My Second Year Without Alcohol

Quitting drinking changes your life. It fucking changes your life in ways you never thought needed changing. Last year, I wrote a few things that I realized in my first year of sobriety. This year, I gathered a few more observations. As I searched the internet for other’s experiences, I found they were in line with what I write below. They’re not all happy, but they’re not all sad either.

  1. In my first year without alcohol, I got my feelings back — read as I cried a LOT. In my second year, I began to learn how to feel and what it means to feel. Alcohol is the great wall that holds back feelings and now that wall is down, feelings are everywhere and they’re out touching, and tasting everything like a damn toddler. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s not so fun. I still cry on the reg.
  2. Dating is still hard and I still feel awkward around dudes. Some dudes kept asking me to meet them at the bar. Some dudes didn’t call again when they found out I don’t drink. But it’s okay, because I know what I want, I know how to ask for it, and I know how to leave when it’s not in front of me.
  3. Though I long for companionship, I know I don’t want it with someone who “drinks”. Occasional drinking is fine, but I don’t want it with a person who reminds me of who I used to be.
  4. I know that two Diet Cokes gives me the same heightened effect that a few shots of whiskey used to and I totally look forward to a night out for this reason!
  5. Each week, I give myself a reason to continue my sobriety. It changes depending on the week. Sometimes it’s because I don’t want to risk what I’ve worked so hard to attain, other times it’s just because I can.
  6. I have a whole list of reasons why I WANT to drink, but those reasons are fleeting like the burn of cheap whiskey sliding down your throat.
  7. I have stronger opinions and interests. I care more about politics, people, movies, everything! and I want to talk about it.
  8. I hate seeing pictures of me drinking. I hate remembering times I was drunk. I hate the opportunities I gave up because of drinking. I hate the love I missed out on because of it too.
  9. I love the second chance I have at my life without alcohol. I love the self-discovery and the self-awareness. I love that I live each day being honest. I look forward to everyday, because everyday I know I’m going to learn something or do something I’ve never done sober.
  10. Even if I had a shitty day, and there were a lot of them in this emotional second year, I feel better knowing I got through each day without a drink and that gives me a great sense of pride.
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