What I lost when I stopped drinking

This is the end of another dry January. It is a sobriety challenge that is gaining popularity year by year. 2020 has been a dry month to break the spell of drinking wine every night for a decade, but he chose February over January.

I felt better, stronger and more rested as the months went by. I was a little disappointed that it was over, but I didn’t think about staying dry. Alcohol didn’t ruin my life.Why do you deprive your future self of the fun of the future?? Abstinence was tough, just as it was hard to pay attention to the three-hour seminar. With full awareness, I felt the spectrum of emotions and felt emotions I had not allowed to feel for a long time, such as boredom, to process. For a month, I lived with a light on in my head all the time, and then happily went back to drinking.

A year later, when I decided to quit completely, I knew I had to explain myself. increase. However, people get confused when they stop drinking completely without serious problems. The myth that only heavy drinkers should quit makes it difficult for moderate drinkers to stay away from substances that are technically poisonous. As it accumulates, the risk of health effects increases with age. The booze may not stay in your system, but the damage builds up.

Every time I declined a drink it felt like a missed opportunity, but later I was always glad I skipped it.

So why did it feel like giving your friends bad news when you announced you were quitting drinking while beer was being passed around the beach? We’ve been drinking together for decades. and had so many good times to count that I couldn’t work the alcohol out of the good times.That summer was tough. I spent a lot of time questioning my decisions. Every time I declined a drink it felt like a missed opportunity, but later I was always glad I skipped it. We spend summer weekends on a small barrier island without cars. Like a drunken parade, people stumble from bar to house party to bar. Late Saturday night, people stagger, argue, get lost, and the atmosphere can be chaotic. Once, a friend of mine walked home after a man peeing while zigzagging down the sidewalk.

I often laugh and share these stories on the beach the next day, but after I stopped drinking it stopped being funny. I put it up. Seeing a 60-year-old woman slide off a bar stool made me sad. what was the problem? Everyone was just having a good time. Who accepts abstinence during the hot summer months?

If you’re someone like me who struggles with anxiety, setting rules can be a balm. Low fat and high in carbs as per the guidelines for the day. We had pretzels, skimmed rice crispies and no cheese pizza. Snackwell cookies made me feel guilty. I lost 15 pounds and had thinning hair before I realized I was restricting my diet for fear of anxiety. It’s woven into my nature.

Perhaps it’s not just the alcohol that I’m trying to control, but the passage of time.

Perhaps it’s not just the alcohol that I’m trying to control, but the passage of time. I’m trying to grow How rich would my experience be if I stopped drinking? How much more can I notice and respond — how much time can I get back? These questions stopped me. Can I avoid the breast cancer diagnosis that both my mother and grandmother faced? Can I prevent the type of neurological decline that struck my father? Maybe not, but as precious as a bottle of wine? I don’t have time.

As I drank, I was now in the collective experience of sitting on the edge and watching. I still enjoy it, but it’s a complicated, more lonely pleasure.

That said, what I’ve gained from not drinking — more patience, better focus, more energy — but watching others relax and lose self-awareness from afar I hope some of my friends will join me.

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