Saturday 17th April marked 6-months of me not drinking alcohol!

Drinking alcohol has been a key part of my world since my teens. Finding alcohol helped me find ‘Party Gina’ – a good-time girl who loves the freedom that it gives her. The first on an empty dance floor. Conversing with strangers. Having a really good time.

For me, drinking alcohol has:

  • Always been an integral part of my social life;
  • Been there when things have been tough;
  • Been there when things have been great;
  • Relieved boredom;
  • Elevated my emotions – both positive and negative;
  • Stripped away any doubts and fears;
  • Taken me on great adventures;
  • Deprived me of my memory;
  • Led me to make dubious decisions;
  • Brought out the outrageous side of me;
  • It has led me to dangerous situations;
  • Given me the best nights;
  • Given me the worst mornings.

Alcohol – My Friend

It is like a good friend that has been with me for a life-time. I guess not all friendships have to last forever and relationships definitely change over time.

As I have got older, alcohol and I have been spending less time together. My MS and alcohol don’t get on so well. This misalignment results in my ability to walk to diminish greatly – and it isn’t good in the first place!

Over the last 6 months I had a complete break.

The reason for this was part of my efforts to manage my MS naturally. As alcoholic drinks contain sugar (especially my favourite – prosecco). Sugars are bad for inflammation which is a contributing factor with autoimmune diseases. The Autoimmune Protocol diet I have been trialing, does not permit alcohol.

Six months alcohol-free is a major achievement for me. I never thought I’d be able to do it! But I did!

It was helpful that we were in the middle of lock down and social engagements were at an all time low!

So … what have I learnt?

And … what next?

 

Lessons

When I put my mind to something, I really can achieve it.

It is actually only the first drink I miss. That first glass that takes the edge off. That feeling of comradery as you share a bottle with someone. By the second glass that feeling has waned, and the urge to participate dissipates.

 

The positives …

My mind is much clearer.

I am more productive.

I feel fresh every morning.

My memory is better.

I am not missing that nasty tasting hang-over day.

I don’t need to mark the end of the week with a drink.

I drink more water.

I go to bed earlier.

 

The negatives …

Sometimes I feel a little serious – like I am missing out the fun element slightly.

Relaxing is more challenging.

I feel like I am letting down my drinking buddies!

But most importantly … My MS symptoms haven’t improved!

 

So What Now?

The BIG question – Do I want to continue not drinking?

This is something that I have considered in depth. I have talked about it. Journaled about it. Mused over it.

If I’m honest I still haven’t come up with an answer.

I am slightly curious – What would it feel like after a year of not drinking?

Would I get over the ‘fear of missing out’? Would I discover more? Would I notice any significant difference?

Or ….

Am I just making life a little bit harder for myself?

Surely everything in moderation can be enjoyed?

Would I be able to stop with one or two glasses?

Will drinking make my MS even worse?

Or will it not make any difference?

I guess there is only one way to find out!

At this point in time, I’m not rushing out to open a bottle of wine. I am not racing down the pub to sit in the garden and share a drink with others.

But the world is starting to open up!

‘Party Gina’ is still a part of me. Can she survive without alcohol?