I finally decided to quit drinking during covid
(week one )
Like a lot of people during the "challenging " hurdles of 2020, I have increased my consumption of alcohol. I have always been a "social drinker". Being in sales, and working with other young people, there were always opportunities. "Thirsty Thursday ", "Thank god its Friday. "I've had a great day in sales - lets celebrate." "I've had a lousy day , I need a drink." And the oh so common " supplier/social/ schmoozing events. Being a part of this culture , drinking on the almost daily was very socially acceptable. When I found out in April 2020 that I was officially laid off, I made sure to stock up on some boxes of wine (its a pandemic ! What if they RUN OUT?!). This began the beginning of the "downslope." Zooms calls with friends over a glass of wine at 12pm were acceptable. "Who cares , its wine o clock somewhere ?" Memes were circulating the internet making jokes and making it even more acceptable that majority of the population was rushing to the liquor store and numbing the fear with booze. My drinking continued.
Soon, it was a Caesar at noon in the park ("social distance drinks" ), a six pack at the beach , and a bottle of wine with dinner ( which often helped me to sleep ). Cut to September. I had gained quite close to 20 lbs. Although I COULD blame some of this on my gym being closed and the "occasional" skip the dishes, my diet was pretty good. I knew it was the amount of alcohol I was consuming. I also noticed my tolerance had gone WAY up. I would crush a six pack in two hours and then being "borrowing" a drink from my peers during a park chill. I could always keep going with NO hangover and no tolerance ( I stopped feeling that "buzz"). Even then , I was in "slight denial". It wasn't until my visit home to my family that I had to finally face the music. My mom does not drink, nor does my brother . My dad has the occasional night cap.
My first night at dinner , I was able to polish a full bottle on my own. "Dealing with the time difference" after everyone went to bed, I was able to drink a second bottle which I told myself "would help me sleep." I was ashamed and definitely tried to slyly " recycle" the second bottle, but my parents were no fools. My dad and I were driving to the store the following day, and my dad after a moments silence said " hey, I noticed the amount you've been drinking. If you drink that much at home, its a concern for me.." Being a daddies girl who at age 40 rarely had these types of convos , I was thrown off guard. I shrugged and lied " Oh you know, its just stress and trying to sleep with the time difference....(Lies , all lies). I started to think "Damn, I do have a problem...I mean hear I am hiding bottles and lying to people I care about...who have I become.?" It was that night , over yet another after dinner glass of wine, that I looked back. The people I had let down by being too lazy after a night of drinking, canceling plans, saying regrettable things to people I cared about when I was drinking...and now this, and the weight gain, and, I didn't even want to think about the money spent...it HAD to change. My last two months of this 2020 HAD to be different that the first 8-10. I was ready for change.
The first step I made was getting some drinks "placebos". I ordered some CBD oil ( which is legal here - thank goodness ) to curb my sleep. I stocked up on some flavoured sodas to put in place of alcohol. Here we go.
Day 1 and 2 were easy for the daytime. Its that high that everyone says when you are starting something new . The "look at me go, I'm doing something." high. I let my family know about my plans so I could have more accountability and they were incredibly supportive. In the past when I have "quit drinking" the pressure of friends to cave always made things tricky to damn near impossible.
At dinner when everyone else had wine I had no desire to drink and didn't feel I was missing out. " I already know what its like to drink, time to know what its like to NOT drink ." Was my mantra. The nighttime was the most challenging. Every night I followed my same "wind down" routine.
Chamomile tea, CBD oil, and a book. I actually found that I was able to fall asleep no problem by 11pm. But STAYING asleep without the boozy crutch of a slight blackout, was a whole other ballgame. The first night : woke up at 315am - tossed and turned, read 10 more pages, played virtual chess, - dozed off at 4, up at 5am..ok, wheres the coffee?
The second night : Same routine - made it till 4:00am
The third night : 445am !!! yes!!! progress.
The fourth night : 615am - amen!!
On day number five - yesterday, we had our first family dinner. Everyone was having wine, but my family didn't mention it or offer, which I appreciated. i was surprisingly not even tempted. This is the point where I have come far enough that I want to keep going . As a bonus I have lost almost 2 pounds already as well! Apparently a bottle of wine is 750-950 calories. One bottle per night - you do the math - considering you need to cut 3500 calories for every pound lost, I think this 20 lbs is going to start disappearing FAST!
I have also put more into my health and skincare routine - more long baths, exercise, clean foods and facials. Its crazy when your not so hungover you can't cook or move, what can be achieved. My skin is already looking more fresh and less tired. I am looking forward to seeing how things develop as I stick to this non drinking lifestyle. People have asked "how long do you want to go?" To be honest I am just focusing on each day. Could I go as far as Christmas ? New Years ? Maybe I just won't want drink anymore ( cough - yes I know!!!! ) but gotta be optimistic right ? Wish me luck and stay tuned for week two ...