Today marks 100 days since I embarked upon an alcohol-free life. If you are new to this journey, please – hang in there – it is soooooo worth it! At first I felt like I was giving up something and felt so sorry for myself. I saw giving up drinking primarily as a negative in my life – how would I ever fill the hole alcohol left? But – before very long, I began to realize that I was gaining SO much more than booze had ever offered me. Let me tell you the things that I’ve discovered are AWESOME about not drinking (in no particular order):
1. Peace of mind. My thoughts are gloriously uncluttered, free of the constant mental diatribe of recrimination, worry, guilt, and fear. My focus is so much better without all that shit going on in my head!
2. Enjoying events for their own sake. Going out to dinner, having family over for dinner, going to a sporting event (ok honestly I’m not crazy about these), planning any kind of an outing…. There’s a purity to the simple joy of looking forward to something for its own sake, not the opportunity it will provide to have some drinks.
3. Spending waaaaaaaayyyyy less money. A side benefit has been that my husband drinks less, too. This has enabled me to do some ‘just because I want it’ shopping, which is the funnest. thing. ever!
4. I like and respect myself. When I look in the mirror, I like who I see – I am totally proud of her!
5. Better sleep. The first month or two, I felt like I couldn’t get enough sleep – and – wow. Talk about crazy dreams! But now I fall asleep quickly, wake refreshed, and if I do happen to wake up briefly during the night, no hobgoblins (in the form of worrying thoughts) are sitting on the nightstand waiting for my eyes to flutter open so they can perch on my shoulder and talk to me.
6. No more vices! Other than drinking excessive amounts of coffee throughout the day. All of my other ducks are in a row. Eat right? Check. Exercise? Check. Drink enough water? Check. Don’t smoke, don’t drink. No details to fudge when I go for a check up.
7. Authenticity. I feel 100% engaged and present in my life now. It occurred to me that my enjoyment in life has returned to an almost childlike state…. The very simplest things bring me so much joy: playing with my granddaughters, looking forward to settling down with a coffee and a good book after a day’s work, crawling into bed beside my husband, snuggling and falling asleep holding hands…. There’s a calm, peaceful purity to these simple things that’s beyond words. I truly love my life.
Onward and upward to day 200 – and beyond!