(NOTE: If you think you are an alcoholic, please seek help. This post is not meant to poke fun at anyone who has a serious drinking problem and needs help quitting.)
It’s no secret that I enjoy drinking. I don’t enjoy getting drunk and I most definitely do not enjoy a hangover, especially at my age. But I do enjoy a glass of wine. It is a part of my nightly routine. You know, like brushing my teeth and washing my face, except more fun.
My problem is it’s not just one glass of wine. It’s two or three. And if I’m going to be really honest, sometimes it’s four. I know my limit. I know when to stop to avoid the dreaded hangover.
Before the pandemic, I made a “no drinking on a work night” rule for myself. I stuck to it for a while. But true to form, I gave up and gave in. I am a social creature and love to hang out with friends and it was always the “let’s meet Tuesday night for pizza and wine,” or something like it that would undo me.
And then the pandemic hit. No more Tuesday night pizza and wine with friends. I may have not been physically with them but my brain didn’t get the memo. Also, the Happy Hour Zoom and Houseparty calls did not help.
It seemed to be the trend (it took me five seconds to find out that alcohol consumption went up by 78% in 2020). That was a trend I could get behind. It was the perfect excuse to drink every single night if I wanted to. After all, everyone else was doing it, so it must be ok.
After about seven months I decided the drinking was out of control, so I reinstated my rule of “no drinking on a week night.” I was tired of being “off” the next morning. Exhausted and groggy and full of regret. After all, I was doing so many great things for myself like eating right and exercising. Alcohol didn’t seem to fit in with all that.
On October 5th I stopped drinking during a weeknight. Again. But this time it stuck.
Also, I did a little research. Apparently, one glass of wine a day is fine. It even has some heart healthy benefits. But more than that? Not so much.
Did you know eight alcoholic beverages a week for women is considered heavy drinking? Me either. During the early months of this pandemic, I was probably drinking close to twenty drinks per week.
Do you know what else drinking can cause? High blood pressure, liver disease, cancer, and memory problems, just to name a few. Bottom line is drinking did not fit in with how I pictured my current and future self and I desperately needed to make some changes.
Enter “The Empowerment Experience” Stage Left. It’s run by a pretty badass woman and made up of some pretty badass women. And for lack of a better way to describe it, it’s a “course” that basically helps you to get your shit together. I know I could have backed off the drinking on my own eventually if I pushed myself (maybe), but this group really helped me to commit, be accountable, and sit through discomfort.
Every week we choose one challenge for ourselves. It doesn’t matter what it is. Making the “no weeknight drinking” rule held me accountable. We check in with each other every single day. Some of us have a little setback. That’s life. Sometimes we take two steps forward, and one back. My point is I truly believe this group is what made me want to finally make it stick.
But I still had the issue of the weekend. I was treating them like a free-for-all and for all the work I did during the week, I just reversed it by the time Friday night arrived. So, I did something I never in a million years thought I would or even could commit to.
And it’s call “Dry January.”
I never thought I could do this. I have learned how to sit through discomfort. Nine times out of ten, the feeling of wanting a glass of wine passes.
So far it has been eleven days. That included two weekends and even a very small, safe gathering with a few girlfriends, and I am happy to say I haven’t had anything but tea and water. Oh, and a little sparkling white grape juice.
Every morning I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to face the day with no regrets.
I do not typically do affiliate stuff. It’s just not my thing. But this is something I really want to share because it works and I feel very passionate about it. Otherwise, I would not be here talking about it.
If you are in need of a change in your life — it could be anything from needing to exercise more to losing weight and anything your heart desires in between — and are ready and willing to put in the work, this program is for you. Unlike my “morning after” you will have no regrets. (Click on image below to get started — you’ll be glad you did)