30 Days Sober: 5 Reasons I Gave Up Drinking And Have Never Been Happier
I'm 24 years old, newly single and living with my two best friends in a part of Minneapolis known for its breweries and local rooftop happy hours.
June is when everyone starts pedal pub engines, and the day drinking increases five-fold. The weddings commence, and the bachelorettes hit the streets with their lollipop bouquets in tow.
Why, then, would I choose June as a dry month (meaning I will have no alcohol for the 30 days)?
Well, let me tell you. I've just started committing most of my time to freelance writing, and I'm very much on the verge of a breakthrough (I think).
The reasons below are why I chose to commit to 30 days of sobriety and why you should seriously consider doing it, too:
1. You're in the thick of a quarter-life crisis.
If you're in that holy-sh*t-I'm-an-adult-what-do-I-do-now phase of life, it's probably a good idea to reevaluate.
I was very much in that state, and alcohol was only making it more difficult to make the big decisions.
Drinking easily becomes a hobby, and all your real commitments fall to the wayside.
These are the years when we need to make some tough choices. If you spend your entire week dreaming of the weekend, quit your job and find something you like.
If you spend your weekends holed up with a hangover and a pizza box, stop drinking.
2. Alcohol wreaks havoc on your health.
I have one word for you guys: drunchies. If you've ever had the drunchies, you're in good company — and I've probably seen you at Pizza Hut at 2 am.
The reason behind the drunchies is the lack of usable calories you've just given your body.
You've basically just consumed 300-something calories worth of poison, and now your body needs to reboot and get some nutrients in.
The actual science behind getting drunk is alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body for processing.
If your body is unable to process the amount of alcohol you take in, you'll get drunk. In essence, you are overdosing on alcohol every time you get drunk.
Yeah, you are literally poisoning yourself and, in turn, becoming a stumbling, bumbling idiot.
Being drunk is fun, but it's a little different when you realize every part of your body is falling victim to it, not just your dancing ability and taste in men.
3. Losing weight is a hell of a lot easier when you're sober.
Yes, if you stop drinking, you will lose weight. It's pretty simple, actually. When you drink, your body automatically lacks nutrients.
So, you don't only get extremely thirsty, but you also get extremely hungry.
You're feeding yourself poison, and your body wants to flush it out with anything possible.
You will most likely reach for the greasiest, nastiest food because your body is in panic mode, and it doesn't know what the hell is going on.
The reason you feel insatiably hungry is because as your body becomes nutrient-deficient.
It just craves more and more.
So, you drink, you eat, and you get fat. But, if you stop drinking and stop eating crap, you'll lose weight. Boom. Hello, summertime body!
4. Mistakes and stupid drunk decisions aren't that funny.
Now, don't get me wrong; I think being drunk is incredibly fun — sometimes. Then, there are those times when it's not so fun.
I'm talking about those "I fell asleep in a rosebush. Where the hell is my phone?
Who is that sleeping next to me?" times that seem to quickly add up.
Imagine waking up every morning, completely cognizant of what went on the night before and having the ability to function without an Advil and a gallon of water.
In my case, my stupid decisions were starting to affect my relationships with others as well as with myself. It's so incredibly dangerous for multiple reasons, especially if you're single.
You are much more likely to make a fool out of yourself when you're three sheets to the wind.
If you are starting to lose respect for yourself, blame the alcohol, break up with it for a while and start loving yourself again.
I think we all know everyone is way cooler when sober anyway. I think I'm awesome, but drunk-Ilia wasn't so sure, that b*tch.
5. Making a big change should be difficult.
I am completely aware the beginning of summer is quite possibly the most difficult time to go on a dry-binge; so please, everyone stop reminding me.
Change is never easy, and it shouldn't be. Otherwise, what have you learned? I realize this is a challenge, but I also know I am a tough b*tch and can do anything I set my mind to.
You, my friends, are also capable of anything. If you feel the need to say goodbye to something or someone for a while, don't be a wimp. Muster up that courage and say bye!
Doing something completely for your own good is essential every once in a while.
I know I'd love to have a cocktail with any and all of you after this experiment is over; but the point remains if something isn't fun anymore, it's probably time to remove yourself from it, even if it's only for 30 days.