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I gave up alcohol for 31 days. This is no big deal for most people, but it’s a big deal for me. It’s not like I’m a hardcore alcoholic; however, I think that’s what every hardcore alcoholic has said at one point in her life. Why wait until I hit rock bottom?

(But I mostly gave up alcohol because it was time to kickstart my fitness goals.)

The verdict? It was harder than giving up coffee but less complicated than giving up meat.

Here’s what I learned.

1. I haven’t learned a goddamn thing. That’s what the experts say, anyway. The first 31 days are all about adjusting to a new version of normal.

2. It helps to talk about it. I’m sure my family and friends are sick of hearing about this process, but I needed to share my experiences and be held accountable. My friends were supportive and instrumental in my success.

3. Alcohol makes me anxious and tense.  Everybody in my life is like, “You don’t say?”

4. Alcohol makes me hot. More specifically, feverish. My head gets sweaty. It’s a common complaint among women, which offers some comfort. I’m struggling to metabolize sugar.

5. I’m sleeping better without drinking. Full stop.

6. I lost some weight, although that’s not a goal. This is a future reminder that I need to stop weighing myself.

7. Dependence on anything is tedious and boring. If I need alcohol to attend a party or networking event, maybe I shouldn’t go to that party.

8. The journey never ends. Maybe I’ll have another drink ASAP and maybe I won’t. The key is to be mindful. (Too bad I hate being mindful.) Overindulging in anything — books, food, people, technology — leaves me feeling bloated and disoriented.

So, yeah, I have a new list to tackle in June. I’m removing the social media apps on my phone. My husband is joining me in quitting cable news for thirty days. These goals won’t change the world, but we might elevate our communication in the house if we start paying attention to how we use our time.

I wonder what you’d give up for thirty days if you had a solid support network and a safe space to talk about it? What’s the first thing you’d quit?

6 Responses to I Gave Up Alcohol for 31 Days
  1. Robert Smith

    Today is a Day One for me. No Facebook for June.

    In fact, the only Social Media will be LinkedIn Where I hope to get back to maintaining/resurrecting my peer to peer professional network.

  2. Tim Gardner

    Thanks for sharing this, Laurie. I did the same in February and had some of the same conclusions.
    I also think deleting the apps from your phone is a great idea. There’s a time and a place, and I am trying to limit my phone use except to respond to texts or calls.

    • ruettimann

      Thanks, Tim. That’s reassuring. 😉

  3. Steve Jewell

    I read too many daily blog posts/RSS feeds…. 30 days without? Hmmm…