90 Days…and then?

I reached my 90 day AF goal yesterday. This past 90 days has been eye opening, to say the least. Here’s my take on it:

Month 1 – The first couple weeks were tough. Then those ‘pink clouds’ you hear about kicked in and everything was AMAZING. I had so much energy and was incredibly happy and bubbly! It was a bit of a struggle to get through a few social things and a mini vacation, but with the support of family and friends both in person and via messages…I made it through. A huge thank you to a very special friend that messaged me from overseas at the exact moment I needed it! I love you!

Month 2 – My normal stress and anxiety started to come back…the pink clouds were nowhere to be found. It was easier to stay AF at social events though and it started to normalise. I was missing the energy of the first month however, and ended up consuming way too much sugar.

Month 3 – The stress continued, but the effect it had on me was lessened and the anxiety dissipated. I found I was able to roll with things with more ease, and everything seemed to start finding it’s balance. The best part is, it switched from “I can’t drink” to “I don’t want to drink”. I still had my de-alcoholised wine or tart cherry juice with dinner, but I could happily have someone drinking ‘real’ wine beside me and it didn’t bother me in the least.

Today, on day 91, I went out shopping for my Mum to buy a 50th birthday present for myself. I knew exactly what I wanted – some trainers I’ve been wanting for a few years now but didn’t want to spend the money on. Trainers in hand, the rain started coming down hard so we looked for a place to duck in and get a bite to eat. I decided to have a glass of red wine with lunch – for two reasons. First, I was kind of curious if I’d even like it anymore. Second, that Italian wine I’ve been saving for my birthday is going to be opened this week and I want to enjoy it. I know if that was my first glass after this long, I probably wouldn’t like it. Which is kinda fucked up, isn’t it? I know it takes some getting used to…and hence it’s shit for my body and brain. So let’s have a ‘practice’ run, shall we? Makes no sense…but I did it anyway.

In order to preserve my thoughts and feelings about that first glass, I’m writing them here so that I can re-read them later. Here goes:

  • I know it was a nice wine…one I normally would have liked…but it tasted a bit like drinking rubbing alcohol or something. I could feel and taste the alcohol vs the softer de-alcoholised wines I’ve been drinking. There was a sharpness to it.
  • I could have happily left the table without finishing the glass. I only finished it as it took so long for our bill to arrive…but I also drank my water.
  • I had absolutely no desire to order another one. Yes!!!!!
  • It gutted me a bit to have to press ‘re-set’ on my ‘sober tracker’ app and part of me felt it just wasn’t worth it.
  • When I got home, I was exhausted and didn’t want to do anything. I almost fell asleep on the couch.
  • I felt a bit crap for quite a bit of the evening, and had a ginger-ale with dinner.
  • So so so thirsty and de-hydrated….and feel like I need to drink a litre of green juice or something!

One of the primary reasons I did this 90 days is because I have never wanted alcohol to be a ‘thing’ in my life. Abuse and complete abstinence both are a ‘thing’ in my mind…so I wanted to re-set my relationship with alcohol. What I want is to be able to enjoy a glass of wine with a nice dinner, but have it be just that. An every once in awhile thing…not a daily occurrence.

This means I’m now on to the next part of my challenge…my journey. Maintaining balance. I’m going to keep journaling and keep delving in to my thoughts and experiences… and I have made myself a promise that if I cannot drink moderately then I will stop. Full stop.

For now, I know I’ll have the Italian wine for my birthday this week…but am sharing it with others. Then I will do the Whole 30 until Christmas and get my sugar intake down. I will more than likely have some wine at Christmas…but the more I think about it, the more I like living life alcohol free. So perhaps I won’t. Perhaps my birthday will be it. We’ll see… But I’ll be watching and making sure I’m aware.

x

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