Abstinence.. Such an ugly word. Speaks to deprivation and sadness.
Abstinence is defined as: the fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something. “Restraining oneself from indulging.” Well that sounds like a great big bag of no-fun, right?
The idea of a lifetime of abstinence from alcohol seems too daunting for me. So for now, I will commit to 30 days. I have completed a 30 days alcohol fast in the past. “They” say the first two weeks are the hardest, but I will tell you that the first 30 days are the definitely the most difficult!! By day 28, I was excited to get to day 31. And if I am being 100% honest, I cheated mid way through. Only once, but it was still a cheat. However, even with the cheat, I did see huge improvements in my skin, my sleep, my anxiety levels, my abdominal bloat, and my energy levels.
A quick check-in on where I am currently. I am drinking every day to every other day. I drink only at night and sometimes to excess. I do drink alone, but not to excess on those evenings. I drink out of boredom, loneliness, sadness, happiness, stress, celebration, and just because.
I have read two books recently that have helped me so much. This Naked Mind and The Sober Diaries. The former speaks to re-framing your mind and thoughts about alcohol, in essence making abstinence a gift to you rather than a punishment. The latter is a journal of a middle aged woman in her first year of sobriety. Both of these books are wonderful and have inspired me to create this blog in order to keep myself accountable.
I’m still unsure if moderation or elimination of alcohol is the answer. For now, I am erring on the side of elimination but starting for 30 days.
I assume some days I will be angry, some days feel great, some days hate this journey and some days be so grateful for it. This is meant to be real. And all those emotions are real. Feeling angry is okay. Feeling happy is okay. Feeling sad is okay.. But for the next 30 days, drinking is not.
My real goal is 365 days… But for now, let’s just start with 30.
Eating that elephant… One bite at a time.