Day 41 – the benefits so far…

Apologies in advance for a bit of a ramble, it started as a personal list but thought it might be good to share, incase anyone else was interested or sober curious.

These are the benefits I’ve noticed in just 40 days or so, so far

The benefits

1) The addicted voice in my head has gone from a constant barrage to an occasional tiny whisper.

2) More time. I didnt realise how much time alcohol took up. Time thinking about alcohol, the internal debate, the reasoning the guilt.Time going on special trips to the shop or “just stopping off” on the way home. Time drinking it socially. Time hiding in the kitchen to have a secret glug when no one was looking on an evening. Time standing in the kitchen measuring out cocktails. Time slumped on the sofa “relaxed” making no effort with my husband. Time feeling rotten after drinking. Time having to do extra make up to attempt to hide dull skin, blood shot eyes and dark but puffy circles. Time searching social media after a few glasses to check what drunk me had broadcasted. Time worrying about what I’d said when under the influence and repairing relationships/friendships.

3) Reduced anxiety. I didnt realise how much energy my anxiety zapped. Reflecting now, I was almost on a hamster wheel of anxiety, with drinking to numb the feeling, being surprised when the feeling came back the next morning with a vengeance and bit me in the ass. Then, yep you guessed it, more drinking. I still get anxiety, but it feels more manageable in just 40 days. I’m starting to get what it might be like feeling comfortable in your own skin.

4) With the realisation of more time, I’ve tried more things and experienced more. Although I admit I’ve been lucky as we’ve been on two staycations in this period. I’ve explored 2 beautiful beaches in Devon this week, played in the surf, sat in the evening light on sand dunes discussing life. I’ve swam in a lakes in the early morning in Grasmere and Compton verney, had more DVD nights with my step daughter, ran round Grasmere lake.

5) I’ve kept my patience better. Normally the day after drinking, my patience would have been minimal.
So that was operating on minimal patience 5 days a week with 2 children. Today the SD was sick over BB in the car on the way home from Devon, 30 minutes into a 3.5/4 hour journey.
We pulled over, and the heavens opened, whilst we tried to change and consol two children. And you know what, we laughed, really laughed. Tears rolled down out cheeks and with 4 of us covered in vomit I dont even know what was so funny. That wouldn’t have happened 41 days ago. I’d have been so so cross, hungover at 8am, tired and unable to cope with real life.
I’ve also kept my patience a lot more with my SD when she’s been challenging and my husband. I’ve also had the awareness when he’s been patient with me and thanked him for it. I’m ashamed never really noticed before.

6) Relationships. Nearly everyone I’ve told have been so supportive. Once they’ve measured their drinking against mine and felt secure their drinking isn’t as bad we’ve had open discussions about giving up alcohol. I’ve enjoyed the different activities, like hiking, leisurely park walks with BB and mum friends, brunch (would’ve been too hungover before), wild swimming, beach strolls. I’ve noticed the activities have felt more wholesome, been more outdoorsy and realised endorphins in their own ways. I’ve enjoyed the deeper discussions and felt more connected to friends and nature.
I feel more connected to BB and enjoy our time together so much more. I’m no longer rushing bath time (well most days) and I’m not grumpy. I’m present. I show up each day and now take pride in doing my best. Before I think I felt ashamed of my alcohol enthusiasm was affecting my mummy enthusiasm and felt I wasnt giving BB my full attention.
And altho I still struggle with my SD, the struggle seems less without drink. I know it’s not just “me having a bad day”. As my patience has increased, I’ve noticed her attitude worsen maybe because she doesn’t get a bite out of me as often. Or maybe it’s attention. Anyway in the long run, it’s helping. I’m more consistent, I feel less guilty, I really try to bond with her. I’m no longer hungover in the mornings so I make a special effort with her hair, I make sure we go on an evening walk once a week to chat about whatever she wants to chat about and I snuggle up and watch films or read with her. Whilst the present is a slight struggle I’m hoping these little steps, will help make her feel loved, heard, and will improve our relationship over time. I’m also pleased I’ve been more aware, more switched on. I’ve noticed she was also a brat to my friend, my friend actually commented she was like a stroppy teenager and she’s being more and more rude to her dad. So it’s not completely directed at me, she’s just trying to find her place in the world.
My relationship with my husband is also improving. We spend time together on the evenings, instead of me zoned out 5 nights a week and have made an effort to have fun away from alcohol which has been lovely. I’m noticing more and more then little things he does to keep the family ticking along and I love him for it.

7) Finding the ability to really laugh about life again. This sounds incredibly sad now when I say it, but I thought my days of belly laughing were over the moment I put down the wine glass. But I’m surprised I’ve actually laughed so much and so hard. The sick episode today, clambering over rocks in my flip flops on all fours and ending up in a downward dog, with barnacles scratching my fingertips (photo at the top). I’ve suddenly found my funny bone and I’m enjoying it to say the least.

8) This blog. I’m really enjoying reading other peoples stories, contributing my own, writing comments of encouragement, reading ones that come my way. Strangers I’ve never met, supporting each other, being bonded by the desire to find out what life is like on the otherside. Bloggers on the other side lifting those up who are trying.

Other note worthy benefits are, brighter skin, feeling more alert, not feeling embarrassed putting out the glass recycling, regifting the gin which was nice to give away to people, changing the way I view alcohol (no longer to relax more of a toxic substance), discovering sober lit and being able to tick the no alcohol box in the hospital.

What are yours?

Love JS x

Published by lifesippingaway

36 years old, wife, stay at home mum, outdoors lover, wild swimmer, starting the journey to an AF life

11 thoughts on “Day 41 – the benefits so far…

  1. This is wonderful! I keep meaning to make a list of “things I hope will get better” when I actually give it up. But, even the periods where I don’t drink for several days I notice my skin is better and I COPE better that is the huge one. On hungover days even the normal tasks can feel overwhelming.

    Like

  2. I love this and I would say I have found all those same changes.
    I realized that most of my dissatisfaction in life was a side effect of my drinking. It had made me exhausted, anxious, guilty and anxious.

    Without it I was able to be the Anne I always wanted to be, but was cared of. Open, honest, slower, less intense.

    I also got medical support to deal with my severe anxiety. I think this helped me be successful when I was younger, but living in a constant state of distress was impossible. Medication is a must for me. Yoga. Earring regularly. Sleep.

    I often look back and have real sympathy for myself. I was suffering.

    Today at yoga I settled in and felt joy. For no reason at all.

    Those moments are worth everything.

    Stillness and peace
    Anne

    Like

    1. That’s exactly it… you’ve hit the nail on the head with the dissatisfaction and alcohol. It also made me jealous, comparing my life with others, instead of getting of my ass to get what I want. Glad the meditation is working, I’m starting Adriennes 30 day yoga monday and already excited. Thank you so much for commenting xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Firstly, well done on your 41 days AF! I’m on 105 days now I think? But I’ve learnt so so much about myself and I really resonate with the laughing thing. I was dreading going out out and twice I have and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed myself more not drinking and I’ve laughed so much still, in fact more because I don’t miss a thing and actually I am the same daft self, it’s not actually the alcohol, it’s me, I still make people laugh! I woke this morning and my first thought was ‘oh no, what did I do?’ then I remembered nothing, the hangxiety wasn’t real, I am alcohol free and bloody love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 105 is amazing, I cant wait until I’m there and can casually drop it into conversations. Getting rid of hangxiety (love this expression, so stealing it) is also amazing. My only regret is I wished I’d done this sooner

      Like

      1. I said this to my daughter earlier. I wish I had stopped years ago. You can have hangxiety I knicked from somewhere too πŸ˜‚

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: