: a minimalist project

30 Days Sober

I don’t want to make a big deal out of this.

But I just reached 30 days without having a single drop of alcohol.

It doesn’t feel like a major achievement but when you’ve been drinking for 20 years, it can become a challenge.

It never even crossed my mind that quitting drinking at 38 years old would be so damn hard even if you do it temporarily.

But it was… or at least, it was for me.

Drinking In The Past

I started drinking at about 18 years old and I would normally drink over the weekends when I went to play guitar in a band with a bunch of friends.

By the time I was 20, I moved to Mexico City and I was trying to become a professional musician and there wasn’t a single day that didn’t go without a combination of super loud rock and insane amounts of alcohol.

A few years later I moved back to my parents, I felt completely defeated and couldn’t stand hearing anything related to the music industry.

I went from “local rockstar” to “what the heck happened to him?” in just a matter of years.

Professional Life

After I finally got over my major flop in music, I signed up to a local university and then graduated as a Computer Systems Engineer.

I went through several IT jobs where I was yelled at, paid really bad and even though I made huge contributions to these companies, the rewards never passed from a lousy raise and two pats in the back.

All those years when I was drinking for fun before, quickly turned into drinking for feeling out of place, defeated and depressed again.

Every single beer I drank during this time was to keep me sane and try to convince myself that things were going to get better at some point.

The only problem was, they never did.

Taking A Stand

Things can change on their own but you risk to wait your entire life if you don’t take a stand.

As you can see, I wasted a lot of years with music and chances are, I’d be in a much better place right now had I taken the right choices at the right times.

Talking about choices, my decision to stop drinking had to do a lot with where I’m currently standing in life.

In a bad place, of course.

If you say you want to be the most successful version of yourself, can you see that happening if you never stop drinking?

If you complain about not having enough money, why do you keep spending it on buying more beers?

It doesn’t make any sense (unless you’re an alcoholic) and that’s exactly when I got scared.

I thought “shit, maybe I AM an alcoholic after all!”

It got so bad that I started justifying my drinking actions:

“I get more creative while drinking”, “I can write better when I’m drunk”, etc.

Quitting Drinking

Low productivity, lack of money, not being the owner of my full time, wanting to have a baby, not being in good shape, testing my determination, etc; all of these variables combined made me want to do this little experiment:

I was not going to drink a single drop of alcohol for 30 days.

I must have opened like 60 new tabs to read about the benefits of not drinking for a month.

In a way I was probably trying to convince myself that this was a good thing to do, that it was possible and I was going to do it.

I never told anyone and I barely mentioned this on Facebook.

Being Sober

You should know that these are my results, I’m not saying that everyone else will experience the same.

I’m more confident, I can focus on one thing for longer periods of time, I feel a lot more strength and energy, my ideas are clearer, I am way more productive and sometimes I have felt these weird super happy moments.

Not everything has been happy moments though…

I went through several panic attacks, paranoia, I think I even hallucinated at some point during a few nights (I kept looking these moving shadows in the hallway that were scaring the shit out of me).

Several other times I’d fantasize of going to the mini market and getting a ton of beers.

I must have told my wife like 40 or 50 times something like “hey, do you feel like getting a few cold beers?” and she always replied “I don’t mind but are you sure about this?” and then I’d just say “nah, I’m kidding” but I was really not.

During the weekends I couldn’t think of anything else but beers so that also made it a little bit difficult to concentrate at times.

As a fun fact, there was one beer sitting in the fridge during the entire 30 days.

Until today, I still haven’t touched that beer.

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