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I Stopped Drinking Alcohol And Now I Have No Friends

I Stopped Drinking Alcohol And Now I Have No Friends

Exactly two weeks ago, I stopped drinking.

It’s been fourteen days since I last had a beer at 5 p.m., a glass of wine at dinner, a vodka soda with friends, or the entire contents of the oversized flask I sneak into overpriced bars when I can’t stomach spending $14 on some no-name pinot grigio.)

So, why did I give up alcohol? It’s not because of the alcoholism that surely runs in my family or because I get mean every time I drink tequila. I wasn’t overdoing it or abusing it or anything like that that makes people feel bad for knocking back the shot they attempted to pass off on you. No, I gave up alcohol because, boringly enough, I thought it was time to lose all the weight I gained in college and then after, working a 9-6 job without exercising for two years start treating my body right.

So, I chose to pick one of a zillion diet programs out there declaring that it would “totally transform my life” and “make me beach-body ready in just 30 days!!!!” Having been a chubby kid, chubby/too skinny teen, and a thicc adult (see also: chubby), I’m no stranger to diets and promises and declarations of cures that I would get the weight off and KEEP IT OFF.

It didn’t matter. I wasn’t even sure I’d try that hard. It was just that, after I had pizza for the fourth day in a row and showered with the lights off because I didn’t want to look at myself in the mirror, I figured, “fuck it.” I picked a plan. I spent 300+ dollars on organic produce, nitrate-free meat, and a lock for all of my wine, and I’ve fucking stuck with it.

And the problem isn’t the diet. That’s actually great. I didn’t come here to brag (yes I did), but in 14 days I’ve lost 9.5 pounds, and I’ve done so by eating a shitton of food and exercising like twice. It’s pretty insane, to be honest. I cook relatively delicious foods. I still eat bread and rice and fruit and steak and burritos. I had French fucking toast for breakfast. The downside?

I’m not allowed to have alcohol for twenty-eight days.

And at first, that didn’t really seem like that big of a deal. Actually no, that’s a lie. At first, it seemed like a really big fucking deal. So big, in fact, that when my friend who told me about this diet mentioned that part, I laughed in her face. But after flipping through the book and reading the meal plans, I started to get it. I got over the fact that I couldn’t have Blue Moons when I was promised to lose twenty pounds in twenty-eight days. So, I decided I could do it. I could give up every food and beverage I loved to no longer look like a beached baby beluga whale.

I picked twenty-eight days that I wouldn’t be traveling or have out-of-town guests visiting, I made my meal plan, and I got ready.

And right away, it was near-impossible. My boyfriend’s coworkers invited him out, and I was extended the invitation. Torn between not wanted to break my no-drinking rule, and not wanting to be the girl who doesn’t like fun, I offered to DD (something I never do) and stuck with plain, old-fashioned water all night.

Doing that, I quickly learned that not drinking is a layer of hell I never expected to experience.

Because the thing is, I love drinking. That sounds bad, but whatever. I love creating new drinks, I love going to breweries, I love having a piña colada on vacation, and I love days of going to the grocery store with your SO, buying “fancy” cheese, going through three bottles of wine and having lazy sex while trying not to press too hard on each other’s stomachs.

As the evening wound down and I helped not one, but two grown men vomit discretely, I missed the days of being the drunk bitch on the dance floor, oblivious to her boyfriend’s friends’ low tolerances. And then, the Fourth of July rolled around.

If you’ve never been sober for a Fourth of July as an adult, I must say, I don’t advise it. If you’ve never been on a diet for the Fourth of July, I also don’t advise it. Offers came flying at me (okay, not flying. But I had a few interested parties) — a brewery, a day party complete with bounce house, an open bar, a vineyard tour — everything normal-me would have shown up early for, I kept having to turn down. After finally agreeing to a lowykey cookout, I spend five hours watching friends and couples chow down on hot dogs, chips, and beer while I ate my open-faced turkey sandwich and sipped my La Croix. As I waited for my alarm to go off, indicating I could have my snack of raw cashews and carrots, I envisioned murdering them all, eating their leftover hot dogs, and drinking the 48 beers left in the cooler.

It’s bad, guys. It’s really bad. Maybe that means I’m more dependent on alcohol than I thought, which is something I should probably discuss with a therapist. But the point is, after I went to a bar, a pool party, a game night, and a cookout, all dead sober (and the only sober one, I might add) it quickly became apparent that most adult activities and friendships absolutely rely on alcohol.

As I’ve told more and more friends that I’m not drinking at the moment, less and less offers to hang out have been coming my way. It’s not that they’re being mean, they’re just trying to support me. But as I watch them take shots together on Snapchat, I wonder yet again why God made alcohol high in caloric value if even his own GD son loved wine so much.

And while I could take this as a sign to really foster friendships focused more on my hobbies or goals, and to push myself to find different alternatives to drinking, that’s not really the message I’m taking away. The message I’m taking away is that in fourteen more days I’m going to get freshman-year drunk and beg my friends to invite me to social gatherings again. I don’t care if the wine I drink is making me gain weight or if going to breweries is going to be the death of me. I think I’d rather be fat, tipsy, and happy than skinny, sober, and sad.

Because the trust is, no, you don’t need alcohol to have fun or friends. But apparently, I do. So, everyone. Come the end of July, drinks are on me. Sure, you might think of this as buying friends, but hey. I was in a sorority. I know how this shit works. So… everyone cool with Fireball?

*I will not release the name of said plan yet so I can write a review about it at the end and therefore produce more #content and suckle at the money teet.

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Rachel Varina

if it doesn't have snack or seats, i'm not there.

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