How Going Alcohol Free Can Transform Your Life

Terry R. Grier
Austin, Texas
Sunday 11:55 am

Dear Friend.

I grew up in south Louisiana.

It was a blessing and a curse. The culture there is unlike any other place in the world.

Laissez faire is the feeling of the day and night.

Allow to do is the literal meaning, but generally it means accepting an attitude of letting things take their own course (i.e. Let the people do as they choose.)

It is a pleasure-seeking culture.

  • The Music

  • The Food

  • The Good Times

However, the consequence of this culture is that it revolves around alcohol. EVERY event has alcohol.

Baby is born. Let’s celebrate (with alcohol)

Grandfather has died. Let’s celebrate his life (with alcohol)

From birth to death and every time in between: ALCOHOL.

The legal drinking age was still 18 when I turned 18. Louisiana was the last state in the union to change the age to 21. I had my first beer at 15. It was as easy as driving to the wrong side of town and with a $20 bill.  Put a six pack and the $20 bill on the counter and leave the change behind. No questions asked.

I considered myself a social drinker. The problem was I was very social. I enjoyed drinking. It was fun. I felt accepted. People enjoyed being around me. I projected that laissez faire attitude.

When I turned 45 I was married. I had a professional job. I had friends and a home.

But I was also carrying around an extra 75 pounds and a sinking feeling that life was passing me by.

I had dreams but I spent too much time at happy hour talking about my “someday” with little follow up.

I tried a lot of different self-help models, but nothing really stuck.

One day a thought came to me.  A thought so strong I could not ignore it, so I wrote it down.

“Do I drink too much?"

As I wrote more thoughts appeared.

“Maybe I would be more successful if I drank less?

“Maybe I could lose this extra weight that I am gaining?

“Maybe my marriage would be better?”

I sat for a couple of minutes and reread what I wrote.

I knew there was truth in these words, but they scared the hell out of me.

I googled “Am I an alcoholic?”

I found an online quiz and answered the questions. The internet diagnosed me as a “normal drinker”.  I was okay.

Whew, no need to change.

But as time when on and I continued to drink, things got worse.

I found myself being intolerant with my wife and friends.  I would wake up with a nagging feeling I needed to apologize for something I said the night before but could not remember to whom I should apologize.

On a Sunday morning after an evening with friends and plenty of wine, I decided enough was enough.  I felt the need to prove something to myself.  I need to take a break from drinking.  I needed to see for myself if I could go a week without drinking.

So, I decided to do a self-experiment. I was not going to drink for one week.  I was excited.

I failed.

I felt horrible. I wanted to hide. I ignored it.  And I was grateful that I did not make a big declaration to anyone.

The lesson that I missed was that I had started. I tried. I was brave enough to take action.  My feet were on the path.

If you drink too much or have a problem with alcohol, the culturally accepted course of action is alcoholics anonymous (AA).

The idea of saying I was an alcoholic and accepting that label kept me from doing anything.  It paralyzed me.   I pushed down the feelings I had around alcohol to deal with another day.

But those feelings would come back time and time again, each with a stronger sense of urgency.

I still did not want to deal with them, and I felt a split within my mind.  I spent more and more time thinking about my drinking and what I should do with no resolution or direction as to what to do.

I wanted to drink. But I also wanted to not drink.  Above all else, I really wanted to stop thinking so much about my drinking. 

I felt fucked up. What was wrong with me?  I felt alone in this.

I knew a guy at my local gym who was an AA person.  I opened up a little about what I was struggling with, and he invited me to an AA open house of sorts - basically a meeting for “newbies.”

I went.  The people were kind.  But if you have watched the portrayal of addiction on any movie or TV show then you know how the meeting went.

  • Accept the label alcoholic.

  • Admit I was powerless over alcohol.

  • Work the 12 Steps.

I resisted applying the label “alcoholic” to myself.  Accepting the label and AA’s view of addiction meant that I was submitting not to a higher power but to their view of addiction.  I would be submitting to what others think is best for me.

The “My name is Terry, and I am an alcoholic” label, once self-applied is something you have to wear for the rest of your life like Hester Prynne and her big red “A”. (Yes, her A meant something else, but a label is a label.)

Not for me.

Some would say that I was in denial and that my ego was in the way of my recovery.  They would say I was lying to myself and the fact I was rejecting AA meant that I needed it more than ever.

I walked out of that meeting knowing two things.

  1. AA was not my path

  2. I would beat alcohol.

My resolve to continue my journey was strong and I found the next piece to the puzzle by doing something that most people overlook…

Terry Grier

PS. I wrote 5 emails like this to help you. It is part of my Self-Driven Sobriety Series.

You can get the rest for free…

South llano river. Junction Texas

Video: 4 Things I Learned being a Lifeguard at 54 years old. … spoiler - I am the 54 year old.…

Laissez Faire

I grew up in south Louisiana. It was a blessing and a curse. The culture there is unlike any other place in the world.

Laissez faire is the feeling of the day.

Allow to do is the literal meaning. But generally it means accepting an attitude of letting things take their own course. Let the people do as they choose.

It is a great feeling to live in that culture.

  • The Music
  • The Food
  • The Good Times

A consequence of this culture is that it revolves around alcohol. Every event has alcohol. From birth to death: alcohol.

The drinking age was still 18 when I turned 18. Louisiana was the last state in the union to change the age to 21. I had my first beer at 16.

I considered myself a social drinker until I turned 45. The problem was I was very social. I enjoyed drinking. It was fun. I felt accepted. People enjoyed being around me. I projected that laissez faire attitude.

But thoughts where there. Do I drink too much? Maybe I would be more “successful” if I drank less? But then the thoughts of if I express these feelings people will think I am an “alcoholic” then what? I am will be judged every time they see me drink.

But something else happened. When I did finally share with my friends that I would be taking extended breaks from drinking, most stated that I did not seem to have a “problem” or any issue at all.

I decided then and there that the label alcoholic was not for me.

But I did not accept my friends opinion either that I did not have problem.

I was not sure what I “was” or what I “had” but I did not care anymore. I knew there was something there that I needed to address.

I was addicted to alcohol. But I was not an alcoholic.

Alcohol is an addictive and progressive substance. That means that we build a tolerance to its use. That tolerance leads to us using more (drinking more) to get the same effect. It becomes a trap.

If this story resonates with you, here is the truth.

You might be addicted to alcohol but you can over come it.

Yes, you will have to face this addiction head on but you will not have to die in this ditch.

Let me put it another way.

You are riding an elevator and it only goes down and there is a rock bottom somewhere down there. The good news is that you do not have to wait to hit rock bottom. You have the power to exit right now. Today.

Hear me calling to you with good news.

The bad news is there is no elevator back up. You have to take the stairs.

It will be work. Hard work. But I am here on the other side calling to you. I am here to help show you the way.

Take a step with me. Download my free guide. ​​How to Quit Alcohol by Terry Grier 2023.pdf​

Read. Implement it.

I wrote a free guide for you. It is the exact guide I wish I had when I started my journey in 2016. It is the process I followed. Everything is in it.

Then let me know what you thought of it. I ​provided a special email address at the end of the guide.

I look forward to seeing your name in my inbox.

And always remember,

Never give up on yourself. Never.

Terry Grier

PS. I posted a video about the free guide and starting.

Technology is a doubled-edged sword. Technology giveth and taketh away and not always in equal measure.

Texas Coast

Today I met @jean in person. We had a wonderful time talking about, how awesome life is being alcohol free and about life in general.

My 2023 Food Plan: Stay Food Sober

2023 Health Evergreen Post

I intend to update this post in 2023 - to treat it like an index or TOC - I might upgrade this to its own page.

Today is Jan 2, 2023 is my food sober date. My Weight: 255lbs

Food Sobriety

I got this term from Coach Mary
It got me thinking, and I am going to embrace it in my own rebellious way.

I like the term food sober. I struggle hard with modertating sweets and other carbs. I have found it better to eliminate. Some will read this and consider it a weakness that I cannot moderate. That my response of elimination is extreme.

Why make peace with a substance that is known to be addicitve? (sugar) Do you make peace with cigarettes and recommend people moderate?

In short, I am not here to debate that mindset or you. I am here for myself.

The Rules

I made a food plan. A list of food I will eat. (See picture below) If I eat 1 bite off this plan - then I break my sober date and I have to reset.
One almond will reset me, since almonds and other nuts are NOT on my food list.

This post is to document my intentions for 2023. It is intended for my use but I am making it publich in case others find value and/or are motivated from it.

Food List

  • Sardines
  • Salmon and other fish/seafood
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Suet
  • EVOO
  • Avocado
  • Pork/Chicken - Foods of last resort

Activity List

  • Swim laps
  • Body Weight Strength (Upper and Lower Routine)
  • Walk
  • Jump Rope (weighted ropes)

Extra Credit

  • Cold Plunge
  • Sauna
  • Hot Tub / Spa

Sober from Alcohol - Oct 1, 2018 Sober from Food - Jan 2, 2023

List of Rests - If they Happen

  • 2023.01.02 Start Date
  • 2023.01.03 - Reset

Get Email Updates on my private email list

All of these posts and my activity will be posted under the category of weight loss journal

Introducing the Wise Phone in 2023

“Best decision I made was getting rid of my “smartphone and upgrading to a wise phone.” - Anna in an email to me.

You know what a smartphone is.
You know what a dumb phone is.
But what is a wise phone?

Introducing the Wise Phone

A wise phone is not a brand of phone or a style of phone. It is lifestyle phone. A wise phone makes calls. A wise phone uses sms text messages.

That is all the base model does.

Some opt for more complex options such as GPS, music or camera.

If it sounds like it will be less convenient it will be. It is the hard way.

But a lot of good things come from doing hard things. Here is a list of benefits that I experience.


  • anxiety

  • irritability

  • frustration


  • Free Time

  • Presence with others

  • Happiness

  • ability to focus

Plus is it generally cheaper than any smart phone.

But despite these advantages people still doubt these benefits are real. The most common objection I hear is that they could not live without a smart phone. Or why would you even want too?

Sometimes it is difficult to see the cause of problems we face. It is part of being human.

If you sit in a bar or pub filled with cigarette smoke. After a while you do not smell smoke or at least you smell it less. But if you walk outside for a few minutes and then walk back in the smoke overpowers you. You smell it again.

Your smartphone is like the smoke.

You might not even notice that your phone is driving your insecurity and/or anxiety.

That is why people like Laurence Warner advocate for taking a break for one week a month from your smartphone. That is a good start. But I think the time has come to make more radcial choice.

Wise Phone Name

In a youtube rant I said that the world needs less information and more wisdom. Once Anna gave me the term Wise Phone - I decided to use it and make it stick.

A basic definition states that being Wise is “marked by a deep understanding, keen discernment and a capacity for sound judgement.”

Let me offer more nuanced definition.

Neil Postman in his 1999 book “Building a Bridge to the 18th Century” defined Wisdom as “the capcity to know what body of knowledge is relevant to the solution of sigificant problems”

Nicholas Carr commented in a talk that the more dangerous part of smart phone use is that it has the ability to influnce if not direct WHAT we think about.

When we couple these 2 together you realize that smartphone and even internet use keeps us from finding solutions to our problems. Instead we have less focus and remain distracted.

If you do not believe me, leave your phone behind for 2 hours and go out into the world. Shop or go to a coffee shop. Then report back to me what you see.

Is it a wonder that the self help space is a 11 Billion dollar industry?

Most are searching for something to add to their life when the answer is to subtract.

The Path Forward

There is a growing group of people moving to wise phones. I do not think it is a fad.

When I show people my Sunbeam Daisy flip phone, they are curious but conclude they could NEVER do it. They could not live without a smart phone. You can join my [priviate email list](Flip Phone Files ( where I work to help you overcome that fear.

I have started to interview people about their experiences using a wise phone in hopes that it might make an impact on you. Here is a link to my Youtube playlist of those.

Interview with Light Phone user Paige Weber

I have had my flip phone since September 2022.

It was excitement to try it, followed by frustration, followed by a resetting of expectation and then settling in.

Youtube is the only social network I use and since embarking on this flip phone journey my Youtube has been sending me more and more videos of others on the same journey.

I decided to email some of these people and Paige was gracious enough to give me a shot at an interview.

So today I interviewed Paige Weber. She has used a DumbPhone at least a year. She started with a basic flip phone and recently moved the a light phone.

We discuss a wide range of topics all centered around living a more intentional life. The discussion was broader than just a discussion of the pros and cons and this choice including how smartphone and the lack of a smart phone is creating a digital divide but in the other direction.

Here is a link the YouTube Video

I would love to hear your thoughts.

You can get other thoughts and updates by joining my private newsletter.

Your Flip Phone Friend Terry

Today I interviewed Scott Scheper. The father of the ANTINET. His analog version of Zelletkasten His book launches Dec 9th at 11a PST - Scott’s book will launch. Link get your copy.
Here is the link to the Youtube video.

I posted a Video on using a flip phone in 2022. Beware that I drop a lot of F-Bombs. Sunbeam Wireless Daisy Model.

Why Wait?

To My Friend: 11/19/2022

Why wait until Jan 1, 2023 to start a new habit? Why dig the hole you are in any deeper? The pull to drink alcohol is in you. You hear the voice. But there is a voice in there too that wants you to change.

If you do nothing, you know where this path will lead.

When you hear “Now is not the right now time - we have the holidays coming” Which voice is this talking to you?

That is the problem with change. It is hard. It is easier when there is a roadblock or we are forced to change.

  • We get fired from a job.
  • Someone we love breaks up with us.
  • The Doctor tells us we have cancer.

You have to stop this and reverse course at some point. Why not now. Right now.

Now, sit with your cup of tea or coffee and reflect on what you would feel like if on Jan 1, 2023 if you do not drink through the holidays. Think about being on day 40 of your journey vs starting on day 1.

I assure you day one’s suck balls.

Write about this feeling. The sense of accomplishment going into 2023 vs the dread of drinking and having to start over… again.

Change is not easy. It will be harder tomorrow. It will be even harder on Jan 1, 2023.

Make a decision today. Never. Ever. Doubt the decision.

I am here for you. Terry

If you would like to receive emails that will help you get sober - here is my private email list.

Hey MB Tech Peeps- icloud custom domain - I am trying to understand it. It does not give you a 2nd inbox with that domain but rather it takes over our icloud domain. Is that correct?

Personal CRM How do you handle how often you talk to your friends? When you should call someone? Maybe send them a thank you card for that last dinner? I am curious how my MB friends do this in their personal lives.

With all of the fanfare about - You cannot add a date to a reminder. Only a note. How can you still have a reminder app but not allow the web interface access to the date?