It is 8 minutes before April 1st and I have been sober for 31 days. I am not an alcoholic, and I have had a sip of wine as a taste once or twice, but I have not had a drink in 31 days.
I try to quit drinking for a month once a year simply to "dry out" or for a change of pace. It usually happens after the holidays. This year, I quit drinking for the month of March for several reasons....
1. My job loss. I was laid off on October 1st and March marked five months of being unemployed. I have started my own marketing business (which has gotten off to a slow start) yet it is easy to find excuses to drink during the day. I meet clients, or potential clients, for lunch meetings or after work for a cocktail and have a glass of wine. There are days I work from a bar for a change of scenery and free wireless internet and have a beer or two. I spend most of my days writing or managing an online advertising campaign, therefore I can have a beer or two without disrupting my work. March marked the longest I have been unemployed since I was 16, with the exception of my freshman year of college, so perhaps I felt that it was a significant time to give it a rest.
2. Winter. We had a terribly long winter this year, the longest I can remember in years, or so it seems, this winter made it very easy for me to sit in my apartment night after night watching TV while enjoying a glass of wine....or two. I used winter as my excuse, my good excuse, to be lazy and catch a nice, warm buzz. Now that winter is over, and spring is here, it felt like a good time to wake up from my winter slumber by giving up on the sauce for a bit.
3. The Shamrock Shuffle. I was training for an 8K this month and not drinking helped me get my butt out of bed in the AM and run.
4. Weight loss and health reasons. My final reason for wanting to stop drinking for one month was to lose weight, get in better shape and feel better.
The results were high and low. At first, I was very irritated, angry and an insomniac - I couldn't sleep! I missed my wine in the evenings it was my crutch, my blanky, but after the first week, the feelings of loss went away and I was able to self sooth without the hooch.
What I was left with was: clear skin, less bags under my eyes, more clarity in my thinking, I worked out more (except for the week I got sick) and overall I felt better. I also had more energy, a lot more energy at first, and perhaps less mood swings (after week 2, the first week was filled with all sorts of mood swings).
It is now after midnight and that makes it April 1st. And I toast you with a delicious glass of red wine before bed. Ahhhh.....it feels fantastic to drink again!