I don’t want to get all heavy with the addiction talk but something happened to me recently that I wanted to share. It was brought on by a post by Steve Kamb of Nerd Fitness who wrote about a 30 day alcohol sabbatical and I had to say that this really hit home for me. I had been noticing some behavior of my own that, if I didn’t address it, it would soon become a problem.’
Now, I’m not going to get into the health benefits or psychological reasons behind addictive behavior. Rather, I’m just sharing my own story and how an unlikely source helped me. So, here it goes…
I have never been much of a drinker. I never really cared for it throughout the great majority of my adult life. I was always the designated driver because I didn’t drink. I didn’t mind. It was just not my thing.
Once I moved into wine country, that all changed. I found some wines that I liked and started partaking at dinners with friends and special occasions. No big deal, right? I liked the wine, I liked the little buzz I got from the wine and it was fun. My husband and I would enjoy a glass after work, as we discussed our day. It was a relaxing part of our daily ritual. I looked forward to that relaxing first sip as I played Julia Child in my kitchen every night.
Still, one glass does not make a drunk, right? Well, not exactly. Yet, it had become habit to have that wine. One glass turned to two and I began to think,
But, because I could go a few days without wine, I didn’t think too deeply about it.
Then, going out to eat lunches and dinners with my family consisted of me ordering a mixed cocktail, something I had never done in the past. Again, innocent at first but on a consistent basis, I could see that a problem was brewing. But, since it was only one cocktail, no big deal.
Being a wine club member didn’t help, either. That monthly $75 membership fee didn’t kill my budget but it was an extra expense that could have been saved.
In addition, getting wine club discounts on bottles meant that throughout the month, I would pop over to the winery and pick up a nice bottle on the weekend for the gourmet meal I was making that night. The added cost to my grocery bill for the two, or so, bottles of wine I would buy.
This relaxing, nightly habit had become an addiction. One that I knew I would need to break.
Then, in my email box came Steve Kamb’s article about taking a 30 day break. It was just what I needed! I knew I needed to face this head on before it became a real problem and Steve Kamb was just the guy to help me.
My husband and I talked about it and he admitted that he, too, was thinking, ‘…hmmmmmmm.” He did not face the same problem I had because his stomach would not allow him to drink as much but he saw what I was doing and was concerned. He said, however, that I was one of the few people he knew who had the ability to pull herself back from the abyss. I was able to look at myself with clear eyes and see what needed to be done.
Thank God! The spouse was right. I had always been able to pull myself back. Even when I was a teenager and I experimented with drugs, I always reached a point where I could stop. Where I could pull myself back from destructive behavior.
So, I quit. No fuss, no muss. Have I struggled? Yes. The Friday night of the first week when I really wanted to sit down, relax, and connect with my husband over a glass of wine. But, after a couple of hours, that feeling passed. Throughout the following weeks I had fleeting wisps of desire for a glass of wine but quelled them. After all, the non-drinker in me was, blessedly, stronger than the drinker.
After 30 days, I feel better. I sleep better, of course. I hadn’t realized that I always felt a little drunk, like my body was soaked with wine. That feeling is gone. I no longer have to add those calories into Myfitnesspal anymore.
Will I have a drink now? Probably in the future at some time but not yet. I like the freedom of non-addiction.
Have you ever given up an addiction for 30 days?
How did it work out for you?
Would you do it again?