Sober Thoughts 2: How Three Months Alcohol-Free Is Changing Me

A few months back I shared some reflections on my Sober January journey. I wasn’t sure whether I’d continue my streak of not drinking but somewhere between “time flies” and “why not?” I ended up here in April, still sober.

And with that, here are 30 more thoughts after 90 days without a drink:

  1. I realized at the 2-month mark that it has become almost easier for me to pass on a drink now than to take one.

  2. Mindset has been the key - seeing my sober-life as one of privilege and not deprivation.

  3. I have the privilege of not giving in to what was once a slippery slope of escapism and avoidance.

  4. I have the privilege of self-control without self-judgment or guilt.

  5. I also have the privilege of knowing that I can choose to have a drink whenever I want - I just choose not to for now.

  6. I’m not deprived. I’m empowered. I’m lucky.

  7. Fitness has happened. It’s not necessarily any easier to get to the gym - there’s just one less roadblock I have to deal with.

  8. I get restless. And without alcohol to numb me, I’ve found that working out and fumbling around in the kitchen are the healthiest ways to keep busy.

  9. I’ve replaced empty beverage calories with nutrient-dense vegetables and almond butter toast and protein shakes.

  10. I’ve figured out how to prepare these whole foods in a way that makes me crave them more than the half-empty bottle of mezcal that’s still sitting in the back of my freezer.

  11. My body thanks me.

  12. I thank my body.

  13. We both do well when we listen to each other.

  14. My sleep is deeper and more satisfying.

  15. I’m feeling more present in my relationships.

  16. There are still a few times and places where I really crave an ice cold beer, and with that I’ve discovered something else that’s entertaining:

  17. O’doul’s non-alcoholic beer is still a thing. I found out last weekend at Pappy & Harriet’s in Joshua Tree, CA when the high desert sun and dive bar vibes were calling for a beer but not the brain fog.

  18. Cheers’ing with an O’doul’s - the same brand my dad used to order out at dinner and I never understood why - is now one of my fondest ironic memories.

  19. Bitters and soda, however, is still the best free drink I can get at a bar.

  20. I still find myself unknowingly making apologies for not taking a drink - like last week when a new colleague offered me a beer at the studio and I came through on the defense.

  21. “I used to be really into beer, I usually drink it, I’m just not drinking it right now,” I said.

  22. “Bro, it’s cool I get it,” he said with a laugh, sensing my nerves.

  23. An interaction like this is a friendly reminder that I still have insecurities left over from high school.

  24. There are a lot of people happy to see the changes I’ve made and who encourage me no matter what.

  25. I make it a point to focus on those people and forget the rest.

  26. Life is not perfect and this is just one of many processes I’m going through.

  27. I try not to attach my ego or identity to alcohol or my choices around it.

  28. I’m not a better or worse human for being alcohol-free. I just like the way this feels.

  29. It took some major life challenges to get me to this point and I don’t plan on going back too soon.

  30. Instead of bringing wine to the party, I’m now the guy who brings flowers.

And isn’t that nice?