Welcome to the launch of the new “No More Wineing” blogsite, and my first blog post! I want to take this time, to explain why I decided to participate in Dry January, and what lead me to decide to remain alcohol free indefinitely.
I cannot remember the last time I went this long without alcohol. Honestly, when I really think about it, it was probably around 11 years ago when I was pregnant with my third child. I am still in shock that I actually did it and maybe even some that know me are as well. I loved my wine!!!! When I look back at posts on social media its plausible to think that I thought I needed wine (or any alcohol for that matter) to get through life. I thought I needed it to do house chores, I thought I needed it to recover after running races, I thought I needed it to relax and of course I thought I needed it to socialize. I did. I was addicted to it and I didn’t even know it. It was controlling my life. Before going any further, I do want to point out that I do not think we need to go back to prohibition days, I am simply saying we need to be more aware of our consumption, because so many of us are not. I am not judging you or admonishing you, I have been there and I know what it is like. I am sharing my story because I care and hope maybe I can help someone avoid the pain and suffering that alcohol has caused me.
I decided to take the 30 day challenge or, “dry up” as some refer to it, to get healthier, mentally and physically, to moderate what I was beginning to see becoming a bad habit, or rather, had already become a bad habit. I had no idea what the outcome would be or that I would even be creating a blog about this topic, of which I am still skeptical about for fear of being judged. Intentionally, I planned of having a glass of wine at the end of the experiment to celebrate my 30 days of sobriety. Now, when I think back, I feel like that was a rather foolish consideration. Sometimes, when we take a step back and remove things from our lives, we are able to see, and feel for that matter, the effects it really had on us. I wasn’t drinking excessively (at least as of recently- I will confess some of my mistakes that were a direct result of prior alcohol abuse in future posts, maybe-ha!). To clarify, I was not consuming two bottles of wine a day, or even one, so I didn’t think it was a problem. I would, on average, have 3-5 small bottles (750 ml) of wine in a weeks time. I would justify my consumption by saying, well its wine and wine is sophisticated and healthy (because that article said so) or so and so drinks more than me so I must be ok, right? I can assure you, after participating in the 30 day alcohol experiment, I was not OK. I was far from OK. I was sick. My body was telling me that I was sick by the way I was feeling, both physically and mentally. I was consuming a poisonous substance, on a weekly basis, how could I possibly be OK? I was only able to come to this realization once I had “detoxed” and could feel what it felt like to feel “normal” again. Just after two weeks, my lethargy had subsided, my anxiety and stress diminished greatly, I felt more confident about myself and the every day joys of life came back. I was feeling happier than I had in a very long time. I AM the happiest I have been in a very long time. My kids can even sense the shift, in just that small amount of time. I am more positive, easy going, rational, chill, whatever you will. My 19 year old daughter even commented that I had transferred my positive energy to her. I want to continue feeling this way and being this way if not only for myself but for my kids as well.
Why would I ever want to go back to feeling the way that I did? Maybe this is a question you have asked yourself at times before. Because I know many of us have had a night of overdoing it and we say we are never drinking again, only to find ourselves falling back into it’s trap. Ask yourself, right now, why would we intentionally return to drinking knowing how bad it has made us feel at one time or another? There is a reason we were feeling so bad, so bad sometimes that we vomit. It is our bodies way of telling us to stop ingesting a poisonous substance. Now, lets not beat ourselves up here, its not our fault, that we keep falling back into the endless cycle. This is alcohol’s trick. It makes us think we need it to get through life so we keep going back for more. Addiction sneaks up on us, and as we all know, it can happen to anyone. We may be navigating life while moderately dabbling with alcohol and then, a trigger, and we find ourselves in it’s snare and once we are there it’s hard to get out. But, I can honestly say, at this moment, I FEEL FREE. I know, some of you may be saying 30 days isn’t a lot. It isn’t, and I am sure I will have moments of weakness, but I do know that a shift has occurred and it can happen for you as well. It is YOUR CHOICE. Again, I want to reiterate, I am not saying you need to quit alcohol altogether, the decision to be alcohol free is my choice, that I have made, at this very moment, because I am not ready to moderate out of fear of finding myself right back in its trap, but it is possible to feel free again.
Consequently, not only was taking the break from alcohol a determining factor in my decision to remain alcohol free, but it can also be attributed to Annie Grace’s book, The Alcohol Experiment. In fact, ultimately, this is what helped me the most. I am now currently reading her first book, This Naked Mind. I want to confess, right here, right now, I feel STUPID. I cannot believe I never realized just how bad alcohol is. I can bet most people reading this don’t either. We might think we do but we really don’t. We are just not aware of what it’s really doing to us. That is yet, another ruse of alcohol and why I decided to create this blog. I want to share with you what I have learned, to make you aware of how detrimental alcohol is, to our bodies, to our minds, to our relationships, to our family, to our children, to our society, to our WORLD. Over consumption of alcohol is an epidemic. It is the underlying issue to so many problems but we are just so blind to this very fact, because alcohol makes us blind. It makes us numb. We don’t see things clearly and we don’t feel because this poison, simply put, is dulling our senses and wrecking havoc in the process. I encourage you to read her books and follow my blog, to open your eyes and understand exactly what is going on inside of us, on a chemical level, when we consume alcohol. I believe, from my own experiences and from the information I have gained in her readings, without a doubt, that there are no positive side effects of alcohol. None, whatsoever. We all drink for different reason, and we all act differently on alcohol, but no one, NO ONE, is immune to it’s destructiveness. I hope you decide to follow me on this journey, to learn a little more about what alcohol does to us and maybe even learn a little bit about yourself along the way.