I’m less than a week away from completing my first dry January experience. This is by far the longest I’ve ever gone without drinking alcohol in a very long time.
I’ve been asked by friends if I’ve notice any changes in my health…increase in energy, quality of sleep, weight loss…
And the answer to that question…not really. My weight is the same. I don’t feel like I have some newfound energy. I still sleep.
I think the benefit has come from not binge drinking. No more hangovers. I’m consistently more productive during my days. I’m finding it much easier to establish morning routines like doing yoga and meditating. I don’t go anywhere near that dark abyss of self-loathing and depression…the existential void…that can sometimes creep up on me during certain nights of heavy drinking.
I think my biggest take away from this month of not drinking is that I can be comfortable going out with a group of people and not drinking. I don’t need to unwind from a long day at work with a beer. I don’t need to drink to relax and have a good time on a date. I don’t need to celebrate a miraculous catch by a Vikings receiver to win a playoff game by toasting with friends.
And I don’t need to drown my sorrows after an abysmal beat-down of the Vikings in a subsequent playoff game.
Hopefully that self-knowledge will guide me over the coming year to moderate. I have a long road ahead if I’m going to accomplish all the goals I have sought out to do. A single night of binge drinking could kill any momentum I have going.
I’ll leave you with some Johnny Cash…until next time…