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Sandra Dean – Registered Member

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My diary of my one month off alcohol, blog one, the first few days of dry March

When asked when I have had one day off drinking, I can name a few, but only a few. When asked when I have had two days consecutively off drinking, I can name one time in the last (at least) fourteen years, and that was when I had to stop in order to do the horrible purging of the bowel and gut for my colonoscopy, yuk! When asked when I have had three days consecutively off drinking, I just couldn’t say; not in the last fourteen years anyway and most likely quite a while before that too.

Now, I say, I have had an addiction to drink. I am not an alcoholic, but I have been drinking nearly every day, and that is no good, especially as I suffer with depression and anxiety and alcohol actually makes it worse. It is an addiction. And it’s time I took control.

So, here I am in Lanzarote, with Michael and we both decided to stop while we are here on holiday. A strange time to stop some would say (and have already) but for us, it’s the best time. It’s away from the normal routine of home, we are together here for the first few days of our month’s sobriety (we live apart at home), we are busy enjoying ourselves with less time to think about it, and we have access to fabulous food here, so it’s not all bad.

I nearly gave in tonight, day two, on 2nd March 2016, but I was bribed to not have a drink this evening, so I didn’t. I feel a bit strange. I am alert, I can see better, (literally yes) I can think straighter, I went diving today and didn’t give in to the panics I was experiencing (which I might have had I had a hangover), and we have had two very enjoyable, relaxing, tasty dinners without booze. No up and down moods, no ‘need’ and no cigarettes, which for me, accompany booze. I am sure we can taste better too. I got up so easily this morning and wasn’t as foggy in the head or eyes as usual.

Michael is not feeling the short term immediate benefits as I am, but hopefully, he will enjoy experiencing the longer term benefits.

Some of the longer term benefits can be:

  1. Better vision
  2. Better taste
  3. Improved gastro issues
  4. Better metabolism
  5. More energy
  6. Better sleep
  7. Better mood
  8. Reduce the risk of developing cancer
  9. Better for depression and anxiety as alcohol is a depressant itself.

Downsides to alcohol

Heavy drinking is associated with cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis and injuries.

For me, I often use alcohol as an escape, to feel in a different mood, to turn day into evening, but it’s an obsession; many days I wake thinking about how many units I have drunk the night before, (even if it was only one glass of wine or a couple of beers). looking at empty bottles and regretting over and over. And cigarettes, that go hand in hand. It might only be one, two, three or maximum four, but it’s still all bad. It might escape but it does not confront. I feel much better on the days I do not drink or smoke and thankfully I only have about 10 cigarettes a week, but I’d like to stop that too. I also drink for pain control as I have chronic pain in my back and shoulders.

Michael is finding it easy not to drink so far, on day three, and is not missing it. He feels a little better in his physical state (slight) and is very determined to stay off booze for the month of March, to be reviewed then.

Me, on day three? Well, I am fine actually. We had an indian meal earlier with which I would normally drink cold beer or red wine, or both, and I just had a coffee and some iced water. I am sure I can taste the food better. It was also day three of no cigarettes too. And I am not missing them much. I do get pangs to have one but then when I think about putting those stinky things in my mouth I almost shudder. Very strange all of this, but all good I feel.

I did some diving yesterday and have pain in my ear, and didn’t even think about having alcohol as pain relief. I have taken ibuprofen and the pain has subsided. All good. We also moved from our lovely hotel to a guest house and I am not very happy with it, but still it doesn’t make me want to drink or smoke (and there’s bottles of wine for sale right outside our bedroom door for just 5 euros!

I am feeling brighter in myself – more ‘normal’ and less lethargic and in pain. I had camomile tea and am going to bed with water. The more I research the harmful effects of alcohol and the benefits of not drinking or at least cutting down, the more I feel determined myself to stop. Go me! And go Michael for encouraging me with his strength of character! Xxx

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