There are plenty of us out here who aren’t drinking these days. You might be pregnant. You might be trying to GET pregnant. You might be supporting a partner who’s pregnant. You might be sick. You might be allergic. You might just not want to drink – HOW DARE YOU. Contrary to popular belief, most of us who don’t drink are not a dull lot. Quite the opposite.
I’m not saying people who drink are bad. And many people can drink just fine and lead fulfilling lives. My husband is one of those people and we get along just fine.
As an alcoholic in recovery, I obviously don’t drink. Not even a little bit. Not once in a while. I haven’t learned to moderate or just know when to say when. I’m a destructive drunk. I will never be able to drink moderately, and let’s be honest, I wouldn’t want to. I’ve done enough research to know I will never be a moderate drinker. And I’m totally cool with that. Because I don’t need to drink today.
Here are 10 great things about not drinking –
- Never having to worry about what you said or did the night before. That waking up in a sea of uncertainty and looking at pictures and texts on your phone? Yeah, none of that ever happens. I’m so old and have been sober so long that I drunk dialed folks on my LANDLINE that I still shudder to think about.
- The money spent on booze when you go out with friends. I am a cheap date. Sure, I still go out, but I no longer have the hefty bar tab I once had.
- USUALLY your dress isn’t tucked into your underthings on a regular basis. When you’re not drinking, you’re usually more put together. I say usually because I am known to wear clothes inside out or backwards and drinks have nothing to do with it. But can you imagine the big ol’ hot mess while drinking? WOOF.
- Comfort in your own skin. There’s a sense of pride for me in going out and having a great time without needing to alter myself in any way. That means I’m good in my own skin today. NOW, it doesn’t mean I always WANT to. There are many times I’d rather be home on the couch or with my kids than out in the world, and that’s another choice that I have the wherewithal to make today that I didn’t when I was drinking. It used to be I would have to lubricate myself for any kind of social interaction and today, you get what you get and I’m totally cool with that.
- DESIGNATED DRIVER BISHES. Control. Need I say more?
- I’m funny. Like really funny. I THOUGHT I was hilarious when I was drinking. But you know how you know you’re funny? When you’re stone cold sober and you make people laugh on a regular basis. Usually people who have gone through the muck and the mire wind up having the best sense of humor. I’d hang out with a bunch of funny sober people over people getting wasted and thinking they’re interesting any day.
- NO MORE SHOPPING DRUNK. “Hey, what is this charge for $84.97 at 3:24am for infrared ski goggles?” And let’s get real here. I used to fill up a tumbler with vodka and take a taxi to the store and wander around for hours and pay for god knows what with a credit card that I couldn’t pay off. It was not funny or pretty or cool. It was just sad.
- You remember people’s names. JUST KIDDING. I can’t remember anybody’s name.
- Accountability. There’s nothing shady about my motivations today. I am honest, accountable, and I show up. If I’m not up to it, most of the time I straight up say, “I’m just not in a place I can do this today” and usually people understand. I don’t need to lie. I don’t need to cover up my lies or fabricate intricate stories about things in order to carry on. It’s so freeing. I can hold a job and I can pay my bills. I give my family the chance to not worry about me all the time. It’s selfless living instead of selfish living these days. People trust me and I have true relationships with others. It’s a remarkable gift that I never take for granted.
- That smell. You know it. Whether it’s wine or beer, or even Vodka (which even though people say it doesn’t smell, it TOTALLY does), you no longer have that smell on you. Around you. Seeping out of your pores. Instead you can smell like sweat and sunscreen and perimenopause as you are meant to. You aren’t covered in Eau de Desperation as you used to be. Nobody likes that.
So fear not all ye who have given up the drink either temporarily or for good, you are not alone. There are many of us out here trudging the road of happy destiny that will keep you laughing all along the way.