10 things I’ve gained by giving up alcohol

If you have been reading my blog then you might have come across some articles about my changes. I have certainly made a lot of them since 2014 started. First I started to genuinely care about and for myself, this included making healthy changes in my diet, lifestyle and social circle. Everything negative I have gotten rid of (as much as possible ofcourse) and I have been growing, learning and loving more and more each day ever since. One of the greatest challenges until this day is being able to stay true to myself in social situations, regarding drinking alcohol. There has been a lot of social pressure whenever I decide to go out a night, and this I have not really done in the last year mostly because of that. At first I did not want to get seduced into it by myself, but later on I noticed that the people I was with always felt the need to push me towards drinking with them. Something I don’t really understand because I am not a shy nor a quiet person at all.

So why feel the need to push your lifestyle, beliefs and choices down my throat? Maybe that came out a bit too harsh, but I do feel as if people force me to go along with their behavior, leaving my own will and life views unrecognized. This made me wonder why they did so. I mean, the first time I’ve experienced it I thought it was just a one night thing. But then I noticed it happening for a second AND a third time and I saw a pattern: People who drink do feel the need to try and convince me to drink with them. And I, being the empath that I am, fell for it all three times and did drink along just because I felt rushed and guilty if I wouldn’t. I did not stay true to my self in this and I needed to understand where they were coming from so that I could dismiss their proposals the next time it happened. Thinking about their behavior made me come up with a few reasons why they would do such a thing:

  • Maybe they want me to drink with them because then they don’t have to feel guilty for drinking
  • Maybe they want me to drink with them because then they feel a connection with me
  • Maybe they want me to drink with them because they think otherwise I’m boring
  • Maybe they need to get used to the new me
  • Maybe they don’t even notice that they are pushing me to drink with them
  • Maybe they want me to drink with them because the thought of someone changing their ways makes them have to face their own patterns?

What ever it is, I realize now that it has a little to nothing to do with me or my lifestyle changes. It is something they have to deal with. The next party I am going to attend I will not be lured into drinking one drop of alcohol, simply because I do not want to. We should not feel guilty for our own personal changes, and we should not judge one another for for making those changes.

Because to me, the changes I have made have been really rewarding. That is why I have also made a list of things I have gained since quitting drinking:

  1. I have more energy. Partying and drinking every weekend is pretty exhausting. Now, I sleep more and therefore have more energy through out the week.
  2. I have no hangovers. Drinking is all fun and games until you wake up the next day puking your soul out. Well this happened to me at least a few times. There is absolutely no fun in that. Now I just wake up like any other day and this feels really good to my stomach, my head, or the my memory for that matter.
  3. I have lots of money (alcohol is pretty expensive). Partying was chewing up all my money at one point. Then I started to work in a club and so my income was based on other people partying. Now my weekend are mostly spend with myself and my loved ones. Just relaxing and taking care of myself has never been so good for my wallet!
  4. I have a clear mind. Being under the influence of anything other than happiness, adrenaline or any other natural state does effect your mental health. I have been going through ups and downs and sometimes my thinking was fogged because of my lifestyle. Ever since I stopped drinking/smoking I’ve noticed my mind is more clear and my thoughts are processed faster.
  5. I am more productive. The rock star lifestyle was fun while it lasted, but to be quite honest it was not getting me anywhere in life. Yes I had fun. No I don’t regret a thing. But I am very very happy that it was just a phase and that I am busy pursuing my dreams now instead of wasting it away on thrills, long nights, early mornings and being under the influence of something. Reading books, exploring cities I have never been to, and seeing people I haven’t seen in a while. Or what about finally organizing your closet? Doing the garden work you said you would do. Cleaning the house thoroughly. Just to name a few things.
  6. I have lots of time to explore myself. Partying is a full time job. Now that I quit that job I have seas of time to do what ever I want to do. I am more in tune with my true self and therefore I am getting to know myself more and more.
  7. I am happier. I have had this image of who I was all along, and now that I let go of that girl that I think I am, I have created a space to just be. In that space I don’t need the constant thrill of partying because I am exactly where I need to be. No distractions. No running away from myself. I accept myself completely. I am happy.
  8. I have less mood swings. Using alcohol and/or marijuana brings you in different states of awareness. You experience things differently because of that. Now that I am clean of all substances my moods are also constant. Ofcourse my hormones still have influence, but it is certainly a lot less rocky than it was back in the days where I was partying and living it up.
  9. I feel better about myself. My lifestyle represented the way I felt about myself: careless. Now that I love myself I also feel a lot better about myself (duh). I am even proud of how far I have come.
  10. I don’t feel guilty towards my body anymore. Partying always left me in this guilt trip the day after. Suddenly I was cooking spinach and eating fruits just because I needed to balance the bad out with the good. Now that I have a more healthy and balanced lifestyle I don’t feel guilty anymore.

Do it because you want to. Don’t do it because you don’t want to. Love yourself and make peace with yourself.

And there you have it! My made up reasons for others and their behavior towards my not-drinking, and my 10 things I gained since giving up partying. As this article comes to and end I do want to close by saying that what ever you choose to do, do it for you. Believe in yourself. Believe in your heart that you know best what is good for you. Believe that you feel exactly where your boundaries lie. Do it because you want to. Don’t do it because you don’t want to. Love yourself and make peace with yourself. That’s it for today! Thanks for reading.



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Surya Tanya