Why I Stopped Drinking


I literally cannot believe it has been a year. 365 days without touching a drop of alcohol. This seemed like a fleeting idea 2 years ago. When I bring up my choice of giving up alcohol to people, and I do bring it up. I can’t help it. It’s always on my mind. People always say why don't you just drink every once in a while. In theory that sounds like a great idea. Moderation is key right. Well here is why I have trouble with that.

Alcohol used to be my friend. It was there for me in college when I needed help making friends. It was there the first time I had sex. It’s been the center of my past eight birthdays. It helped me do things I never would have done out of fear. It was there to distract me. It was there to remind me about the present. Some of my favorite memories involve alcohol. Alcohol meant fun. 

I wasn’t picky when it came to drinking. Beer was my everyday choice but I’d never pass down a chilled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. I find that it doesn't matter whether you drink one type of alcohol or all of them. The results tend to be same. When I decided to take a break, stopping for a year was never the plan. It was originally going to be for 30 days. Once I got to day 30 I realized the sound of drinking made me sick. The thought alone sounded repulsive. I started to reflect on my usage of alcohol and all the embarrassing things I have done. I made a list.

After viewing this list I realized alcohol was definitely not my friend. Alcohol was there when I humiliated myself on Easter due to being blacked out drunk. Alcohol was there when I threw up so hard my entire face was bloodshot. It was there when I passed out in downtown Portland on a stoop next to my own vomit. (Apple App ‘Find Friends’ is the only reason I made it home that night) Alcohol was there when I hit my head on cement the night before my engagement party. The time had to go to the emergency room due to dehydration. The night I got a DUI an went to jail. Alcohol was there when I blacked out mid-drinking and got lost while driving. It was there when I pee’d the bed after drinking 15 Coors Light. There is more to the list but the more I read it the more it makes me feel like a complete douchebag. 

I remember making this list and knowing I had to make it to a year. I needed to know I had some willpower left in me. I can’t remember the last time I consciously made it to a goal. For me procrastination tends to put off finishing anything. I also needed to re-experience life and social situations. Alcohol made it really easy to socialize. Without it I find social situations very difficult, in fact I started to avoid them. I went through an entire summer doing the same thing as everyone else but without alcohol. I hadn’t done that since I was 17. 

I gotta say this year has gone by incredibly fast. I am so excited to see what else I’m capable of. I hope to incorporate fitness in my everyday life and make it habitual. I have more time, energy, and money to do things. There are a lot of perks to not drinking but I’m not writing this to convince anyone to do anything. Maybe in sharing my experience it will encourage others to do something they’ve always wanted to do and haven't because of “reasons.”