Week 7 Without Alcohol

I have now been seven 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

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.

Mood

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.

Appetite

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.

Alan Peter.

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