Let’s talk sobriety. I gave up alcohol a little over three years ago.
I was never much of a drinker. I grew up with a father who is an alcoholic and seeing that made me more aware of what alcohol can do. Even so, I had my fair share of drunken shenanigans in my early 20’s but by my upper 20’s I would only have a couple of drinks. I never enjoyed how it made me feel but just had an alcoholic beverage because it was the norm. Looking back now, I just did it to fit in. I never actually thought about whether or not I wanted to do and made a decision from there. I just did it because society has taught me that’s what you do as an adult.
So what made me stop drinking alcohol?
Initially, it was when I was pregnant.
I get congested every time I drink beer or wine.
My brain gets foggy when I drink.
I feel tired or sluggish.
I don’t sleep as well.
These things happen even after half a drink. I remember the last drink I had was a beer at a local brewery in the early afternoon. I had half of it and was already feeling congested. I had started sneezing and my nose was running. Within an hour I felt sluggish and my productivity and mental clarity for the day was gone. I was tired and wanted to go home and take a nap. As a working mom, there is no room in my life for a foggy mind or anything that takes my energy away. I need all the energy I can get!
Things I have learned About Sobriety
I’ve learned some things about myself and our societal norms.
About Myself – I have seen so many benefits of living alcohol free
My mental clarity has vastly improved. I am able to think clearer and am less forgetful.
Sleep is more rejuvenating. I fall asleep faster and wake up feeling much more rested.
Digestions is better! I have a happier digestive system, which means a stronger immune system.
Relationships are stronger! Again, without alcohol clouding my mind and judgement I am able to build strong relationships.
I have much more patience. That is key when you are a parent!
More mentally present. I enjoy daily moments so much more. I’m focused on what is right in front of me.
A calmer mind. I am less irritable.
Better able to take on tasks. I have proven over the past three years how capable I am and that drives more motivation.
Living in sobriety just allows me to enjoy my coffee more.
Mom Wine Culture – This has become base for many Reels and Tik Toks. Mom’s pouring their glass of wine “because” of their kids. It has become a normal and accepted coping skills. A negative one.
A drink with dinner is normal. You are the outlier when you choose not to order one.
People ask “Why aren’t your drinking?” Yet, a sober person never asks “Why are you drinking?”
Others assume something is “wrong” with you if you don’t drink. They assume you’ve had a problem in the past or that you are pregnant. This goes back to my last point, we don’t look at people who choose to drink and wonder what is wrong with them.
What I’d like others to know about sobriety.
You can choose to be sober for any reason.
As time goes on, the social aspect gets easier. Your friends will learn that you are sober and stop asking/offering alcoholic beverages. You will become confident in your decision.
Your health will change. Pay attention.
You are not boring for choosing sobriety.
You do not need to defend yourself. A simple “I don’t drink” is all that anyone ever needs to hear.
You will never have to wonder “Am I okay to drive?” I know anyone who has ever drank has asked themselves that question.
You will save money! No stops at the liquor store and you can go out to eat for a fraction of the price!
Find some other beverages that you like for those special occasions.
Lastly, you can do it! It can be hard at first, because like I said, people (even friends & family) will judge you. Over time, they will learn and grow to appreciate the person you are, sober.
More on Living in Sobriety
Sober Living – By Johanna Bergland
Clean and Sober – By Noah Bergland
Living Clean – By Dennis Cockerham