I used to be that person who either didnt drink at all or got totally blackoutdrunk.
There was no middle ground. And like most people,too much alcohol led to some pretty questionable decisions.
Last year at a party, I drunkenly hit on a friends exclusive fuck buddy. Later that night, the fuck buddy suggestedto my friend that we have a threesome.
Whether he was joking or not, she didnt take it well. She confronted me the next day on the phone and we got in a huge fight.Wedidnt talk for a few weeks after.From there, it took some time for our friendship to recover.
This wasnt the first time my friends called me out on my shitty drunk behavior at parties. I was a selfish drunk. I didnt think about how my actions would affect anyone but myself.
Im not blaming alcohol for making me a bad friend, but I couldnt ignore that my drunken behaviorled to fights.And at the end of the day, friendship means more than beer.
So, I decided to see what happened if I stopped drinking.
When I stopped, I didnt tell myself I would never drink again. I knew eventually I would come back to drinking when I was ready to control myself.
Quitting alcohol for that period of time cold turkey was also a huge wake-up call for how much of my life revolved around drinking.
I was in a relationship at the beginning of my break and even though he supported my drinking hiatus, my ex and I soon realized we actually didnt do much outside of trying new bars.
Once our relationship fell apart, I started spending a lot less time recovering from hangovers and more time learning about myself.
My Sunday mornings werent spent in bed with a pillow over my face, wishing a coffee and bagel would magically appear in my kitchen. I found myself with the time and energy on weekends to get back into my hobbies, exercise and generally act more like an adult.
In the past, I used breakups as an excuse to go out, get wasted and hook up with random guys. Not this time, though. I had to deal with it head on without relying on the temporary company of random hookups to ease the pain.
What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol
- You can get higher quality sleep
- Alcohol might make you fall asleep faster, but you’re more likely to toss and turn all night.
- Sober sleep will guarantee a refreshed and recharged feeling upon waking up.
- You can control what you eat better
- Research shows that when people have consumed the amount of alcohol equivalent to around two drinks, they’re likely to eat 30 percent more than they would have if they were sober.
- Alcohol heightens your senses, prompting you to eat more.
- You can lose weight
- Aside from affecting how much you eat, beer, wine and cocktails contain many extra calories that sneak up on you and result in weight gain.
- One study found that women consume 300 extra calories when drinking a “moderate” amount of alcohol and men consume up to 433 more calories.
- Your skin can look much better
- Alcohol is adiuretic, which is why you pee a lot when you drink and feel dehydrated the next day. Dehydration noticeably causes skin on your face to look parched.
- When you stop drinking, you may notice your skin looks and feels more hydrated.
Even though I still went to some parties, not drinking (and constantly thinking about it) made it much more exhausting. It simply wasnt enjoyable. So I would stay for an hour just to show my face before leaving.
But I hung out with my friends and did other activities completely unrelated to alcohol, like going to the movies or shopping. And you know what? Hanging out with them outside of a bar, where you can barely hear each other talk, proved to be a lot better anyway.
I was able to reconnect with them on a different level.
I dont exactly love having frequent, deep, emotional conversations, but I tried to let my friends in a little more. A few weeks after I decided to take a break, I gave them a chance to tell me how they felt about my drinking habits.
They said they couldnt enjoy going out with me because I would quickly get drunk and spend the rest of the night hitting on guys. Thats not exactly great friend behavior, I know.
When we invite you out, we want to spend time with you. Not keep an eye on you while you get drunk.
I had no idea they felt this way.
Understandably, confrontation is difficult. Especially if whenever you spend time with friends youre also drinking.
My gut reaction during these talks was to defend myself, but I realized that it wasnt about alcohol. It was about trust.
They were losing trust in me because I consistently chose getting wasted over our friendships. Im glad I recognized something needed to change before it got too late.
After exactly four months, I found myself on a date in a forgettable sports bar with a guy I met online, drinking a beer.
When he suggested drinks Ijust went with it. It was my first date since my break up. I wanted it to go well.
Even after the first few minutes of talking to him, I could tell he wasnt a big drinker himself. He even said so, after I told him I hadnt had a drink in a while.
For some reason, this was a sign of maturity to me. And as my priorities had recently shifted, maturity was hot.
Even though this guy, now my current boyfriend, was basically a (very handsome) stranger, I felt comfortable. I felt safe.
We sat there for three hours, taking our time sipping on two beers each.
I honestly think the date would have gone the same even if we were just sitting in a park. It might seem obvious to most, but I realized you cant have a good conversation when youre blackout drunk.
Luckily, I didnt lose any good friends during the break.
If anything, I was able to cleanse my social life. It made mesee which of my friends were also moving forward and away from college kid behavior. Those were the relationships I was most interested in keeping.
Now I can drink and enjoy parties with friends without worrying about what I might do whileunder the influence. Im not 100 percent sure what was pressuring me to drink so much before.
Maybe it was my friends, my environment or my own social anxiety, but addressing it head on was a necessary step forward in adulthood.