A Lengthy-Time Drinker on Attending A number of Concert events Sober

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The evening of my twenty ninth birthday, I went with pals to see New Discovered Glory in live performance at Irving Plaza in New York Metropolis. After having already consumed a cocktail every (perhaps two) at dinner, my pals and I took a shot of bourbon on the venue’s bar earlier than continuing to drunkenly dance to the band’s pop-punk hits.

I wasn’t actually certain why I used to be consuming, on condition that I had not too long ago sought to reexamine my relationship with alcohol. Earlier that 12 months, 2017, I had accomplished my first “dry January” and abstained from alcohol for the month largely to show a good friend mistaken who wager that I could not do it. However to be truthful, he had all the rationale to suspect that he’d be proper. On the time, I used to be a purple carpet reporter by evening (assume: occasions, events, and after-parties with open bars) and a meals and beverage reporter by day, which included overlaying wine, beer, spirits, and blended drinks. To not point out, I used to be a twentysomething single, going out on dates that just about at all times concerned alcohol and attending booze-fueled networking occasions, birthday events, and social gatherings on the common.

To say {that a} dry January felt like a troublesome enterprise on the time could be an understatement. It appeared unimaginable and completely no enjoyable. I additionally did not actually assume that 30 days sans alcohol would change me in any important means, particularly if I deliberate to drink on February 1. Spoiler alert: I used to be mistaken and would come to be taught that my near-daily consuming was affecting me greater than I assumed, and my pores and skin, sleep, and vitality ranges all stood to learn from only a 30-day break (extra on that under).

Nonetheless, on the New Discovered Glory live performance that spring, I discovered myself ringing in my recent 12 months of life with a buzz. Nonetheless wincing from the burn of the bourbon shot slipping down my throat, I welcomed extra of my pals to the venue. And never lengthy after, I discovered myself convincing my good friend Jaimi to crowd-surf with me.

Maybe my inclination to drink particularly at this present and on my birthday was rooted in nostalgia. New Discovered Glory is from my hometown in Florida, and theirs was the primary present I noticed again in highschool with simply pals and no grownup supervision. The expertise ignited my love for dwell exhibits, which, quickly after, grew to become synonymous with a motive to drink.

All through the following 15 years, concert events together with Warped Tour, One thing Company, Taking Again Sunday, Girl Gaga, Paul McCartney, and even a Backstreet Boys reunion grew to become mainstays in my social plans. And much most of the time, I discovered myself imbibing at these occasions, including one more boozy social outing to my already alcohol-heavy agenda.

Even after I had skilled the advantages of going dry, the mix of dwell music and alcohol felt so pure that I did not assume twice about grabbing a drink (or, reasonably, a number of) on the New Discovered Glory live performance. But it surely was the aftermath of that evening and my unfolding sober-curious journey that might change my perspective for good, main me to attend 4 concert events fully sober this previous summer season.

The pregame: How attending concert events and consuming grew to become intertwined for me

Consuming at exhibits was so simple as this: A good friend would ask if I wished a drink, and I’d say, “certain,” with out pondering an excessive amount of about it. Or, after a very difficult week, I’d be prepared to chop free with my pals at a present, and alcohol was simply the factor to launch our inhibitions. Typically we’d drink earlier than exhibits. Typically we’d exit after, too.

If I drank earlier than, throughout, or after a live performance, my next-morning routine was predictable: I’d get up dehydrated (learn: hungover), having slept terribly (learn: 4 hours, max), with a ton of tension (aka “hangxiety”) and the impulse to textual content whomever I’d been with on the live performance, “Did you might have enjoyable?” or “Haha. I’m useless from yesterday.” I did this for 2 causes: to substantiate that the evening was, in actual fact, enjoyable for all and that I didn’t by chance embarrass myself or anybody else; and to acknowledge that I wasn’t the one one overdoing it (ahem, feeling like roadkill the following day). Because it seems, none of us felt our greatest after a live performance evening.

Consuming at exhibits was so simple as this: A good friend would ask if I wished a drink, and I’d say, “certain.” Or, after a very difficult week, I’d be prepared to chop free, and alcohol was simply the factor to launch my inhibitions.

In the course of the New Discovered Glory live performance, after I took the burning bourbon shot and crowd-surfed twice—in my not-so-clear way of thinking—I despatched a video of me being lifted up and handed hand-to-hand above the gang to my dad and mom. To summarize the dialog that adopted (and continued the following day): My mom was not thrilled. However after the live performance, we hit one other bar with extra pals and extra drinks, and I awoke feeling (you guessed it) unwell.

Within the months that adopted my twenty ninth birthday, I discovered myself consuming fewer and fewer drinks frequently, nonetheless reeling from the notably dangerous hangover that plagued me after that live performance. And when January rolled round once more, I made a decision to do a dry January as soon as extra, desirous to reap the advantages I would just briefly tasted the earlier 12 months. Random sober months adopted, and in wanting again, I understand I haven’t ordered a drink at a live performance since.

The celebration: How I made a decision to spend the previous summer season attending concert events sober

After a number of dry Januarys, and consuming fewer than 10 alcoholic drinks complete in 2020, I revealed my ebook The Dry Problem: How one can Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Different Alcohol-Free Month that December. Upon realizing what a single month of no booze did for me, I simply could not shut up about it. And because it got here up in dialog, a variety of my pals and even strangers had questions for me—so I put the whole lot I knew and the whole lot I realized right into a ebook. The result’s a non-judgmental information to abstaining from alcohol for 29 to 31 days and the advantages of doing so, like higher sleep, monetary financial savings, clearer pores and skin, being current within the second, and, naturally, no hangovers.

This previous summer season, after years of pandemic-canceled occasions, I went to 4 concert events with pals: Tiesto, The Used, Andrew McMahon with Dashboard Confessional, and Counting Crows. And having, by then, largely abstained from alcohol for a number of months, I used to be set on attending these concert events sober, too. I used to be excited to see dwell music and ecstatic to have the ability to expertise one among my favourite pastimes once more, however I used to be additionally nervous about how I might really feel going to exhibits for the primary time with out alcohol. I made a decision to provide the primary one a (figurative) shot and go from there.

In fact, there are a plethora of well-known advantages of not consuming, whether or not you go alcohol-free for a month, every week, or only a day. However even on the Tiesto live performance, the place consuming would’ve lengthy been an integral a part of the expertise for me, I used to be happy by just a few explicit upsides: I didn’t need to run to the restroom to alleviate myself after each set, or miss songs, or lose my spot usually admission, or overspend as a consequence of imbibing.

I nonetheless danced, I nonetheless sang, I nonetheless dramatically lip-synched with my pals and took enjoyable pictures of the present (much less blurry ones, I would add).

As an alternative, I nonetheless danced, I nonetheless sang, I nonetheless dramatically lip-synched with my pals (some had been consuming, others weren’t) and took enjoyable pictures of the present (much less blurry ones, I would add). Slightly than alcohol, I purchased an vitality drink earlier than the present, ending it earlier than arriving at safety, and I sipped water all through.

With out alcohol, I used to be totally current, with sharper consciousness of the folks inside my neighborhood—which got here in helpful. Someday previous 1 a.m., I unexpectedly caught a girl in my arms and saved her from hitting her head on the concrete flooring as she was falling backward. I’m undecided I might have reacted as quick had I been beneath the affect.

The afterparty: How my dry live performance expertise panned out

For sure, in spite of everything 4 exhibits, I didn’t get up with a pounding headache and the urge to vomit. I slept seven to eight hours with out interruption, remembered the whole lot from the evening earlier than, and didn’t nervously textual content my pals the following morning to verify issues had been copacetic. (Reader: We had a lot enjoyable, my sobriety however.)

It might sound apparent, however all through this stint of attending concert events sober, there additionally weren’t any tipsy texts to my dad and mom outfitted with movies that might hold them up at evening, worrying about my security. (Sorry, and also you’re welcome, Mother!)

Admittedly, I didn’t crowd-surf at any of those latest sober exhibits, however for what it’s price, the primary time I crowd-surfed was in highschool (at age 16—yeesh). Sure, I used to be younger(er) and fearless, however the level is, I wasn’t consuming, and I used to be clearly having the very best time. Whether or not I’m floating above a crowd or singing alongside to track lyrics, no matter age: I a lot choose attending concert events in a sober way of thinking.

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