Day 1, No Alcohol

August 16, 2017

Today I made the definitive decision to stop drinking for the next year. The decision was a result of a sudden blast of clarity I had this morning after I was hit hard with that nauseous, anxious feeling I sometimes get after drinking too much. Nothing terrible happened, no DUI or broken relationship. I did make some ill-advised Facebook posts I would not have made sober, and I binged on vending machine food after sticking to a healthy diet during the day. This morning I came to the conclusion I am just sick of drinking.

For me, alcohol is like having a partner that is really fun to hang out with, particularly when I am with my other friends but over time it became abusive, especially when the two of us are alone. It is the Great Derailer. Plans fall by the wayside if a couple of drinks are involved first. I am also heavier than I should be, due to a love of craft beer and the junk food that goes along with it. I think it has had a depressive effect on overall outlook and happiness quotient.

I tried to cut back on drinking, limiting things to a respectable two drink maximum three times a week. That has not worked for me. I find that drinking is its own slippery slope. After two, I am relaxed and carefree enough to order one or two more, and sometimes I keep on going after that.

So I have finally come to the decision to do an experiment: what would happen if I quit alcohol altogether for the next year? No drinking at weddings, no celebratory beer with friends, no wine at dinner parties, no Scotch while watching Game of Thrones. How would it impact my social life and current friends? My health? The accomplishment of my goals? My happiness?

And then I asked myself, what would happen if I blog every day about my experiences? Which is what this blog will be, a day by day accounting, to keep myself honest and to give me a goal to follow. For now, I am not going to enter a program, because I do not currently think I need one. I will enter one if I find that remaining alcohol-free is a problem. I am publishing this blog anonymously.