Thursday 18 January 2018

15 reasons to give up alcohol

He gave up the drink, and John McKiernan thinks you could do the same. Here are his 15 reasons why

John McKiernan

Like many Irish people, I began drinking at an early age. It took until my 30s before I realised I didn't want to drink any more. After 15 years of drinking, I took the road less travelled and said goodbye to the port and brandy, as it were.

It was the single best decision I ever made. I would love to help others find freedom. I am currently working on my first book, Feck Drink - An Irishman's Guide To Alcohol.

Here are 15 things I absolutely love about not drinking:


No more wasted days sitting on the couch, too afraid to move or face the world. No fear, no anxiety, no depression. Saturdays and Sundays free to enjoy as I please.


Social occasions used to terrify me. That is why I drank alcohol. When I stopped drinking, I developed my own natural confidence in social situations. This took a little time, but now I can be myself at any social event,

and I know I don't need a drink to relax.


There is no comparison to myself now and when I was a drinker. When drinking I was confused, tired, unhealthy, distant, anxious, nervous, unsettled in myself. Now I am at ease within myself, and have found my own true self hidden underneath some limiting beliefs. I had to remove the alcohol (plaster) first so I could heal the wounds.


I am not tied to having to organise drinks, or lifts, or plan the day after, or how I'm going to get home, or what I'm going to drink or not drink. Life is so, so much easier being a non-drinker. It is simpler and effortless.


I am myself. Take it or leave it. I am not fitting in just to fit in; I am no longer pretending to be someone I am not.


It is such an incredible relief to be free of alcohol.


People are fascinated by non-drinkers. They are also curious, suspicious and a little nervous of this strange species. I just hope I can help to show others that there is another way to live a happier life, free from alcohol. It is just a positive lifestyle change with no downsides.


I have so much more money. I would probably have spent approximately €300 a month on drinking and going out. Now that is all mine to spend on things I want and really enjoy. It is win-win.


I started drinking at 16, I stopped at 30. For all those years, I was never myself. I was lost. I was lying to myself and the world around me. Now I am much more comfortable in my own skin. I could not have done this without first removing alcohol from my life.


Really! What was before a drunken mess is now somewhat more stable and realistic. Relationships are not built around drunken nights, but develop in a much more natural way.


So much peace and quiet. The joy of just relaxing on a Friday evening with tea and chocolate, knowing I have a full weekend to enjoy, without wasting any of it drinking.


No greater satisfaction than seeing someone turn their life around and become a happier, healthier person.


No rows, no blackouts, no regrets, no shame, no guilt, no self-recrimination. Easy living.


I am healthier, I look younger and feel healthy. I am no longer overweight. I feel energetic and vibrant. This boosts my self-esteem and confidence. I have the energy and enthusiasm to live the life I want.


Pure and utter joy of being free of that way of life. I am so grateful it's over.

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