Let me tell you about a life-changing decision I made six years ago on New Year’s Day in 2018. I decided to stop drinking for 30 days, a concept inspired by ‘dry January’ in the UK. This decision came after years of overindulgence, often in situations I didn’t enjoy, as a means to escape a reality I wasn’t satisfied with. Wes Watson, a friend, once said that vices are for those who can’t handle reality. That resonated with me, challenging my dependence on alcohol and other escapes.
I never really enjoyed New Year’s Eve parties; they often felt disappointing and unfulfilling. Last night, however, I spent a wonderful time in Dubai with my two boys, reflecting on how my life has transformed since I stopped drinking. I was a lifelong functional alcoholic, a reality many of us silently endure, maintaining our roles as professionals and family members, but secretly struggling every night.
This habit, which I started at 18, was slowly eroding my self-esteem. Despite my accomplishments as an MIT engineer and Wall Street multimillionaire, I was ashamed of my inability to resist alcohol even for a day. It impacted my sense of self-worth, my productivity, and my ability to love and contribute positively to those around me.
The decision to quit drinking was also influenced by my work with London Real, where I learned the importance of serving others. It helped me step out of my self-centered life and confront the loneliness that fed my alcoholism. I committed to 30 days of sobriety, and when it was time to drink again, I realized I liked my new sober life better.
Choosing not to drink or do drugs simplifies life, as it removes the constant internal debate about indulging. That first year of sobriety was challenging, but it taught me about my own strength and significantly boosted my self-esteem. People often expect me to cite London Real, Wall Street, or my MIT degree as my greatest achievements. However, overcoming heroin addiction in 2002 and quitting alcohol six years ago are my true accomplishments. These required determination, planning, discipline, and a commitment to a greater cause.
I’ve committed to never letting my boys see me drunk and to not waste any more mornings hungover. I encourage everyone to consider making a similar decision. Addiction, in any form, is an escape from reality. Choosing sobriety could lead you to a life of greater accomplishment and fulfillment.
Remember, addictions don’t discriminate. They affect everyone, from family members to leaders in every field. Making a decision to change can transform your life. So, think about the bigger picture and the time you have left on this earth. Why not make the most of it?
Finally, I want to say farewell to alcohol. If it were invented today, it would be banned for its harmful effects. I’m living my life on my terms, proud of not needing alcohol to cope. I’m sending out peace and love from Dubai, inviting you to visit this beautiful place. Remember, substances and addictions affect us all, so make a decision today for a better tomorrow.