My noble quest to drink every beer I could find…
2003, Age 15
In classic New Jersey fashion, my first time getting drunk was in a parking lot with my brother and best friend. The drink was sour apple schnapps, which basically tastes like a Jolly Rancher with the side effect of getting you wasted. I got into a fight with my brother and we fell through a bush. My dad picked us up and pretended he didn’t know we’d been drinking. It felt like a win.
2004, Age 16
I was a chubby teenager with glasses and a love of fantasy novels and games. Not exactly a ladies man or a social butterfly. Imagine my surprise when I grew 8 inches in height the summer after sophomore year and lost all the baby fat. I started getting invited to parties. I caught girls looking at me in class. Drinking helped me loosen up, or so I thought. It was this magic elixir that made me social and outgoing. One night, at a get-together in a friend’s basement, I got drunk and made a fool of myself flirting with a couple girls from class. Somehow, despite my behavior, I ended up with a date to prom. In my mind, alcohol = girls and popularity.
2005, Age 18
I’m a freshman at Rutgers and my dorm was on College Ave. Imagine that the Rutgers campus is a fat middle-aged man who smokes a pack a day. College Ave would be the grease and booze-clogged central artery, where all the frats and parties are. Thus began four years of drinking Keystone Ice kegs and whatever shot was available/on special. I’d like to say I made the most of college, joining clubs and excelling academically. I was a decent student, but most of my free time was spent on the couch, smoking weed and drinking beers.
2008, Age 20
I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina my junior year where I quickly fell in love with clubbing until 6 in the morning. Drinks were a quarter of US prices and the nightlife was twice as good. You make friends quickly when you travel abroad by yourself, and my crew was fun and reckless. I made sure nobody could keep up with me when it came to drinking, though.
2010, Age 22
I’m back in Argentina, where I moved to teach English after college. Now, it was work hard, play hard. I built a list of clients and got fired a lot for being hungover and not showing up. But I learned Spanish, eventually found success as a teacher and made a lot of friends. All my money went to drinking and partying. It was one of the best times of my life, but looking back, the only thing keeping it from being better was my drinking. I spent too many of my days hungover and miserable, trying to stay awake in class. Yes, you heard it right, a few times I fell asleep while I was teaching class.
2013, Age 25
I found a great job in development for an anti-poverty organization where I thrived and advanced in the company. Finally I felt like I had an outlet other than drinking, a place to focus my energy and a cause that I believed in. I had a great system — work hard every day, at night have just a few drinks, then go hard on the weekends. Restaurant and bar tabs add up quick — I had $0 savings and about $20,000 of student loan and credit card debt.
2017, Age 30
I was overweight, out of shape, and looked 10 years older than I was. All that “fun” had finally caught up to me. Plus, I still didn’t have any money saved. It was shocking to me that anyone my age could buy a house or have a wedding, because all of my money went into the toilet (literally). I’d like to think that I came to the decision to quit drinking on my own, but I was pushed. I met a girl who didn’t feel like spending the rest of her life with a drunk fool.
I was so sure that stopping drinking was a choice between health and fun. I was in love and willing to give it up for her, but I felt like I was making a huge sacrifice.
How wrong I was.
I began reading and researching the topic of drinking and alcoholism. I felt like the wool was being removed from my eyes.
So much of what we all believe about drinking is made up. It’s the product of addiction, marketing, and societal pressure all combining to make us feel that drinking is the only way our lives can truly be fun.
Giving up drinking doesn’t have to mean the party’s over. All it takes is removing some of the brainwashing that we all undergo when we start drinking that tells us alcohol=fun.
The goal of this blog is to help anyone going through what I went through realize that quitting drinking is the key to fun — you will have more fun in life without booze, not less.
And I want to help you get there. Check out my post detailing 5 steps you can take today to quit drinking and have fine while sober.
Check out the resources section at the top of the page to find some links to websites and books that will be helpful to you.
Subscribe to my mailing list for daily tips and tricks to stay motivated.
And keep reading as I continue to explore how others have found success and how you can too.
Congratulations on making the best decision you’ll ever make — to stop drinking AND have the time of your life doing it.