Today will be 6 weeks since I stopped drinking alcohol. And “NO,” I didn’t join AA. But I did decide to stop drinking for three months to see what it’s like to be a sober adult in social situations.
So far I’m finding that it’s boring.
- First of all, there’s nothing to look forward to on the weekends. [Oh Barkeep, I’ll have a cranberry juice, please.]
- Plus there are no more sparks of creative thinking while inebriated. [What to write, what to write… why can’t I think of something??!]
- And, not to put too fine a point on this, there’s no way to politely tune-out the dull peoples when you’re sober. [Dear lord, is that boring man still talking to me?]
• • •
My decision to be alcohol-free came about by accident. On Labor Day afternoon as Zen-Den and I sat outside, drinking the last alcoholic beverages in the house, it occurred to me that I was *duh* sipping the last beer.
We were out of our staples, beer + bourbon + wine.
Z-D was leaving that week for his annual Canada camping trip with his friends, then he was traveling for work most of the rest of the month.
I realized that I’d be on my own most of the time in September, and in that moment it dawned on me this would be a great time to revisit the intentional sobriety experience, something I dabbled in for a few years, a decade ago.
Back then it was difficult for me.
• • •
At this point I’d love to tell you that I’m a better person because of my decision to not drink. That I feel healthier and more alive. Filled with clear thoughts and a strong connection to those people around me.
But I’m too sincere to lie like that.
Despite taking in fewer alcohol calories, I weigh the same as before. So there’s no news of that front.
And despite being an introvert, I haven’t felt any social pressure to drink this time around, confirming that I don’t need alcohol to feel comfortable among the peoples of this world.
No, the only concrete change that I can see is financial. That is, reduced grocery bills and smaller restaurant checks. Nothing to sneeze at, but nothing of much spiritual significance either.
• • •
Obviously I have 6 more weeks to go with Project Intentional Sobriety. I don’t know how I’ll hold up under the upcoming plethora of social activities we’ve planned, but I’m thinking, based on what has unfolded so far, that I’ll do okay.
It might be that not drinking is no big deal for me.
Coming from the WASP-y family that I do, and begging their forgiveness here, I admit that the words above are about as close to an anathema as one can get.
But I said them and I mean them.
People change all the time, right? So maybe, for at least these few months, I am a new Ally Bean. Bored. With a bit more coin in my pocket. But happy that I’ve trusted my instincts to explore this way of living again.
For a while.