MY EASY WAY To Stop Drinking: Nothing To Be Proud Of

— Rather, It’s About Time

This occured to me as I was making my list of what to cover in Todoist, a fantastic new app I’m using to keep track of almost literally everything. More on that later.

So this was a rather hefty milestone…to make it 3 months with zero booze, not even a whiff or sniff. And as I have emphasized over and over: it has been effortlessly easy and I mean Effortlessly. Easy. I shit you not and my cachet here over many years is that I don’t fucking lie to you.

Read the damn testimonials, some by folks who’ve been readers for over 10 years.

This affirmation I make is not the typical hyperbolic, lying bullshit that’s 99% of marketing on the internet these days. I don’t blame you for being skeptical…jaded, even. I really get head-shaking fucking tired of it myself and even more, that it apparently still works, why so many marketers operate like that.

Can nobody just do a straight-up, take-it-or-leave-it, no-hard-feelings offer and deal, anymore?

So, Ok…

The more I contemplated and considered how I would present this 3 months in the can—both here in writing and in the video below—I became increasingly uncomfortable with being in any way proud, triumphant, exemplary, et al.

Instead, I had feelings of thankfulness that I’d apparently stumbled into a “method” of my own dumb-luck design…only to gain awareness of it in retrospect.

Perhaps that’s why the location to do the video popped into my head and I immediately knew that yes, that’s the only place to do it. Then as icing, I got cooperative weather (though I got soaked and chilled to the bone on the drive back).

No, this isn’t about any virtue-signaling religious or spiritual experience as I explain in the video. Rather, it’s simply a place that symbolizes socially-shared values so deep and ingrained that appreciation for the fortune of having them rather than not transcends many differences between us.

The List of Topics

  • Set yourself up right
  • Get calmer and cool
  • Dump go-nowhere shit
  • Started cooking again, a LOT
  • Organizing out the ass – Todoist
  • Nothing to be proud of

…OK, if you’re a regular here or at least pop in from time-to-time, you know the drill. The real meat that follows is for the paying peeps.

Perhaps it’s frustrating or annoying to be foiled once again, especially if this particular post is one of the ones you’d like to read. You do know how to solve that, to have unfettered access going forward, so there’s no need for me to explain it. I get the reluctance. There’s a lot of options out there and only you can judge the value to you.

What I will say is that over these last 3 months my attention has intensified and my vision is clear. I’m pretty confident in saying there can’t possibly be very many 1-man-shows in the world who put out the varied content so voluminously, consistently, and for such a long track record, as I do and I have. I’ve always operated on the notion that any given reader is going to love some, hate some, not care one way or the other about some.

So, the modus operandi for me is to put out enough variety in enough styles—from reverent to censurious to vulgar—that everyone has enough here to love…and those who hate or are indifferent to everything have no business here anyway.

It’s up to you, of course.


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Set Yourself Up Right

This was the total key and such an epiphany, that I can’t shut up about it and so here I go again.

I also have little awareness, experience, or [certainly not] expertise in the whole sphere of self help, group help, counseling, support network, coaching…you name it. In fact, I’ve done my level best over a lifetime to never listen to or consider any of that sort of stuff.

Perhaps that’s short sighted, but It has always seemed to me to be the case that, unless you figure it out yourself—your own unique little thingy and how you make it work—it’s probably not going to take or last, anyway. If I need advice or “counseling,” I’d sooner chat with someone who knows me…like…mom?

But I see this one element decidedly different than all the others. I now think of this one as the fundamental universal essential. The one thing that applies to everyone and nobody can get around it.

I consider it that profound.

Can you tough it out anyway? Sure, and some do. Rare.

Basically, you’ve got to do an honest assessment of what things in your life are fucked up enough that you find some refuge and comfort in a bottle (or whatever thing you do).

  • Marriage or similar relationships
  • Accident of birth
  • Toxic friends
  • Bullshit obligations and similar entanglements
  • Job, work, or business
  • Crushing debt
  • Living situation
  • Geographic location
  • Chronic weather you hate

Fix all that first. Watch how easy it can be to then, only then, dump those refuge and escape behavioral choices doing you no good and making everything worse.

But isn’t the drinking or whatever comforting escape and refuge behavior one of the problems too, so why not just untangle from that?

Because, the drinking or whatever else is 100% choice. No exceptions. Every sip ever. Your choice.

That list of entanglements is far different and in many cases; they involve all manner of real and imagined obligations. They may all have begun as choices but have developed into things far more involved. Just take an awful marriage, for example. Everyone knows how tough and expensive those are to extricate from, especially with young children involved. Or, a job you hate and loathe? But you have to pay the bills, raising the question of why you loaded up on debts and obligations when you hated doing what was essential to pay for them…

You’ve got to break free. First.

The other critical realization in this that’s crucial, is that just stopping the drinking or whatever else doesn’t improve these drags on your life one little bit and can make some at least worse…or you’ll perceive them as worse since you’ve taken away the one, two, or three things you did to escape the unpleasantness…so now all of that becomes unfiltered, you feel miserable, and you relapse.

Yea, I’m making all this shit up, honestly. I’ve never read a self-help book, attended a course, got formal counselling, attended a meeting, debased myself to atone for my failure to live up to the expectations of others, accepted Original Sin into my heart, or done anything of the sort.

That’s probably why if you’re honest and sensible it all makes a lot of sense. Moreover, it’s not only free, but…both untangling the entanglements and dropping the booze will save you a shit-ton of money.

This is a clue as to why the popular and socially-approved approaches to fixing all this shit always involve you paying someone money. Fine, but it’s unnecessary.

Hey, and I have no idea whether any of the foregoing is original. It almost certainly isn’t. But I don’t care because I know that I came to it completely on my own and it fucking works. I’m satisfied to live in ignorant bliss if it turns out I’ve simply reinvented someone else’s wheel.

Get Calmer and Cool

So the first on the list is the prerequisite and when you get that right—or just accidentally stumble into it as I did—you drop the booze. Then you begin reaping the benefits which for me have come unencumbered and naturally.

This is the first and most important. It came on gradually because I don’t think that being an aggressive hothead is totally driven by alcohol, but alcohol simply facilitates it and then the aggression gradually becomes a part of personality that doesn’t automatically stop when the booze-fuel runs dry.

You have reserves—like glycogen and then fat stores when dieting by restricting calories and periodically eliminating them through fasting.

So it was gradual for me, noticeable the first time I encountered some bullshit from the girl that would make me angry.

I realized I wasn’t really angry but rather, just taking it all in as information.

So that’s sorta become my mantra over these last 3 months…

No need to be angry and react in that context. It’s all just information. Gather it, think on it, and act accordingly with cool resolve.

By and large, shit that used to make me angry or enraged now just annoys or disappoints me.

I took a watch of this video by Ed Latimore, himself a former drinker.

Dump Go-Nowhere Shit

Nowhere is this better illustrated than television watching.

I still lived in my old place for the first three weeks of the booze dumping. I still watched a fair bit of Netflix while sitting at my desk, streaming from the monitor adjunct to my laptop. No TV in the place. When I moved into the new place September 1, there was a TV…a micro-TV…like a pathetic 21″ or something.

I set up my Roku Stick, connected to WiFi, and logged into Netflix on the 3rd of September.

According to Netflix logs, that’s the last time I streamed. Over two months ago. I also began predominately watching YouTube at my desk only for blogging-related stuff (such as that Ed L. video above).

There’s lots of useless shit to dump, especially that which went hand-in-hand with drinking.

…I previously mentioned going to all the same bars and just as frequently as I did before. It was an empowerment thing to show myself I wasn’t losing anything.

But that got old after a month or so. For one, you realize how pointless bars are when you’re not helping to fulfill their prime directive. Plus, your friends begin to get annoying after they’ve imbibed more than a couple.

More plus, I’m tired of talking about not drinking, and going to bars and not drinking makes me stick out like a sore thumb, primed to field inquiries into my odd behavior.

So now I just go quite rarely. I have a few bar girls I like to see from time to time but even on the potential relationship front beyong bar girls, women seem to have mixed feelings about total alcohol abstinence and I’ve had more than a few encourage me to just have one. When I spent a few days in Patong a couple of weeks ago and met up with a Tinder match, she offered to buy me a drink if I’d have just one.

Evil temptress! Get thee away from me!

My working hypothesis is that chicks like a man who drinks, just not too much too often. Drinking softens him up for the charms wiles she fancies inflicting upon him. Or something. I could be wrong. But better safe than sorry, right guys?

It’s telling to watch what happens when they assess that you’re not a good mark.


The point of dropping all the go-nowhere bullshit is that it creates voids of huge swaths of time that you might initially be at a loss to fill.

And if you don’t fill it, the clock starts moving very slowly.

Started cooking again, lifting weights, organizing every damn thing, keeping my room tidy, doing business, and thinking in business

I could list tons of stuff on this. I picked a few.

Your mileage will vary but the only essential thing is that whatever you do instead of boozing (or whatever) to accompany doing a bunch of go-nowhere, useless shit, is that it advances your life, happiness, relationships, wealth, prosperity, yada yada…

It’s easy and obvious to know the difference.

How about quality sex and quality time with the kids? Much qualitier without the firewater.

Without going all locker-room and TMI, I had a liaison with a 20-something a few weeks back and she asked me a question after, using Google translate on her phone.

“Did you take sex medicine?”

Nope. Enough said.

Quality time and activity, people!

One of the best aides in all this organizing and productivity and advancing business is an app I’ve been using.

Todoist. It syncs across desktop and all your devices. There are integrations and plugins available for calendars, web browsers, and the like.

I enthusiastically encourage you to check it out. For me, it just makes sense and creates harmony, and that may be the first time I’ve used that word in this way. I’ve used tons of tools over decades and end up dropping every one of them because the organizing system grows into the primary high-priority project in itself.

They all eventually seem to suck up all your attention like a bad girlfriend where everything is about her! In the video below, I go over the one thing I love best about it.

…Well I’ve already covered the nothing to be proud of in the intro and that shall suffice.

The video gives a similar take and serves as just a different way to convey the same things with more or less emphasis on one thing or the other, depending on flow. I never rehearse or prepare for these beyond sometimes making a list which often gets ignored once I get rolling.

Not this time, though. I stuck to script.

Feel free to use the print or pdf little icons right below this sentence to share this with anyone you love and care about. They make clean and pretty documents.

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More

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