11 things I learned while abstaining from my vices for a month

Today is Tuesday, December 3rd.

No Nothing November is officially over, and this has been the single best thing I have done in a very long time.

As you recall – for November I have given up 3 things that I thought were holding me down – pot, masturbation, and unnecessary and excessive media. It has been a struggle, there have been highs, there have been lows, there have been normal days where I just thought that I was being a drama queen for pointing out the highs and lows. But right now, on the other side of this November – I feel like a completely new human being.

Here are some of the things I learned this past November.

  1. If you THINK you have a problem with something, you probably do. I’ve been telling myself for ages that I smoke too much weed, that I jack off too much and that I spend too much time online. I knew this. I joked about this. But it has never been as evident to me as it is now. A vice doesn’t have to take over your life – you can still be highly functional, but you never know how functional you really CAN be until you abandon your vice for a while.
  2. Routine is the easiest way for your vices to spread. When you’re doing the same thing week in and week out – its incredibly easy for vices to turn into habits. There have been many weekends that I just smoked weed by myself all day. I liked the feeling, and I knew how to handle the recovery. Heavy drinkers behave this way too. All your bad habits become normal and become seemingly insurmountable when they are anything but, because you are just so used to living with them. Your vices become a way for you to self medicate against a shitty routine, since self medicating is extremely easy.
  3. Coincidentally – routine is the easiest way to get rid of your vices. When you abandon your vices you suddenly find yourself with an abundance of free time and energy, Crossfit was 85% responsible for me doing something with that time and energy. I became obsessed – and this obsession is paying off. Slowly, I realized that to fully immerse myself into Crossfit, i would have to take the rest of my routine more seriously. Meals became cleaner. Sleep became more regular. Alcohol became rare. And it started paying off in my workouts. On the flip side – If I fucked up my routine and showed up to a Crossfit session after a weekend of  debauchery and puking, it would show immediately and destroy my workout.
  4. We don’t know how to relax without our vices. This was a real eye opener – I smoke, jack off and absorb myself into the media  a lot when I’m just relaxing and on my down time. It helps me turn my brain off, which is something that all of us need from time to time – a break. I can’t turn my brain off with a book – you have to engage your imagination actively when reading. TV can rile you up too. So can games. Think about it – what do you do to “turn down”? Many people grab a drink or a smoke. Learning to relax properly is an art all to itself. I need to devote more time to this because I really don’t know how to relax.  ((NOTE: I only thought of this while writing, there was a big “Whoa” moment for me typing this out. Learn something new every day))
  5. Only by trying to “free” ourselves do we realize how helplessly trapped everyone else is (and we were/are). Refer to part 1 and 2. We are not the only ones struggling with our vices. We are not the only ones self medicating with drugs, alcohol, and everything else. For a lot of people – take out their vices and they would feel miserable.
  6. People are not a good source of current events. I abstained from news sites, discussion boards, and just about everything else news related for a month. The results were unexpected. I thought that people, particularly girls, are opinionated and absorbed into the media as I was, but I was wrong. For example – the typhoon in the Philippines happened November 7th. I did not find out about it until weeks later. Weeks!!!! Over 5,000 people are dead, this is a tragedy, and absolutely NO ONE AROUND ME WAS TALKING ABOUT IT! Maybe it’s because we get all of our “current events” talk on the internet, and its not considered “polite conversation”, I don’t know, but finding out about this weeks after it happened certainly put many things into perspective.
  7. Nothing happens in politics. I can safely say that my life is the same now as it was 1 month ago. All the political scandals, stories that I was supposed to care about, and intricacies that I used to be absorbed in mean absolutely nothing in the long run. It is insane to think about all the time and energy I wasted in, essentially, nothing.
  8. Your most powerful, attractive quality is your drive. When my mind started clearing up, I noticed that I became more driven, more confidant, more relaxed. And it was showing. In November I hooked up with 2 beautiful girls, and they were the most positive hookups I have had in a long time. The sex was beautiful and intimate one second, aggressive the next. They loved it. I loved it. I could see increasingly positive responses from girls. My drive backed up everything in my life – I guess that’s what they mean when they say confidence is attractive. The fact that I was working on becoming my best self definitely showed.
  9. The world still sucks. Don’t use other peoples reactions as a basis of gauging your self improvement. I fell into this trap. I felt glorious, powerful, renewed, but then I would talk to a person and just feel like they are trying to suck all the energy out of me. And, as hard as it is to admit, it worked a few times. The world sucks. It has a bunch of negative people trying to bring down everyone around them, whether they like it or not. Only you and you alone can gauge your progress.
  10. Our “always plugged in” news culture is fucking us up and keeping us ignorant. Pay attention to the news you hear today. Kim Kardashian did what? Obama did what? Auburn football did what? Pay attention to the things you read on social media today. Now try to remember them one week later, or one month later. Tough, isn’t it? In our race to always be informed, we are forgetting to actually remember shit that could actually be important and relevant to our lives. Don’t believe me? Here is a story that went viral in November about fucked up police behavior.  The story is beyond fucked up and speaks to the increasingly hostile, illegal and power mad actions of the police. But guess what – it’s December 5th, and we forgot all about that shot. But did you hear about Auburn’s win over Alabama though?
  11. Moderation is the hardest concept in the world to grasp. To a lot of people, it’s natural to go overboard. Right now most of my body is sore from my workout the day before – where I went all out on my deadlifts and set a new 1RM personal best, 3 sets of 10 power cleans and push jerks at 155, plus loads of pullups and pushups – all this after an extended Thanksgiving weekend. I probably could use a rest day today. I probably wont have one. And when I finally DO relax, I will probably go overboard with the relaxation. “Wooo, live hard and play hard!”. How many times have you told this to yourself, as you continue to push your extremes? How many people kill themselves in the office only to binge drink their free time away? I still want to smoke weed – I love the chillout, I love the creative spurts and the outside-the-box thinking, and it makes sex incredible, but I have to learn to control my urges. As i learned – total abstinence can lead to extreme relapses.  I used to binge drink quite often, but that’s now under control, so it is possible. I hope to someday achieve that with pot.

So, do you have any vices you’d like to abstain from?

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18 Responses to 11 things I learned while abstaining from my vices for a month

  1. Reddit is my biggest time sinking vice now. I know it’s useless. i know it’s mind numbing. But it’s how I turn my brain off now. Gotta find something else to do to shut down.

    • Believe me, it’s hard, because we all need that “down time” to chill out, relax, and recharge ourselves. The trouble with downtime is that, like you said, it can become addictive. You know what, I might just be crazy enough to try meditation techniques.

  2. judgemiller says:

    cigs and copious amounts of booze. Will try to just have 3-5 a night instead of 2-3x that

    • Good luck man! It is sooooo easy to chain smoke. I picked up the habit when I was in Europe and have yet to fully shake it, it just goes with booze so well!. The thing that seemed to help – try having a smoke right after brushing and rinsing your teeth with Listerine… or after eating a Granny Smith apple.

      Yeah, the booze can be a problem, trust me. Herb might actually help in your case

  3. Alcohol – Working in a bar almost of all my social situations involve alcohol and it’s rare for me to to approach a girl in a normal daytime situation.

    Twitter – If I have a moment of boredom, checking Twitter is my go-to move.

    • I think the first step to combating twitter addiction is uninstalling the app. I check it almost as a twitch reflex. In fact, now that I think about it, my internet addiction really kicked into gear when I got an iphone.

  4. Shenpen says:

    I kicked a HUGE Reddit addiction to the curb by abstaining for 2 weeks when I was on a holiday with a limited access anyway, then just blocking it in Chrome Nanny and after 3 weeks I felt no withdrawal pangs whatsoever. Half a year later, I can even go back to normal use (this is what AA type philosophies say is impossible), i.e. unblock it, check an interesting thread, comment, and then block again and not open for a month.

    Now if only I could do the same thing with booze… protip for the young, drink only hard liquor, whisky, vodka etc. unmixed, just shots, because that way you always know the difference between being thirsty and wanting get the buzz. My mistake: for years and years of basically all my fluid update every evening is beer. I no longer know if I want to booze or am just simply thirsty. I feel normal common thirst, dehydration, and start craving cold beers like hell. This is fucked up.

    The Reddit lesson was that changing circumstances, changing CUES that trigger routines helps in the crucial first period of withdrawal, in my case 2 weeks, the change was simply travelling, being abroad.

    So maybe I should travel to some no booze place like Saudi Arabia… or organize my evenings very differently, for example have a 22:00 joyride in the car – I know I would absolutely never ever DUI, so that could work. Except that it is totally impossible to find a parking spot where we live at night, so I won’t do that. Maybe do some go-kart?

  5. Marshallaw says:

    I am falling at every hurdle. Weekend drinking binges, wankin to porn, not the weed though. Never really got off on the drugs a whole lot. I fond coke very insidious, makes you really horny and you might as well be slamming your cock in the fridge door but he ain’t comin’ out to play! Changing habits slowly but surely, cycling and running, still enjoy a booze and a Sherman though…..

  6. Marshallaw says:

    And regarding media, I read manosphere blogs. Mainstream media is propaganda for fembots and manginas. It propagates the unnatural thought processes of these leeches. News sites are now secondary in my reading habits, a quick scan of what’s happening in the world. My ex was addicted to Grazia, Star and other nonsensical periodicals which tended to slowly drip feed into my life i.e. piles of gossip mags in the house. Danger Will Robinson, Danger! If your bird has this habit then getdafuckouttadere fast buddy! Its a nightmare!

    • Meditation Lady says:

      “And regarding media, I read manosphere blogs. Mainstream media is propaganda for fembots and manginas.”

      The Manosphere is just as mind-numbing and time-sucking.

  7. YouSoWould says:

    Good post mate, glad it worked out for you. I was trapped in a cycle of self-destructive binge drinking, every weekend for 15 years, which I finally gave up in January this year. Since then, I’ve made more progress in my confidence, health, physique and love life than in the preceding decade. It’s very difficult to break the habit initally, but once done, you look back in amazement mixed with despair at how much of your life you wasted, not fulfilling your potential.

    I too struggle to do anything in moderation, I have a personality that always has to take things to extremes. I would drink 1 litre of whiskey every time I went out – now people say to me “Can’t you just go out and have a few drinks?” And the answer is no, I can’t. It either has to be none at all, or I go off the deep end and make myself ill for 3 days.

    That said, it pays off in other areas such as working out, and now with my relentless focus on trading the stock market.

  8. walshy says:

    Oh so he figured out how to “relax” did he?

    “chilling out” on the weed is he?

    he sits vigil on the cold cave floor

    for 30 days and 30 nights

    mother ganja sits beside him.

    the crown of his head splits

    and a wave on energy creaks in

    his well is filled up to the brim

    all around him snakes and the depths of hell

    they want his nectar from his well

    will he run, or will he hide?

    his meditation shit is bone fide

    ……..warrior.

  9. Pingback: 11 things I learned while abstaining from my vices for a month | Kim Kardashian Kaidence Donda West

  10. logan says:

    Your observations in a lot of ways described my experience after getting into red pill theory and hitting the gym for the first time at 28 yrs old.

    With your number 3, I noticed that I started regimenting my activities and got into a routine of lifting, sleeping, and being at work (when I wasn’t cooking and eating to satiate my wildly increased metabolism). I got very efficient with my time, caught up on months of life maintenance like cleaning, selling unused shit, fixing my motorcycle, doing finances, and lost 40 lbs in a couple months. I literally could not find enough things to do. I’d also quit smoking and jacking it and felt so mentally in control it was shocking.

    After getting lazy I’ve returned to laziness (lol) like boozing and smoking, and I quit lifting. This post is good inspiration to get back on the wagon and leave the shit that keeps you behind, behind. I suppose I would drop the cig smoking, alone/weeknight drinking (and limit to ‘slight buzz’ level fri and sat), and take my gaming comp I built this spring and bury it in the closet. It would force me out of the house daily to game or lift or whatever. Kill stuff.

    This article is a great service to the sphere.

  11. A Man For All Seasons says:

    I struggle with drinking, wanking, and reading the manosphere for hours everyday. However, for the past two weeks, I’ve had a new approach to drinking. I came to realize drinking was affecting me even when I wasn’t drunk or hungover. It makes me tired all the time, kills my motivation, and hurts my sexual potency.
    I’ve read of people who quit drinking, and realized how pathetic drunks are, and how lame bars are. However, I still like bars. I like seeing a band. I like watching sports at a bar, etc. I’ve tried to tell myself that I would go out and only have 3-4 drinks, then stop, but 3-4 drinks are enough to take away my judgement and make me want to get totally drunk.
    My new system is to have no more than two drinks. If I knock back two drinks quickly, it is enough to give me a rush for a little while. It only lasts an hour or so, but I figure when the buzz is wearing down, and I’m bored with being at the bar, I’ll go home. This has worked for two weeks so far, and I think I can sustain it. I’m not giving up drinking or socializing entirely, but I’m cutting back to drinking only about 6 drinks a week, when I’ve normally drank 30-40 drinks/week for nearly 15 years.
    The thing is, the effects of heavy drinking take a long time to build up, but after 15 years, they’ve had time. I didn’t recognize that the problems were caused by drinking. I thought it was due to being badly burned out by working 80+ hours a week in a thankless job, and having a mid life crisis.
    Before, I thought I needed to cut down on drinking just because everybody says it’s good for me. Now that I realize it will have concrete positive results, such as my dick working better, my motivation to minimize my drinking is very strong.
    Now I just need to get a handle on wanking and on wasting time surfing the web all day.

  12. Lauren says:

    Even as a woman (I like to look at manosphere sites from time to time because I think it makes me a better woman to be more attractive/interesting) I find this to be a great article. Last year in the spring, I gave up drinking for a few months, while I kept my vices such as social media and not so healthy food, but I would like to do something like this for next year. Great stuff.

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