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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#51: Sober March Results

Updated: Apr 5, 2022

The Seattle social scene is either drinking, hiking or skiing. We all know I can’t ski, and it rains too much to hike for half the year, so you do the math. We drink during the summer because it’s nice out. We drink during the winter because there’s not much else to do. We drink all the time because most of us are awkward and work in tech. I can’t hang, I don’t want to hang, and I’m no longer embarrassed to admit it.

After 5 days of open bar in Arizona, I needed a break more than usual. Actually, I only drank for 3 days in Arizona, but I felt like I needed the 5-day excuse for people to accept my choice. I usually end up taking a month or two off every year, and annoying my friends in the process. I was once told that I’m way more fun when I drink. I completely understand wanting to be around others who are drinking too, but it’s frustrating that some friends only want to hangout when I drink. I’m grateful that my friends and coworkers in Seattle completely respected me this time. Of course, people still offer me drinks and try to convince me to take shots, but I appreciate the challenge 😉.

There was only one occasion during the month that I wanted to bend the rules. My friends all had more than a few drinks, we were at a social bar on a Saturday night and I was just in the mood. I didn’t give in because I made a commitment to myself. Just because I’m not actively drinking doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out and be fun. It’s important to me that I have a good attitude and good energy when I’m out—whether I drink or not.

Most of my friends have significant others to go home to at the end of the night. I’m incredibly happy for all of them, but it’s hard not feel like I’m missing out. The end of a night out is when I feel most alone (not lonely, just alone), and it’s made worse by alcohol. It sounds dramatic and silly, but there’s usually tears at the end of the night no matter how much I prepare myself ahead of time. It’s just when I feel the most intense sadness that I have someone and can’t be with him. I’m shocked when I see couples casually go out to drinks on a weekend because I’ve never been able to do that.

I drank on Saturday night to celebrate my sister committing to William and Mary—and because 31 days passed. Most of the night was fantastic. I was filled with so much joy for my sister and adrenaline to drink again. Unfortunately, the night ended earlier than I hoped and I was still drunk. Naturally, I came home crying. I should stop having a pity party for myself, but it’s hard not to when it feels like I’ll never get to be with the person I want to be with.

I woke up with a headache (as expected) and intense feeling of regret. I didn’t do anything to embarrass myself or that would warrant this feeling, but I seem to always wake up feeling regretful these days after drinking no matter what. I feel as though I “super-saturated” my body with alcohol and didn’t realize how impaired I was. I haven’t been sick from alcohol since Spain – I know my limits. Nonetheless, I always feel this way. I remember wishing I was at the gym instead of the bar by the end of the night. My body CRAVED a workout. Isn’t that funny? It was a good surprise.

Over the last month, I realized that I don’t need to drink most of the time. I went to several work happy hours, team events and bars with friends and didn’t wish I could have a drink. In fact, I was grateful that I saved myself calories, money, headaches and potential embarrassment. Sure, people would ask why I wasn’t drinking, but “sober March” always worked. I might have to invent a half-sober April. Above all, I was more than glad to avoid the tipsiness after 1-2 drinks. It’s a great feeling for about 15 minutes, until I realize that the event will end and I’ll have to return home alone or scramble to get people together to keep drinking and wakeup hungover the next day. It’s a lose-lose.

I’m not going to quit drinking for good, because there’s a time and a place for it, but I’m learning that I can drink less, feel better and that people will still accept me as long as I have a good attitude. If only I could have this same attitude about sugar…

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