A Year Without Alcohol
Updated: Feb 26
It’s been over a year now since I made the decision to give up alcohol, and I have been alcohol free ever since.
I therefore I wanted to share how life has been since ditching the drink.
When did I give up the drink?
On the 29th of December 2018 I drank my last glass of Gin & Tonic. A couple of years before that I had made the decision to cut down, but I found after having one drink, I always wanted a second or third. While I never allowed my self to become out of control drunk, I drank more than the suggested daily limit, and drank almost every day.
How I felt About Drinking
I remember the evening of the 29th of December 2018 very clearly. l was playing Pandemic with my family and feeling quite tipsy, bloated, irritable, dehydrated and reflective.
As I finished my glass of wine, I found myself staring into my empty glass thinking about how alcohol was:
increasing my menopausal symptoms
literally drying my bones
causing constant dehydration
causing weight gain
promoting tiredness and foggy thinking
draining my energy, and for days at a time slowing down my recovery from chronic pain
increasing chronic pain
interfering with my body’s ability to heal
increasing low moods and irritability
interrupting my sleep
This wasn’t where I had envisioned my life to be. 18 months prior, I was a motivated midlifer in full health, chasing a long held dream to get into body building. I was working out regularly at Phoenix Gym in Norwich (fantastic place to train) implementing my Beauty Nutrition goals and making all sorts of wonderful potions in anticipation for launching Nudge.
However, here I was suffering with chronic pain left over from a T5 vertebra fracture, bulging disc and the onset of a degenerative disease eating away at the bones in my neck.
It wasn’t all bad. Christmas 2018, I was at the start of an incredible journey with Nudge Boutique, supporting women’s skin and well-being journeys with beauty nutrition and inspiring them to feel better about their beauty and aging. I had things I was very much looking forward to.
Here is what happened
It was a moment of clarity, a sense of my timing had come, my prayer was being answered and I knew that it was time to walk away from alcohol and make a whole life without it. That was the last time I stared into an empty glass.
What have been the pros?
I live with chronic pain, but I feel so good knowing that I am no longer allowing alcohol to interfere with my bones getting calcium and Vitamin D.
I am no longer allowing alcohol to increase bone loss by reducing Oestrogen levels, which is already occurring due to the menopause and degenerative disease.
I am no longer increasing the risk of brittle bones.
Unlike drinking in my twenties, drinking at age 50 takes so much longer to recover from. I no longer feel sluggish. I feel energetic and alert.
I no longer feel guilty for drinking (I knew I wasn’t living my values). I no longer suffer with depressed feelings and irritability caused by drinking.
Therefore, I am fully engaged and present with friends and family.
I have a better outlook on life and can pour myself into everything I do.
My skin doesn't look puffy and tired in the morning. It looks brighter.
The changes I am not seeing may be permanent damaged caused by drinking (sagging skin) but as I am going through the menopause, I can’t tell.
What have been some of the cons?
To be honest, I can’t offer you any. When I think about drinking, I think of all the benefits I have from not drinking. Life is good for me without drink.
Photo: Nowaways, I enjoy a tasty Mocktail!
What About You?
I am not suggesting you give up drinking. Everyone has a different experience of it, like my husband who has a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude towards drinking.
What I hope is to inspire those of you who have experiences like me. Perhaps in midlife and contemplating life without alcohol, or you have already started your journey. Perhaps you find it brings you productivity, happiness or relief? Perhaps sadness and stress?
It’s good to reflect on why we do things we do and how it serves us. Please share your thoughts and experiences.
Interesting Facts for Menopausal Women
Generation X purchased more wine over a two year period than any other generation https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2019/09/23/Gen-X-holds-more-potential-in-alcohol-than-millennials
Alcohol impact on menopause https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/alcohol#1
Women and drinking facts http://www.ias.org.uk/Alcohol-knowledge-centre/Alcohol-and-women.aspx
If you are struggling start here httservices/ps://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-support-services/