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!