I Haven’t Had A Single Drop Of Alcohol In A Year & I Feel Amazing

I stopped drinking about a year ago because I was starting to have an allergic reaction to alcohol. I seriously missed having a glass of wine at dinner or a beer at the bar in the beginning, but after a while, I started to really appreciate the perks of being sober.

  1. I save so much money. Instead of buying three or four mixed drinks when I meet my friends for happy hour, I get a $2 lemonade and maybe a soda water with lime. That’s like, $3-$4 bucks for a whole night of “drinking.” Going out shouldn’t be focused around drinking anyway, it should be about connecting and having a good time. Looking back, it was silly of me to spend $20+ on drinks every night just because my friends were doing it.
  2. Hangovers aren’t a thing I have to deal with anymore. I remember back in my early to mid-twenties when I would literally stumble into work after a long night of drinking and feel just the grossest I’ve ever felt. I was crazy dehydrated not to mention nauseated and would spend the day trying to hold back the heaving. Now that I’ve quit drinking, I don’t have to waste an entire day nursing myself back to health. I can spend that time doing more productive things. No more hangovers for me.
  3. My skin doesn’t get dry anymore. I’m sure you already know this, but alcohol is majorly dehydrating. Ever since I quit drinking permanently, my skin has just felt better in general. I don’t find that I have to moisturize twice a day because I feel like my skin has balanced out and isn’t in starvation mode.
  4. It forced me to deal with my issues. One of the biggest advantages to quitting drinking (which I wasn’t expecting at all) was how it forced me to solve my self-esteem issues. If you think about it, alcohol is nothing more than a social lubricant. People don’t drink it because it tastes good—it actually tastes pretty terrible if you ask me. They drink it because it loosens them up and makes them braver than they usually are. I couldn’t cover up my nerves by downing a margarita. I had to deal with them in the moment and to my surprise, I was a lot more nervous in social situations that I thought.
  5. I felt like working out more. The fact that I wasn’t combatting hangovers a couple of times a week made it possible for me to focus on fitness. I found myself actually wanting to do things like run and work out, even in the morning which is when I’d usually be holding my stomach in bed.
  6. My face stopped being puffy and swollen in the mornings. They say that when you stop drinking, your body balances out and lets go of water weight. I totally found this to be true. I don’t have that puffy face in the mornings anymore and I definitely blame that on my new sober lifestyle.
  7. I have more mental energy. I don’t have that foggy brain like I used to when I would binge drink a few nights a week. I think maybe it’s because my body isn’t processing poisons anymore so it can focus on giving energy to my brain. I used to be a space cadet and had trouble focusing. Now I feel like I can focus for long periods on something without getting tired.
  8. I feel more spiritually in touch with the universe than I’ve ever been before. I’m not sure if this is due to the actual removal of alcohol from my system or the fact that it’s forced me to become more self-aware, but I feel like my extra-sensory abilities are opening! It sounds crazy, but I feel a stronger connection to my intuition that I did before. Maybe it’s because I’m sober—who knows?
  9. I don’t need to be the “fun one” anymore. Quitting alcohol made me realize that I don’t need to be this “fun”, “wild” party girl anymore. It also made me realize that all those times I was being crazy at a party was because I was trying to fit in, not because I was actually having fun. I don’t feel a need to please people by drinking a lot or be wild because that’s just not who I am.
  10. It ended up giving me more confidence. All in all, quitting alcohol gave me a new perspective on my life. I was forced to explain to people why I wasn’t drinking and to be OK with it. I thought it was a weird thing to be doing at first but then I started to be proud of my choice.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.