So, my 3 month alcohol abstinance experiment has come to an end

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    • #381298
      Joe Shlabotnik
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 908

      First off: Cheers!

      So why did I do it? Covid had very little to do with it, although I was quite aware that having a sickly liver was not a good thing in a pandemic. What it really came down to was towards the end of August, with some time off work and drinking like usual, I really began to think about things.  I wasn’t happy with my slow but steadily growing beer gut that I’ve been working on non-stop for the last 35 years, and also I acknowledged that I was feeling very burnt out, a little sickly, perpetually tired, but also questioning if I was a slave to the stuff, or if I had the will power and resolve to be the master of my own bad habits. What scared me is that I’ve been a daily beer drinker since I was 18, and weekend binge drinker since grade 9 (I won’t get into being a cigarette smoker since 8 years old). I’d typically consume 2-5 glorious beers after work, and then another 3-8 before bed. On weekends there were no limits. I really didn’t want to quit forever, I just wanted to prove something to myself, and maybe feel and look a bit better physically. Also I thrive on stress, challenges and difficult assignments. So I decided to try it for 3 months.

      Could I actually quit? The fear of failure was Huge! I knew that beer drinking played supporting roles to varying degrees in numerous personal/relationship failures throughout my life, but I’ve always been an incredibly high functioning, detail orientated person, who never fails at anything work related, (and frankly Work is most of my life). However I feared that if I stopped drinking, I’d suffer mightily for 2 or 3 days and then start drinking heavily in shame. This did not happen.

      So what happened? I had a very hard time sleeping and concentrating for about the first 4 days. That was the worst of it. After about about a week, my sleep got better, and I started feeling a little more clear headed. Not that I ever really felt foggy (and never hung over) before, but my attention to detail improved beyond what was already quite good. In a few weeks my arthritis began to hurt less, the roundness in my face and neck began to disappear, I was able to fall asleep quickly and slept better than I have since I was kid. 6 foot tall, and 195 lbs may not sound too fat, but I knew that at least 20 lbs of that was strictly beer gut. After 3 months (without changing my diet at all btw), I lost 14 lbs (shy of my ambitious 20lb goal though). My blood pressure dropped 20 points into the ‘ideal’ range. I cut my smoking down by 25%. I figure I saved about $1500+.  I guess because of Covid, my social habits were already altered since springtime, so that likely helped, because there is no way I’d be able to have hung out in person with my fellow Assholes at the local tavern like I used to, and not drink like before. I wouldn’t even put myself in such a situation, because the pressure would be immense, and I wouldn’t enjoy hanging around a bunch of loud obnoxious drunks while sipping club soda! Interestingly I also noticed that I posted less here at JPR. Sometimes I’d start to post something, then over-consider it to death, and then finally decide not to put my opinion out there.

      So whats next? Immediately…… beer number 5! whooooo! (I have a 4 day weekend starting tonight!) After that, I think I’ll drink on weekends and around X-mas for the month of December, then quit again on January 1st until my next long weekend; maybe mid-February, or Easter. I’m really glad that I tried this because I look and feel better, and proved something on personal level that was causing doubt and stress. In the end though, I guess I’m an still an eternal delinquent and quitting drinking was actually a bit of a thrill.

      Well, now back to business… Cheers!

      ~ All good things are Wild and Free ~

    • #381301
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,242

      And on moderation too.

    • #381303
      Pam2
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 7,023
    • #381317
      elias39
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,307

      keep at it! Money savings aside, you’ll probably get a few extra years out of moderation. I quit drinking when I turned 60 (8 years ago) and was able to stick with it. Smoking is a different story. I still try a couple of times a year and it’s got to be good for me even though I relapse.

    • #381334
      alcina
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 743

      Congratulations on your success. (And great song, btw.)

      "The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them." -Julius Nyerere, First President of Tanzania

    • #381349
      Snort McDork
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,392

      Lots of water is needed to keep them healthy.

      I'm Snort McDork and I approved this message.

      "I like birdy num-nums"

    • #381354
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 4,929

      I miss your posts, and am so glad to read you.

      I could try to persuade you to quit smoking altogether, cause it was my profession, but I see you already know all the perks of what these change in habits can do for you. You’re right. It’s really up to you to ask yourself, “Can I do it?” I have more thoughts about these things at age 67, you know. I want to maintain health. When I feel good, I can discover as many things as I want.  I’m facing the things I need to do (and I think in many ways, we all do) during this time, and I know I’ve benefitted from things I’ve learned I can do.

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #381381
      NJCher
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,176

      Bravo for you. It was a good test of whether you controlled beer or it controlled you. It was interesting to read about the changes you noticed as the time you were away from it rolled on. I was particularly interested in your observation that you felt more clear headed and also about the arthritis.

      I wondered if beer drinking (or any kind of alcohol consumption) was linked to arthritis, so I did some googling. Arthritic pain is exacerbated by inflammation, which is something I’ve learned from my healthcare people.

      Snip

      Why does alcohol cause inflammation?
      Alcohol depletes the body of water and nutrients causing an increase of inflammation and pain in the joints. Alcohol abuse can cause or even aggravate preexisting joint pain. Alcohol depletes your body of water and nutrients. It can suppress your immune system and increase inflammation.
      snip
      I have more about my own experience in quitting, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Falling asleep here.
    • #381471
      Enthusiast
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,775

      I more or less quit alcohol.

      I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".

      Me

    • #381600
      Joe Shlabotnik
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 908

      for the thoughtful and positive comments! @enthusiast @njcher @mrmickeysmom @snortmcdork @alcina @elias39 @pam2 @jbnw

      ~ All good things are Wild and Free ~

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