What Happens When You Give Up Alcohol For A Month, Pt. II

The long-ass month of January is finally over, meaning my self-induced embargo on drinking has been lifted and I’m free to enjoy the win juice again. Happy February! *cracks beer*

The thing is, I didn’t really miss drinking all that much. Going into a completely dry month seemed like a more significant mission than it turned out to be, so I guess I’m not as much of a lush as I thought I was. (Too bad – writers are more glamorous when they’re boozed up. Just look at Hemingway. Or Hank Moody.)

Physical effects

One thing I was expecting was a change in my body, both visibly and internally. Fact is, I unfortunately didn’t notice much of either. I was hoping for some kind of metamorphosis. Like a caterpillar emerging from a long stint in a cozy alcohol cocoon, I wanted to burst forth from a beer-soaked haze a beautiful butterfly; fit and lean, lucid and more focused. Like a 2.0 version of me, improved in every way. With wings and shit.

I didn’t experience that. My life continued on relatively unchanged, which I know doesn’t make for a super interesting reflection, but it is what it is. For the first week I’d come home after work and feel like having a beer or two, but those cravings went away pretty fast. Weekends were harder. I didn’t feel like going out as much, as being sober in an atmosphere of drinking and merriment often had me feeling bored. Plus I was a little worried that my willpower would falter and I’d cheat on myself.

The fact that I didn’t notice any physical affects is a good thing, of course, as it means there was no beer-soaked haze to emerge from in the first place. Realistically, had there been some significant transformation, I would’ve been freaked out by my own lushery, and this here would read more like an alcoholic’s somber resolve to live healthier and have less fun.

Money Saved

The one eye-opening result is in how much money I saved. Cutting out the weekly supply of alcohol – both at home and when you’re out to dinner, or a sports game, or whatever – goes a long way towards fattening up the bottom line at the end of the month. So if you’re desperate to pinch some pennies for a new toy, travel excursion or heroin addiction, this is a sure-fire way to help you get there. But you already knew that, of course. Everyone does, but no one wants to quit drinking. Just a thought.

Despite a lack of more tangible results, this was an interesting experiment that perhaps served as an exercise in willpower more than anything else.  It’s also one I don’t plan on repeating anytime soon. Cheers!

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