Welcome to the Alcohol Rethink Podcast, the show designed for men who are ready to rethink the role of alcohol in their lives. Get ready to hear some awesome coaching insights, powerful tools, captivating interviews, and first-hand experiences, all dedicated to helping you rethink your relationship with alcohol for good.
I'm your host, Patrick Fox. Let's go.
Hi guys, and welcome to episode number 129 of the Alcohol Rethink Podcast. What's up, fellas? Welcome back to the show. Today, I'm joined by a special guest, and I'm going to introduce him in a moment. But before I do that, I just want to let you know about something that I'm doing in the next couple of weeks.
So, on Wednesday the 20th of December, I'm going to be holding a group call. That group call is open to anybody who wants to attend. And what I'm going to be doing is I'm going to be there and I'm going to be answering some questions that you may have. We're going to be talking about how you can prepare for the festive period and also what.
That looks like beyond it, right? Going into the new year. And if you're considering taking a break from alcohol, so if that's something that you're interested in. Go to my website, www.patrickjfox.com/xmas-alcohol-rethink and you'll be able to get registered.
I'll send you an email about everything you can expect. If you want to come to that call but you want to remain anonymous, you absolutely can. You can just turn up, don't have your video on, just put a different name on. You can submit a question ahead of time and I'll be more than happy to answer that in the call as well. So, really cool thing that I think we will get a lot out of.
I'm going to have some guests join me as well who are going to be answering your questions. So, I'll also put that in the show notes. So guys, without further ado, let's go.
Another podcast another very cool guest that I've got in store for you today. His name is Bill Masters. He works as a recovery coach in the LGBTQ community.
He is trained with This Naked Mind. And as you all know, listening to this podcast, I'm a massive advocate of that, uh, program because it was pivotal in me choosing to stop drinking as well and really helping me. So yeah, it was like such a massive thing. So Bill, I'm really excited to have you on the show and have this conversation, dude.
Thank you, Patrick. I really am happy to be here.
Yeah. Nice man. Yeah. And I'm happy you're here as well. And I think it's, I love having these conversations because one, I never know how they're going to turn out, but I know they're always going to be awesome. So that's always great. And yeah, just the fact that you're like this naked mind coach, I think it's really cool as well, because You know, I, I stopped drinking five years ago almost.
And I read that book in the month of where I made that final decision to stop drinking. And it was huge, man. It was huge. Changed everything. Yeah. Right. It was just, you know, a little bit of science, a little bit of education on alcohol and a little bit of understanding the brain goes a long, long way.
Delivered with grace and compassion. That's what sets it apart. That's, that's why I dove in.
Yeah, nice. All right, cool. Well, that seems like a great place to kind of hear your story, man. Like before you got to this take in mind, like what was life like before you then with alcohol? Well, so life was messy with alcohol.
And, you know, I drank for I'm, I'm 58 years old, I will be two years alcohol-free on December 27 of this year. So drink for 40 years. And I'm growing up. Um, as a gay man in the late 60s, early 70s is was much different than growing up LGBTQ in the 90s, 2000, 2020s. And, um, We still had to hide right there was still keep it quiet, you don't want to talk about it.
I was mercilessly bullied at school for something that I didn't understand, like I didn't even grasp the concept of of homosexuality. Um, until I was probably in my mid-teens going into my 20s, um, I knew that I was different. Um, but it just seems that maybe somebody, you know, saw something in me that I didn't and began to use that against me.
Um, so I started drinking that when I was 16, and it was definitely a response. to try to make my life feel better because it just felt horrible. Um, my, my home life was not very stable. My, my mother was undiagnosed and untreated mental illness, and my father didn't know what to do about that. Um, so he didn't do anything at all.
Um, and alcohol. And then later on, the drugs was a symptom to the problem. So I tried to started drinking when I was 16. I would go through these long spurts where I would drink every night and then I take a couple weeks off and then I would take on the weekend. It was definitely in this up and down and and back in the 70s, mental health was not something that you talked about as well.
There were psychologists and psychiatrists out there, but there was no access to it. If you needed therapy or if you needed mental health. You were usually booked into a institution to deal with it.
Yeah, right, man. A lot of stigma around it back then for sure. Oh, absolutely. My mother had postpartum depression and they, they institutionalized her for a few months and gave her, you know, shock therapy and all of that.
Um. And my mother wasn't a drinker and neither was my father, but she was a smoker. And before I had my first drink, I had my first cigarette. I smoked for 28 years. Um, it was a coping mechanism because my whole perception, the lens upon which I viewed my reality was in a defence position, waiting for somebody to strike.
And I ended up hurting myself. Right? Um, and my life wasn't 100 percent miserable. I don't want to give the impression because everybody who has drank for long periods of time, you have your ups and downs. But the baseline, the baseline upon which I ran my life was based in fear, was based in hiding, was based in defence. Um, so what's, we could go through the 20s and 30s and I did about four years of crystal methamphetamine and I probably have touched cocaine here and there.
Um, but getting up into my, um, into my 40s and then into my 50s, that's when things pretty much got worse, right? So I lost my job at the onset of the Great Resection back in 2009. And, um, to Lost my job, lost pretty much everything. And to keep myself from being homeless, um, I had to move into the Palm Springs area and I decided to start a house cleaning company because I knew how to clean, right?
My mother taught me how to clean. And, um, so I started the house cleaning company and I was. Without insurance, without medication, I hadn't even taken antidepressants before that, and I was drinking and barely surviving. There was not very much happiness in my life. I'd have, I've had peaks of it when I'd spend time with friends, but when I would come back into my own space, when I was by myself, I was miserable.
And that misery was driven by thoughts of Suicide, suicidal ideation for 40 years, and I couldn't cope with life without thinking about how I could kill myself to end the suffering that I was going through. And um, because I could never kill myself, right? Could never do it. I've had two attempts in my life, but because I couldn't do it, I drank and I drank a lot.
Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I, I, uh, I ended up my husband. Now I met him and, um, ended. The, the house cleaning company and I went and I moved with, with him and we were going to kind of build our lives together and I was going to get a job and, and this and that and he decides that he wants to retire, we end up here in Joshua Tree.
And john at that time he was a drinker too, right, we keep come home from work and, and I wasn't working at the time and I would have cocktails. ready and we would have the cheese and crackers and he taught me the glory of top shelf vodka, right? And top shelf vodka, you didn't get the hangovers because it was highly filtered.
And what that did for me is it just prolonged My last day one because, um, I would have the hangovers from the cheap wine because I couldn't afford the better wine and I would have the hangovers from the low shelf to minute shelf vodka because it wasn't highly filtered. Um, so we move out to, um, uh, to Josh.
Interrupt what's that bill but like that's almost where that. like sophistication kind of element comes into it, right? Like the cheese and the wine and the top shelf vodka, like, Oh no, this is, you know, like it's fancy. It's kind of glamorous, almost romanticizing hangovers.
Absolutely. I had, I always had, we had to have the blue cheese olives, couldn't have any other olives, but the blue cheese olives. And I felt that I was someone special because I was drinking top shelf vodka. Um, and we got it at Costco. We were drinking great goose or, or Belvedere, you know, but we got it at Costco so I could get a seven 50 litre.
Right. And that would be gone in two weeks. If sometimes a week. Yeah.
Um, so go ahead. Sorry, man. I just, I picked up there. Like you felt special. Right. That's really quite key, isn't it? Because, you know, to, to do that and to feel special, because often that's the reason we do anything wise because of how we want it to make us feel and stuff.
And to, but like, do it in the way that you're doing it. And that. felt special is that's where that identity starts coming from. And it's kind of, um, where that needs to, to continue doing it comes from as well. Right. So you're, you're, you're looking at advertisements in the newspaper or magazines online.
You're looking at advertisements, um, on the television and they're glamorizing it and they're romanticizing it and they're making it look like you are someone special. So I wanted to be that, right. I had, I, I had no self compassion. Right? So every ounce of self esteem or any type of value that I wanted in my life came from the drink.
I'm having a cocktail. And, and I would tell people, you know, um, you'd be online and, and, you know, I'd be posting about something about the gay community and someone would come in and they would say, well, you're going to go to hell. And then I would say, well, I will meet you in hell and I'll be shaking the cocktails.
It's cocktails. You know, the whole, the, the, um, the, the, uh, ritual was beautiful feeling, feeling the, the Tumblr get. cold in my hand and you're shaking it and then I pour it and you'd have the ice chips on top. Loved that. Loved that. But I was killing myself. Killing myself. So, um, so the, the, I, the, the, the peak hit when my father died in January of 2020.
And after, and, and then COVID hit in February, and I started slipping. And, um, I, I was high functioning. My husband never saw the problem. He saw my mood swings. He saw my, you know, my rage. I was, and I, and I'd finally gotten insurance and I was, um, on antidepressants and I was talking to a therapist, but I was still drinking.
And, um, about, uh, April or May of that year, I decided I'd had enough and I went to my insurance company and I went to my doctor. I said, hey, I have a problem and they put me into a 70 day online, um, uh, alcohol free problem that was a program that was based in the 12 Steps. And I did the 70 days and I was feeling great and John was still scratching his head, not really sure what was going on.
And, and afterward, he said, Bill, I don't understand. I don't think you have a problem with alcohol. And of course I latched onto that. It was like, give me some of that. And I decided to moderate. Well, I can moderate. Oh, six months later, I was back to where I was before I had, before I went into the program.
And then six months after that, I was drinking even more than I was before. Yeah. And that's when I found this naked mind. October of 2021. I, I googled how to quit drinking without being an alcoholic and I saw the green book and I read it. I had read Craig. I'd read, uh, Alan Carr prior to that the easy way.
And, and it was a great book. I really liked the book, but what Annie gave us was a program. What Annie gave me was a path. And, um, she, she had a, uh, she had a one day, um, uh, webinar and was talking about the path. It's called the path 365 now. And right after the hour was up, I signed up and I, I ended up, I started in this naked mind, the path in November of 2021.
And I haven't looked back I, I was in the pause for two months in the program before I decided to take my last day one because I was tired of trying to quit drinking. So I stopped trying, and I educated myself. I learned about synaptic connections I learned about neurotransmitters I learned about neuroplasticity and neural pathways and I learned about the science of how my brain worked and uh, December 27th came along and I, and I was drinking every single day and I said that was it. Right? I said that was it. I had caused so much problems in my marriage. I had caused so much, so many problems in my own life. And I never looked back.
And the first 30 days were pretty difficult. Not, not terribly hard, but just really, really, really uncomfortable. And after my 30 days and being in the path and seeing what the coaches do in this naked mind, that's when I wanted to become a coach. That's when I knew that I could be of service to my community.
Because I know I'm not the only gay man out there who's drinking to stop the demons, to quiet the demons, because what's going on inside us is, is worse than what anybody else could do to us. That self-negativity, it, it, it just rips you up. So I quit and I did the work. And, and I never look back and, and life isn't perfect, but because my baseline from where I was before rooted in fear and misery to the point where it, I am rooted in happier.
Right? I'm rooted in more positivity, more optimism, when adversity comes my way and everybody goes through life. Life is stressful, it is suffering. Because I approach it differently now, I look for solutions, I look for how to fix things rather than being succumbed and wallowing in the sorrow. Mm. And, um.
That is me in a nutshell. Yeah.
Thanks, dude. I have a ton of questions. Go for it. Just on that last point though, I don't know if you're familiar with Joe Dispenza's work, but he talks Yes! He talks a lot about how we get addicted to our emotions. So like when you you know, you mentioned like wallowing there if we see that as an emotion that can become addictive because then like the benefit of that emotion, I imagine would be more of that kind of self-hate, which would have led to more actions of drinking.
And then it just, like, as we know how the mind works, right? Like it becomes a reinforcement, it becomes a habit loop, and then it just gets repeated over and it becomes, it becomes, I'm going to use the word comfortable, which obviously isn't comfortable, but it's just becomes the known actually, that's probably the better word.
So your brain just knows what to expect, even if it's like absolutely brutal towards ourselves.
So, I love Joe Dispenza. I have 20, 30 years of spiritual. I've, I've, Course in Miracles, Science of Mind. I've done a lot. And I love Joe Dispenza. But because I was drinking, nothing set in, nothing took effect. And when I stopped drinking, everything that I learned before starts coming up to the surface.
And, um, I'm reading, um, I, I read, uh, Evolve Your Brain again, the foundation, I love how Joe, um, explains how the brain, the brain works in, in Evolve Your Brain, um, I read that again, and I, when you're not drinking, number one, you're, you're Antidepressants work a heck of a lot better. Yeah. Number two, you will learn you can, you absolutely absorb information that you can use and it doesn't go into this void of misery.
Right. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. Your hippocampus has come back online, right? Like it's actually got capacity to start remembering stuff because it's not being abused by alcohol. There's such a great point in there as well. Right. Like, because I think, you know, we've any kind of personal development, self-help, whatever you want to call it, that you can be doing it for, I felt like I've been doing it for 10 years and I only really feel like I've been getting traction since I've stopped drinking.
But it didn't mean what I was doing before that wasn't working. But once I stopped drinking, it just helped to kind of make it even more powerful, like really help to like embed it as like, Oh, now I understand it. Now I can see it. Like, and it was still there, all that work I'd done before. It just wasn't as effective because I was still drinking at the time.
Well, it's like you plant these seeds and, and you plant them in fertile ground. Right. But when you're watering it, with alcohol, they're not the plants, the flowers aren't going to bloom and the plants aren't going to grow as quickly. But when you water it with water and when you give it vitamins and nutrients and, and nutrition, it just explodes.
Yeah. Everything in there, it just opens up to you. And, um, you're right. It's always there. But now I can access it more, especially when I'm in an episode. Like I still, you know, I still have depressive episodes. I still work with my mental health, but I don't stay in it as as long as I used to. And I can come out quicker and I don't do any damage to myself because I'm not drinking.
Yeah. Yeah. Cause we're still human, man. Like we still have emotions and sometimes our emotions proceed logic a lot of times. And yeah, it's, I find like that, that window just gets smaller and smaller each time, right? Like you're able to come through and you're able to actually turn it into problem solving and resolving things rather than just kind of staying in it.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I think that's really key to remember is like, cause sometimes like people here listening right now, they might be thinking, well, I'm doing all this work, but nothing's changing. And, and it can, it can be really disheartening and, you know, you end up using it against yourself.
You've beaten yourself up with that as well as the fact that you're drinking still. But when you, when you make that choice, right, when you actually stop drinking or you begin to start taking a break, which I'm a huge advocate of, well, then that stuff comes back into play. It's not like it's not, not being used.
It's [00:22:00] there. It's always going to be there for you. Awesome. All right. Yeah. So one of the things I wrote, I've got a couple of things that I wanted to bring up and one of them was like, just that you notice that when you said that you wanted to stop drinking and you went to the doctors and then like your partner said, Oh, I don't really see you as having a problem.
Right. And I'm sure that was like a real honest thing that he was saying. Uh, not intentional to get you drinking at all, but it is so fascinating how easily our mind can be influenced, right? Just that one little invitation to, to come back drinking and like the mind will justify and rationalize. And it could have been from an advert.
It could have been something you read in a book. It could have come from absolutely anywhere, right? But you just have to be so mindful of that.
The subconscious mind is so powerful and it makes every thought. feels so real, but it's not. It's just a thought, nothing more. It's not a craving. Andy teaches us that we have cravings when we're going through the detox and the withdrawal process, but after that, it's just a thought, but they, but that subconscious mind is so powerful and it's so tricky that, um, it will grab onto.
I don't think you have a problem. Well, great. I don't think I have a problem either. Let's drink. And, and let me tell you, so when, when I, when I had my last, uh, when I had my last day one, and I, and we've all had thousands of day ones, right? Um, I asked John to quit drinking with me for 30 days, and he, uh, he did.
And it still just, you know, just brings tears to my eyes that he would be that supportive. He hid the vodka, he didn't hide the wine, because I wasn't a wine drinker, and I knew better than to switch to wine, because that was just gonna, you know, I was just, just, It wasn't going to work. Um, the man really drinks, he's had maybe.
10 beers in the past almost two years. He rarely drinks. Yeah. He, he can just turn it on and off, right? Good for him. I needed help and somebody else is going to need help and I'm a coach. I'll take on, or if it's not a good fit with us, I'm going to send you off to this naked mind, to their programs. I'm going to make sure that you have the resources that you have to help you change your relationship with alcohol, because we don't quit drinking.
We don't quit drinking. We change our relationship with alcohol. We change our thoughts about alcohol. We change our beliefs about alcohol.
I haven't had a trigger to drink in, in almost two years. And I've always found an excuse to drink. Russia, Israel, this, that, I would always use as an excuse to drink. It's, I have, I have to feel, and I want to feel now. And I have. a range of emotions that are available to me now that weren't available to me before.
And sometimes it's really rough. And sometimes it's absolutely fucking amazing that I could feel that good.
Yeah. And I think that's What a lot of people haven't bargained for when they start drinking, right? It's like their, their emotional feeling range starts coming back online as well. And it can be a bit weird because often we've been drinking and using drugs or whatever, because we don't want to feel because we don't know how to feel because we've been told not to feel, you know, like, especially for you as a gay man, growing up in the sixties and seventies and everything that happened for you.
You had to learn how to hide that, I'm imagining, right? Because it was, it was dangerous, effectively. Uh, and it's something you said earlier, right? Like about hurting yourself. And what came up for me is that the idea of like, I'll hurt myself. So you can't hurt me. And I mean, that's something that definitely came up for me.
Absolutely. Absolutely. I'll do it myself. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I was, I was, I was, I was essayed as a child by the neighbor's father and It was only when I quit drinking that I could find forgiveness for him. It was only when I quit hurting myself for what he did 40 years ago that I could find forgiveness for him and forgiveness for me.
I had to quit drinking to find forgiveness for me for all the things that I did when I was drinking. And it's, and it forgiveness when you're sober and in, and, and in a recovery path is amazing. It's liberating.
I think a lot of people struggle with it in the beginning as well. Like find it challenging because I remember when I was reading this naked mind and then I stopped drinking and then I continued reading the book and like everything starts coming back to you, right?
Like you start remembering all of those times. And someone in my Facebook group the other day was talking about this. It's like, Oh, I've stopped drinking. And I just keep thinking about all the stuff I've done in the past and the people I've heard and like the guilt and the shame. And, you know, one is to feel that right, because there's, there's something for you to learn.
Maybe there's something for you to do with it. But more importantly, you can start using that as evidence, right? We're talking about changing our beliefs and stuff. Start using that as evidence as why you are giving up drinking, why you actually no longer want to drink alcohol. So the addiction becomes something that happens for you.
I'm a big follower of Byron Katie and the work. Oh yeah. And um, uh, I did her school back in March and I met Annie Grace and her picture of me and her on my website. It's just amazing. I, you've, I don't like the word victim mentality. No, we, the perception that we have that life happens to us. is a victim perspective, right?
But when you, when you stop drinking, you can see the gifts of life and how life happens for us. And the negativity that alcohol addiction has on the body, what that does for us is to tell us that we have a problem and something needs to be fixed. That's the gift of alcohol addiction. Yeah. Thanks. It's rough, but thank you body for shutting down and vomiting and this and that didn't listen until I couldn't take it anymore. And then, you know, I'm here.
Man, there's going to be a lot of people are going to be resonating with that right now. You know, they're getting the message and they're just not quite hearing it yet, or they don't want to hear it.
Like, no, it can't be the alcohol. It can't be this, but it is. And it's a gift. It's a gift to live a better life, to choose something different.
It is amazing. You know, today I, sorry, go on. Oh no, go ahead. Cool, I was just, you know, I was in London and I was on, and it was a really great day and I met up with some coach friends and then I was on the train on the way back and I was just looking out the window.
And I was just, had I been drinking, I would have gone into town, I would have been having beers and I probably would have been eating a Burger King or something on the way home. But I was sat on the train and I was looking out the window and it was almost like I was watching myself looking out the window.
But as I was looking out, like I saw this flock of birds, just kind of like flying in the sky. And then I was looking at the clouds and I, you know, like we look at clouds, I think it's one layer, but it wasn't like there was multiple layers of clouds and stuff. And it was just such an amazing moment of, of, of presence that you just don't get when you're drinking like ever.
Uh, yeah. And it was really beautiful, man.
It is so much easier to live in the moment when you're not drunk and when you're not suffering from withdrawals because what at the stage that both you and I were probably at before we decided to quit drinking to change our relationship with alcohol. We were either drunk or we were suffering the anxiety from withdrawals and there was no in between.
There was no breath. In between, because all we ended up doing is drinking to satisfy the misery that withdrawals and, and, and detoxification brought. It's a vicious, vicious cycle.
It is, it is, but you know, like you said, 30 days within, in 30 days, like it can start changing a hell of a lot. I want to slightly try, uh, change, change track here or not change track, but like, I want to, I want to talk to you about the work that you're doing in the LGBTQ community, right?
Uh, with stopping drinking as well. Cause I, I'm, I'm interested to see like what the, how that shows up, right? Like addiction in your community.
In my experience, alcohol and, and, and it's everywhere, right? Alcohol is everywhere. It's even an ice cream now, but the gay community, we didn't have places to go. We didn't have role models in our, in, in my generation and the generations before that, we didn't have role models to show us.
Integrity to show us self compassion. We didn't have that. So what did so, and, and, and because we had to hide, we went to the bars. That's what we did. So in the early days we met at the bars, we socialized at the bars. That was the only, we couldn't do it at coffee shops, we couldn't do it at bookstores or, or out in the park, right?
Um, so that's why it's, that path has been worn so deep in, in the, in the, in the gay, in the Gay, I'm going to say queer community, it's just easier to say queer than LGBTQ. In the queer community, that path runs so deep and it's hard to change that. And, and our main socializing still happens at the bars and it has, but because we can be out and open now, it has spread. Into Sunday brunches, go to the drag show, Sunday brunch, get wasted. That's what we did. Beer busts, this and that. We still primarily make our social situations at the bar. And even then, when we go to be activists, and when we're marching for our rights, or we're marching for somebody else's rights, we still go to the bar afterwards.
Because that's the path that we've worn and that's all we know and a lot of us aren't aware that, um, we're drinking, we're still drinking, especially at my age, that we're still drinking to numb those feelings. We're still drinking to heal these wounds of our childhood, but we can't because we're drinking.
I was in therapy for years. And again, we talked about the spiritual, um, exploration and then the psychological exploration, but it didn't, it didn't click, right? It didn't hold because I was still drinking. I was still numbing those feelings. And then I would numb the feelings on top of that. And then I'd numb that.
And then as we all know that when you numb the bad feelings, you're numbing the, the happy feelings as well. You numb it all. It all goes away.
Pride is alcohol centered. We in Palm Springs, they have the white party. It's alcohol centered. Everything is alcohol centered, but because we're, we get, you know, we're, we're the small community. It looks pretty big. But, you know, at football games, you know, where straight people go or this or that, there's alcohol everywhere as well.
Um, and it's, it's, it's only been in the past, what, five, six years that alcohol free bars have been popping up all over the place. And, and mocktail options are, are coming up at restaurants and stuff. But the, the, the queer community is still mired in, I need to drink to have a good time. I need to drink as a rebellion, as a rebellious act against society. Again, you can't hurt me. anymore. I'm still going to hurt myself. Yeah.
Do you think people are conscious of that? Sorry, go on. No.
And because it's glamorized and we romanticize it and because there's this party atmosphere with, with, um, you know, at the right colors and this and that it, it really looks like it's this fantastic thing.
And that the hangover is just the price we pay for all this fun that we're doing. And that's a horrible price. And it, and it anyway. Yeah. It's a real shitty return on investment. Absolutely. Yeah. Right. Oh yeah. I was just going to ask, do you feel like people are conscious of, right, like conscious of the fact that they're drinking to rebel and all of those other things that you were just sharing?
No. No. Yeah.
And, and they can't know it because they haven't explored. There's, it's hard to be introspective when you're either drunk or suffering from a hangover. No.
I don't, I don't think they know.
And, and, and I didn't know either though. I didn't know either. That you can't hurt me, so I'm going to hurt myself, but I'm going to put all this party around it. Or I'm going to put sex around it. We're, you know, we're very sexually positive, uh, group. Just, you know, the gay men are very sexually, sexually positive, etc.
I'm going to put all this padding around. the core problem that's going on again. So I don't have to feel so I don't have to deal with it. Yeah, it's in the past. It it it's in the past. It's in the past. It's not. Yeah.
Just like that excessive pursuit of pleasure. Right. Just like constantly trying to escape pain.
Absolutely. Oh, I learned that from Annie too. Absolutely. We, we gravitate to feeling, to feel good and we will do everything we can in our power to feel good and not feel bad. But then, you know, when we're doing it with alcohol, we end up feeling bad and making it worse.
Yeah. And then there's also like that messaging we get that.
The goal of life is to feel good, right? It is to feel happy. It is to be all of these things and like that's so counterproductive as well because life's hard, you know, like there's lots of things. Yeah, there's lots of things that we do want to choose pain over. I say pain over suffering, right? Like I think there's a difference because there is.
Suffering is optional. Right? Suffering is when you hold on to the pain and you're not going to deal with the pain and you're not going to transform the pain. You're not going to turn it around and find the gift that the pain is trying to get your attention. Right? The gift. We have to look at the gift that the negativity, the adversity provides for us.
And it's hard. It's hard to look at my molestation. It was hard to look at that. Especially when I was drinking. When I quit drinking, the light turned on, the humanity turned on, the connection that I can have with another person, and understand that he was probably molested when he was a child. Guarantee it.
That the kids who bullied me at school were taught that it was bad to be queer, and you needed to do something about that through institutions, so on and so forth. How, how can you hold resentment towards someone when they believe the stories that they're telling themselves? And so now it like what in your work, right?
Do you find you mostly work with guys? Do you find that you're working with? I'm only three months out of the program, so I'm still building my business. Oh, okay.
Cool. Cool. Cool. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
All right. Yeah. In all honesty, I haven't got a client yet. I do freebies on the side. I do one office here and there, but I don't have a client yet.
I'm only about three months out of the program. So there's, there's a, there's a window period upon which you need to build your, your, your business. And that's where I am. Yeah.
Cool, man. Well, listen, man, I think what you're doing, just everything that's come up during this conversation is just fucking evidence of why you're the guy to do it, man, you know, you got so much for everyone.
I'm happy to do it. I'm happy to do it. Um, I think, I think society as a whole, not just, not just any community or co community within, you know, society as a whole, we could just make so many better decisions about how we can grow and progress and unite. And be inclusive when we stop numbing all of it. And he says 84 percent of Americans drink and a good portion of them are stuck.
Yeah, but you think about how many people are in the United States. Like it's a lot of people.
Almost 400 million. Wow. 84% drink. Fuck, that's a lot. But there's a revolution happening, right? So, um, oh yeah, the College of London. I just did a post on my Instagram. Um, um, there was a study done in, in England and, uh, uh, young adults between 16 and 24 and 2005 who don't drink was eight 18%.
And then, I think it's in 2015, it was 29%. The younger generation is, is learning from us. There's a gift. There's a gift in our addiction. There's a gift in our misery because we will help make the world better by showing the younger generation what they can do different and more and more people. It's becoming cool not to drink.
It's cool to be sober.
Yeah, man. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's, that's, that's, that's what I want to achieve. That's like my goal, right? Is to make sobriety fun, make sobriety cool. Cause I've said this so many times on podcasts, but life doesn't stop when you, you stop drinking. It's just fucking starting, man.
yeah, like the, to the gays, the party is just starting. I never, never thought that I could dance, go dancing sober and I've done it, right? Don't care. Dance like no one's watching. And I did it. And it was fun. I loved my life. Not perfect. I love my life. I love who I am. I love who I become and who I'm becoming.
And I couldn't say that for 40 years.
And I hope somebody else gets this and, and makes, and is curious, I'm not asking you to quit. I'm asking you to be curious about what it might feel like to be free from alcohol.
Yeah. I feel you, man. Like I can, I can hear it coming up for you. And again, it's like something I never anticipated that, Oh, you start drinking. Oh, here's some opportunities to develop compassion and self love towards yourself. I mean, like being guys as well, right? Like those are definitely not things that we are taught as we're growing up.
Where the stoic, the stoicism, like even, even in the gay community, there is something about, we still have that ingrained that a man needs to be strong and he needs to be, you know, and, and we need to be able to handle our drink. Doesn't last, doesn't last. No creeps up on you and then you're stuck and it makes it more difficult to kind of get out of the hole that you've dug yourself in.
And I was in a pretty fucking deep hole. Yeah.
Well, no, actually to remind me of what you said earlier, right? Like you can go through your twenties, your thirties, and maybe even into the start of your forties, but like It's going to catch up with you, right? There's just no way that you can get away with drinking like that.
And especially with alcohol, because it can cause so many problems later on in life. And at the time when you're drinking, you think like you're invincible, right? But then things start to happen and who knows what the full impact of it's going to be.
Oh, cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes. All of, all of any type of disease or, or malfunction of the body is increased exponentially because of drinking and hard drugs.
I mean, you know, cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, all just terrible for the body.
And the brain, right? Because your brain starts shrinking.
And the brain, yeah. You know, and he says it changes the structure of your brain. It rewires your brain and you have to rewire it again. It's so much, it's a better wire. Like my circuits, my mental circuits are better.
Yeah. I can't remember who said this or even if it was a study, but it's about the, the resilience. Of someone who's overcome addiction is like far higher than anybody who's not suffered with one, right? We're strong. Yeah, right. But like, so often we think we're just. There's something wrong with us and that we're weak and maybe it kind of like falls back into that stoic, stoicism that you were saying, right.
But yeah, it's, it's yeah, far stronger and you're stronger and you're more capable than you can ever imagine.
It's hard to buck the system because the system tells you that alcohol makes things better when science is telling us that alcohol does not make anything better. World Health Organization, no alcohol.
Yeah, if you haven't listened to the Huberman lab podcast on alcohol, he's like once a week, once every two weeks, it's bad. It's ethanol, it's biofuel. It's the exact same thing that they mix with gasoline that you put in your gas tank. But it's been highly filtered and it's been watered down and it's been add flavorings and sugar.
To make it taste better. Otherwise, it tastes like shit. It's gross.
Yeah. Like that, I've shared that on the podcast. That was one of my core beliefs that helped me stop drinking is alcohol is ethanol. It's not even a belief, it's a fact, right? I always forget that. It's a fact, like alcohol is ethanol. I was like, nope, not putting that shit in my body anymore.
I'm done with it. Ethanol is just, it's just fermented corn. And vodka is fermented wheat or, or, or potatoes. It's just, yeah.
Yeah. Horrible stuff. Yep. Right. This has been, the time is whizzed by. I've had such a great conversation and I appreciate you coming on and just being so radically honest man and just authentic and just really sharing from the heart.
Appreciate that a lot. And I know everyone listening is going to appreciate it and take something from it as well. Uh, before we, we finished, I do have a question I'd love to ask you, uh, and that is, what does it mean to be radically human when you're not hiding anything?
Life doesn't have, right, when you get sober, it feels good to get all the stuff out that you've done, right, to, to, to find and feel redemption,
but the truth in that is that you just don't have to hide it anymore. Radically human is radically forgiving, radically forgiving for the self, radically honest with the self, and then taking that radical honesty and giving it to the world. It, it. For some people, it would be very hard to talk about their rape, it would be hard to talk about their molestation, and all of that.
Um, to be radically human is for me to expose that within me. That's my gift, so you don't have to feel ashamed for what you went through. And that you can be radically honest and radically forgiving of yourself. And when you're radically honest and forgiving of yourself, you're radically forgiving of others.
And it's hard, because I still hold resentment towards some people in this world, I absolutely do.
But I work on it every day, because forgiveness is divine.
And, and you work on it instead of letting it work on you. Absolutely.
Yeah. I'm in charge, right? Yeah, right.
I'm in charge. Yeah, I love that, man. Thank you. So Bill, where do people find out more about you? First, tell us about your website and the name of your website because I love it.
My, my business name is Alcohol Free As Fuck. It's just A F, A F A F. And I, and I stole, Annie Grace had a, Uh, has or had a t shirt that was AF AF and I thought I'm taking that and Annie Grace is like do what you want. Just give me credit and I will always credit Annie Grace in this naked mind. So my my business name is alcohol free as fuck.
My uh website address is um, alcohol free AF. com and you can follow, you know, the social media links are there. Um, I have a free download, um, to help you through your, what I did in the first 30 days, the first 30 days are critical. Set the foundation for the rest of your life. And, um, you can see my, my insanity on social media.
All the links are there. It's a, it's good to be insane, right? It's good to take risks. It's good to be open.
A hundred percent. And, you know. There's so many things that I always say, like stopping drinking isn't the goal. And there's so many different reasons for that. But I think like one of the biggest reasons is that because when you stop drinking, you start to be you.
Um, and that takes a bit of work, right? Like you got to do some of that repairing and forgiving and all of those things. Like that's part of the process. And I think more often than not, it's like when, when you're ready to start doing that is when it's time to stop, when it's time to take a break.
And life will meet you at that point and help you.
Yeah. It'll help you with anti grace like you googled and anti grace, you know, I was looking for a way not to go to AA. I'm sorry. AA works for people. It didn't work for me. I didn't want to go back into the rooms and, and when you're ready, life meets you where you are and helps you always.
Nice. Bill, thank you so much, dude.
I've really loved this conversation. I know that so many people out there are going to take so much from it and I know they're going to get in contact with you because I think they should because you're the guy for the LGBTQ community. Brings tears to my eyes to be able to tell my story that maybe somebody somewhere is going to change their life.
And thank you. Thank you for being you. And being part of the solution to help change the world, it's, it's a great thing. And I, and I, I, I want more coaches and I want more podcasts to help bring out the best in you by ending your relationship with alcohol.
Yeah, man. That's where it all begins. Amazing.
Thank you, Patrick. All right. Thanks again, Bill. Thank you everybody for listening. I will see you again soon. Take care. Bye bye.