Alcohol keeps you living the same days, weeks, and months in a continuous cycle of nothingness.
“Life is lived in time. Therefore he who wastes time, wastes life.”
― Vincent Okay Nwachukwu
Do you remember the movie Groundhog’s Day with Bill Murray?
It was one of my favorite movies growing up because it explored the concept of doing something so often that you eventually got extremely good at it.
This alluded to the concept of 10,000 hours before Malcolm Gladwell.
As Bill tried a number of hobbies and skills that he could practice because he was stuck in the same day for what seemed like years, he was able to get good at several different things, e.g., ice sculpturing, which, even when I was a kid, seemed like a weird thing to want to get good at.
However, as it relates to alcohol and how it creates the effect of Groundhog’s Day in our lives, the actual effect it has on it is quite different.
While Bill Murray was able to gain a bunch of skills and eventually learn what he needed to break the seemingly never-ending loop, alcohol does the exact opposite for us in real life.
Not only does it keep us stuck doing the same things each day without any true progression, but it also ultimately prevents us from growing in a number of ways that never allows us to break free from its life-hindering spell.
What is the Groundhog’s Effect of Alcohol?
The Groundhog’s Effect of Alcohol on your life is exactly as it sounds.
Similar to Bill Murray’s daily reporting on the critical question of whether Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow, the groundhog’s effect of alcohol on our lives seemingly keeps us stuck in the same days over and over.
Each day, we are put in a world where it seems that we are doing the same thing or type of things repeatedly without very little change or growth from day to day.
I didn’t fully realize this until I stopped drinking for a considerable length of time and began to look back on my daily and weekly activities. When I thought back to what was important to me, it was primarily focused on those Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights in which I knew I would allow myself the freedom to drink as much as I desired.
I looked forward to those nights more than just about anything else during the week, as they were going to give me the pleasure that my mind and body was craving.
This, in turn, often led me to do a combination of one or two things on each of these nights.
I would either meet my friends at a bar and drink until it was time to stumble home to sleep before getting up the next day or drink at home with a friend and hang out and watch a movie before ordering Uber Eats and stumbling to bed again.
This kept me on a hamster wheel of some sort. It wasn’t that my life was flailing, as I was still very successful at work and was able to obtain an MBA while drinking.
However, when I think back on those years, I recognize how much time I spent doing the exact things repeatedly with my free time that seems like such a waste now.
How does it impede your life?
The scary thing about alcohol is that it works too well.
This is one of the reasons that it is so addictive.
Bored at home on a Saturday night with nothing to do?
I could easily call up one of my buddies and meet at a local spot in Atlanta and completely consume 4–6 hours of my life.
Out in a new city and not sure what to do?
Find a local bar, and you’ll easily find a way to kill 3–4 hours, getting to know the locals.
The magical effect of alcohol (if you will) is that it can make almost ANYTHING seem fun and exciting. This phenomenon keeps us repeatedly doing the same things that appear to be fun but aren’t really getting us anywhere in life.
The number of hours I wasted in bars on Friday or Saturday night or on trips around the world doing the same things I could do in my hometown are too many to be counted.
For many, this puts them on a path in which they are just happy with the concept of “sameness” each day. There is no true drive in them to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and work to improve themselves and their lives to do better…to be better.
Alcohol makes us happy living the same days and weeks over and over without realizing there is a chance for us to be so much more.
What can you do to break this cycle?
The first step is awareness.
Think back to your past weeks and weekends over the past year and think how many of them look the same based on building rituals and patterns around alcohol.
If you find yourself making and adjusting plans based on alcohol and its availability, it may be time to rethink your relationship with it and how it’s serving you to create the best version of yourself.
Reading publications like this is a great place to start, as there are many articles and resources on here that will give you access to information and strategies to help you with this journey.
Our STRATEGIES TO QUIT section is packed with different tools and resources. There are several different groups and strategies that you can join to help with this endeavor, with The MEDS from this publication being one of them.
Educating yourself and laying the foundation to understand what and how alcohol affects you is always the best first step to taking off your blinders and beginning to recognize the opportunity you have inside of you if you’re willing to try a different path.
And while I can’t promise that you’ll be making ice sculptures in your free time, I can guarantee that you’ll be doing a hell of a lot more than just hanging out at your local bar every weekend.