Here are the 3 Phases I Went Through
June 19th, 2016 I decided to not drink alcohol for 30 days.
Today I am on day 32.
I want to share my experience and the 3 phases that I went through in the last 30 days.
Have ever wanted to stop drinking? Not because you are rock bottom or in jail but because you feel like alcohol is causing you not to reach your goals? I have. Many, many times.
For me the motivation to start this experiment was losing weight. You know the drill, I start the day doing really well eating and working out then happy hour time would roll around and I rationalize a drink or two. The next thing you know I am having pizza for dinner.
The real issue came for me the next morning. I start my day by beating myself up putting myself into a bad mindset at the start of my day. Tough to recover from and be productive. Feeling like I will never be strong enough I will slip into the same pattern over and over.
Phase 1 — Getting Through the First Week-end
In this phase I thought everyone noticed and cared that I am not drinking. I thought a great deal what I was going to say when someone asks if I wanted beer/wine. I over explained myself to people. The good news is I have awesome friends and I was met with words of encouragement.
Lesson 1. The bottom line is most people are so consumed with what they are doing that they do not notice what you are doing. So just roll with it. This is a truth that you have heard before I am sure but the problem is we generally do not believe or accept it as truth but it is.
That First Week-end. The real struggle for me was the anticipation of my first drink when I would arrive at a party or event. That Austin Amber or red wine that I normally look forward to would just have to wait. I learned to push that feeling away and just order a soda water or water with lemon and lime. I asked why do I go to happy hours or parties anyway? To have fun with my friends. So I got happy and start talking with my friends. I engaged.
Phase 2 — Counting the Days
After making through the weekend and the following week I settled into a groove. I still thought about booze a good deal but not in a nervous way like I needed or wanted a drink but more in a what I am going to do in this or that situation. I started counting the days and on any given day could tell you exactly how many days I have not had a drink. I felt good about myself.
Phase 3 — Not Caring
Stage 1 and 2 I kinda expected but stage 3 just happened to me and it was a pleasant surprise. I was living life doing my thing and about 3 days went by I did not count the days or even give a fucking thought about drinking. I just did my thing.
I went to events, happy hours, and vacation (yeah my summer vacation fell within this 30 day window) While on vacation I went on a wine tasting tour and pub crawl with my friends and I did not drink. Having a drink is just off the table for me. In a later post I will explain why it has to be that way for me.
Why 30 Days?
I completed my 30 day challenge so now what?
I am going to keep this sobriety thing going for a while. The benefits far exceed anything that I might be giving up. I think I will write about that next.
I recommend committing to 30 days and seeing what happens. It is long enough to get perspective. And it is long enough for you to go through enough of your routines and experiences to get a sense if it is for you or not. I think it takes several days for the effects of alcohol to diminish and for your head to clear.
A lot can happen in 30 days. Give it a try and see what happens to you.
Find me on instagram @terrygrier