So you love the taste of beer and can’t stop reaching for a cold one every evening? Do you return to life on hearing the sound of whisky being poured into a glass full of ice? And do you love that feeling of relaxation that alcohol in any form brings? I went off cigarettes, alcohol and pot for several weeks and can tell you it’s very simple to go clean and stay that way. Here are some easy ways to stop drinking alcohol without having to use your willpower or doing silly stuff like surrendering to a nonexistent higher power. Pitcher O’ Water The first thing you need to understand is that when you’re craving for a pitcher of beer, you’re probably just dehydrated and don’t realize it. As soon as you get home from work, drink a pitcher of water you left to chill in the fridge, and not only will you kill the craving for alcohol, but you’ll be starving in no time. Don’t believe me? The next time you think you need a drink, go to your favourite bar and ask for a glass of water with ice. Just relax for five minutes and sip on it. It’ll make you wonder if you really need an alcoholic drink or just want to have dinner and go home. Stuff Yourself Eat food and drink nutritious non-alcoholic drinks (not colas or packaged sugary juices). Eat as much as you want, as much as you can. I was going to suggest going vegetarian, but that doesn’t work for me. What matters is you eat healthy food and lots of it. By healthy food I don’t mean boring stuff. Treat yourself to fancy meals right from Day 1 of your newfound sobriety; even a day of being alcohol-free is good for a habitual drinker, so give yourself a pat on the back! Remember, your body was being subjected to extreme stress because of the booze, so now you need to keep it satisfied by going to another extreme. Eat so much food that you feel like a python that just swallowed a deer, gorge on your favourite food in such a way that it makes you not want to talk to yourself ever again. Your appetite will increase greatly in a couple of days of going dry, so… go on, stuff yourself! Sleep It Off One of the things you’ll realize (and there’ll be many) when the withdrawal symptoms decrease is your quality of sleep will become better as the nights go by. You will start getting heavy, undisturbed sleep and will wake up fresh and happy. You might feel sleepy during the day if you’ve had a long-term relationship with alcohol, but that’s your system giving it back to you for tormenting it with intoxicants, so shut up and deal with it. If you begin to feel sleepy as early as 9-10 pm, don’t fight it; put your laptop away, switch your phone off, have a glass of water after the heavy dinner you just had, have sex if you can or just masturbate and go to sleep. Be Around Drinkers You read that right. If you’ve been in denial of your alcohol problem, this is a good way of increasing your self-respect. Quitting alcohol does not mean you have to stop hanging out with people who drink. I go to bars with my drinking buddies and have a nice time talking with them. This does two things for me: I get used to being alcohol-free in a world where people drink alcohol frequently, and watching other people get drunk makes me feel good about not drinking. So when my friends say I’m a pussy because I don’t drink, I just laugh and tell them to drink some on my behalf. Get rid of people who waste your time by talking shit, not friends who live normally and enjoy their drinks. Let Yourself Go This is the best thing about quitting alcohol: instead of sitting somewhere and numbing your nervous system or drinking shots of vodka and getting raped, you can have tons of fun in ways you’d forgotten long ago. You might not be able to dance as well without the vodka in your body, but alcohol is a depressant, and not a stimulant, so when people jump about like fucking idiots after drinking a lot (or smoking pot, for that matter), it does come across as a bit retarded. What’s more, you can be as crazy as you want without losing anyone’s respect (if you care about such things) and being labeled a drunkard by smug assholes who run away every time they hear the word ‘drugs’ and don’t know the difference between habitual drinkers, borderline alcoholics and full-blown alcohol addicts. Fuck all this serious talk; go kick a barking dog, eat out of someone else’s plate when they’re not looking, be horny around a girl without letting her know, give someone the finger and run away. The main thing to remember is not to think at any point that you’re depriving yourself of alcohol; tell yourself you’ll have a drink when you really feel you deserve one after a few months for having become a cooler person by taking control of your alcohol problem. Giving up alcohol (even temporarily) can be a lot of fun, and every time you feel the urge to have alcohol knowing fully well you’re not ready to get back to drinking yet, come back to this post – it will charge you up, for sure. And this is a good time to let you know that one of my best friends (and drinking buddies) is a lawyer; please don’t reproduce this material anywhere else or there will be trouble. Enjoy sobriety till you feel like and read some beer reviews on this blog!