7 Surprising Things that Happened When I Quit Drinking
When I quit drinking, my fingers were crossed that I would lose weight. I mean, I was drinking A LOT of calories. Now, you may be shocked to hear that I only lost about 5 lbs. However, I lost a ton of bloat in my midsection. Losing this bloat made me lose inches from my waist and this meant that clothes started fitting better, and overall I looked a felt a lot better in my own skin.
Besides losing my belly bloat, I also noticed a change in my face. It’s like my face was swollen from drinking and I didn’t even notice it until I quit drinking. I lost so much puffiness in my face. Along with that, my skin became brighter and clearer.
Lastly, my eyes became brighter. When I was drinking regularly, my eyes always looked tired and puffy. When I quit drinking, I lost the puffiness and my eyes became brighter and whiter.
My Relationship improved with my Husband
My husband and I LOVED to drink together. We had so much fun when we’d drink together. However, as we’d drink more, we’d bicker with each other over silly things. A lot of this bickering would turn into me being so upset with my husband that I would end up grumpy and mad at him for the rest of the evening. I would wake up in the morning and remember I was mad at him, but I couldn’t remember why I was mad at him. It was the worst feeling ever.
These days, my husband and I bicker a LOT less. When we do have a disagreement, it is resolved quickly, and rarely does it turn into us being so upset that we are mad at each other for the whole evening. PLUS, now if I do go to be upset, I wake up in the morning and remember why I was upset so we can actually talk about it.
No more arguments that we can’t remember why and how they started.
More Patience with my Kids
I hear so many moms say that drinking makes them a more patient mom, and I totally understand because that is how I used to feel, too. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, either. The first few days (and into the second week) that I was alcohol free, I was CRABBY with my kids. They’d be arguing with each other, and I’d think, “That’s it! I need a drink so I can chill out and not yell at them.” But I’d just drink a fizzy water and let the feeling pass.
I found that after the initial urge would pass, I would feel okay, and as the evening would carry on, I’d feel so much better. I used to be so irritated with my kids by the end of dinnertime and especially by bedtime. Now, I have so much more patience with them. I actually sit and enjoy their dinner conversation. Plus, I genuinely listen (and remember) our dinner conversation each evening because I am not drunk.
I used to sleep terribly! I’d wake up almost every night with my heart beating fast and my mind racing. I’d lay in bed and try deep breathing techniques, but I’d still be awake with my mind racing. I would get up and got to the restroom, drink some water and then lay back down and try to still my mind, but it just wouldn’t work. Instead, I would just toss and turn all night and then finally get out of bed when my alarm went off.
I thought that this was just part of aging. Maybe I was peri-menopausal? My doctor told me I was too young for that, but maybe she was wrong? Maybe my thyroid was out of whack? My doctor checked that, though, and it was fine.
It was actually all a cause of drinking. I would drink most evenings, and yes, the alcohol helped me fall asleep. However, the alcohol would convert to sugar in the evening, and when my body would metabolize it I would wake up. I would be hungover and out of sorts. My mind was so tired, but the the sugar from the alcohol was making me stay awake. It was a terrible cycle.
These days, my body is actually on it’s natural cycle. I fall asleep easily and I RARELY wake up in the middle of the night. On the rare occasion that I do wake up in the middle of the night, I fall back asleep very quickly.
I’m embarrassed to say this now, but I used to spend so many of my Monday’s teaching super hungover! I’d drink most of the day on Sunday . . . You know the drill – Mimosas, then day drinking with some beer, and then wine with dinner. I would chug ALL the water in the evening and take to ibuprofen before I went to bed and cross my fingers that I’d wake up without a hangover.
I was never that lucky, though, instead I would wake up hungover. I’d pop some more ibuprofen, chug more water. I’d workout in hopes to sweat some of the toxins out. Choke down a breakfast and get myself to work.
I would literally drag myself through the day, just counting down the minutes before I could go home. When I was drinking, NO ONE was getting the best parts of me. I would chalk my Monday tiredness up to it just being Monday, but I knew the truth. Alcohol was stealing my energy.
These days, I show up at work on Monday’s feeling well rested. I’m happy and excited for the start of a new week. Monday’s are actually my most productive days now because I use my weekends a combination of rest and relaxation AND crossing projects off of my to-do list. I go into Monday’s feeling ready to conquer the world now!
This was probably the most surprising thing that happened to me when I quit drinking. My creativity level went up! My brain was no longer living in an alcohol induced fog. Instead it was running on all cylinders.
From writing to crafting to parenting. My brain is able to work to find creative ways to do things. I had always been a creative person, and when I was drinking I honestly thought still was creative, but alcohol is tricky. It makes you live in a life with a faint veil over you. That veil has been there long enough that you stop noticing the cloudiness.
It was difficult in the beginning to take a break from alcohol, but when I did, I was so surprised when the veil of alcohol was lifted. I was suddenly living my life at FULL capacity and when my brain came up with an idea, I had more creativity on how to make that idea a reality.
My weekends used to be all about laying on the couch recovering from a hangover, or trying to do things with my kids while having an awful hangover (that’s the worst isn’t it).
The weekend would come to an end and I would look around my disaster of a house, and I’d tell myself, “Just make it through your Monday, and everything will start falling into place.” I was in constant “survival mode” with the organization of my life because I never had the energy to get ahead in our household chores. It was NOT a fun place to be.
These days, our weekends look so much different. Gone are the days of nursing a hangover and instead our weekends are full of FUN and PRODUCTIVITY. Without a hangover or a night of drinking. Now we have time for something fun and we get ahead of our household chores, and even do some extra chores in there, too.
Monday mornings are no longer fueled by thoughts like, “Just make it through today.” Instead I go into Monday’s feeling well rested and prepared for the week ahead. It is an AMAZING feeling!
Are you ready to experience some of these positive effects?
I know that the idea of taking a break from alcohol can feel super overwhelming. So I put together a list of 10 Mantras I used (and still do) when I took a break from alcohol. Click HERE to download your 10 Mantras today.