In August 2020, I gave up alcohol and wanted to try mindful sobriety. A few months in, I wrote about the decision to go sober, why mindful sobriety was trending and also shared some alcohol-free drink recipes for All the Pretty Birds.
One year later (and save for half a glass when I had a incredibly stressful life event) I have remained stone cold sober. It’s been a learning experience but also not in some ways.
First of all, I don’t really miss it the way I thought I would. I was a pretty frequent social drinker and I still would enjoy letting loose with tequila, gin and the like.
Because we’ve been in lockdown for a hot minute, my life didn’t really change. I think if this was life pre-pandemic, I would have had a harder time giving it up and staying on this path, because I do enjoy nightlife and a mid-week drink. Many of my memories in this city link to nights out with friends, drinking a lot of unspeakable things. But alas, we are in COVID world and won’t be out of it any time soon.
I had quite a few people reach out to me about my decision and how it resonated with them, because they had similar thoughts around drinking and sobriety.
I’m also at the age where a large percentage of my friends either no longer drink because it has too many adverse effects or their medication doesn’t allow for booze consumption.
So at this point in my life, the drinking and socialising aspect doesn’t exist. This is besides the fact that we can’t leave our homes much to begin with. South Africa also had one of the harshest lockdowns – which also resulted in several alcohol bans.
The past year and a half doesn’t actually feel real and while I can’t say much about the positive impacts of a worldwide crisis like this, I’m glad I took time to re-evaluate some of my decisions. I don’t think a pandemic is meant to be watered down into an Eat Pray Love moment, but I have drastically changed in the last year and a half. We all have. If there is anything positive to cling onto, I’m going to.
Would I recommend giving up booze to everyone? For a time, yes.
Will I start drinking again? Maybe. There’s no pressure to start drinking or to force myself to maintain my sobriety.
A year later, I’m clearer and better for it, so I don’t regret making this choice.
Perhaps, the lesson is about understanding balance, appreciating my body and entering my 30s with intention.
Simple as that.