Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The end of the month long experiment one: No Drinking

Let me preface this first with what the actual bet was. I completely gave up social drinking and any other drinking not specifically paired with a meal. I had red wine twice with tenderloin because it enhances the flavor of the meat and used a bourbon glaze in cooking one of my dishes. The purpose of the experience was to see if I could enjoy social functions more or less without drinking.

I didn’t drink until I was 22. I had never really been interested in it or felt that I missed out on something. I thought it would be such a big deal the first day that I drank, but it honestly really wasn’t. I woke up, felt fine, and didn’t find myself a completely different person. I think it is like that for many of our big firsts. We get this urge that we will change completely and then the next day we’re still just us. Since that point I have drank in most social situations by choice.

The Experiment:
Due to my work schedule I only attended social events where I would have normally drank on 4 or 5 nights. At first it felt semi-awkward not drinking, but after the first event or so it really wasn’t that much different. In fact, there were many benefits that I found from not drinking. I was able to focus more on what another person was saying to me and in a lot of ways developed a better connection with people. I essentially stayed in the moment more so then I would have while drinking. I also noticed for me that I tend to lose some of my wit the more that I drink and I was able to retain during this experiment. Additionally, the biggest benefit was that I was able to do things the next morning. When I drink I tend to inhibit myself from being able to work out the next morning and waste the early part of my day rehydrating. It’s made me not go out in the past. When I go out and don’t drink I am able to get up and start my day out well.
The cons were mostly that occasionally I couldn’t raise myself to the energy level of the group. Often times alcohol can help in this and make you more care free. In one particular instance we were in a dance club and I just couldn’t get into the mood. That is something that I could have changed, and if I was drinking I would have definitely been in the mood. Is this better or worse? I’m not sure.

What will I do now? I haven’t fully decided. One thing I know for sure is that I am going to significantly curve my social drinking, and in many instances will not do it at all. I love going to bars and clubs still because they are just fun awesome environments, and I don’t think it’s wrong to drink. It’s just something that for me has less benefit then I originally thought. I’m now involved in month 2 of my give up something for a month project (video/computer games).

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