My Year of No Beer- Sprint 2

These blog posts will document my journey of abstaining from alcohol for a year with the help of the One Year No Beer program. Please feel free to comment because I know there’s others that could benefit from hearing your voice as well. I would be thrilled if we could be on this journey together. I started this blog about 60 days in, so there’s plenty of time for us to be goal friends.

Sprint 2- October 30- November 12, 2021

Day 15

Today’s inspiration was about believing in myself. Essentially, the exercise was a CBT activity to think about your thoughts more critically. The inspiration encouraged us to challenge our negative thoughts and reinforce our positive thoughts. I would say that my negative thoughts absolutely get the best of me day times and lead to a YOLO mindset. Unfortunately, that mindset makes my negative thoughts more likely to be fulfilled.

Day 16

Today’s inspiration was about meditation. I was urged to just attempt it. “Show up” I think that can go for do many things. If you just show up, it’s amazing what can happen. My goal will be to do a meditation each day this week. 

Day 17

Today’s inspiration was about building small healthy habits to combat the focus on alcohol… They asked us to do this before, but must have known we needed a little more of a push… Today’s prompt was: Think of a habit you’d like to build. Schedule it for the same time over the next 10 days and stick to it.
So… although I previously picked the language habit, I’ll opt for something more active now that I have some energy back…
I’ll plan to exercise for a half hour either a half an hour before or after one of my shifts for the next 10 days. 

Day 18

Today’s inspiration was about a path visualization in which you felt what it was like to stay the same or change. After doing the exercise, a few things came up. First, I really didn’t and don’t like the effects alcohol can and have had on my health. Aside from the most recent health scare, that’s not necessarily related to alcohol, I have had horrible reflux and hangovers that should have made me quit a long time ago. However, I know why I didn’t. As I visualized changing I could feel the apprehensive in my body. It’s still the unknown. Although I know it’ll feel better to not feel sick and have a more fruitful life, I’m still apprehensive because it’s not the norm. It’s not the norm to not drink and I fear the stigma. I fear having to explain or say no. Yet, I chose the path of change because I feel it’s time. I pray I feel this way for the rest of my lifebecause my relationship with alcohol was too dependent… Otherwise this wouldn’t be difficult. 

Day 19

Today’s inspiration was about using mindfulness in common activities. I definitely needed this today. My grandmother had a potentially fatal surgery and I was in shambles. One of the easiest ways to be mindful whenever was doing intentional breathing. I breathed through my fears, worries, and anxiety. I didn’t drink or use anything to escape. I lived through it… But on a positive side I also celebrated today without a drink. I went to brunch without alcohol and made my own drinks inspired by crafted cocktails on the menu. I’m very please with my progress and decision to stop drinking. 

Day 20

During today’s inspiration, I was encouraged to do 2 of the following to stay motivated:
Remind yourself: Why you’re here, your reasons for doing this challenge.
Take a selfie: Compare it with your Day 1 photo. Can you see the difference in your eyes, skin and body yet? (Amazing, we know!)
Get social: Find support in the OYNB community groups.
Get moving: A little exercise goes a long way in terms of boosting your mood and aiding motivation.
Think of your loved ones: How your being alcohol-free would benefit them (you might be seeing these benefits already).
Seek pleasure: Do something today that makes you happy –watch a movie, spend time with a good friend, read a book, or treat yourself to a little bit of self-care.
Remember the wins: Think of all the little victories you’ve achieved so far on your journey.
I decided to exercise earlier today and I plan to do something pleasurable tonight. I need some self care after this rough week. 

Day 21

Today’s inspiration was about surfing the urge… Which essentially means feeling and acknowledging cravings. I haven’t had much difficulty with cravings to drink,  but my eating… I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. I think it’s time for a little self control to get to my goals… Practicing wanting the cupcake, but not eating it. 

Day 22

Today’s inspiration was about finding an inspiration. My mother is my greatest inspiration. However, I want to find another source or sources of inspiration to make the life the way I want. Now that I’m committing to be AF, my main desires have shifted. I’m now having to think about what I’m most passionate and want to pursue. I want to be fit and healthy. I want to know multiple languages. I want to have fun. I have the last one covered, but I honestly don’t have an external inspiration for fitness or language learning. My next steps should be to delve into the literature of polygots and fitness. For me that’s through audiobooks. Now, I currently spend much of my time watching Disney things because it’s such a great escape, but maybe it’s time to focus on my deeper desires. 

Day 23

Today’s inspiration was about reflecting on the internal things that happen to our bodies when we stop alcohol: healthier liver, decreased cholesterol, improved blood pressure… Sadly, I didn’t lose weight. I’ve gained weight, but have had more energy and I’m exercising more.  I was also encouraged to take a selfie. I forgot to do this earlier in the challenge, but that wouldn’t be as reflective given that I was ill at the time. I look forward to seeing the changes as I continue to be AF. 

Day 24

Today’s inspiration was about finding happiness NOW… Not finding the happiness in the next thing. This resonates with me because I always looking forward to that next vacation or break. They encouraged me to write down at least 10 things that make me happy now… Essentially and list of what I’m thankful for:

My personal relationship with God- that I can come to him in prayer and never be alone
A loving relationship with my husband that’s rooted in a love for Christ- I love him. He loves me. We both love Christ. 
Obedient and kind children- my kids listen. They do kid stuff, but overall they listen and are very respectful
A loving mother- my cheerleader 
Supportive and loving grandparents
No longer having strife with my father 
Common sense and medical knowledge
Sanity and peace of mind
Good healthy… For the most part
No addictions or bondages
All needs met
Love and support
Sense if humor
Beauty- I think so… 😂

Day 25

Today’s inspiration was about the butterfly effect. I was encouraged to think about people that have been affected by my AF journey so far. For starters, my husband is less likely to have a drink when I’m not having one. He is also able to see me more available at night… No more times where I’m too tired to talk or interact because of an artificial wind down. My kids also love it because we try new drinks together. They are thrilled they can try whatever mommy is having from now on. My friends and family don’t have obvious effects, but I can tell they are triggered by me saying I’m not drinking and plan to do so indefinitely. It challenges their own thoughts about alcohol and what that will mean for my life being less “normal.” As time goes by I’m starting to think of alcohol the same way I do weed. When I stopped smoking I knew there would be no looking back. Despite it being both normalized and legalized, I knew it wasn’t good for me. I didn’t like being unavailable because I was high and I also don’t like being unavailable because I’m tipsy or drowsy. I like this freedom of a clear mind. 

Day 26

Today’s inspiration was about reflecting on whether my goal of the challenge was to get better drinking habits or change my relationship with alcohol permanently. When I started the challenge, I went all in initially because I knew that I needed support if I was going to make a lifelong commitment. Somewhere along the way I put in my head that I needed alcohol for XYZ… I don’t. I don’t want it just like I don’t want any other mind altering substance. I know it’ll be a long road, but so far it’s been easier than expected. I’m not sure if the benefits I’ve experienced are from recovering from a recent illness or not drinking alcohol. Either way, I’m pleased and want to continue to feel well. 

Day 27

The inspiration for Day 27 was about looking at how far I’ve come in my sobriety journey. They told a nice story about 2 guys in a competition to get to a boat. One guy saw a boat in the distance and lamented on how that should have been the goal. The other guy was pumped because he looked back at the shore and saw how far he went. I could take a lesson from that story for many aspects of my life… I’ve really come a far way. In terms of this challenge, I think I undervalue how difficult it is for me. I haven’t had urges to drink, but I have had urges to belong. My strongest urge has been resisting a fried Oreo. I have struggled with the concept that my life (with all my drive to be a master Cicerone, master BJCP Beer judge, and potentially work in the beer industry) is going to change dramatically. Something that I spent hours, days, and so much time with will not come to fruition the way I expected. But if I look back..I can see all the ways I’ve attempted to stay connected, the ways I’ve embraced NA beverages, and the ways I tried to retain and use my skills from all that hard work… I’m pleased. So looking forward looks even better as I reflect on how beautiful this new journey will be. 

Day 28

Today’s inspiration encouraged me to write down all the benefits I’ve had thus far in my “hero’s journey.” They cited examples such as Clearer skin, Weight loss, Better relationships, Improved productivity, More time, and More cash. When I first thought about it, I couldn’t think of anything… I’ve been attributing all my improvements to getting better after my hospitalization. But upon further introspection, I have to be real with my self. I’ve had normal health before, but I feel better than I’ve felt in years. I have so much energy. I can feel the energy pulsing as I get excited about a case at work or hear a favorite song. I have to take less naps to get through the day. I’m exercising again and I’m more motivated to get moving. My sleep has improved. I can feel it and it’s trackable on my apps. I’m better able to deal with stress and I’m more available for whatever happens. I really like feeling this great. The inspiration noted that a switch goes off for most people between days 40-60 as to what their future relationship with alcohol will become.  I’m ready to choose now. I want life-long abstinence. I want to continue feeling this alive and well as long as possible. Cheers to 28 days!!!

If you want more information about the One Year No Beer program. Check out this LINK. I strongly recommend this program if you question your relationship with beer. Even if you’re doing a “dry” month, it could be helpful for you to meet your goal.