In today’s episode, Annie welcomes Nate, who at one time was a happy-go-lucky, athletic college student who could enjoy life without even the thought of a drink. Find out how alcohol quickly wove a messy web that trapped him into a world of depression. Nate shares how he found his way out of the dark world of addiction and realized that drinking was robbing him of the quality of life he once knew. He now lives a ‘naked’ life – FREE from the lies of alcohol.
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
I didn’t really drink much, maybe a drink or two ever, before I was 21. When I was in high school, I didn’t drink. When I was in college, I wasn’t really the person who would go and get drunk on the weekends or on Friday night or whatever. I was more the kind of person who would go and hike a mountain in the middle of the night with my friends, and I loved that. I loved being that person that didn’t have to be dependent on alcohol to have a good time.
My first real drink was in December when I turned 21. I was in engineering school, and my friends weren’t about to let me study my way … It was finals weeks, and they weren’t about to let me study my way through my 21st birthday, so they made me a cup of coffee with some Bailey’s in it. That was really my first drink, my first actual drink, which I think is hilarious.
Once I had turned 21, I drank here and there, but the first time I actually like remembered using alcohol, I guess, in a negative way was after I ran my first half marathon. This was in college. I didn’t train that well, and so it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable experience. I don’t know why, but for some reason that day, I just had it in my head that I was going to get drunk. That was the first time that I did. It was on peppermint schnapps, which was an awful idea. I got far too inebriated. That was my first time being anything more than tipsy, so you can imagine how that went.
There was somebody in my life, a good friend of mind, who just like up and left. I was living alone at that point and had been drinking for, oh, five years at that point, and so I knew all too well the effects of alcohol and what I could use it for and all of that. This friend of mine just up and left, and man, it really sent me into a tailspin. Naturally, or maybe not, maybe that’s the wrong word for it, but I drank alcohol to cope with my emotions, as a lot of people do. Looking back on it, I don’t know. I just wish I had done it differently, you know?
Can’t Get Free From Alcohol
Since then, it feels like there’s been a cycle. There’s one year I took nine months off from drinking, but then there were other seasons of my life where I felt like I needed alcohol to cope with the emotions again. Since then, I knew that I was addicted, even though I had given it up for pretty long periods of time. Every time I would start drinking again, there was still this part of me that was like, “This is all you need. This is the way to handle your emotions.” There’s this allure to alcohol that it had, so I just kept falling into the same old trap. I’d have a bad day, come home and have a beer, it would turn into five, and feel like shit the next day. I couldn’t get free from alcohol.
Do you feel like you can’t get free from alcohol? Start reading This Naked Mind to see how to get out of the trap.
Why would I continue drinking if it just continues to be net negative in my life? It’s not adding value to my life overall. It’s taking away. Around this time, somebody had recommended your book to me, and I didn’t read it, obviously. Right around the time where my friend attempted suicide, a different friend of mine recommended this book to me again. I thought I’d give it a shot. I kind of come to my own conclusions about alcohol, and then I started your book. At that point, it was just confirmation of what I had been feeling all the time. It’s, “This isn’t good for me, and it’s taken more than it’s given.” It was really just confirmation that this was what I needed to do in life and this is how I needed to handle alcohol.
Tune in to the complete podcast for more on how Nate was able to get free from alcohol and what he learned along the way.
Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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