While some people can’t conceive of life without alcohol, for me it wasn’t much of a leap. Other than those precious rebellious teenage years, I’ve never been a heavy drinker. By the time I decided to give it up completely, I was probably having no more than 2 drinks a month on average.
So why give it up? From what I’ve read, alcohol is both inflammatory and causes major disruptions in blood sugar balance. This leads to detrimental effects on our sensitive hormonal system, so for someone working hard to achieve hormonal harmony, drinking really doesn’t fly.
Giving it up completely does shift things though! I see blatantly how much our society relies on alcohol for social gatherings. There are so many activities called blank & sip: Paint & Sip, Shop & Sip, etc. Prix fixe dinners that include cocktail and wine pairings. Wine tastings, tequila flights, bottomless mimosas. The list goes on.
There’s a part of me that’s critical of this. Not because of the alcohol, but because we’ve decided as a society that alcohol is the socially acceptable drug of choice. Yet, alcoholism is rampant and if you’ve ever attended an AA or Al-Anon meeting, you’ll have some inkling of the potentially devastating and far reaching effects it can have on someone’s life.
Another part of me feels left out. There’s fun going on, and I’m not invited. As a sufferer of FOMO, this has been an opportunity for personal work and re-creating how I see fun in my life.
Also, at parties and events, when you’re the nondrinker you’re definitely on a different wavelength. When the gathering begins, everyone’s on the same vibe, yet as the night goes on, you’re no longer riding that wave. The side effect of this is much less motivation to go out at night or stay out late. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just different.
There are definitely lots of benefits to being a non-drinker too. Here are some of my faves…
- No hangovers! I pretty much wake up everyday feeling energized and ready to greet the day. I love mornings, and drinking used to make me feel robbed of this precious time. This is never an issue now.
- Better social skills. Without a social lubricant, you learn how to hold your own and strike up conversations with strangers with no awkwardness whatsoever. I consider this one of my greatest achievements as I used to be deathly shy.
- Meeting other non-drinkers. Like definitely attracts like, and more and more I meet women and men who’ve made the decision to give up alcohol. That means, there’s always someone who’s up for meeting for tea instead of meeting for drinks.
- Maintaining that youthful glow. This may be stating the obvious, but alcohol is terrible for your health and your complexion! It’s basically liquid sugar, so it packs on the pounds and robs your skin of vitality. Most people think I’m 10 years younger than my age, and I believe clean living has a lot to do with that.
Overall, I feel really good about this choice. Though I do miss some of the fun and freedom that comes with having a drink or two with friends, I’ve found plenty of ways to create those feelings in my life without it.
I’d love to hear from you! What are your thoughts on alcohol, or life without it?