When my parents forced me to get sober, I was convinced I would never be happy again. I didn’t think I would ever enjoy weekends at college. I didn’t think I would fit in with my friends anymore. I didn’t think I would be a happy person, period, without alcohol in my life.
Almost 20 months later, I’ve realized how wrong I was. I miss almost nothing about my old life — mostly because I am still able to live it, minus one thing: the booze. By losing that one thing, I have gained back so many others that I didn’t even realize I had lost at the hands of alcohol.
Here are 10 things I don’t miss about my drinking days:
1. Regretting or not remembering the night before.
It is so incredibly refreshing to always wake up in my own bed, with my own belongings, with every memory from the night before intact. I never have to deal with a path of destruction in my wake, unless I soberly choose to create a problem (which is rare). My decision-making abilities are so much more present and effective when alcohol is not in my system. Shocking, I know.
2. My physical appearance.
For some reason, I never took into account the fact that alcohol contains a lot of calories. And after taking in said calories, I without fail would get the drunchies (drunk munchies) and continue to inhale calories. I even ate an entire medium pizza on my own on a few occasions, which mortifies me to admit. Only after getting sober did I realize how I had been treating my body. I had gained 30 pounds and had a yellowish cast to my skin. I was always bloated. I was just unhealthy overall, and the worst part was that I just didn’t give a shit as long as I could keep drinking.
3. Waking up with a hangover.
Opening my eyes in the morning was sometimes the hardest thing I’d ever done. I’d wake up feeling like I had been hit by a train the night before. Whether a hangover presented itself as a headache, nausea or vomiting, it still affected my life negatively the day following drinking and took way too long to shake off. Sometimes, I’d even resort to taking a shot or two in the morning to ward it off, or I’d swear I was laying low on the drinking for a while, but I’d be back to it as soon as the hangover wore off.
4. Spending money.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a broke college student. But at least now I know where my money is going. Alcohol is expensive, and the drunker I got, the less I cared about money. I’d enthusiastically buy more drinks, pizza etc, and in the morning I would wake up with no cash and kicking myself for spending it on stupid things while drunk.
5. My reputation.
I managed to make a reputation for myself really quickly in college — and it wasn’t a good one. People knew who I was because of my actions at parties, which at the time almost made me proud, but now is beyond embarrassing. Thankfully, I have managed to rebuild myself and the person I am known as in college now is actually someone I can be proud of.