Living Without Alcohol in April

For the past two years since moving to New York, I’ve indulged and enjoyed myself at many parties and events with a drink in my hand. Though I’ve had fun along the way, there were far too many times when I’ve thought to myself, “I wish I’d had less to drink last night.” Last month I was feeling groggy, in low energy, and was going out several nights a week for birthdays, shows, art openings, dinner parties, craft nights and all of the other lovely gatherings this city has to offer. The problem wasn’t that I was busy, but that I was constantly drinking in my default social mode. A close friend of mine was feeling similarly, and we made a pact to stay sober for the month of April. On my first day of sobriety Phillip and I went to a biergarten for a birthday party and I drank iced seltzer water while everyone around me had rounds of beer. The first thirty minutes were challenging, perhaps for fear of missing out on the fun that drinking can provide. After a while you realize that you never needed it to have a good time in the first place. I don’t see a problem with using alcohol as a social lubricant on occasion, but I was definitely standing behind my drink to raise a little bit of confidence. It has been two weeks now, and I have more energy, get better sleep, and feel lighter. This change in habit hasn’t prevented me from going out at all; in fact, I probably have more meaningful conversations and interactions with friends now because my energy level is balanced. I will undoubtedly find myself drinking again, but hopefully it will come with a new sense of awareness and intention.