Beer O’clock?

Did you go for Dry January and if so, how is it going?

So, good old booze. An old ‘friend’ I have gone out with a few times. I could go weeks without or have a blow out which invariably ended with a ‘never again’ hangover. Moderation was never something I attained and if I was “out out” I would stop when I couldn’t drink anymore. Maybe my ADHD taking over with the latter. When you are young you can go out every night without really feeling it. One night as an adult though can take days to get over. In the past few years, I have felt it more psychologically though. I would be down, melancholy or highly irritable. Not a good combination with two young kids and poor mental health.

I got my ADHD medication in June 2018 and was already on the anti-depressant Fluoxetine (Prozac). I figured the combination of the two, would be a bit of a bad mix with alcohol. The recommendation is that you don’t drink with either so based on that, I had a few beers then went tea total. I started my ADHD medication on the 3rd June. So as I type, its been a whole 7 months. During this time there was the hottest summer in ages, my birthday, two weeks all inclusive in Turkey, some nights out with friends and the recent Christmas and New Year festivities. In normal circumstances, I’d be knocking a few back. 

“I don’t pretend to be something I’m not……..except for sober. I’ve pretended to be sober a few times.”

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Really, aside from the potential side effects, I wanted to give my ADHD medication the best chance of working after years of battling blind. It meant listening to my mind and body which were both saying stop. I never set myself any goal or put an end date to it, but its just eventually formed into a new habit. I go out and I don’t need or crave a beer. I’m not saying never again, but I’m happy without it. My mental health and neuro-diverse brain take priority.

One thing it has helped develop is a more resilient mindset. I know if I put my mind to something, I can do it. I have challenged “normal” with normal being a few drinks during the week or more on the weekend. Do I have to have a beer in my hand to enjoy myself? No. Do I feel better for abstaining? Yes has to be the answer. There were too many Facebook “on this day” hangovers coming up as reminders. Stopping has helped with my combined approach to weight loss. At the start of 2018 I was pushing 14 stone. My beer belly has almost gone now and I feel fitter and stronger.

So at the end of your Dry January, evaluate the impact on your overall health. Have you lost weight? Do you feel mentally sharper? Or are you just gasping for a drink and counting down the minutes to the 1st February. Either way, I’m certainly not judging and I’m not saying stop, but just be mindful of the impact. Cheers!

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