As I mentioned when I was talking about my anxiety, I’ve used alcohol as a way to suppress it for entirely too long. I don’t drink that much anymore, but I definitely spend too much money on it. I’ve thought about taking a break from drinking for almost a year now, ever since I read an article in a Sydney newspaper about a woman who quit in her 30s. I’m not going to have any alcohol until the end of March. And no, this isn’t an early April Fool’s Day joke, as one of my friends asked. I know this overlaps with St. Patrick’s Day, but even last year I felt too old for the holiday, forcing myself to get drunk just because it’s what “you’re supposed to do.”
There was always an excuse not to do this sooner. “But I work in a bar. Maybe next month.” “But this week is my birthday. Maybe next week.” “But today is Cinco de Mayo. Maybe tomorrow.” I’ve realized that there is no “good” time to stop drinking. Just like there’s no convenient time to go traveling. There will always be something in the back of your mind, holding you back because of what might change.
So when Tommy told me he wanted to stop drinking for a month, I said I would do it too. It’s was on my 24 Before 24 list, at #19. I think having someone to do this with will help, having someone to check in on me every day. I’m looking forward to feeling healthier as I’m getting ready to do the Cooper River Bridge Run for the second time, in addition to a whole slew of other races. I’m looking forward to the money I will save, especially since I still haven’t found a job. I’m looking forward to not waking up thinking, “What happened last night?”
I’m not sure how my friends will react, but I guess if we’re really that close they will understand. I’m not making any judgments about anyone else’s right or choice to drink. Obviously I like drinking, otherwise I never would have started, but I just want to see what I can do without it. Will I sleep better? Will I be able to run faster? Who knows.
And will I quit forever? Maybe, but probably not. I really like beer and wine and the occasional spirit. I enjoy the taste, I enjoy mixing cocktails and the whole culture that comes with working in a bar. But for now, this is an experiment that I will take one day at a time. I hope you will all support me in this decision, even if it does mean fewer posts about beer :).
- “Travel with the Black Dog: My Battle with Depression,” Aussie on the Road: Chris makes the conscious decision to stop drinking because of the way it affects his depression.
- “It’s Okay Not to Be Okay,” Man vs. Clock: Who knew that such an excellent post could be inspired by a Jessie J song? Anthony decided to spend six months not drinking in Southeast Asia.
- “Alcohol, Life Choice Reevaluation and Coco Chanel,” Nicole is Better: I’ve been reading Nicole’s blog for years and while before it was all about Two Buck Chuck and embarrassing mornings after, she’s decided to quite drinking for good and has never felt better.
- “Why Backpacker ‘Heaven’ is Actually My Hell,” C’est Christine: Christine makes me give a second thought to the backpacker culture. Am I too old for this partying?