One Year No Beer – SJ’s Naked Life Story
SJ didn’t know if giving up beer for one year was possible. She figured it was worth trying, though. This is a Naked Life story you’ll want to read.
I Love Beer
True Confession: I LOVE BEER.
I believe Ben Franklin was absolutely right when he said, “Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
Back in the day, I had the metabolism of a frat boy. I could drink a man under the table and feel great the next day. When I hit my late twenties, I got better acquainted with Mr. Hangover. Ugh. No.More.Dollar.Import.Night.At.The.Bar. Until the next week, anyway.
Then kids came along. No more bar hopping. But there’s the job. And the stress. And the nightly drinks to deal. To sleep.
Until one day last year, I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Plus, I was in the throes of a Writer’s Block.
Something Has To Give
I found Writing Is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor. It is the story of how Nestor found her voice (despite an alcoholic mother) and a guide for how others can do the same. The book was just the shot in the arm I needed–and the title convinced me that the thing that had to give with regard to my writing and my block was my drinking.
With all due respect to Hemingway who said, “Write drunk, edit sober,” that’s just not a good plan. Not for me, anyway. Alcohol was making my brain fuzzy, and I wanted clarity back – I needed it back in order to pursue my greatest passion: writing. And so, with my new mantra, “Writing is my drink,” I decided to go alcohol free.
I Need Help
The question, then, was how?
Drinking beer was a way of life for me.
Both my husband and I love nothing more than a tall beer…or six. Our marriage was partly based on beer, it seemed, and our mutual love for it. Some couples are foodies. Some are adrenaline junkies. Others are sports-fanatics. We love beer.
So I decided I needed help.
Look In A Book
In the epilogue of Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, she writes that Allen Carr’s book Stop Drinking Now helped her quit drinking, so I went to take a look on Amazon.
Perusing Amazon I found a newer book, one whose author credits Carr as a key inspiration to her. I decided to check it out. The title called to me immediately. I wanted a Naked Mind for myself. It had been many years since my brain was naked. What would it be like?
I bought the book, read it, and outlined it so the information would not only pass through my brain, but take up residence there.
I heartily recommend Annie Grace’s book. You want to stop drinking and you need a strategy?
Read this. It will work for you.
The second thing I did was a big one. Even bigger than reading This Naked Mind.
I prayed to God to take away my taste for beer. That’s it. Amazing, right?
I didn’t even set a conscious date to give up drinking. Instead, last year on February 17, I went to see the Beach Boys at the Lyric Theater in Baltimore, and as a first, I bought a bottle of water at the theater’s bar.
I went home that night, went to bed, and decided not to drink the next day. And the next. And the day after that, too.
One Year No Beer
It’s been a full year for me with no beer – in fact, no alcohol of any sort. I’ve gone through a vacation, birthdays, parties, concerts, holidays, dinners out, and I’m good.
I don’t miss it–not most days. It wasn’t a life or death thing; I know I can go back to drinking.
I don’t consider myself an alcoholic. I just don’t want to drink.
Honestly, I don’t even think I will like the taste of it because I asked God to take my taste for it away.
Now, I enjoy mornings. I don’t pace to the bathroom at night. My brain is naked. And I’m writing nonstop. Plus, I’ve lost almost twenty pounds and counting.
Life is good
Shout out to authors Theo Pauline Nestor and Annie Grace, as well as Chrissie Hynde whose story is more badass than mine, but who has long inspired me.
And of course, the biggest shout out goes to God. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Or dry one’s thirst.
Beer may be proof God loves us and wants us to be happy, but sometimes it is actual proof, alcoholic that is, may also be keeping us from being the people we are called to be. One Year No Beer and counting.
Share Your Story
Have you completed a one year no beer challenge? Please share your story and inspire others to live a happy, alcohol free life much like yours.