Wednesday – Work Day
First Attempt – Day 0 of My “30-Day No Alcohol Challenge”
Hi. I’m [ Anonymous ] and I’m an alcoholic.
I just woke up and boy, am I feeling restless and anxious. These past two days of drinking have really done a number on my nerves.
So, what do I do to calm down my alcohol withdrawal symptoms enough to sleep? I take a few sips of beer. Yeah, I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I mean, I have to work in 5 hours!
Well, no surprise there, rest eluded me all night. I tossed and turned like a pretzel. Let me tell you, drinking never leads to a peaceful slumber, especially when it becomes a regular thing.
So, morning arrives, and I drag myself out of bed. I’m already feeling fatigued and slightly nauseous. The combination of exhaustion and lingering alcohol effects makes me dizzy. I’m breathing like I’m trying to prevent myself from getting sick.
And brushing my teeth turns into this ridiculous gagging ordeal that ends with me throwing up. It’s not a pretty sight, let me tell you. I catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and shame washes over me like a tidal wave. Ugh!
And so, another grueling day at the lobster cannery begins. I feel like I’m already teetering on the brink of death, to be honest. The weight of my choices and the toll they’re taking on me is just unbearable.
Midday rolls around, and I find myself in the depths of suffering. The exhaustion, the hangover, the anxiety—it’s all too much.
Deep down, I know I have a problem. But when the end of my workday approaches, something weird happens. Instead of feeling down, there’s this strange excitement that takes hold of me. It’s like the anticipation of another round of drinking seems to reawaken me, giving me a fleeting burst of energy.
Talk about a vicious cycle, right? But seriously, how much longer can I keep this up?
Booze has been a pain in my life since I was 30. A past boyfriend, which I had been with for 8 years, didn’t like my drinking and kept on threatening to leave. And I tried hard to control my drinking for years. I even went to rehab when I was 32, but it didn’t save me from its grip. Oh, and to add insult to injury, my ex-boyfriend left me for another woman despite my efforts to get sober. I had been a little more than 100 days sober when he left me.
Now, here I am at 43, stuck in a lobster cannery job (with two college degrees, mind you), spending my days picking out shells from pans of lobster claws.
How on earth did my life end up like this?
Simon Chapple’s words keep echoing in my mind. This “Quit Alcohol Coach” dude spoke about reframing abstinence as a 30-day experiment rather than some lifelong commitment.
Treat It as an Experiment
I want to encourage you to treat this as an experiment. I think if I said to you, ‘I don’t want you to ever drink again,’ it could probably feel kind of overwhelming and too much. I mean, you might feel ready for that, you might want to stop drinking now and never ever look back, and if you do, good on you… However, for most people, a lifetime just seems too much in those early stages.
So what I would invite you to do is to view this as an experiment. Think about taking a break from alcohol. I’d normally invite people I work with to take a 30-day break initially…
Then, towards the end of that 30-day break, they make a decision, a decision that they feel confident and comfortable in, and that decision is, ‘Is my life better without alcohol, yes or no?’ It’s as simple as that. Now, if they feel that their life is better with alcohol in it and they want to just own that fact, then good for them. They want to carry on drinking, that’s absolutely fine. I would never judge or preach to somebody. But nearly everybody makes a decision that, actually, my life is so much better without alcohol in it.Chapple, Simon. “How to Stop Drinking Alcohol – Full Course for Beginners.” YouTube, uploaded by Quit Alcohol Coach – Simon Chapple – Be Sober, 31 October 2021, https://youtu.be/QSxOoADQ5ao?t=644.
You know, it got me thinking. Maybe I can’t commit to staying sober for life right now, but quitting alcohol for a month? That’s definitely something worth considering. It’s like a trial run, you know?
Finally, my shift ends, and I’ve made a decision. I’m gonna cut alcohol out of my life for 30 days. My boyfriend, who’s also battling alcohol addiction, agrees that it’s a great idea for both of us.
And after 30 days, I’ll pose a simple question to myself: “Is my life better with alcoholic beverages or without them?” If the answer is a resounding “yes, it’s better without it,” then maybe I’ll embark on another 30 days alcohol-free. But if not, well… bottoms up!
But get this, we have a dozen cans of beer waiting for us at home. My boyfriend wants to start his own 30-day challenge once he finishes them. But me? Nah, I can’t wait any longer. The exhaustion, the despair—it’s just too much to bear. So, I decided to start my journey toward sobriety today.
I got home after work. I walk through the front door, determined and resolute.
Instead of heading straight to the liquor store like I used to, I quickly whip up a meal, watch the video below, and practically dive into bed. You see, tonight, exhaustion becomes my secret weapon. It’s the ally that helps me resist the temptation.
The journey is just beginning, and let me tell you, it won’t be a walk in the park. But hey, I’m willing to fight tooth and nail for my life.
So, here’s to tomorrow and whatever challenges it may bring.
That Anonymous Artist
Supplementary Info: Embrace the Benefits of Abstinence (Your Liver Gets a Break, Numerous Health Benefits, Less Bloating)
If you’re embarking on your first attempt at a 30-day alcohol-free challenge, congratulations! You’ve made an important decision for your health and well-being. Whether you’re cutting back on alcohol for weight loss purposes, to improve your physical health, or simply to experience what happens when you stop drinking, there are numerous benefits that await you.
During the past days, you may have been a heavy drinker, consuming alcoholic drinks regularly. Giving alcohol up for a set period, like a Dry January or a self-imposed 30-day challenge, can have significant positive impacts on your body and mind. One of the common benefits people experience when quitting drinking is improved concentration. Alcohol can impair cognitive function, so going off the drinks allows your brain to operate at its best.
Not only does quitting alcohol offer immediate physical benefits, such as improved liver health and weight loss, but it can also have lasting effects on your overall well-being. Heavy drinking can take a toll on your liver, and a break from alcohol gives it a chance to recover and repair itself. Moreover, alcohol is calorie-dense, so cutting it out of your diet can contribute to weight loss if you’re mindful of your food choices during this time.
When you’re no longer under the influence of alcohol, your driving license is no longer at risk due to the influence of alcohol. You’ll also find that your new alcohol-free lifestyle permits you to engage in activities that were off-limits while drinking. Whether it’s participating in sports, taking up new hobbies, or enjoying quality time with loved ones, your experiences will be enriched by being present and fully engaged.
It’s important to note that quitting drinking is a personal journey, and everyone’s experience is unique. Some individuals may face challenges along the way, particularly during the first week or three weeks when withdrawal symptoms or cravings may arise. However, as you progress, you’ll likely notice improved physical and mental health, better sleep patterns, and a sense of accomplishment for sticking to your goal.
So, take this new endeavor as an opportunity to explore the benefits of a life without alcohol. Whether you choose to reintroduce moderate drinking after the 30 days or decide to extend your alcohol-free journey, you’ve already taken a significant step towards improving your health and well-being.