Sometimes I feel like I’ve climbed the Everest of habits. I feel awesome. Then I look down and realise I’ve travelled just two or three steps and the mountain still looms large in front of me – somehow feeling even more formidable because I thought I had already climbed it. That is how I feel tonight.
At the beginning of my alcohol free journey, I was excited. I was overflowing with motivation, wondering how much more wonderful my life was going to become as I enjoyed the health benefits and the mindset shifts that accompanied my alcohol-free lifestyle.
Now that the novelty of the whole thing has worn off and my focus has shifted off alcohol itself, I realise I’m hardly seeing any of the benefits I was expecting. In fact, aside from the weight loss, I can’t see much difference at all.
Before starting this period of abstinence, I was utterly convinced that alcohol was at the heart of my problems with sleep, focus, memory and energy but here I am, six weeks on and none of those things has changed. If anything, my memory seems worse.
There is only one possible suspect remaining in the line-up.
I’m well aware of the evils of sugar but I was so vigilant about my intake that I didn’t think it might also be standing between me and optimal health. Despite not being a massive sugar fiend, I have little daily rituals where it features – and, in the absence of alcohol, those little rituals have taken on greater significance. The idea of losing sugar fills me with dread.
You’d think after everything I said about how easy I’ve found it to give up alcohol that it would be a simple case of repeating the same steps with sugar but it doesn’t feel that way. Although I’ve been careful with my sugar intake, it has been an obsession of mine for as long as I can remember. It is tied to every happy memory, every sad memory, every special event, every ‘treat’ day with my parents. It is in every corner of my memories and in every layer of my identity.
I’m going to need to take a run up to this one.