I need a margarita!
I need a glass of wine!
I need a beer!
I need a drink!
How many times have you heard someone say these things? or even said them yourself? I know I’ve said each at least three or four times, and I have plenty of people in my life who almost say it on a daily basis.
So why did I give up alcohol then? If I am guilty of the same things my friends are?
Because I did not need it.
The beginning of this year things finally clicked for me. I understood what living a healthy lifestyle meant and I was finally at a point in my life where I was ready to live it. As I went through a list of everything I had eaten one week I realized there were things I could cut out and alcohol was one of them. I said. “why not?” and that I was not going to drink until my cruise, later on this year.
I did not really NEED a margarita, or a glass of wine, or a drink. What I NEEDED was to fit in with everyone else, to feel part of the crowd since I had a drink in my hand, to use it as an escape from the moment of stress or such. Now please understand I have never been an alcoholic. I had my silly moments in college, but even that only lasted really a semester and I never allowed it to affect my grades or my judgement. Too many people I know have been killed because alcohol was involved and I refuse to be an idiot when it comes to alcohol.
So really the choice, for me, was very easy. I didn’t need the alcohol, it really is only empty calories, so why would I continue spending the insane amount of money, and brain cells, on an ounce or two of liquid? Water is much healthier! and I have a goal of a gallon of water a day. In the end I was actually helping my goal out by cutting alcohol.
So I began my alcohol free journey. I’m six months in right now and let me tell you it’s not been that hard! I’ve only had a few moments of really craving a margarita or a glass of wine, but it faded as soon as I had some water. I won’t lie though, I did have a glass of wine a few weeks ago, when I was out with a friend and a few sips here and there. Mostly because my fiance always is trying different types of beer and will offer me a sip. But other than a few sips and that one day, I haven’t had an alcoholic drink. I’ve started to notice quite a difference in my body. Within the first month, I noticed I was less bloated and that dreaded “Water weight” wasn’t hanging around. My skin began to clear up and I noticed my immune system seemed to take a boost. My mood also was better when in certain company. While others drank I was alert and happy. I was also able to observe others more, because the hindrance, even small, of alcohol was taken away.
I have gotten a lot of feedback from people about my choice, mostly negative. I get the normal, “are you crazy?!” accompanied by, “I definitely couldn’t do that”. Which though negative, has actually been encouraging, If there are people in my life who can’t give up alcohol and I was able to, then 100% there was no addiction for me.
Now please please please understanding I am not calling my friends alcoholics, nor saying its wrong to have the occasional drink. However, I am using them as references to the many people we all know who would say the exact same things about someone cutting alcohol from their life. I am of the opinion, that alcohol is extremely addictive and one can become addicted without even realizing it. Alcohol addiction rears its head differently in each person. One person might have to have a drink whenever they go out, no matter what, and cannot fathom not having a drink. Another person might need to get drunk every weekend to escape their life. Another may come home and have to have a few beers until they zone out. Another may need a night-cap in order to sleep.
So why do I tell you these things? Because these were things that I began to notice all around me, as soon as I cut alcohol. These things also brought me to my newest decision, that I will only have alcohol on special occasions. Such as, my wedding day. Of course I will have a glass of champagne to toast my husband and my new family, though I doubt I will drink the entire thing! New Years? Sure I’ll have a glass of wine, if I want one. I don’t need the alcohol, I can make the choice to have a drink if I want, but it’s not a need. And if it’s not a need, then why should I have it? It doesn’t give me satisfaction. It’s just empty calories that can lead to a negation of all the hard work I have put into my life and healthy lifestyle.
I’m happy to have parted ways with alcohol, and I will know 100% that I am in control of myself, my thoughts, my actions. I will never have to say, “I killed or injured someone because I drank and drove.” or “I made a stupid decision while drunk.” I get to say, “I drove my drunk friend home, so he/she was safe.” and “I’m DD, and can make sure we all arrive home safe and sound.” as well as, “I can keep you out of trouble tonight”. I would much rather say those last three things, than the two before. I can also truthfully say with a happy heart, “Alcohol has no hold over me or my life”. With no reservations, without feeling like I have to defend myself. I can say those things.
Cutting alcohol was my choice, and it’s one I am truly glad to have made. Call me crazy! and I will accept that term with a smile. To you I might be, but to myself, I’m happier and healthier without alcohol.
I do want to challenge you though. See if you can go a week without alcohol. Yes, a WHOLE week. You’d be amazed at what you’re capable of. I also want to encourage you to look into your heart and your actions. Sometimes admitting you have a problem is the hardest things to do, but it’s a first step.
May your coffee be strong, and your faith stronger.
Until next time!