Thursday night I headed to my buddy’s house to watch the Bruins vs Capitals hockey game. I prefer social events like this one because it’s usually just good friends hanging out and having a few beers, a situation where drinking is very much secondary (or tertiary) to the game or conversation. Normally I would have enjoyed a beer or so per period and then headed home tired and slightly buzzed. However, Thursday night I stuck to water (and a full bag of Tostitos with salsa). There was one other person just drinking water so I felt better about not drinking. As with my other sober social events I still felt the need to explain myself, “I’m doing this 30 day life experiment…”
Friday night I had plans to go rock climbing and meet up with friends at the bar but then last minute I got a chance to gear up for a hike up Mt Washington on Saturday so obviously I packed up and headed north. Sober month or not sober month, adventures take precedence. However, adventures usually end with victory beers or a flask of whiskey to share with friends at the campsite. The hike ended up being UNBELIEVABLE (stay tuned for photo evidence). I have never seen such amazing conditions in the white mountains, especially on Washington which has notoriously horrible weather.
I felt strong, fit, and motivated. It was an added bonus to have such phenomenal weather. Having finished the hike by 2pm we then drove back to Boston so as not to miss out on the night life. I had plans to hang out with friends at the Middle East to see some live music.
In the last few days leading up to the conclusion of my 30 day life experiment of “Young, Urban, and Totally Sober” I thought about what I would do at 12:01am on Sunday April 1st. Would I have a mug beer from Parish Cafe, would I end up having a $2 PBR with the hipsters at the Middle East, or would I enjoy a straight glass of bourbon? It was quickly approaching midnight and I wasn’t sure I’d make it due to hiking Washington that day. I was sore, tired, and just generally beat. However, I made it to 12:01am and my friends cheered for me and I bought a beer.
My first beer in 30 days was a bit anticlimactic because we left the bar about 5 minutes after I got my beer. The last band was pretty bad so it made sense to take off, I’m not sure how long I could have tolerated it to be honest (both staying awake and having to listen to more of that band). Also, I was really too tired to properly enjoy the beer, all I really wanted to do was to go to bed and sleep for 12 hours.
This month’s 30 day life experiment was certainly a positive experience. I learned how to enjoy hanging out with friends and celebrate adventures without alcohol. I think it helped me recalibrate how I have fun and enjoy events. I started to recognize throughout the month that many of my friends routinely stay sober at parties. One friend who was dancing at the bar I had assumed was drunk. However, it turned out that she was stone cold sober, just having a really good time and getting her groove on. Another friend hosted a party at her house but she drank nothing but OJ and water. Alcohol can certainly lubricate conversation but being as extroverted as I am, I didn’t find it to be a problem. I still think that my conversational french is still better a bit buzzed but aside from that I didn’t notice any difference in the amount of fun I was having. I had plenty of fun, saved a bunch of money, and lost a few pounds but ultimately this 30 day sober life experiment it showed me that being young, urban, and totally sober is a perfectly acceptable thing to do.