Four weeks without alcohol
This blog post has been revised from when I documented my own journey to quit alcohol, adding in some resources, links and tips that I (now!) know would be really helpful for anyone on their 4-week point of sobriety.
The four-week point is quite a milestone in your recovery journey and timeline. Often, many of us here have hit the week, or fortnight without drinking…but getting to the 4-week point can be a mental anomaly for many, myself included.
Wherever your head is with all of this, well done for hitting the four weeks! Onwards and upwards!!
Here is my experiences, from when I finally made good of all the times I failed.
Here I am, I have finally hit the four weeks without alcohol. 4 calendar weeks!!, 28 days
And how do I feel? To be totally honest, all over the place.
Let me share.
My experience so far, four weeks without drinking.
The first couple of weeks have genuinely been easier than I had anticipated really. Just plodding along, trying not to focus too much on being sober and just letting the time pass. Going to the gym, going to work, like a ‘normal’ person does. All was going well, I have to admit to myself.
Then this week hit me pretty hard
I had my first real ‘trigger’
I have experienced these in the past of course, same as most people, and sometimes fought through, sometimes caved in and got on it (the drink).
This was the first real strong trigger from this period of sobriety and I forgot just how difficult they can be.
Whenever I have tried to give up alcohol before, I sort of justify the difficult times by telling myself “well son, you cannot expect to fuck your body and mind up for 20 years and not expect repercussions”.
To take any substance that messes with your head for a length of time, it is going to mess with your line of thinking. So, I try and take the rough, don’t question things too much and just try and ride it out.
This time, it was a bit out of the blue. I say out of the blue – maybe I should have known better. I wasn’t really thinking. I was going to the supermarket and my wife’s parents were visiting. They only come over 3-4 times per year as they don’t live in the same town.
I was nipping out and my wife asked me to buy her mum a bottle of wine while I was shopping. I did not think anything of it and went out to get some food. There I was going about the shopping trip and I went to the wine aisle, and just out of nowhere – there I was with a bottle of wine in my hand and surrounded by alcohol.
I started thinking (very briefly but very real) about getting myself one. It was like being hit very hard and very fast. I came around from the hit within about 10 seconds but found myself shaking for the rest of the trip.
When I got back to the house (with the wine!), I did not tell my wife about it as I did not want to worry her. She has been with me the past few weeks and is really happy that things are going well with the not drinking.
I did not want to worry her. I did tell her a couple of days later and told her that I am quite weaker than I thought, and I would need to keep my guard up and be aware of where I put myself.
My wife has always been so supportive, through all the crazy aspects of my life and I am very lucky to have her in my corner. She understood and apologised for putting me in that situation – which she really did not have to.
This is a process, one that I really have to go through.
Body And Health Since Kicking The Booze A Month Ago
My body has been hammered over the past four weeks, exercising more than I have done in a very long time. I am starting to feel quite well really, but am putting on quite a bit of weight.
thought that with the calorie deficit of zero alcohol combined with all of this exercising would deal with that, but seemingly not! I am not too concerned for now, more surprised that the weight has not just fallen from my body.
I am still getting a numb tingling in my toe. I am not sure if this is lessening or if it is just my imagination/wishful thinking.
I have not had any pains in the right side of my stomach this week. This has been an ongoing thing for a few years now and I just assumed that I have done some damage due to heavy drinking. It is surprising how blase I am about that fact. I hope that the pain remains gone.
I have stopped taking sleeping aids this week, and honestly, sleep has gone to very minimal. For example, last night it was gone midnight before I slept, and I was awake at 2, out of bed at 330 and in the gym for 4am.
Note to anyone going through recovery – if you have a 24-hour gym local (they are becoming more commonplace now, I think), join one.
Rather than wandering around the house while the family sleep, I find that going to the gym is keeping me sane and also burning off any excess energy, in the hope for sleep patterns to normalise. It is only four weeks without alcohol, and I am fully aware that it will take time – as I said earlier – I cannot expect to drink so hard and for so long without repercussions.
I have to say that my mood is been not good this week. Not good at all. If you were to ask my wife, she would agree but probably describe me using some swear words thrown in there.
My appetite is present with a vengeance this week. I try to eat relatively healthy for breakfast, by starting the day with some cereal. I try to keep this going with scrambled eggs for lunch (dinner in my part of the country, but lunch in most other places apparently!). It is from here that I have been eating junk, crisps and chocolate. My taste buds have returned due to a lack of smoking, and the lack of drinking is allowing me to be able to actually consume it. A ruthless combination.
I am really happy with the eating side of it all really. When I think back that only 4 weeks ago I could not eat a full meal without feeling sick. This is one of the best aspects of my progress so far really.
I am feeling confident that this time being sober will continue. If I feel that temptation becomes too much then I will learn how to use techniques to counter these and do them correctly.
Looking back now, and discussing with clients who have been at similar milestones and previous drinking patterns, these experiences are quite common. Although we all differ in our own journeys, there are some similarities along the alcohol-free timeline that many can relate to.
I shan’t ever profess that it is all roses and singing, and the journey to sobriety can often bring challenges.
You may be looking to take a break from alcohol, reduce the amount that you are drinking or even stop drinking completely.
Whatever your goal, we believe strongly that changing your relationship with alcohol will be a game-changer for all aspects of your life.