Saturday, January 22, 2022

2022: The Dry Year

Three weeks into 2022, I have not had an alcoholic beverage. I want to see if I can remain dry for the entire year. 

24 year old me would have looked at me funny. Heck, even 30 year old me would have thought I was nuts. I would never consider myself a heavy drinker (save for a few regrettable weekends in college and a bachelor party or two), but I've always liked being the guy who's said, "Let's go get a beer."

I knew I had to make some sort of change a few months into COVID lockdown. I began drinking almost daily. It was a coping mechanism, and I wanted to support the local breweries. I think I gained close to 20 pounds. I wasn't sleeping well. I did the 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge that summer. (I actually lasted about two months.) I began drinking again, less than I did before, but still 5-7 days out of every month. 

I began tracking my mood in six different categories last year, and I noticed a correlation between when I drank and a worse mood. I didn't sleep as well. My resting heart rate was higher. I just generally didn't feel as good.

With COVID still raging, most of the drinking I did was at home. While Kelley would enjoy an occasional drink with me, she didn't enjoy it as much. So, it was usually me drinking two tall boys at home on a Friday night. And that just didn't appeal to me as much as time went on.

So, I decided to make 2022 a dry year for the following reasons:

- I've come to really value sleep. If I get anything less the a restful 7+ hours, I am a mess the following day. I hate waking up in the middle of the night to having to go to the bathroom. 

-I just feel gross after a few beers. As I get older, I get diminishing marginal returns on the refreshment I get from a beer. 

-We're not going out as much, and drinking by yourself at home is not as fun.

-I'm trying to get some healthier coping mechanisms. 

-The non alcoholic options are much better! Heineken 00 has become my go-to beverage. I feel like I'm having a beer without having a beer. 

Three weeks in, and I've already noticed some changes. I've been sleeping better, and my resting heart rate has fallen down a few notches. Looking forward to the challenges ahead.