Alcohol is everywhere. Especially if you’re Irish, with any degree of a social life, at an age where drinking regularly is accepted and you work in hospitality. You literally cannot get away from it.
Over the last few months, I’ve partied hard. Like, really hard. 2-3 nights of binge drinking a week hard. Not good for a whole host of reasons.
On one of my frequent taxi journeys to work the topic of drink came up. He never drinks because he drives for a living and I drink all the time because, life.
But the conversation helped me to realize that if I were to work a “normal” job, with “normal” working hours or really just in an industry that isn’t hospitality and I drank as frequently as I did for those few months. I would, without a doubt, be told that I have a problem. A severe one.
It’s very easy to say you’re not dependant on something when you’re doing something. But I started to worry about my health. My mental health and the state of my poor liver. Mix this into the fact that I drink Jagerbombs as a drink I was on a one-way road to Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes.
Fun fact: There are 13 grams of carbs in a shot of Jager. 13! That doesn’t even include the copious amounts of Red Bull that’s used to “dilute” the concoction.
So for November, as somewhat of an experiment, I decided to have a dry month. How would I cope with no alcohol?
To be fair, November was a sneaky decision. I had no obligations. No Weddings, birthdays, christenings or any occasions that warranted excessive alcohol. And December 1st was the staff Christmas party, so would be a nice end day for the experiment. If you want to see alcohol consumption go to a hospitality Christmas party where there’s a tab running and you’re not footing the bill.
How did I Fare?
Pretty well… There were a few slips. But all in, I’m very happy with the results.
1 night out.
1 glass of wine for a 21st
one bottle of wine over one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
The first week was harder than I thought. When you decide to stop partaking in the post-shift bitch sessions you realize how often you’re asked “Staying for a drink?” EVERY GODDAMN DAY… Thus the slip to an all night bender.
Week 2 was much easier. I was used to saying no to the nightly drinks and feeling quite proud of my achievements.
3 & 4 were a breeze, hangover free days were and still are amazing. But the bottle of prosecco in week four over dinner was thoroughly enjoyed. Probably more so than if I was still bingeing regularly.
Would I do it again?
Definitely. December is out, though… Far too many occasions but 2017 definitely holds at least one alcohol-free month.
What I Learned.
Alcohol get’s you into some sticky situations. Not drinking it keeps you out of them.
I’m nowhere near as “dependent” as I thought. That is nerve calming information.
Life without alcohol has given me a better outlook, more motivation, more energy, more time and much, much better sleep. I’ve achieved so much more in the last month than in the 4 or 5 before it combined.
I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who gives up drinking completely. I enjoy it too much. Taking extended breaks from it will happen on a more frequent occasion. As will saying no to most evening rants over a glass or two.
In general, I will consume alcohol with a more mature mindset. A healthy respect. And to be honest I really think I’ll enjoy it more.
Give it a go. No one said it has to be forever. It’s your life. You make the rules. Play. Experiment. Something good is bound to come out of it.