Day 17: Dry January

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

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