I promised in my last blog post to share some of my sober October observations. Let me start by saying the biggest finding for me was a sense of peace. I happen to share my head space with a rather snarky and pretty pushy critic. She's a real debbie downer. While I haven't ever given Debbie a name before, as I type this it seems she's been christened. So Debbie she is.
My house mate Debbie particularly enjoys waking up on days after nights when I've been indulging in too many drinks. Why? Because she knows my defenses are low at such times and she can run riot. Which means, game on, she's got plenty to say, typically starting with an accusation (you shouldn't have) or a question (why did you have to...?).
Interestingly, I wasn't fully aware of the air time Debbie gets until she suddenly went missing. Without her banging on in my head and bending my ear I really felt a deep sense of peace. Added to that, my mood lifted free from both the physical impact of hangovers and Debbie's nagging voice.
So, it's no surprise that my alcohol free month was what I would deem a success. There were early frustrations and cranky moments but they subsided as time passed. As I got closer to the end I even experienced some disappointment that the month would soon be over. Not enough to make my sober month permanent, but it did make me pause for thought.
But it wasn't all about Debbie, so here's real truth of how I fared. The good and the less good:
- I am reminded "I can do hard things"!
- It was easier than I expected
- I spent some lovely quality time with my kids (well kids in my life)
- There's something pretty cool about being able to drive home from dinner
- No hangovers, not one, for a whole 33 days in a row (snuck in a couple of extras there!)
- A night at our holiday house for my dog and I, with no TV, just a good book, a hot bath and early night was kind of blissful (featuring driving views per above photo)
- I felt more clear headed and dare I say cleverer
- Drinking kombucha is a lovely substitute to beer
- My eyes became clearer and kind of sparkly
- Skin was good too
- Food tasted extra good (maybe too good, see below)
- My typical Mondayitis took a hiatus (well rested from the weekend)
- There were definitely moments of boredom and a kind of moody frustration that I couldn't put my finger on
- Other people don't like it - this was perhaps the most interesting aspect, even though I asked for support it was hard to find - as somebody who loves socialising (and being liked) this is tough
- I didn't lose weight - pretty sure I ate more calories in sugar than I gave up in alcohol....woops
- I actually felt unhealthy from eating more junk, I do think if I gave up drinking longer term this would rebalance as I was craving healthier living at November 1st!
- I was hoping I would sleep better but apart from no 3am wake ups sleeping was same old
- Going out at night felt kind of tedious, especially the awards night that I couldn't wait to leave!
Sober October, or Ocsober as it's better known was a wonderful holiday from Debbie. So much so that I intend to take more frequent breaks from her in the future. Next up will be Feb Fast, which I will approach with every bit of determination and a little more experience. Who's with me?! You can do hard things!