For those of you who are new here- I struggle with anxiety and depression (although it’s way better than it used to be/ I manage it better now). But, In the past year I’ve leaned on alcohol quite a bit to numb anxious feelings and quiet my busy mind.
What started as a glass of wine each nigh with dinner quickly turned into 2, and then it turned into going straight for the wine when I got home from work, and then to drinking from 5pm to 9pm without even thinking “Is this good for my body and mind?” or “Am I being mindful of what I’m doing right now?”
Truthfully, I didn’t care. I just wanted to numb the feelings of discomfort. I wanted to disassociate in the funnest way possible (because let’s be real- catching a buzz can be fun.)
2 weeks ago I stopped drinking on weekdays. Here’s what happened:
- Days 1-3 I felt like total garbage. I was nauseous, anxious, had trouble sleeping, and had extreme racing thoughts. I had a panic attack on day 2, and couldn’t eat anything on day 3. I felt agitated and thought multiple times “Can I really do this?”
- Day 4- I started to feel better physically, but was still bombarded with racing thoughts and anxiety. I realized I can’t just come home after work without wanting to drink. So I had to change my after-work routine. Instead of driving home and drinking as soon as I got in the door, I went to the gym on the way home from work.
- Day 5-Now- I know I can do this. I WANT to do this. I want to be the best version of myself. Limiting alcohol and being more mindful of my drinking has allowed me to get back to what I WANT to do vs. what I feel like I NEED to do to escape the anxiety.
Things that have helped me when I feel like drinking are:
- Going to the gym/exercising– Getting into a new environment is essential. Also- taking care of my body physically helps me not want to put toxins back into it. AKA If I work out- the last thing I want to do after is numb myself by drinking a bunch of wine.
- Going outside when I feel the urge to drink- Getting into nature is extremely healing. Again- change of scenery.
- Finding new/ engaging in old hobbies: I’ve been doing a lot of things that I either had no energy to do or couldn’t do because I was buzzed every night. I’ve been reading a lot more, exercising a few times per week and writing a lot more.
- Following people/accounts that post about sober living: Often they have inspiring stories of others who have conquered their alcohol addictions (mental and/or physical) which I have found really helpful to read.
2 weeks down. Drinking on weekends is really practical for me and I would really love to stick with it. If you’re considering going semi-sober, I’d definitely recommend trying it. Reach out to others AKA me for support if needed.