I Quit Drinking for 30 Days—Here's What It Did to My Mind, Body, and Skin

Amanda Montell
PHOTO:

Alexa Garcia

It was last Memorial Day weekend, and I was on what I believe to be my fifth glass of wine. Byrdie's news editor, Victoria, and I had jetted up to Santa Barbara for a day of wine tasting to celebrate the start of summer. We'd spent the day ambling from winery to winery, sampling a smorgasbord of pinots, both noir and gris, and at our last tasting of the day, we were both sporting a festive buzz. But that day, we were not just drinking to the holiday. It was really more of a goodbye party because starting June 1, I would be embarking on a sober 30 days.

I almost couldn't believe it, but for the entire month of June, I was not allowing myself so much as a sip of a friend's rosé. I know that for some people, going 30 days without drinking doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'd never done it before. In fact, when I thought about it, I hadn't gone more than a dry week since high school. At 24, alcohol still played a fairly present role in my life. I certainly didn't get as sloppy drunk as I did in college (my gut-wrenching hangovers wouldn't allow it). But alcohol was still deeply intertwined with my life. As an experiment, I simply wanted to see how I could function without it.

Victoria and I were heading to the winery's outdoor patio to finish up our final glass when we stumbled (quite literally) across a chalkboard sign that read, "No wine past this point." The symbolism seemed almost too perfect. Standing on the front steps, I downed my last sip, and we caught an Uber home. The following day, I'd wake up a sober woman.

This story was originally published on July 18, 2016.

Have you ever tried to go 30 days without drinking? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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