I had a really good weekend and I hope you did, too. This year was my third go at May long weekend as a sober person. I was surprised that it still felt a bit foreign, but I’m okay with that. Prior to quitting drinking, long weekends usually left me completely exhausted, anxious and depressed. I always had a blast, but the aftermath was no longer worth it. It would take me days to get back to normal and I’d claim to never want to feel that way again. Then the next occasion would roll around and I’d do it all again. Let me tell you, if the after-effects of a long weekend are getting the best of you, it’s possible to partake without the booze. Here are ten awesome things I took note of over the course of my sober long weekend.
The weekend began stress-free
Back in the day, the preparation alone for a long weekend had me feeling strung out. How much booze would I need? Running out was unthinkable! Did I have enough drunk snacks to survive? How would my friends and I get to the parties we wanted to go to? No one could drive a vehicle safely, let alone legally, and most sensible people don’t really want to boat around the lake once it’s dark and everyone’s pissed. I’d be all wound up before even leaving town, ESPECIALLY if I was leaving later than some of my friends. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME!!!!
These days I feel no need to rush. As I’ve written about before, somehow booting alcohol out of my life eliminated FOMO. I hit the road after my morning run, when I was good and ready and didn’t even consider that I might “miss out on something” before I arrived. Oh, and I didn’t have to make that extra stop at the liquor store.
No self-inflicted malnutrition
Usually when I arrived at wherever we were celebrating Maylong, I’d start drinking beer immediately and that was more or less the only thing consumed for seventy-two hours, save for a couple smokies and maybe some Doritos. Now I care more about how I treat my body, plus there’s the simple fact that royally disrupting my general routine is a huge pain in the ass. No, I didn’t eat kale salads all weekend and take vitamins. But, I did make sure to eat some real food regularly amongst all the shitty snacks that I love more than anything.
Got up early
Not as early as at home in the regular routine, obviously, but early enough so that no part of the day is written off. In the past, my dried out eyeballs would open, I’d urgently search for anything non-alcoholic, chug it like nobody’s business, and then go back to “sleep”. By sleep, I mean roll around in a stinky, dehydrated state of discomfort, then finally emerge from the tent/trailer/cabin/lawn chair a while later, having wasted precious hours of my life. LOL.
Getting up early, whether it’s to go for a run, walk, swim, to resurrect the fire from the night before, or to just sit and enjoy a coffee, is awesome. Coffee. Yum. That leads me to the next one.
This one I’ve talked about in many of my non-drinking posts. Drinking coffee and eating breakfast WITHOUT:
- a screaming headache
- symptoms of a peptic ulcer
- dry mouth
- shame from whatever (or whoever) you did the night before
- sore teeth from sugary drinks
No sore teeth!
Oh my God. Tooth decay, how I don’t miss you. I know I said I mostly drank beer, but on hot, sunny weekends everyone knows how easy the sugary coolers go down. When I think back to brushing my teeth the morning after drinking a case of Twisted Teas..I could cry.
When not drinking you can drive wherever the fuck you wanna go whenever you want. No waiting (or begging) for a lift to the next party. No need to be annoying AF harassing other drunk people for unsafe, illegal rides in the dark in their vehicles or boats. Also, when FOMO isn’t a thing, sometimes there’s no need to go anywhere besides the fire you’re already sitting at. I loved that I could do what I wanted at any time because I was capable of driving my truck or anyone elses vehicle if necessary.
Didn’t skip any runs
Yeah, I know, I’m always training for something. But lots of other people also like to exercise on the regular, even if not prepping for some event or competition. When I was still partying I always had good intentions to do my planned runs when out of town for the weekend, but they rarely happened.
No, it’s not the end of the world to skip physical activity for a weekend. Duh. BUT, if you’re someone who gets home on the last day and feels extra shitty, physically and/or mentally because you didn’t sweat (on purpose) all weekend, then you will relate to this! For me, alcohol meant all accountability was out the window. Now, I get it done. Prioritizing a workout on a super fun day feels good and helps balance out all the chips and dip. I got in my Saturday, Sunday and Monday runs as planned, plus an extra-large sense of accomplishment.
Ran on the beautiful path that I’d usually look at longingly on the way home, hungover as fuck.
I live at the end of the line, so when we go away for the weekend it’s always in the same direction, with the same drive home. There’s an awesome walking/biking path along the side of the highway as you head west out of Terrace called the Millennium Trail. I remember looking at it many times while on the way home from a party weekend and thinking, “I wish I didn’t feel like a bag of shit right now and was running on that path instead.” This year, I did. Fuck yeah. Drove home sweaty and stinky but who cares? Not me.
The night before going back to work didn’t suck
Soaking in hang-xiety and self-loathing all evening, looking in every cupboard for something salty to eat for a way-too-late “dinner”…that’s what the end of Maylong used to be like for me. Hahahaha. Sounds so funny but it’s true! Instead, I got a few groceries on the way home, did some laundry and went to bed at a legit time. And my sleep was good! Another thing I don’t miss: twitching all night in a cold sweat and waking up simply to power through the workday so I can go back to bed again.
Tuesday morning didn’t suck
See above. It’s already a short week, I don’t need it to be shorter because it’s taken two or three days to feel normal again. When I woke up this morning I was seriously grateful that I wasn’t starting the week ten steps behind. I hammered out my workout on the treadmill from Lifelong Endurance and went to work with a runner’s high instead of the old drinker’s low.
I hope everyone’s weekend was safe and awesome. As I always say, there’s no judgement here towards anyone who got buck wild drunk all weekend! I think it’s good to celebrate life in any way that suits a person best! As they say these days, “you do you!” I’m just doing me, and sharing some observations about why not drinking works better for me now, just in case it’s helpful to anyone else! xo
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