my projects and goals became within reach once again.
5) You realize that 90% of adults are addicted to poison – and you feel bad for them
When I stopped drinking using willpower and A.A., I really believed that I had given something up. I thought alcohol had provided a benefit to my life.
I used to look at people that could have just one or two drinks, and I would feel envious. I used to wish I could be like them. A “normal drinker” so to speak.
When you stop drinking using the First Principles approach, you start to realize there are zero benefits to drinking alcohol.
Not one single benefit. Zero. Nada.
When you go through that process and you observe other drinkers, you actually start to feel bad for them.
You start to realize that the only reason that these people drink alcohol, is because they want to feel how a non-drinker feels all of the time.
I wake up and never want to drink. I feel great pretty much all of the time. The only reason a drinker drinks alcohol is to feel how I feel every single day.
I stopped drinking for 2 years, and I really feel pity for these people. They have been conned into thinking that drinking a poison has benefits.
You probably see those 1 in 100 studies that seem to surface every few months – saying that drinkers live longer and all that other nonsense.
SO many things in our society paint alcohol in a glamorous, sophisticated, and healthy way. Now I stopped drinking for 2 years, I see it for what it is.
A poisonous drug. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Since I stopped drinking for 2 years, the benefits have been immense.
Let me know your thoughts down below. What have been some of the biggest benefits you have found to stopping drinking? Speak soon!