I know this going to come as a big shocker to most of you because I’m a California girl in her young twenties that works in nightlife: I cut back on drinking. And when I mean cut back, I mean I’m pretty much sober. SHOCKER! I know.
Let me preface this story a little bit
I grew up in the Seattle area (Washington State), and for a vast majority of the year, there’s really nothing to do there. IT RAINS ALL THE EFFING TIME!!! As one would expect, it’s a place where teenagers get themselves into trouble because they’re bored. The first time I had alcohol I was 14 years old and in junior high (just a lil bebe!).
So by the time I was 16 (all my friends were in their 20s and 30s, mind you), I was already over drinking and had moved on to music festivals (we know what happens here awkward laugh). Needless to say, by the time I was 18 and in college, I had pretty much gotten all the partying out of my system. Hell, between the ages of 18 and 21, I barely even touched alcohol. I WAS MORE OF A GRANDMA THAN I WAS A SORORITY GIRL!
But then, I started working in nightlife
For the first few months of working in the club, I remained sober. I’m just a naturally fun person wink wink. But when everyone around you is drunk and drinking becomes the norm, I started conforming gasp. PSA: I AM NOT SAYING I WAS GETTING DRUNK ALL THE TIME! But 2 drinks x 3 nights a week was far more than zero. It just became a ritual.
You know what else became a ritual? Getting a few glasses of wine or a few cocktails every time I ate out with friends. Which, in downtown San Diego, is pretty much EVERY. DAY. OF. THE. WEEK.
Then I realized it
CASUALLY DRINKING HAD BECOME A HABIT TO ME! Every time I went out to eat or to work, I wanted to drink. THAT’S A LOT!
How the realization came
One day I was looking back at old photos, and I was like “OMG! I WAS SO MUCH LEANER IN THE FACE AND STOMACH!!” That bloating my dear friends came from drinking.
ALSO: I started having a lot of stomach problems. And when I mean stomach problems, I mean like was starting to develop stomach ulcers. THIS IS NOT A DRILL PEOPLE! I have a family health history of indigestion, stomach ulcers, and stomach cancer, which is part of the reason I didn’t really drink before.
Then, it hit me
I NEEDED TO CHANGE MY HABITS! Sure, I was in a party environment. But I’m a strong-willed girl, so anything is possible wink wink.
HOW I QUIT DRINKING
Once you change your mind, you can change your life. MIND OVER MATTER! For me, I knew I just needed to cut drinking completely. Because one drink ALWAYS led to a second, and that’s how the habit arose. Hell, one drink could be the gateway to me after-partying until sunrise. (NOT HEALTHY!!!)
Here are some tips on how I did it:
Say “I don’t drink” versus “I don’t want to drink”. Even though we’re adults, ADULTS WILL STILL PEER PRESSURE YOU! It can actually be worse than when you’re younger, believe it or not. ANYWAYS: if you say you don’t drink, people respect your decision because they assume you’re sober living. But if you say you don’t want to drink, they assume you’re just choosing to be a party pooper. Aka, they will try to guilt you into drinking. They’ll say phrases like “c’mon!“, “don’t be lame!“, “just one drink!”
If you’re at the club, DRINK SODA WATER! You’ll have a drink in your hand so that you don’t look out of place. Plus, it will prevent someone else from offering you an alcoholic drink. And if you’re friends are all doing shots, do a shot of WATER or RED BULL!
Find like-minded people. The easiest way to not drink is to not put yourself in the situation in the first place. Aka don’t surround yourself by people that don’t support your values.
Work out more! The more you workout, the better your body will look and feel, so the less you’ll want to ruin it. ALCOHOL PREVENTS THE GAIN OF MUSCLE AND THE LOSS OF FAT! IT IS LITERALLY POISON!
BE REALISTIC! After going almost a month without drinking at ALL, I decided to let myself have one glass of wine a week. Sometimes, you’re going to want a nice glass of chardonnay or rosé here or there. I’m a basic bitch, I can’t live my life without ANY PJ Rosé!!! Sometimes, you’re going to want a glass at a celebration, on a date, or after a stressful day. AND THAT IS OKAY! Just don’t let it become a crutch or habit.
SO LET ME CLARIFY!
I’m not against drinking and partying. Hell, more power to ya. I’m just saying, it’s not for everyone AND IT’S OKAY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO!