This is never a good way to begin your day.
I crawled to my bathroom, and promptly vomited. Did I mention it was a Monday morning? I had gotten shit ripped on a Sunday evening…with my parents who were in town visiting. Somewhere on the other side of Austin my Mother was making her own pilgrimage to the bathroom. I had had a fabulous time with Mama and Papa Gray the night before, such a good time that we had all giggled when I was tossed into the back of the truck they were driving and I tried to guide them the wrong way down one way streets to get me home.
As I sat in my cubicle at work an hour or so later feeling like garbage, I winced at the light and the annoying chipperness of my colleague I share a cubicle wall with, I cringed at the memory of my mother telling hilarious sex jokes, I felt nothing but embarrassed every time I glanced at my call log. And dear god the text messages. But mostly I felt squeamish by the idea of losing control. On a Sunday. On a school-errr-work night.
I spent my lunch eating out in my car reading the latest Jillian Michaels book, alone with the silence trying to will my head to a non-pounding state. Jillian went into great detail about why drinking to excess was bad for you. In my sorry state I was willing and eager apostle for her gospel, and decided then and there to go cold turkey on alcohol for 30 days. No beer, no cocktails, and no wine. Not even after a stressful workday, not even out with all my boozy friends. For the first time since I was 19 I was going to abstain.
Out the gate I was nervous, I have friends that can't go two days sans wine without getting the shakes. But I was fine, didn't miss it at all. I was sleeping better, getting in significantly better work outs and even waking up easily in the morning. On Sunday mornings I would bounce out of bed by 9 in a blaze of productivity in time usually reserved for my moderate hangovers. Do you know what its like to have gotten in a 2 hour work out, have cleaned your apartment, and done all your grocery shopping before 1 PM on a Sunday? Neither did I before this little endeavor of mine, let me assure you, It was awesome.
Also, do you know what happens when you cut out drinking? Say adios to your pouch. In all my 27 years I have always stored anything excess in my body in my boobs and in my tummy…well…all of the excess in my stomach disappeared! I have muscles that I can see, and they are cute ones! I did a victory dance in my shower whenI noted the change.
After 20 days I was ready to commit to a life without booze forever, I was on a high.
But then, I had a really shitty day at work. Really shitty, like panic attack-tear inducing shitty day at work. At home my wine winked at me from the bottom level of my fridge. "Drink me!!!" Unwind!! Relaxing reds! Kill the memories of today!" I went to yoga instead. It did not produce a satisfying buzz. And I spent most of the class glaring at my mat, mentally at the office thinking about how badly I wanted wine.
I went to a friend's birthday dinner and was that awkward one who wasn't drinking. It was weird when people kept asking me why I wasn't drinking. One colleague even asked me if I was abstaining because I was pregnant, which as he put it, "would explain me not drinking and being so moody at work." I had no idea it was going to be such a thing.
Out another night I faced questioning about whether or not I was on some weird medication, there could be no other reason for me to me alcoholless.
I went out with other friends, and once again I was heckled by all sides for not drinking. Which was annoying, and so are drunk people when you are sober.
I had never pictured not drinking alcohol to drive a social stigma, but it does. Particularly when you are young, single, with a reputation for being fun. I felt like a Debbie Downer-which was weird because I was all but levitating when I wasn't in social settings-my energy was through the roof, my skin was clear, and need I remind you, I had abs to keep me company.
My 30 days are up today and I'm trying to figure out how to be moderate about alcohol now that my extreme is off the table. Truth be told, I'm glad I did it, but I feel oddly lonely as I complete the journey. The not drinking thing made me so uncomfortable around my friends I spent a lot of nights in. On the flip side, I love how I feel after a cleanse from it.
I'm am sure I will go back to having a glass or two of wine, and it will be nice to not to feel like a pariah when I'm out with friends-but its nice to feel like my body is powering on all cylinders. I just need to add some moderation to my plan to get the best of both worlds.
Fare thee well abs, it was fun while it lasted.