I often toy with the idea of giving up alcohol totally. I do it for 2 months each year (Jan and Feb) and I really enjoy those alcohol free months. During them I frequently think I might give it up for good.
Then March comes !!! and before I know it Friday nights become associated in my head again with a nice bottle of wine and the same goes for Saturday and life without alcohol seems like not such a good idea anymore.
I’ve come to realise over the last few years that the thought of life without alcohol is far worse that the reality of life without alcohol. In fact the reality of life without alcohol is really pretty good. More energy, more productivity, more time and more clarity of mind to name some of the benefits!
But like so many other things, the psychological mindset we have toward something is a powerful influencer of our behaviour. In January and February it is easy for me not to drink. I look forward to those months. I enjoy not drinking. My mindset is firmly focused on the positive benefits my body and life reaps from alcohol free living. I don’t really see the negatives. Then March comes and this mindset fades in to the background and the mindset that considers alcohol an enjoyable and frequently essential part of socialising and relaxation takes the fore. Just like that, something that has been so easy for 2 months seems like a frightening thought for the rest of the year! It’s amazing the power of our own perspective!
For me a major part of giving up things (I’ve also done it with sugar, processed foods, dairy, meat and coffee at various times) is to experience what life is like without those things and to experience what they really give me – good and bad. It’s only by experiencing both sides of the coin that we can really know what we are gaining or losing.
With that in mind I came across this interview today. It’s from a few years back and is an interview between Sober Paddy and Comedian Des Bishop. Only 9 minutes long and interesting to hear when and how Des Bishop starting drinking, what made him stop and his experience of life after alcohol.