To Drink or Not To Drink Part One: Fed Up



I haven’t been too vocal about this in public settings, mostly sharing it w/ my closest friends, but I stopped drinking about two months ago.  If i remember correctly it was May the 15th.  At the time I had no idea how long i would go without it, whether it was a short or long-term thing, but i knew i had to stop.  While it’s easy to say that I wasn’t as bad as a lot of people I was hanging out with, I can confidently say that things had gone too far for me, and for the lifestyle that i need to maintain to be productive and healthy.

At first, I just felt bored, which is ironic because it wasn’t like I was sitting at home doing nothing.  I was doing a ton of music and me and my dudes would go out all the time.  The problem was that we started to feel like we were seeing the same things over and over again, and that places that used to be our favorite spots just weren’t exciting anymore, unless we drank to the point to where we would have fun regardless.  This lead to a period of time where I was trying out new things, going to new places (mostly new bars), all in the name of erasing this bored with everything feeling that began to take over my outlook.

At home, I was feeling like my body was starting to talk to me, and tell me to slow down.  When i first started drinking I could drink until 3am, wake up at 9am, and still be productive.  But that’s not the case anymore.  Alcohol seems to have a cumulative affect on a person, whereas the more you drink the more it chips away at your productivity and clarity until you think that waking up at 2pm is ok, and as long as you’re not hungover for the two days then its ok to be hungover for one.   I began to notice that it became harder and harder to get started on my work before well into the day, and because i got started so late I would complete less, which would make me feel shitty about completing less work and want to drink more.  The cycle had officially began.

Looking back I now realize that I really only had two main activities in my life: music and going out.  I would do some music, then go out.  Recover from going out and do some music again.  Now that I write this I see how unhealthy it is at a very fundamental level to have so few outlets.  It wasn’t always like this.  I was always into sports and really technical nerdy stuff like computer programming, but i noticed that the more I would drink and go out, the less I would care about stuff like that.  I think i probably averaged only reading 1-2 books per year the past few years.

I started to also realize that this sentiment was starting to come across in my music.  As an artist, it’s very difficult to express yourself without talking about what you’re going through, and the bored, tired, fed up feeling was starting to come across in my music.  A line here, a line there, but I knew that if it was coming out in that way then it was time to make a change.

So over two months ago, I realized I was fed up and needed to take a few days off drinking.  The few days off turned into seven days off.  While a week off drinking doesn’t seem like much to most people, it was a lot for a dude that goes out 4-5 nights a week and had never done it by choice before.  The previous breaks i had taken were because of circumstance; hanging out with family, playing an all ages show where no alcohol was served, having a serious deadline to keep, or being too hungover to drink. 

At the seven day mark i went out to meet up with friends and have a drink, but it just didnt feel the same.  It just didn’t feel as natural to put alcohol in my body as it used to.  I wasn’t completely sure, so i went to watch the NBA playoffs the following week and tried to just drink a beer, and could barely drink it.  That’s when I knew it wasn’t going to be a temporary thing this time around.

That was May, and it’s almost August now, and I think i’ve only had one glass of wine on for my birthday since.  

This experience has been something that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time, but I haven’t had complete faith i would be able to word it correctly to not come off like I’m better than anybody because i was able to take a couple months off drinking, or that my struggle even compares to those out there who have lost so much because of alcohol.  There are people who have been through some truly terrible situations with alcohol, and I don’t want to trivialize that.  I know that I’m just a regular person, trying to be a better man, and I hope that me writing about this helps somebody else see that what they’re feeling is ok, that it’s ok to try to change, and it’s never too late to improve yourself and live a healthier lifestyle. 

So if it’s ok with yall I’m going to write about this from time to time, because i think I have to.  All i’ve wanted to do since i’ve started this journey is talk about it with people who understand, but that has been very difficult because everybody is in a different space.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now because i don’t want this to get too long.  I’m going to break this up into other parts so as not to bore everybody.

Thanks for listening.

Any feedback, questions or comments greatly appreciated.

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  • MNSpence

    Its hard to take something that you “think” you love doing and walking away from it for awhile. The reward from that is once you do take those steps, you realize that you didn’t love it as much as you thought.
    I used to be a 4-???? beer drinker a night. I used it for a solution to sleep, dodge stress, and just boost the mood. The funny thing is, the booze was the solution to none of those issues, just something to F@#% my mind up enough to take me away temporarily. Then when it came to hitting up the town with my buds, I realized that I could out drink them several times under the table.
    Like I was the fastest horse on the track just lappin everyone and wondering why they were movin so damn slow? That’s when the wakeup call similar to yours, slapped me smack dab in the face.
    I’m glad you posted this man, it feels good to hear/read thoughts that were parallel to mine. Also, just to realize that many folks partake in this same pattern.
    On a side note, I’m not going to quit booze for life, I’m just going to put that sh#t from number 1 on my priority list to the last option. Thanks for sharing Mr.Print, that was a great post!

  • Funky D

    Thanks for sharing, man. I often feel the same way about my drinking (and have some solid health reasons to back me up), but have always had a hard time with actually changing my lifestyle. Please keep writing about this and encouraging people to think about this same issue.

  • HP

    Props, Print. I did the same thing when 2010 started. I got black out drunk on New Years Eve, and woke up sick of it. I went 4 months without drinking. I started drinking again in April, but it's become a “every now and then thing” instead of a an “every other day” thing. And I feel much better for it.

    Keep it up!

  • Willie Diction

    word hard to get to recording or keep the grind focus of music i usually before show or something wont do anything answer calls or what not. Tell em im hibernating force cut off cuz could usually get calls from like 5 to 6 diff people in a week turns 5 6 day binge and work on the side equals a coma sleep when u quit. See alot of cats fall out on the party n bs homie out the military just wants to drink gets bored with the videogames but has no hobbies so what he gonna do. Beer runs like rivers up here in minnesota and wisconsin just tryna not let it take a kid away from what he tryna do.

  • printmatic

    thanks for the comment. you and i both go out a lot and know a lot of people so it's going to always be a big struggle for us. The best advice i've heard is to take it day by day, you know?

  • printmatic

    i had a great time on new years this year as well, but i definitely paid the price for it. it took me two days to recover from all that champagne.

  • SV3PI

    Impressive! You have the ability to encourage the kind of positive behavior that inspires productivity, development, and transformation in this city and across the nation. Your statement reveals a common trap/snare society has placed along many of our paths. We should always question what drives us to do what we do – especially if it interferes with our progression as individuals. It refreshing to hear someone (particularly an influential artist like yourself) be down to earth…you know the struggles; thanks for sharing your resolutions w/ us!!

  • JMetz

    I have a lot of respect for your insights here. A few years ago I had some pretty bad experiences all in a row that involved drinking and I decided to quit before I was all the way down the black hole. The first few months were the hardest because like you mentioned I kinda felt bored, or better yet I didn't know how to have fun without drinking. Eventually I figured it out and now I enjoy the things I do so much more because I can be completely present and in control of my actions. I haven't had a drink for 2 years now and could not be happier, especially come Sunday mornings when I'm up on twitter reading about how hungover everyone is 🙂

  • It's really awesome to read this man. I'm going through the same situation as you right now. I was also a 4-5 day a week drinker (sometimes up to all week) and on the 4th of July weekend I went on a balls out bender and ended up in the hospital clocking in at a .511 BAC and somehow survived. Since then I haven't touched the stuff, but am around it all the time, seeing as every person I hang out with is constantly drinking. As a fellow hip hop artist, the situation has influenced a lot of new material that helps to keep clear headed, but this post is very inspiring to me as a person going through a similar situation with alcohol. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you October 7 in the Chi. Stay clean and be safe 'Print.

  • printmatic

    thanks for the comment and support. it sounds like you're definitely on the right path. I'll see you in Chi-town, and hopefully we'll both still not be drinking by then! ha! take care!

  • printmatic

    what you mention about enjoying things so much more because you're completely present is a really important thing that I'm just now really starting to appreciate. it's almost ike why do cool shit if you're not gonna remember it, you know? so true man.

  • Ill poetic

    I came back from touring in November 2007, and had the habit of drinking on tour pretty much daily. I had a build up for a majority of that year, hanging out with co-workers after work nearly every evening, hitting up bars or hanging out at someone's house. Then I had a meltdown post-tour, and completely ruined a relationship with a female-friend. Since then, I fell back considerably. I come from an extended family of addicts and alcoholics, so I'm always pretty hyper-aware on if I'm going overboard, but 2007 was definitely a year that taught me what excess means. I think recognizing the issue and doing something about it is amazing. Congratulations on that. It's not easy. Keep Going. It's inspirational for me as well.

  • HP

    Same here. Champagne is a sneaky devil. You don't think it's going to hit you, but a bottle later…

  • nata

    thanks for sharing. i found your blog from a link to your new video and am enjoying the reading. started similar choices this past week and am ejoying the free time and creativity.

  • printmatic

    that's awesome. good luck on your journey, and thanks for checking out the blog

  • printmatic

    Thanks Ill Po!

  • Plead.

    Print. Life is all about taking a step back and looking at how we can better ourselves and empower others around us. In this post you acheive both. God Bless!

  • StarryEyedSerena

    Reading this hit home too much. I found that choosing a lifestyle based around music & parties/events gradually created a sense of normalcy that disguised the actual addiction. Something that was a weekend pleasure turned into an every day habit which turned into months upon months of “Everyday’s  A Saturday!”. When my body started feeling the aches & pains is when I started paying attention. I decided it was up to me to save me. No one else would or could. I had to want it….and I did badly. I took it upon myself to have a 30 Day Challenge of sobriety. It wasn’t easy but I didnt stop going out. I actually made myself go the places where we’d always get wasted & just soak it all up & strangely found drunk people annoying as hell to be around, haha. I started getting mad at myself for all the amazing shows I went to that I barely remembered. I wrote a “Dear John” letter to alcohol saying FUCK YOU. It helped 🙂 reading this really helped too because it is a struggle for so many but seeing as how it’s a legal drug, it is a more commonly accepted & overlooked addiction. Thank you so much for sharing & I can’t wait to hug you & tell you in person <3 RESPECT <3

  • DasLumpenProletariat

    Hey great post! Really like your perspective and honesty.