I don’t know if it makes a difference or not, but I began my 30-day drinking challenge around the time that Bruce Lee Challenge began. The challenge was to say your affirmations, treat your body well and be kind to others. I decided to quit drinking. Although it must be more coincidence than anything else as I chose to quit on a week I became overly drunk, twice. I felt that I let down my fiance by staying out and drinking instead of helping her. I have not done a 30 day no drinking challenge in quite a few years and so it was time to try.
The first week was tough. My friends didn’t know about my challenge and everyone asked why I was doing it. I’d go to bars with them and I’d order a coke. It felt strange and the cravings were certainly there.
You begin to realize that perhaps you are more alcoholic than you thought. I have no withdrawal symptoms but I certainly do feel like going for a drink. The realization that our San Diego culture revolves around drinking is profound. The habit of going out for a drink when stressed or being introspective is there. Going out for drinks to hang out means that when I’m in a bar and not drinking I’m not on the same level as my friends. I am also agitated and looking around far more than I would if I had a drink.
I begin get the hang of it. I do get some more peer pressure to drink but I feel that I’m over the hump and I have an easier time saying no. I also notice that I’m no longer interested in going to bars. I can buy a pack of beer for someone and not drink it. I’ll taste someone’s drink but not drink a drink. Although people are quick to point out your “transgression.”
I can’t deny, the last week you really look forward to that drink. You hold down and feel like you can make it. The desire to end it early is certainly there. Not because I want to drink, but because I want to join others in the drinking.
First drink was very very satisfying. However, I realized that I could control how much I drink far better than before the 30-day. I realize on the second day of getting drunk, that I have a propensity to drink and get drunk and have a desire to drink. I realize that the less I drink the better and it is better to only reserve it for special occasions.
Alcohol is a huge part of our lives. It made me wonder if it was prohibition that caused the great depression, if not financial downfall then at least the general malaise. We drink so much and so often that one can truly feel ostracized not drinking. Going dry to baseball games and bars makes you not want to participate in the general culture that we created that is centered and lubricated by liquor. How many people become alcoholics not because they saw ads, or because of genetics, but because of culture.
If you think you’re not an alcoholic, take a 30-day break, you may be surprised. You will also save a whole lot of money!
Next challenge: 30 days of meditation.