Week 7 Without Alcohol
After journalling my personal experience with battling off the booze, I decided to recap on what I felt were massive milestones.
These were the documents along my own sober timeline.
We have a web page here about the whole alcohol timeline and what you might experience as you go through your own sober journey. These smaller snippets are from my own journey, documented from day one through to week 8 (after that I think people got the idea :)).
This one is talking about not having a drop to drink in 7 weeks. Where I was at and what I was experiencing, food, mind, sleep, life.
Milestones are very personal to the individual, but there seem to be commonalities that do spring up within people’s sober journey.
One of these great achievements (in my humble opinion!) is hitting the Seven Weeks Without Alcohol milestone. Why? I will tell thee…
7 weeks without alcohol – the importance of this milestone.
Many, many people start down the road of sobriety via a challenge – no drinking alcohol for a month or such like. Which we think is ace, by the way!!
But often, once a challenge has been completed, there can be a sense of almost anti-climax.
OK – so I have proven to myself and others that alcohol is not an issue for me, because I completed sober October or dry January etc – NONE of them I am knocking in any way, for the record! They and others are amazing movements that are encouraging people to drink less….what is not to love!!
But once the month is over, what then? Keep at it for a while, mind wanders….and the urge to drink is there once again.
So 7 weeks without alcohol
My mind, body and life has now gone seven weeks without alcohol. Now, the last time that I reached this milestone was ‘almost the first time in my adult life that I had not drunk for, and this was a a big gamechanger for me.
The magic ‘seven weeks without alcohol’ bit for me was – my life has been so hazy since around the age of 17 that I cannot actually work out my life’s timeline. This hit me thenm (when I last stopped drinking for 7 weeks) and it has hit me again. I imagine that we all have our own difficult times to face or pills to swallow. For me, it is the 7 week mark.
The ONLY reason that I know that I stopped drinking for 7 weeks in my adult life was because I was in Navy basic training and it was (almost) a non-drinking affair. Post-basic, it was booze everywhere from then in. But during actual basic, I think we consumed alcohol on 2 occasions and that was a very monitored and controlled environment, so I really counted that as my most sober time for years. I can remember being 22 on the first couple of nights in basic, and realising that I could not remember the last time going to bed without drink in me.
Here I am again at 7 weeks. Things are up and down, but this is where perspective is definitely needed. I am utilising quit lit books like This Naked Mind, or Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, and also other more generic books like Atomic Habits by James Clear. I am finding all of these types of books an invaluable set of tools in my own personal arsenal.
Sleep has been varied. I am no longer taking any sleep-aides. I am using the weighted blanket – read about them in the Telegraph here – and cannot recommend them enough. I’ve used it for months now and I believe that it really does help with getting to sleep.
I am now practicing what might be described as mindfulness or even a yoga approach. As you can tell, I really do not have a clue what they both fully are (other than Yoga seems to be a lot more exhaustive than just lying down!). I have been practicing observing my breathing and it has genuinely helped! I am finding myself get to sleep a lot better. Something to definitely consider in helping with sleep when quitting alcohol.
I would say my mood has been good, overall been happier and more patient with my family….or maybe they are more patient with me! 7 weeks without alcohol has absolutely impacted on my mood. Sleep has played a huge part in the success so far. As has been to remain busy. I have managed to be able to throw myself into work, come home and have a routine which has been a fantastic part of my own process so far.
This week has seen a massive change to my appetite. As mentioned earlier, I am trying to follow an intermittent fasting (IF) regime. This is called the 8-16 regime, where you eat during an 8-hour window and only drink water (or plain coffee/tea if you drink hot drinks) during the 16 hour. Obviously that 16 hour can include sleep so effectively you are fasting for a lot less when awake. If you are interested, you can read more about it from Medical News Today. I have no affiliate with them, but it might give you a better understanding of it. I will say, it is not all about simply losing weight (although I am hoping that I will!) but the benefits do seem very interesting. I will let you make your own minds up on that one!
Now….I do not know if this is a mix of the IF diet, or if the sugar cravings are kicking in. But the past week I have been eating within the 8 hour window, like the world is going to end! I am very conscious of this, and it could be the sugar cravings from the lack of alcohol, which is extremely common at this stage of quitting alcohol.
Body and Physical Health
I have stopped exercising and had what I think was a well-needed rest. After all of those daft waking up at 3-4 in the morning then I think I need to take a bit of a rest. Nothing long-term, but just acknowledge some of the changes that are going on around me.
The pains in my side are pretty-much non-existent. I don’t want to give this the kiss of death though as I have had pains around my body for well over a decade now. But 7 weeks without alcohol and here I am.
So, that was a true account of my 7 week without alcohol point. 7 weeks from when I truly found my own Alcohol Off Switch.
Find yours. It is there. 100%. Find it and rediscover your life X