March 25, 2023

What I’ve Learned from 600 Days of No Alcohol.

I decided to quit drinking alcohol because my friend Lee challenged me.

We were at his house outside of Las Vegas in May of 2021, talking about life. I mentioned that I had cut down on my drinking quite a bit and that I thought it was okay to have a few drinks here and there. He bluntly disagreed and said that if I quit drinking that I would be his hero.

I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, so a few days later on the plane ride home from Vegas I decided that I was going to quit drinking alcohol. I didn’t know how long I was going to quit for; I just knew that starting then, I was done.

Here we are, 600 days later. I want to share my thoughts and experience.

When I first quit drinking I didn’t have a goal, strategy, or plan. I suppose that it has worked for me, but maybe for someone else this wouldn’t work. I also didn’t know why I was quitting aside from “my friend dared me to do it.” I think having a good “why” to come back to when things get tough can be a factor that moves you in the right direction when you want to give up.

I will be quite honest, the first couple of months were interesting. Especially because I replaced alcohol with psilocybin to get through social situations where people would be drinking. I eventually realized that I was replacing one vice with another and even if the new vice was “healthier” I was still chemically coping. I had to understand that if I needed a chemical to get through situations then maybe I needed to dig deeper or reconsider the types of situations I was involved in.

I recognized how much I relied on alcohol to have fun in large groups and eventually realized that I actually did not enjoy large gatherings; I prefer more intimate, one-on-one connection with people. I was previously the type of person who arranged large parties, so this was an unexpected change.

It has really bothered me how people assume that I’m an alcoholic and that’s why I don’t drink. Why can’t a person choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle simply for their own health or peace of mind?

I have gotten over that.

I don’t have a problem with people drinking around me; however, I have decided that being in bars after 9 p.m. will not be high on my priority list. Nightclubs where I’m enjoying the DJ may be the exception because I can block the drunk energy with the music.

I am disgusted by the advertising and programming that exists when it comes to alcohol. It is associated with everything. Kids birthday parties, Disneyland, every concert, sporting event, gas station, movie, TV show—everything has alcohol intertwined into it. It was just as bad in Mexico as it is in the United States.

The word “sober” doesn’t sit right with me. It has a strange connotation. What’s up with that?

Alcohol will not be a part of my lifestyle moving forward. Perhaps I would indulge in a beverage for a super special occasion. The one thing I have thought of is gluhwein at a European Christmas market. Have you had gluhwein? It’s the best.

I will say that I miss some of the feelings associated with drinking. The buzzed feeling after two glasses of wine, the giggly commentary with friends on a warm Saturday afternoon on a patio, or the first beer on a Friday night after a long work week. I do miss that, but not enough to bring it back into my life. I’ve noticed that as a highly sensitive empath, just being around the energy of buzzed people makes me feel empathetically drunk. It’s when they have too many drinks and start getting touchy-feely or repeating themselves that I exit stage left.

I have noticed that more people have decided to give up alcohol for health reasons. I am so happy about this. I know that collectively we are on a massive healing and awakening journey. I’m happy to be part of this shift, and I’m excited for where we are going.

If you or someone you know is considering giving up alcohol and needs someone to talk to, I’m happy to hold space.

Thanks for reading!


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