8 Weeks without alcohol!
8 weeks without alcohol in my system. 2 calendar months. As I write this, I cannot actually believe that I am writing this.
As I sit here thinking about that number – 8 weeks without alcohol – I am trying to let it sink in. I am pretty sure now that this is the longest time I have not had alcohol in my system in my adult life. I was in the navy and had to go through basic training – that was, at the time, the longest that I did not consume alcohol for. So, I am thinking that this is it, this is actually the longest time not drinking for me since I was legally allowed to!!
My reflection on 8 weeks without alcohol
Time to reflect on the past 8 weeks. What has changed? What is noticeable right now, different than when I was drinking every day/night?
I think that I look and feel noticeably different. If you take a look below, you can see that the alcohol bloated face has died down a bit. I still feel that I ‘look like a drinker’, but I have to remain realistic in the grand scheme of things.
To heal from something so strong as alcohol takes time, and after 25 years of abusing it…..well, one day at a time, as the saying goes – ODAAT!
That is me so far anyway and I am pleased so far 🙂
To add to this, yesterday, coincidence or whatever – I actually received my very first ‘real’ compliment. A person who I have not seen in over 2 years told me on 3 different occasions on how well I looked, without me mentioning anything about not drinking or looking after myself etc. Totally unprovoked, yey!
OK, it is a bit vain…but what an amazing feeling that all of this effort is paying off!
So, let’s break down my own journey so far at 8 weeks without alcohol, as I have done with previous posts
Sleep is turning quickly into one of the greatest gifts that I have received so far from becoming teetotal. I am waking up refreshed more that I could have ever imagined. I am now sleeping for around 6-7 hours and feeling refreshed daily.
Mood state has been quite a challenge looking back, subjectively. I have tried this sober journey so many times but fell off the wagon. Indeed I fell off – double-somersaulted off the wagon far more times than I can remember.
I have still experienced quite strong mood swings, but now am able to identify when these are happening and I try to take myself out of the situation and give myself some thinking time.
It can often be easy to go hard on yourself, in my experience, when it comes to mood and behavior. I have found myself getting unnecessarily annoyed at family and friends and often think to myself ‘why am I being such a pr*ck about this (whatever ‘this’ is). We have to remember that alcohol has changed us both physically and mentally. And to deal with our emotions – it takes time to re-learn or even learn how to act appropriately at times. My lesson learned so far – be kind to yourself and allow yourself some leniency as you figure this all out.
My appetite has been a difficult one to gauge. I have now started intermittent fasting, which I am finding great so far. I am managing to eat regularly, which compared to not being able to stomach food for days on end, is a great step forward.
Body and Physical Health
I am at the point now where I am starting to visibly see some improvements -and that is a MASSIVE motivator for me. Aside from physical looks – aspects such as clarity of mind, motivation, overall mood improvement, to name a few.
I will continue on this journey. So far it has been a hard one, but at this point now – 8 weeks without alcohol – I believe that I am starting to see and feel some real benefits to quitting alcohol, in my own life and of those around me.