Page 1 of 2
#1
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-sober-alcohol-drunk-booze-perspec-1231-20151230-story.html

Two years ago, a few days before New Year's Eve, I last got drunk. It was the closing night of the Lincoln Lodge, a fantastic comedy venue in Chicago in the back of a now-closed diner. They've since moved, but after that show, I thought I should take a breather from drinking — and eating meat — and focus on productivity.

Things I've learned

1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

What a shocker! As someone who's been drinking since senior year of high school (sorry, Mom, we weren't just "hanging out" in the basement), most events in my life revolved around booze.

Almost everything does: Comedy shows, concerts, after-work functions, meetups, dates, conferences, dinner, museum tours. But guess what? The events don't change if you decide not to drink!

You're still you. Maybe you're more "inhibited," but is that altogether terrible? I've found that when I hang out with folks who have been drinking, I start to feel the same way I felt — in terms of becoming silly, goofy, fun — when I was drinking too.

And I remember everything that happened during the events, which is always nice.

2. You have way fewer regrets.

Since I stopped drinking, I've yet to wake up and look at my phone, see something I texted, and go, "Ugh, wwwwwwhhhhhy." I'm in control of my actions basically all of the time.

I think longer before I respond to something someone says. If I'm angry, it gives me time to calm down. Drinking definitely helped my inner jerk come out a lot more often. Now I am better at keeping the jerkier side of me locked up. It still comes out, sure, but at least I have more control over when that happens.

3. People will judge the heck out of you.


This was the weirdest one to deal with. Many, many folks will give you attitude for not drinking. Here are some things I've been told:

"C'mon, dude, just have one beer! It's not like you're going to meetings or whatever!"

"I can't trust someone who doesn't drink."

"You're not fun unless you're drunk."

"When you don't drink, it makes me feel bad about myself, which makes me not like you."

"I can't date someone who doesn't want to get drunk with me, sorry."

I'll bet I said some of these things myself, back when I used to drink — because when you're around someone who doesn't do something you like doing, you can be taken aback by it.

I've had friends who've stopped hanging out with me because I don't drink anymore. I've had relationships end (or not even start) because of it. I have been sent screen shots of people I know talking smack about me to other people because I choose to not do a thing.

It's weird. But it makes you realize the bad relationship with booze that other folks must be having. And for that, I have empathy. And I hope they figure it out.

4. You sleep so much better.


I haven't slept this great since before high school. Man, it's fantastic. I could point you to all the studies that show how alcohol affects your sleep, but hey, take my word for it.

5. You get less sad.

I don't know if I have depression, but I used to get bummed out a lot. There were days when I wouldn't want to leave my apartment, or see anyone, mostly because I hated myself. I don't hate myself nearly as much as I used to. I'm generally OK with my life and who I am. Positivity is now my go-to emotion, even when something bad or terrible happens to me.

It's like I flipped this switch inside my brain: Instead of going to negativity, I try to find the reason something is positive. It's definitely weird to have this happen to me.

6. You develop more empathy for others.

A few weeks ago, this guy blared on his horn because I was crossing at a crosswalk and he wanted to turn, and he almost hit me with his car, then he flipped me off and cursed at me.

Old me probably would've stood in front of him, not moved, taken a photo or video of him, shared it on the Internet, explained, "Hey, look at this jerk who tried to hit me with his car!" and felt smug and wonderful about it.

Instead, after an initial moment of fear and anger, I realized this dude was probably having an awful day. Maybe he was late for an appointment. Maybe he was trying to get to the hospital to see his son who has cancer. Maybe he didn't have parents as loving as mine and that's filled him with resentment his entire life.

Either way, that guy had something going on, and I wanted him to be happier. Then I felt weird, because my brain has been wired forever to be a little twerp to anyone who wrongs me. But now? I generally jump to empathy. I like that.

7. You save so much money.

I bought a condo. I'd like to pretend as though it wasn't because of how much money I saved by not drinking and buying food while drunk, but probably a quarter of my down payment came just from abstaining from booze.

Yeah, I know.

8. You get tired earlier.

It's pretty hard for me to stay up past 11 p.m. most days, even on weekends. When I was drinking, booze was a magical fuel that kept me going, trying to find a new adventure.

Now that I don't drink, I'm not constantly searching for adventure, trying to find one more fun thing that will fill the empty void inside of me. I'm content with what I've done for the day, and my body wants to go to bed. I dig that.

9. You become amazingly productive.

When you're not spending most of your free time at bars, you get a lot done. I read more. I write more. I learn more.

I spend more time working on bettering myself and my skills than I ever would have sitting at a bar, chatting with a buddy or two. I'm much less social than I used to be, but I'm also creating more art and failing a lot more than ever before.

In the end, I know I'm going to die. I'd rather there be a few things of me still hanging around after I'm dead, some sort of personal expression that others can enjoy. That requires me to put in the time to work on projects, make something tangible and real for people to enjoy.

That seems, now, like a better use of my time than chatting with some pals at a bar. That conversation may have been great, sure, but in the end, it dies with me and those people. If I can create a few things that last longer than me, it makes my life last longer. It means I mattered a little more.

I'm glad I haven't been drunk for two years. Sure, I've done a few shots of Malort with people who've never tried it. And yes, there was that one time a dude threatened to kick my rear if I didn't drink that shot of whiskey he bought to congratulate me on "being so funny" after hearing me tell jokes about how I don't drink anymore.

If you ever think, hey, this drinking thing isn't fun anymore, it's OK to take a break. I just quit. For me, it's been relatively easy, and I know it isn't easy for everyone. But just know I've found countless rad people who can have fun without booze. And you can too.

Good luck.
#3
Liquor? I barely know her.

ayyyy
Quote by jakesmellspoo
ooh look at me i'm ERIKLENSHERR and i work at fancy pants desk jobs and wear ties and ply barely legal girls with weed and booze i'm such a classy motherfucker.
#4
I thought this was going to be about you brad

Anyway, I recently stopped drinking for two months to focus on my life and getting shit done. Obviously, not as extensive of a time as the author of that article, but here's my response to the points
Things I've learned

1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

True, but I never did. Being sober and hanging out with a bunch of drunk people is not fun though.

2. You have way fewer regrets.

Yeah. But you'll always have fewer regrets when you narrow your experiences.

3. People will judge the heck out of you.

Sounds like the author just has asshole friends. No one I knew judged me for quitting for a couple of months.

4. You sleep so much better.

I had the opposite experience. I have a hard time sleeping right after I get home from work because I'm still amped up from the day's work and having a few beers gets me nice and settled before bed.

5. You get less sad.

I never get sad.

6. You develop more empathy for others.

This doesn't sound alcohol related at all.

7. You save so much money.

True.

8. You get tired earlier.

I wouldn't know because I get home from work around 11.

9. You become amazingly productive.

Yeah, kind of.
Last edited by TheChaz at Jan 2, 2016,
#5
this is cool and everything but it's way too long for my drunk ass to read rn oops




#6
These are usually a bunch of wank by people who need to "spice up their lives"

My own observations.

1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

No shit.

2. You have way fewer regrets.

Looking back over my life, the larger proportion of my regrets have occurred whilst sober.

3. People will judge the heck out of you.

Not really, unless your friends are cunts.

4. You sleep so much better.

Meh, I've never seen a difference.

5. You get less sad.

The idea of different alcohols affecting your mood is bogus. If you have sadness in your life, you'll be sad when you drink, if you are happy, you'll be happy, regardless of your sobriety.

6. You develop more empathy for others.

I think the author needed some fillers

7. You save so much money.

True.

8. You get tired earlier.

That doesn't sound like a positive?

9. You become amazingly productive.

Nah, I'm a sensible enough drinker that I will never show up to work hungover, or drink a shit load the night before something big the following day. If you're too dumb to figure out your schedule before getting trashed, then woe betide you.
Come back if you want to
And remember who you are
‘Cause there's nothing here for you my dear
And everything must pass
#7
Quote by ErikLensherr
Liquor? I barely know her.

ayyyy

it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#8
"When you don't drink, it makes me feel bad about myself, which makes me not like you."

Screw people like this. At least this particular comment is somewhat self-aware.


Some people are better off not drinking. They don't need to attend meetings, it has nothing to do with a higher divine power, nor a particularly elitist attitude about it being a personal quality. It's just self-preservation.
#9
Quote by ali.guitarkid7

Some people are better off not drinking.

Absolutely true. Different drugs affect different people differently. For some people, they get violent when they drink. If they stop because of that reason then more power to them.
#10
Most of that doesn't apply to me since I drink alone. I'm also always in control, but it's a lot more fun if you're not.

Emotions don't change. For the better or worse.

lol wtf are they talking about? Alcohol makes me get tired faster. Just two days ago when I was drunk I went to bed and hadn't even realized I didn't finish my drink.

I also don't have to worry about being productive. I do all my productiveness as I would usually do when drunk.
#11
Seems like most of these are only applicable if you drink on a hyper-frequent basis
Quote by GuitarGod_92
when I die of a brain aneurysm I want it on record that its the film threads fault

Quote by GuitarGod_92
Movies are all bad every last one of them

Quote by yope
Fungus has a right to exist. It's a valid life form.
#12
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
Screw people like this. At least this particular comment is somewhat self-aware.


Some people are better off not drinking. They don't need to attend meetings, it has nothing to do with a higher divine power, nor a particularly elitist attitude about it being a personal quality. It's just self-preservation.

agre. i'm 100% sure i'd be dead by now if i drank. i have mates that can tolerate a load, i have some that can't. it works for some and not for others. i get annoyed by people who are 100% one way. stop telling me i have to drink if i want to have fun, and stop telling people they can't drink in order to have fun.

world peace yo
it's all just coming back
it's all coming back

it's all coming back to me
#13
Drunk person's actions are a sober person's thoughts. This sober person's thoughts are pretty lame though
.
#14
Quote by Baby Joel


world peace yo

agre
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#15
Drinking isn't fun for me so I don't do it. I'll drink if I haven't had a particular kind of drink though.
Quote by DisarmGoliath
Facesitting is a violation of freedom of speech, because how can you speak when you have an ass covering your face?
#16
Quote by MeTallIcA313
people who brag about not drinking are the worst

If you think that then you've never met a vegan. Wanna see someone brag about eating kale and lettuce?
Gibson LP Studio
Taylor 518E
Washburn WD15SCE acoustic electric
Carvin DC727 (ordered! The wait is driving me nuts!)
#17
I've met a vegan
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#18
Quote by Hydra150
I've met a vegan

Ever met a vegan crossfitter?
Come back if you want to
And remember who you are
‘Cause there's nothing here for you my dear
And everything must pass
#19
Quote by i_lovemetallica
Ever met a vegan crossfitter?

Gluten-free vegan crossfitter....actually, nah no way that much smugness can be wrapped up into one human being.
Gibson LP Studio
Taylor 518E
Washburn WD15SCE acoustic electric
Carvin DC727 (ordered! The wait is driving me nuts!)
#20
Quote by LightxGrenade
Gluten-free vegan crossfitter....actually, nah no way that much smugness can be wrapped up into one human being.

You have to wonder about what goes through their heads:

"Which one do I talk about first?"
Come back if you want to
And remember who you are
‘Cause there's nothing here for you my dear
And everything must pass
#21
Quote by i_lovemetallica
Ever met a vegan crossfitter?

I try to keep meeting people to a minimum
But boys will be boys and girls have those eyes
that'll cut you to ribbons, sometimes
and all you can do is just wait by the moon
and bleed if it's what she says you ought to do
#22
I probably dont have a cumulative 2 years sober since my teenage years
Quote by Night
wtf is a selfie? is that like, touching yourself or something?
#23
1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

You don't say.

2. You have way fewer regrets.

I don't really regret anything I've done while drunk.

3. People will judge the heck out of you.

People who do this aren't worth hanging around with.

4. You sleep so much better.

I don't know because I'm not an alcoholic.

5. You get less sad.

My sadness or lack of is irrelevant to my drinking.

6. You develop more empathy for others.

My empathy or lack of is irrelevant to my drinking.

7. You save so much money.

I don't drink enough to make it affect my spending.

8. You get tired earlier.

I don't know because I naturally go to sleep pretty late, but I'm pretty sure that's irrelevant to my drinking.

9. You become amazingly productive.

When I go out drinking, I don't plan on being productive.


I like how this arcticle makes it seem that people who drink are instant alcoholics. I drink, like, twice a month probably.
#24
Quote by seventh_angel


I like how this arcticle makes it seem that people who drink are instant alcoholics. I drink, like, twice a month probably.

Yeah, you gotta wonder how much of an alcoholic this dude was. Like, before I decided to stop drinking for a couple of months, I was drinking multiple drinks every single night and it didn't have as big of an effect on my life as it apparently did on this guy's.
#25
I haven't drank much in a while. Not like a big thing about never drinking again I just don't feel like it.

I do sleep way better and I have fewer regrets and am less sad, but none of the other things have really changed.

Oh there are so many judgey people I know though. It's a different group from the people who are judgey about me not eating certain types of meat but it's the exact same attitude and it's disgusting.
cat
#26
Never drank in my life and I'm 25. My experiences:

1. Harder to be social
Not impossible by any means, but nearly all socializing activities with people over 21 (and most over 18 for that matter) involve alcohol in some form or another. Maybe not getting drunk, but at least having a drink. I still am social, have my friends and hangout with people regularly, but I do think I'd have more if I drank.

2. People can be judgmental assholes about it, but not as much if you own it
At first I used to be shy about it, and dread when people would find it. I don't brag about it (there's really nothing to brag about), but I don't go out of my way to hide it. A confident "I don't drink" won't leave people lingering on the subject much. I still have some friends that want me to try it or whatever, and even though it's a minor annoyance, they're friendly about it and don't treat me any differently.

3. Once college is over, people don't care as much
Maybe someone will be curious why, but that's about it. I haven't had any backlash from it since graduating. The very few people who have had obnoxious reactions to it were people I didn't like in the first place. That said, whenever people do ask why, I never make it seem like I have a problem with drinking in general, but it's a personal thing.

4. I do agree with the OP, something about being more in control. I do feel like I have a better handle on myself than if I drank. I'm not saying I have all the shit together in my life, not at allllll. But I do feel like I have more self-awareness than a lot of my friends who do drink a lot. This obviously doesn't go for everyone, but I feel like a lot of people drink for a false sense of fulfillment and happiness.

5. White people are annoying about drinking. Stop talking about it so much. You sound like you're in high school. Just drink and talk about something else. White people talk way more about drinking, where as Mexicans just drink a lot more. The former is more annoying.
Last edited by The Madcap at Jan 3, 2016,
#27
Quote by guitarxo at #33757388
Oh there are so many judgey people I know though. It's a different group from the people who are judgey about me not eating certain types of meat but it's the exact same attitude and it's disgusting.
I think the main problem about this type of judgement is that it's done without respect. It's like, you can fail to understand what makes someone act or think in a certain way, but respect so ( unless it goes against your beliefs or something, but we're talking about eating and drinking over here so, yeah ). In my experience, most people have a tendency to shove their beliefs in your face instead of just talking about it. I just avoid that type of subject with people who I feel like there's no use.

Quote by The Madcap at #33757392
5. White people are annoying about drinking. Stop talking about it so much. You sound like you're in high school. Just drink and talk about something else. White people talk way more about drinking, where as Mexicans just drink a lot more. The former is more annoying.
I have a really hard time at trying to keep up a conversation with people who take drinking ( and social stuff in general ) as a competition.
#28
People who make a huge deal about this are annoying

I drank like 5 times tops in the last year. It's just not that enjoyable to me so I don't do it much. But people are usually only jerks about it if you act all high and mighty about not drinking, otherwise they're just like "oh that's cool" and move on
___

Quote by The_Blode
she was saying things like... do you want to netflix and chill but just the chill part...too bad she'll never know that I only like the Netflix part...
#29
1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

I don't drink TO have fun, but it certainly enhances the experience. I drink wine and beer in moderation and for taste. Both are extremely enjoyable, on their own or paired with food. I just did a wine-tasting oriented road trip that was a ton of fun.


2. You have way fewer regrets.

N/A


3. People will judge the heck out of you.

I'm not hanging out with those types of people so again N/A


4. You sleep so much better.

Don't drink enough for it to have an impact on my sleep. Red wine also contains resveratrol which is very beneficial to your health. People who drink moderately / occasionally have also shown to live longer than people who strictly abstain.


5. You get less sad.

N/A


6. You develop more empathy for others.

No I don't


7. You save so much money.

how much is this guy drinking lol

A $15-20 bottle of wine split between my group of friends... a glass of beer at a restaurant costs 6-7 bucks every once in a while. big deal.


8. You get tired earlier.

sure...


9. You become amazingly productive.

whatever bro


This guy fails.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
Last edited by Xiaoxi at Jan 3, 2016,
#31
Drinkin doesn't effect your life that much... most of them almost seem like you're makin excuses tbh...

I haven't had a drink since August and the only changes in my life since then are not related... 'Cept the money thing. That's obviouss...

Also.......

1. You don't have to drink to have fun.

Bahahaa.... uhm, yeah... not the reason I drank... like the guy two comments up... Things were jus more enjoyable, and most people loosen up so the conversations are easier to start...


2. You have way fewer regrets.

Deff not. I have a few drinkin regrets, sure... but, my biggest regrets in mah life are so not even related to drinkin, said regrets might weigh on me less if I was gettin drunk.


3. People will judge the heck out of you.

No, I've gone to bars before with people gettin super drunk and nobody judged me when I was jus like... "nah... not feelin it today. I'll drink a soda or two and eat a meal and chill.


4. You sleep so much better.

Bahahaa. No, I used to drink TO fall asleep. I also have chronic night-terrors and it was much easier to drink enuff for me to not even dream...


5. You get less sad.

Nope, if anythin it builds up more. For me, I preferred to drink alone a night or two a month and anythin weighing on my mind... I would jus cry it out. And I would feel so much better... but now? All I can do is think about my sister and when I cry about her... it doesn't last as long sober. Drunk I could at least let it out for an hour... instead its five min or so..


6. You develop more empathy for others.

I don't have empathy for anyone but my family.

7. You save so much money.

I spent like $150 a month, but it was always worth it. So worth it I jus dun care about the money I'm savin tbh...


8. You get tired earlier.

I'm pretty sure I've passed out drunk well before my normal bed-time on many occassions.... lol...


9. You become amazingly productive.

Lmfao. Yeh. Totally. Maybe when I was takin small bumps of coke when I first quit drinkin... not now. Lazy and tired half the time now.
Last edited by mishahawny at Jan 3, 2016,
#32
Quote by Xiaoxi

Don't drink enough for it to have an impact on my sleep. Red wine also contains resveratrol which is very beneficial to your health. People who drink moderately / occasionally have also shown to live longer than people who strictly abstain.


Actually, the concentration of resveratrol in wine is not high enough for it to provide health benefits from normal drinking 1-2 glasses a day). If you drink enough wine to get the minimum amount of resveratrol that has been observed to have an impact, the negative effects of drinking that much cancel out the health benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol should be taken in isolation.
cat
#33
There are 2 parts to this.
On one hand, yes, there shouldn't be a stigma that you should get drunk to have fun. There are plenty of reasons to not drink like health, diet, driving, maybe you have something to do the next day (e.g work) and you need to wake up well, or you just plain don't want to drink.
On the other hand, just like any drug, using it recreationally is fine just as not using it. There's no reason to "brag" about not drinking and having such a great time and being "productive" just as there is no reason to brag about not taking any other kind of drug and having fun

1. You don't have to drink to have fun.


Well. yeah. You also don't have to take LCD to have fun either. But if you do (responsably) and you have fun, good for you.

2. You have way fewer regrets.


This depends on the surroundings you are getting drunk in, and how much drunk you get. You know where you are getting drunk (it's not the same getting drunk in your house than roaming the streets, etc) and you can control how much drunk you get by rationing your drinks, so you should do so you don't get too shitfaced at to have "regrets" like that. Though yeah it's hard to control being drunk at times (specially if you unexpectedly change the rate of consumption, e.g with "shots")

3. People will judge the heck out of you.


That shit is bad and should be addressed in that setting (either you have shitty friends, or it's a bigger cultural issue in your country/area that needs to be addressed).

Over here we always go out with friends who never drink and nothing ever happens.

9. You become amazingly productive.


You can be at a bar with friends without drinking alcohol at all, and you wouldn't be "productive". You can also NOT be hanging around bars every single day, but still go out every once in a while and get drunk, and still be as "productive". This one is irrelevant.

Most of the other ones seem more personal to him than anything related to booze itself. Stuff like getting better sleep/mood/etc can be related to not drinking, but it also depends on how much he was drinking before (which seems like a lot).

Yeah, alcohol isn't "healthy", so if you were drinking a lot of it, then after you stop you are going to be healthier and feel better.
The thing about recreational use of any kind drug is not letting it get to that point though.
For example, if you are a coke addict, and after you come clean you write a blog post saying "I feel better!" it's not going to mean much to somebody just taking a few hits every couple of weeks
#34
Obligatory "I have never drank a drop of alcohol in my life before"
Dance in the moonlight my old friend twilight


Quote by metal4eva_22
What's this about ****ing corpses? My UG senses were tingling.
#35
Quote by guitarxo
Actually, the concentration of resveratrol in wine is not high enough for it to provide health benefits from normal drinking 1-2 glasses a day). If you drink enough wine to get the minimum amount of resveratrol that has been observed to have an impact, the negative effects of drinking that much cancel out the health benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol should be taken in isolation.

but but... NINI


...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#37
Quote by gonzaw
You don't use mouthwash?


Nope. Plus you don't swallow/drink mouthwash lol.
Dance in the moonlight my old friend twilight


Quote by metal4eva_22
What's this about ****ing corpses? My UG senses were tingling.
#38
Quote by guitarxo
Actually, the concentration of resveratrol in wine is not high enough for it to provide health benefits from normal drinking 1-2 glasses a day). If you drink enough wine to get the minimum amount of resveratrol that has been observed to have an impact, the negative effects of drinking that much cancel out the health benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol should be taken in isolation.

I was gonna say that but I didn't wanna burst xixi's bubble
#39
tbh I've been thinking about this a lot lately but not just with alcohol. I don't really gaf either way from an ideological standpoint and I'm down to drink or w/e every now and then. but it is hard to do anything social if you're not really into it and honestly because of the people around me I'm kinda put off by all of it. it makes me sad when I meet people who can't even function sober and this sounds stupid but it's really annoying being seen as this immature ultra conservative cause I'm not doing coke or some shit. I'm not that impressed by any of you lol
#40
You can be all of that and drink. In fact, I don't drink, and feel like I would be happier if I did.
Page 1 of 2