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Why I Decided Alcohol Wasn’t For Me Anymore

Written by Jim Huntzicker | Category: Addictions, Alcohol, Behavioral Addiction February 26th, 2021

I want it…no, I need it…NO, I deserve it! Yeah, that’s it, I deserve it. Well, at least those were the things I kept telling myself until my early thirties when I finally decided enough was enough and made a fundamental choice to change the conversation I was having with myself that enabled me to drink almost daily.  

” Alcohol, the cause of and solution to all life’s problems. ” – Homer Simpson

It’s funny what sticks with you. I heard that quote on the TV show “The Simpsons” probably 20+ years ago and it has always stuck with me. If you know anything about the Simpsons this was just a complete mockery of our society and its hypocrites in general. So it’s kind of funny, not funny. 

For the record, I am not against alcohol or drinking. I just decided it wasn’t for me. I’m not here to try to convince anyone to quit something they aren’t interested in quitting. I am just going to share with you why I decided alcohol wasn’t for me anymore. 

Here is where it started for me… Imagine with me what the world would be like if alcohol never existed. Just think about it for a few minutes…

I know, right? Way too many people would be succeeding at an alarming rate. The economy would be exploding to levels never seen before (well, except for the alcohol industry and the billions a year they spend on advertising to get you to consume it). The US would not likely have the ridiculous obesity problem that it currently does (over 30% of the US is clinically obese and over 60% are overweight). Minds would be clearer and life would simply be better no doubt. Divorce and domestic abuse rates would be a fraction of what they currently are. No one would lose a loved one to a drunk driver. I could go on and on as to how we would all benefit as a society if alcohol was not an option. 

So it’s probably good that it does exist right? Imagine the chaos it would cause if a lot more people were succeeding at unprecedented levels, living longer and the economy was booming. What would happen? Seriously though, these are all of the things that went through my head as I finally decided alcohol wasn’t for me anymore and quit for good in July 2011. 

And we will never know, because alcohol is never going anywhere. Just as with the pharmaceutical industry, they both annually spend millions and probably billions of dollars on lobbying in Washington D.C. to make sure they can market their products all over the place as much as possible and get to all of us, especially kids, as early as possible. Stay tuned to more blog posts from me on this exact subject. I will have a deep dive into the Washington bribery, a.k.a. Lobbying, that goes on. I am talking about literal bags of cash, hookers, and drugs provided to the lawmakers. No one should be shocked by that kind of thing at this point in time and if you are, you’ve been asleep.

When I show you the way the specific laws are written in favor of the alcohol and drug companies to market to us, it is a joke. It makes me sick to my stomach. I will give you one snippet: the alcohol industry is on the honor system with their marketing campaigns. Yep, self-governed that they will do the right thing and abide by the laws and rules. It is an f-ing joke once you dig into it and do you think they always abide by the rules? And don’t even get me started on the Tobacco industry! Pure evil.  

Anyway, how I decided alcohol wasn’t for me…it all started by not liking the decisions I made while drinking. That was mostly eating choices but there were also several personal and drug choices I made that I am not especially proud of. I also didn’t like the way I felt in general from it, but especially in the morning. I just realized I didn’t like drinking anymore yet I continued to do it. 

What I knew was that I didn’t like the drinking version of myself. But it took me years to figure a way out even though I didn’t like it and wanted to quit. I must’ve told myself 75-100 times that “this is the last weekend I am going to drink!”. 

I knew I wanted to quit. I just didn’t know how. I used to take a month off of drinking a year, just to make sure I could. Then one year I decided to step it up and take 90 days off. Then something amazing happened. In that time when all of my drinking buddies (enablers)  kept calling on me to come drink with them, I was like DUDE I am not done forever. I will be back on Friday, Oct 14th (2011). Then on Thursday the 13th I said fuck it, I’m done. I just felt better. I liked not always looking to get to the next opportunity to catch a buzz. I just liked life better without it. 

Plus I learned in that time that I really really REALLY don’t like peer pressure which is one of the reasons why I realized I continued to drink in the first place. My 90-day break was so eye opening and the clarity I felt was nothing short of amazing. I highly recommend a 90-day break even if you have no intention of quitting. It will serve you well. 

What became extremely glaring to me is that it was all in my head. If you do want to quit but for some reason don’t, you just need to change the story you keep telling yourself that allows you to do it. This self-talk can be a new beginning or the end of you. It’s a choice that you make every day. 

I recently spoke to an old friend I know from growing up who had quit drinking, got married, bought a nice house and had a kid. The last time I had spoken to him things were really good for him he started a new business and was crushing it. I was so proud and happy for him. Through this time much had changed. His business was still booming and doing better than ever, however he had gotten divorced because he started drinking again… just really sad. He told me that he has since been sober again for 6 months but the reason he started drinking again was to reward himself for all the hard work he was putting into building this company.  

My response…yeah that’s some reward. I could tell in the tone of his voice he was ashamed and embarrassed but at least he got his mindset back on track and was no longer drinking again.

The point of that story is I realized, like my buddy did the really hard way, that I was fighting my own personal war and whether I liked it or not it was one that I was already battling every day. I knew I was losing mine and needed to do something about it. We all need to be hyper-aware that we are at war with ourselves every-single-day, not just with alcohol but with everything, and you are either winning or losing. Some days are better than others but just because you are winning today doesn’t mean something outside of your control won’t change and you will be tested. Something I get reminded of at least once a year is that life isn’t fair and I get thrown a curveball. Why we grow up thinking life is supposed to be fair and easy is part of our problem. We want to shelter our kids and help them in every way possible but in reality that is hurting them in the long run. We need adversity, we need challenges, we need struggle. This is what builds our character. If life was “easy” and everything was given to you, guess what? Life would suck just on an entirely different level. 

I will leave you with this quote that is one of the principles I have lived my life by since I started to figure things out. This is a state of mind that I remind my own kids about daily. 

“Anything worth doing isn’t easy and anything easy isn’t worth doing.”    

Never stop growing. Ever. 

JH 

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