How I Stopped Caring About Alcohol
A realization hit me a couple of nights ago- besides the one month last year where I drank, I have been doing this whole sobriety thing for almost two years now. While I regret drinking in the first place, it was the moment I got 100% confirmation that drinking just wasn’t for me.
But this realization had hit me hard and suddenly; it was the first time I had even thought about my relationship with alcohol and sobriety in months. From thinking about it almost daily to forgetting it even existed, what changed for me? I thought about it for quite a while and this is what I came up with.
I put more effort into my health
In this past year, the pandemic happened and I found myself thinking more and more about how I approached health. As someone who works in tech and plays a lot of video games, I realized if I didn’t make a change that I would be on a steady path to obesity and other health issues. Nothing like a global pandemic as a hard reminder that you need to take care of yourself. And from my last physical at the doctor’s office, I was in need of some changes if I didn’t want to face physical health issues later.
Because gyms were closed, I had originally started to lift weights at home but my mental health had taken a huge hit from the pandemic, so I could only manage walking around the block a couple of times.
Those couple of blocks turned into miles after a few months and to this day, I walk about 3 miles a day at minimum. I started walking whenever I was stressed, and during breaks at work. After dinner, I’d walk to digest whatever food I was eating.
For my diet itself, I started to focus on what my body was telling me and stopped focusing on what I was reading that I should be doing. If I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t eat or I drank a protein shake. I made it a point to eat more vegetables at night and stopped eating carbs like pasta or bread for dinner.
To this day, I haven’t lost much weight but after yo-yo’ing between 173–176, I’m not 163 pounds. And I’m starting to look leaner, as well.
I went vegan
In no way am I saying to be sober, you have to be vegan or that eating a vegan diet is going to help you lose a ton of weight. In fact, when I first went vegan, I actually gained a couple of pounds because I was eating vegan junk food.
I originally went vegan in January to see how my body would react to not eating any animal products, specifically dairy. But after a while, I kept it up because it felt great to have a diet that made me feel like I was making a difference in the world.
If there’s a lesson to take from veganism helping me stay sober, it’s finding something that you want to do not just for you, but for another person or being’s benefit. While that may be volunteering at an animal shelter or cleaning up your local park, it’s rewarding to be doing something that takes you outside of yourself and contributes to the world.
I got another hobby
Lately, I’ve been so focused on my new hobby that I actually don’t have time to think about drinking. Something I’ve always wanted to do was to start a gaming channel on YouTube and to be a Twitch streamer. Not for the money, but as a way to work on my nonexistent public speaking skills while doing something I already loved doing -playing video games.
Turns out if you want to start something like this without any background in video or audio editing, it has a steep learning curve. Most of my time now is spent working my day job and then practicing editing videos of gaming sessions I’ve recorded. Hours have been spent figuring out the best audio levels so that you don’t hear background noises or my mechanical keyboard when recording games.
Learning something new that you’re not familiar with is the best way to take your mind off of a bad habit while simultaneously developing good ones. And with my new hobby of recording myself playing games, I’m not only developing better speaking skills but also a high self esteem. Editing a video where you’re seeing your face for hours can make you more comfortable with your own face in the end. As someone who’s struggled with self esteem issues, I’m getting more comfortable talking and being seen.
If you mention alcohol to me now, I’m in shock as to why we would want alcohol to be at an event. You mean, you want to drink when you could be doing all these other things? To me, I’d rather spend time moving forward with my goals than spend time stuck in a moment with alcohol.
The main ideas to get from this article are simple-
- Find a goal you want to work on like health
- Do something not just for yourself but for another
- Try new things that you may not already be familiar with
You may not forget about alcohol completely like I do sometimes but I can assure you, you’ll love the journey.