5 Years Without Alcohol In My 20’s

Let me kick this off by clearly noting that I am not, nor was I ever an alcoholic. Not that there would be anything wrong with that, but I guess this post would be coming from a different angle if that was the case.

I shared, for the first time,  my commitment to sobriety in a post about a year ago. I was so astounded by the reaction that I really felt compelled to be more open about it. I’ve nothing to hide. I guess I wanted to circle back a little more now and shine more light on an almost 27-year-old, normal girl that just so happens to have given up alcohol at the age of 22. (I remember drinking in 2015, I think, just to be totally transparent.) I hope there may be some girls reading this (Google Analytics tells me boys don’t read my blog) and thinking that they don’t have to go out drinking if they don’t want to.

So how does it feel? Good, I guess. I never have to think about alcohol; spending time or money on it. (I honestly don’t even know how much drinks cost nowadays but I know they are crazy expensive in the City.) As you can imagine, my “nights out” typically consist of low-key dinners and drinks or just a laugh with my friends. Sometimes I stay out until 3 AM if I’m having fun, but most nights I have no interest in shouting over loud music, getting pushed and shoved or listening to people “drunk talk” stuff that they don’t really mean. Every drinking engagement gets to a point where you’re on a different wave to everyone else. That’s my prime time to make an Irish exit!

Why do I do it? Because my priorities are different right now, as they have been for five years. I really hate wasting time, even thinking about it makes my skin crawl. So I like to plan accordingly and usually know what I want to get done every day. I get fulfillment and make progress out of living that way. It doesn’t make me any better or worse than anyone else. I’m just better than my former self, who wouldn’t have had the confidence to make this decision and knowingly isolate herself.

What do I do with my time? I work most days for anywhere between 12-15 hours. I talk to my friends or family. I eat, sleep and go to the gym. I repeat. Weekends? Pretty much the same but more socializing/sleeping thrown in because weekend. I work every single day.

How do people react?  Although everyone’s version of boring is different, I definitely think I would be considered boring to many, especially since I’m so young. The initial reactions, the exclusions, the feeling of needing to explain yourself and the assumptions –  those things are part of life. I chose to stop drinking, and the fallout that comes with that is a small price to pay for the feeling of choosing to do what I feel is right for me. Will I ever drink again? Probably, but it will be because I want to.

My advice for anyone who is done with drinking, or wants to minimize it;  you have to really not care what people think and be confident in your decisions. If you’d prefer to stay in, not go to the party, be the designated driver then who cares? There does not need to be a “why” or an explanation for anyone. For me, becoming self-aware enough when I was young was something I really value. Actually acting on it was something I value even more and gives me more confidence to continue to make decisions for myself that are important to me. Without reason or rhyme or answering to anyone.

And that’s really the main message; becoming self-aware and acting on it. I’m not passionate about not drinking, I’m passionate about being aware of whats right for you and following that route with conviction regardless of the consequences.

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