Sober Thoughts 3: How Going Alcohol-Free Changed The Way I Drink

Since so many people resonated with my sober update last April, I thought it only fitting to talk about what it’s like to return to life post-sober.

I never intended to give up drinking forever - and even surprised myself when my non-drinking spree continued months after the end of ‘Sober January.’

Still, I knew the benefits to my health and wealth were far reaching.

My relationship to alcohol was changing.

I knew the day would come eventually for me to see how my new mindset played out in real life.

So in late Spring I decided to take my first sip in nearly 4 months - that’s 120 days. One-third of the year.

A glass of red wine at a friends’ wedding reception.

The heavens didn’t open up. Neither did the gates of hell.

It was pretty anti-climactic, to be honest.

But after that night and a few more nights out - on the town and out of town - I gathered some important notes on how my relationship with drinking has changed:

  1. I don’t need more. Those first couple sips at the wedding were enough to get me all the way through dinner and to the dance floor.

  2. A glass I would’ve previously downed in 20 minutes will now wait an hour or two for me to finish it. And I actually like it that way.

  3. I can be conscious of my consumption without judging it.

  4. I can enjoy the moment without sacrificing the morning after.

  5. I can limit myself without limiting others.

  6. Drinking tonight is not a reason to drink the next night and the next night.

  7. Wine pairings are just a suggestion.

  8. Just cause it’s free don’t mean it’s for me.

  9. When in doubt, I can always lean back on my sober thoughts from the past.

  10. Awareness is the key.

I’m thinking of taking another break from booze this Fall to see what other lessons are out there.

Beyond the obvious benefits, taking time off is a great way to gain perspective - and now I know there’s no wrong way to do it.