Living A Life Without Alcohol – Charlie’s Naked Life

As of writing this, I have spent ONE ENTIRE YEAR living a life WITHOUT ALCOHOL. In short, and in spite of the obvious adversity faced by all of us to varying degrees during that year, it’s been an absolute riot.

living a life without alcohol

But let me go back just a little bit.

Before I was living a life without alcohol

I never thought I had a problem with alcohol. There were no big dramas or disasters and I was never known as someone who drank to excess. It was more just the accumulation of a lot of little things, which taken altogether had made me feel for some time that life would definitely be overall better without the booze. I first started taking month-long breaks in 2012, and this only confirmed that feeling, but it took another 8 years before I was able to commit to living a life without alcohol.

Realignment

So what happened in 2020 (apart from the obvious!)? Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, it felt like a year of realignment for me. Living in Berlin, I had begun to tire of the relentless ‘partying’ ritual that is so pervasive here, and really just wanted to focus on my career. It was also the year my wife and I were planning to get married. I think the catalyst was just that: I wanted to be the best person I could be for my relationship. But, having given up in February, I was still massively anxious about getting through the whole build-up to the wedding. Not just whether I could get through them, but how I would manage everyone’s expectations of me. 

This Naked Mind allowed me to live a life without alcohol

This is where Annie and This Naked Mind gave me crucial support and conviction. I asked Annie a question during one of her Livestreams. “Should I make an exception for my Wedding Day?” Her response gave me complete clarity and conviction about the situation. I’m pleased to say I didn’t drink a drop and didn’t miss it once. The day was so special, and I know that my previous wedding drinking routine would only have taken away from those memories, all of which remain sharp in my head. I was totally present, and have been ever since, and for that, I am immensely grateful to Annie and This Naked Mind.

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No Going Back

Sometimes people ask if I will go back to drinking, and for me, it is an absolute no-brainer. EVERYTHING is better without it. 

Here are a handful of observations from the experience, which may be of interest to anyone considering a similar path.

– Consistency. I can now rely on myself to pretty much operate at or near my best, most of the time. Even on days when I feel a bit shit, and those still happen, it’s not by any means terminal to the usefulness of the day. In fact, often, I can still SMASH THE DAY regardless.

– Passion and interest. I have recovered levels of passion for things that I remember having in pre-drinking days. My ability to be INTERESTED in things, to be curious, fascinated, lured off down rabbit holes of investigation, has increased exponentially.

– Socialising. To sum up my findings, alcohol does NOT ADD VALUE to any situation. More likely, it takes it away. If it’s a good situation and you’re vibing, it’s even better without alcohol. If it’s not a good situation and you’re not vibing, alcohol may improve it a bit but ultimately it’s probably better to just leave, which I’ve gotten very good at doing.

– Feelings. I feel all my feelings more. I’ve got to know them better, and myself better. This is a joyous experience and should be embraced. 

– Other things that now yield new levels of joy include: Saturday mornings, mornings in general, bathtimes, popcorn, alcohol-free beer, mocktails, chocolate, meditation, soft sugary fizzy drinks eg. Fanta, NATURE, TREES, BIRDS, improved control over outward expressions of anger about small things

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