By taking a break from alcohol, you are offering yourself the opportunity, and everyone else around you, to get to know the real you.
Have you ever been out with your friends and the first thing they do (or you do) is get a drink? It’s understandable. You work hard all week, and you deserve a break! After all, you don’t go out and get “loaded” every single night, but maybe once or twice a week, you go at it, and sometimes it’s a little heavy. Plus, you don’t want to be a social outcast and not hold a beer or a tequila sunrise, topped with a cherry and an orange slice and an itty-bitty umbrella you end up saving for years.
It can be a hard ask for people to interact socially without alcohol, especially for an extended period because that is how so many of us have learned to socialise. However, when a person is under alcohol’s influence, they act different, they think different, they might feel a sense of false confidence which helps to lubricate such social occasions and ease any awkwardness they feel. But what is undeniable, is that in some sense, they are not in full control of their choices. Whether they are “drunk”, “buzzed”, or “ferfectly pine”, their thinking and processing will be distorted in some way. In other words, you are not your organic self when you have alcohol in your system.
What could life be life without it?
In a society where the majority of us have grown up surrounded by, and consuming alcohol, it is hard to know what life might be like without it. It may help to ask yourself some questions to gain a deep understanding a life without alcohol could mean for you. Can you imagine that life? Would you consider it to be a “drastic” lifestyle change? Do you think your friendships or relationships could benefit from getting to know the real you? The you who doesn’t have a drink in their hand. The you who has zero mind-altering substances in your bloodstream.
The whole “anything is fine in moderation” idea holds truth and all, but in this case, we’re talking about alcohol. You already know it’s not the greatest thing for your mental and physical health and deep down, some part of you is nodding in agreement that by removing alcohol from the equation, will have a real opportunity to learn something about yourself. Will you be unfazed by this change in lifestyle? Could your life actually benefit from such a fundamental change? Many questions can arise when you first decide to take a break from drinking.
What could you stand to gain?
Sure, there are plenty of obvious reasons to take a break from alcohol, such as improved health, saved money and increased productivity, but what about the less-obvious ones? By taking a break from alcohol, you are offering yourself the opportunity, and everyone else around you, to get to know the real you. You have the chance to find out that you are just as funny and engaging if not more so when you aren't drinking alcohol. Being more present for your friends and family mean that you forge even stronger, more supportive and fulfilling relationships. The increased self-awareness that being alcohol-free provides may lead you to noticing a skill or hobby that you could utilise to benefit your career or exercise goals. This helps you to grow in confidence, which in turn positively influences your motivation to approach new opportunities to learn and grow, and before you know it, your life has changed completely for the better, and you have a strong sense of who you are.
Set yourself no limits
The truth is, there really is no limit on what you could achieve if you put your mind to it. And yes, you would have to put the work in – it takes more than just removing alcohol to make all these changes. But, by taking away one of the barriers in your way, it will be far easier to get started in comparison to your chances beforehand.
Whether you are already on the path to changing your relationship with alcohol, or are just curious to find out more about what could be in store, you have opened yourself up to the opportunity to get to know who you are inside. Hi, nice to meet you! The real you.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.