Soberista

Oh, the holidays. ‘Tis the season of craziness. I blame them for my shoddy blog performance as of late. I promise to be better once the New Year rolls around. Right now I’m having trouble focusing for more than 2.5 seconds.

I wanted to take a moment to say that in just a few days, I will have been sober for three months. Three months! So far it has been pretty smooth. I would say the holiday season is the hardest it’s been yet, but definitely still manageable.

For example, my work party. I walked in to this.

How did this chick not pass out?

Yes, you are seeing that correctly. That is indeed a woman in a bodysuit, hanging upside down and pouring drinks. Now who wouldn’t want that lady to pour them a nice cocktail?

Also, let’s face it. I always feel socially awkward at big parties, especially work parties. A little upside-down drink  would have helped me feel more comfortable. But instead, I snacked on some appetizers, chatted for a few minutes and rolled out before the dance floor started going strong. Did I feel lame? A little. Maybe in time I will learn how to not drink and still have a killer time at these functions, but I’m not there yet. And I’m okay with that.

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, was less of a problem. First of all, only four out of the twelve people at my house were drinking, so being in the majority made it easier. Secondly, since I wasn’t guzzling wine before dinner, I found that I wasn’t as full after my huge meal as I usually am. I didn’t have to change into sweatpants or lay on the floor. Score! Plus, I was just so happy to be spending time with my mom and the rest of my fam, that alcohol was pretty far from the forefront of my mind.

I still don’t feel any of the drastic changes people describe after giving up the sauce. My energy level is the same. I still have trouble getting out of bed and being productive on the weekends (case in point, I am writing this blog post from bed on a Sunday morning). But I do feel healthier. It’s a subtle thing, for sure. But overall, I feel more balanced, both physically and mentally. I also feel like I have more control over my thoughts and actions (in a good way—not a calorie counting, borderline eating disorder way).

That said, I saw a Jameson ad on Facebook the other day and got all nostalgic. That was my shot of choice, as well a major bonding activity with my best girl, Jill. So I’m still glad this whole abstaining thing isn’t permanent. But who knows, maybe when I do start drinking again, I’ll be able to just have a glass of wine or two with dinner and not feel the need to keep going until the bottle is sucked dry.

A girl can dream, right?

Ciao, Caffeine! Mwah!

The final cup. (Don't even think about making fun of my Tinkerbell mug.)

Next up on the chopping block: caffeine. As a matter of fact I’m drinking my last cup of coffee…now.

Lest you start thinking, ‘Seriously? You’re cutting out something else awesome? What is with you?’ I will share why. Number one, caffeine makes me feel like crap. I get the jitters, big time. Even just one cup of half-caff (which is what I’ve been drinking these days) makes me all keyed up and anxious. And I’m already anxious enough, thank you very much.

I’ve tried to give up caffeine before for this reason and failed. But now that I’ve successfully ditched alcohol (one month and counting), I’m feeling pretty cocky. Me against caffeine? I’m totally winning that fight. Boom!

Plus, if I proclaim on this blog that I’m going to do something, I pretty much have to do it. Otherwise, I’ll feel like an idiot.

Reason number two: fertility. Just as there have been studies saying alcohol negatively effects fertility, there have been the same studies for caffeine. And just like with the alcohol studies, there are also studies saying that caffeine has no effect. But why chance it? Especially if I know it makes me feel bad anyway.

I think this one might be a little trickier to navigate than alcohol, though, because caffeine is in lots of stuff, including chocolate. I may not cut out chocolate completely. Even I’m not that crazy. I’ll have to ponder it some more. But I’m going to attempt to keep chocolate to a minimum, since I’m trying to chill with the amount of sugar I eat anyway. But coffee is definitely out, as well as caffeinated tea and any type of soda.

So there you have it. My next step on the road to health. This has been a fun journey so far. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Update

Thank you all for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to ask you to keep them going a little while longer.

It turns out my mom’s cancer is stage IV. Let’s just say that’s pretty much the opposite of what we were hoping for. Surgery is not an option. Our best bet is to keep the cancer from spreading, which means my mom will need chemo treatments for the rest of her life. Not ideal, but my mom insists it’s not going to cramp her style.

I will say I definitely picked an interesting time to quit drinking. I may or may not have had multiple red velvet cupcakes last night, but I did not have a drink. And as much as I want one, I’m not going to do it. I not only owe it to myself and Baby-Best-Yet-To-Be to stay as healthy as possible, but I now I owe it to my mother as well.

As my mom said last night, “We need to widen Hope Street into a freeway.” So that is what we’ll do. Because there is nowhere to go but onward.

Two Weeks Down, ?? Left To Go

One easy way to avoid alcohol: hang out with pregnant chicks.

First things first, a huge thanks to all of you who commented on my post about giving up alcohol. I felt some serious love and support from you guys. And I love you all right back.

I want to give a special shout-out to my friend Zac, who offered to abstain from alcohol until I get pregnant. For those of you who don’t already know Zac: he will actually do this. That’s just the kind of guy he is. For your sake, Zac, I hope I get pregnant soon!

It’s been two weeks and a day since I’ve had a drink. And guess what? It’s totally fine. So far. I made it through a concert. I made it through a wedding. I even made it through a visit with my brother, who might be my favorite drinking buddy on the planet.

I’ve been sitting here for the past few minutes trying to figure out why it has been fairly easy for me to drop something that was such a huge part of my life. I’m guessing it has much to do with the fact that every time I’ve had a drink for the past month or two I felt guilty about it. I felt bad about myself when I was drinking and even worse the next morning. I wasn’t listening to the voice telling me I needed to stop and I knew it. So I think finally quitting was a relief. No more guilt! No more nagging inner voice being like, “Dude, what are you doing?”

Do I feel amazing and more energetic than I have in years? Nah. I feel pretty much the same, physically. Although, not having a hangover is definitely nice. Mostly the changes I’ve noticed have been mental. I feel more at peace. Finally – after months of hemming and hawing – I had the courage to make a major, healthier change for myself. And that feels pretty darn good.

I doubt every day will be as easy as these first two weeks. Of course not. This could just be the honeymoon period, right? But seeing as I have my end goal in mind and a wealth of support from all of you, I believe I’ll be just fine.

A sober (and happy) me in Pumpkin Land.

A Wino’s Farewell to Wine

I love wine.

I love the taste, the smell, the way it makes me feel. I love wineries, wine bars and wine menus at restaurants. I love it all. I even like wine in boxes.

But I’m giving it up. For now.

Last night I made the (very difficult) decision to kick alcohol to the curb until I get pregnant.

A few factors spurred this decision. First, there are some studies linking alcohol to decreased fertility. I didn’t pay any mind to these studies when I first read about them. There are other studies out there saying alcohol while trying to conceive is No Big Deal. Indeed, many of my dearest friends were 100% tipsy when they got pregnant. Alcohol does not seem to mess with the average gal’s fertility much, so why should I worry about it?

Because when it comes down to it, I’m not the average gal trying to get pregnant. Even though I’ve had a couple periods since I’ve started upping my fat intake, they’re still not super regular and I’m ovulating way late in my cycle.

Second, I’ve been doing (and blogging about) so many things to make myself healthier these last few months, that ditching the sauce seems like the next logical step in the process. One thing has been naturally leading to the next as I’ve been slowly, but surely, building a healthier me.

And finally, I’m willing to go to great lengths to get pregnant, if necessary. I’d try Clomid, I’d inject myself with drugs and, yes, I would do IVF, the final frontier. Hopefully I won’t have to do those things, but that’s beside the point. If I’m willing to do all of those things, then why shouldn’t I be willing to try giving up alcohol first? It’s certainly more natural and less invasive than the things mentioned above. Plus, those medications, etc., are so expensive that I’d feel like I was wasting my time and money if I wasn’t as healthy as possible before I even thought about trying them.

Bottom line: it just feels like the right thing to do right now. I’ve written a lot recently about listening to the needs of my body and paying attention to my inner voice. And right now my inner voice is pretty much screaming at me about this.

But it is not going to be easy. Drinking is so much a part of my relationships and activities that I think I’m going to feel lost without it. After an emotional day, I could always uncork a bottle. When I was bored? Another bottle. Oh and let’s not forget celebrations. That’s at least two bottles.

It’s going to be totally weird for me to navigate all of that without my trusty elixir.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I need your support. Even if you just post a comment on this blog or say something supportive to me in passing, it would really help a lot.

I’m not going to give up alcohol forever. Oh hell no. But for now, I must make the following goodbyes. Because it’s not just my beloved wine that’s got to go, it’s everything:

Goodbye, beer sampler...
Goodbye, Guinness...
Goodbye, car bombs. Godspeed.