Saturday, February 1, 2014

One dry month: what I learned


Well, I did it! I made it 30 whole days without a drop of alcohol passing my wanting lips. Was it easy? For the most part, YES! But there were two evenings where I thought, man I really want to be where those people are: I want my hand around a sweating pint glasses; I want to fill my mouth with ice cold beer; I want to smell it and taste it and I want to feel its effects. But, I didn't smell it, taste it or feel it. Instead, on those evenings I went home early, curled up with a book and felt fabulous the next morning when I wasn't nursing a hangover. High-five, me!

Note: If you weren't around at the beginning of the month when I first posted about this resolution of sorts, check out this post to get caught up on my reasoning for participating in Dry January.

So here's what I learned from the experience:

1. I can still be fun when I'm not consuming alcohol... and I'm a better photographer when I'm sober, so for all those folks hanging out with me, I'm there to capture every moment for you! Yippee for photographic evidence.
2. Other people become super aware and awkward about their own drinking habits when you choose to drink soda water and they choose to drink wine. Don't worry, I'm not judging you!
3. The hardest thing is attending annual events that you've attended in the past and that you have amazing drunken memories from, but this year you're drinking a cranberry soda while your friends are drinking the beer you REALLY want to be drinking.
4. Cutting out booze, even for a month, results in a wee bit of weight loss and in turn your jeans become a little cozier.
5. Weekends without hangovers are AMAZING and they result in mega productivity and exciting outdoor adventures.
6. Having a go-to beverage to order makes things a heck of a lot easier when you're out with your pals.
7. Your bank account will sing your praises if you choose a cranberry soda over a beer!

Here's my future plan:

1. Make a conscious decision to drink—don't just drink because everyone else is.
2. Drink only when there is an event that warrants it, or when I'm sitting down for a nice meal that would benefit from one delicious beer or glass of wine.
3. Resist peer-pressure to drink when it's not an evening that warrants it.
4. Don't make a big deal out of these choices. Just live and drink with intention.

New motto: Think before you drink!

Have you ever been on the sobriety wagon? What'd you learn from the experience?
Have you found a happy medium?

2 comments:

  1. Well congratulations on sticking to it! Sounds like it turned out pretty well in the end. :) I noticed your point 2 recently when out with a friend who doesn't drink a colleague outright said that it made them uncomfortable when other people weren't drinking. He said it made him hyper-aware of his own drinking and felt judged. Which does suggest that society puts a lot of other pressures and ideas into drinking/not drinking!

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  2. I only drank for a very short period of my life (ie. 21-24?) and even then it was very few and far between. I had a stint when I was 21 and living in Austin TX - we would go out "clubbing" every night..that was a very blurred time of my life. I never liked drinking so for me giving it up wasn't hard. I would drink every once in a while at a party or function - have half a drink and be totally wasted because I was such a light weight. I haven't had even a sip of alcohol now in well over 10 years and again, I don't miss it at all. I am the sober one that gets annoyed at the people drinking because of how loud and annoying they become. I know that sounds very judgmental and stereotyping, but we all know the difference between what its like to hang around with drunk people when you, yourself are drunk compared to what its like to hang out with those same people when you are completely sober. i think if more people did go out with people who were drinking and stayed sober - there might be a lot less drinking of alcohol! haha

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