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A Year with no Beer, yes this also means you Spirits, Champagne and your old mate Wine!

As the festive season kicks off, December 2014 it marks a long stint without booze for me. Writing this post makes it fully official I guess! I’m now over the 11 month mark into my year with no beer. I was planning a year of posting about my adventures off the booze but it never eventuated.

Over 12 months ago now I had a thought pop into my mind, what would it be like to stop drinking for a year. It stopped me in my tracks, what would it be like? How would I feel? How would my friends and family feel about this or what would they say? Would this effect my friendships? All very interesting thoughts and questions. I went ahead with it and marked New Years to be my final hurrah and take on ‘A Year With No Beer’.

In the beginning things were tough, having a drink at the end of the day becomes a habit. I found myself a few times reaching into the fridge for a cold beer then stopping to reassess. Your thoughts are the ones creating these habits. Once you really realise this you can replace the beer habit with a sparkling water and lime habit, they’re both refreshing. Just like everything in life, it all seems so hard at first but once you’re up and running and you understand the situation a little better it then becomes much easier! There are always hurdles before you get the clear space to bolt for the finishing line.

One thing that always knocks you from the horse are others comments, always one of the big tests with anything in life. People are there as the ultimate test to see if you’re up for the task, to see if this truly matters to you. One of the most memorable comments I have heard so far on the journey was ‘you may as well kill yourself now’ personally I found this one quite amusing, we are Australian and this can be quite a common response to a difficult task with our sarcastic Aussie sense of humour!

So far… I’ve been on cruise ships where drinking is part of the every moment occurrence, I’ve been to clubs, bars, party’s and events and listened to quite a few drunken slurs. It’s become quite a fun and amusing adventure to say the least. Drinking in Australia is pretty much the norm, as normal as sitting down to have a feed or laying down to sleep at night. Having a social drink or 10 depending on the circle of friends you have is considered to be normal. If you don’t drink… this can be taken in a very VERY different way like ‘what’s wrong with you’ or a better one ‘I hope you’re ok’.

One thing I noticed early on was the grog ads on TV. One in particular was suggesting that anytime something good happens in your day you need to stop off at the bottle shop to buy alcohol to celebrate. Things like deciding to grow a beard, a pat on the back from your boss or you passed a test you need to grab a bottle to celebrate.

This Blog post is just another perspective on things and gives real evidence that you actually can stop drinking alcohol for long periods and be able to function normally in society. Nothing weird is going to happen like killing yourself or contracting some strange illness that could kill you! Although both of these could be possibilities whether you drink booze or not. One thing has become very clear to me and something that I have realised at a much deeper level is that anything is actually possible. I really do mean ANYTHING is POSSIBLE!

This year off the beer has allowed the clouds to clear, removing the cluttered thoughts and fogginess. I’ve read and experienced some amazing things during this journey, I’ll expand on these in another post… kinda thinking this one will take some people a few days to digest! No Beer for a Year?!

What I’ve missed:
The taste of certain types of spirits
Red wine with a good meal
Good champagne

What I’ve gained:
An appreciation for foods and all their amazing smells and flavours
Coffee, well I’ve always been a bit of a coffee snob! It’s only deepened
Appreciation for different types of water and sparkling water from around the world
Clearer mind, a better understanding of this experience we call life
I’ve lost a little bit of weight and feel fitter in general
An understanding that the people who love you will always be there no matter what

Enjoy your day, thanks for reading! Give it a share if you think others might like to read or might be interested in a new perspective.

Cheers,
Paul

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