Wednesday – Unemployed, Chasing My Dreams
Fourth Attempt – Day 1 of My “30-Day Experiment”
So, I woke up super early today after a restless night. The struggle to sleep seems to be a recurring theme lately, but Allan came to the rescue with some much-needed coffee.
I got right into my paintings, and the morning has been pretty productive so far.
Allan’s on a mission to stay alcohol-free for 30 days again, and I’m rooting for him. But, I can’t help wondering if it’ll affect my own journey to sobriety if he doesn’t stick with it. Fingers crossed he’ll make it this time, especially after seeing his daughter the other day – she unknowingly seems to be inspiring him to get his act together.
And bam, there it is – an alcohol craving creeping up on me. I swear, it feels like my heart’s about to take a leap out of my chest.
So, what’s a girl to do?
I thought, “Hey, I need a meeting,” as if I’m some AA guru. Ha! But since there aren’t any such meetings nearby, I decided to check out This Naked Mind’s “The Alcohol Experiment” website again for some quick video therapy.
Knowledge is power, right?
In this video I watched from the Alcohol Experiment, they suggested making two lists: one for why you want to drink and the other for why you want to stop drinking. If I’m serious about getting better from my drinking problem, might as well give it a shot.
So, let’s give it a try…
Why I Drink:
Stress Relief & Escapism: This is my main reason. I turn to alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, or to temporarily escape from daily challenges. I use alcohol as a means of escaping or numbing emotional pain, problems, or traumatic experiences.
Socializing & Liquid Courage: This is my second main reason. As an introvert, alcohol helps loosen my inhibitions and creates a more relaxed atmosphere. It also gives me liquid courage in social situations. Alcohol gives me a boost in confidence, making it easier to approach social situations or conquer fears.
Enhancing Experiences: I believe that alcohol enhances experiences, such as making the environment (e.g. nature, walks in a city, a restaurant’s decor) more enjoyable or making certain activities more fun.
Escaping Boredom: I have a belief that drinking alcohol will make mundane or uneventful situations more exciting. When I would feel bored or unstimulated at work, I would turn to alcohol as soon as my workday was over to create a temporary sense of thrill or entertainment.
Routine: Drinking became a habitual or routine behavior for me. This routine of drinking when I wasn’t working at the lobster cannery became so automatic, I sometimes don’t even consciously think about it; it’s just something I do without much thought.
Sleep Aid: Sometimes I would turn to alcohol as a relaxation aid when I couldn’t sleep, even though I know I won’t feel refreshed in the morning.
Why I Want to Quit Drinking or Drink Less:
Financial Savings: My drinking habit is expensive and I was just let go from my job. It’s essential for me to save as much money as I can.
Improved Relationship: Allan and I have been facing difficulties in our relationship due to alcohol-related issues. I believe that taking a break from drinking could create a meaningful opportunity for us to grow and improve our connection.
Enhancing Productivity: I’ve recognized that alcohol negatively impacts my productivity, and I am determined to boost my efficiency and focus to successfully launch my independent art business. By taking a break from drinking, I believe I can harness my full potential and dedicate more energy to pursuing my entrepreneurial goals as an artist.
Health & Well-being: I look forward to experiencing better sleep, increased energy levels, improved digestion, and weight loss. Additionally, I hope that abstaining from alcohol will alleviate the symptoms of tremors (shaky hands). I also anticipate the reduction of nausea, dizziness, and puffiness in my face as positive outcomes of this challenge.
Emotional Regulation: I have noticed that alcohol exacerbates emotional issues, mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, reducing or quitting drinking might help me stabilize my emotions and improve my overall emotional well-being.
Pride in Myself: One of the main reasons I want to stop drinking is because I’m embarrassed of myself when I drink. I often engage in behaviors that I regret later, and it affects my self-esteem and confidence. By quitting or reducing alcohol consumption, I believe I can regain my self-respect and take pride in my actions and decisions.
Lunchtime! Made myself some healthy egg-drop soup with oriental veggies – yum! And hey, water’s my new best friend.
Gonna get back on the healthy diet train after eight long years of abusing my body with alcohol, lack of water, and poor food choices. Time to shed some pounds and feel fabulous again.
After eating, it’s back to my paintings for more artistic magic.
The day was all peaceful, and I was in my creative zone until…bam! Another alcohol craving.
Seriously, can they give me a break?
So, I’m trying to paint while wrestling this urge that won’t budge. And then it hit me – why do I want to drink right now? Like, what am I trying to achieve with alcohol? It’s like a puzzle I can’t solve.
Oh, the struggle is real!
I spent so much time on the couch pondering why I want to drink. It boiled down to this battle between needing rest and wanting to work non-stop on my art business. Alcohol seemed like a way to numb the guilt of taking a break.
It’s crazy how our minds work sometimes.
To beat that craving, I tried something different – a free trial of Amazon Prime to watch the TV series, “Mom”. It’s a show about a mother-daughter duo in recovery from alcoholism. I found the humor in it super relatable, and it gave me a lighter way to engage with the topic. You know, laughter’s the best medicine!
Allan’s back with a mini booze haul – half pint of whiskey and two tall boys. It’s way less than he would have brought home a month ago, and he even mentioned saving one for tomorrow.
I backed off when he brought up his military past and using alcohol to cope with trauma. Not my place to pry, but I’m proud of him nonetheless.
Allan’s sipping away, but in a good mood. Cheers to that! Meanwhile, I had dinner and now I’m tucked into bed, watching videos.
So tired, but guess what? I made it through another day sober! Go me!
And I’m proud of Allan for scaling back on the drinks too – from a quart a day to this. Progress is progress, and I’ll take it!
– That Anonymous Artist
Supplementary Info: 30 Days, No Alcohol
Congratulations to all the participants who took up the 30-day alcohol challenge! Embarking on this journey to cut out alcohol for an entire month is a commendable feat, and the benefits of such an endeavor are numerous. For some, it may be a breeze, but for others, especially those struggling with addiction, it could be quite a challenging experience. Regardless, each of you mustered the strength to say no to alcohol for 30 days, and that is no small achievement.
During these alcohol-free days, you’ll experience physical and mental changes. For many, the first few days will be the toughest as alcohol withdrawal symptoms like headaches and cravings will test your determination. But as time goes on, you’ll likely notice improvements in your sleep quality, mental clarity, and even physical health. Your liver will thank you for this break, and cutting out alcohol may reduce the risk of long-term damage to your health.
For those who were used to having a drink every week or even every day, going alcohol-free for 30 days might feel like a significant change in your life. After 30 days, you’ll have proven to yourself that you can break the cycle of dependency and that you’re not defined by the number of drinking days you had before. This experience may spark a realization that you can enjoy life without the need for alcohol.
Dry January or any 30-day no-alcohol challenge isn’t only about abstaining from wine or other alcoholic beverages; it’s about challenging yourself to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Many participants find that they can have fun and connect with others during social events without the need for alcohol. It may even lead to a longer-term change in how you approach drinking and alcohol consumption.
Remember, if you feel like you were almost an alcoholic or are concerned about your drinking habits, it may be essential to seek professional help. Alcohol addiction is a serious issue, and going cold turkey without proper support may not be suitable for everyone. For most people, however, this 30-day alcohol challenge can be a stepping stone towards positive change, both physically and mentally.
Whether you decide to continue your alcohol-free journey or reintroduce alcohol in moderation after 30 days, this experience will give you valuable insights into your relationship with alcohol and its impact on your life. So, take pride in your accomplishments and remember that you have the power to shape your own path. Here’s to a healthier and happier you! Cheers to a life with more choices and greater control over your well-being!