It’s been 12 years since I started drinking alcohol, and it wasn’t long before that I realised how none of my parties would feel complete without a drink. It started with one beer and eventually increased to a few drinks. A few drinks, then became a lot of drinks (read: 74398 lol jk) accompanied by shots (’cause, which party is a party without shots, right?)
A lot of people don’t face the aftermath of those drinks aka hangovers. Sadly, I wasn’t one of them. I got hangovers whether I had two cocktails or twenty-five. These hangovers turned into headaches and eventually landed up becoming migraines. These migraines popped up often and recovering from them only meant taking death pills that made me extremely drowsy and let’s not get to memory loss. There were so many times I would forget what happened after a while and that was purely because of overdrinking. Then this year, in the month of June, I finally gave myself an ultimatum. I told myself that if I can’t give up alcohol completely for even a month, I have a serious problem. So, I quit drinking for the entire month of June and here’s what happened:
Like any other vice, this addiction had its own set of withdrawals too. There were multiple times when I’d feel the need to grab a drink after a long day—The first weekend was the worst! It was hard not to drink with my usual set of friends. I had never said no to alcohol before this, so for them to accept that was as hard as it was for me. Hence, I avoided going out much to resist the temptation. I cannot tell you how many birthdays, anniversaries and weddings happened to be in the same month (Like, is that even normal?) Since all our plans involved drinking, it was tough for me to chill with my friends. So as the days passed, it got harder to make plans because I wasn’t drinking. All I could really do is go out to dinner or watch a movie. But, how much can one do that in a month?
The worst thing about drinking a lot are the munchies. At some point, you feel hungry and eat anything in your line of sight, i.e you’re basically a drunk Garfield. Not only do you gain weight because of eating a lot while drinking, but also feel those extra kgs adding up because of the number of calories every drink contains (mixers excluded). The bloaty feeling the next day is horrible. I weighed 60 kgs before I quit and weighed myself right after 30 days and lost a whopping 4 kgs! It was pretty noticeable and I received a lot of compliments on losing weight too (Thank you, thank you very much).
Alcohol consumption negatively affects the skin. Since alcohol is so heaty, I started breaking out with heat boils and a lot of acne. I did try to drink a lot of water and watermelon juice to cool down my stomach but it didn’t help much. Once I quit, my skin began to clear up and by the end of the month, I literally had no spots on my face at all. My skin started glowing and I barely felt the need to apply makeup.
Generally, your state of mind is exaggerated when you drink. So, for example, if I fought with someone, I would overreact and that inturn would create a very awkward and sour environment. Not only would alcohol aggravate the situation but because of weight gain (as mentioned above), my self esteem would go down quite a lot too. But after I quit, I began to lose weight and thought, “Why stop there?.” I took this opportunity to get in shape and build a healthier body. The results started to double up and that boosted my confidence tenfold. Exercise helped me with my self-esteem and distracted me from all the stress. This wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t given up alcohol as most of my time went in recovering from the night before.
Now that my time wasn’t wasted in recovering from a long night, I would wake up early every morning and get more work done. Also, instead of going out to a party, I’d pursue a hobby like painting or singing.
Most of the time, we do not realise that alcohol does more damage than we think. It’s not about one night or two—It’s basically a lifestyle that can eventually damage your body in the long run. Alcohol addiction is a real thing and the most dangerous thing about it is that most people don’t accept their addiction. And that leads to an erratic and unhealthy way of life. Now, I’m not saying drinking is all bad. Occasional drinking is fine, as long as it is within limits. But one should know when to stop.
I encourage everyone to try and detox for a month to notice visible changes in their mood and body. I would also suggest you take this opportunity to work out, eat healthily and sleep on time to optimize your results. Spend more time with family and close friends. I now drink occasionally, and try to limit myself to three drinks, tops. Remember, do not let your addictions consume you.
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