To have 90 days completely alcohol free is the longest time I’ve done since I was around 15, when most weekends revolved around how much cider we could somehow procure from the local off license. I’ve had two pregnancies and whilst during neither have I ever gotten close to drunk, I’ve had the odd red wine with a meal, or a celebratory toast at a wedding.
My 90 days started with no prior planning, after waking up in my hotel room after a best friend’s wedding, experiencing a somewhat debilitating hangover. There actually aren’t many more harrowing things to wake up to, than feeling as though your head has been stamped on and knowing you have a 2-hour trip home, oh and you’ll have two crazy kids to deal with at the other end.
So I just kind of thought, that’s me done for a short while.
In the last 90 days, I have dealt with: * two car breakdowns * caravanning with kids * a handful of domestic ‘discussions’ * end of term meltdowns * heavy workload * DIY projects * family beef *… I could really go on.
The point is, alcohol wasn’t my sticking plaster for any of those things. I’ve not gone all evangelical, don’t worry. Alcohol means different things to different people and whilst I’ve never been a hardcore stress relief drinker, I have alway drank. This break has been really refreshing for me and being able to give myself a little hi-five for the last 90 days has felt good.
There are plenty of great sobriety groups online – Facebook in particular. Bear in mind though that most groups are not for ‘dabblers’ in sobriety or ‘moderating’ drinkers. Many people have serious struggles and discussion should never be trivialised. In the last 90 days, I have met some brilliant people and after the next couple of September events (one being my…erm.. milestone birthday), I might consider giving up for longer.
My tips for 90 days off alcohol:
- Be discreet. I didn’t tell anybody on social media, in case I stumbled and then got upset with myself
- Plan ahead, be a designated driver, indulge in a nice pud or something treat-ish, to offset feeling like you’re ‘depriving’ yourself
- Find an alternative for weak spot nights. Run a bath or shower if you falter, so you’ll be too drenched to go to the off license!
- Download an app like the NoMo counter – I loved watching the days stack up
PS – The first thing that people really want to know about giving up alcohol is: Do you lose weight? Do you look better? For me – neither really! But for the alcohol I didn’t imbibe, I did consume way more treats. I work late most nights, I never look ‘rested’. But hey, this is just me!