So its now February and I did it! I went the entire 31 days of January without a single drop of alcohol. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be and in the process, I discovered much more about myself than I had imagined.
Going without alcohol had positive impacts on my health and well being. While my sleep didn’t improve to the extent I had wished, I found I had more energy in the evenings and when I felt tired, it was a good tired, not the hazy tired of a second glass of chardonnay. I lost 4 lbs and my skin looks better. I did catch the viral / flu bug that was going around the office last week, but I bounced back much faster than I have in the past. I learned that all of our favorite dining places have excellent mocktails and that Erdinger has a wonderful “alkoholfrei” beer that will be my go to when I want another beer but don’t want the buzz.
As I’ve mentioned previously, in the past month I’ve discovered that I was leaning on that beer or glass of wine to deal with the massive stress ball that had become my daily life. Some of the stress is unavoidable, such as deadlines at work which can feel like whack a mole at times, but much of my stress came from situations which I need to either lay boundaries or unburden myself. I found I was rarely putting myself as a priority and was frequently saying “yes” when I should have been saying no. February will be my month of learning to deal with the stress I can’t avoid and removing the stress that is under my control. I’ve started mindful practices again, and looking at increasing my physical exercise. And I’ve reclaimed my Saturdays without the guilty feeling that I have to do certain things or be with certain people all the time.
So would I do Dryuary again? Yes, it was a break for my liver and a journey of discovery that may result in a “turning point” of sorts. While I won’t give up alcohol entirely, I have learned the fine art of moderation, and a better sense of balance in my life overall.