Two people in bed, but you can only see their feet. One set is black, and the other is white.

5 Secrets of Becoming Sober That You’ll Only Recognize Once You’ve Tried It

1. Sex is actually pretty amazing.

Two people in bed, but you can only see their feet. One set is black, and the other is white.
Photo by Anna Shvets:

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. — Bob Dylan

Being sober is boring, isn’t it?

What about dancing and parties? Seems like they would be a drag without drinking.

How about sex? I feel like it would be super awkward sober.

Most people think life becomes these things once they make the decision to no longer drink.

And while I am not here to tell you that EVERYTHING gets better once you stop drinking, there are five unexpected realities that you’ll never realize until you are on the other side of giving alcohol-consciousness a shot.

Sex actually becomes amazing

I wanted to start with this one because this is the one that some people just feel like will be challenging to get over.

And while I admit sex will not be naturally easy at first because your brain will have to relearn a number of things, the overall experience will be much better than anything you ever experienced during your inebriated occurrences.

The reason for this is two-fold.

First, the chances will increase dramatically that you’re having sex with someone you have a physical AND mental connection with, whereas when you’re inebriated, there is a likelihood that your increased sexual arousal from alcohol might have you going home with the first person that seems willing to accept your proposal.

Second, from a central nervous system perspective, alcohol is a depressant. This means that not only are our neurological nerve endings impaired, but our sexual nerve endings are also dampened.

For men, this could result in a number of different issues, such as not being able to ejaculate, ejaculating too quickly, or not being able to “perform” at all.

For women, this can make it extremely hard, if not impossible, to achieve an orgasm — something that seems would make the entire experience particularly underwhelming for them, I’m sure.

You’ll begin to recognize who your long-term friends are

When I say recognize who your “long-term” friends are, this doesn’t mean that all the individuals that you hang out with currently are not good people or they are being “fake” friends.

What I’m referring to is that there are a number of people whom you hang out with because you like to drink together, but when you take away the alcohol, you don’t have a lot else in common.

This was one of the first things I recognized once I was sober for an extended amount of time.

This didn’t happen because my previous friends didn’t want to hang out with me anymore, as was my initial fear.

Instead, I found myself being the one who didn’t want to hang out with them as much because the activities that involved spending time mindlessly drinking just did not appeal to me anymore.

Over time, I built stronger friendships with those who were willing and able to have more meaningful, life conversations that involved more than just partying.

On the flip side, I slowly lost contact with those with whom the only thing we really shared was a love of drinking.

You’ll have way more free time than you ever thought possible

One of the things that I never realized until I stopped drinking was how much time I wasted because of alcohol.

While in the moment, it felt like I was using this time for something beneficial (having a good time), but now that I look back on it, I wasted so many hours doing the same thing over and over.

There was the hour or two it took to pregame before going out, and then the hour in the car on the way to the bar.

There was then the partying that lasted about four hours. Then, if the night was really good, there were another two hours for the after-after party.

The next day involved spending another 4–6 hours trying to get sober to do anything that resembled something productive.

Add this all up, and you have a total of 10–20 hours per week (if not more) that were spent involved in alcohol-related activities.

When I gave that up, I was amazed at how much free time I had to pursue a number of different hobbies that I never thought I had the time to do before.

Starting a weekly blog was one of those things that I always felt I was too “busy” to do, but without alcohol to hold me back, I found the time to not only do that but also to pursue a number of different passions that has made life truly enjoyable.

You’ll finally get to experience life without brain fog

I wrote about this recently in regards to how individual’s don’t realize how much their long term intelligence is impaired due to alcohol.

Much of this has to do with how when we drink consistently and don’t take any extended breaks (2–3 weeks), we are so used to the alcohol brain fog of not thinking 100% clear that we don’t even recognize that we are in said fog.

A good analogy is living with brain fog is like trying to live with the constant dissonant sound of a middle school band always practicing in the background.

Sure, you can get through life with it and perhaps be somewhat productive, but wouldn’t everything be SO much easier without it?

Your sleep will improve, your ability to relax will improve, as well as your ability to analyze and respond to challenging and complex issues.

You think that life is good now?

Wait until you can experience it without the challenge of having to listen to Timmy mess up on that trombone solo constantly in the back of your mind.

You will finally get to be fully present and create memories that you will cherish forever

This is probably the one that I truly want to impress upon those who drink excessively now.

When I used to drink, I would black out probably 50% of the time, which is extremely dangerous for your brain’s health long term.

I would feel like I had a good time overall but couldn’t always be 100% sure because there was always a portion of it that I just didn’t remember.

My wife and I would travel together and do the same things but just in different cities: find a bar with a pool table and good music and dance the night away.

And while I won’t deny that these nights were fun and enjoyable (at least what I can remember of them), they all tend to run together in my memory now because there wasn’t anything unique about them, as I was not fully present while they were happening.

Contrast this to today, in which my wife and I take trips all over the world, visit various historic places, and do a number of different activities that are completely unique, and there is no way I could ever forget all the amazing moments that we share.

Here’s a video of our most recent trip to Lima as an example.

And while I can’t deny that I do miss some of those drunk pool and dancing nights from yesterday, I am so much happier with the tradeoff I get by being able to remember so many new memories that we are going to create tomorrow.