I feel a boundless sense of wellbeing. Stating the obvious, I am never hungover anymore. Perhaps every two months, I would have a debilitating hangover or migraine. I would stay in bed most of the day or race back to it whenever I could. I was sick and hurting and just praying I could sleep the pain off. As I got older, much less alcohol could put me in this state. Although the classic definition of a hangover evokes this all-encompassing sickness, to a lesser degree I felt negative effects after every occasion I drank.
Perhaps I drank a few glasses of wine after not drinking all week. The next day I had the heaviest headache and my brain felt like it was being squeezed by a fishnet. Or maybe I had a handful of beers on a Friday night—Saturday morning I was feeling fuzzy and unmoored. Even one drink could ruin my sleep and make me feel exhausted the next day. Every weekend drinking I secretly longed for the stability and routine of my more mellow nondrinking week. To finally rest my body and repair. I especially felt this way after a vacation.
How amazing it is to be done with all of that. And feel amazing every day when I wake up. I am no longer sick, in pain, fuzzy, or exhausted. I wake up feeling great. I have so much energy and enthusiasm every day. I am pretty shocked at how much time I wasted hungover or just not feeling 100 percent. Feeling good means I am not in a dour mood looking for anything to ease my pain including fast food. I naturally and effortlessly crave healthy foods. I am more motivated to workout. I certainly never pushed myself to workout when I was hungover. I always laid low on the first few days of the week meaning my fitness plan was constantly interrupted and never progressing.
The confluence of wellbeing is like an upward spiral of wellness. I feel energetic and upbeat every morning because I did not drink even just a little poison the night before. Poison that my body would have to work hard combatting and detoxifying. I crave healthier foods, especially a lot of fruits and vegetables, and so I feel good and happier after eating mood-boosting foods. I am motivated to workout and feel better afterwards, endorphins ya know. This all makes me feel incredible happy. I used to think drinking made me happy, that spike of effervescence after the first drink. But it turns out a few spikes each week followed by incredible lows is nothing compared to the swaths of wellbeing I feel all the time. Joy is no longer relegated to Friday night. It's an everyday thing. I feel good so I eat well and exercise. I feel even better because I eat well and exercise. I feel alive and nourished. I am honoring myself and my body’s needs.
My decision to go alcohol-free doesn’t really stem from my drunken embarrassments. For years now, I have striven to be healthy and mindful, eating mostly plants, meditating, journaling, exercising. My wellbeing is of utmost importance to me. I am surprised that it took me so long to realize this, but drinking just doesn’t fit in with a vibrant healthy lifestyle. Never mind being hungover and too wounded to do anything but sleep or veg on the couch and eat fast food, even all the moderate nights strung together every weekend made me tired, cranky, down, and anxious. I choose happy, vibrant, appreciative, well-rested, and full of energy.