How I Quit Drinking Alcohol For Good
My 4-year progress after quitting
Today, December 1st, 2022, I celebrate four years alcohol-free.
To give just a little backstory, I started drinking and smoking pot around age 12.
I know, that sounds a little crazy…
A 12-year old sounds like a baby to me now… but you grow up fast when your mom has you at 16 years old (and you’re raised by a pack of wild rock n’ roll teenagers in the 80’s).
The thing is…. Life at home wasn’t good, the environment was extremely toxic, and I was in a lot of pain, so I started looking for an escape, and that’s exactly what I got when I took my first drink. I remember finally feeling free, happy, confident, and relaxed.
Eventually, things got so bad at home that I got kicked out, and had to drop out of high school at age 15.
I turned 16 shortly after, and was able to legally work, so I got a job and started renting a room from my boyfriend's parents at the time. They all drank and smoked heavily, so now it was even more accessible. I mean, his parents literally bought us beer. I only stayed there for about 6 months before I realized this environment wasn’t much better than the one I came from, so I packed up my things and left.
Over the years, I bounced from renting rooms to couch surfing to living out of my car…
As a musician, this didn’t seem strange to me…
Eventually, I got my own place when I turned 18. At this point, I had older friends that would buy me alcohol that I could keep at my house. This is when I started drinking alone.
At first, I thought I just drank because I liked it, and it made me feel “good,'' but I realized it was an issue when I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin when I didn’t have a drink in my hand.
I didn’t know it yet, but I was later diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder caused by trauma, and was basically using alcohol just to feel “normal.”
This went on for years, and as I got into my 20’s it was very natural to drink during gigs, during band practice, on tour, before the show, after the show, etc.
Once I started bartending, it got even worse because now alcohol was free, and all the bar jobs I worked on were “drink on the job” bars, where you took shots with customers… (and your tips suffered if you didn’t)
At this point, drinking was just a part of my life. It was normal.
Despite all of this, I became a full-time musician by my mid 20’s, touring the world with a rock and roll band, fronting bands in Malaysia and Thailand, and pretty much drinking every single day.
I continued to work on my craft, getting better at songwriting, learning how to produce my own music, and I finally started getting paid as a producer, which was a dream come true.
But I still drank every day.
I’ll be honest…
I thought I would naturally outgrow drinking.
I thought, “Everybody drinks… especially in their 20’s!.. I won’t be like this forever!”
But as I got into my late 20’s / early 30’s, and I was still drinking daily, I knew I had a problem.
And I realized…
Not only that, but as I was growing, my desire to expand and live to my fullest potential was coming alive inside of me, and I found myself being more driven, more aware, more ambitious, and more of a seeker of truth.
Asking myself questions like…
I started reading books, journaling, meditating, manifesting…
Shit, I even started cleansing my chakras every day.
But I continued to drink daily.
And it’s not like I was “blackout drunk” all the time, or streaking in my neighborhood. In fact, most people didn’t even know I had a problem with alcohol.
I even switched from beer and whiskey to wine, as if that was somehow “classier” and made me less of an addict.
So here I am, swimming in self-help, personal development, and all the woo, and working my ass off on my business, yet I’m putting this poison in my body every day.
I felt like I was on a treadmill listening to Tony Robbins while smoking a cigarette.
Or climbing up a mountain with a backpack full of rocks.
It was like I was putting my foot on the gas pedal while the car was in park.
One day I heard an inner voice, and it said…
And I knew it deep down.
Through meditation and manifestation - and a LOT of Abraham Hicks -
I learned how to change my thoughts…
…which changed my life.
I mean, I had become a master-manifestor in SO many ways!
From manifesting a move from California to Nashville (with zero money in my bank account), to going pro as a musician, and so much more.
I knew I was changing my life, and that things were getting better, but I felt this calling to make a quantum leap into the next chapter, and I knew that was going to require becoming a whole new version of myself.
So I decided to research, and I stumbled on a couple books that changed my life.
The first one is This Naked Mind by Annie Grace.
And the second one is Kick the Drink by Jason Vale.
These books are unique in that they help you reprogram your subconscious mind so you don’t even WANT to drink.
**Side note, I cured myself of chronic back pain with the same type of methodologies reading books like…
“The Great Pain Deception”
So, after I read the This Naked Mind and Kick the Drink I felt a complete shift inside of my brain. The same shift when I healed my back. All of a sudden, my desire to drink was gone. Zip. Nada. Just GONE.
This coming from a person who drank every single day.
I never looked back, I’ve never craved, I never feel like I’m “one drink away” from caving.
Instead of feeling like “I can’t drink” or “I’m only one drink away…” I actually feel like “Thank God, I don’t HAVE to drink”.
I know it sounds crazy, but…. There's something about the way these books are written that reprogram your subconscious mind.
I can’t recommend reading them enough.
I also really found value in a blog called “Hip Sobriety” written by Holly Whitaker. Unfortunately, I can’t find it online anymore, but I noticed she wrote a book “How to Quit Like a Woman”, and if it’s anything like her blog, I’m sure it’s amazing.
So yeah… I researched and read my way to sobriety.
(And this was after trying AA twice, which didn’t work for me)
So what did I do once I got sober?
Firstly, I decided to make it a point to adopt some new healthier habits.
Here are some habits I adopted to maintain my sobriety:
I started getting regular massages. Instead of blowing $100 bucks at the bar, I started splurging on $70 massages.
I started investing in coaches, courses, and reading a shit ton of books on spirituality & business. (instead of spending money on booze, I spent money on books.) Yes, I was reading and seeking before I got sober, but I probably 20x’d the amount after.
I started prioritizing self-care BIG time. I’m talkin’ good coffee, nice dinners, jazz music, comfy (and higher quality) clothing, meditation, breathwork, sauna’s, nootropics, pretty much anything that makes me feel good AND is also good for me.
And, because I always like to reflect each year on my sober birthday to take score of what I’ve accomplished since quitting booze….
Here are some of the things I’ve accomplished since I quit drinking:
I’m more confident than I’ve ever been, which is ironic because I thought I needed alcohol for confidence.
I built a 7 figure business (Produce Like a Boss), coaching songwriters on how to produce their music, and get paid for it. (and I won a pretty sweet award for making a million dollars in my business.)
I got engaged to the love of my life.
We bought a beautiful home in Arizona.
I converted our garage into my dream studio.
It’s truly humbling to look back on my journey from homeless high school dropout addict, to where I am today, and while a lot of the “material things” are amazing… I must say,
Being able to transform my pain into purpose - which is to help others - is the greatest gift of all.
Because when I was an addict, I was so stuck in my ego, and so stuck in “survival mode” that I didn’t have the capacity to help anybody else.
It was all about how I could launch my music career.
How I could get my next placement.
These days, I’m far more lit up helping my students achieve those things, and seeing their “Ah-ha’s” from my teachings.
So today, I'm grateful for my sobriety.
I’m grateful for my purpose.
And I’m so incredibly grateful to live a life I no longer want to escape from.
I hope if you’re reading this, and you’ve been thinking about quitting drinking, I hope that this inspires you to know that it’s possible.
You got this.