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Sobriety Tattoo

By Isabel van Zuilen

What are your thoughts on a sobriety tattoo? I´m a fan, and I´m sharing mine with you here!

So this is it, the Tt logo (which stands for Teetotal), inked on my wrist, that shows my dedication to sobriety:

Do you see my happy face to the left? This was right after 30 minutes of pure torture, but how excited was I for this brand-new start. I tried for years (or decades even) to moderate my alcohol intake. It´s killing me when I think about the number of days/weekends wasted away due to horrific hangovers. This and the constant stop on my personal development due to feeling, both physically and mentally, like utter crap made me decide to stop completely. No more alcohol for me, ever!

This was a while ago and today I´m proud to say that I´m 418 days sober.

And I haven´t had a single day that I regretted having this tattoo done. Besides the fact that it is a great and constant reminder of my newly found, happy sober life, it also makes me talk about it – quite a lot! With family and friends, but also with complete strangers. The tattoo is quite visible on my inner wrist, and people sometimes ask what it stands for, Tt. And when they do, I raise my arm and say, proudly and happily, “I stopped drinking alcohol!” I have received many different responses to this… Most of them are very positive. People seem happily surprised to see how someone can A. not drink forever, and B. be so bloody happy about it, haha.

But some people don´t see it that way and are a bit uncomfortable about it. You hear them think, “Does she have a serious alcohol problem?”, “Never thought of her like an alcoholic” – if they know me – or “Oh dear, what did I start” – if they don´t, and fall very quiet… To them, I simply say that I prefer life without drinking alcohol as it lets me be the happy person I actually am!

To be honest, drinking alcohol brought me less and less happiness towards the end of my ´drinking career´. Yes, ok, the first glass was often super fun: Ohhh, what will the night bring… and the excitement was hanging in the air. For about maybe one hour. Shortly thereafter, I, more often than not, started worrying about many different things – Should I be drinking tonight? How much more should I drink tonight? How much of the bottle is left? Should I top up myself a bit more than usual and then stick to 3 glasses? What do I have to do tomorrow morning? Can it be canceled? – I was no longer fully enjoying it, that´s for sure. And then I haven´t even gone into the horrible, depressing hangovers, oh man…

At some point, the advantages of drinking were no longer winning it from the disadvantages. So... Why bother drinking? A happy life without alcohol it is now, confirmed on my wrist!

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