Binning the booze has had a profound positive effect on my life. I have become a healthier, happier and richer person because of it and can honestly say that it is the best decision I have ever made. When I gave up drinking over 10 months ago I was not sure of how things would turn out. To be honest I was not even sure I would be able to stay off the booze for this long. I’m a very weak willed person and I was certain I would have given in to peer pressure by now.
I have always been a fun time girl, one of the lads who was always up for a laugh. I would party for days on end and had little to no inhibitions. When I decided to give up drinking I did not think my life would change as much as it has. I believed I would be able to continue the same wild lifestyle, minus the booze. I would be the fun party girl I always was minus the slurring. I would save a ton of money, always be upbeat, become extremely fit and healthy and spend weekends with friends in the pub having a great time. I was not prepared for these realities that came with not drinking.
If you are female people will immediately think you are pregnant.
Why on earth would you not be drinking otherwise? Even when you tell them you are not they will not believe you. I am now 10 months alcohol free and I still think people are not convinced I’m not pregnant.
You may feel envious around other drinkers
There will be times when you will feel as though you are missing out. During my first couple of months alcohol free I would get extremely envious when passing a pub garden and watching everyone with their bottles of Rose. Why oh why could I not just enjoy the odd glass in the sunshine?
Giving up alcohol will not immediately solve all of your problems.
When you give up alcohol your relationship will not immediately become that of a fairy tale, you will not have endless piles of money and you will not immediately be named employee of the moth. You will however be able to spend more quality time with your partner, save up the pennies you had been spending on alcohol and put more effort and time in to your work.
You will change.
You may no longer enjoy the things you used to like hanging in dingy bars drinking from a pitcher or sitting in the smoking are listening to people bitching about their co-workers. I am not care free and fun as I thought. I dislike small talk and absolutely hate dancing. Something I always thought was my thing a couple of bottles of wine in.
You will be invited out a lot less.
Since I quit the drink I have hardy been out at all. Whether its work drinks, weekend nights out or Thursday night Proseccos my invite seems to get lost in the mail. People tend to assume that if you are no drinking then you would not want to be around alcohol. They are trying to be kind by not inviting you and shoving your face in it. When I was drinking I was out at least two or three times a week nowadays I am lucky to go out once a month. I have learnt to enjoy a night in and brought myself a beautiful selections of pyjamas to compensate.
Your relationship with your partner will change.
It can be really difficult to navigate your relationship when you quit alcohol. You need to remember that even though everything has changed for you does not mean it has for your partner. They may not fully understand your decision and even though they will try you may feel that they just don’t get it. My partner were the fun time couple that would always be out drinking. We would go to festivals, parties and boozy lunches all of the time. When I gave up drinking I tried to keep up with this so that I didn’t seem boring. I would end up getting anxious, frustrated and angry at my partner. The more he would drink the more I would resent him for it. I forgot that the changes in our lifestyle were for both of us and that it would take some time to adjust.
Sometimes you will feel completely out of place.
After years of using alcohol to smooth over any nerves or awkwardness, sobriety can leave you feeling as if you’re walking about in the nude. I have been at drinks parties with friends and felt completely out of my comfort zone. It is much easier to make small talk with complete strangers with a couple of glasses of wine inside you. Over time this goes and you will be back to your usual self and you will also be able to sit back and watch the mayhem without having any regrets yourself.
Your social life will change drastically
During the early months of sobriety I tortured myself because I was so determined to stay the same and do everything I used to do. This became exhausting and I realised that I wasn’t enjoying myself. There is nothing fun about hanging out in bars with a lot of drunk people when you are stone cold sober. Nights out dressed in short skirts and heels have been replaced with nights in dressed in donning leggings and a vest. I have swapped champagne and canapes for tea and biscuits. At times life feels a lot less glamorous but the reality to remember is there is nothing glamorous about stumbling around a sticky night club.
Some of your friendships will change.
Most drinkers surround themselves with other drinkers. Your friends should want to spend time with you no matter what. If you friendship weakens because you are not drinking then I am afraid to say you were not as good friends as you had thought. When I quit drinking I noticed I started to see or hear from some people a lot less. However on the flip side I have made some new friends and I get to spend more quality time with the friends who I do still see and hear from.
You will cringe at stories you used to laugh at.
‘Remember that time you got naked in the hot tub? Remember that time you slept on the hotel roof? Remember the time you woke up in an office block? Remember when you went to work straight from the club‘ All of the crazy funny stories are not so amusing now that you are teetotal. They make you realise just how wreckless you used to be and how many lucky scrapes you have had.