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When my parents forced me to get sober, I was convinced I would never be happy again. I didn’t think I would ever enjoy weekends at college. I didn’t think I would fit in with my friends anymore. I didn’t think I would be a happy person, period, without alcohol in my life.
Almost 20 months later, I’ve realized how wrong I was. I miss almost nothing about my old life—mostly because I am still able to live it, minus one thing: the booze. By losing that one thing, I have gained back so many others that I didn’t even realize I had lost at the hands of alcohol.
Here are 10 things I don’t miss about my drinking days:
1. Regretting or not remembering the night before – It is so incredibly refreshing to always wake up in my own bed, with my own belongings, with every memory from the night before intact. I never have to deal with a path of destruction in my wake, unless I soberly choose to create a problem (which is rare). My decision-making abilities are so much more present and effective when alcohol is not in my system. Shocking, I know.
2. My physical appearance – For some reason, I never took into account the fact that alcohol contains a lot of calories. And after taking in said calories, I without fail would get the drunchies (drunk munchies) and continue to inhale calories. I even ate an entire medium pizza on my own on a few occasions, which mortifies me to admit. Only after getting sober did I realize how I had been treating my body. I had gained 30 pounds and had a yellowish cast to my skin. I was always bloated. I was just unhealthy overall, and the worst part was that I just didn’t give a shit as long as I could keep drinking.
3. Waking up with a hangover – Opening my eyes in the morning was sometimes the hardest thing I’d ever done. I’d wake up feeling like I had been hit by a train the night before. Whether a hangover presented itself as a headache, nausea, or vomiting, it still affected my life negatively the day following drinking and took way too long to shake off. Sometimes, I’d even resort to taking a shot or two in the morning to ward it off, or I’d swear I was laying low on the drinking for a while, but I’d be back to it as soon as the hangover wore off.
4. Spending money – Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a broke college student. But at least now I know where my money is going. Alcohol is expensive, and the drunker I got, the less I cared about money. I’d enthusiastically buy more drinks, pizza, etc., and in the morning I would wake up with no cash and kicking myself for spending it on stupid things while drunk.
5. My reputation – I managed to make a reputation for myself really quickly in college – and it wasn’t a good one. People knew who I was because of my actions at parties, which at the time almost made me proud, but now is beyond embarrassing. Thankfully, I have managed to rebuild myself and the person I am known as in college now is actually someone I can be proud of.