So I stopped drinking alcohol for a year.
Every time I say or even think “I stopped drinking alcohol for a year” makes me feel like I was an alcoholic, which was definitely not the case, and it also makes me feel like it’s some kind of an achievement, which it’s really not. That’s why I didn’t want to write about it at the beginning. But then what’s the point of having a blog and if you don’t share anything. And since it’s wellness related, I thought, why not?
So here is the story. Since I didn’t have any problems with alcohol before, I was actually drinking quite rarely already. Many asked, why I was doing it?
The main reason was that I was suffering from severe anxiety last year and was often taking medicine for it, which already meant that I couldn’t drink. Also with alcohol being one of the worst things for anxiety (as well as sugar) it only made sense that I wasn’t drinking. I came to that decision a few weeks after New Year’s Eve when I realised that I hadn’t had any alcohol since then and just said to my boyfriend – I’m stopping drinking for a year and that’s it. It was kind of an impulse decision powered by trying to get well and healthy.
The other reason was that I didn’t just want to say – Oh I’m not drinking tonight. Because believe it or not, people are not very acceptive of that. So if I wanted to just stay away from alcohol for a while, it was easier for me to just say – I don’t drink. Or I’m stopping drinking for a year. Then (at least I thought) I wasn’t going to be asked if I’m pregnant every time. Is that the only reason not to drink? Oh and if you are a driver (which I’m not).
Last year has been very much about slowing down, self-care and to just take some time to get to know me. It’s been a quiet year really. No big travels, no big parties, but inside – so much transformation.
Since I wasn’t drinking alcohol much before, I didn’t see any difference in my body throughout the year. It was more of a mental break. At the same time, I don’t know if I would feel the same way and if I would have moved forward with my anxiety as quickly if I was still drinking alcohol.
But I got to say. It was super easy. I didn’t miss alcohol almost at all, except a few times during summer I wanted to have some beer, but that went away quickly since the summer lasted only 2 weeks in the UK. I actually thought I wasn’t going to drink after that year as well. It just felt so good. Going out for dinner didn’t end with me falling asleep immediately after and waking up every morning with a clear head was awesome. Also saving money. That’s already a good enough reason to enjoy it.
This no alcohol thing was also kind of a social experiment for me. And I love a social experiment. As much as it was fun, it was also really surprising and eye-opening.
First of all telling someone that I don’t drink alcohol was fun. I got all kinds of reactions. Most of all people were just surprised. Some seemed to be sad for me and some even worried that there is something terribly wrong with me. These reactions made me open my eyes and realise what kind of culture I live in. It made me realise how much social activities involve alcohol and how many people couldn’t live without it. It also made me realise that there are never good non-alcoholic options at bars, pubs and restaurants. So I had a lot of diet coke. Trying to be healthy huh?
Overall. This experience made me realise I am not surrounded by the right people. Or that I need more like minded and open minded people in my life. It made me realise how well I could stick to my goal. I had no idea I was this good at resolutions. I am also no longer afraid to say that I don’t drink or I don’t want to drink tonight and I will drink if I want to drink, not because I feel like I have to, which is one of the biggest gains for me personally.
So far I think I will follow my intuition and see where it takes me.