Do you know what has changed for me since quitting drinking. Sleeping. I have had slip ups and fall downs since beginning this journey but overall my drinking has severely declined in occurrences and severity. I quite literally used to drink two bottles of wine EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Who lives like that? It sounds so insane to me now but that kind of alcohol abuse happened for about, oh the whole of my twenties, yikes. People have asked me whats the biggest change since cutting down on drinking and attempting to quit and it was hard for me to pinpoint anything. One of the trickiest parts of alcohol is that the effects and horrible hangovers and lethargy dissipates and even though my brain won’t let go of the wrongs that were done to me 20 years ago, it quickly forgets the devastation alcohol reaps on my body and mind.
I have not had this amazing influx of energy, I am actually almost 100 percent certain i have a thyroid disorder and the first act of business when I land a job and health insurance is going to get that checked. (my mother had thyroid cancer so I’m not a total hypochondriac). I also have not had this amazing change in my attitude and demeanor, i am still very sarcastic and suffer from having a bitchy resting face. I haven’t lost weight, if anything I have gained weight because i no longer drink my calories and spend the next day shunning food for fear of vomiting. I am not in amazing shape, I no longer feel forced to visit the gym to sweat out the alcohol. I haven’t had this miraculous turnaround, but the biggest and most life altering change that I have seen is I am not afraid to go to sleep anymore.
I used to live in this cycle, everyday. I would get up, hungover, head to a shitty job, usually 30 minutes late because I HAD to stop at a coffee shop for a 6 shot americano to get me through the day. After sitting at a desk for 8 hours refreshing Facebook I would head to the gym, workout, and feel a semblance of myself after sweating out the alcohol, then I would either head to “dinner” AKA liquid dinner, making sure we went somewhere with a good wine happy hour and spend about $60 a night on “dinner” or head to a liquor store to pick up my wine ($40) and head home to cook food that I would spend a fortune on and get wasted on wine while waiting for my ex to come home. All the while getting more and more upset because i spent so much money and time buying fillet mignon or making homemade pasta and I was spending yet another night eating/drinking alone until he decided to head home from the bar with his friends. I would spend the rest of the evening pissed and sometimes I would walk to the liquor store, which was conveniently located down the street, and get another bottle until I passed out.
This cycle took place almost everyday for the entirety of our relationship (5 years) and really long before that. What was driving me? Loneliness and the attempt to put off another day. I very specifically remember HATING going to bed many times forcing myself to stay up even when my body said just go to bed. I remember sometimes wishing I wouldn’t wake up, not because I was suicidal, but because my life had become so utterly boring and mundane and I hated every part of my day until I could drink again. I woke up pissed, I worked pissed, I worked out pissed and then, finally, I wasn’t pissed anymore when I opened that first bottle, I was relieved and I looked forward to that numb feeling that would take hold of me after the first bottle, then slowly i would get pissed at my ex and even more pissed that i had to wake up and do it all again. Drinking was never fun, it was a cycle of pissiness.
I have finally reached a point where i realize I am tired and low and behold, I GO TO BED. I don’t dread the next day, I welcome it. I don’t fear the next days hangovers or feelings of self hatred. I go to sleep actually looking forward to making the next day better then today. I am elated to wake up and have my morning coffee and get started with my day. I am not pissed anymore. That has been the biggest change. I am not pissed anymore and I don’t fear sleep.