My Year of No Beer- Sprint 1

This is a collage of me with my old friend…alcohol. I wasn’t unhappy, but this is a lifestyle that I’m choosing to leave behind so that I can live more fully.

These blog posts will document my journey of abstaining from alcohol for a year with the help of the One Year No Beer program. Please feel free to comment because I know there’s others that could benefit from hearing your voice as well. I would be thrilled if we could be on this journey together. I started this blog about 60 days in, so there’s plenty of time for us to be goal friends.

Sprint 1- October 16-October 29, 2021

Day 1

After a recent hospitalization, I decided to stop drinking. I’ve received so many mixed responses when I tell others about my decision, but I know this is how I need to go about this. I need this reset because alcohol, particularly beer, found it’s way into being part of my identity. The same day I decided to stop drinking, I received the notification that I passed my Cicerone Level 2 Writing Exam. I was so happy, but was reminded how much beer has been a part of my life. In order to make this drastic change, I knew I needed support. That’s when I found One Year No Beer. I signed up for the 365 day challenge. I look forward to transforming my relationship with alcohol and my relationship with myself. Each day, the program gives us inspirations. I’ll be using this blog as a platform to share my thoughts throughout my journey. I look forward to looking back at these and seeing how far I’ve come.

What in your life isn’t working for you?
My energy levels are low.
I get fatigued easily.

What needs to change with your habits and behavior?
I need to change reaching for a drink to relax or equating drinking with a good time.

What have been the consequences of your drinking habits?
I’m unavailable after I drink.

What will you gain from changing your relationship with alcohol?
More energy.

More quality time with others and my self.
Less shame or questioning myself.

Why is it not an option for things to just stay as they are?
It’s affecting my health now .

Day 2

Today’s inspiration was about breaking old habits by creating new ones. Here’s an activity I was encouraged to complete.

Bad habit I want to change
Drinking after a “long day”

What’s the trigger?
Feeling tense
Difficult cases

What reward do I want?

What routine can I replace it with?
Disney video
Sweet treat
Non alcoholic beverage
POV Videos
Call a friend

How can I celebrate success?
Get a massage
Buy something
Time with the Hubby
Order out

Day 3

Today’s inspiration was about starting a new challenge. The thought was that starting a new challenge would get my mind off of wanting and avoiding alcohol. They encouraged me to start a challenge that would be physically oriented, but they also gave options of anything that may push me further. I would normally be inclined to go along with the physical challenge, but my recent fatigue and tiredness makes that almost unbearable to fathom. However, I did have one challenge that I didn’t work on as much as I’d like to this year. My challenge will be to do Memrise daily. There’s no reason why I haven’t been doing my Daily language exercises other than it wasn’t a priority. I think this is a great time to make it a priority especially since it’s not associated with alcohol or anything that I’ve previously associated with alcohol. The most might be learning to say cheers in a different language, but cheers can be done with non-alcoholic drinks as well. Maybe I will become that Polygot I fantasized about in the next few years.

Day 4

Today’s inspiration was about sleep hygiene. One technique I can use now will be to avoid caffeine before 2pm. Once my exercise tolerance returns, I will also try exercising in the morning.

Day 5

Today’s reflection was about slips. Thankfully, I don’t have the urge to drink at all. I’m looking forward to trying non-alcoholic alternatives and healthy living. However, I am still able to list triggers:
Watching other people drink
Seeing alcohol in my home
Looking at old pictures with me drinking
Celebratory events
People asking why I don’t or offering me drinks

Day 6

I don’t think I necessarily committed to doing a blog each day, but I had to think about why I was reluctant to blog today. I haven’t had the urge to drink yet, but mentally it’s all I’ve been thinking about. Not having a drink, but what my life without drinking would look like. I thought about the places I’d no longer go to and the hobbies I’d no longer pursue. I unfollowed all the breweries, distilleries, and social groups I belonged to that centered around alcohol… There were so many. My feed looks so different. For the first time, I was triggered by the amount of drinking that was on my social media. So… With all that in mind, I’ll stop avoiding and do my reflection for today.

Today’s inspiration was about having a plan for when triggers occur. I think my go to for strangers will be that I’m on a challenge. Given the recent events, telling my loved ones that I’m focusing on my health will suffice. My most difficult anticipated challenge will be Arlinton. Although he’s pro not drinking now, I anticipate there’s a time he’ll want to preach moderation and want me to try this or that. It’s natural… You want to share things with your spouse. With him and difficult people I will simply have to state I’m not drinking… And that’s it. OYNB puts a lot of emphasis on not over-explaining. I’m so happy that they remind me of that.

Day 7

One week in the challenge and more than a week without drinking. I believe my last drink was October 10 and I went to the hospital October 12. That means I’m actually 12 days without alcohol!!!

Today’s inspiration was about getting a goal friend. I decided to kill two birds with one stone by posting on my social media that I was doing a challenge and needed a goal friend. I’m hoping someone bites and takes on this journey with me. It’s a hard ask, but I think it’ll be worth it for the both of us. Even if I don’t get that partner in crime, I’ll reach out to the OYNB community for help and encouragement.

Day 8

Today’s inspiration was about focusing on what I want in life as a means to stop drinking. They believe this is a better strategy than using willpower to stop drinking…

What does an extraordinary life look like?
Pain free
Not stress free, but all stress is handled well
Love from others and especially the people you want it from the most.
Delicious food
Beautiful memories
Feeling fulfilled
Centered around God

Who are you in that vision?
I’m me, but at peace, content, healthy, and with high energy.

What do you need to do to make it real?
I’m not sure. Possibly focus more on my values and health.

Day 9

Today’s inspiration was about nutrition. There were mostly tips as opposed to reflection prompts… That isn’t an issue today because I have something more EXCITING I wanted to share. I went to my first wedding without alcohol. Before attending, I was worried about feeling like I was missing out. However, it was quite the opposite. Maybe because it was a mature crowd, but there were no weird looks when I said I wasn’t drinking. There wasn’t any peer pressure. I was able to go about the night as usual… For the most part. I came to enjoy that drinks aren’t just about the alcohol. A good drink is appealing if it’s delicious and looks good. I was able to get a virgin version of one of the specialty cocktails and someone took a picture. They wanted what I was having. Not only did I not miss out, but I was able to enjoy the night. I feel fine, with less heartburn, and with more of an overall sense of wellness than I’ve had leaving a wedding in a long time. I was able to do my nightly bedtime rituals and I feel like tomorrow will go well too. I’m not worried about what I said tonight or if I had “too much fun.” I’m glad that my first non-drinking test went well. My next big tests will be a chef’s table and vacation. I can’t wait for both, but these are definitely two things I equate with having a good alcoholic drink/drinks.

Day 10

Yesterday was my first wedding without alcohol, but I wouldn’t say that’ll be my biggest challenge. Today’s inspiration was about social situations… Those are by far more dreaded. There’s nothing more challenging than bringing out your new lifestyle to the people you know and the people you used to drink with.

One line i can say when people ask about why I’m not drinking: I’m taking a break from drinking for my health.

I could tell Jasmine and Porscha about my ONYB journey for more support.

I can try to schedule a breakfast date when I want to see friends. I’ve found that breakfast, not brunch, places are usually absent of booze.

Day 11

Today’s inspiration was about using breath work to combat cravings and anxiety… Straightforward enough. What stood out to me is I haven’t had cravings. I look at the alcohol in my home and have no real desire to partake. I’d much rather grab a NA beer or cocktail to end wind down. I think I’m in negative reinforcement mode. I don’t want to feel sick or have some other undesirable effect from ending my night with one or two drinks. I do have to be more disciplined with snacking though. I feel that I’m rationalizing extra snacks because I’m not drinking. I think calling this out now and moving forward will be invaluable to my overall wellness. Maybe I can use my breath work for these snack cravings instead

Day 12

Today’s inspiration was about the inner chimp… Essentially or animal brain.

My new inner chimp tells me eat eat everything. With food… I’m not craving alcohol, but food is now my weakness. I previously had a hold over it, but my inner chimp is telling me to be YOLO with the snacks. It makes yet another thing the problem. The concern is the more YOLO I get in other things, the more likely I’ll go back to drinking. I’m going to call my inner chimp Karen, I’ll tell Karen, ” Shut up Karen… You don’t know what you’re talking about… It’s better to think first before opening your ignorant mouth.”

Day 13

Today’s inspiration discussed more tips about socializing while not drinking. This isn’t my first time not drinking as an adult, but this will be the longest if I’m successful. When I think back, I don’t remember missing a party. I was more likely to be DD or drive myself, but not being fun wasn’t something that I remember. I think all the mental issues I have with drinking have been disproven in my own lifetime. Part of me still has these distorted thoughts because it’s easier to drink… Point blank. It’s easier to go with the flow and be the fun girl. But that’s not how I want to define or base the rest of my life. I want to be healthy.

Day 14

Woo Hoo!!! Two weeks!!! Today’s inspiration was about stress. We equate having a drink to stress relief, but it has the paradoxical effect of making us more depressed and anxious. The inspiration encouraged us to make a list of heathy ways to destress.

Watch Disney Vlogs
Listen to the Bible
Do a headspace meditation
Take a nap
Eat some fruit
Have a mocktail
Call a loved one
Go for a walk
Do a workout
Get a massage
Get a mani pedi
Listen to an audible story
Laugh at some stand up
Snuggle with my husband
Catch up on Anime

If you want more information about the One Year No Beer program. Check out this LINK. I strongly recommend this program if you question your relationship with beer. Even if you’re doing a “dry” month, it could be helpful for you to meet your goal.

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