In my last year of university, I wanted to see what partying sober would be like.
It was an experiment partly to save money and partly to see if I could to it.
The initial month-long sober experiment (started September 2016) is still going.
Other than two beers with my cheerleading coach on a beautiful Friday afternoon in April at a newly opened local craft brewery, I can't recall any drinks in the last year.
Here are a few things I've liked about my alcohol-reduced life:
1. My body feels a lot better.
2. I feel more comfortable meeting new people.
3. My wallet feels a lot better.
4. I feel a lot more in control of my life.
This last point is really important.
When I was drinking, the control in my life felt like a wave. I would be moving towards my goals during the week, but once the weekend came, I took a few steps back.
Now, without drinking, it feels like I'm only taking steps forward.
HOW TO PARTY SOBER
1. Don't drink.
2. Party. Talk to people.
3. When asked, say you're not drinking.
You're reading this because you're probably interested in taking a sober break yourself.
You're probably wondering if you'll make it out alive...
let alone better.
I did, and you might too.
10 LESSONS LEARNED FROM SOBER PARTYING
1. Alcohol doesn't make parties fun, people do.
Now, just like when I was drinking, the quality of my nights is determined by the people I'm with. Surprisingly, alcohol consumed, money spent, and what we're actually doing has little to do with it.
2. ATTENTION MEN! Girls will talk to you even if you don't buy them drinks.
Removing alcohol from the equation makes it a lot easier to focus on attracting women, which is just connecting with other humans. Plus, with the clear head you'll have, you'll be one step ahead of everyone in conversation. Watch the wit flow, my friend.
3. Since you're sober, you can DD. Hello, cab savings.
4. Partying and functional days-after aren't mutually exclusive.
Even if you go to bed late, you'll be feeling fine when you wake up. And later in the day when you actually do stuff. Welcome back, lost hungover days.
5. Dancing and socializing (sober) is hard.
Putting yourself out there is always a challenge... until it isn't. While it took some adjusting, some awkward conversations, and making a fool of myself... Now, I feel like superman. Seriously. I don't need alcohol to be myself and relate to other people. I feel free.
6. Meeting new people is always fun.
My old self was always reluctant to meet new people, especially when sober. Drinking made it easier, but the discomfort of putting myself out there to someone new was still there.
Tons of practice meeting new people sober has uncovered the illusion of social anxiety. Literally every time I meet someone new I learn something new. Now, meeting everyone I don't know at the party is the first thing I do. Each new person is like a present I get to open. I love it.
7. Most people don't know why they drink.
And by not drinking yourself, people around will be sparked to explore their own reasons for drinking. Their confusion will become your fault, and that's okay. They'll be very offended that you aren't drinking, and will try to force you to do it to reinforce to themselves that what they're doing is good.
Accept all blame, prod deeper with questioning, and don't drink.
8. Raving sober is hard.
On many occasions over the past year, I attended electronic music festivals and concerts without doing MDMA (or alcohol), unlike most people there.
Just like sober partying, raving sober was hard... until it wasn't. It's much easier to dance your heart out when you're not feeling like yourself because of a substance. Being able to show my full self to strangers now, sober, makes me feel a lot stronger.
9. Drinking is a great way to hide pain.
Removing this outlet forces you to deal with your shit.
This process has me very aware of where I hide pain, but also where my friends do. While some party for fun, a lot party to hide stuff. Do you know what you're hiding? Maybe a break will show you.
10. "Let's Meet for ___________." doesn't always need to end in 'drinks'.
Walking in the park, cooking at each others' houses, and playing catch is a lot more fun (and actually good for you) than sitting drinking some over-priced liquid. The endorphins will make the conversation better, and the lack of expensive liquid will make your wallet happier.
Overall, I feel I have grown a lot from taking a break from drinking, and if you try it, I'm sure you will too.
There's just one more thing I wanted to mention that may help you if you give the experiment a try.
Drinking is a great stress-reliever. The act of partying provides me the decompression I need from the week.
Stopping drinking initially caused me to stop partying.
So if you're going to try this, make sure you still party.
You're human, and you need breaks.
Not drinking got easier for me once I started this blog.
Once I found something I cared about more than drinking, sobriety became easy.