Dry January Final Check-In

2020 Resolutions

The final day of January is here. Technically, it’s the first day of February, but I digress. I should say, the final day of Dry January is here and I’m happy to report that I made it. I started this trip on January 5th and tomorrow I will have my first drink since the 4th. It’s funny because it felt so long, but now that I’m at the end, I guess it didn’t feel as long as it did while I was in it. I was sick for about the first two weeks, which was miserable because I hadn’t been sick in a while. I think also that the “withdrawal” symptoms from not having cigarettes may have been affecting me at the same time making it that much worse. I made it through though, with only one fancy glass of wine along the way. If there’s one thing that this experience has taught me is that I really don’t like drinking as much as I thought I did.

I’ve gotten so much done these past few weeks. I’m sure most of it has to do with a lack of a social life. It’s funny how your interactions with people can change when you subtract the alcohol. Many of my friends were also doing a Dry January. Perhaps we were all just enjoying a little bit of solitary reset time for the month. January sometimes feels like that. It feels like a bit of a hibernation. Time to reset and refocus your attention on what is going to be important to you this year. The other thing I’ve noticed about the last few weeks is that I’m sleeping better which in turn is giving me more energy throughout the day. I love this part because it’s making me more excited to work out and be active. I’ve been going to yoga the last two Saturdays, working out at home after work and even stretching while I’m at work. It feels good. And my body feels better for it.

I wouldn’t say I’m not looking forward to drinking tomorrow, but I am excited to hang out with friends. It will be interesting to see how my tolerance to alcohol has changed. I still haven’t decided what I’m going to drink. I’ve pretty much ruled out beer just because I think it will make me feel bloaty and gross, but moscow mules sound like they could be dangerous too. The most appealing option to me, at least in my head, is white wine. Something I can chill and just sip throughout the day. I don’t want to drink too much, but I have a feeling I’m going to have to figure out what that new limit is. I also don’t want to drink to the point where I want to break down and smoke. I’ve been thinking about getting a vape pen for those moments. I want to feel like I’ve actually quit and not just switched out cigarettes for something else.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. It gave me clarity of mind and made me rethink something that I think had become a somewhat normal facet of my life. This isn’t to say that I want to quit drinking all together because, let’s face it, sometimes that fancy glass of wine is nice. I do think, however, that cutting back and enjoying it more intentionally will be good. I may pick up another month along the year, we’ll see, for now, I’m going to look forward to that fancy glass of wine tomorrow. I’m proud of myself for making it this far and sticking to it. Now to get onto the rest of my resolutions… wish me luck.

Day 17: Dry January

2020 Resolutions

Wow, my last Dry January check-in was utterly and terribly depressing. I really was feeling like crap though, so I guess it was my real feelings coming through (ha, sorry). Fortunately, I’m feeling MUCH, MUCH better this week. I still have a little bit of a cough, but I think I’m mostly mended. I think the fact that I’m not drinking and thus not smoking cigarettes actually made it so that my body could heal faster, specifically with the coughing. Anyway, today is day 17 and I feel fantastic. My head is clear, I am falling asleep faster and sleeping longer and uninterrupted which is great except for when I need to wake up early and get my butt to work. I don’t really miss drinking either but I’ll write more about the reason I stopped drinking for a month later in this post.

First, let me start by telling you all the amazing things that I’ve noticed in the last 17 days (well at least the last 7 that I haven’t felt like a total zombie). I’m sleeping better, which is a major plus in my book. I’m not usually great at falling or staying asleep. I suffer from typical female bedtime anxiety. You know, the hour before you try to go to sleep that suddenly becomes the hour in which you worry about everything real and imagined for no reason at all whatsoever. I also typically have a difficult time staying asleep, waking up sometimes several times a night around 2am-4am. This hasn’t happened recently which is amazing. I’m getting at least 8 hours every night which anyone who can do this will tell you, makes you feel like a real normal human being. I do have a confession however; I did have one glass of wine at dinner over the weekend. BUT it was only one glass and it was because the hubs and I went out to a fancy restaurant for dinner as part of a downtown event for charity. I felt like this one glass was excusable because the dinner was so nice and no nice dinner feels complete without a fancy beverage. I am happy to report that the glass lasted me the entire three-course dinner, which never happens, and I think allowing myself the treat made the wine that much sweeter (not in flavor but in feeling).

I will be breaking my alcohol fast on Superbowl Sunday, which seems like not only a good excuse but a good amount of time. You see, I didn’t take on this challenge because I feel like I’m an alcoholic per say, but rather because I feel like I have enough alcoholism in my blood to make it a possibility. This also isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled with alcohol before because I totally have, and it wasn’t really something I had thought about until before this challenge. When I was younger, I would drink ALOT. I would drink so much that I would get terribly drunk, then I would vomit privately and then continue to drink. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “puke and rally”? Well, this was sort of my motto. And looking back what a terrible and embarrassing motto it was. This hasn’t been my mode of partying for quite some time, in fact partying in and of itself hasn’t been in my mode for years, but thinking back to this time made me realize that I could very well develop a huge problem if I allow myself. This Dry January challenge for me was a way of showing myself that I am strong enough to say no to alcohol. I am strong enough to say no to getting drunk. I am strong enough to have a life without alcohol. Now don’t get me wrong, the social aspects of this are huge and can be quite difficult. It seems that these days everybody drinks and everybody drinks together. To be honest, I haven’t spent much time with people since starting this challenge. It’s funny though because most of the people I spend my time with are also not drinking this month so maybe I’m not the only one to blame.

Overall, I’m digging this whole no-drinking thing and I think it’s helping me see the benefit of having it as a habit and not drinking as regularly as I was before. Again, this is not to say that I drank alot before (usually weekends and maybe once mid-week), but I think so far it’s a great reminder of how good it feels not to. Not only do I feel great, but I haven’t even mentioned all the stuff I got done this weekend. I felt so motivated and active I was able to accomplish things I’ve been putting off for months (here’s looking at you pile of clothes to be mended). To say I’m not excited for SuperBowl would be a lie, I do miss a big glass of wine every now and then, but I AM excited for the prospect of a teensy life change. I encourage anyone and everyone to take a sabbatical from alcohol if not for the enlightenment but for the challenge itself. And if you do decide to try and cut it out for a bit, check back in with me and tell me how you feel.

MelissaRose

Day 10: Dry January

2020 Resolutions

Today is day 10 of my first ever Dry January, and wouldn’t you know it, I’m feeling like crap. It’s annoying really. Anyone who has ever done this whole sober-for-a-month thing has told me how “great” I’m going to feel. “Your head will feel so clear”, they said. “You’ll sleep great”, “You’ll have more energy”, “You’ll be happier”. Well so far, not so good. I’m not sure yet whether to attribute my sickness to my lack of alcohol, as I’m sure that’s not the case; however, this blows, and I’m not just talking about my nose. I suppose, in all fairness, being sick is actually making it easier to not drink, which in turn makes it easier to not smoke since that’s the only time that I really crave a cigarette. But all in all, I’d trade in this sickness for the shame of a drink and a smoke in a heartbeat.

I wish I had something better to report. I wish I had an encouraging post about how my lack of alcohol has made the world a better place and I’m farting rainbows and rosey smells, but right now, I just feel like poop. I’m looking forward to not feeling this way and to being filled with alcohol-free inspiration and encouragement. If you’re still reading this, I apologize for being such a pitiful, snot filled sack of sadness. All in all, though, I suppose I should be proud of myself. 10 days of not drinking may not seem like a whole lot but to me it’s feat in itself. I usually drink on the weekends and typically once a week right in the middle of my weeks. The mid-week drink I suppose is the drink I use to get me through the week, and last week I took Friday off due to illness so I haven’t had to work a full week in a while either which helps.

To summarize, yes, I feel like crap-o-la, but I’m trying to find a glimmer of happiness in the fact that I’m still here doing what I set out to do for January. 10 days of no drinks or smokes. I’m also hoping that not drinking and not smoking will heal this sickness faster. It should heal faster after they actually install some filters in the intakes at work too, but that’s another conversation all together, along with the mold in my ceiling tiles in my office. Nothing like a solid cough to help motivate a conversation with management about workplace conditions! If you find it in your heart, say a little prayer, or send a little healing light my way. I’m needing it today.

MelissaRose

January 8, NY19 Resolutions Check-In

2019 Resolutions

Today marks the eighth day of the New Year and so the eighth day of working on my 2019 resolutions. So far, so good. I have reached the half-way point in my two week detox. I have not had a cigarette, a drink or a sweet since December 31, 2018. I can’t say that it’s been incredibly easy, although it hasn’t been terribly challenging either. Like I said in my previous check-in on January 3rd, the most difficult time was Wednesday night during band practice. This will come around again tomorrow. I do not think it will be as tough as the first week. Having other people over drinking and smoking does present temptation, however. The other part that was difficult at first was coming back to work. Smoke breaks at work were a good little stop in the day to sit on my phone and not think about anything. Without smoking, I don’t find myself taking the same breaks. Also, as I said in my previous check-in, I think that smoking is more of a habit for me than a physical addiction, and so not being able to follow through on that habit was a bit difficult the first couple of days back at work even though I had already gone six days without a cigarette.

My other resolutions have been going well also. I’m continuing to follow my meal prep plan with prepared lunches and planned out dinners. I am not stick to my original meal schedule so to speak, but I’m not going out to eat or grabbing fast food for lunch. I’ve been cooking dinner every night and preparing lunches and breakfasts in the morning for my husband and I. It’s been nice actually. I always feel better when I eat food from home. Fast food just makes me feel so sluggish. I really don’t know why I ever go back when cooking can be so easy. Speaking of, I don’t want to do a full post highlighting this since it isn’t really a recipe, but the easiest and most delicious cheap lunch idea came to me last week – homemade frozen bean burritos. Seriously, it sounds crazy, but I made some frozen burritos at home this weekend. I used one can of vegetarian refried beans, a can of Rotel, some shredded Mexican cheese and tortillas. I wrapped it all up together into a burrito (all together it made four decent sized burritos) then wrapped the burrito in parchment paper and placed in a ziploc bag for freezing. The next day, I put the burritos in little containers for us to take to work. It only took about a minute and a half to heat them up and they were delicious! This was a great discovery for me because it’s so cheap and easy to prep. I will be saving this idea and using it in the future.

My last resolution is to take better care of my physical form. I’m happy to report that I’ve been successful with this also. I’ve been waking up at 6am every morning with enough time to have a cup of coffee, get ready for work and take our dogs on a walk. The pups really love the extra attention and I’m finding that I really enjoy the extra jump-start to my morning. I haven’t officially started working out yet since the gym I joined hasn’t opened yet, but I’m hoping they will soon so that I can get back into some light weightlifting as well. All in all, the lack of toxins, the light exercise and the healthy sleep pattern have made me feel amazing! I have more energy throughout the day, I fall asleep faster and sleep better and I find myself looking forward to getting home and making dinner.

This weekend may be more tough than the last, however, to stick to my resolution guns. My husband and I are supposed to attend a pirate themed 30th birthday party on Saturday. This is only three days away from the end of my two week detox. I’m struggling with the thought of cheating for the one day so I can enjoy myself versus sucking it up and finishing out the detox. A part of me thinks it would be fine to do it for one day, and then to maybe extend the detox afterwards to the following weekend, thus giving myself almost another entire week of detox. But another part of me says I need to stick it out. It’s a difficult decision too because it’s a family member’s birthday party, and I don’t want them to think I’m not having fun or being a party pooper. Decisions, decisions. I guess I will have to get through the week to see what I end up wanting to do. I’m still so torn at this point. Gah – what would you do?

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great start to their year. It feels like it’s flying by already doesn’t it? Until next time…

MelissaRose