Choosing Stress

134 days alcohol free

Mega stress at work. If it could go wrong, it has. The usual covid stuff too.

Not once have I thought I need a drink.

Being alcohol free has allowed the mental space to explore other ways of dealing with stress. Allowed “extra” time in my day to meditate, exercise, read, sleep etc.

Its also given me the clarity to realise that I’ve been through worse. Also I choose to do this. I choose the pressure and stress.

When I was drinking I’d whinge and moan about it. Not realising the alcohol wasn’t helping and that its all of my own choosing.

I now ask myself if I’m okay with the choice. At the moment I am. There may come a day when I’m not. So grateful to be able to choose. The memories are still fresh from when I wasn’t so fortunate – that stress was so much worse, to the point where I actually believed my only choice was to attempt suicide.

OYNB Challenge: Day Three

Challenge guided by One Year No Beer website.

Set a Challenge

Todays task is to set myself a challenge, or challenges, to re-focus my energy and thoughts away from alcohol. This could be something physical, or mental.

Knowing this task was coming, I already formed a list of things I’d like to do. However, due to recent health issues some are off the cards for the foreseeable future. So, I’ll keep those to myself for now. Here is my starter for ten list:

  • Take part in the Nerd Fitness 5K challenge. On July 18th I need to be ready to walk or run 5K. The frustrating thing is, before Covid19 and before I let alcohol take full control, I could do two 8K walks every weekend. In the last 3 to 4 months I have let things slip to the point where I can’t walk 1K without struggling with my breathing.
  • Write this blog. The initial goal is to do this for 28 days – the shortest AF challenge available on OYNB. Once that is done, I will extend to the next challenge length of 90 days.

    This will be a rolling challenge. The longer I stay AF, the longer the challenge goes on.

    Doing the gratitude blogging, earlier in the year, helped. It was like a morning meditation. Almost setting me up for the day. If I can’t exercise my body, like I used to, then I can exercise my mind every morning.
  • Deadlift my own bodyweight. I’ve done this, over a year ago. To get back to that level of strength would be a massive boost mentally. It would also be a milestone for my fitness. The timeframe for this is more long term. One year from now.

Triggers Update

Shark representing the book Jaws

Yesterdays blog was about triggers and how I have dealt with them so far. Last night the 6pm trigger time came around again. I’d had a rough day mentally, had to face up to the reality that my health is rock bottom. Instead of reaching for a drink, I read.

I’m always looking for bargain books on Amazon, some bestsellers now and again are on sale for less than a coffee (insert preferred brand here). I now have a pretty impressive collection of unread books. So, as Steve Kamb (from Nerd Fitness) puts it, it was time to stop collecting underpants. You’d have to read his book Level Up Your Life to get that one.

So, last night, I sat on the sofa and read Jaws by Peter Benchley. I also put Slum Village Fantastic, Vol 2: Vinyl Instrumental on, whilst reading. A nice, chilled out evening.

OYNB Challenge: Day Two

Challenge guided by One Year No Beer website.

Make New Habits

  • What’s the trigger?
  • What reward do I want?
  • What routine can I replace it with?
  • How can I celebrate success?


I am currently in pain, which made for a bad day yesterday. Despite being this, when it came to the magic time of 6pm, my thought process became “de-stress with a beer”. 6pm is when, in pre-covid19 times, I would get home from work. A beer or two would be my stress relief from the day.


I guess to ‘freeze out’ the bad day. In my mind the alcohol would help with the pain I am in, numb it. I would then be able to sleep better. Even though I know the sleep part isn’t how it works.

What Routine Can I Replace It With?

In this case I replaced it with playing a PC game, which took my mind off the alcohol. I also had a tonic water, which I could pretend was a gin and tonic.

Celebrating Success

In this case, the celebration is waking up without feeling worse than I already was.

OYNB Challenge: Day One

Challenge guided by One Year No Beer website.

Why Am I Here?

Day one, of the challenge, is simple. Answer the following, to get to my WHY.

  • What in your life is not working for you?
  • What needs to change with your habits and behaviour?
  • What have been the consequences of your drinking habits?
  • What will you gain from changing your relationship with alcohol?
  • Why is it just not an option for things to stay as they are?

What In Your Life Is Not Working For You?

Being constantly depressed. Being constantly unmotivated. Being unfit.

What Needs to Change With Your Habits and Behaviour?

I need to stop drinking everyday. I need to start looking after my health, physical and mental. I need to exercise daily, meditate daily and replace alcohol with things that have a positive effect on me.

What Have Been The Consequences of Your Drinking Habits?

Massive weight gain. Constant depression and anxiety. Lack of focus on my goals, professional and personal. My “life” has been reduced to nothing – very little interest in anything, very little action.

What will you gain from changing your relationship with alcohol?

My health. Focus. Energy.

Why is it just not an option for things to stay as they are?

The depression, largely brought on by alcohol, has become so bad at times that suicide has become more than a passing thought. Alcohol will kill me, one way or another.