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Without awareness, there is no free choice


I played football on Sunday mornings and then went to the pub to drink all day, before stumbling home via the Chinese around 6 pm. 

Why?

I never asked that question, until one day, after a fight with my wife that left me feeling humiliated and emasculated, I went there. 

At first, my answer was, “I don’t know.”

It’s at this point that a guide comes in handy; someone who has been there. I didn’t have one. Still, I knew root cause analysis through my business training, so I went into ‘Five Why’ mode.

Why?

Why?

Why?

Why?

Why?

Here’s what I found.

I went to the pub with my friends to escape my wife and son. Being a father and a husband was harder than puking blood into a washing bowl.

I went to the pub to socialise with friends.

I went to the pub to watch football.

I went to the pub because ‘people like us do things like this.’ If I didn’t go, then what would my friends think?

Let’s dig deeper.

Do I escape my responsibilities by running to the pub? No, they are always there. What life am I leading if I want to run away from my responsibilities? Where is the respect for my wife? What role model am I for my son? If I avoid these responsibilities, you can be damn sure I am doing the same in other areas of my life, and that behaviour is reflected at me in the behaviour of others. Is this the man I want to be? No. How do I change this? I take responsibility. Does alcohol allow me to take responsibility? 

No.

There is no value.

I went to the pub to socialise with friends. Did I socialise with them? Yes and no. For the first few hours, I love the banter. We’ve only had a few drinks, and that allows us all to be on top form. The stories flow. The self-centredness is not present. Still, the more we drink, the less we remember. The more disconnected we become. The more self-centred we are. We descend more into our immature masculine energy. Then we blackout, or blackout intermittently. Thinking deeper, I realise that if none of us touched a drop, those first few hours of connection, laughter and joy would still exist. I know, because I have experienced these moments with my friends, sober. If the group stays sober all night, disconnection occurs through anxiety created by wanting to drink alcohol. Alcohol doesn’t improve my social experience; it lessens it. It disconnects, not connects.

There is no value.

I go to the pub to watch football. I am in the pub at 1 pm. The game starts at 4 and ends at 6. The more I drink, the less I remember and the likelier I am to be distracted. I am likely to blackout, or at the very least suffer intermittent blackouts. 

Does alcohol improve my experience of watching the game?

No.

There is no value.

If I didn’t drink alcohol, what would my friends think of me? I know the answer to this. They feel uncomfortable. That’s their business. What does that have to do with me? Do I want to be a man that is more invested in behaving in ways that make others feel comfortable, or do I want to be the man who attracts people who are not uncomfortable in my presence? What type of friends do I want to have? What environments do I want to hang out in? How do I want to spend my free time? 

Is drinking alcohol to ‘fit-in’ a viable long term strategy? 

No.

There is no value.

I became someone who doesn’t drink alcohol without feeling triggered because I don’t believe there is any value in drinking. If you do, then you will feel a desire to drink, and Resistance will be all over that shit. 

In the beginning, there was no awareness. I drank alcohol because that’s what everyone else did. Injecting awareness, allowed me to ask questions, and that exploration enabled me to choose alcohol or not for the first time in my life.

"Lee, Do you want to drink alcohol?"

"No."

Choosing NOT to drink alcohol is very different from stopping drinking because you feel you have to. 

At 1000 Days Sober, we help increase awareness of WHY you are an addict, screwing up your relationships, or don’t know who the hell you are despite a third of your life being in the rearview mirror through The STRIVE Method. I am currently mentoring six people through this process. I only have room for four more.  

If you want to be one of them, then head to www.1000dayssober.com and book a ‘Choose Yourself’ call, today. 

Now, you’re aware, you can make a choice :)