I guess I should clarify here, I didn’t quit drinking entirely. Because let’s be honest, I am still going to drink before getting on a plane and after a long day with dinner. But I quit raging… and I’m sure I am going to make myself sound like a complete alcoholic, but I assure you I am not.
My brother and I lived walking distance from downtown when I finally turned 21. I ended up becoming really good friends with everyone who worked at the bar close to our house (thanks to my brother). I consider them part of my family – we have hung out outside of the bar and have had personal talks about family issues and relationships. They have seen me laugh and they have also seen me cry. They have comforted me during hard times in life. I have gone to the bar in sweats, and one time I went in a bright pink onesie. They have let me stay while they cleaned up and given me rides home at the end of the night. They have seen me at some of my worst moments. And it was not a one way street, I have seen them at some less than ideal times.
I spent most of my weekends there, and to be honest probably most weeknights too. I celebrated Sunday Funday there every week during football season, and when it wasn’t football season. I got to skip the line at the front door and walk in through the back. I got served almost immediately when I walked up to the bar and often got discounts on drinks (I tip really well and always buy them shots!). While I still get to do these things when I go there, I do not get there as often.In the past year, we both have really cut back on our drinking. My hangovers were getting SOO bad (maybe lack of moderating shots – I blame my friends and the bartenders), but also because I was not happy. I was unhappy with my body from the drinking and I did not like how my life was turning out. So I’ve put together a list of reasons why I quit drinking to hopefully inspire you not to follow in my footsteps…
1. No more hangovers
If you don’t drink then you can’t wake up hungover. I was always so unproductive and lazy when I was hungover that I would neglect my responsibilities. I would not get up for school, and if I did wake up in time I would grab more water and go back to sleep. I would not work out because by the end of the day I would still feel like death or just not have the motivation to work out. I would eat junk food all day to try and get rid of my hangover.
2. Better sleep
When you pass out after drinking, you do not get the good night sleep your body needs. You sleep until the alcohol processes out of your system and then you wake up. I have read in articles that your R.E.M. sleep gets all screwed up when you “sleep” after drinking.
3. Improved Health & Fitness
When you quit drinking, you take out all the unnecessary calories that alcohol adds to your diet. It may not feel like much, but after a while you look at yourself and wonder how you let yourself get so out of shape. Add a hangover then you really gain weight. I have noticed that even after one night of drinking I feel extremely bloated and gross! I notice after a few days of no alcohol that my whole body looks slimmer. After a few weeks of ONLY taking out alcohol, I can lose up to 10lbs. Crazy, right? We also don’t eat as much junk food when we’re drunk or hungover which is better for your health anyways.
4. Save Money
Drinking at home is so much cheaper than the bar so if you don’t drink at the bar, you end up saving a TON of money. You also save money by not having to take cab rides to or from the bar. We also save money by not buying junk food on our way home from the bars. But not buying any alcohol saves a lot of money too.
5. No More Fog
Another reason why I quit drinking is that I have found that I feel like I have a clearer head. I just feel that I am no longer in a constant fog. I felt like I was not paying attention to details and life was passing by. There are memories I vaguely remember as if they were a dream, I just couldn’t remember stuff – even if I hadn’t been drinking.
6. More Motivation
Without alcohol ruining my motivation, I have gotten back on track with school. When I partied a lot, I would stay up late drinking and then sleep in and skip school. I had no motivation to do anything productive with my life other than go out and party with friends. Without alcohol, I have also had the motivation to work out regularly and eat a healthy diet.
7. No Unnecessary Fights
When Jeff and I would drink, we would often get into random arguments about nothing that would lead into big fights. We were never violent with each other or screaming, but we would end up mad at each other… And I absolutely hated it. I hate going to sleep when one of us is mad and the next day was always embarrassing. We would both apologize and talk about how we weren’t sure what even happened or why we were fighting over something because we both love each other. We both hate it when we fight and if alcohol leads us to be hostile then that is even more reason for us to quit drinking.
Drinking ultimately caused me to take time off from school for no reason. It’s not like I was traveling the world and learning about myself, I was just partying with friends who were doing the same. It sucks because I am now going on my 7th year of college and I still have a solid year left until I can graduate. Part of my reason for losing motivation with school was not knowing what I wanted to study or make my career, which can be another whole blog post on its own. But it is embarrassing to see friends with successful jobs and I am still struggling my way through college.
Quitting drinking was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I just feel so much better both physically and emotionally and I am more focused. It’s so nice not to waste all my money at the bar. It has also made our relationship stronger, which is the most important to me.