If you are anything like me, you enjoy a good cocktail.
There are so many varieties and endless reasons to consume them too. Brunch? Bloody Marys and Mimosas, of course. Long day at work? Have a glass of wine. Celebrating an accomplishment? Champagne, what else?! You put on pants today? You deserve a beer!
I never really thought twice about having multiple cocktails on a Saturday night, (unless you count regretting it numerous times Sunday morning) because that is just what people do; they go out on the weekends, and they drink. No matter what your plans entail, alcohol is always available and always delicious.
I began to realize things were getting a little Lindsay Lohan circa 2010 when Saturday nights turned into Sunday Fundays which then became followed by, “Dear God it’s Monday already, and I could really use a drink.” Soon after came margaritas accompanying Taco Tuesday, and there was always a happy hour somewhere on Wednesday. Thursdays quickly became the new Saturdays, and what was I supposed to do? Sit at home on a Friday night?!
Chicago winters can be pretty dismal, and I suddenly found myself out nearly every evening for no other reason than sheer boredom. Although I am rarely the girl who gets wasted, I was in fact, putting back several each night, and no matter how much I tried to deny my new found hobby was becoming an issue, my morning headache and bank account were there to remind me.
I decided to scale it back, but first, I was going to begin with a 30-day detox. Part of me wanted to befriend my liver, and part of me wanted to see if I could actually do it.
Rather than bore all of you with the details of things I did to occupy my time (I may or may not have alphabetized my collection of DVDs I should have just thrown in the fucking trash), I thought I would share some insight as to what being sober entails in case you wish to try it out for yourself.
I like to refer to my temporary detox as “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and this is what I learned during my month of sobriety…
Everything is terrible if you’re not drinking.
On a recent night out, a DJ went from Aerosmith's "Dude looks like a lady" to "Twist and Shout."
Drunk, either one or both of those could have quite possibly been "my jam."
Sober, I considered taking out a loan to buy the bar just to fire him.
You’re rich, bitch!
How many times during a night out did you discover a magic card of wonder in your pocket and use that piece of plastic to buy everyone you have ever met a shot?
Booze makes you forget you have actual bills to pay, and you wake up Sunday morning feeling like you drunk texted an ex. When you stop drinking, suddenly you have a ton of extra cash, and you can finally use it to buy something other than a hangover.
You will be bored as fuck.
About two days in to my detox, I begin to wonder, “What do people who don’t drink actually do!?” Sure you can go out to eat or catch a movie, but after a few nights of both, you will need to get creative. Arcades, and Bowling, and Laser Tag, oh my!
Your house will be spotless. You may even exercise! Shit will get crazy!
Your patience will be tested.
Suddenly every drunk person in your presence will become the worst person you have ever met.
Remember when you used to befriend girls you met in the bathroom or listen to someone tell you the same story forty seven times yet remain intrigued throughout each version? When you are sober you will want to murder anyone who even tries to talk to you…or bumps into you…or even looks in your direction.
You will want to go home early.
There was a time when the lights would come on during last call, and all I would feel is sheer disappointment as I wasn’t ready to call it a night until the sun came up. Well have you ever been to a 4 am bar, sober? Last weekend, I made that rookie mistake.
They say giving up the devil’s juice will fill you with energy, but I promise that is not true. Being annoyed with literally everyone and everything is exhausting, and you will miss your bed almost as much as your beverage of choice.
You will lose weight.
Everyone knows alcohol is full of empty calories, but let’s be honest, that is not the main thing shattering your skinny jeans.
When you’re wasted, you get hungry. When you get hungry, you eat; and what is there to eat at 4 am? Mexican food and pizza. Plus, when you are drunk, you don’t ever actually get full, you just get tired of eating. Sober, you know better and just go to sleep rather than shame eat mystery street meat outside the bar.
Everyone is less attractive than you once thought.
We all know beer goggles are a real thing, and Intoxicated-ville is just a stop on the way to Pound town. Once you stop drinking, you will realize how shitty drunk people actually look, and it will prevent you from wanting to have sex with any of them. Being sober is great birth control.
Everybody will think you are pregnant.
It doesn’t matter if you’re already thin or even if you lost all that burrito weight; if you aren’t throwing them back, everyone will assume you’re knocked up. You will have to order decoy soda waters with lime over and over to ensure the bartender hates you, and people won’t assume you’ve been hoeing.
Nobody can dance.
Through my temporary sobriety I have discovered rhythm is a relative term. When you are hammered, you think you could dance back up for Shakira. Better yet, you are Shakira. Vodka and those hips don't lie, girl. When you are the only one not drinking, you quickly realize people at the bar are a little less Beyonce, and a little more Taylor Swift at the Grammy’s.
You will become a cheap date.
If you are training for the drinking Olympics like I was, you develop quite a tolerance. Once you take a little break and return to boozing, it’s like you are sipping wine coolers back in your parents’ basement. Catching a buzz off one drink is something I thought was about as possible as Ryan Gosling, ‘Hey Girl’ ing me in real life.
It won’t be pretty. It won’t be easy. You may fantasize about killing your closest friends, but in the end, only a few were harmed. Your insides will thank you, and really all you missed out on was a couple regrettable decisions and several cases of Gatorade.