Why I Quit Drinking
Russ explains the reason he decided to give up drinking for good. He explains how his commitment to his family outweighed the risk of drinking – even though he did enjoy drinking.
He’ll take you through his thought process as well as the lightbulb moment he had in October 2013 while reading to his daughter about his family that made him never want to drink again.
Perhaps your not addicted to drinking, but you’re addicted to something else (everybody is). Join the conversation below and download the Action Guide to make the commitment to sobriety.
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Each week we release an Action Guide filled with relevant exercises from the latest Russ Perry Show episode to help you expand your sobriety across all core areas of your life: body, being, balance, and business. This week’s Action Guide will have you define why you’re committing to sobriety.
BONUS: No need to take notes – we transcribed the episode for you!
– Hey everyone, welcome again to another episode of the Russ Perry show, where we cover each week why sober equals success. Today, as you could tell by the topic, it is pretty close to home, the topic literally is why I’m sober why I decided to quit drinking, and we’re gonna cover that and more today in the Russ Perry Show, so kick back, relax, open up a non-alcoholic drink, and welcome to the show.
– [Announcer] Let’s go!
– [Russ Voiceover] There’s a new way of living to give you the unfair advantage at all areas of life, body, being, balance, and business. Follow my journey each week and learn first hand why sober equals success. Welcome to the Russ Perry show.
– Alright, so for some of you, you already know this, but for those of you who don’t, I’ve written this book called The Sober Entrepreneur. It’s a little shy of, let’s see here, 200 pages. Fairly large print, but it is the detailed story around why I quit drinking.
The last time I had a drink was October 2013, and I haven’t had one since, at the time of this episode, it’s been over four years now, that I have been sober. But the question comes up, it came up already twice today, like Russ, why did you quit drinking? What was the moment in your life in which you decided to change because I had drank for a long time, from bein’ in high school, all the way through college, into my adult life, into my marriage, and through what could have been the end of my marriage, fueled by alcohol and the destructive patterns and behaviors that I had adopted at the time.
But the critical moment for me was also the reason why I was able to change for good. Literally like a light switch went off inside of me where I no longer ever have the desire or thought to drink. And this was going from the complete opposite end of the spectrum in which I thought for a long time, man, life would be so terrible if I couldn’t drink. Like thank goodness I can drink, that’s what makes life awesome.
And here I am, 180 on the topic. But the pivotable moment came for me early in 2013, after my grandmother had died. My father’s mother, her name was Louise Smith-Perry, and she had written, prior to her death, an autobiography/biographical account of her side of the family. I’m an Arizona native, and so is she.
I’m a third-generation Arizona native, and she was the daughter of German immigrants, who came to Arizona in the 1800’s and came here to discover a new life. I mean it is an amazing, typical, like story you would see in history class about settlers and immigrants and that amazing time, and I had read this when she first wrote it when she was alive. It was a beautiful book and something that came to me. I think she finished it in either 2008 or 2009, and it had everything up until our point in life. About my family, my uncles, her family, and then going back to her parents and even her grandparents.
And so I had read this and didn’t think anything of it. And so life went on, and I put it away on a shelf, and then the darkest part of my life hit. 2011 and 2012, the pit of bein’ exposed with my addiction, my affair, all of it came to a surface. And didn’t know where to go, and I was struggling and I was looking for support.
And crazy enough, even during all of that, I didn’t quite believe I had a problem with alcohol. I literally just thought that like I would drink less all that stuff would happen, but now I would just drink less, or go out less, or hang out with different people. And I didn’t make the connection until early 2013 actually, I’d say more mid-2013. I was rereading this book to my daughter who never really knew grandma Lou, so we were talking about here and it kinda came up and I said hey, I have this book I’d like to share with you.
So I pull it out, I’d read it before, and I start reading it again, she had now passed, and I had been really on this search for what was gonna be next for me in the aftermath of the destruction that I had created. And so, from there, I’m reading this and I realize that there’s a common thread throughout this that I missed. Something that made my heart sink. And really, what it was was what my grandma had said about many of the men in that book.
For many of those men, my ancestors, she was not kind at all, they struggled with addictions, gambling, lying, cheating, death, health problems, all of this, as plain as the eye could see. And I thought at that moment, this right here in my hands is the only account these men have. Their story right now only lives on through what my grandmother is telling about them.
And then that made me think, what if I died today? What would Mika tell, my wife? What would she say about me? If she was to literally or figuratively write a book? Or, on the path I’m currently on, which at the time, was still drinking. What would my children say when I was adult. How would they? Would they be embarrassed of that, will I have caused more problems? I don’t know, maybe I would’ve been fine, and I could’ve solved it on my own, but the answers were too risky.
And so it was in that moment, that I made the commitment to myself that if someone was to ever write my story, then it would be different. I couldn’t change the past, obviously. We can never change the past, but I could literally at that point, create a new story. One that I was fully in control of, and allow myself and my story to be one that I designed, base off of my decisions as a sober, clear, person throughout the rest of my life.
Now, of course, I’m gonna make mistakes. I’ve made plenty since getting sober, sobriety is not about perfection, sobriety is about control and ultimately becoming the most authentic version of yourself. And so, in that moment, I quit drinking. And like I said, I haven’t had a drop since.
And I’ve gone to support programs, we’ll talk about those in a future episode. I’ve read books, shoot, I’ve written a book, The Sober Entrepreneur, on Amazon, right now. Google or search on Amazon Sober Entrepreneur. But the point here is this, is that my commitment to my future generations and the story and my legacy, my family tree beyond me, is what keeps me sober.
I frankly, loved drinking. It was fantastic, me and my wife together, we go to Las Vegas or have fun or go to a party, most of the time, it was awesome, but it was those moments, those nine out of 10, eight out of 10 times, sorry those one out of 10, two out of 10 times, I got my ratios reversed. That things became destructive to the point where it could affect me and my life and my generational family from who I am today and who I can become tomorrow and everything beneath me. And it was not worth the risk.
And so, if you’re new to this conversation, the Russ Perry Show, we’ve made a hard turn into the conversation of sobriety, and that’s where we’re gonna live. I am going to be the number one voice on this topic, and not just about alcohol, this could be about any addiction you have. Whether that is an addiction to a substance, a relationship, a terrible job, whatever. We’re gonna dive into those things, and we’re gonna work on strategies and tactics and ways to get out of it. But it all starts with understanding why you are making the commitment to sobriety.
And I’ve had this conversation for a while now since the book came out like I’ve been talking about a lot of people and again alcohol isn’t always the issue. I’ve had people say, dude, I’ve been smokin’ weed since I was 15 years old, or I’m in the worst job ever. I’m in a codependent relationship. So we all have something, and this conversation every single week on the Russ Perry Show is gonna guide you down one path, and for today, we just start with why.
Why are you making the decision for sobriety? And please share. Shout it out, we’re gonna own the hashtag sober success. So I want you to post that out, #SoberSuccess so we can find you, and share why you’re making the decision for sobriety, and it could be life generational like me, or it could simply be Russ, I’m fat, and I wanna lose some weight, and that’s cool too.
We’re not just gonna be so hot and heavy every single episode. But whatever it is, it needs to matter to you. So thank you for allowing me to share my story, I can’t wait to hear yours. And tune in every single week. We’re gonna put this on YouTube, we’re gonna put this on Podcast, on Apple, all of that.
Most of all, make sure you get subscribed over on Russperry.co/show and make sure you get into the loop of the community who’s champion this idea, that sober equals success. So thanks so much, and we’ll see you next week.
– [Narrator] Check out past episodes and download custom action guides at RussPerry.co/show
– [Announcer] Let’s go.