I entered this month determined something drastic was going to change. I was ready for a dramatic improvement in my overall well-being. This is it was all I could think about. Removing alcohol is the change I need to reach complete happiness/fulfillment/acceptance/etc. And so I forged ahead with no second thoughts into this dry month of January. What I came away with, however, was much different than what I expected, and quite enlightening to say the least.
It was important to break the habit.
Even with someone like me who was only having a few drinks every now and then, still noticed a habit forming, and a feeling associated with that drink. Yes, on the weekends I would tend to reach for a beer. When I was having a rough work day, I’d grab a glass of wine. By eliminating that crux was when the real soul-searching came to light. I was no longer able to rely on that drink to make me “feel better”, but instead had to look inside, take a deep breath, and examine the situation with every ounce of my sober being.
Life in general felt more fulfilling.
Instead of approaching the weekend as a get-away, when you can finally “let loose” and “party”, forgetting all you have stressed over during that week, it becomes just another few days you can spend for yourself. You are then able to take that time doing things that truly make you happy. I noticed myself hula hooping and doodling more, tending to my new found healing crystals, or maybe pampering myself with a bath or face-mask. I ended my days with herbal teas and an early bedtime to allow my body to properly restore overnight. And then I was able to wake up bright early and start the whole thing over again!
I found who I didn’t want to spend time with.
There were some people who laughed at my decision. Literally laughed when I said I wasn’t drinking. I was a bit surprised at first, and then I realized I didn’t care what they think, because I was doing this for myself. Let those people say what they wish, as we know in our heart why we are doing this. Plus, afterwards it was clear of who I wanted to spend my time with. There is no space in life for that kind of negativity. Your true friends will stick around no matter what; keep those people around.
The changes occurred on a deeper level.
To be quite honest, one of the main reasons I did this was to help clear my skin. I had read of the many people who eliminated alcohol and experienced improved complexion. I figured giving my liver a break would sure show up on my skin. But it didn’t, and that’s when the real change occurred. Instead the change was deep down. I knew I was doing something for myself to heal, and I was filling my time with activities that benefited my soul. This, in turn, was all that really mattered. This was the only change I needed.
Balance is key.
“All” this or “none” of that are extreme ways of living. Not allowing myself something on occasion, can be more harm than good. It can add more stress to life, which defeats the purpose. It was important for me to get it out of my system. I needed to break the habit and detox a bit, because after all, I had never done that. But let’s not forget, we are human and balance plays an important role in vitality. I don’t want to prevent myself from having something if I want it, I believe it is important to indulge on occasion. And you never know, maybe afterwards you will find you don’t even want it.
Whether you believe it is good or it is bad, you are right.
Thoughts can literally create reality. So if you are having a beer saying “this is going to kill me”, guess what? It probably will. If you devoid yourself of something you want, thinking negatively all the while, it will not do you any good. Whatever you choose to do for your health, do it with conviction. Make your choice and stick with it. Believe in whatever it is you are doing, because your thoughts are the most important piece to living a fulfilling life. Speak your truth and do what you believe in. You will thank yourself in the future.
Am I happy I eliminated alcohol for a month? Absolutely. It allowed me to break the habit, and fill my time with other things, which was something new to me. It also showed me how important balance is. Now, even if it is a weekend, I limit myself to one or two drinks, simply because I don’t want more than that. It also taught me that I don’t have to rely on drinking to “have fun”. There is plenty of fun in life without alcohol. So do I encourage you to try it? Well, try closing your eyes and listening to your body. Is it asking for a break, or are you content with where you are? In the end, it is completely up to you.