Orange & Lemonade Pt 2: 5 weeks

It’s now been about 5 weeks since I decided to stop drinking for good.

I am sleeping better. Aside from a couple of weeks of intense drinking-frenzy dreams where I got completely smashed off my face (in the dream, that is) I have slept solidly every night since I stopped drinking. My sleep cycles have gone back to normal and I don’t feel tired all the time.

The puffy dark circles under my eyes are mostly gone. Partly because I’m sleeping better, and partly because I’m not in a state of perma-dehydration.

My weight is slowly dropping. I was able to wear a pair of size 12 jeans again this week, which I’ve not been able to do in 12+ months, since I lost a huge chunk of weight initially. I’d convinced myself that my drinking was not to blame for weight gain because I moderated input and calculated calories but this was completely ignoring the science behind alcohol consumption (in simple terms, when you eat & drink, food is stored as fat so your liver can prioritise dealing with the poison you’re voluntarily taking into your system). Ignorance is not bliss, after all.

And most importantly: I’ve not had a single anxiety related episode despite going through the tail end of one cycle and another complete cycle. What this basically means is that I was worsening my own PMDD by constantly drinking (despite often doing it to self-medicate the symptoms themselves!)

It’s not a huge surprise, alcohol is a known depressant, but what is surprising is just how much difference it makes being completely sober. The scale of change in my symptoms is massive. I can’t attribute this entirely to drinking/not drinking — my circumstances are more stable, and I’ve implemented strategies to better cope with workloads and stress — but is a massive help.

I am still INCREDIBLE HULK ANGRY in lead up to menstruation, but angry on its own is a hell of a lot easier to deal with than angry AND anxious/paranoid.

In the space of 5 weeks I could have easily consumed 1-2 bottles of wine a week, and the equivalent of a bottle of vodka on a ‘going out weekend’ – of which there has been a couple. So in 5 weeks I’ve “missed out” on approximately 10 bottles of wine and 2 bottles of vodka.

Except I’m not missing it at all.

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4 comments so far

  1. Stephanie said:
    On April 24, 2017 at 12:40 am

    And you’ve saved the cash, too :)

    Reply
  2. Mel said:
    On April 24, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I’m really impressed Jem. I am going through a complete loss of willpower to things at the moment and have been following your progress on this. Super work.

    Reply
    • Jem said:
      On May 3, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Mel :)

      re: willpower – one of the things that I found when getting into fitness (something else that people say uses “willpower”) was that willpower is only a finite resource. If you’re relying on that to achieve something, it will eventually run out and then you’re stuck. You need to find something other than willpower to keep you going: a reason to achieve something, a goal to achieve, something like that. Not sure if that helps give you fresh perspective?

      Reply

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