Yesterday, I hit 60 days without alcohol. I can’t remember the last time I went without alcohol for this long, so it’s a pretty big milestone for me.
I’ve struggled with my relationship with alcohol for the last five years or so. So much so, that I stopped going on big nights out a few years ago because of how bad it made me feel afterwards. I would feel tired, anxious and a lack of confidence. I’d get stuck in a low mood and feel depressed for up to two or three weeks afterwards. It affected the quality of my work. I would have less patience with friends and family. I’d also drift from my good habits for a few weeks following a big night out (waking early, planning my day, eating well, exercising etc.). It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that the fun of a big night out isn’t worth it – nowhere close.
In the last year or so, I started to feel the same way, even though I had cut my drinking back. Having two or three drinks knocked me back for a week. I woke up the next day with the same feelings – anxiety, lack of confidence, tiredness etc.. Again, I easily drifted from good habits.
I’ve experimented with setting myself various limits over the last few years to try and cope with this. My best was 3 drinks a week, only on a Friday or a Saturday – and never more than 2 in an evening. I managed to hold that for about 6 weeks. But, one thing always remained consistent. I always slid back to over consumption at some point.
On Fri, July 16th, I went to a house party with some friends. Over the course of about 4 hours, I had 5 drinks – nothing too crazy. I woke up the next morning feeling terrible. Something just clicked. This is NOT worth it.
I felt more strongly than I ever have before – I want to be alcohol free.
And here we are 60 days on. I still had the desire to drink for the first couple of weeks, but that quickly faded. Sometimes I still have a faint desire to have a nice glass of red, but it never gets any momentum. Life is too good without it, and why would I break my chain of 60 days now?
Why is life so good without it?
I’ve been more consistent with my health habits than I’ve ever been. I’ve lost 7lbs. My whoop data has gone from mostly red and orange – to mostly green (see below). I feel better in myself – better confidence, less anxiety. My weekends feel totally different – longer and better. The list goes on.
Where will this go from here? For now, I plan to be alcohol free for the foreseeable – at least a year, most likely forever. I know people who’ve taken a year off and are able to return with a brand new perspective. They’re able to truly take it or leave it and have the right balance. That feels like a nice place to be, but I’m still sceptical it’s for me. We’ll see. Watch this space.