“New year, new me.” We hear it every year. From everybody. Facebook. Friends. Family. TV. Everyone sells this dream of magically turning their life, or yours, around at the drop of a New Year’s ball.
It’s as if by saying those words will somehow turn you from being overweight to thin. Or from being bald to having hair (my personal wish). Or from finally finding that one true love and not dating losers. What if I told you that you can do that, without the saying. That by actually following through on something, and challenging yourself, that you can do what you want in life.
Do you want the 6 pack? Stop eating donuts and go to the gym. Do you want to find love or find what’s available? Don’t force the issue. Do you want to have hair again? Buy Bosley! Haha, ok ok… that last one is a joke. Kind of. I’m bookmarking their website as I type this.
On a more personal and serious level, though, I decided that in 2018, I really was going to change myself. For the better. Inside and out. I want to be the best possible version I can of myself. Not that I don’t have a good life now, but I look in the mirror, and I see so much more. I see such great potential. I don’t see someone who has made it, I see someone who could make it even further.
Fake it until you make it.
Or so the saying goes. My faking it means a different thing then you might think. No, I’m not going to spend frivolously and pretend I’m super rich. I’m not going to wear wigs and pretend I have hair. And I’m not going to pretend, that for the next 12 months, each challenge I submit to, is something I was ok with. That’s right, for the next 12 months, I will be challenging myself, to not just be that “new me,” but a better version of me in every way.
I’ve looked at myself in the mirror more than you would imagine, and I came away with a few things that I know I can improve upon. There’s no more bullshitting myself, my family, my friends, and even exes. I need to stand tall and proud. In 2018, I need to rectify that which has been my downfall. Think of this as a way to go through all my past demons and defeat them once and for all.
I give you, my loyal readers, “12 Months. 12 Resolutions.”
For the the next 12 months, I will choose one thing to focus on solely and really work to achieve the goal of a pass or a fail. I will post the results in a monthly blog, for each topic. I will also update things daily, or weekly, via Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. I have my own personal accounts, and I have my own page for “12 Months. 12 Resolutions.” Won’t you give it a like? Just click here: 12 Months. 12 Resolutions.
I’m also inviting all of you to join with me! I want there to be discussions, and questions. I want there to be comments made to me or about my challenge of the month. I’m doing this as a way to show the world that you can better yourself, and that by taking things in steps vs. all at once, the whole “new year, new me” mantra is a joke without planning, execution and will power.
I’m sure by now you guys are just aching for the topic of January. You’ve seen the picture and the title, so you know where I’m headed already. For the month of January, I attempted to not drink any alcohol. No beer. No gin. No wine. No champagne. No whiskey. No alcohol. Not one sip. Not one can, or bottle or shot. Nothing. No alcohol.
I haven’t gone a month without alcohol in over ten years. I’m being serious. No hair jokes here, just a straight faced bald headed man proclaiming he’s going straight edge in January.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, I wanted to start my 2018 self inflicted challenge off with possibly the hardest thing I could think of. Right out of the gate, see what I’m made of.
Not that I’m an alcoholic, but for a quick back story, I believe I have an issue with alcohol at times. My dad is an alcoholic. In fact, I never knew him a day sober. Again, no joking here. I went through high school never trying alcohol once. I didn’t even have my first beer until after I graduated high school, with my best friend. And it was only one celebratory beer.
It was gross, by the way.
As time went on, I naturally went off to college and got into drinking slowly but surely. I admit back then, in my early twenties (I’m now 33), I could drink anything and drink it all night. I was almost always the last one standing. Or playing videogames until 4am. I was always the one to wait until everyone else passed out and leave, because I just had to sleep in my own bed. I would drink a bottle of anything in one night, easy.
As time went on though, hangovers became a thing, and then that pretty much ruins your whole day, as you all know. The headaches, the shitty feeling of not being able to move, and just wanting to sleep, but you can’t. Such is life eh? Yeah, a waste of a life.
I’ve never been one to be abusive or get into people’s faces when I drank, no, I was not an angry drunk, but a daring one. I would do anything and try anything. I was a wild man, indeed. And I would continue this way throughout all my twenties and now early thirties. It was few and far between, but at least once or twice a month, you could count on me drinking nonstop, all day and night, and wherever I ended up, I ended up.
Which is a little bit of how I got my nickname, “Night Runner.” Only, to be cool, I spelled it, “Nit3Runn3r.” Yeah, reallll cool…
It wasn’t fair to my friends who weren’t into that. It wasn’t fair to my family who worried about me. It wasn’t fair to a girlfriend, who just wanted time with me, the real me. Not the drunk me. And lastly, it wasn’t fair to myself. Every time I would regret it, but I just felt the urge to drink whenever things got me down or life didn’t go my way. It was an easy way out, and a cowardly way out. I was becoming my father, and that scared me the most.
Again, this was once or twice a month, but who knows what once or twice could bring? I’ve seen first hand what even one bad night can bring. Or one bad drink. One bad argument. One bad, anything. And with alcohol involved, we all know it just heightens the experience, good or bad.
And how I want to go about finishing this blog, is by detailing my notes, and thoughts, throughout the month of January, so everyone can see what went on, as I tried to go one month without drinking.
January 1, 2018- It’s New Year’s Day and I’m hungover as fuck. I drank a full bottle of vodka, one bottle of champagne and two bottles of wine. I know this because that’s what I bought, and I cleaned it all out. There was nothing left. I only went to bed because I ran out of alcohol. If I was going to attempt this “no alcohol in January thing,” I was going out with a bang.
January 4, 2018- I’m back into the swing of things, a regular schedule with work, now that the holidays are over. I have not had a thirst for a drink yet, with still the aftertaste of New Year’s Eve in my mouth. Yuck.
January 6, 2018- I’m starting to want a beer after work. Usually, I would have one or two beers, depending on if I was on call or not. On call, no drinking. Off call, drinking. Simple enough to follow, right? I’m realizing I may miss those beers the most. Those after work, tie off, feet up, cold beers.
January 7, 2018- It’s Sunday, and I’m almost at a week with no alcohol. I’m on call, but during the times of football, making some food, cleaning around the condo, one drink sure sounds lovely right about now. How many smoothies and water can one man have in a day?
January 9, 2018- I’m really starting to miss my ex girlfriend more and more, and as I stated before, drinking was always an escape for me. An easy way out. A way to just say, “fuck it, I’m getting drunk tonight.” And I hated that. But I always gave in. Not this time, Noah. I miss her, but it’s for the best. There’s a few reasons it happened, and you’re bettering yourself because of it. No alcohol baldy, c’mon, you can do this.
January 11, 2018- People have been asking about my plans for the weekend (it’s my weekend off, Fri-Sun). Almost everyone suggests doing something around drinking. I keep telling people I’m not drinking this month and they don’t get it. They don’t understand why I wouldn’t drink. And then it clicks, we as a society have accepted getting drunk and doing everything with alcohol involved as a social norm. I’m the one who gets made fun of again, just like in high school, because I’m giving up alcohol for 31 days.
January 12, 2018- It’s Friday, it’s the start of my weekend off and this will be interesting. I will be playing poker. There will be football on Sunday. I will be with friends. Basically, I have every chance to drink. Whew. I didn’t do it. I made it through my first weekend off of not drinking.
January 16, 2018- I’m about halfway through, and it honestly feels like months. The drives home after a long day of work is really getting to me. Going grocery shopping and passing all of the bars and liquor stores on my way certainly don’t help. Just a quick stop, just pop in and out for a 6 pack, or a bottle. Nope. Can’t do it. Just keep driving, Noah.
January 18, 2018- My Thursday off. I’m beginning to really see the end in sight. But not without worry, because usually, after poker, I’ll have a beer or two. Beer is my favorite thing, can’t you tell? Read here for more on my love of beer: A Beer Drinker’s Guide To Hops, Barley and Fermentation
January 26, 2018- This is it. The home stretch and how fitting, in that my biggest test yet is coming up. I’m going out to play poker at a hotel bar, in their back rooms. Totally setting myself up for failure right? Wrong. If I wanted this bad enough, I would not succumb to drinking. This would be it.
January 27, 2018- I didn’t drink. I made it through one of the worst live poker experiences of my life, and I fully believe it was all to test me. The cards weren’t the issue. My play wasn’t the issue. It was one player at the table, who was the most drunk and obnoxious of a person I’ve ever come across at a table. I’m not joking, still. In all my years of playing poker or going out, he was the one to just ruin the night for myself and everyone else. But… I. Did. Not. Drink. The bartender even tried goading me into it and again, what is up with everyone just wanting people to drink? I get it’s her job, but she was completely dumbfounded as to why I would even attempt such a thing.
January 31, 2018- I made it. I actually pulled it off. I didn’t drink for one whole month. Unbelievable.
And so, as I look back on that month, it seems so easy now, but man was I in some thirst quenching moods at times. I gained a lot of self control from doing this. I really tested myself, and I came through. If I didn’t document this or even mention it to people, no one would have believed me.
That’s also the last thing I want to touch on. So many people just turn to alcohol and laugh it off as just something to do. It doesn’t have to be though. You don’t need alcohol to cope with life or to have fun. It may take the edge off, sure. It may loosen you up or help you relax, yes. But it doesn’t have to be something to go over the cliff with, and that’s where I have trouble. Moderation, as with anything, is key.
So many of my past moments have started with trying one thing or leading the night off with one drink. I’m here to rectify that, and become a better me. I set out to not drink in January, and I achieved that goal.