When I decided to do a 30-day no alcohol challenge, I assumed I would have a bit of a struggle to do it; I’m a fan of a glass or two of wine with dinner, I’m a fan of boozy brunches, and martini lunches. After doing some soul searching I discovered alcohol was a mainstay in my social life, and one I wanted to evaluate my relationship with. What I discovered in week two of my life sans alcohol differs greatly that what I thought I would find.
1. I don’t love drinking as much as I thought I did, I just love social activity.
This is actually a relief to uncover. I have transitioned into a life without drinking fairly seamlessly thus far. As much as I thought I would feel deprived and bored, I discovered my personality is pretty rad with or without some mental lubrication, and I can have a fabulous time stone-cold sober. It hasn’t been hard to order a club soda with lime instead of my standard cabernet or vodka soda. Once I order my drink, I don’t even think about the fact that I’m not imbibing alcohol at all. Go me!
I’m sure the day will come where I really, really, really want a glass of wine with dinner. Once I complete this challenge, I will have that glass of wine, but I’m not going to have wine with every dinner. What I wanted to get out of this was a renewed relationship with alcohol, and a healthier one. I really can see how I have made changes I can integrate into my “real” life.
As a bonus to this, I see a change in my friends’ drinking habits when I’m not drinking. They might have a glass of wine instead of a bottle, so if I’m helping inspire some healthy changes in others, I’m happy to do so, however this brings me to my second point, that isn’t as positive…
2. Once you mention you’re not drinking alcohol, people automatically withdraw from you.
I had a suspicion this would happen, because I used to be one of those assholes who think, “Ugh you’re not drinking… like what are we supposed to do now?!” This probably is the most eye opening part of the not drinking situation. I continually have to remind people, just because I’m not pounding vodka sodas doesn’t mean I’m morphed into a completely different person.
Look, I’m still the same chick who was dancing on a stage to Britney two weeks ago, (don’t judge me, I’m 32, Britney was the anthem to my college career). I will definitely do that again, and I might be sober when I do it. It would be even more awesome sober, because hopefully I won’t fall off said stage and end up with a grapefruit sized bruise on my ass. Thank you lemon drop shots, you are a contributor to my new sober state.
I haven’t joined some weird religious cult, I’m not going to start preaching to others about my “new way of life”, I don’t care if you drink, get hammered, and go home with the bartender. You do you, Boo Boo! Just because I’m reevaluating my drinking habits doesn’t mean I’m evaluating yours. Trust me, I’ve got enough work to do on my own damn self. I don’t have time to fix you, I promise. Nor do I want to. I love you just the way you are. Still invite me to that concert, party, whatever. I’m down. I’ll even drive; my sparkling water tab is on you though.
3. Men don’t want to go out with you when you’re not drinking.
So, this sucks. I really didn’t think this would be the case, but it seems to be, so far. I’ve had two guys ghost on me after I explained that I would prefer to do something other than meet for cocktails, because I’m taking a break from drinking. They automatically see a red flag, and think you have some deep dark issues. I do; I got 99 problems, and now drinking isn’t one of them. I guess they’d rather go out with a drunk girl with daddy issues.
The other reason I can think of is, they think I’m less likely to sleep with them if I’m sober. That part is hilarious to me, because if I’m not interested in you, no amount of Grey Goose will help your chances.
Conversely, if I’m into you, I don’t need alcohol to sleep with you. I’m not shy, and I’m an adult, so I’ll get down if I want to. Also, if that’s all you’re after, I’d rather not go out with you ever. Period. Thanks for saving me a miserable night out.
4. My bank account loves me.
Drinking is expensive! My weekly Monday night hang out with my friends comes with a $20 wine tab… at least. That right there is $100 a month. $50 brunches, $100 Friday nights out, happy hour after work… It adds up, and quickly. I haven’t done the math, but I’m sure I will be saving well over $500 a month by cutting out booze. That’s money I can save for a down payment on a cute new pad, or pay off a credit card, or save for a spectacular trip to some exotic location! That all sounds so much better than getting drunk on my couch.
I am in no way far in my non-drinking journey, and I know that I will have a drink or two in my future, probably in the next month. I’m ok with that, because what I have learned is, I don’t really need to depend on alcohol to live a pretty awesome life. My life can actually be better if I trim some of those boozy days and nights. Also, men… You’re missing out!