Friday, May 23, 2014

Insight Of A Sober Mind... (My Year With NO Beer)

September 18, 2013:

*Affirmation & Intentions-  Today is my 29th birthday.. I Ryan Holt (Yukon) will not consume or alter my conscious state by the use of alcohol or substance for one year. For the challenge, for clarity, for focus, for the will of my own mind, why not & because I said I would. I will not fail myself.  

Nearing the end of what I consider to be the most enlightening two years of this 29 year journey, my entire being has rediscovered its purpose and place. Over the course of this transformation I have reached levels of peace and happiness which I never fathomed to be obtainable. 

So why was I still numbing periods of my existence? Why was I robbing myself of my highest potential? Why was I continuing to dull my experience with foggy memories, hangovers and pulling myself together? Not to mention the toll it takes on ones physical being..

My choice to become sober for a year had nothing to do with a drinking "problem" per say. My consumption as of late is far more under control than it was when I returned from war but I still consume my fair share on weekends. Recently I found myself asking why? Why do we begin drinking from a fairly young age until the day we die without ever stopping long enough to experience who we truly are? I honestly couldn't come up with an answer.. Just because? It's my routine on many occasions and a weekly/daily routine for most. The only "problem" now, was there seemed to be something yet which I had not learned, even at these levels I discovered. Something was holding me back from a greater understanding, I could just feel it. I wanted to experience this existence, this newly ascertained peace and happiness, free from anything that would bring me down even the slightest. life in it's purest form. So, I made a vow to myself giving up all substances for one year until my 30th birthday. 

Today is May 23, 2014 - I am currently 9 months into this year of sobriety and I wanted to share some of the valuable wisdom I have attained thus far. 


Only a month or so into my cleanse and the very first notable change happened from within. The overcast which I felt before had been lifted. There was a sense of brightness and certainty in everything I was seeing and feeling. Not only did the world around me have a crisp likeness, my thoughts were sharp and true. My mind was clear and free to fully embrace living in each moment. I could articulate and visualize the exactness of my life's purpose with zero doubt as to how it will all come together. This is also the time when I began writing, when I felt ready to share my journey with the online world.. I bet I was 8 years old the last time I experienced this level of clarity. It was so refreshing as a light shed itself on everything and I mean EVERYTHING.

     5 Senses       

 My senses seemed to have enhanced 10 fold! There was a heightened awareness in all areas but most noticeably my sense of sight, taste and smell. My vision has always been 20/15, I've never worn glasses or contacts but here I'm speaking of a different kind of "seeing." My observed surroundings became exceptionally vivid. There was a flawless, unaltered beauty in all things, all the time. The flavors in foods; saltiness, bitterness, sweets, spices, each so very distinguished. I especially enjoyed succulent fruits, the texture, smell, juiciness and a deep appreciation of where it came from. I became much more cautious and aware of what I was putting into my body from the outside world, where it came from and what it contained. How was it going to benefit my body or if it would harm me in any way. I noticed I began lifting my nose up in the air, sniffing a few times as I picked up on the tiniest hints of unquestionable odors; pungent, fragrant, chemical, earthy, sweet and alluring aromas. 


My body followed my mind into a permanent state of happiness. I stopped becoming bloated and puffy as my body no longer retained water from dehydration and too much sodium after indulging in "the munchies." I started maintaining a steady weight with little effort, I felt strong and rejuvenated all the time! Without me willfully poisoning it, my body was functioning properly, how the human body was perfectly designed to operate. If you drink (any amount of alcohol) say, twice a week, you are spending 1/3 of your life intoxicated at some level, under an altered state of being. You are also spending another 1/3 of your life feeling its effects and recovering from the days you drank "working off those pounds." The other 1/3 of your life is spent planning, preparing and looking forward to beginning this cycle all over again. After we make the choice to consume alcohol as part of our weekly routine, we cheat ourselves out of our ultimate potential. The sad truth is most will never experience what their pure state of being feels like, what it can offer and bring to light. 


This was undoubtedly a wonderful positive to cutting alcohol out of my routine. Going out to dinner, a $15 meal used to cost me $30 - $40 with drinks and the tip (adds up quick). I instantly had more money to save. The money I have spent over the last nine months has been on priceless experiences, quality gear or tools and on things that will only benefit myself and others for the greater good. My wallet had become as happy as my body and mind haha. All too often we pay for this meaningless experience of drinking in many forms; with our money, our relationships, our families, our dignity, our self-worth and even with our lives.   

Why can't I & Why not?

Before I made the choice to fully embrace this challenge, I was often asking myself "Why can't I have self-courage without liquid courage?" "Why can't I sing karaoke sober?" "Why can't I go out for a night on the town sober?" "Why can't I celebrate birthdays and holidays sober?" Why can't I go to concerts and music festivals sober and dance my heart out sober?" "Why can't I just be me in all the things I do and see?" So, in the last nine months I have done ALL these things completely sober! And I've had so much fun being me, experiencing these joys in life without altering anything for what it is. The average life span is somewhere between the ages of 70 & 80 years old. Relatively, looking at the BIG picture we are here for such an incredibly short amount of time. We are nothing more than a blink of an eye as this universe goes round. Why not give up poisoning yourself for a small portion of your existence and just see what happens. Try it for a year or six months or 100 days. Just say, "Why can't I?" "Why not?" See what it feels like, find out if there is more to you than you ever knew.   


I cannot express to you enough these truths, this insight I have attained by making the choice to find deeper meaning within myself and within the world around me at its purest level. This is absolutely something you must experience for yourself to truly understand what I have shared. I'm not sharing this for people with a "drinking problem", this is for everyone who consumes alcohol, substances or anyone who has anything negative which takes up too much space in their lives. Only you can make the decision to break your routine, give it a chance. I guarantee 100% that only good can come from exploring this choice. If anyone should choose to test the will of their own minds and take on a similar challenge, my advice is this. Don't say you're going to "try" to give it up. The moment you use the word "try" you are setting yourself up for failure. "Try", puts doubt into what you are ultimately wanting to achieve. Set your goal, set your intentions and do it because you said you would, do it for yourself so you may do more for others. This is one challenge that has zero negative effects and can only make you stronger. How wicked awesome it that!! 

Here are a few experiences from others who have shared their story and the enlightenment which followed. Notice the common insights and messages received in each persons process :)

~100 days. No Alcohol. 30 Lessons   By: Rebecca Watson
~A year without alcohol. 7 things I learned   By: Kelly Fitzgerald   

I hope this message find you well and if anyone should have any questions about what I have shared please do not hesitate to message me. I would happily expand more on my experience.

Much Love, Yukon :)  





  1. what a wonderful journey, thanks for sharing...

  2. Nice! You are taking such a cool track in life and I hope you continue to do so. Who knows, maybe you'll see more surprising things in the future, which have been obscurred by your previous dependency. I'm wishing you all the best!

    Donnie Benson @ Midwest Institute for Addiction

  3. As a person who has gone through 50 years on earth with not more than a total of 10 drinks a year and never more than 1 drink per week. I can understand how much more enjoyable life is when you experience it without the drink. Whether standing on a mountain peak, biking half a day, enjoying karaoke with friends or dancing your heart out. I feel that doing these things sober just increases the actual enjoyment.

  4. Ryan,

    Your performance, attitude and skillset on naked and afraid are unmatched. I am thrilled that you are working towards helping others as well. If you build a non profit foundation or similar and need donations, please add me to your lists. I'm

    I am certain you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.

    Keep on thriving,
    Jim Manico

  5. What a powerful story you have pout forward - I am still on a similar journey and invite you to share. Here's My Sober Life Story

  6. Thank you for the thoughtful, real world perspective of your piece on drinking. I really needed to read it. It's so easy to get sucked up in patterns of behavior that are on the surface attractive but in reality are cop outs, Taking the responsibility to want real things, choosing to live in a positive way --these are really a pretty big deal. What do we want our lives to be about, what do we want to be about? Thanks Ryan, clearly these are questions you care about. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey. God bless.

  7. Sgt marks Depot Store is a Marine possessed and worked Marine Corps Hats with a full stock of clothing. Marine Corps Shirts, Marine Corps hats, Marine Corps bumper stickers.