Giving up drinking wasn’t as hard as I thought

My theme for 2016 is addition by subtraction.   I’m giving up what I don’t need to grow as a person.  There are a good many things I’ll be releasing – possessions, attachments, ideas…

One of the first things I decided to give up in January was drinking.  January went well and I continued into February.  In February I loosened up a bit and had a grand total of 3 drinks over two nights out.

So far it’s not as hard as I thought.  Of course, it’s winter and prime drinking season is still in the future.

I learned a few things about myself along the way.

  • I’ve lost nothing by not drinking.  I’ve always been a big social drinker.  It’s always been the center of anything social I do.  Anxiety demands it.   However, I realized that at this point I really don’t need it.   I went out, saw friends, saw music, laughed, danced and had a few great times.  Other than going home earlier than usual, everything is still there. My friends are all supportive. I may have to change a few relationships but I don’t have to give anyone up.
  • I’ve gained a few things by not drinking.   I feel better. All the time.  I got my weekends back. I don’t lose days to hangovers.  I’ve gained a happier more stable attitude. As someone who suffers from depressive thoughts and self esteem bombs, I’m no longer spending time hating myself for drinking too much, eating too much because of it, saying dumb things, doing dumb things.  I don’t have to worry about who I might offend or anything else.  More highs (really, it’s more even keels). Fewer lows.   I’m not a slave to hangover eating anymore either.  I’ve gained the ability to make better choices about how I spend my free time.

I’m not saying I won’t drink again. This isn’t an all or nothing right now.  I’m about to go on two vacations fairly back to back and I expect to have a drink or two. A margarita here and a beer there won’t kill me.  But I know this general subtraction is a great addition to 2016.

Another view