A quick decision on holiday changed my life forever

One decision five years ago changed Steph Elswood's life.

A quick decision on holiday changed my life forever
Steph Elswood has saved ‘thousands’ after ditching booze – but still knows how to have a good time (Picture: Steph Elswood)
Steph Elswood has saved ‘thousands’ after ditching booze – but still knows how to have a good time (Picture: Steph Elswood)

Considering quitting alcohol? Sober lifestyles are fast on the rise, with recent figures from the Office For National Statistics showing 1 in 7 UK adults don’t drink at all.

And for Steph Elswood, deciding to go sober in her early twenties gave her everything she had previously searched for in alcohol: confidence, friendships and happiness.

‘I didn’t necessarily have that horrible moment when I knew I had to ditch alcohol for good, a rock bottom sort of wake-up call,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘But I’d been going out a lot with my partner and I decided to test myself by going alcohol-free on a three-week holiday. I was amazed by how incredible I felt and I never went back. That was five years ago.’

On reflection, Steph- who recently opened up on her sober journey on the Be More Burt podcast – says she realises how damaging alcohol was for her life and how many dangerous situations she put herself in as a result of her intoxicated state.

‘I was never a bad drunk but I lost days to hangovers,’ she explains. ‘I’d have hangxiety and sit in dark rooms feeling awful.’

Steph, whose 255k Instagram followers follow her journey, adds: ‘I also took silly risks, like we all do. I remember losing my phone and using a friend’s to locate it on Find My Phone. I ended up walking on my own to a group of men and snatching my phone back. That could have ended badly but I wasn’t making a rational decision.’

Since going sober, Steph, 27, an entrepreneur who has developed alcohol-free spirit Carouse and hosts Dry Disco Club, admits she’s lost friends but has also forged better connections with new people.

‘There are friends I’ve drifted from and that’s hard but then you realise that you probably only had drinking and partying in common.

‘Don’t get me wrong, I can still have fun and dance on tables but I just don’t drink. Through this journey, I’ve made friends who I have so much in common with and our connection isn’t just superficial and surface-level chat.’

Plus, Steph insists she’s saved thousands of pounds.

Many are favouring a more moderate lifestyle when it comes to drinking (Picture: Getty)
Many are favouring a more moderate lifestyle when it comes to drinking (Picture: Getty)

‘I would say financially, I’ve saved a ton. Thousands and thousands of pounds. I used to spend so much on nights out getting in expensive rounds for my mates. Or staying out too late and having to get Ubers all the way back home.’

She adds: ‘Alcohol is the only drug that’s frowned upon if you don’t consume it. But the lockdown caused us to lose so much time with our friends and family. Time we’ll never get back. And alcohol can impact our memories and ruin whole days with hangovers. So for me, it’s just never worth it.’

Listen to Be More Burt here.

MORE : Sober-curious? You need to listen to this story

MORE : Sober-curious but no idea where to start? Here are some expert-approved ways to cut down on alcohol