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The light at the end of the sober tunnel…

March 5, 2012

You know when Jennifer Love Hewitt on her show, Ghost Whisperer, talks about heading towards the light? And how warm, beautiful and great it’s going to be? Well, believe it or not, the end of my 30-day alcohol fast wasn’t quite that simple (or glorious). But let me start from the beginning…

Day 1 to day 12: Pretty much sucked. I’m not going to mince words. It really sucked. I was restless. I didn’t know what to do with myself. All I could think about was having a drink. I was also dreaming about drinking. It was social drinking withdrawal. I was even dreading the weekend – which is when the urge to drink hits the hardest!

Day 13 to 18: I became sullenly resigned to the experiment. I was starting to see the benefits but was still pretty salty about it. Grudgingly, I was sleeping better – feeling a bit more alert and less sluggish. I even felt thinner (even if the scale wasn’t showing it).

Day 19 to 28: I was finally in it to win it. I was getting the hang of it. Mentally I was no longer yearning for a yummy pint of beer or glass of wine. I was like a normal functioning member of society! (I said “like”… I wasn’t drinking that much before). 😉 I could also talk about it without hyperventilating or sobbing.

Day 29 to 30: As I was thinking about where I was going to have my first drink to break my fast, I started to feel a little anxious about getting back off the wagon. It was a struggle to stop depending on alcohol socially (and emotionally) and I was feeling pretty good so why get back on? Why am I throwing away this newfound feeling of wellness? Will I go right back to previous habits? What about all the money I will no longer be saving?

Cheers!

I had my first drink three days ago with a great group of friends… I was excited to be back… BUT I did end up having beer spilled on me, a sick feeling in my stomach and the worst night sleep in weeks! Ack! Remind me again why I jumped off my healthy wagon?

Overall, the drink fast was a great experience. I learned a lot about my relationship with alcohol. Mostly that I was starting to depend on it a little too much.

That I was actually drinking more than I realized…

That if I go without for a really long time, I’d be okay…

That life is possible and pretty good on and off the sauce…

And though there is no way to calculate the money I saved, I know I did save some and I am treating myself to a bicycle – at last.

Moving forward I plan on continuing to drink but cutting back a lot — maybe even reserving it for special occasions only — treating drinking as a bonus in my life rather than a requirement.  I am also planning on doing my alcohol-fast annually. Just as a way of getting me back on track and shaking things up.

Will you join me next year? How did your drink fast go?

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From → Mind, Nutrition

15 Comments
  1. I didn’t do the drink strike with you, but I was a daily drinker myself (having at least a glass of wine each day). A few months ago I deterred that and now drink MAYBE once a week. And even when I have a “night out” I don’t go overboard. This past Saturday’s night out saw me consume only two vodka drinks.

    Overall, I agree with you completely — especially about the sleep! That’s the part I love the most. I use to think a glass of wine each night actually helped me sleep. In reality, it only helped me FALL asleep, not stay asleep.

    Congrats on your new found “freedom”!

    • EXACTLY! I didn’t have a good perspective on how much I was consuming and it wasn’t until I stopped that I thought “WHOA!” I just didn’t miss that crappy feeling at the end of the night or the next morning… I also didn’t load up on bar junk food! Is this what they mean by drink responsibly?

      Thank you, Trish. I just want to remind everyone that no animal was hurt during this experiment. 😉

  2. Good for you on your challenge;) I did something similar – this past summer – and the couple week fast turned into me giving up alcohol altogether:) Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

    • You did it over the summer? Wow! Unfortunately, I love crabs and the only beverage that goes with crabs is beer. But it will be interesting to see what summer will hold for my drinking habits. I suspect it will still be few and far between. 🙂

      Looking forward to sharing with you as well! Thanks for reading!

  3. bublik permalink

    So true on so many levels! I definitely think it can be a slippery slope of social lubricant. The best part of the wagon is not feeling like doo doo. I do find that responsible drinking can be fun but the bigger part I got out of your post is that it takes an incredibly mature *gasp* and introspective person to examine life and activities and the whole 9yds…and not be a total nutjob about it.

    • Not only did you accuse me of being “mature” you’re also saying I’m not a nut job about it? Is there no end to your villainy? 🙂 It is a slippery slope but I feel like I’m way more aware of the middle ground between none and too much. So what should we do next?

  4. Yay! I’m right there with ya! It wasn’t such a big deal once I realized I don’t really “need” to drink (not a lush by any means). We did it!!

    • We totally did it! Congrats to you as well. I can tell that the experience has definitely changed me. What is your plan for the future?

  5. bublik permalink

    Good question…come up with another adventure. Your maturity is on par w/mine, which may mean very little but I love a challenge. I’ll let you know if I come up w/something…burpees are good but not quite the “wagon” of last month.

    • I’m thinking of giving up on the burpees actually. It’s just taking up too much of my workout time. It’s fine right now but over 70 burpees for 30 straight days? That’s just getting to be too much. There are other things I need to be doing at the gym. :-/

  6. Good job Sammie! Aside from one slip up my month was pretty well. It was easy to abstain once I made the conscious decision not to have a drink, but planning things with friends like “let’s meet for drinks! … except I won’t be drinking!” was difficult. With the weather getting nicer and everybody and their brother having birthdays and St Paddy’s Day, March is centering around alcohol, but thankfully I know when to dive in (with limits) and when it’s just better to stick with water.

    • I know! It was hard to convince people that they could drink in front of me. I didn’t go out a lot – and that might have contributed to getting better sleep as well. I think if Friday hadn’t been so rough my attitude for the rest of March will be different. But I also learned to establish my limits and stick to water. Thanks for doing this with me! Knowing I wasn’t the only one really made a difference!

  7. Dude kudos to you! Over time, i’ve gotten into the habit of having some only on special occasions. Your body starts reacting to it differently and its wayyyyyyy more, shall we say..snazzzy lolol. Thanks for penning your experience my friend! love ur writing 🙂

    • Low alcohol tolerance = a happier wallet. 😉 I’m looking forward to riding around in my bicycle this summer. Thanks for reading. You make it all worthwhile!!

  8. bublik permalink

    Oooohhhh I wish you were here!!! We have a team for a spartan race (sprint distance) on May 5th http://www.spartanrace.com/colorado-obstacle-racing-spartan-sprint-2012.html

    Mud + obstacles = more fun than burpees

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