A few months ago I came across an article that made me reflect on how often I drink alcohol. I drink far less now than I did before but realized that I haven’t had a break without alcohol for more than 2 weeks max in 10 years. Since I turned 18-19 I’ve been drinking 2-6 times a month. And the last five years basically every week.

I want to try a life without alcohol.

It is not just the alcohol I’m tired off and want to be without, it is also to challenge myself. I want to see how I react to end up a habit, quit an addiction. I want to see how I deal with situations where I’m used to drinking alcohol. I will refrain alcohol-free beer for the most part too. Non-alcoholic beer may be a complement at times but it makes me not completely quit the habit.

The last two years I’ve been training quite intensively and this has meant that the amount of alcohol decreased but those times I been drinking myself drunk, I have clearly noticed what it does to my body and how I feel. I feel bad the day after and can’t do what I want to do. I don’t want it that way.

The reason for a month without alcohol

There are mainly two reasons why I do this…

How I develop as a person by quitting a habit. I want to discover how I manage to quit a habit that is very firmly rooted in my life. Drinking alcohol is generally something that is associated with being social. I’m used to hang out with friends with a glass of wine or a beer in my hand on evenings and weekends.

How does alcohol affect my body and time. When I look back on the years I’ve been drinking alcohol, there are periods where the amount of alcohol have escalated without I’ve noticed it. My body has gradually got used to handle large amount of alcohol, and it has required more beers for me to feel the drunkenness. And I’ll be completely honest, the drunkenness has been part of the reason I been drinking, at least in periods of my life. I drink rarely that amount of alcohol nowadays, today I drink because it tastes good. But it wasn’t until I decreased my alcohol consumption as I realised how easy it is to gradually increase the amount of alcohol and that is where the big risk is. It’s the beginning of an addiction and most importantly becomes harmful to your health.

It is hard to quit

It’s interesting how difficult it is to quit an addiction. Alcohol, cigarettes, candy, junk food, etc.Whatever it is, it’s extremely difficult. Anyway, it is what we keep telling each other.

A few years ago I stopped using snus. I had gradually increased my nicotine consumption from to use snus at a party to using snus 10-12 times a day. I did this for several years. Then I tried to quit, unsuccessfully, tried to stop again and this time I succeeded.

One evening, when I came home late and was tired, I discovered that I had forgotten to buy snus. I was quite angry with myself, went crazy rather. And spontaneously I was thinking to turn back to the store and buy snus. But then I realized that no, I don’t want it that way. I don’t want that the snus should control my life. So I decided to quit. And since then I haven’t used snus.

So I can confirm that it is difficult to quit an addiction but not quitting is harder, and it depends on several things.

For me I think the hardest thing is to resist the temptation in different situations (stress, depression, social etc.). The trust that the addiction helps us deal with different situations. You use the addition to manage real problems. You are sad, stressed, lonely or going through a crisis and use the addition to deal with it.

Leo Babauta has written a good article about quitting something, I Tried to Quit & It’s Too Hard!. He gives many tips on how you quit and strategies on how you can deal with real problems in other ways than with your addiction.

Final words

I refrain alcohol for a month to see what it gives me, how hard is it to abstain, how do I manage the situations where I usually drink alcohol. I also choose to abstain alcohol because it destroys valuable time. I don’t want to feel bad a morning/day because I drank too much alcohol the day before. For me it’s a pretty easy choice to try a period without alcohol. You make your choice.

PS. This is post #29 in my blog challenge 100 posts. See you tomorrow!

You should follow me on Twitter here: @jskn