Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Beyond Dry January
I did Dry January a few times, back in the old days.
I would always start a day or two late. After all, a relatively boozy January 1st was the only really sensible way to cope with the hangover from New Year's Eve - right?
By this point in January, I'd be ready to throw in the towel.
I've made it through pretty much the whole month! I'd congratulate myself. I've proven to myself that I CAN DO IT. I'm not an 'alcoholic'. What's more, I've learned my lesson. I've 'recalibrated.' No more excess for me! From now on, it's 'everything in moderation.'
Yet, by the end of February, I'd be back to drinking just as much as before, probably more so.
Is that how you're thinking right now?
I really don't want to get all preachy here. If you really can drink happily and sensibly, then crack on. I admire you. (Although, full disclosure, I hate you a teeny bit too. HOW DO YOU DO THAT?)
But can you? Really?
Or are you an all-or-nothing person who finds trying to moderate stuff not just difficult, but exhausting and soul destroying?
Do you really want to spend the rest of your life just waiting for the next opportunity to have the next drink, and constantly hating yourself for drinking more than you were supposed to?
Wouldn't it be better to be free of all that?
Here are some good reasons to keep going:
You've done the hard bit already.
You've done the physical detox. You've probably been feeling utterly exhausted, maybe you've had headaches and felt a bit flu-ey, perhaps you've had trouble getting to sleep. You might have been grumpy and distracted and generally a bit meh.
But now you're coming out the other side.
Your poor, abused body is emerging from its chrysalis thinking way-hey! Shiny new world of toxin-free loveliness! I am a butterfly! See my pretty wings!
Do you really want to fill it up to the brim with poisons again?
The good bits are yet to come!
The real benefits of being sober take weeks, months and some take years to really emerge. You've seen nothing yet.
Right now you should be feeling your energy levels returning. Your brain starts firing on all cylinders and you feel more creative and 'buzzed' than you've done for ages.
Imagine what you could achieve over the next year or two if you keep on going? Write a book? Decorate a house? Start a business?
You might have lost some of the boozy puffiness, but usually the more dramatic weight loss takes a while to kick in. For me it didn't happen until after about one hundred days.
By now I bet you've started sleeping brilliantly. Your body is just starting to enjoy the deep, restful sleep it's been craving for years, and the benefits of that proper sleep keep on coming, if you let them.
After a few weeks off the booze you're probably feeling your anxiety levels subside and your moods levelling out. Imagine the impact of that on the rest of your life, and on all your relationships, if it continues!
And I've bet you've saved some money, right? Well, multiply that by twelve and think about what you could treat yourself to in a year's time if you're not throwing money away on alcohol.
Up till now, you've probably been thinking about booze an awful lot. It's taking up a huge amount of headspace. Well, after a few months sober, you just stop thinking about it.
It's really is such a relief having so much time and space to think about other stuff. And the sense of peace and freedom that comes from that is just around the corner, if you keep on marching.
If you start drinking again now, having done all the hard bits, but not yet got to the really good bits, then all you're doing is re-inforcing to your subconscious that life without booze is miserable.
Keep on going, and you'll soon discover that that is absolutely not the case.
Miracles wait around the next corner, so don't stop now....
If you'd like to know more about what happens in the first year after giving up booze, then check out my book, The Sober Diaries (available in hardback, e-book and audio). Click here to go to my Amazon page. You can read the first few chapters for free with the 'look inside' feature.
(By the way, a HUGE thanks to the ONE HUNDRED people who've left such incredible reviews. I am completely overwhelmed).
For daily inspiration and information go to the SoberMummy Facebook page here, or follow me on Instagram @clare_pooley
Love to you all!