I Quit Drinking for 30 Days (Well, Not Yet) and You Should Too

Before you read this post about the many benefits of giving up drinking for 30 days, I should let you know it’s somewhat bogus. I had my last drink on September 3, 2016 (or actually the early morning of September 4, if we’re being technical). So I’ve only been alcohol-free for 12 days. What a crock, right? “This guy hasn’t even done it yet! Someone needs to report him to the Better Blogger Bureau!” Relax, Chachi. I’m only 12 days in but I’ve already noticed a difference.

I’m sure this topic has been covered before by many others, but what I offer is my perspective on it as a social drinker and comedian who spends most nights telling jokes at places that exist mainly to serve alcohol. I did it to improve my health and general well-being. Here are the immediate benefits I’ve observed:

You Get To Tell People You Quit Drinking For 30 Days
Being able to say, “Nah, I’m giving up alcohol for 30 days” when someone offers you a drink is tremendously empowering. On one hand you get to feel better than them, and on the other hand they feel shame for not being as morally good as you. That’s what we call a “win-win.”

You Save A Ridiculous Amount of Money
Drinking at bars is generally pricier than drinking at home anywhere you go, but you ever order a drink at a bar in New York? You can’t order a Manhattan in Manhattan without a co-sign. It’s time for a new hobby when one of your recurring nightly purchases requires a Wells Fargo loan officer. “Okay Mike sign here, and here, and initial here….aaaaand congratulations: you are now the proud owner of a $900 mortgage payment for a whiskey on the rocks.”

Have you ever looked at how much you spend on alcohol each month? Add it up and the numbers will stagger you. I’ll give you an example from my own personal finances: on only day 12 of a 30 day no-drinking binge, my calculations show I’ve saved over $200,000. That’s $200,000 I can put towards something more sensible, like my 401K, or a pet eagle. I;m not entirely sure if $200,000 gets you an eagle, but it would at least be a sizable down payment. Can you even buy an eagle? Not sure, but that’s a question for another blog.

You Might Be Sluggish in the Morning, But It’s Not Due to a Hangover
Once you hit 30, getting a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep becomes the new drunk. Plus do the math on this: let’s say you go out on a Friday night and drink from anywhere from 2-6 hours. Along with getting terrible sleep, you then have a hangover that can last anywhere from 10-12 hours. So you’re essentially committing to feeling horrible for a time period that’s 2-5 times longer than the period you spent partying.  Now, if we could figure out a way to flip it, it would make much more sense, but the onus for that is on the leading scientists of our time. Can’t we pull Neil DeGrasse Tyson away from his sanctimoniously tweeting at people “ACTUALLY, Pluto ISN’T a planet” to work on this?

In the Time I Would Have Spent Not Drinking, I Was Able to Complete in Multiple 5Ks 
Naaaaah, not really. How insufferable would I be if I had really said that though? Piling the 5K bragging on top of the “not drinking for 30 days” bragging? Ugh. If I ever get there just burn this blog to the ground.

My Choice of Drink No Longer Feels Tied to My Identity
I’ve ordered the same drink for so long, pretty much all of my close friends and acquaintances know what it is. Captain and Coke. Over my 10+ year drinking career, I’ve rarely wavered. It’s so much a part of me you’d think Captain Morgan was sending me kickbacks. They are most definitely not (though if any of their executives are reading this, feel free to send some for the free plug. Just make sure it’s after October 4). My point is, other than James Bond, no one associated with a “signature drink” is better for it. I mean, maybe I can reinvent myself as a whiskey on the rocks guy, but at this point I feel like the branding damage is done. Plus that kind of fucks up the 30 day think because I’d have to start on that re-branding campaign like, yesterday.

Turns Out Not Drinking Can Actually Be Fun
Just last night I walked home from an open mic with my boy Herbie Gill, another DC area comic who just moved to New York. Before the ban? We may have ducked into a bar and had a couple drinks. Instead we BS’ed about old times. It was definitely more fun than having a couple watered down rum and Cokes next to some drunk guy complaining about the Giants pass defense.

So there you have it. I hope everyone reading this considers the idea of giving up drinking for 30 days. Unless you don’t drink, in which case keep doing what you’re doing. And oh my God, if you’re an alcoholic, definitely keep doing what you’re doing. Man, could you imagine if an alcoholic read this, just kept not drinking for 30 days, then said, “Welp! I did it!” and starting drinking again after that? “Mike said I’d feel better!” Anyway, don’t do that.

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