About a month or so ago I decided I was going to stop drinking alcohol. I never drink at home but I always tie one on at conferences. I don’t have a problem (isn’t that what people with drinking problems are supposed to say?) but in my 6 years of going to about 100 different events I don’t think I have ever done one completely 100% sober…
I really came up with the plan to stop drinking after my last trip to Vegas when I got punched in the face at Rain by one guy and then later that night (early morning) got roughed up pretty good by the bouncers outside of Sapphire. On the plane home, feeling like I had an apple glued to my cheek, and my chest hurting when I took a breath, I had a bit of a ‘come to jesus’ moment and thought about my role as a husband, father, and just role model in general, and just decided I was done drinking.
I picked a hell of a time to quit drinking. Last Friday, January 15th, I got into Vegas, got home yesterday, then I leave again for another event in Vegas on Friday and come home Sunday. So in a 10 day stretch 8 of them are going to be in Las Vegas and every night is jam packed with parties.
But how the hell did I get to this point anyway? Maybe because I didn’t get invited to the cool parties as a kid, I was living it up now? Maybe I needed booze to be more social? Maybe people would not like the sober me at conferences? wtf?
Again I really don’t think I have a problem and I can come up with a million examples and excuses why. But that doesn’t matter.
So how did it go? Well actually I had totally underestimated how many other people noticed and how they reacted. After all, my plan was not to tell anybody and to just drink diet coke (everyone knows my drink of choice was diet coke and rum). I mean this was kind of a personal test… ya know?
I guess I forget I rarely ever get my own drink. People just bring me or order me skinny pirates (Diet coke/Captain Morgan). And ehhh there are the rounds and rounds of shots I normally partake in. At first I just tried to play it off and act like I was taking it easy. I had also forgotten about how well that works (ya I am being sarcastic) and then the peer pressure kicks in:
“What you’re too good to drink with me?”
“C’mon pussy drink!”
If you ever told me you were not in the mood to drink with me you probably heard me say something like those to you.
So I had to come clean with a couple people and just tell them I stopped drinking. When they asked why I just told them I would tell them later (its always fun to try to explain something important when the music is blaring).
I really think I told less then 3 people that I had stopped drinking…. but seemed like everyone knew in no time. Night after night and party after party people were coming up to me asking me what I had in my drink “making sure” I was not drinking (even ones I had not even talked to about it). It was just very strange.
Then there were those who were hell bent on trying to get me to drink. This was just disturbing. I tried to explain the situation to them about how I really just wanted to go without drinking but they still insisted on me doing a shot with them or having a drink. With 2 people I actually had to have a little sidebar with them and just be like, “Listen, I don’t want to drink. So quit being a dickhead.”
I never at any point wanted a drink. When I set my mind on something I am a really stubborn bastard about it so honestly there was never any real temptation to drink at any time. I dunno what that means about anything.
There were some major upsides to not drinking. From a business perspective I was much more productive. For this conference I had some clear cut goals, as I do for every conference, but unlike with most conferences, I was able to keep on track and accomplish everything I wanted to, plus much more.
From a social perspective everything went fine. I was still fist pumping with the best of them while Rob Hustle was on the mic at the Neverblue party or mingling with the playboy bunnies at the AzoogleAds Hefner suite.
For whatever reason “super” affiliates always come up to me and tell me what they are doing when they are completely wasted. Normally I always forget the next morning… but sober I still had a lot fresh in my mind.
I think I have discovered one of Matt “Mr Sprite” Cutts’ best secrets. Being sober at a conference has its upsides.
So what about the future? Well who knows. I think I am gonna stick with this not drinking thing for a while but don’t be surprised if you see me with a beer some time down the road.