Does That Fancy Cocktail Really Feel So Fancy? A Glimpse at the 30 Day Detox & Beyond
By Michelle Gagnon- So Good At Life Friend and Contributor
I stumbled into Dry June after struggling with the idea of it on and off for months. In the year leading up to my detox, I found that my idea of fun started to feel less and less fun to me. Living in a society where drinking is a part of most social activities, it became almost habitual for me to always include it: dinner out, summer parties, sporting events, camping, fishing, golfing…the list goes on. Any activity I did for fun was always accompanied by a fancy drink. It was fun; it was actually a lot of fun. But then it wasn’t. An afternoon of drinks while watching the game started to leave me feeling tired and cranky. A night out with friends resulted in a horrible night’s sleep followed by an unproductive, sometimes sick day after. To sum it up, the “fun” stopped feeling fun.
On May 30th 2015, I hosted my oldest daughter’s confirmation celebration which consisted of family, friends, food, cocktails, and games. Thinking back, I only had 2 glasses of wine that day but I remember starting to feel tired and irritable while my guests were still there. I thought about why I drank that day: What was the purpose? and came to the conclusion that I drank out of habit and there really was no purpose for me. But did there need to be? After all, when you host a party you have drinks, it’s in the handbook, isn’t it?? That night I switched to water and went to bed for what would be last night of crappy, restless, alcohol induced sleep.
June 1st, 2015 started my 30 day detox. I had read an article suggesting that I try 30 days to see how I would feel. This seemed doable and would end just in time for our big annual 4th of July party. During my 30 days, I kept busy doing the social things I’d normally do while drinking. I camped twice with our large group of friends and spent a weekend in upstate NY in a rustic cabin with my sister and brother. The month went by fast and I felt better than I had in years. My sleep improved immediately, I lost weight, and I just felt healthier overall. As my month winded down, I looked ahead to the rest of the summer…our big party, more camping trips, vacation, golf, fishing…all of the fun, social things that were usually enhanced by drinking were all penciled in on the calendar. I moved forward with my detox feeling strong. I had no plan of where it would take me at that point but I knew I wanted to stay on the path I was on.
Today marks my 617th day without alcohol. (Yes, I keep track.) My road has not been easy, but it’s been awesome. I’m learning a lot about who I am. I feel real, raw, exposed and as uncomfortable as that can feel, I love it! Some days when I’m surrounded by friends who are bonding over the latest cocktail recipe, I feel left out; when I’m not invited to a night out or a social event, I sometimes feel lonely… but most days I feel empowered. I love being able to go out for dinner on Friday night and then getting up early for an 8am spin class the next morning. I love camping and not feeling tired before we even eat dinner and then getting up early the next morning to go hiking before everyone else is even awake. I love experiencing things that I did while drinking with a clear head and feeling like its the first time I’m doing them. I can honestly say I don’t miss the buzz and I DEFINITELY don’t miss the hangovers.
I’m not here to preach or to judge, I’m just saying to take a look at what impact the fancy cocktail has on your life. If you are able to balance it all, then I applaud you. If you are feeling like you’d like to take a break, give the 30 Day Detox a try; I promise you, just 30 days will give you some insight into the world of sobriety and the benefits it offers. I don’t know if I will ever drink again, I just know I’m not going to drink today because this journey of mine is focusing on being present and living in the now. “One Day at a Time” -Bill W.