The Year Without – Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim – Part 2

I know we’re on hiatus, but again, this isn’t about pro wrestling.

A year ago, as of yesterday, I came to the realization that I had a problem, and I set myself on a path to right the ship.  A year in, I can proudly say that I actually got through the whole year without drinking.  Yay!  Pat on the back, pat on the back.  Whoo!

I was really hoping that I could tell you that not drinking changed everything, but I can’t.  It would honestly be lying to you if I tried, and really it would be an effort to convince myself that the drinking was the problem the whole time and the reason why my life wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be.  That’s not the truth, and never will be.

In my previous post, I outlined what I assumed the road map to my perceived “redesign, rebuild, reclaim” of life without alcohol being super productive, and I would see personal growth I’d been missing in my years of heavier than acceptable drinking.  That’s not how life actually works.

I don’t want you to think that I’m belittling the efforts of people who have to live with a constant struggle of alcoholism, but after spending a year without drinking, my problems are not anywhere near that of an alcoholic.  I just stopped drinking, clearly it was something entirely within my control if I made an effort to have even the slightest of self control or discipline in my actions.  Alcoholics, in a weird way, have basically been reprogrammed by a long-term exposure to alcohol in a way that it has basically become a survival need.  Actual alcoholics cannot simply just stop, it is just as basic a need for them as air or food.  If you or someone you know suffers from legit alcoholism (not the whiny, millennial white kid bullshit I claimed was alcoholism) help is available all over the place, and you just being a friendly voice can help them.  If they need more severe help,  this site will provide a world of information about ways you can help or help that you can find them, if they are ready for it.  Alcoholism is absolutely real, and me claiming that I was an alcoholic was damaging enough to those in the actual throws of that battle, even if I was only looking at it from my side of my own little bubble and had no real ill will intended.


I’m starting this whole thing over.  In my year long separation from alcohol I’ve learned a lot about myself.  For one, I’m merely a creature of habit, and when I’m bored, some of those habits get the better of me.  All I’ve done in this year is substitute Fortnite, exercise and trips to the movies to fill those spaces.  For another, I was drinking all wrong.  In a recent Men’s Health interview, Nick Offerman summed up everything I was doing wrong with one very clear statement about drinking habits: “My advice is to craft your life in such a way that your whiskey drinking can be for enjoyment, which means that it’s delicious and in moderation, rather than for escapism or to obliterate your consciousness.  The more you can taste the goodness of your whiskey, I think that bespeaks the more care you’re taking with how you live every day.”

I wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t drinking for the enjoyment of the experience, at any point.  I was drinking with the sole intention of blurring the lines between what was real and the fantasy life I would find on the other side of intoxication, where there were no problems, as long as the debit card cleared when the tab was due.

Please don’t read this as an “oh shit, Matt has jumped back off the wagon.”  It’s not at all what I’m saying and that would be a gross misinterpretation of what I’m telling you.  I’ve found so much good in my life because I stopped trying to hide from everything that I wasn’t thrilled with.  My relationships are stronger, all around.  I am reaping the benefits of taking this time to reevaluate the way I was living, and I’m proud of that fact.

My problem has always been personal accountability, and that’s still not changed.  This is obviously something that has been discussed at length of late, but we’re not going to go down the political rabbit hole right now.  I’m spoiled rotten, and for some reason being decent with words and crafting the right apologies has managed to get me out of pretty much everything I’ve ever done wrong.  It’s really kind of fucked up, when you think about it.  The things that I perceive as wrong in my world are of my doing, because I’m the only one that can actually step up and make things any different.  If I’m not happy at work or if I feel like I’m being taken advantage of, people aren’t just going to go out of their way to adjust what they are doing unless I step up and do what is within my power to fix the things I perceive as wrong.  And hell, it might just be me whining more about things that aren’t actually wrong.  I have long felt I was entitled to things that I just am not entitled to, because you are not entitled to much of anything.  If you want something in this life, just like the respect you think you’re supposed to be given, fucking earn it.

I didn’t drink all year, but I didn’t really do anything else super constructive or productive to improve my place in the world, and it’s time I start changing that.


I think the rebuilding was really what this last year was.  I took a step back and realized the things I was doing wrong, so now it is time to improve upon all those realizations and move forward.  I want to find more opportunities for myself to advance, and rather than just sit around and wait for them, I’m going to push for them, I’m going to make them, I’m going to take them when they exist.

It shouldn’t be that hard of a concept.  If I stay focused and work hard, making things happen for myself should come along with it.


There’s not really a reclamation at work here.  It’s really just an effort of continuing to take control of my own life, and improve on the things that I clearly know I’m doing wrong.  It’s about finding enjoyment in life, making enjoyment in life, and when things are creating an environment where your only solution is to abandon consciousness entirely, fucking fix it.  You’re the only one who can do anything about it, so do it.  Quit making excuses, quit hiding, and for the love of the seven deities, quit bitching.

We’re living in horribly unpleasant times as it is, find ways to make sure the things you have control over make you happy, or at the very least, that they don’t make you unhappy.

It sounds like it is easier said than done, but the moral of the story really is simple.  Just be happy.

Thanks for listening, I love you all, you’ve been nothing but wonderful during this year in supporting my efforts to not be what I once was.



Again, we’re on hiatus, but we’ll be back after the first of the year with new content and be better than ever.  Thanks for bearing with us, we’re trying to remember the love we had for wrestling when we started this, and keep the fire stoked that WWE’s piss poor booking tried to snuff out over the last year or so.