Alcohol-free living is amazing. But being a sober girl doesn’t come without its own, unique set of challenges… as well as some pretty cool, unexpected benefits. Here are 15 things you only know if you quit drinking:
1. Free alcohol seems to be everywhere
When you quit, you suddenly notice how often you’re offered free booze: with your pedicure, at the hairdressers, in department stores, the farmers market, business conferences, the finishing line of charity fun runs…
2. Some people will just not get it
They’ll give you a look that combines confusion, horror and disappointment all in one go. And then – when they’ve finished pestering you to ‘just have one’ – they’ll tell you they know what you’re going through, because they once stopped for a week…
3. You become rich
Ok, so maybe not millionaire rich … but you will save waaaay more money than you think. Those £10 cocktails and expensive bottles of wine really add up.
4. You look great in Facebook photos
There’s never any need to delete embarrassing pictures the morning after. (Nor do you need to rely on them as clues for what you got up to the night before.)
5. It’s really hard to find birthday cards that don’t feature booze
Of all the challenges I anticipated dealing with in sobriety, finding a decent birthday card wasn’t one of them…
6. Presentation is everything
I don’t feel self-conscious about my sobriety, but I hate it when my alcohol-free drink is served in a kid’s glass. I may not drink wine anymore but I still like wine glasses! They look fancy and feel special. A plastic glass with a straw just isn’t the same.
7. It’s incredibly annoying when boring, drunk people tell you it’s not possible to have fun sober
Err … you can have crazy fun times without Jägerbombs.
8. It’s hard to wear high heels for long periods of time
Is this just me? Maybe alcohol numbed my feet so I didn’t notice the pain so much.
9. There’s only so much liquid you can drink
No matter how delicious your mocktail is, there’s a limit to how many you can drink in one sitting. After a few, you’re just full. You start to realise that drinking more than a few pints of anything is a lot. No wonder boozers need to pee all the time.
10. By midnight you’re ready to go home
Turns out it’s not just Cinderella who needs to be home before 12. After midnight, everything starts to feel like an endurance test. The good news is that being the first to leave isn’t really a problem; you rarely miss anything.
11. You never lose your phone / purse / keys
As a drinker, I was forever losing or breaking things. It’s nice to come home with all your possessions safely in your bag, and to own a phone that’s never had its screen shattered after being drunkenly dropped.
12. You realise weekends really are two days long
When you’ve been for a run, read the paper and had a green smoothie all before 10am on Sunday, you realise just how much time was lost to drinking.
13. Not drinking on a date will really freak some people out
I don’t know why. It’s almost like they can’t talk to a stranger without booze and so they don’t understand how you can.
14. You have to let some things go
When you order sober memoirs on Amazon and they arrive with vouchers for a wine delivery service, you need a good sense of humour. Inappropriate much?
15. You’re braver than you thought you were
If you think about it, stopping drinking is a pretty rebellious thing to do. It forces you to go against the norm. Being different is uncomfortable at first, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. Having the confidence to do your own thing is priceless.