Tuesday, March 28, 2017

How Giving up Alcohol Has Changed my Life

Well, I did it.  

I made it through 30 days sans drunk texting booze.  I suffered through deep, plaguing bouts of FOMO, resisted giving into numerous temptations and achieved my goal.  The beginning of my hiatus from Grandpa's Old Cough Medicine was harder than Kanye gazing at a photo of Kanye, but as time went on it got more and more boring easier.  I made the conscious decision to let my coworkers, family and friends know about my decision so I'd be accountable which made me wildly self-conscious helped.

I wasn't aware of how much my life would change when I lived it booze-free.  I've created a list of things I've noticed through my sober lens over the last month.  Let's get sharted.

I've become more in tune with what's happening around me
I'm much more aware of my adult acne surroundings these days.  I listen to people when they talk except for when they talk too much, then I tune the fuck out.  I absorb experiences.  My senses are heightened.  I'm present like 50% of the time.    

I was "handled with care" a couple times
The other night after work 2 of my coworkers were heading out of the office to pick up wine and hang.  I asked one of them why I wasn't invited and she responded with "we figured you wouldn't want to be around us while we're drinking."  While I appreciated the gesture, the last thing I want to make people feel is uncomfortable (I already do that enough just by being myself) about tossing back some cocktails in my presence.  Seriously, feel like doing a keg stand as someone slurps tequila from your butthole right in front of my face?  Go right ahead.  Fucks I give = ZERO.  

I saved money
I've saved some serious bills over the last month which I ended up spending on other random shit like cookies, ring pops and tweezers.

I finally learned how to be a cheap date Date with Dignity
I went on a first date sober which was profoundly boring YUGE for me.  First dates typically make me want to gouge my eyes out and I've always relied on like 80 mgs of xanax the sauce to help make them more bearable.  There's nothing scarier to me than a forced, staged one-on-one interaction with another random human.  So when I agreed to go on a first date during my second week of sobriety I felt more nervous than a ceiling fan owner with a combover.  But, I took some deep breaths and reminded myself that I'm not meeting with the Dali Lama to discuss world peace or the fiscal cliff or the Dow Jone or whatever.  And, it was fine.  He was hammered fine.  I was fine.  Like most things in life that I over-analyze and generally lose my shit over: it all turned out to be fine.  I felt together and lucid.  Also, it was nice to wake up the next morning without wincing as flashbacks of my aggressive handjobs Ace Ventura impressions danced through my head.

Flying without booze was easier than I thought
If you read Toe Pick you know I am insane have a fear of flying.  Normally when I fly I make sure to have 27 a few cocktails at the airport and a few more on the plane.  Well, I've flown twice over the last month sans booze and I lost my shit and basically broke the arm of the guy sitting next to me from grabbing it so hard dealt.  It was scary but I did it - I believe this has been my greatest accomplishment in recent memory, aside from the time I blew a bubble the side of Kim Karshashian's ass.

My skin has become glowier (is that a word.)
Let's face it, alcohol can wreak havoc on your epidermis (god, I've been waiting to use that word for like, ever.) I noticed a marked difference in the size of my face in just a little over a week of giving up booze.  By the third week other people were starting to notice a difference in my skin as well - although I'm not sure if they were just complimenting me because they wanted me to give them some of those cookies I mentioned earlier.  

My productivity level has become higher than Snoop Dogg
I'm actually getting shit done at work.  I think more clearly and work harder.  I work in sales, so being hyped up and aggressive is vital to my survival.  I'm no longer taking naps in our meditation room as I douse my eye balls in some generic walgreen's form of eye drops.

Everything is copacetic now
I've learned that the majority of anxiety I've had has been a direct result of poor decisions I've made when I've been drinking.  A lot of that anxiety has disappeared since I've become sober because I'm no longer acting like a monkey on nitrous and making rash decisions like flying to Vegas to spend the night with a stranger (no shit) or dumping a bowl of peanuts on my head in a bar (again, no shit) because I need an easy way to make people laugh.  The only thing I've regretted in the last month and a half is saying no when the guy at Chipotle asked me if I "wanted to add guac to dat?"  Also, I don't chase the wrong relationships anymore because I'm clear-headed and have enough sense to know when I'm wasting my fucking time, whereas before, when I've been blurry or hungover I've clung to dead-end relationships out of loneliness.

I have very supportive friends who want to see me stop talking about becoming sober all the time happy
You sure do realize how unattractive people actually are who your friends are when you quit boozing. People have been so supportive of me and my decision and haven't treated me like a leper which is nice, and brings me to my next point...

cheersing with my pals 
No one gives a shit 
I figured people would be uber curious about why I'm not drinking but that hasn't been the case.  And the people who have been hyper-inquisitive?  Those are the ones I look at and say "You wanna back off talk?"  These are generally the ones who might have an issue with alcohol themselves.

Listen, I don't want to be that person who constantly spews out proclamations of how much giving up partying can change one's life so I'll only say this once:

Giving up partying has changed my life.

All it took was one moment: I looked around and realized that things were nowhere near as good as they could be.  I'm at a place in my life where I want to chill out, marry someone rich meet someone, settle down, have a family, make some coin, live in a cute little cottage by the sea and take a break from headbanging deep breath.  EVERY SINGLE fiber of my being told me that I would achieve none of these things if I kept raging like I was.  To put it simply: I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

turns out I don't need to be hungover to be wildly annoyed
by anyone i come into contact with 
All of my regrets, anxiety, self-doubt, self-loathing and sadness stemmed from alcohol so the natural next step was to remove it from the equation. Now when I'm sad, irritable or anxious (which isn't nearly as often) I know it's not from binge drinking: it's because I'm having normal, authentic human emotions.  If a friend is constantly complaining to me about the UTI she got from banging that tinderturd fuckboy named Raul and I find myself getting wildly agitated I'll know it's because humans in general annoy the shit out of me and not because I'm hungover from slurping down too many fernet shots the night before.

 And, like everything in life: making a change started with me: a grown-ass woman.  The notion that this is my life - the only life I'll ever have - has become abundantly clear. The best part of this experience: I found strength I truly never, ever realized I had and I won't even make a joke here because I am so dead serious about this.

I'm not sure how long I'll keep this up but for now - it's working for me.  I do know I'd like to get to a point where I feel comfortable tossing back a glass or 2 of buttery chard with my girlfriends as we discuss important things like dick sizes and Justin Bieber's newest gf, but for now I'm cutting it all out.

My reason for sharing this is twofold:
1) I recognize I have a voice here and I felt it was my responsibility to share my experience with all of you in the event that anyone reading can relate.
2) I really just wanted to use the word "twofold".

Sarcasm aside, and I mean this in all sincerity: if alcohol is fucking your world up and you want to get out of your head about it, reach out to me (ambuntin@gmail.com)...I'll listen to you without judgement.

Let's take care of each other, shall we?  Thanks as always for reading and for keeping me accountable.



  1. Looking for that "Thumbs Up" icon on my keyboard.

  2. very cool for sharing - love the analysis, and humor!

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