Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is the sensation that occurs inside of us due to our high-pressure, social media-obsessed world. It is an all-consuming, uneasy feeling that you’re missing out on something.
Joy of missing out, or JOMO is the emotionally intelligent antidote to FOMO and is essentially about being present and being content with where you are at in life.
My readers often ask me whether giving up alcohol has changed me. Has my social life changed much since I gave up drinking? Do I still go out? Is it still fun to go out when you are the only one not drinking? Do my friends think I am still fun? My answer to all of these question is yes.
Back when I was drinking and unsure whether or not to give up alcohol, I had all of these concerns. I worried that I would change, I would not have a social life any more, going out would not be as fun and that all of my friends would think I was boring. It was these concerns that kept me from giving up long before I did. If only I knew then what I know now it would have made the decision to quit a lot easier.
Yes I have changed in so many ways. The best change being that I am no longer the hungover, sick, tired, irritable and anxious person I used to be. I more energy and can get shit done instead of spending the day on the couch, feeling sorry for myself.
Sobriety has also made me much less selfish and I have found that I am becoming much more patient and have more empathy for others than I did before. I am more observational of what is going on around me instead of being in my own drunk bubble.
When I’m with people I am much more present in the moment. I get to know people based on their true personality rather than judging them on how much they like to drink and party. I now spend more quality time with the people I care about and who care about me.
My social life has changed in a major way. I have found that I don’t want to go out as much as I once did. I no longer want to spend all of my weekends in pubs and bars. There is nothing fun about being the only sober person in a room full of drunks. It’s has become very clear to me, for the first time in my life, that I actually kind of prefer to stay in on Friday and Saturday nights.
My evenings and weekends are now very different. I go to the gym, cook nice meals, binge on Netflix, go for nice walks or see friends. Mondays I feel rested and rejuvenated rather than having to deal with a 48 hour hangover and feeling as though I have been hit by a bus. The party is over and I’m actually OK with it.
As for going out with friends to parties (yes I do still do this occasionally). It was weird initially. At first I felt uncomfortable. Instead of being the outgoing, sociable person I was when I drank, I have become shy and reserved. As time goes on you gain real confidence and these situations become a lot easier and more enjoyable. If you’ve recently quit drinking and worry about social anxiety then wait until you feel ready. It is as that point you can go out and enjoy yourself.
When I was drinking I was so afraid of missing out on something. I would attend each and every activity I was invited to. Many of these involved drinking which meant that I was drinking every weekend. It was exhausting and the nights all rolled in to one. I no longer go to everything, instead only go to the things that are important to me.
Do my friends think I am I boring now? Maybe, but I hope not. My friends are my friends for more reasons than my drinking. They like me for my true personality and luckily I still have that. We spend a lot more quality time with each other doing different things that we enjoy. I do believe that change isn’t just hard for the person changing, but for those who have come to depend on a particular dynamic and that I will admit has changed.
Instead of experiencing FOMO all of the time I now experience JOMO. I am now content with my life and am enjoying getting to know myself and discovering my passions. I practice self-love instead of self-doubt. I’ve started looking at everything I do right rather than worrying about the things I do wrong. Instead of constantly trying to keep up with everyone else I am learning to be in the present moment and appreciate all of the things I have.