8.19.2014

My Year without Alcohol

So just yesterday I posted about my two year anniversary - and here I am posting about another anniversary!  No, it's not a coincidence - I definitely planned this out (though, to be honest, it didn't quite go according to plan.)

A year ago today I started on a challenge.  I challenged myself that I would go one year without drinking any alcohol.  You can read all about my thought process going into it here.  I chose August 18th to be my last day having a drink with the intention of having a celebratory drink that would coincide with our second anniversary.



Well, that's just not going to happen.  Here I sit six months pregnant so I definitely extended my year out by quite a bit!  Truthfully?  I don't mind a bit.  In college I drank quite a bit, but in the years that followed I had slowed down by a lot.  I knew, though, that those times when I did go to the bar I often found myself not able to stop at one drink.  I would give in to a second, then a third, then throw in the towel completely and just have a fun night - which inevitably led to a horrible morning the next day.  Did these days happen often?  No, not really.  But even one of these days wasn't worth it!

So I decided to go cold turkey.  If I couldn't stop at one, I would just have to stop at zero - so that's what I did.  Here's what I have learned about myself along the way:

I can have just as much fun without ever having a drink.

Even though I gave up drinking, I did not give up having fun.  I still went to weddings, the bar, bachelorette parties (I even hosted an after party that went until roughly 5 am!).  I never felt deprived and I never felt like the odd duck out.  In the beginning people would kind of look at me funny when I turned down a drink, but after a month or two it wasn't even on most peoples' radar!  Some people feel like in order to have fun you have to have a drink in your hand.  I am proud and glad to say that this is not the case with me!

Drinking makes me tired!
Before giving up alcohol for a year, being tired was often my go-to excuse for drink number two (and three, and four...)  I would have my vodka 7 + grenadine and at the end of it I would start feeling sluggish and like I was ready to sleep.  So to trick myself into waking up a bit more I'd have that second drink.  Now that I don't have drink number 1, I don't get tired like I used to!  Yes, I know this is kind of an obvious thing to point out, but I'm glad I learned this about myself.  I'd rather be awake because I actually am awake, than to be awake because I'm tricked myself into it with a second drink.

I don't have a desire to get back into the drinking game.
This, more than anything else, is what I have learned over this past year.  Even if I weren't pregnant right now, I honestly don't think I'd be running to the liquor store to treat myself to a drink.  I have become perfectly accustomed to having my water bottle with me 24/7 (seriously, it's never very far away!) and I have absolutely no problem turning down a drink.  I like the fact that I don't need to drink to have fun, and I'm glad that I saved myself so many wasted calories over the past year.  I will obviously be alcohol-free for quite a while now that I am pregnant, but I just don't know that I'll be jumping back on the alcohol bandwagon even when I can!

Have you ever thought about giving up alcohol?  What are your thoughts?  Are you tempted to try?


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