Dear Sober Abbi: Why, Though?

April 12, 2016 | By | Comments (10)
Have you ever noticed that all the joyful people in stock photos are drinking?

Have you ever noticed that all the joyful people in stock photos are drinking?

Dear Sober Abbi is a millennial’s celebration of sobriety beginning in 2016. As of this post, Abbi is 99 days alcohol-free. She’ll answer your questions about navigating social settings, crises, and pretty much anything else if you comment below.

Q: Why would you ever choose to give up alcohol?

A: Let me preface this answer by giving some background on myself. I’m a 22-year-old young professional with an affinity for cheap wines (literally, the cheaper the better). I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had a drinking problem, but I definitely consumed alcohol on a regular basis during college. Then, transitioning into a full-time job last June, I started to understand why people go for night caps. Even when I was looking up images for this post, the “sober” keyword pops up with about 100 pictures of people looking sad.

I’ve gotten this question from almost everyone I tell.
“Seriously, though – why would you ever want to do that?”
“Um… I’m not friends with quitters.”
“Like, completely alcohol-free?”
“Can you still drink margaritas?”

I gave up alcohol starting January 1, because I wanted to have a New Year’s Resolution. I had seen all the articles that people have written that are titled crazy things like, “I Gave Up Drinking And I Lost 100 Pounds” or “I Gave Up Drinking For A Year And I Became The World’s Most Toned Human Being” – and I thought, ‘Oh. That’d be cool if it actually worked.’ Let me spoil the plot for you really quickly – not the case.

But, once I started getting further into it, the more I found I didn’t really care whether or not I was drinking. I thought it’d be harder. Weird, right? My body felt a little better, I never had to worry about my BAC, I never had to worry about hangovers, and it just so happened that I started losing a little weight. Wins all around.

Q: So, are you going to drink ever again? When does it end?

A: I ask myself this a lot, actually. In fact, there have been a few times when a boy’s offered to buy me a drink and I’ve thought, ‘Hey. How long AM I doing this for? Is this where it ends?’ But, as you can probably tell by this post, I’ve hung on strongly to my no-drinking policy. To answer your question, though, I am going to drink again. My current goal is 6 months, but I also have to figure out whether my yearly summer beach trip is going to involve a winery tour or a daiquiri on the sand. I can’t be unrealistic, you know.

Questions on the docket for next time:
“What do you do at bars?”
“How do you stay accountable?”
“What do you do if you’ve had a horrible, no good, very awful day?”
“How do you buy someone a drink?”

Stick around.

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  1. Ellen

    I gave up drinking, cold turkey, 19 years ago. Best decision of my life. I have had some friends and family do similarly, but then, after an extended period of time, begin drinking again, mainly due to social pressure. I have a burning question which I have never asked each of them…… Aren’t you disappointed in yourself?

    May 21, 2016 at 7:04 am
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  4. Shelley g

    Congratulations! I’m 37 and have taken a break from drinking in just the last 3 weeks because that’s all it seems the people I hung out with wanted to do and I’m trying to become a healthier me. The hardest part, I’ve lost every friend I have because in the 2 years being here in Houston the only friends I’ve met drink all the time. So, I’m starting over in the friends department – have you had any issues with friends no longer calling or asking you to do things just because you no longer drink?

    April 17, 2016 at 6:30 pm
  5. Liz

    Good for you! I have contemplated giving up drinking for an as-yet-undetermined amount of time because, while I don’t feel that I’m an alcoholic, I definitely think I consume too much too frequently. Its become such a habit that, even though I have the desire not to drink, I don’t have the willpower to say no when I’m tired at the end of the day. Its how I unwind, and I guess I just don’t know how to break the cycle. I will continue following your journey. Thanks!

    April 17, 2016 at 3:15 pm
  6. Joanne

    I need to stop drinking as I have hangovers that last for days and days. I drink on a weekend as its what I have always done and frightened of doing out with friends without a drink so drink then feel ill

    April 17, 2016 at 2:41 am
  7. Terri

    I have not had a drink in 6 years and I don’t miss it at all, don’t have any desire to drink. You find there are other things to do socially than drink. You find there are more interesting people that don’t drink.

    April 17, 2016 at 12:09 am
  8. Maryanne Homan

    Dear Abbi, congratulations. My husband quit drinking 30 years ago and I can tell you it changed our life for the better in every way possible. We stayed married raised two children and are now semi retired. It hasn’t always been easy especially socially but I will never regret for a moment his quiting drinking. Stick with it, it may never be easy but it will get easier.

    April 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm
  9. Shelley Maw

    you go girl!

    April 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm
  10. terribell85

    Good for you Abbi! I have gone on a drinking hiatus several times and although it’s a bit hard at first it’s always worth it!

    April 12, 2016 at 7:20 pm

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