30 days of no alcohol.
(blankly stares off into space. nope. not me.)
That’s what I thought when I first read something about it being the perfect time to try 30 days of no alcohol as we were heading into Virgo season.
Obviously, it was on an astrology site. I can’t even remember which one now.
I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe in astrology. I’ll be honest. I’m not even sure what I believe when it comes to it. If my faith were to be placed into the box that it’s supposed to neatly fit into, then it would say I’m not allowed to believe it. However, I don’t believe in legalism when it comes to religion…and that’s about as far as I’ll delve into religious beliefs.
I have always believed that I am characteristically a Virgo. Plus, I am an extremely curious person who wants to know everything about every single thing. So in that curious process, I looked at my natal chart and discovered that the Virgo personality does claim to be strong. My Sun, Moon, and Mercury are all in Virgo, which is my 9th house. I don’t really know what that means…but if that’s your thing and you wanna share some insight, feel free to leave it in the comments.
That was how I stumbled upon the idea of no alcohol.
I really wasn’t sure if I would succeed.
Which is why I didn’t bring it up in Friday Faves until later.
I don’t drink heavily or even drink every day, but there are enough times that I knew that 30 days would take effort on my part.
Especially because the hubby was not joining me on this particular experiment of mine. And yes, I call it an experiment. That’s because I often do these mental or physical experiments or research projects in which I am the subject.
I’m not gonna lie, the hardest day of each week during the alcohol detox was Sunday night when the hubby and I would sit down to watch Game of Thrones. It is the only show that I stop what I’m doing to sit down and watch with him. We usually have our wine or our beer and decompress while watching this epic storyline before heading into the work/school week.
My detox did end prior to that season finale though!
Since I know some of ya’ll are still catching up..no spoilers from me.
So what did I learn?
I thought that I would have some epiphany or mental clarity once the supposed brain fog lifted.
But what I learned is that I have the mental fortitude to push through to the end of a goal that I set for myself…. even when no one is watching.
It would have been easy to say “I don’t feel any different”, “my skin isn’t clearer”, “I haven’t lost any weight”… and “why am I doing this again.”
And there were moments when I wanted to do just that.
But I didn’t.
Future 30 Day Challenges.
I do want to keep pushing my comfort zones. In recent conversations, I’ve discovered that I have a strong fear of failure and so quite often I just don’t try.
In keeping with the “30 days” concept, I’ve decided that each month of my 40th year I will do a “30 days of…” challenge. I haven’t figured out what each challenge will be, but they will likely focus on mental health, fitness, nutrition, hobbies or the environment.
To keep things more streamlined, I will start them at the beginning of the month. I plan to let you all know what each challenge is a few days prior to the new month, just in case you are interested in joining me. It’s very likely that I will have failures during some of the challenges and this will be hard for me, but I feel like it’s the next step in my growth.
Check back tomorrow where I’ll announce my September challenge!
p.s.- The first one shouldn’t be too hard. My 40th birthday isn’t until the 12th, so technically I’m starting 2 weeks before my 40th year.
Plus, you gotta succeed for your birthday month. Right?!
This post was originally written in 2017 and I had considered writing another post about my thoughts around passages of time in a state of sobriety and in fact, did write another post a year later because it was the culmination of my year of challenges.
A closing of the loop, if you will. (You can find the post here: 30-day challenge- August).
However, this is the post that people (that’s you, sweet reader) still seem to find. When this post became viewed more often, I came back to re-read it because I knew that I had shared that I had no epiphanies…and at that time, I didn’t. I still felt like everything that I had shared still was valid, and I still do.
I think it’s important to share here some of what I shared in the closing of the loop. When I did add alcohol back into my life, I was able to see that it did make me less productive and it did lower my concentration.
It also does affect my sleep. Most of the time I do not sleep well. I have vivid dreams that wake me up quite often. I am also an INFP on the Myers-Briggs. Why am I sharing that? Because introverts subconsciously take in tons of information during their day and it’s in the quiet that our brains process it all. I already struggle to fall asleep because my brain struggles to shut off.
While alcohol does help you fall asleep more quickly, it also disrupts you in the middle of the night. I did not realize the ramifications of this since I already have disrupted sleep. However, later I realized that on nights that I drank alcohol, the disruption was such that my brain thought it was time to start chattering away on all those things it had processed, making it much harder to go back to sleep. Sleeping issues (along with anxiety issues) are why meditation and mantras have become such lifesavers for me. But that’s a topic for a different day. Or you can check in the search bar on the blog and read where I’ve spoken about it.
Life is like a spiral. You can think that you aren’t making any progress because you are in the same spot, but you are really at a new level of the same situation. You are able to see a new perspective. You have a new awareness (and no, this is not my epiphany. I have read it said in many different ways).
I learned more about myself through the next time I experienced it. And once again I have learned some more. I still drink alcohol, but I am more mindful about it. Am I willing to pay the price of less concentration and heavily disrupted sleep? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes the answer is no.
…and also about the astrology bit at the beginning. I’ve studied it a lot more since then and find it absolutely fascinating.
So whatever drew you to this post, the one thing I hope that you take away the part of being mindful.
Don’t forget there’s always more conversations happening in the comments. Join on in! And if there’s somebody that you think could benefit from this post, be sure to share. xx
Let your light shine!
37 thoughts on “What I Learned From 30 Days Of No Alcohol”
It’s a funny thing with drinking. I know myself I can go months without any desire for a drink. But then, some days… especially when you’ve got kids. 😛
Good job setting a goal and following through!
Thanks! In the end, it really became about the goal. I knew from my past that I did not have an addictive personality, so I was pretty sure I could do it, but wasn’t sure if I’d really want to stick to it. And yes…raising teens does NOT make it any easier. 🙂
Such a challenge. Well done for getting through it! I am going without wine, amongst a lot of other foods/drinks this next 28 days to perhaps two months, to try and cure a health issue that I have had. I’ve gone without before but wine is totally my treat after a huge week! Day 4 and doing well, although it’s totally the weekend that gets me!
Weekends were definitely hard. I was glad that it was at the end of the summer so it was likely there wouldn’t be “girls night’s out” or anything. I hope that you are able to figure out what’s going on and find a cure for your health issue! xo
Good for you Amy and very well done. I know how hard that would be for me as my hub and I often decompress over a glass of wine. 🍷
Thanks Miriam. I did find that is was easier as I went along, but after it was over, that glass of wine sure did taste sweet. 🙂
I bet it did. 🍷
Sounds like a good plan 🙂 I agree, it’s good to take inventory in our lives, make sure the habits we have are still working.
Like you, we tended to chill out to GoT and we’re sad there isn’t that this weekend. We need a new chill ritual.
I often go a month without alcohol, so I don’t know that I’d see any new benefits. Be my luck, that’s when we’d have a bunch of drinking nights! Hah! Much harder for me to go a month without soda 😉
When your moon is in the same house as your sun, then you are sorta you AMPLIFIED. Your outer world (sun) is your inner world (moon) in your case, making you seem more honest, because you’re really exactly as you seem to be. The fact that Virgo is honest anyway makes this more so.
Mercury in your ninth house indicates a strong desire to travel and learn — always making connections, identifying patterns. (We share this one.) When there are four or more planets in one house, then it gets really interesting and you see some undeniable personality traits, but three isn’t too rare. It makes you very you!
I’m looking forward to making sure my habits are still working. 🙂
We are definitely going to need to find a new chill ritual. I’ve read that GoT won’t be returning until 2019. Say what?! I don’t know if that’s true or not, but a year was already long enough to wait.
I was really worried that there might be some drinking nights. Luckily, we had just returned from the beach so we were in homebody mode. I haven’t had soda in well over 2 years. I drank daily Diet Dr. Pepper’s, but when all the bad junk escalated about diet versions of soda, I just gave it all up. The boys seems to be loving the favorite of my teen years – Mountain Dew.
Thanks for the info on my planets! I knew they represented inner and outer traits, but I find all of it so fascinating. That Mercury placement definitely explains a lot! 🙂 I had heard 4 in a house was pretty rare. Nobody in my home has that!
I told my husband about the 2019 return and he said he read the same. Oh.How.Sad.
Good for you, giving up soda! Diet soda does not agree with me, so I can’t take that habit up, either. I need to learn to love water, to prefer water and well, I just don’t. I drink it daily, of course, and lots when I exercise or it’s hot, but I need to make it my go-to!
One day? Heh.
I do like water, but those who says it all tastes the same are incorrect!
True story. I like our tap water, but I like it better with ice? I like to toss in citrus or mint, too, but I should do it MORE.
I only like water with ice. Lots and lots of ice. The hubby likes no ice…and I’m like “That is SO gross” lol.
If you find a good Game of Thrones replacement, let me know 🙂
I’m not sure ANYTHING can replace Game of Thrones!
We did watch Vikings on the History Channel, but it doesn’t start back until the end of November. I’m invested in the story, but don’t like that they’ve changed history. I would have preferred it to be fiction at that point. I admit I was biased because I discovered the show while researching someone’s else’s genealogical work that ties my lineage to Rollo.
Well done Amy. I did this back in the spring, just because I felt like a challenge. Good thing Game of Thrones was not on, that may have upped the ante.
Thanks Ed. It was a good way to challenge myself. Perhaps it may have been a little easier if Game of Thrones wasn’t on! But the fact that I persisted gives me confidence that I can accomplish future things.
What an interesting idea! A challenge within a challenge! I’m interested in hearing what the first one will be and following along on this one year journey 🙂
I hope to make it interesting. I find that I do better with changes when I challenge myself!
Reblogged this on Still Another Writer's Blog.
Thanks for the reblog!
You are welcome!
Hahah, I haven’t had a drink in years! Obviously the last year because I was pregnant, but even before that there just never seemed to be a good moment somehow. But I do crave a nice glass of rosé sometimes…! 😋
Haha! I didn’t drink as often when my kid’s were little. Too much needing to get up in the night. My three are stair-stepped in age, so that was a pretty long period. But now I do love a glass of red or a craft beer!
This is an interesting read for me, as I am not drinking this September. My boyfriend made the decision that he wouldn’t drink this month due to some health reasons, and so i thought I’d join him too. I don’t drink a lot, and hardly ever during the week. However, i enjoy a glass of wine on a friday evening, to celebrate the weekend, and also with food at the weekend. I started about a week ago, and so my end date is going to be just before the end of September. At the moment I can say that i don’t yet feel any different, and yes I do fancy a glass of wine with my food! haha!I will succeed though, as I am very focussed on my goals!…roll on October 🙂
I think it’s great that you are joining him. It did make it a little harder that my husband wasn’t joining me, but that made me even more confident of my willpower. I’m sure that you will succeed!! 🙂
Good on ya lady! So did you lose weight, have better skin and more mental clarity?? I am on day 2 – wondering if I can make it through 31 days!
You can do it!!
I don’t tend to lose weight when I remove alcohol. Boo! Maybe that would be the case if I did it for longer (I secretly suspect that would indeed be the case!). When I clean up my diet, I definitely see better skin, but I think that’s due to removing all things that “tax” my body type.
I would say a resounding “YES” to mental clarity. There’s a reason that I have a rule about not responding to blog or IG comments once I’ve had any alcohol. I like to have my responses well thought out! I also sleep SO much more soundly. Something I didn’t realize until I spent some time removing it again.
I spent 2 weeks of my most recent monthlong travel without any alcohol and am currently a week into a 2-week removal since I know I will partake when we head to the beach for our week there.
Best of luck!! 🙂