Melanie on Living a Booze Free Life
My ‘I am Sober’ app says that I have not touched a drop of alcohol for three months. These daily reminders of my abstinence are a really encouraging boost to continue to be alcohol free. I pretty much stopped drinking around my 45th birthday last year after reading Amilia Freer’s ‘Eat. Nourish. Glow.’ book. I was hitting a milestone age and really wanted to clean up my diet and start focusing on my health more. I was already training and sort of healthy, but I wanted to go to the next level.
I would still have the occasional blow out with mates, but more recently I thought I would stop entirely and see how it goes. I eat well and take regular exercise, and drink just does not fit the picture anymore.
A lot of people we know, you maybe one of them, do ‘dry January’ and its such a massive thing. Everyone talks about it and how hard it is. I tried it a few years ago and only lasted two weeks, it seemed impossible. It made me realise how much drinking underpins everything we do and being sober highlights this even more. My sobriety has been fascinating. When I am out at lunches, dinners or just offered a drink wherever, my answer is ‘I don’t drink’ and it always throws up some interesting dialogue. The majority of people say they could not do it. That they love their wine, gin or whatever their poison is and that it would be impossible to give up. I have one friend who doesn’t drink and that’s it, and its even rarer to meet people who can take it or leave it.
People have asked me what do you drink when you go out? And I’m still trying to work that out, Mocktails are full of syrup and way too sweet, so it’s water for me at the moment. I’ve also been asked, how do you unwind at the end of the day? For me its box sets, knitting and writing. Do I get bored of being around people who are drunk? Yes, I do, but I can just leave.
Many of the conversations I have around my sobriety are positive and people are interested in how I have managed to do it, and people talk of how they wish they could do the same. But, more often than not, I’ve noticed people feel the need to apologise to me when ordering alcohol and worse, if they drink to excess, I’m constantly being asked if I’m OK? The truth is I have never been better, people can do as they please, I can be surrounded by people drinking and not be tempted at all.
I am not by any means trying to push sobriety on to anyone. It just really suits me. I am much more productive, on top of most things, very in tune with my emotions, extremely clear headed and I feel amazing.
I have no tips that can help you to achieve sobriety, the truth is, I’m good at making a decision and sticking to it. My will power can be super human when it comes to alcohol, though my weakness for crunchy nut cornflakes continues!
We drink to celebrate, we drink to commiserate, we drink to relax, we drink to get revved up, but the truth is alcohol is a depressant. It poisons your system and piles on the pounds, and the benefits of not drinking outweigh everything else. Remember, if your health isn’t enough of a motivator, just keep in mind alcohol thickens your waist and thins out your wallet, and i’m guessing nobody wants that.
Just try it one night at a party. You will be amazed at what you hear and see, actually, this is the one thing that really helps me really stick to it!