The 0% resolution

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I am Karla and I was sober for 70 days. Seriously, I decided to stop drinking. Just like that, without a dramatic reason nor a clear timeline. Meaning, I knew I would eventually drink again. Before you jump into any conclusion, let me be very clear: I don’t have a drinking problem but I am not particularly fond of alcohol either. I have always been a social drinker and only a very few times, I was overly social, if you know what I mean haha. Mishter Love went through this with me in this and now that the resoluton is over, I can report that all went well. The first month wasn’t very difficult as we were in India and I rarely drink when traveling. It was once back home when the fun started.

I don’t have a drinking problem, yet, I decided to test myself. By doing that, I actually learnt a few things about people… oh well 🙂

So, by deciding to stop drinking, I became the oddest person in town. Not that this label bothers me, I’m the odd kid wherever I go hahaha. But I can candidly say that people’s reactions to my voluntary sobriety were quite amusing. From funny faces to double checking to obvious questions, here’s a more detailed list of things that I experienced during my alcohol free days:

  • You are considered as awkward – already mentioned this. I mean, why aren’t you drinking alcohol? Why are you denying yourself the elixir of pleasure? Why are you making your life sad and miserable?? So, next point…
  • People think that you’re preggers – otherwise, go to point 1, yeah, this is a loop!!!
  • People worry about you – were you a heavy drinker? Why such a harsh decision then? Are you ok without alcohol? Seriously? So, back to point 1!
  • People predict the length of your sobriety – after making sure that you don’t have a problem with alcohol, people will tell you “pff, not gonna last, you’ll drink again in a 2 or 3 months¨. They were right of course.
  • People make sure that you haven’t been fooled and served a 0% drink – literally, this conversation happened to me:
    Friend (F)- “who ordered that beer?”
    K- “me 🙋🏻”
    F- “it’s a 0% you know?¨
    K- “Yes”
    F- “OK, I wanted to make sure that you haven’t asked for a regular one and they got you this!”
    Note, this is sweet!
  • Waiters and waitresses give you funny faces (and sometimes unnecessary snarky remarks) – It happened to me as well:
    Smily face waitress (sfw) “what can I bring for you?”
    K-“a mocktail”
    sfw now looking dazed and confused “do you mean a mix of juices?”
    K-“I guess”
    sfw now looking very annoyed “I mean, call a cat a cat, so a juice is a juice”…
    Not even Elmo could have explained that better!
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The obvious question at this point is why do you dare to go outside if you don’t drink? I guess vegans and vegetarians got this often as well haha. In my case, I want to believe that I never stopped being a fun person to hang out with! I have friends and I deserve a social life regarless of my choices, because let’s be clear, I did not impose my choices on anyone. You want to eat only veggies? Fine, You want to stop drinking? Cool… Your life, your choices!

Yes, we live in a society which relates pleasure with alcohol, but not everyone has to follow this pattern.I for once refused to do it. And besides, there are a lot of good alcohol free options out there, I went to many bars and everytime I was perfectly able to drink alcohol free beer or… mix of juices, of course. I have to say, that only once I kind of wished I wasn’t doing this self imposed challenge. I was with my friends at a bar, and they ordered some sangria, which has to be, of course, my fave alcoholic mix of juices. But putting the alcohol and the taste aside, for me it was a matter of mingleing with my chums, I found it a bit sad not to be part of the larger fun… but my San Miguel was good nonetheless.

So, lesson learnt for me: it’s OK to go for choices that are different from those of other people. Yes, I will get some backlash, but it’s fine, we all have the right to our opinions. My approach was to take that with humour and keep going. And yes, you can definitely live and have fun without alcohol involved. How’s my actual consumption now that I’m back at drinking? Great, in all honesty, I haven’t drunk in a bit more than a week, and I have no interest in getting a beer now.

Something important to note is that, if you feel like having a real problem, go and get professional help. I went alcohol free for totally personal yet not really necessary reasons. So, it was more of an experiment than a challenge. However, not everyone perceives alcohol the same way and if it is going out of control, there are many professional and supervised ways to find a real and long term solution.