7 Years – No alcohol

alcoholToday marks seven years since my sweetie and I gave up alcohol for health.

It was, by far, the best decision we have ever made.  What a difference it has made in our lives in big ways and small ways.

Our lives back in the days that we indulged were, I can only say, wild and a bit crazy.  That’s not to say we did not have fun.  To the contrary, we had great fun.  But what were we doing to our health?

Every activity we did involved alcohol.  Whether it be a round of golf, a visit with friends, lunch or dinner out, dinner at home with friends, family or just the two of us.  We had drinks for every occasion and for every reason.  Good moods, bad moods, stress relief, liquid courage, pain relief, rebellion, an escape, a party, peer pressure etc.  We spent many a weekend day in recovery from a “hangover” wasting valuable time lounging on the couch, eating greasy junk food and feeling just plain rotten.  Why did we do this to ourselves?  It was just a crazy lifestyle with severe detriment to our health.

I saw a story on “60 Minutes” the other day and the gentleman being interviewed was a recovering alcoholic.  His comment during the interview was this – “Drinking makes you feel good until it doesn’t anymore.”

THANK GOODNESS WE SAW THE LIGHT….so to speak.  We both came to the conclusion that there was more to life than numbing ourselves with booze.

I had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis one year prior to our quitting alcohol.  I often wonder if our party lifestyle contributed to my MS.  I have to say it probably did.

Now I will have MS for the rest of my life but quitting drinking has helped me to cope with and deal with the symptoms and progression of the disease.  Being clear headed about what I’m up against is far smarter than numbing myself with alcohol.

Alcohol has caused so many problems in so many lives from health issues to marriage breakups to loss of career etc.

We have experienced so many benefits from passing on the cocktail and I will share with you all that we have enjoyed.

1.  First of all, we both are living at a healthier weight now that we are not consuming all of those empty calories in alcohol.  The high calories and low nutritional benefits packed on the pounds.  Alcohol slows down your metabolism.

2.  Our complexions are clear of blemishes and capillaries that come with alcohol consumption. and our eyes sparkle without the red blood shot look that comes from drinking.

3.  We sleep better.  We go to bed every night at the same time and are guaranteed our required 8 hours of sleep every night.  We often laugh as we climb into bed at 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday night of a long weekend about what our lives use to be like on a long weekend before we quit drinking.  We use to stay up until the wee hours consuming way too much wine or whatever the “flavor of the party” was.  We would maybe get 3 hours of poor quality sleep after the party.  We would wake up the next morning feeling just awful.  Crazy.

4.  Now we wake up every morning feeling wonderful.  Our bodies naturally wake up after good quality sleep and we are always ready to face the day with good energy and clear heads.

5.  We have better odds of avoiding diseases (other than MS) related to poor lifestyle choices.  There are no guarantees in life but at least we have peace of mind knowing we are giving our bodies a cleaner and healthier fighting chance.  Did you know that drinking alcohol accelerates shrinking of the brain and the possible development of dementia later in life.  Alcohol is considered a Group 1 carcinogen which increases the risk of cancer.

6.  By quitting drinking we have helped our liver function better and our blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in check.

7.  We are clear headed all of the time and can now think better, react to challenges better, have better memory function.

8.  We are generally happier all of the time instead of going up and down with the effects of alcohol on mood.  With alcohol one tends to feel guilty, moody, maybe even depressed.  We are over all of that.

9.  We realize that we don’t need drinks to be sociable.  We are far more confident and our self-esteem is up there where it belongs.

10.  We are more engaged in life.  We do so much more living without drinking.  We don’t have to ever worry about driving our car as we are always alcohol free.  It’s liberating.

11.  Drinking alcohol is expensive.  We don’t have that big bill anymore.  Our restaurant bills are half the price.  And we don’t have to keep a fully stocked wine fridge or bar anymore.

12.  We don’t get those aches and pains anymore.  I think drinking alcohol causes arthritic like pains and liver aches and we don’t get those anymore.  That’s a relief.

13.  We have much more energy.

14.  We don’t waste valuable time sitting at a bar or around someone’s kitchen table drinking.

15.  Food tastes better.

16.  There’s more joy in the small stuff.  We notice the small stuff that we use to take for granted.  There are many blessings we overlooked.

A life without alcohol may seem like a boring and daunting way of life but trust us….life is far better without it.  We are living proof.

 

 

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