I learned that lesson by spending my youth working in seedy nightclubs. No joke, I saw grown men dump a s**t on the dance floor because they were so drunk.
As one of my readers put it, going to a nightclub at 2 am is the equivalent of seeing a real-life animal planet documentary.
Alcohol makes us do dumb things.
Why this topic is a hard one to talk about
Many of us struggle to talk about alcohol because we have friends or family who’ve had their lives ruined by it.
Writing this piece is hard for me.
One of my family members is an alcoholic. We’ve tried many times to help them, and tried many interventions. Nothing works. As hard as it is to say, we’ve given up trying to get them to give up the drink.
When I think about that reality I get upset and tears pour out.
I wish there was something I could do but I can’t. So I try to lead by example. That means never drinking again. In a way, it’s a silent protest done out of love.
Today it’s been 1281 days since I last drank alcohol.
It’s hard to escape alcohol
Someone dies? Alcohol
Someone is born? Alcohol
New Job? Alcohol
Lose your job? Alcohol
New relationship? Alcohol
Break up? Alcohol
Society is accidentally numb much of the time because of alcohol. It stops us from having to feel or deal with reality.
It’s an escape … but it’s the worst one.
Since giving up alcohol I’ve found other ways to escape like writing online. The hardest part with alcohol is when I go out to be social.
People think I’m a psychopath when I tell them I don’t drink. They look at me like I’m a loser. They judge me with their eyes.
One of the reasons I gave up alcohol is because of a near-miss with cancer in 2015. I had to get serious about my health. I had to do whatever I could to make my body’s job easier.
Now I have even more motivation. I want to be a good role model for my 100 day old daughter. I don’t want her dad to be a deadbeat drunk that watches sports to numb the pain of a lack of meaning in life.
I want her to see alcohol isn’t necessary. What’s weird is that we drink it.
The compromise that never works
“Just have one drink.”
I’ve heard this my entire life. The co-founder of Netscape and Silicon Valley venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, Marc Andreessen, recently gave up drinking.
He says “even a single drink the night before was interfering with the next day.” That’s how it is for me.
One drink always leads to another. And even if by some miracle I do manage to only have one drink, I feel like crap the next day. It throws out my sleep and lowers my energy.
Why would people pay $20 a glass for this?
Marc went further into the research and found that many of the studies on alcohol were a lie. Alcohol never has and never will be good for us. It’s poison for our minds and bloodstream.
I always like to remind myself: “Alcohol kills brain cells.”
I’m already not that smart so I need every precious brain cell I can get. Nuking them seems silly.
The enragers of the alcohol debate
There’s a naughty little boy who’s created the recent alcohol-quitting trend.
His name is Andrew Huberman of the Huberman Lab Podcast. He has a Ph.D. and advocates for zero alcohol consumption. Dan Go’s tweets on the topic have only added more jet fuel to the bonfire.
“Something I’ll never understand… A lot of people use alcohol to de-stress and sleep. When alcohol does the complete opposite of those things.”
Both influential leaders go on to remind people on a daily basis how bad alcohol is for the body.
They remind us that alcohol is an energy destroyer, not energy creator. Life is hard enough already.
Why would you want to fight to have energy to get through the day?
Alcohol is the only drug where if you don’t do it people think you have a problem — Andrew Huberman
The worst reason I drank
A few years back I was single and on the Tinder dating scene. Look out!
My confidence at the time was at record lows. So many women had turned me down. The only way I could have the confidence to show up for a date was if I was tipsy and had a few drinks.
Going on a date was a risk. Drinking alcohol made taking risks feel easier.
But it didn’t work. I got so smashed I’d end up oversharing and saying something rude or inappropriate. I lost some great women because of alcohol.
But it had another effect on me …
I felt invincible when I drank. So I’d go out on the town on these wild dates and then jump in my car blind drunk. The number of close calls in that car that could have ended in death are too many to count.
One night I took my car around a corner at over 100 miles an hour in the rain because I was angry at a woman I went on a date with. The car spun off the road and did 360s.
Invincibility doesn’t exist. It’s just stupidity created by alcohol.
Powerful reasons to quit alcohol & get your life back
I recommend everyone quit alcohol. There’s no need for it in society anymore. We need brain cells. We need energy.
Here are some powerful reasons to quit:
No more beer belly
I’ve always had a beer belly. No matter what I did at the gym I couldn’t shake it. Then I learned about liquid calories. Now the beer belly is gone and I don’t have to hide it anymore with loose-fitting clothes.
No one saw the real me when I was blind drunk.
Maybe the sober me is boring as hell, like some of my former friends would say, but that’s the real me. What you now see is what you get.
You stand out and look weird
My lack of drinking is a real talking point at parties.
It gets people’s attention which allows me to socialise easier. Being weird is actually cool. I don’t ever want to be normal.
You get one life. Don’t screw it up by being normal.
The older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to live a life others don’t understand
— Aaron Will
This is a weird benefit you’ve probably never heard of
Science shows that when you drink alcohol the brain has huge variations in dopamine levels (the chemical that motivates you).
So you never quite feel right.
Writer Jill Francis says “When you quit entirely the dopamine levels out, leaving you with that basic b*tch, vanilla-flavored, Toyota Prius of feelings.”
Spiking your dopamine levels is bad. TikTok and Netflix already mess with them enough, so don’t let booze make it worse.
Everyone from Marc Andreessen to Sahil Bloom has commented on how their sleep improved when they quit alcohol. Science backs this up too.
Bringing it all together
I’m going to continue to never drink again. Alcohol kills my creativity which I need to enjoy life.
The biggest reason for me to stay sober, though, is to be a good example for the alcoholics around me. I want to show them there is hope.
Alcohol is nasty. We don’t need it anymore.