Friday, July 10, 2015

What She Learned from Being Sober for 2 Months

Young people drinking and celebrating
How would your life change if you stopped drinking?
Image: Shutterstock 
Today’s blog post is a guest entry from a friend. Earlier this year, this friend of mine did something a bit unusual for someone in their early- to mid-twenties: she intentionally gave up alcohol. This friend is someone who lives in a city with a vibrant nightlife, where going out and socializing with friends without involving alcohol seemed impossible.

Here’s what she had to say about her experience:

The older I get the more I realize there is more to life than just binge-drinking with random people and Sunday hangovers. So, I decided to give my body a break for two months and here is what I learned from my temporary sobriety.

1.     I learned how to go out and not always have a drink in hand. It’s okay to be “that girl” who sips on water with lemon, and I promise it’s not as difficult as it seems. Plus, you get to see how alcohol slowly begins to affect others. Words start slurring, people became more outgoing. You don’t notice these things when you are going through the same transition as everyone else.
2.     You learn how to socialize away from the bar. While being at a bar isn’t terrible, it shouldn’t have to be your first place for socializing. Yoga and coffee with friends became my favorite new socializing activities, and neither of them were a great leap from activities I already enjoy. You begin to remember what life is like without late nights and drunken conversations that don’t really mean much.
3.     No more drunk texting! You never will wake up and look at your phone only to discover how many apologies you’d have to make to all the exes and friends you called before bed.
4.     I realized that alcohol has the power to make me a negative, angry person. When I would drink, I relied on things like superficial gossip as my way of socializing. But when I didn’t have booze on the table, I wanted to discuss my goals, dreams and my friends’ futures.
5.     You learn how to have just a few drinks and then stop. You suddenly appreciate alcohol again and realize it no longer needs to be a lifestyle. I enjoy now having a drink or two with a friend, being in bed before midnight and enjoying all the time I now have in the next day – and I get to leave the hangover out of it.

Have you ever cut alcohol out of your social life? What did you take away from your own experience?