The 6 Month Stretch

Photo Credit: Think Progress
Photo Credit: Think Progress

In certain aspects of life, I’m very much an all or nothing person. I do something all the way, or I don’t do it all (this point would be a little harder to argue in relation to my endless number of literature classes in college however), especially when it comes to vices. A few years ago, after a tough breakup and tough couple of years trying to pull myself away from it, I decided to take a break for 6 months. A break from dating. A break from boys in general. A break from alcohol. So when I went to my one of my closest friend’s wedding and her cousin was trying to get me to make out with him, I didn’t give in. When I was surrounded by a ton of cute, single guys at said wedding…I didn’t give in. I will admit though, I did drink. So I think I’ve already completely shattered the assertion I started this post with but I’m just going to keep going.

I went out for New Years which was ironically the end of my 6 month “mancation” as I so fondly referred to it. I didn’t drink at all (which I think all the new people I met that night thought was weird but I didn’t care) and you know what? I met a guy. A guy I only ended up dating for a couple of months but a nice guy I had a lot of fun with.

Which brings me to where I’m at now. After an extremely fun night out in LA, I found myself with the nastiest hangover I’d ever had. In fact, it lasted two days. I literally cannot remember a time I’ve felt worse (and I got a cold, followed immediately by some form of stomach flu last year and that still wasn’t as bad). I couldn’t even get out of bed. I’m going to sound like a public service announcement for not drinking alcohol here but I still can barely stand the thought of the stuff. A few days later, once I’d recovered, I realized that I’ll be going to Ireland in September…on the trip of a lifetime. So what better way to christen the trip then having my first drink in 6 months be a pint of Guinness? I was sold.

So here it is…about a month in and the only alcohol I’ve had was a sip of a friend’s drink at a bar this past weekend. I’ve been on a pub crawl and didn’t drink. I went to karaoke at a bowling alley…didn’t drink. A friend’s birthday party at a restaurant/bar? Ordered a water. The Alfresco Lounge at Disneyland? Ordered a Strawberry Lemonade.

Not drinking is a special challenge for me too. Being so painfully shy growing up and still working towards being less shy sometimes, going out and not drinking is actually fun for me because it allows me to push myself to let go and have fun totally sober. During the the first batch of 6 months when I wasn’t drinking, I went out with my girlfriends and we saw an awesome 80s cover band perform and I danced the whole time…totally sober. That was something I literally had never done before that point. So not only am I cleansing my system (and giving my liver a break), I’m pushing myself towards more personal growth.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with drinking (in moderation of course) and I don’t want to make it sound like I’m passing any kind of judgement here but for me, this has been one of the most satisfying decisions I’ve made in a long time. Plus, it’s hard to beat being able to close the bar with a bunch of your awesome coworkers and still be able to get up the next morning and actually function 🙂

So here’s to this 6 month stretch!

One thought on “The 6 Month Stretch

  1. Nothing to be ashamed of Jackie. You’rejust being open and honest with yourself:-) I go through the same thing after bartending for years. Doesn’t matter if your rich, poor, fat, or thin, You drink, you get drunk, and you fall down. There are times we all want to. The key is to plan ahead:-)

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