Guess what, I did it! For thirty days I did my thing without a single drink. Now I’ll tell you about some things I’ve noticed during these days of voluntary abstinence.

While I didn’t crack a bottle every day, I did feel like alcohol was prominent enough in my life to subject it to a month-long investigation. Why? I decided to lose the booze for thirty days in light of my bigger quest to make my daily doings a bit more adventurous and exciting. Your first thought: What’s exciting about ditching the liquor? I’d say: You won’t know if you won’t try it! Only when exploring, questioning and, perhaps, changing up your habits from time to time, you’ll discover something new that might suit you better than the old.

and this is what happened

So back to the booze, or the lack thereof. First and foremost, I thought that forsaking the flask would become a problem in social settings, as those were the moments I’d be usually drinking. What was I going to do during Friday drinks at work or whilst having dinner with a friend? What would I say to people?

However, reality turned out slightly different than all the expectations and hurdles my mind had created, right from the moment I decided to ditch the bevies for thirty days.

new-found energy

Keeping it real. I didn’t experience any of the shiny hair and radiant skin as advertised by many booze ditchers on the Internet. I did, however, wake up every single day without “stuck together due to the left-over mascara”-lashes, heartbreaking headaches or frightening forgetfulness. The past month, I had tons of energy during the week and, to my surprise, also in the weekends. I’ve really cherished and enjoyed this new-found energy. Overall, my mind and body were feeling good, which had a positive influence on how I approached myself, my days and other people.

no one really gives a sh**

You think everyone cares, or has an opinion about whether you drink alcohol or not, but they don’t. Only a few people asked why I wasn’t drinking and, when I told them my motivations, they thought it was a pretty cool idea or told me they’d done something similar. Undertaking this challenge, I was afraid of what others might think. (If you should care about what others think of you is another adventure – one I’ve yet to undertake myself). While the weeks passed and I kept reminding myself I was doing this for me, it became easier to be around people who were drinking and to tell them about my sober October.

those who don’t drink

In addition to lots of energy and realising no one really gives a sh**, something else caught my eye: the people who weren’t drinking. Whether it was dinner with friends or a pub-quiz with colleagues, the absence of alcohol in my drinks made me aware of all the others who didn’t opt for it either. This revelation made me wonder if drinking alcohol is perhaps less common than my head made it out to be. True or not, it’s definitely something to think about.

you get to know a different side of yourself

Another assumption I held about alcohol abstinence was challenged during these thirty days: I honestly thought, I would be uncomfortable and awkward in my conversations and interactions with people, or not as relaxed and outgoing without a drink. Happens that I’m pretty loud, perfectly capable of having an interesting conversation and making jokes without one too 😉 Apart from this sober but carefree Q, I also got to know another side of myself: one that rather goes to a yoga class on a Friday night than socialise, or prefers a Saturday evening with a cup of tea and a book on the couch.

Thirty days of sobriety. It looked like a pretty tough climb, but it ended up being a fun challenge that offered me a new, and unexpected, angle on alcohol. In the end it is all about making a choice; once you’ve ditched the booze for a month, you actually know what you’re choosing for when you decide to leave the liquor for what it is, and grab a sparkling water instead.

Have you tried thirty days without alcohol before? Would love to hear about your experience.