Zero Drugs

Most people don’t think of alcohol or caffeine as drugs, but that is exactly what both are. They are widely accepted and consumed socially in artisanal settings, but they are drugs nonetheless.

I stopped drinking altogether 392 days ago.  I am sometimes tempted to have a glass or two of wine with a good meal. When that desire comes, I just think about the trade-off to the short term loan of happiness alcohol gives you; the next couple of days generally you are slightly more tired and grouchy. If you go overboard, then you have a hangover which is far more painful than any pleasure you received while drunk.

I also have generally avoided caffeine. I have had only 8 cups of tea over the last 72 days. A cup of coffee has the caffeine equivalent of 3 cups of tea, so this is only about 2-3 cups of coffee. I have had no caffeine in 22 days. I think caffeine is a short term loan of happiness / energy just like alcohol. You pay this loan back with more interest plus your principal too. I have found that caffeine makes it harder to get good sleep and screws up my schedule, and that I have a mild “caffeine hangover” the next couple of days where I am slightly grouchier and more likely to be depressed.

Probably the most challenging thing for me in not drinking alcohol and consuming a lot less caffeine is that when you are in a social situation where others are drinking you want to join in. The next day after I haven’t joined in I am always very grateful to myself for not doing so. Also, observing people after they have started to get drunk or really caffeinated is a turnoff for doing so yourself… seeing red rimmed eyes and listen to people slur words and say stupid things makes me feel better about not drinking. I have also noticed that people tend to respect you more.

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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

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