Unless you are super into football, or a successful movie mogul, or just got a new boyfriend/girlfriend, or your birthday happens to fall in February, the month is by and large forgettable. The cold, the lapsed new year’s resolutions, the overwhelming feeling of futility; February sucks. The only saving grace of February is that it is the shortest month. At least if you have to suffer — you don’t have to suffer for long.
So when funny man, directer, and all around swell guy Eric Appel posted about participating in soberfebruary.com I was inspired. Perhaps the idea appealed to me, because at the time my body felt like an dumpster, or perhaps it was that my girlfriend had once again left for her new home in Los Angeles, or maybe it was that I had a fear that my drinking alone playing video games was not as healthy as I once believed. Whatever the reason for my sudden fortitude, I made a mental agreement to participate.
To make the shortest month even more resemble a nondenominational lent, I also decided to cut out all meat, cut back on sweets, and drink less coffee. My thinking being; if I’m going to be good, why not be really good? Likewise, if I’m going to be miserable, why not get all my deprivations over in one shot (why not be really miserable)?
When I think back to the month where all my friends looked at me as though they suspected me of some unforgivable crime, such as butchering my neighbors and burying them under my floorboards. Or the countless bartenders who’s disgusted eyes seemed to imply my membership to being a man was hereby revoked once I acknowledged receipt of my cranberry and soda. Or that first night I went inexperienced to my local bar and had a diet coke to every beer of my friends only to find myself fantastically awake at 4am watching the first 45 seconds every movie in my Netflix instant watch cue. February had some good times, but I also learned some interesting things about being deprived of my favorite things I thought I would share.
What I learned from depriving myself of my favorite things for 28 days
- Not drinking booze is incredibly cheap! There were some nights were I literally spent $5 on a nights worth of drinks! That is amazing.
- It is amazing how much weight you can loose by cutting out booze! I lost 10lbs, mostly of happiness.
- Being a vegetarian was harder than being on the wagon. (ie – there are only so many slices of pizza and felafels you can eat)
- I thought eating well and treating my body right would make me feel better, it didn’t overall. Day-to-day I did feel better.
- Going to bars while sober is surprisingly easy and feels a lot better the day after.
- I am more addicted to coffee than I am to booze.
- Video games are FAR less entertaining sober.
- If you are going to go out with friends who are drinking be sure to act as drunk as them, or they will think you are acting superior.
- Don’t forget to tip the bartender if you are drinking non-alcoholic drinks, or you will become the lowest priority at the bar and it will take you 15 minutes to get another drink.
- Hamburgers are seriously delicious and go really well with beers.
So that’s my story. 28 days and I have to say I’m glad I did it. I think I might make April the day I go to the gym every day and see how that effects my health, because while I learned a lot about my addictive personality, or lack thereof… I still feel like a dumpster.