Lessons from (Alcohol) Abstinence

Posted on February 1, 2015


My name is Henri and I am not an alcoholic. Let’s face it. Food and drinks are an integral part of our social lives. On weekends, an overwhelmingly large majority of us go over to our friends’ houses or head to crowded pubs and clubs or yell at tv screens as our favorite teams battle it out – one hand over our pal’s shoulders and the other holding a drink. Alcohol is somehow an integral part of our successes and disappointments as well – the celebratory popping of champagne or the melodramatic “hit me” mouthed hoarsely to bored bartenders.

This year, I have challenged myself to give up alcohol for a whole year. It’s been 32 days and I haven’t had a drink. I have been out a couple of times with friends and had people over too. I have felt like just having a glass of wine and I didn’t. I am used to this feeling because last year I gave up non-vegetarian food and that includes fish as well! I remember that first week. I wondered how I would survive! It was surprising to me as I grew up vegetarian. I wouldn’t call myself a meat-addict just the way I wouldn’t call myself an alcoholic. I gave up both because consuming meat is terrible for the environment and so is alcohol for the body.

Here’s what I have learned in the last 32 days:

  1. Yes, I am!

    Yes, I am!

    I am still as fun(ny) when I am sober.

  2. My friends are not as fun(ny) when I am sober.
  3. I am able to stick to my healthy choices of food no matter where I go.
  4. I am spending a lot less when we go out.
  5. I love Sid as much as I did when I used to drink (Thank heavens!).
  6. I can eat a bit of dessert because I am consuming less sugar from alcohol.
  7. There are no hangovers anymore.
  8. I have had to look for creative avenues of entertainment since I don’t find the same things interesting any longer.
  9. I realize that I am missing it less and less as time passes. I guess I don’t love it as much as I think I do.
  10. I have to constantly say, “I’m not drinking but I’m not pregnant or trying to get pregnant.”

 And just to leave you with this extremely apt song for this post:


Posted in: life