It’s January 30th, and I can count on one hand the number of drinks I have consumed in the last 30 days.
Four. That used to be the number of days I drank during a “good” week; not the number of drinks, mind you, the number of days.
I am 28 days drink-free in the last 30. According to the app I’m using to track my progress, I’ve saved $210 and cut roughly 6,500 calories from this month. Apps cannot, however, track everything.
I have gained clarity. Focus. A more positive mindset. Control. Strength. Motivation. Energy. Empowerment. Time.
I wake up, sometimes even before my alarm in the mornings, feeling well-rested (I was a dedicated four or five time snoozer). I have one or two cups of coffee in the morning (rather than four or five). I have little trouble hitting my water intake goals (there were many days where I existed on caffeine and alcohol alone). I have time in the evening to write or read, and the clarity and focus I need to do those two things, which I truly enjoy. I have absolutely no trouble falling, and staying, asleep. My food intake is more focused around food as fuel versus food as a crutch or a “base”. I’ve gone out with friends, and have had absolutely no discomfort around my orders of club soda with extra lime. Neither have they.
There are times, like tonight, where stress creeps in and I would like nothing more than to crack open a beer or pour myself a gin and tonic. I recognize, however, that what is bothering me is not going to be chased away by having a few drinks, and I wouldn’t be any better for it in the morning.
We are closing on our new home tomorrow – a house on the lake, where the sunsets I have photographed so many times over will be the constant backdrop to our everyday lives. I will be raising a glass to that; not because I need alcohol, not because I can’t celebrate without alcohol (because I have) but because I want to, I am choosing to, and I know that I can and will stop at just that one glass; that glass will represent more than any of the glasses before it, emptied over the course of whiling away hours.
Alcohol became a part of my daily routine unconsciously. I continued the habit unconsciously. It prevented me from being fully present in so many ways. It took a much more conscious and concerted effort to retract this habit; it wasn’t without its difficult days, but they seem to be fewer and further between now. I saved myself a couple hundred bucks, and a few thousand calories in 30 days, and I gave myself so much more.