top of page
  • Writer's pictureShelby O'Hagan

I didn't realize alcohol was making me feel this way!

Aw hellll yeahhh... November has finally arrived -- we made it!

Are you celebrating or sticking with the new habits?

Have you checked in with yourself and how you feel since the end of the challenge?

What did you learn from Sober October?

My Self Check-In ~ Sober October 2019:

- I craved the habits more than the substances (the need to scroll was strong at the beginning, and cooking without wine is simply less fun than cooking with a glass nearby - haha)

- I saved money

- I slept a lot deeper and easier without alcohol

- I woke up easier without alcohol

- My thought clarity and ability to focus were better without alcohol

- My skin and eyes were brighter and clearer without alcohol

- I found sneaky ways to get sweets where I could (especially when I was feeling stressed)

- My overall mood was more uplifted and energetic without alcohol (and quite possibly without Instagram!)

I did not expect to learn so much from this challenge!

Earlier this year I made the decision to limit myself to two drinks per event/outing/evening. I realized that "3+ drink Shelby" is not a person I'm proud of -- she makes stupid, embarrassing decisions that "Hungover Shelby" and "Sober Shelby" cringe to think about... like high-kicking a framed photo off the wall in a bar for no apparent reason... ugh. ☹️ The shameover was usually worse than the hangover!

I was sober-curious at the time but not ready to nix alcohol from my life entirely. To compromise, I set a boundary for myself instead, limiting myself to two drinks max. Thankfully "3+ drink Shelby" didn't come out frequently, so it wasn't hard to banish her to the shadow realm. And as a result, "Hungover Shelby" hasn't come out to play since the excommunication (woohoo!) and I've gained some maturity points (in my opinion 😉) for being more responsible. All that being said, however, I had no idea how shitty the casual drink or two makes me feel!

Here's a casual photo of a lasagna I made in Corningware my parents' received for their wedding in 1991.

Before I get into that though, I should tell you that Logan and I were READY for the end of the Sober October and had a countdown going during the final week. Haha - I told you it's not an easy challenge! The night before we could drink we were like kids on Christmas Eve, laying in bed, smiling, and saying to each other -- eeee we get to drink tomorrowww!!!! If only we'd known...

Our experience returning to alcohol was not at all what we expected! Logan met his Kulshan crew in the afternoon and noticed that his liver actually felt sore hours later. I had a glass and a half of wine and found that I didn't enjoy it the same way. Despite noticing all that (haha), Logan and I have had drinks with friends each day since then (that's 4 days in a row at this point), and we've noticed a slough of effects. Sleep quality tanked for both of us, so we're waking up tired and feeling lethargic and brain foggy during the day. My eyes have been bloodshot, I have bags under my eyes, my skin broke out and looks a bit dull, and my face has been slightly puffy -- YIKES! Not what either of us expected!! And I had no idea that I was experiencing all these symptoms as a result of drinking!

In a way the timing of Sober October is great because November marks the time of the year when we're reminded to feel thankful for what we have and to find gratitude in life.

I can honestly say I'm grateful for this new awareness of what's going on in my body.

Now I have an opportunity to reevaluate my habits and shed what I know isn't working for me. My body is telling me that alcohol leaves me feeling dull and lethargic, and my mind is struggling to find benefits other than "it tastes good" and "it's fun to feel buzzed sometimes." Moving forward, I think my view of alcohol has to shift from beverage to substance. What's that? I think I just earned another maturity point. 😉

Anyway, that's it for my update! Tell me... did you partake in Sober October?? What did you learn about yourself/your body? Have you noticed anything like I've been experiencing? Share with me -- I'm curious to know!!

Here is a haiku:

Sober October

You made me super thirsty

Thanks for the lesson

bottom of page