Random Observation/Comment #340: It was interesting not drinking alcohol at parties since it’s become such a socially acceptable and encouraged way of connecting with people. There was, however, this inexplicable contact drunk feeling when going through the same motions sober. Even though I was drinking seltzer the whole time, I still felt the same energy I normally felt when partying with good friends. There was this group adrenaline phenomenon that I can only hope is from the vibes of good times..
Being on the wagon is tough. It takes a lot of willpower to turn down a drink when everyone uses it as a 5:30PM happy hour crutch to relax and chit-chat before going home to their families. I’ve found this to be even more true for colleagues older than me – they work hard all day just to get that first sip of cold beer touch their lips and lift their spirits. I can tell in the way they all close their eyes and concentrate on the refreshing taste (I’m sure they also look at the beer and slowly nod in delight). When I’ve been in those shoes so many times, how can I not cave? How could I deny myself of such a glorious moment of pleasure associated with taste and not an alcoholic dependency?
I held out longer than I thought I would, but I caved well before my 30 day challenge was complete. To be fair, I still haven’t had caffeine (coffee, soft drinks, and tea) for 2 months now and I feel great, but the alcohol was something I couldn’t escape. It’s honestly too readily available and engrained into my daily routine to not indulge. As I’m not doing it to get blackout drunk or forget about any type of livelihood or unfortunate circumstances, I don’t think I have a valid reason to get drunk. Granted, it’s fun to be loose and make stupid decisions, but am I learning anything new? Am I doing anything different? Is it opening up my world or am I simply surrendering my control?
Yes, I failed my 30 day challenge, but I’m glad I tried. I did this for the very obvious lesson learned of a shift in perceiving alcohol. It’s something I’ve forgotten after going to networking events and partying overseas for the past 4 years. It’s truly the refreshing taste that I want to stay sacred and not the feeling of being drunk. In most cases (except for my famous exception days), I have done continued to drink in moderation. The moderation and discipline aspects were always my key focus, but I needed to fail my challenge to appreciate it.
Health is a continuous lifetime effort (with exception days that are much deserved) and there is a drive for constant improvement. That being said, I am going to try this again. I think my discipline (even if for no reason at all) can overcome routine and social norms. In the two weeks where I didn’t drink, exercised regularly, slept 7 hours a night, and incorporated salads into my diet, I noticed my skin was smoother and my head was thinking more clearly. If I’m going to keep getting smarter every day, I’m sure this adjustment is the way to go.
~See Lemons More or Less Healthy