When I quit drinking almost two years ago, I told myself so many stories of what my life without alcohol would be like. And while I knew it would ultimately be a good thing for me, I was also terrified about how it would change my life, friendships, and relationships. Not to mention, what would I do on the weekends and how would I relax and unwind?
This is a pervasive fear of people who stop drinking from all of the books I’ve read and podcasts I’ve listened to, and I have to admit that I was really nervous about this too. But then I realized that if my friendships didn’t survive without the booze, they probably weren’t built on the strongest foundation and that I would have to ultimately be ok with putting myself first and letting them go.
Drinking is how I relax, de-stress, unwind, celebrate, commiserate, have fun, see friends, connect with my husband… What would I do without it? Well it turns out you’ve got a lot of extra time on your hands and it’s a great opportunity to find new hobbies. And guess what, trying out hobbies to find out what you enjoy is pretty fun in the process.
Eat All the Sugar
I actually wasn’t nervous about this, and I fully embraced giving myself a treat each day. I don’t see this as a bad thing either and I wish people were a little easier on themselves.
My Relationship Would Suffer
Alcohol was a way that my husband and I connected, bonded, had fun together, tried new restaurants and drinks together and how would we fill this big void/change? I’m still actively working to figure out this, but I will say that we have found new and different ways to spend time together.
I Would Hate Social Events
Most (all?) social events are centered around drinking and I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them if I wasn’t drinking along with everyone else. While I do feel a little awkward at certain events, I think that it’s more of a social anxiety feeling and most of the time I enjoy them just as much if not more than I did when I was drinking. I also never have to worry about things I did or said.
Feel My Feelings
I had read enough quit lit books to know that feeling your feelings was both an upside and a downside to quitting drinking and I was prepared for it. And the books were right, the lows are hard, but the highs are that much better because you are fully present.