A Sober Reality; The Effects of Putting Down Alcohol

It’s Friday night. Everyone is getting ready to go out to bars and clubs. They’re getting dolled up, looking their best, looking to get laid. I’m standing outside my Goju Ryu Karate Do Dojo waiting for sensei to arrive. I’m always the first here on Fridays. I stand outside the locked doors to my dojo and watch the people park across the street and pour into the bar there. I see a lot of the same people pouring in each week.

I used to be one of them. I used to be one of the people going to the bar every week, multiples times per week. Hell, I’ve been to that bar. Now I have a purpose. Now I have drive. I have nothing against having fun or getting together for a few drinks. What I have something against is making a lifestyle out of it.. because I have. For several years I just pissed all my money away getting drunk with my friends. I was a self-destructive mess. We all were. Most of those friends I’d drink with still are. Realizing what you’re missing out on by living like that is more sobering than refraining from alcohol. Again, I’m not saying alcohol is a bad thing. I’m even making some currently. There’s a gallon of mead fermenting on the top of my refrigerator at the moment.

We need to, as a culture and society, as individuals, stop taking social recreation and using it to numb us. We need to stop letting it be our only outlet, as it only serves to distract us from our lives. Sure, let loose, but stay loose and nothing gets done. Nothing grows. Progress isn’t made.

Firstly, it wastes a lot of time. Ever pull an all-nighter drinking with your friends? When you’re young, that’s epic. To me, now, that’s 12 hours wasted, plus the extra time wasted that I spend catching up on sleep and recovering. The quality of time you spend with friends when you’ve drank so much you don’t remember suffers too. What’s the point of not remembering when you do go out to have fun? But what happens when you stop drinking?

Weight Loss

The first thing you’re going to notice is weight loss. The caloric intake of a night on the town with drink after drink is larger than most people think. The average 12oz beer has 150 calories. Do you drink mixed drinks? Add another 50, on average. Very few people have one drink. So lets say your average is 4 drinks. That’s 600-800 calories right there. Drink more than that? 8 drinks? 1200-1600. That’s some people’s entire daily caloric intake.

Once you stop taking all of those calories in once a week or more, you’ll be freeing your body of a heavy burden.

Mental Clarity

Less hangovers means less headaches means less sleeping late means better sleep means better mental clarity. PHEW. Okay. Let’s go over that a little. When you stop drinking booze, you’re no longer going to have those pesky hangovers. Your hangovers are keeping you from thinking straight, from being able to focus. It’s needless to say but when alcohol is affecting you, you’re not thinking as clearly as you could.

You’ll Regain Balance

While it is something to be said that physical balance is affected by the effects of alcohol, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about balance in your life. Through weight loss, skin clearing up, a boost of funds in your wallet that isn’t being used on drinks, sleeping better, etc, you’ll begin to take ahold of your life, you’ll begin to balance everything out because you’re no longer feeding the inbalance with something it craves – more distraction, more chaos, more imbalance.

To close, I just want to say that I’m not telling you how to live your life. I’m just trying to give you some insight into what has helped put me into a place where I could start to grow, start to change and progress. I still enjoy a drink from time to time. I still make mead. I just don’t do it to lose myself anymore.

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