We love receiving stories from readers who are now living a Naked Life, enjoying the positive, life-altering changes that take place once you regain control of alcohol and become truly free. Matt says “I was punishing myself with alcohol for over 20 years. I’m so thankful for my freedom!” Here is his story.
I work in Marketing in the UK and am in my early 40s. Although I have never had to endure the extreme work drinking culture that I read about in This Naked Mind, like lots of London professionals I have spent the best part of the last two decades drinking intently, regularly – the usual bottle of wine on too many nights per week, week in week out.
Not an Alcoholic but Still Punishing Myself With Alcohol
12 years ago, I went from smoking 40 cigarettes a day to never smoking again using a similar approach to This Naked Mind so I believe in the relentless “deprogramming” technique- I know works.
EXCEPT – have always said of my quitting smoking that “it would be different with alcohol because, unlike smoking, drinking is actually enjoyable!” I now see that was the drug talking… I realize that logically speaking this enjoyment was a chimera. After This Naked Mind, I’ve been out drinking soft drinks with no problem. It’s been more than a month – including a big Halloween party I hosted, all without alcohol.
And – I don’t enjoy things any less, and in many cases realize I have been doing things I actively don’t enjoy just to be around drink.
It turns out I was punishing myself with alcohol.
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I remember with smoking it took about 1-2 months to move from “I’m ok not doing it today” to “I genuinely am baffled why I would want to do that again”. As you say, the cultural presence of alcohol is much more dominant than smoking (even 12 years ago) so I will need no make sure I see through the cultural falsities surrounding alcohol.
You talk a lot about people’s strong reactions when you stop drinking so the end of this text from a friend of mine will ‘amuse’ you. The entire text was trying to persuade me not to give up drinking and it ended with the immortal phrase;
“You’ve got a body son, PUNISH IT!!!”
Anyway, thanks for putting down the truth about alcohol and allowing me to get back in control!