I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol several weeks ago. I didn’t really tell any of my friends or family, because I didn’t really want to be judged for such a silly and simple thing. I also didn’t want people to think I was judging them for drinking. However now I’ve hit a bit of a wall and am having a hard time sticking with this no alcohol thing. The goal was to not drink alcohol this summer – and I want to stick with my goal, so I figured if I finally shared what I was doing with others I’d be able to hold myself accountable.
Why I stopped drinking
I fell into a bit of the party scene here in China. It’s very easy to, as that’s what it seems most other foreigners do. To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot of westerners here who do much besides go to bars in their free time.
I found myself when I first got here going out a lot. Every couple of nights I’d be out drinking with friends, and often times I’d stay out ridiculously late and not get home until the sun came up. I was partying more here than I ever did in college.
As a fairly active person, I started realizing quickly that this was a huge problem. I never went to they gym because I was too tired or hungover — and then by the time I felt better, I decided to go out with friends instead. I never went for just one or two drinks, and not because I wanted to get drunk regularly, I just tend to drink any liquids quickly.
Somewhere along the way I decided I was going to run my second marathon this October — and I knew my habits needed to change. I couldn’t skip runs/workouts in the morning because I was too tired or hungover — and I didn’t want my work performance to suffer because I wasn’t worn out by the time I got to work because of not enough sleep.
So I decided to stop drinking. I don’t go to bars anymore to avoid the pressure, and I try to be home and in bed again at a reasonable time.
So Far, So Good
Besides the one beer I had with dinner the other night — I’ve been extremely good. I haven’t had drinks in six weeks. The beer I had the other night helped me realize I actually really want to stick with this, and want to cut alcohol out completely. I really didn’t feel good afterwards.
The downside of not drinking — I’ve lost a lot of my social life. It’s hard to make friends in a country where your language skills are seriously lacking — and I really haven’t met too many westerners outside of the bar scene. This has been the biggest and only drawback of my decision to stop drinking. I don’t really know where to make friends outside of the bar — but I’m working on it!