If you are anything like me drinking every few days during the COVID-19 lockdown became the norm. Which is wild to admit for someone who typically only indulges in wine on the weekends. The first month I kept to a healthy routine of working out and eating right. However, after the weeks grew longer, so did my alcohol consumption. It was only eight months ago that I was dating a sober man for many years and choose to be sober with him.
To be clear: he is an addict. I do not have an addictive personality or a drinking problem, but I liked the way the sober me felt when we were together, and I sorta wish for her back. No hangovers being the most obvious. After a certain age your body doesn’t process alcohol the same and your recovery time is longer. I learned this in quarantine. I used to be able to drink an entire bottle of wine solo and wake up like clockwork with energy for the day. Now after a night of drinking I’m guaranteed to have a hangover for a solid day and zero motivation. Not to mention, no matter how much sleep I get my REM sleep is completely thrown off and that takes even longer to repair. So now a fun night of drinks just cost me two days, bad dietary choices and no sleep.
That is why I miss dating a sober person and not drinking. It’s not only a healthier lifestyle, there are other benefits with dating someone who is sober (and working on themselves). Or someone who chooses to be sober for their own reasons. Though my sober ex-boyfriend was my first taste of dating someone who was completely dry, I have met more and more people, friends included, who have chosen not to drink or use others substances for their own reasons. I admit I loved my life when I choose not to drink for three years. My body loved it also. For one, I didn’t have dimples and cellulite. Though I workout daily and I have a tiny frame, I have flaws. When I quit drinking my body rid itself of 90% of those insecurities. And they say you can’t get rid of cellulite. I beg to differ.
That’s not the allure however. I enjoyed having an abundance of energy daily and feeling my best. My skin definitely felt younger, healthier and more hydrated. I was always alert unlike those drunken nights I made careless mistakes and ended up in petty fights with past drunk boyfriends. No judgment, we have all been there. Although my sober guy had a series of other issues he needed to workout (I will share more about the advantages and disadvantages of dating a sober person in a different article), we shared a healthier lifestyle together. We did things that were productive and fulfilling. Our sober relationship taught me that you can have great sex without alcohol. You can also go to dinners and events with friends and engage in fun without the enhanced dual personality alcohol provides.
At first it was scary not drinking. I loved the relaxed feeling I got from a glass of wine. But if you can’t just have one glass (or two) is it worth losing days over for that one night? For me as I move past the quarantine and recoup my lifestyle pre-COVIOD-19 I am practicing a two drink maximum. Who knows, maybe I will choose not to drink all together again someday.
This may not be the answer for everyone, but I love the high I get from working out. The excitement of achieving success in my career. The productivity I have in my day when I am able to focus clearly. More than all that, I love remembering what I did the night before and how I enjoyed that time with loved ones and friends. I enjoy seeing the world without wine goggles and starting the day bright and early.
My sober ex taught me that he was committed to changing his life in order to stay alive. The truth is, we all have to take care of our bodies to enjoy a long, healthy life. Alcohol is toxic especially when over consumed. I can’t say I’m going to quit drinking wine cold turkey, but I can admit I am making it a priority to drink more responsibly and only consume wine a few days a month. I’m going to challenge myself to embrace life more fully and get back to the small part of that happy place I once shared with a sober man. As I make adjustments to fit my “this is forty” new normal, I’m going to try an alkaline diet and experiment with new wellness practices. I will be sharing more on those topics in the coming weeks. Stay tuned and always remember to protect your inner well being.
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