You read it right, Dry June – 30 days sober! I am writing this post on 1st July after completing my mission to not drink any alcohol for the whole of June.
Why did I decide June was the month to embark on a zero alcohol period? Well, this year hasn’t been the best (for anyone). It started well for me, I spent 3 weeks not drinking then my birthday rolled round towards the end of January. So I had a few glasses of wine, this then turned back into bad habits of boredom drinking at the weekends. I did have a few more spells of going vino free but then we were smacked in the face with LOCKDOWN.
I found myself reaching for the bottle of wine at about 3pm, it started with just drinking a couple of glasses 2 times a week. Then the hangover would hit, I would crave a drink every day but resisted, it would carry on as that for about a month before I was having a glass or more of wine every few days. I felt absolutely disgusting, bloated and could not think clearly at all. But at the same time the weather was amazing which made me crave wine or gin even more, we were stuck at home it was intense and there really was nothing to do. We did go out on really long walks with the children burning lots of calories and working up a thirst.
There were other factors which contributed to my desire to have a few glasses of wine but I won’t be sharing that. Long story short, I was frequently drinking, suffering horrendous hangovers and feeling like a shit mother. I wasn’t drunk at any point but I did look forward to wine o’clock, I was tired, grumpy, feeling so unhealthy and just generally not happy.
You have to be in the right mindset to give up the booze for a bit and at the end of May I had just had enough of the vicious cycle – I wanted out. Over the last couple of years I have acquired all the self help books on becoming sober, being a mindful drinker, a moderate drinker etc, I have read all the blogs as well but again, wasn’t in the right mindset. Things finally came to a head and I wanted to sort myself out, I was scared at how unhealthy I had become (internally), yes I was still working out like a crazy woman but the food I had been eating was anything but nutritious.
I was so ready to do this, I knew it would be hard but honestly I’ve had lots of “breaks” from alcohol, usually only 2 or 3 weeks at a time. But I wanted to restart to feel better physically and mentally, actually feeling mentally better was my main goal. Anxiety was off the scale due to the pandemic and also the constant hangovers. The first week I breezed through, it was week 2 that hit me hard I was ready to give up by the weekend. I really thought I would feel fantastic, full of energy, happy, buzzing and was hoping to lose some lockdown weight.
However, nothing happened in those two weeks apart from losing the bloat slightly. I was so upset and wondered what I was doing wrong. I wasn’t drinking, I upped my water, sorted my diet out again but nothing changed. I was literally chomping at the bit to get a bottle of wine… But I didn’t, and I am so glad I resisted. I ploughed through the weekend and it just clicked. The weight was dropping off, I started feeling clearer in the head, I was so much more patient with the children, I was more present with them and really took in every word they were saying – I was fun mum again, minus the wine!
So here I am with a brand new month ahead but not really knowing where to go from here. I don’t want this good feeling to end but I know I will want to enjoy myself over the summer. The things I am taking from my 30 days are to be really mindful of the amount of alcohol I consume, not to drink unnecessarily (just because I am bored), limit drinking to weekends only and really think about the next day and if it will be worth it. It has taken a month to get myself back on track and I am so thankful I got through it.
I am planning on going sober for September and October, if I had my way (and lots of willpower) I would give up alcohol for good but I know that will never happen as I absolutely love a big glass of red wine. I have tried alcohol free drinks but they do not agree with me and are full of sugar.
Have you had long spells of not drinking?
UPDATE: It is now 9th September and I am still going strong with Sober September – yay! I enjoyed July and August, the summer months. But am really focused on feeling healthier and the results are already happening. Although at the moment I’m full of a head cold and feeling pretty crappy, at least I don’t have a hangover or that gross alcohol bloat! Plus my mind is already a lot clearer. I’m taking it one week at a time and hopefully I will complete 60 days zero alcohol.