My Lists

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Alcohol and living longer

I found this article to be really interesting.  Here is the LINK

I was fascinated by this part:
"...researchers followed 1824 people over a total of 20 years, as they aged between 55 and 65. Of those who abstained entirely, 69 percent died. Among those who drank in "moderate" amounts, 41 percent died—which was 23 percent less than the "light" drinkers. Even "heavy drinkers" fared better than abstainers, with just 61 percent passing away during the study period..."

The gist of the article is that while alcohol is unhealthy, the socializing benefits, the relaxation that goes with it, may be what is skewing results into it looking like alcohol has medical effects to prolong life. 

Turns out it's just that being lonely and anxious/stressed is pretty bad for you too. This next part was thought provoking as well.

"What does this have to do with longevity? In recent years, sociologists and epidemiologists have begun studying the long-term effects (Direct PDF link) of loneliness. It turns out to be really dangerous. We are social primates, and when we're cut off from the social network, we are more likely to die from just about everything (but especially heart disease). At this point, the link between abstinence and social isolation is merely hypothetical. But given the extensive history of group drinking—it's what we do when we come together—it seems likely that drinking in moderation makes it easier for us develop and nurture relationships. And it's these relationships that help keep us alive."

Do I think drinking is good then?  No, but I think this emphasizes how important it is to not go into total isolation mode when stopping the drink.  The key is to develop other tools to figure out how to be less stressed, to relax and to not be lonely.

Drinking is definitely relaxing to me.  I tune out and forget about whatever load I was carrying.  I become less inhibited.  I'm looking forward to making a conscious effort to figuring out how to relax without drinking as I never really focused on that before.  I just tend to stay stressed through cravings.  Hmmm.....  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

3 days

There was something I read at one point that it takes 3 days for alcohol to get out of your system.  For whatever reason that really stuck with me.  I do always feel different once I get to that point.

Day 1 for me again (and I mean a real Day 1, not just a night or two off) was Monday night and I was grouchy about not drinking but this time around I know that cravings pass.  I just have to be committed.

Yesterday, I had a small craving on way home from the store.  No desire to buy wine or anything but just an annoyance while driving.  I screamed out loud to myself "I WANT a f-ing glass of wine when I get home".  It's funny, after doing that, instead of debating it, I forgot about it when I turned into my driveway.  I went back to working on stuff, poured bubble water and didn't have any more thoughts other than I was glad I wasn't drinking.

I took my first ibuprofen before bed.  No difference in foot pain this morning but I guess it takes time to get down the inflammation.  I almost worked out this morning.  Tomorrow may stick, we'll see.

The past few months, not being in commitment mode allowed me to drink in the evenings.  There is something about telling yourself you are finally going to do something.  Whether you declare out loud or just internally, it really makes a difference.

I have a family party coming up mid March and I wonder if I'll have wine that weekend.  When I quit last April I had a family summer vacation coming up.  By the time I got to it, I wanted to drink, but I wanted to get through it without drinking more.  I hope to have more and more of those moments.

I'm also going to reread my blog from last year, day by day as I move through this.  I don't think I'll post everyday like I did before but I'll try to check in weekly with a status update just so I have that documentation for myself as well.

Thanks for all your support and if you are wanting to quit, try just getting to day 4 and see how you are feeling.  You can always do 4 more!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mind games

I have learned so much about myself on this journey to realign my relationship with alcohol.

Somehow, last April, something happened.

Divine intervention?  Maybe.  I had been praying for change.  I've had some of those unexplained moments in my life where I can't explain how everything aligned and shifted majorly.  I might share in another post sometime.

Hitting rock bottom?  Possibly.  I never really had the alcohol related incidents one associates with getting to that point.  But I knew I was operating in unhappy and unhealthy territory.

There has been this battle going on in my head.  Before last April I would have said my mind wanted to quit drinking but my body didn't.  I was just addicted.  

I have come to realize it's the opposite. My body WANTs to be a non drinker.  It's my mind playing with every resource it has to counter that.

It was my mind that got me drinking again in August.  It was my mind that kept saying just have a few every night.  For the most part I can moderate if I put my mind to it.  But my version of moderation, where I sit when I start drinking, is still more often than I want to be.

I seem to be able to sit at a few drinks a night, 2 sometimes 3.  Okay, that's a lot better than I had been doing but I still get the skin rosacea acting up, the night time wakeups, the bloating, the heartburn, etc.

The past few months have been about proving something to myself.  I had to know that I could still drink daily without getting drunk and I pulled it off......  But I don't feel good about it!  I feel fat, inflamed and fatigued.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as a way to end my mind games with wine, I have a new incentive. Due to severe foot pain...and apparently I have arthritis on the sides of my feet normally only seen in the elderly and then in only about 1% of them.....I am being put in physical therapy, into orthotics and on high doses of ibuprofen for a month or two.  No way I can drink much if at all with all that in my gut.

So, necessity being the mother of invention and I am again.....Day 2.

It's what I wanted anyway and since my Obliger personality needs some external accountability to stick with something, I guess this is as good as incentive as any.  Hopefully I get into a rhythm again and can begin to start figuring out what exactly it is that I'm trying not to face in the evenings when I prefer to get a little numb.....Last time I quit it was more about just muscling through it but this time I want to figure out a bit more, pay more attention to what is going on when I want to drink.  I also want to get back to that stage where I feel really good about my body, not necessarily weight wise, that might be a reach for awhile, but just having better energy, attitude, and skin!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!  As another blogger put it, good to love ourselves!