• Tahlia Asinate

You Grow Through What You Go Through

Earlier this year, I decided to quit alcohol forever, a decision I’m so glad to finally commit too, especially considering my history with binge-drinking. Where this journey began, was shortly after my twenty-second birthday, when my boyfriend gave me the ultimatum to choose him or alcohol ...

Thankfully, I chose him and ended up not drinking for an entire year.

To say that year, was one of the most interesting years of my life, would be an understatement. It was a year where my life changed drastically, where although I was pushed beyond my comfort zone, I was able to grow through situations I had never expected to go through.

Because when I first decided to stop drinking for the foreseeable future, I didn't think about what would happen as a result of this. All I knew was that I wanted to stay with the person who means the most to me. In hindsight though, there were a few things that I wish I would have considered or at least have been aware, that these things might happen as a result of quitting alcohol.

What are these things? Well, let's get into them ... 

1. Your Friends Might Change 一 When you quit drinking, you will quickly find that a lot of social activities revolve around alcohol. While some friends will have your best interests and will feel comfortable with your decision to not drink, others won’t. In saying this, I don’t think that most people have bad intentions when this happens, more so, a lack of awareness on how to handle this. If this happens, like me, you might find it easier to not engage in social situations where you feel pressured to drink — think parties, dinners and what have you. So, if this is the route that you follow, it’s natural that people will stop calling and texting as you’re no longer engaging as a part of the social scene. At first, this can be a hard pill to swallow, especially if that is a huge part of your life. However, over time it may come to serve as a blessing in disguise because it shows you which people are and aren’t meant to stay in your life for the long term. 2. Your Bodies Response Will Be Unique 一  It’s common knowledge that there is a multitude of benefits for the body when one reduces their alcohol intake. When quitting for a prolonged period of time, for some, these benefits will appear quite quickly, whereas, for others, it may take some time for you to be able to see any changes.

Furthermore, how your body reacts will differ to others. While some people lose weight, others gain it. While some people's skin clears up, others, like mine, break out. If anything, don’t expect a specific result and instead take it as it comes. When you start noticing changes if there are ones that you’d prefer to not be happening, speak to a doctor that can help you fix and/or change them. 3. You'll Have A Bunch Of Free Time 一 As soon as I stopped drinking alcohol I found myself to have about thirty new hours available in my week. Whether it was the hours in the evenings not spent partying or the hours the next morning not being hungover. At first, this can be somewhat daunting, especially if your social circle is changing. However, one thing I'd recommend is to use this new time to your advantage. Reconnect with yourself, nourish your body, pick up some new healthy habits and form new friendships with people who expect you to be someone who doesn’t drink. 4. Fear Of Missing Out Will Happen 一  At first, it seems like everyone else is having so much fun and that you're missing out on the best life has to offer. However, I promise you these feelings of FOMO do eventually fade. Over time, you come to realise that you can have just as much, if not more fun without alcohol, plus you will also see your finances improve. That alongside improved mental clarity, increased energy and all-round improved feelings of positivity. All of which, will very quickly put an end to any feelings of FOMO. 5. Your Self Confidence Will Improve 一 After completely quitting alcohol I feel a special kind of confidence that I've never experienced before. It’s like I have this secret that nobody is in on because I’m not at the whim of this substance that previously had control over me. Funnily enough, when I tell people I don’t drink, they look at me as though I’m missing out on something. However, having experienced life with and without alcohol, I know for certain that I’m not missing out on anything. Instead, I feel more confident than ever before, I’ve been able to improve my health remarkably and my life is drastically better for having done so.

In hindsight, I believe my unhealthy relationship with alcohol stemmed from a lack of self-esteem. I used it as a way to find confidence when really, I needed a break from it to achieve a true sense of self-worth. So, if you find yourself considering a prolonged break from alcohol, or even quitting it altogether, I highly recommend doing so but be sure to expect some or all of the above things to happen.


Tahlia X  Disclaimer: If you have been or are addicted to alcohol, this shouldn’t be considered as medical advice. For help and advice please seek guidance from a trained medical professional.