Our old friend Julian is now 1500 days sober – in his book ‘I Don’t Drink’, he talked about celebrating milestones, overcoming adversity and how going alcohol-free changed his life. This guest article is an update on where he is today, at 1500 days sober.
It is hardly believable if I think back to where I started, but I have now managed 1500 days without alcohol! In my book ‘I Don’t Drink!’ I talk about logging achievements at various stages and how this can be really self-motivating. I mention in the book what I had achieved and how I felt at one week, two weeks, one month, 50 days, 100 days and 250 days, and so I thought I would do the same for 1500 days.
I am living the years of my life I never expected to see when I was a drunk. I seriously expected to be dead by age fifty-seven. I will be sixty in two month’s time! If the extra years I have ahead of me weren’t enough encouragement, I now have two wonderful grandchildren to share them with, and had I carried on as I was I might never have met either of them. I have completely lost any desire to ever drink alcohol again. Just that inner knowledge gives me the thrill of knowing I will live the rest of my life unencumbered by the nagging guilt that I am wasting any of it.
I have never been as fit as I am now – even when I was at school or in the army I still smoked (and drank). I now walk at least six kilometres every day, I also swim at least a kilometre every day, and on top of that my wife and I go ballroom dancing every week and I am about to restart karate lessons in my new town. I feel fantastic and I am a perfect BMI for my age. I have also completely self-cured the type 2 diabetes I was diagnosed with six years ago.
Thousands of people have now read my books on quitting alcohol and from the mail I receive, I know I have been able to help many of them also quit alcohol. There is a tremendous joy to be had from helping others that I never experienced before. That is one addiction I don’t want to get rid of! I also have a tremendous relationship with my loved ones, my friends and my work colleagues. I have been able to take on some significant extra responsibilities in my life due to the trust that others can now place in me, knowing it the real me they are dealing with and not some drunken monster.
As a very conservative estimate I have saved £15,000 by not drinking. This is money I have instead spent seeing incredible parts of the world and meeting the people who live there, and learning about other cultures and beliefs, all of which have added to my own sense of belonging on this planet.
As you may gather from the above and from the posts I place on my website, I have found an inner contentment, almost comparable to a permanent meditative state or state of wellbeing. Having the time for others, the patience to listen and the energy of good health has given me a sense of peace and harmony in life I never imagined I would find.
You can achieve the same as me and it starts by counting day one! If you take the approach I took and that I outline in my books it really is easy and painless. I can honestly state that I have never once regretted my decision to quit alcohol, or been tempted to have a drink since that first day, and that the benefits mounted up literally from day one. What I will say however, is that the decision has to be forever – nothing else works!
To find out how Julian got to 1500 days sober, you can also read Julian’s book I Don’t Drink! How to Quit Alcohol.