I went into 2019 intending to abstain from alcohol completely. It didn't happen. But I can count the total number of drinks I had the entire year on my hands (it was seven in case you're wondering). So for 2020, I decided that I would try again. So far so good!
I've never been a heavy drinker. The last time I overdid it with the booze was at the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Victory Parade in 2014. That was a rough Wednesday evening. But you know what was worse? The hangover on the following day. I had to work that day because it was the last day of school. That's one day teachers should never miss. And let me tell you...5th graders are like little adults. They know what a hangover is even though (I hope) they've never personally experienced one. And even though I didn't tell them how I was feeling, I'm sure that somehow most of them knew I was having a rough day.
Alcohol has never really made me feel great. I feel much better without it. I don't feel like I need it to have a good time. In fact, I often have a worse time with it than without it. I've lost friends because of this. I've had friends who were heavy drinkers who could not understand how I preferred being sober (or very lightly buzzed) to getting shit-faced.
Well, recent studies have shown that long term alcohol consumption can actually lead to worse feelings of anxiety and depression, and make stress more hard to deal with. People often use a glass or two of wine to relax. And that works for some. But it never really worked for me. Regular drinking can interfere with neurotransmitter production in our brains. Neurotransmitters are needed for good mental health. Drinking can also be very disruptive to sleep cycles. And you know what happens when most people are sleep deprived. They often become irritable and no fun to be around.
So because of this I choose to abstain from alcohol completely at this point in my life. I just don't want or need it. I feel like my mental well-being is more important and better off without it. I understand if you choose to drink. That's on you and I don't judge anyone for doing so. So long as you're doing it responsibly and not putting anyone else's well-being at harm in the process.
What are your thoughts on sobriety? Do you enjoy a regular drink or do you too choose to abstain from it?