Have you ever woken up hungover after a long night of drinking and thought to yourself, “Im never drinking again!?” Yeah, I basically just followed up on that. Having made it through the entire holiday season without alcohol, I’ve officially hit the 6th month mark of sobriety. At this point I have absolutely no craving for a drink – not on the weekends, not even just to “relax” at the end of the day. I feel as though I’ve completely moved on. I’m 100% myself 100% of the time. I no longer use being drunk as an excuse.
How do I party?
At the holiday parties, I enjoyed not drinking because I was better able to serve others rather than indulge myself. I washed dishes to help out the hosts and served coffee and dessert to friends and family, instead of walking in the party like, Where’s the liquor at? I feel more fulfilled by taking care of others rather than caring only for myself. We threw a birthday party at my place. I still danced, still talked and socialized, I even DJ’d because I love music. Best of all, instead of passing out before everyone left (as has happened to drunk me in the past on multiple occasions), I actually finished the majority of the cleaning after everyone left around 2am and went to bed with a clean face and brushed teeth.
Do I go to bars?
Many people my age tell me that they can’t socialize without first getting loose off alcohol. The difference to me now is that I simply avoid those places where I feel I don’t belong. I choose to surround myself with people I know I’ll feel comfortable to be around, whether that means people I already know or people who I know I’ll at least have something in common with. This means that yes, I sometimes go to bars to meet up with friends, but I don’t stay too long and definitely don’t bounce from bar to bar because they all seem the same to me. The crowd found at a bar is too random. What are the odds of finding someone who shares common interests as me? Also, bars tend to be dirty places. Think about it. If the bathrooms are unloved, what does that say about the energy of the place and the people who work there or visit?
Do I get peer pressured?
Interestingly, I forgot my ID once while out with friends – not thinking it would be a big deal since I didn’t plan to drink. However, I was not allowed in any bars without an ID because of the rebellious crime culture that has been normalized in American society. My claim to not be drinking was hard to believe given how frequently American youth attempt underage drinking, along with other devious activity. In other countries, small children are allowed in bars, even late at night (with their parents, of course for general supervision) to enjoy live music and socialize together. Why does American culture insist on idolizing “adult” entertainment?
Do my friends treat me differently?
My friends are encouraging, but not enabling. So no, I don’t feel peer pressure from them. They check in to see how it’s going with me and are often surprised to hear that I’m keeping up the sobriety. This provokes plenty good conversations between us about what really matters in life. And while I can’t stop people from drinking, I refuse to enable or encourage it to others, because I know the dangers and harm that it has caused me in the past and I would never wish that upon anyone else. So, instead of bringing a bottle to someone’s home when they invite me over, I’ll bring flowers or something! Quitting cold turkey has been the best way for me to improve my life. Once I realized that “slowing down” is not actually feasible, my life changed. Alcohol is a slippery slope and I find it far easier to say No than to say Okay, just one. Don’t even give yourself the option to fail if you want to succeed.
Our days in this life are numbered and I like for my time to count. I could not be any happier to have ditched a bad and unhealthy habit while I still have the rest of my life to live. Comment or message/email me if you need to talk to someone about alcohol abuse in your life. I’ll listen and pray for you.