3 Ways Drinking Lowers Your Tolerance For Feeling Good
I haven’t had a sip of alcohol in 1,879 days. That’s roughly 5 years and 2 months. My decision to abstain from alcohol wasn’t due to a rock bottom or dependency. No, by all accounts, I was classified as a “normal” social drinker. My relationship with alcohol was left to the weekends, where I’d hit up happy hours, brunches and nights out on the town just as every other person my age seemed to be doing.
My decision to go alcohol-free was based on something else entirely — a decision that appeared to be rather novel 5 years ago: I wanted to feel good. Not just physically, but mentally. I wanted to feel vibrant, happy, and alive. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I was all of those things as a drinker, the harsh reality is that I constantly felt like there was a tiny cloud of micro-doom floating over my head. Although I wasn’t depressed, I also wasn’t happy. After years of implementing best practices from books on self-help, personal development and spirituality with limited results, I determined that perhaps my ability to feel good wasn’t about doing more, but rather, about doing less…and of one thing specifically: Drinking alcohol.
Initially, I tried to simply cut back on alcohol, making attempts at moderation that never really worked out in my favor. More often than not, “just a few” would turn into “a few too many” and the sense of existential doom would resume.
Finally, in January of 2017, I made the decision to take a prolonged break from alcohol. That break produced profound breakthroughs which eventually paved the way for a full-on (albeit unintentional) breakup. I haven’t looked back since. Why? It’s because my abstinence in combination with the personal growth and spirituality work I was already doing created a level of good-feeling in my life that was so magnificent, the appeal of alcohol became completely nonexistent. In other words: It felt good to feel good and I was not interested in compromising that miraculous good feeling.