- Daily alcohol consumption.
WHY IT’S A PROBLEM
I started regularly drinking back when I started going to college, and the habit stuck with me since then. It’s never really affected my work, life or relationships, but I’m relying on it far too often to end my nights in a slightly blissful haze.
Talk about escapism, fuck.
I’m what you call a functional alcoholic. Functional as fuck. All the friends I grew up with are functional alcoholics, and my family is a bunch of functional alcoholics. I thought I was normal, but being a functional alcoholic is not helping to become a future role model for anyone.
WHY DO I NEED TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM
If I want to become someone better, I need to begin living my life the way my better self would live it. If I continually seek my rewards from outside sources, I will never be self-sufficient.
I need to flip the motherfucking script.
Because I made my drinking into a daily habit, my mind has labeled my evening drinks as a reward to end my day with. This is bad. Alcohol, you insidious fuck. The only way to save this ship now is to somehow change my brain from thinking that alcohol gives me a daily net positive effect, to understanding that alcohol gives me a daily net negative effect.
I want to eventually make it so that all the rewards in my life are the feelings that I get after having done something significant. This means that my rewards come from internal sources, as opposed to some kind of outside source.
SHORT TERM SOLUTION
- Replace drinking alcohol with Kava.
Take a look at the excerpt below on the effects of Kava to get an idea about its effects and properties. I think it’ll be a great “baby step” in the right direction, plus it may have a net positive on my cognitive abilities in the short term.
The act of having something to sip on and relax at the end of the day is still a strong habit that I have, so weaning myself off the bottle and onto a lesser evil will be my first step towards killing this terrible habit.
Kava seizes one’s mind. This is not a literal seizure, but something does change in the processes by which information enters, is retrieved, or leads to actions as a result. Thinking is certainly affected by the kava experience, but not in the same ways as are found from caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or marijuana. I would personally characterize the changes I experienced as going from lineal processing of information to a greater sense of “being” and contentment with being. Memory seemed to be enhanced, whereas restriction of data inputs was strongly desired, especially with regard to disturbances of light, movements, noise and so on. Peace and quiet were very important to maintain the inner sense of serenity. My senses seemed to be unusually sharpened, so that even whispers seemed to be loud while loud noises were extremely unpleasant.
When the mixture is not to strong, the subject attains a state of happy unconcern, well-being and contentment, free of physical or psychological excitement. At the beginning conversation comes in a gentle, easy flow and hearing and sight are honed, becoming able to perceive subtle shades of sound and vision. Kava soothes temperaments. The drinker never becomes angry, unpleasant, quarrelsome or noisy, as happens with alcohol. Both natives and whites consider kava as a means of easing moral discomfort. The drinker remains master of his conscience and reason.
-via “Kava: The Pacific Elixir” by Vincent Lebot, Mark Merlin, Lamont Lindstrom
LONG TERM SOLUTION
- Put a huge life emphasis on a meditative morning run.
In order to turn the tides, I need to make drinking a net negative in my life.
That means I need to have something more important in my life where my daily consumption of alcohol has a daily net negative impact on that something.
I used to be a big time runner, running 5-7mi a day six days a week.
I would wake up at the asscrack of dawn and hit the pavement. One thing that I noticed about doing so, was that after about two miles into my run, my body and mind would sync up in some cosmic way and I’d enter into a flow state. I would create incredible ideas and discover deep insights about myself and my life during these flow state runs.
This means that running in the morning would give me the creative edge that I need to make better content. Not only that, but running would also start my day off with hard work and meditative solitude, two things that every morning should include if I ever want to be successful.
To drink the night before, even just a single beer, as I have been doing lately, will have a negative effect on my long-term success and well-being.
My plans on how I will approach this challenge of quitting daily drinking and replacing it with morning runs will be discussed in my next post.
This will be my first challenge of 2017.