22 days in alcohol free, which is
3 weekends and 12 basketball games.
so there is that, but what i am most shocked about is the expectations i had on this journey and how off i was! let me preface this with I always have the most ginormous expectations, with anything. with people, with events, heck any darn day of the week, I have ridiculous expectations.
here are just a few that have me shocked thus far on this journey.
relaxing, I mean what can be more relaxing then being sober and not having the stress of drinking and mom shame? i had thought being sober would be the answer to that question! being sober is NOT relaxing me, not one bit. there was just something about getting that first drink in me after a game or anything that had me stressed out or had caused me anxiety. right about when the first glass was empty and moving through my blood stream and the second one was on the way did I start to ‘unwind’. how awful is that? the first week in, the first basketball game into this journey was a close one, a frustrating one, an extremely frustrating one. at the end I was annoyed, angry, and completely tense and stressed out. I had anxiety not only my own but for my kid, which if you have kids, you know, is even worse. I was worried about her, stressed about her, stressed for her, concern for her, every mom feeling when you know your kid is struggling with multiple issues was moving through me. my head was not stopping, thoughts and conversations were running through my brain and I have said it before, inside my head is not a fun place to be, it just doesn’t stop. the usual crew was going out after the game and I wanted to go. I was and still am determined I am going to still do the things I did prior to 1/1, just not drinking and this was going to be my first one. my goal is to be the most fun sober person you have been around! I went, I ordered my water drink and I missed that release, that release off the glass of wine and the stress subsiding. although the time did come when the stress subsided, it is defiantly longer, like a day or 2, but drinking or not drinking that stress returns, and goes right back to where it was, so clearly the alcohol does not end the anxiety, just dulls it a bit, but i will say it is nice not having 2 sets of anxiety the next morning, meaning the stress being back and the anxiety of the day/night prior.
expectation #2, well this is more of a miss:
I miss the funniness (is that a word?) and/or stories. I am not certain how to describe this. one of the main reasons I wanted to stop drinking is I didn’t want that to be my identity. that being said, last weekend when I was out with a friend people were giving her shit because she was hammered the night before and everyone was laughing about it. I got a pang of… im not going to call it sadness or jealousy, but a pang of ‘oh that is not me they are laughing about’. which doesn’t even make freaking sense, that was one of the main reasons I wanted to make this shift and then here I am kind of sad I wont get to have a funny, snarky come back to a drunk story. when that was me, and it often was, I always felt shame, silly, like what is wrong with you that everyone can go out and hold their booze. I was having all those feelings for her when the dialogue was happening. but I was also having a ‘ohh I want a funny story, that is why they hang out with you and they are not going to anymore if you dont do something fun or silly’ feeling. it was almost like I was having ‘the grass isn’t greener on the other side’ feeling, but it is supposed to be greener because I am doing something that is better for me and my family. this one has me super confused and I think will evolve over time. goodness knows that I can still have the your stupid story the next day without booze, I will have it from saying something stupid, booze or no booze I will piss someone off I suppose. anyway, stay tuned on that what I miss.
how about drink ordering, I thought I was going to be all sly with this one. I didn’t want not drinking to be a ‘hing. I didn’t really even want anyone to know I wasnt drinking anymore, my goals was to just slide under the radar. I had planned, I knew what I was going to order and it was going to look like a drink, so it would never be questioned. it didn’t work out that way. I feel like each and every time I ordered a drink prior to 1/1 no one was paying attention. I always just spoke with my server and asked for what I wanted just her and I. now it seems that is still the process, oh but now it gets dead silent while I am doing so! everyone I am with stops talking and waits, then hears my drink request. they look at me and say, ‘oh, you are doing that cleanse thing.’ so that makes it just kind of ok. that is the perception of how this started, because i am committed to the one/80 I am just not drinking. I just never validated or explained anything more, so I am still on that cleanse thing as far as they are concerned. So 22 days into my ‘cleanse’ and doing great. but then I eat, like not the healthiest and they say ‘oh good cleanse’ again, I just do not validate or explain.
I had the ridiculous expectation that on january 2nd I would wake up feeling amazing! as with anything, I wanted instant results, just like I do with pretty much everything in my life. I say I am eating clean, my expectation is the next day I will be down 10lbs and look and feel amazing, this expectation was no different than any other I have had. I am done drinking alcohol, therefor I will feel amazing the next day, right?
I felt worse and honestly 22 days in and I am still not feeling great. I am tired, forgetful, chubby and just blah. I feel like I am in a state off fogginess.
I am supposed to be all rainbows and sunshine right now. I am doing something with only positive results, why do I feel like shit?
sleep, i am going to sleep so well. at night, I get my diffuser going with lavender and/or some type of peaceful, calming blend. I have passed up the melatonin for a meditation app, I listen to my podcasts but still sleeping terribly.
I have tried sleeping more,
I have tried sleeping less
I cant fall asleep at night
I sleep very restless
I wake up during the night
and then when the alarm does go off I feel awful and not rested so I sleep late. I cant get myself out of bed early, which is what I want. I want to take advantage of the quite hours in the morning and start my day with a quite sunrise, maybe reading something to inspire me for the day, get a morning workout in and I just cant do it. I want to, like I really, really want to but the long and the short is I slept better before. that is frustrating to me.
how about skin, and health wise. not that sleep isn’t health but not drinking, again, I thought I would just feel better. I thought my skin would glow since I would be so hydrated from drinking water all night. seriously, when I am out I am drinking over 100oz of water, I mean that has to be flushing some serious toxins out of me, right? nope, not feeling that way. surprisingly I don’t feel bloated the next day, but I don’t feel great either. when I was drinking I would wake up the next day totally dehydrated, of course. I would be woken up in the middle of the night with the death cotton mouth in search of my water bottle and chug every last drop. that next day, I wouldn’t feel terrible, getting hung over didn’t happen to me often, really often times I felt great and was super happy because the scale would be down, a significant amount of pounds down. after a good night out or an awesome weekend I would be feeling great because I had lost a good amount of weight. while I understand it was just my body dehydrated, it was something. my stomach was less bloated, my pants fit better so in turn I felt better. that feeling is gone and I am fully hydrated the next morning. I expected that, but I was expecting to feel great too and have some glowing skin. not happening, so again frustration.
what i love:
I do love not feeling remorse the next day
I do love not having any type of feeling sick the next day
I do love not wanting grease when I wake up
I do love my bar tab, although I am just playing more keno now, so there really isnt much of a win there. 🙂
I do love my water drink mix
I do love I can drive home
I do love coming home and going to bed feeling proud of myself
I do love coming home and talking to my kids
I do love that they may just seem proud of me or maybe I should say not annoyed with me when I get home.
Prior to 1/1 when they would call or text asking when I would be home, I would start to have the shame and guilt set in, the I have to switch to ‘focus so you don’t sound confused, focus and articulate’. heck, now I may be making zero sense to them and still disappoint, but at least I know and they know, I am doing it alcohol free.
Im not sure how this journey will go, I will say,
as with anything it hasn’t been as expected, but as I have learned, it is a journey of day by day.