Here’s what happened
I quit drinking a little over a year ago. One day I woke up and I asked myself the question: would my life be better without alcohol? and I thought to myself …maybe? So here’s what happened since I quit drinking. My relationships are better. My personal appearance has improved. My productivity has skyrocketed. The list can go on. So here’s a quick recap of what it was like to go completely sober.
Social events were my biggest fear when it came to cutting out alcohol. Most bars now can make fun mocktails for you, so as much as I worried about it, a lot of times people didn’t even notice. I’ll also grab a N/A beer from time to time, but I personally don’t love wasting the calories and I would rather have dessert, than a non-alcoholic beer. But society has made drinking SO normal. The first question I get when I walk into an event from most people is “What are you drinking?” and if you say you’re not drinking as a woman in their 30s, you get two responses. 1. Are you pregnant? 2. Are you in like AA?
Now not that there is anything wrong with either, but having those conversations every time I went to social events got old, real fast. I would tell people different stories, sometimes I would say I’m on a new medication, or that I’m on a diet, or that I’m not feeling well. But lying to everyone I love about why I didn’t want to drink was not exactly at the top of my to-do list. I eventually came up with my go-to line I would use, which threw some humor into it and typically got people to change the subject.
“I drank enough in my first 36 years of life, I don’t need to drink anymore”
Typically I get a chuckle, and that’s the end of it. But sometimes people ask questions, and once I start explaining how much my life has improved since I stopped drinking, they get it. So here’s what happened, so you get it too.
First off, the most obvious for me is my physical appearance. I lost probably about ten+ pounds, and the way I carry my weight has completely changed. I am also never hungover, so I never miss a workout. My skin has cleared up, my face is less puffy, and my hair is noticeably thicker (full disclosure I also now have extensions, BUT look at my center part- visible difference! After a little research, what I found out was that when your body has alcohol in it, all of its efforts go to metabolizing that toxin out of your body, and other functions go to the wayside. On top of the fact that we all know that alcohol consumption has been linked to a range of health problems, including liver damage, high blood pressure, cancer, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. I felt like that only happened to people that REALLY drink, and I was a ‘social drinker’. But these were definite health benefits I could clearly see.
Next, my relationships with the people closest to me in my life, are stronger than ever. My judgment is never clouded. I no longer say things that I maybe would regret or would not say in a clear state of mind. I keep my personal business to myself, instead of having a few glasses of wine and becoming an open book. (that was my wine-drunk MO for sure) I am now always proud of the person I am, and never have to send the text of “Did I do something embarrassing last night” or have hang-ziety that someone is mad at me. (I know we have all been there! It’s the WORST)
My productivity has also SKYROCKETED. I mean this when I say, I get so much done on a daily basis that it actually blows my mind sometimes. I guess that explains why I was able to start a second business this year when this time last year one business overwhelmed me. I am able to get so much done. I wake up every day at 5:30 am work out, have breakfast, get ready and get to work, and WORK all day long. There are no more unproductive days because I had a few glasses of wine the night before. My brain is always ON. My sleep has also drastically improved. Drinking alcohol can interfere with our sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. This can lead to daytime fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity. By giving up the booze, you can improve the quality of your sleep, leading to increased energy, and improved cognitive function.
Finally, giving up alcohol can also be an opportunity for personal growth. It requires discipline, commitment, and self-awareness. It can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, improve your self-esteem, and increase your resilience. By challenging yourself to give up alcohol, you can discover new hobbies, interests, and social activities that are fulfilling and rewarding. I have learned so much about myself this year, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I cut alcohol out of my life.
Now, I am by no means preaching that everyone needs to stop drinking completely. I know A) that’s not realistic B) not everyone wants to C) it’s not quite as easy as I just made it sound. But I have to say it has completely changed my life for the better.
So is my life better without alcohol? Yes. 100%
Have a question? Let me know in the comments.