No Alcohol for 30 days – Concluding thoughts

This is a summary of the ideas that I have written in the 30 days during which I decided to go off all alcoholic drinks.

How did it start? The idea of trying to go off the booze for 30 days had been in the back of my mind for a while. But it took me one inciting incident (as we say in screenplay writing) to act on that idea and decide to embark on this journey. I won’t go into the details, but basically, this was a classic story of drinking too much and then being embarrassed by one’s own attitude the day after.

Did it justify getting off the booze? To be honest, I had more embarrassing drunk stories in my portfolio 🙂 But the momentum felt right, and I decided to go for it.

The first initial period, approximately 7 to 10 days, was hard. And I’ve got to say that if ever I was tempted to say: “ah screw it, let’s just have a beer, this trial is ridiculous,” it was in that period. I was unhappy when I started the trial; getting off the booze made me even unhappier. I thought that I would be more energetic, instead I became more tired, and felt like sleeping all the time. I thought I would cut off my expenses, but the price of sodas in Paris is as expensive as the price of beer.

There were two positive points that I hung on to:

  • I noticed that my wits were sharper.
  • I found I was able to still enjoy myself at parties.

Those points, and my stubbornness :), made me stick.

Little by little, the negative feelings dissipated, and a positive state of mind built itself slowly. My body started to feel healthier, and more energetic. At work, I became more motivated and more involved. Mentally, I felt stronger, as if nothing was able to attain me.

Let’s be real: it’s not like life suddenly becomes a sunny landscape with blue sky and a rainbow coloring my everyday… But, how shall I say it, I’ve felt like I have been on top of my game.

I started to feel things more accurately as well, allowing my senses to discern shades and tones of different experiences (whereas before I tended to be a black or white, an all or nothing, type of person). It was like my senses were acquiring a new vocabulary of their own, enabling them to feel –and express- a wider range of sensations.
The day that I talked about increased sensual accuracy, a person commented: “you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll go back to feeling like a child again”… and when I read that, I thought: “well, isn’t this exactly what I was running away from?”

More pragmatically, I also lost weight effortlessly.

So to sum up the positive points:

  • Better wits
  • Still having a good time at parties
  • More physical energy
  • More mental energy
  • Increased sensual perception
  • weight loss

The only negative points I can think about:

  • Not enjoying a good wine with a steak, or some cheese, not enjoying cider with a crêpe, not being able to tasting a good cocktail.

But that’s ok, that’s a small loss compared to the other points, and it’s not like I’ll never have a drink again anyway.
Right now, I have made the decision to carry on not drinking, as I’m in such a positive state of mind. And I encourage anybody who’s thinking of doing it in the back of their minds… it’s only for 30 days.


2 Responses to “No Alcohol for 30 days – Concluding thoughts”

  1. Tim Says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blog, and I know you probably won’t see this, as your post are almost 3 years old. This is my ninth day with out alcohol, and not the first time. I became a daily drinker when I first came to Spain years ago, and now in Andalucia for the last 12 years found that life revolves around bars, but anyway I am on day 9 again the first three nights of sleep where terrible. I don’t have the want to drink, I have cerveza sin alcohol or coca cola zero, but it seems like alcohol or not drinking is always on my mind. Well I started reading your blog on day 9, I think I will go back and read day 1-8. Are you drinking again after 3 years or how long did it take before you had the first glass of wine? Thanks

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