A Tale of Hope
One proud Pirate's story of hope for all!
I wanted to address some common concerns people may have in the early days of going alcohol-free, and share my personal experiences in the hope that it may help to motivate others to stick with it.
Now, that's a big one for a lot of people and understandably frustrating. There's nothing worse than lying awake tossing n turning, watching the hours tick by, especially if you have work or other things ahead of you the following day. It WILL improve, though the time is different for everyone, think it was around 80 days for me before I got a good night's sleep. Most notice a vast improvement around the 20-day mark, and when it does sort itself out, and it will, the quality of sleep is so much better.
In the early days you may feel lethargic, lack enthusiasm and motivation, and may find you don't really want to do anything. Boy will that change! After a couple of weeks, I was in the gym every day, weight training and running 5 miles; then coming home to walk the dogs. I walked their little paws off in the early days because they just weren't used to so much walkies time!
This is a tricky one because it's something that affects other people around us.
You may find you are short-tempered, moody, grumpy etc. and that's to be expected as your body withdraws from the poison you've been pumping into it. Around the third week, I was so short-tempered and moody, trust me, that passes, and I've never felt so calm, at peace and cheerful in my entire adult life.
Your mood will level out, and hopefully, those around you will understand and be supportive.
Don't expect massive changes instantly; remember we were filling our bodies with poison regularly for years. The damage was done gradually over time, so it will take time to repair said damage, but the good news, not as much time. Within weeks my cholesterol levels, blood pressure, liver function and resting heart rate had dramatically improved.
Your skin will also become clearer, and your eyes will sparkle, and you will gradually start to feel more energised as that poison works its way out of your body.
There are a lot of factors here; you might find you eat more cake (Mmmmm) when you first go A/F as your body tries to replace the calories it's been accustomed to receiving from alcohol. It's a lot, and you may be shocked just how many calories you were consuming through drinking alcohol! But, if you keep an eye on your calories and activity, burning off more than you put in, you will naturally lose weight! If you are more active you may find you gain good weight due to building/toning muscles that you haven't used for years, but you'll be losing fat at the same time, so don't be a slave to the scales!
Fear of missing out:
You may find it difficult in social situations and places such as pubs and restaurants with people drinking and alcohol all around you. Don't bow to peer-pressure or temptation, build your resolve and ability to say no, remember this is your life and your health, no one else's! Don't let anyone pressure or bully you into doing anything you don't want to do!
It gets easier! I can happily sit in a pub now, and the idea of drinking doesn't even cross my mind! Frankly, I don't stay long now as drunk people get a little annoying and tiresome.
My point in all this?
Give it a fair crack and a bit of time! Rome wasn't built in a day, and this is a marathon, not a sprint. Changes may take time, but they DO and WILL happen, and when they do, the rewards are worth all the early struggles.
You are all amazing and doing amazing things.
Stay strong; love to you all.
Pirate Nick Pond