My New Year’s resolution was to go sober, cutting out ALL booze in 2018. That was a month ago, and I’m still going strong, and am so happy I made that decision! I thought this would be a difficult change to make and I thought I would lose friends and people would treat me differently. I am happy to say, I have received so much love and support from my friend circle regarding my decision to stop drinking, that it has actually been one of the best and easiest decisions I have made for myself. Many people have offered up recipes for non-alcoholic beverages for me to drink so I feel more comfortable, but I haven’t tried any yet. I’m just gonna admit that pop and juice were just vehicles for the booze to get in my system. I never drink that shit on the regular, so I’ll stick to water thanks.
A lot of people have asked me why I am making this decision. There are many reasons why I want to be sober, but my motivating factor is that I actually feel better. Feeling good actually FEELS GOOD! Who knew?! I was not someone who drank casually one or two drinks during the week. I was binge drinking on weekends until I forgot what I was doing. I would wake up hungover, feeling regret and basically waste a day on the couch binge watching Celebrity Rehab, because hey, at least I didn’t have a problem right? (Regret feels like an overweight greasy construction worker on a jackhammer carrying a screaming baby that lost its soother and threw up McDonalds on your iPhone). I would wonder how I was going to get up and walk the dogs without dying and I would try to remember what happened the night before. Text messages and photos on your cel phone are both a blessing and a curse, damn you modern technology for documenting my stupidity! *shaking my fist at the air*
As someone who works in the night life industry as a DJ and host, I felt like people had expectations of me when they came out to events. I thought I was responsible for the attendees’ fun and that I would have to do whatever it took to ensure they had an amazing time at the events I was involved in. I thought that the attendees expected me to set the tone of the night and create a reckless party vibe where everyone was hyped and excited about what a wild night it was. If creating that atmosphere meant doing shots and getting wasted, then that was what I had to do. Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team right? I’m not trying to imply I didn’t have fun, oh I had fun, probably too much fun, but it has taken a toll on me and I am ready to have fun without a hangover.
As a DJ and host it is my job to provide the entertainment and help inspire a party atmosphere and I was afraid that if I was not drinking, people would stop attending the events I worked at because I was not inspiring that party vibe anymore. I would stop getting hired to DJ and host events. This terrified me. I had a fear that since I was going sober, my friends would stop associating with me, or I would not be able to DJ effectively because I would not be on the same level as the people drinking and dancing. I was wrong about everything – see I can admit when I am wrong! However, all of these insecure feelings kept me in the same circle of binge drinking every weekend because I was too afraid to stop. There have been nights when friends have been irritated with me for not drinking in the past, and I can admit, that I have also probably made people feel badly for not indulging with me when I was on a tear and wanted a party buddy. (Sorry!) When you work in clubs two or three nights a week, the continuous drinking gets exhausting. It is difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you are expected to drink three nights in a row until the weekend is a blur and it takes you several days to undo the damage you spent all weekend doing. Damaged goods right here!
Social media has actually been super helpful in my transition to sober life. Who knew it was good for something more than oogling people’s hot selfies and creeping on their pets?! I’d like to point out that I’m not following any sobriety accounts or become a Jesus freak, I’m still the weirdo you know and love. I was expecting a lot of negative backlash for my decision, so I decided the easiest way to absolve myself of any negativity would be to make a post on social media declaring my sobriety. This was a good idea for a few reasons:
For one, the PC police were on my side. If you are making a decision to better yourself, your friends will show their true colours and your friends who will support you (these people are called “real friends”) will defend your decision to do with your body what you please and your party friends will see your decision as a poor one because now they have one less person to help them get home when they get blackout drunk.
Secondly, by declaring your sobriety on social media, you kind of have to stick to it. There may be times when you slip up and have a drink, and some people will be excited to see you fail (these people are called “haters”), but your real friends will be there to help you and guide you back on the path if that really is the goal you want to attain. Plus, you can post on social media any time of day if you are craving something and there will probably be someone out there somewhere who will talk you out of your craving. (Right now, I am craving mac n cheese, but I doubt any of you are going to talk me out of it, and that’s ok).
This works for me because I can let everyone know in advance of any upcoming gigs I have that I will be sober at them, and I won’t have to run interference having to explain to anyone why I’m not drinking, or have anyone pressure me into having just one drink, or buying me a drink and me not being able to accept it, – because there have been times when I’ve played someone’s favourite song and they come to the DJ booth with shots, so how do I say no?. So some people may poop on social media, but you can use it effectively as a way to inform people of why you are not drinking so they can’t harass you later, and if that doesn’t work, just drive a car (borrow one if you have to) cuz real friends don’t let friends drink and drive, so being the designated driver is always a great way out. Plus, your friends will love that they don’t have to worry about trying to get a cab or take the bus hammered to get home. This was how I convinced some people that my sobriety was a great idea, I just said “think of all the cab fare you will save if I drive us to the bar…” AMIRITE?
I have been sober for one month and now I am proud to say I can successfully binge watch TV while writing blog posts, or editing photos. I can also play video games without feeling motion sick from being hungover, so my productivity has definitely increased. I don’t wanna brag but I would call that a huge success. I don’t eat pizza for breakfast, but I CAN eat pizza for breakfast if I want to. I guess this means I make better decisions, because as much as I love pizza, I want to remember how much I enjoy eating it, and at 4AM or later, I can’t usually remember eating it. Also, pizza can be used as a metaphor in this situation, you can replace “eating pizza” with anything, for example, karaoke, swearing, dancing, sex, falling on my face, or for some people, smoking cigarettes, fighting, random hookups.
I wish I could tell you that I was saving enough money to go on some crazy fancy holiday so I could blog about it and you could all live vicariously through this amazing rock star life I have, but part of being a “rockstar” is getting paid in drink tickets or guest list privileges depending on who you work for. Since I don’t have a lot of friends, I traded my guest list for drink tickets and would get shitfaced. Yea, my only friends were alcohol, but now I have online friends…. so basically the moral of the story is there shall be no money saved by my being sober. It just means I won’t be using my bar tab anymore so the staff at the bar will probably like me more? (Probably not). Basically, the positive result of my not drinking is technically making new friends. Let me demonstrate this in a better way, instead of me drinking away my bar tab, I can occasionally use my drink tickets to give to other people, you know, like bribing people to be friends with me (seems legit right?). I may not be as suave as some, cuz trust me rolling up to someone you find interesting and asking them if you can buy them a drink and whipping out cash looks a lot cooler than getting them up to the front of the bar lineup and whipping out a drink ticket. But, that ticket is a gateway to meeting new people, who I may have had to use liquid courage to approach when I was drinking, so I could forget who they were later. Now I can approach them AND remember their name (sometimes, but I will probably remember talking to them, so there is always that.)
I’m not going to say this trip has all been wine and roses, cuz there’s definitely no wine here (yup, I’m still hilarious). Surprisingly, there have been a few moments that caught me off guard as being more difficult than I expected. For example, I never thought that the wee hours between dinner and going out would be the hardest to not have a couple drinks. It seems to be that old habits are hard to break and one of my habits has been having a drink (pre-gaming) while doing my makeup before heading out. This has been the most difficult habit to break. For some reason I have no problem remaining sober at the bar now, probably because I have so many other things to do, like DJing and meeting new people, however when I sit down at my makeup table I get the thirst. I always had a drink while I beat my face, which probably explains a lot about my face. I’ve been drinking water, but I still feel like this habit or pre-game ritual has been the hardest part. Weird right?
I have read some articles about sobriety exclaiming that your skin will clear up and your eyes will glow. I am here to tell you that is some old bullshit. My skin is breaking out, and I look the same, I haven’t lost any weight and I don’t have more energy. However, my skin could be breaking out because I get hungrier. I never thought about it before, but as a DJ, I am at the bar from 8:30pm until 3:30am, usually drinking during that time frame. Since my shift is no longer a game of “how many drinks can I drink before I have to break the seal” (please don’t let it be while I am DJing) I find that I get really hungry around midnight, and lord knows you’re not supposed to feed gremlins after midnight. So I have had to start planning bigger dinners and packing snacks on nights when I work. Adulting FTW! Meal prep 101! Ok, its not like I am pulling a gourmet meal out of my purse and carrying around a veggie tray, I’m not THAT prepared, however I do like to keep a few granola bars in my purse and chow down when I can so that I don’t end up eating poutine at 2am and then going to bed with a big belly full of lard. I mean, I stopped drinking so I wouldn’t do this and now this is what I want to do because I get so hungry! It’s like my plan has backfired and I will be the first person in history to put on weight from going sober. WTF?
My point is not to sound holier than thou, or preach, or judge or make anyone feel like they should follow in my footsteps. You don’t want to, trust me, these stilettos are on thin ice most of the time, (however I do think I should be worshipped just for wearing them). I just want other people who may be struggling or want a change in their life to know that anything is possible.
Don’t doubt yourself. If you want to change something in your life, believe in yourself, believe that you can do it, because if I can still slay the tunes in a nightclub full of drunk people while sober, with the temptation to get fucked up right in front of my painted face, then you can very easily make the change you want to see in your life too. It might mean taking a break from social activities until you feel confident enough to say no to drinks offered to you, or laying low until you are ready to answer the question of why you aren’t drinking when people ask. Especially if people and are used to seeing you slurring and stumbling. (I’m sure there are people out there who will meet me now that will be like “Holy shit! All this time I thought you just had a lisp!” Nah, I was just really wasted). But you can do it. I believe in you.