I know some of you have been asking how my 90-day no alcohol project went. My 90 days ended October 28th, and here's an update:
Let me first say that I will not be making any blanket statements about alcohol’s “goodness” or “badness” here. Nothing in life is simple or black and white. We live in a complex world. I make no judgments here towards alcohol itself, or towards others choices surrounding its consumption. Live and let live. We are each uniquely responsible for our well-being, and only we as individuals know what’s best for us.
My decision to do this 90-day project was a very personal one. There are 3 main reasons why I chose to do this experiment. First, my drinking was getting to a point where I felt I had little control. Second, I didn’t like the way it affected my emotions. During and after a night of drinking, I became much more irritable towards those I cared about, and there were some fights and fallouts. I am also very prone to depression, which alcohol only exacerbates. Lastly, I have loved three men in my life who were alcoholics. One of them was my beloved Uncle Rick, another was a man I dated for a little while. Both died very young.
So I embarked on this self journey to re-establish balance in my relationship with alcohol, and get some clarity. Here's how it went:
The first couple weeks were easy. It was a huge relief to no longer spend mental energy thinking about alcohol. There used to be a daily debate in my head about whether I should grab a drink after work that day, what I might want to drink if I did, or whether it would be better to skip it altogether. Around and around the debate would go as I fought with my self-control. That mental exertion was now gone. Gone were the regret and the mood swings the following morning. Gone was the huge dent in my wallet. I also managed to lose 5 pounds, which was miraculous considering I had replaced alcohol with Ben & Jerry’s. I had more time, more mental ease and clarity, and was saving a lot of money.
But then came the triggers. If I was eating pizza, it was “a cold lager would be great with this”, if I was sitting by the water, I craved a cold, misty glass of chardonnay, and if I was spending time with friends and family who were drinking, I longed to be “on the same level” as they were. Grappling with these really sucked, but it got easier over time.
Around day 76 with only two weeks left to go, I started thinking about alcohol again, what I would drink when my 90 days were up, how much I would drink, would I want to go out, etc. Several days later, these all-consuming thoughts led me to have more than a couple drinks just a few days shy of day 90. And that was it. “I’m done” was the single, crystal clear thought the next morning.
So I’ve decided to give up drinking altogether. I cannot lie to myself any longer that I have reasonable self-control over a substance that affects my emotions and my relationships. I cannot deny any longer that it has taken the lives of people I loved very much. Most importantly, as a healer and empath, I want very much to be a beacon of love and support for all of you beautiful people reading this. I take that job very seriously, and it is one that I must do with a clear head.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me throughout this journey. And thanks to those of you now reading this.
Sending love and warmth to you all,