It's been a year since I finally decided to give up drinking. It was something that was a long time coming for me but it was a decision I really struggled with. For too long I worried about what other people would think and put it off. Since I wasn't an addict or alcoholic part of me questioned, is this really necessary? But if there is one thing I learned, you don't have to wait until something is a problem to give it up.
All in all I had a fairly standard relationship with alcohol, I drank sporadically in high school and pretty heavily in college - but an amount that would be considered normal for a college student. By the end of college I was sick of the partying lifestyle.
So as the years went on I started drinking less and less which correlated with my healing both my mental and physical health. As I got mentally and physically stronger, alcohol affected me more and more, and quite frankly I lost my tolerance for putting my body through something so nasty.
I hated feeling like I was wasting time being hungover and sick. And as someone who is deeply into meditation and mindfulness - I felt like being drunk or tipsy was robbing me from the present moment.
The biggest sign for me that I needed to give up alcohol were the mental side effects. Physical ailments aside, alcohol was deeply detrimental to my mental health. Through meditation, yoga and other healthy lifestyle choices I brought what used to be chronic anxiety down to mild anxiety. Most days I don't feel any anxiety at all and my panic attack have all but stopped. But when I drank I would always wake up in a panic attack and fall into a deep depression for 24-48 hours. I remember one day after drinking I just cried the entire day after.
So long story short, a year ago I finally decided to give alcohol up. At first I did it on a trial period, but after a few months I knew I would never be going back to drinking. I can say with confidence that this is the best damn decision I have ever made. Quitting alcohol was a springboard for so many other things in my life. I have never felt so clear headed and motivated; no more days spent hungover means more time to be productive. It is also a huge money saver and as a frugal person this is one of my favorite aspects of being sober (lol).
To my surprise, I actually enjoy social situations more without alcohol. People definitely still make rude/weird comments - but not as often as you would think. I am also to the point in life where my happiness definitely over rides. Going out knowing that I won't wake up feeling awful the next day is a great feeling, and I think waking up after a night out not feeling hungover is unparalleled.
If you're thinking about quitting alcohol, it is so worth it. You can always do it on a trial period like me - but I almost guarantee that once you give up alcohol you will never want to drink again. All in all, I am incredibly grateful to be sober and this past year has been the greatest of my life.
Karen Brash McGreer
I love this.
Most of my friends have also quit drinking.
And yes it doesn't need to be a problem to take decisive action to feel better.
You are kicking butt, woman.