So I finished Whole30 on Feb 4th. I felt great. I was actually scared to start reintroducing foods that I used to eat every day back into my diet. Then I drank alcohol.
The first night after I started eating gluten-free grains, I decided to have a whiskey. Then I had a second. It was a blast, and I was just hanging out with my roommates in Alameda.
Nothing too fun, nothing too bad for me, and a great time. I woke up the next day a little more tired than I have been, but all in all, felt great.
Then the weekend hit. It was just Super Bowl 50 week in San Francisco, and the town was bumping. I had a great time at my work happy hour, and then rolled to a few parties at clubs and what not, and ended up getting back to Alameda at like 4 in the morning.
After sleeping, horribly for about 5-6 hours, I ventured into North Beach for a Mardi Gras celebration, and decided to see Metallica at ATT Park that night.
I felt horrible showing up, like I’d forgotten what hangovers felt like. I also utilized the age old recovery method of having another drink to get going. I will say I had “fun,” but I’m not even sure that I totally did.
It was great to see all of the people I haven’t seen since I was a mainstay at these same bars, and Metallica absolutely destroyed.
But, the next day, waking up, I didn’t really remember most things, and I couldn’t find anything to be happy about. I struggled through my day, went to a super bowl party and went to sleep early, figuring I needed to recover for Monday.
Reading all of this just feels weird now, where just two months ago that was my usual weekend routine.
The problem was, I didn’t recover how I remembered. The last two days have been anxiety filled, lethargic, and just plain depressing.
Things I looked at a week ago and came away happy now bring worry, fear, and hopelessness. When I looked at myself I say “yeah, you lost weight, but you’re still fat.”
Within hours of my work happy hour, I had bought cigarettes, and I spent yesterday coughing up shit, and fighting the urge to buy them again.
I’ve sat here all day on Tuesday, working from home, and trying to keep a focus that I’ve mostly had for the past month without really putting too much pressure on myself. I am starting to feel like I miss home again, time to time, and wondering if I’d want to stay in the same bay area, that 3 weeks ago I remember saying, “is the only place I can see myself feeling at home now.”
So what does this mean? I’m sure there are a good amount of people that know me, that would say “stop drinking, stay eating healthy and keep this going” without thinking, and where I’d usually make a case against that here, I think I agree.
I am going to go to Mexico in a week, and I’m going to probably party a bit in Puerto Vallarta with my company after doing some exploring in Mexico City for the first few days. After that, I’m going to cut out meaningless drinking entirely until March (and only if I go to the first weekend of March games).
Then, I’m going to go full Whole30 again, and push with that until I’m in New Orleans in late April/early May.
I may realize that this is hard, and have to just stop drinking. I personally believe that there are different levels on a spectrum of all types of addiction, and I think the way I react when cutting something addicting out of my life is a sign that I’m not one of those people who would need a drink every day, or someone who even struggles saying goodbye.
My problem, as with anything in my life, comes from my view of myself, my self confidence, and my feeling of missing out on something exciting. I drink to get the confidence to do things that I would be scared to do, mostly with women. I feel bad, and realize that I can have fun soon as I break down my inhibitions, so I mend the pain with some alcohol. I keep pushing, thinking that if I stay out a little later, I’ll meet that one girl, or get that one text that leads to something else in my night.
All of this, I’ve known for some time. The thing that a month of whole30, a month of focusing on me and making myself feel good, has changed in me, is that I’m realizing how this cycle exists in me. The after effects are almost unbearable, and last night I sat here in my apartment, knowing that if I drank a few drinks I would feel better, the anxiety in my chest would calm down. The running thoughts in my head may keep going, but they’d slow and I could find myself distracted by a tv show or movie. I’d wake up today, and feel better, to an extent.
But this didn’t feel right. And this felt like the saddest way to live I could imagine. I think what I liked most of the last month, is that the happy times felt more sincere. The best times I had and the conversations I had (which I have a lot of) were deep and thought out. I didn’t just say things to placate or to make others happy as much, because I was more skilled and smooth about disagreeing. Sobriety made my mind clear, and made me not feel like jumping from moment to moment to get away from bad thoughts.
This is something I liked. This is something I already miss. My health is a big deal. My life is a big deal to me. I feel like in the last three years I’ve changed more than anyone I know, and tried to stay the same in ways that are unhealthy. Something as simple as realizing a lot of people love drunk me, because I’m fun, makes me feel like I owe it to them to give them that. I think I’m getting closer to realizing that the people who truly cared about me are the ones that were over the top telling me how proud they were to find out I was doing this healthy change, and they are the same ones who would look at this weekend, and say, “it’s ok, just keep going. If you need anything, I’m here.” Which many have.
I feel like I’m finally ready to start joining that team and really focusing on moderation.