(Sampling the local, non-alcoholic drinks at The Etihad)
Even though my Sober October ended a few days before this past Saturday, I decided to wait for a couple reasons. Namely because the month ended midweek and there is zero reason to drink during the week when you haven’t had any for a month. Also, I was heading to Manchester to catch a Manchester City match.
I started off well, with a couple beers before we headed down to the stadium from our Airbnb, then refrained from drinking at the ground, or during the match, because I had to pace myself. Afterwards, we returned to the Airbnb to watch another match on TV and let traffic clear before heading downtown, and had another couple of beers.
Downtown was good, found a great pub to hang out at for a couple rounds. Then wandered around hitting a few more places, having an occasional beer, and grabbing some good burgers for dinner. Since we started so early we called it a night rather early and were back at around midnight.
I definitely felt a tipsy from abstaining for over a month, but I wouldn’t say I was full on drunk. I paced myself, and mixed in food along the way to stay ahead of it. However, the big question I found myself asking the next morning was “why?” Why did I need to mix in beer, or that much beer, to have a good time?
I was seeing my favourite football club play at home for only the second time in my life, and I was with two good friends. The beers were good, but never did anything toward improving my mood or making the situation better. All it did was add calories and cause me some unpleasant stomach issues later in the night.
I wasn’t hungover the next day in regards to a headache or upset stomach, but the lack of comfortable sleep took its toll. I was foggy and really out of it all day, and for the most part useless. I think this is a good thing though, as it seems to accomplished what I wanted it to: break my self-imposed pressure on drinking.
Every time I would meet friends at a bar/pub, or go to an event, I felt like I had to drink. However, I think a month of sobriety broke me of that. Not that I will never drink again, or have a desire to. There were definitely some days during my month plus of not drinking where I needed a drink after work, or wanted a glass of wine with dinner. Although, I think the days of “needing” five beers during a random Tuesday night pub trivia are over. My stomach and bank account will be much better off, that’s for sure!