30 Days Sans Booze: A New Thing
It’s been over a month since I started the 90-day no booze challenge.
Full disclosure: I don’t believe anyone should do this until they’re compelled by something deeper than ego. I’ve completed 30-day no booze challenges before (well, 25 days), and usually don’t drink 15–20 days every year while cleansing. But it’s a wholly different experience when one is ready to remove the rose-colored lenses from life. End of the disclosure. Hah.
It’s not that I was drinking too much, it was that I was drinking for the wrong reasons. And all signs in the universe were beckoning me towards a break.
In late 2018, I began the fight to regain my attention. I deleted social apps from my cell phone, outlined strict boundaries for its use, minimized time in front of screens, and set about getting my mind, focus, and creativity back.
January 1 began the fight for my overall well-being. It didn’t take long to get depressed — not because I was giving up alcohol, but because I was taking a good, hard, SOBER look at my life and it’s current state.
I underestimated how much wine had become a crutch to drown out long days, hard times, to cover up social angst or spice up surface friendships, and that the midst of it — I lost time. I began to see that in the mired world of culturally-accepted boozy haze, my life had become mediocre. I had dulled its colors and accepted less. I had only achieved certain heights before toppling back. And I allowed the full weight of that reality to settle on me.
January feels like it was three months in one. It feels like I lived, died, and came back. It feels like so much. But in the midst of gravity, I gave myself the space for rest. I turned down invitations, didn’t answer the phone, let emails go, and allowed my peace to restore. Rest is a healer, a rejuvenator, a purveyor of health. It is a true kindness to oneself. And it is a necessity in the midst of so much change. I needed to reconnect with myself because I feel like a new thing. And this is a new life.
To sum up January’s lesson: I thought alcohol made my life more manageable, vibrant, and fun. But in reality, it stole the best of it from me.
But not anymore.