I drink regularly. While my days of blacking out are (mostly) over, I still enjoy a few beers or glasses of wine most weekends, with the occasional ‘go-hard’ night mixed in. When I was younger, my binge drinking was arguably a problem, but I would never say I was an alcoholic or addicted to it.
Sobriety has never been top of mind for me since I’ve self declared that I don’t have a problem. Then Meghan and I had a conversation recently which made me rethink my relationship with alcohol specifically. Below is the rough conversation that we had along with my thoughts on sobriety; something I’m apparently more reluctant to try than I imagined.
Meghan and I have been planning out our future recently, and one aspect is having a child. We’d mentioned going sober for the few months prior to trying for the health of our child AND because it’s something we can do together as a couple. TO BE CLEAR this sober stint wouldn’t start for us until well after our wedding.
When we talked about this recently, it became apparent that my idea of ‘sober’ was along the lines of not binge drinking while hers was being actually sober.
Once we understood what each other meant, I instinctively recoiled – “Well, we can still have a few drinks every now and then, right? Like, what about weddings?? We’re really going to be like… Sober? What’s one drink going to do!?“.
With some time to reflect on it, I feel ashamed at my reaction. I immediately focused on all the times it would be a hindrance; weddings, nice dinners, a friend’s party, etc. without really considering the other side. Being sober clearly bothered me and I didn’t really stop to ask myself why. I wish I’d looked at it as an opportunity instead. Regardless of the topic, I want to be more accepting / open minded than I was in this instance. It was one of those “I wish I could get a redo” moments.
The Pros to Sobriety
The genesis of this idea was for the potential health of our first child. That is a convincing reason. Next, this will be a good / new thing for me and Meghan. Not that our relationship is built on alcohol by any means, but we’ll get to try out some new activities and it will be something we do together. Plus, she’s going to be sober for more than a year most likely and isn’t crying about it like I am!
But separate from those reasons, taking a break from alcohol is now something I want to do. It’s funny to say that because I could take a break right now, but I’m not going to because we only have a few months left in the city and I plan on taking full advantage of that.
I don’t really know what I expect to come from this. Do I think I will have some awakening related to sobriety and realize that my life is much more fulfilling without it? Probably not, but I like trying new things, as you never know what may come from it. When we choose to do it, I will undoubtedly miss the Friday night glass of wine or the Saturday day drinking that goes a little too far, but being from a family / social group that relies on alcohol, I believe a few months of no booze will be a good experience.
It reminded me of a podcast I listened to years ago with Rob Lowe. Lowe, who’s been sober for over three decades, was reflecting on his journey saying he was so scared to give up drinking and drugs because he thought it meant the end of having fun. He then laughed at how naive he was. That’s exactly how I felt the other night; “If we can’t drink… these things won’t be fun.“.
While I think there’s a difference between genuine addicts and myself, the point stands that you should be able to do things without alcohol and still have fun.
So this is the precursor post. I will write a post later this year when we actually start, but in the meantime…