Today I have hit my 3 month mark of sobriety and have reached the goal that I set out for myself. In my first blog post I said that when I hit three months I would, with a clear head, decide whether alcohol is something I can have in my life. These are some realizations that have erupted throughout these three months:
- Not having hangovers is way more fun than a night out drinking. It wasn’t until I cut the drink out completely that I realized how much of my life I spent feeling like garbage. With my nursing schedule I would work 4 shifts and then have 4 days off. Of those four days off, I would be feeling terrible for at least one of the days. Added up, that is a lot of time to be feeling anxious, nauseous and unmotivated. I have done so much more with my time since taking hangovers out of the picture. Instead I wake up earlier, get shit done and play outside. And on those days that I laze around doing nothing but binge watch Netflix or get lost in a book, I know that what I am doing is because I chose to have a relaxing day – not because I couldn’t bring myself to leave my couch due to an overwhelming hangover.
- Relationships are more meaningful. Pretty self explanatory. I’ve been forced to sit in awkward silences and get to know people without that liquid courage I relied so heavily on just three months ago. The connections that I have made and the friendships that I have been working on in the last few months has been a welcomed challenge. I have been fortunate enough to totally fall for someone, by way of giving in to my true self. Not drinking has made the relationship feel so authentic, as there has been nothing clouding the process of mutually exploring one another.
- I’m still fun and I’m still me. This has been both the biggest learning and the biggest challenge. For reasons that I am still piecing together, I have had huge fears around people no longer wanting relationships with me now that I am that “lame sober girl.” (Even referring to myself that way shows I still have work to do in shifting negative self talk). I think it boiled down to this conversation that went occurred while having a beer with a couple close girlfriends. The following are some tidbits from the conversation when I was sharing that I went on a date with someone who is sober: “I don’t know why you would want to hang out with someone that doesn’t drink…That is so boring…Drinking is such a social thing, what would someone who doesn’t drink do with their time?”…and so on. I sat quietly and immediately turned those questions inward, thinking that everyone would think I would be no fun the second I stopped drinking. I have had that conversation pop up in my head probably more than it should over these past months.
Over the last three months I have been able to process and work through those feelings. In response to that conversation after much reflection: Being sober is actually not boring at all. I have more time for the things I love and am more apt to spend quality time with the people that I love. I would argue that I have way more fun now that I am that lame sober girl. And although it might take me an extra song or two to loosen up on the dance floor or being forced to sit with all my feels, it is so worth it because I can be present and cherish the moments spent with others and by myself.
This process has required lots of self exploration and I plan to continue to explore this new self I have become. Reading other folks’ blogs has given me a sense of community and makes me feel less isolated in a world in which alcohol is what adults do for leisure.