Since 2005, the only alcohol I’d had was probably a few ciders and several bottles of kombucha, TOTAL. I gave up drinking after I realized that it wasn’t serving me at all. I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, and I had a ridiculously high tolerance, so by the time I got a buzz, everyone else was already passed out. I’ve only had 2 hangovers my entire life (which were *fantastic* stories themselves!), and my liver seemed to process the stuff pretty damn well. I also found out that when people are drunk, they thought I was drunk, too, based on all the wacky shit I did (you guys know me, you can imagine what I was like in a social setting back in university). I’ve even had people take away my WATER from me, thinking it was vodka! In short, It was an expensive way to “fit in” and not see any benefits.
Shortly after I decided to quit, I lost 10 pounds of bloat by doing nothing other than not drink. I figured that was a good thing. Never looked back since then.
Until last week.
Ok, so to be honest, this whole COVID thing hadn’t really been bugging me. Probably because I had moved house just when the lockdowns happened, and apparently my normal “at home” life is pretty darn similar to “quarantining.” I basically felt like I had moved to a different city or country where people were a bit more germaphobic (I’m also not a stranger to masks, as in Asia, masks had already been pretty commonplace).
The thing that seems to have gotten to me was the finances. Actually, I think it was a combination of too many consecutive days of coffee, in addition to having to be faced with doing my taxes (I wanted to get them done by April 15, regardless of the new due date), and having to look at my investments (I usually don’t look at those, and I KNEW they were tanking from the global lockdowns).
Usually, each one of those would be pretty fine for me to handle, aside from the taxes. I really hate anything tax-prep related. I’m not sure why. It just gets to me.
But for some reason, all of these things added up, and one tiny thing ended up breaking the camel’s back and flung me into a panic attack and having anxiety all day on Monday.
As a delightful surprise, for the first time in my history of anxiety (yes, I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks), I was able to step back from the anxiety and be an observer rather than become engulfed in it and make it worse.
I guess all this self-work I’ve been doing lately has really paid off!
Anyway, my first inclination was to put on some music, which I started to, and then I got distracted by educational videos and podcasts and audiobooks. So that made all my other attempts half-assed, since I was getting all that input. What I needed was a clear mind, no distractions. I even meditated 3 times and took a nap and went for 2 walks that day. The educational stuff really took over my attention. Then I realized that the coffee I had that morning was my base for feeling a bit jittery, and the jitteriness was a great segue into the anxiety (I usually use that jitteriness to get into productivity mode). By the time I realized that, it was already too late.
By nighttime, I half-assed a podcast, a meeting, educational content, did some housework, and got a whole lotta nothin’ else done that day. And I was still anxious.
So at 8pm, I decided to call it quits on everything and turn on some music (FINALLY). The moment the first note in that Led Zepplin song came on, my entire body oozed calm and relaxation. It was EXACTLY what I needed.
And then I felt like something was missing. Something was calling my name.
It was the bottle of Glenlivet Reserve my friend had brought over for my housewarming.
So I said “what the hell, why not?”, poured myself a shot, and sipped it. (By the way, when you’re feeling really good and then say “why not?” to a temptation, it probably means you’ve gotten greedy).
Felt pretty damn good, I must say. Tasted pretty good, too, surprisingly!
So I poured myself another. And another. And another.
Note: I wasn’t trying to get drunk by any means. I was just doing what felt good. And apparently drinking1/3 of that bottle was just enough to give me a comfortable buzz. Apparently, my high alcohol tolerance never left.
I finally understood why people drink those daily 1-2 beers at home by themselves now. It’s rather soothing and relaxing, I must say. No social pressures, from others or self, to drink X amount in X time. Just enjoy.
So the next several days, I decided I’d continue drinking a little bit each night. Not the 1/3 bottle of whiskey, but a shot or two, a cider or two, a glass of moscato…nothing I could actually get a buzz off of, but I was enjoying taking whatever “edge” there was off. It was nice.
And then I realized that my knee was getting worse and worse, and I gained 6 lbs in 6 days. I went from being able to lift, run, jump, and do a million pistol squats to not even being able to go down a flight of stairs without heavily supporting myself with both railings. In less than one week.
I figured the weight gain was from alcohol, nothing else would have likely caused it. The knee thing, I had to think about a bit. Was it emotionally related? I did my assessments from my Movement + Emotion protocol (I haven’t released this yet, be patient!) and from the Emotions segment we teach in ScoliMethod. They all came out negative.
So I got to thinking….maybe it’s the alcohol.
So I did a quick liver and body detox consisting of a hot bath, a tomato, external and ingested bentonite clay, liver support supplements, water, and no alcohol. I still ate like normal. The next day, my knee felt markedly better. I repeated the detoxing (minus the bath), and the next day, my knee felt 98%. I was even able to squat, lunge, pistol, and go down stairs while carrying lumbar for the headboard I made that day. I’m going for a run by the time you get this email, and it’s going to be glorious.
Oh, and my shoulder ROM (range of motion) came back, too. Woot!
Lesson learned, my body hates alcohol. One night of drinking won’t make my body hate me, but if I do it (even if it’s only 1-2 drinks a night) for consecutive days (I started noticing some discomfort after 2 days of drinking), my body will tell me that it doesn’t like it. It doesn’t tell me via hangover or anything like that. It tells me through decreased joint functioning, systemic inflammation, and water retention. Definitely not worth it to me.
Case in point, folks, your body talks to you. If you want to hear some pretty clear messages from it, increase the contrast. As in, take some stuff out for a while, see what happens. Then put it back in and see what happens. While we’re all still on lockdown, this is a great time to experiment with things like that.
For the record, I’m back to my “I don’t drink” lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean that “I never drink.” I’ll probably drink again in the future, but it might be once every 10 years. It’s definitely not going to be part of my regular life, social or private. So if you offer me a drink and I decline, don’t take it personally. I don’t drink. 😉
Best in Health and Happiness,
PS, I’m doing a terrible job of promoting courses and the like, but just FYI, you can now get both the ScoliMethod course and the Integrated Kinesiotaping Concepts course as either an ONLINE-Only, or a LIVE + ONLINE option! We’re working on getting the Lymph program up, too. Keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon! Be sure to check the Strength Therapy Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates!