How Cutting Back On Alcohol Changed The Way I See The World

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I have never really been a huge drinker of alcohol, I probably drank more illegally when I was underage than I do now that it is all completely legal. Except for this one point about a year and a half ago when I was using alcohol as a mean of pretending that I was fine, to convince myself and the people around me that all was well and good in my world- when in fact, it was not.

I wasn’t a borderline alcoholic or anything like that, but I was drinking what I would consider being an excessive amount for myself. I remember one week being out on a Thursday night, Friday night, all day Saturday, Sunday afternoon and then the Sunday night and then spending all day Monday feeling like death warmed up. That is probably the only time I have ever drunk that much, honestly, if I couldn’t even think about doing that now, I can barely do two nights out in a row. Currently, my limit is one night out every two weeks and even then I struggle to drink more than two or three drinks.

In my efforts to not drink as much anymore, and to not use alcohol as a way of avoiding dealing with my issues, I have learnt a few different things that come from being sober and thought I would share them with you.
  • ·         You don’t have to drink to have fun, but it does kind of help.
This only goes when you are the only sober person in a sea of drunk people. Being the only person not on the same level as everyone else and in that drunken state of mind that they are in can really be a bit of a downer for you. In saying that if there is a whole group of people around you that aren’t drinking its fine, you have people who you can relate too and tolerate because they’re sober too.
·         Your friends can really be arseholes when alcohol is involved.
You don’t notice it when you are drinking too, probably because you are also being an arsehole. While I have been the sober one I have watched the normally quiet and polite people become outgoing and loud and the sober dickheads turn into drunken bigger dickheads. Alcohol comes with an ego for a lot of people and gee whiz it shows- it is like one alcoholic beverage and the egotistical meter goes up and up.
  • ·         People who drink have a hard time accepting those who don’t.
I am constantly questioned on where my drink is, why I am not drinking, why come out if you aren’t going to drink, “are you not drinking because you’re pregnant?”. You are made to feel like if you don’t have a drink in your hand you are odd and don’t belong.
  • ·         You come home with about the same amount of money as you walked in the door with- and without a pocket full of coins.
That was my biggest pet peeve- going to the pub and coming home with the biggest mountain of coins because of course there was no drink or round of drinks that would allow you to not get coins as change. It gets worse when you have a boyfriend who refuses to put said coins in his own wallet. Also, a plus is the amount of money that you save, alcohol is expensive and when you’re a broke student it does put a dent in your budget. I wish I was one of those people who could drink cheaper stuff like beer and wine, and yet I always would go straight for the expensive spirits shelf.
  • ·         You get a better nights sleep.
For two reasons:
1. You get over being social and out of the house a lot quicker than you would with the influence of alcohol. I will be ready to go home approximately ten minutes after I get there, meaning I give up and go home a lot quicker too.
2. You don’t lay down and instantly get head spins. The head spins fall into the category of “God I don’t miss that at all.”
  • ·         It’s not necessary to have a “responsible friend” in every friend group, but it is a good idea.
And being the sober one that usually falls into your lap. Your job description includes finding the drunk person who has suddenly disappeared into thin air, being the designated driver, diffusing the rising tensions that have occurred purely because of alcohol. The list is never-ending.
  • ·         You don’t wake up the next morning bloated and with a face full of last nights makeup.
Two things that I have very much appreciated of late. I used to hate waking up the morning after and looking like I had just eaten a Mexican feast while four months pregnant- it is uncomfortable and frankly it doesn’t make you feel great about yourself. Add on top that you went to bed without washing last night’s full face of makeup off and you now look like a racoon that is having a bad day.
  • ·         You don’t wake up with the morning after regret.
Those mornings when you wake up and shove a pillow over your face remembering the stupid things you did the night before? They are a thing of the past. No awkward apologies to be made, no flushed cheeks when you realise who you drunk texted, no walking with your head down when you leave the house. You wake up all good.

In saying all this I haven’t stopped drinking entirely, I mean I don’t drink often but if it were a special occasion or such it isn’t like I would say no to a cocktail. I just don’t drink to the hangover extent anymore and I 100% couldn’t do a weekend bender at all.

Tell me- are you a drinker? Or do you prefer to stay sober? Even mildly sober? Have you learnt anything from being a non-drinker watching drinkers? 

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