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Monitoring Alcohol Effects - Experiment

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I have been almost completely AF since the end of November, for 2 main reasons:

1) Having progressively cut back on alcohol over the past 4 years, I now find that even VERY moderate consumption (as little as 1 drink) disturbs my sleep, gives me terrible headaches, saps my energy and generally leaves me feeling pretty cruddy, physically;

2) I have started to suspect that there is an incredibly strong correlation between alcohol and my mood. Per my previous blogs, I have been wading through a profound stress-induced slump since September / October. It has literally been an epic battle to claw my way back to health - it has been HARD, INTENTIONAL work and didn't just resolve on its own. My alcohol consumption during that time was really low (I generally don't drink more than a few times per month now). My general state has been steadily improving, HOWEVER I've noticed recently that 2-3 days after having consumed alcohol, my mood and my overall experience of 'normal life' nose-dive horribly.

Armed with this suspicion, I want to make a conscious effort to monitor this over the next few weeks to test my theory......the resulting moods are so so so painful to manage that I would have no problem abstaining almost completely to avoid them.

So here goes.....last night I attended a holiday party and enjoyed several glasses of champagne. I will not drink at all until Christmas eve at the earliest, so I can monitor what I experience in the interim, and I will blog here to keep track - and to share the experience with those who are interested by this type of thing. I am no longer very active on the truly incredible "Cutting Back" team, but am sharing this in part to contribute to the journey of others who are cutting back for various health-related reasons. I more than welcome any comments from the amazing folks from that team.

In the past I've noticed / suspected a pattern:

Day 1 = physical impacts (headache, energy etc)
Day 2 = physical & mental impacts (water retention, lack of mental sharpness)
Day 3 = emotional impact Part 1 (rising anxiety, arrival of depressive feelings)
Day 4 = intense depression and irrational thinking
Day 5 = abrupt return to 'normal' - it honestly feels like a fever breaking

So let's see what happens over the next few days....and over the holidays as I plan to consume a bit of alcohol with special meals.

I'll be updating the info below daily, and am curious to see how things roll out.

December 21: Holiday Party - 3-4 glasses of champagne

December 22: Foggy, poorish sleep - headache at 4:30 am. Mood is ok but I feel physically unsteady

PS: Took extra Vitamin C, some B Complex and B12 to be sure and give myself some extra nutritional support - alcohol consumption hammers our B vitamin levels!

December 23:
December 24:
December 25:
December 26:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for sharing these observations. It really is eye opening to note the effects of so many things on our lives. For me it's been such a roller coaster and I've been feeling quite low since last week - due to many circumstances (booze is not helping but it's that cycle I get into as I use it to try to feel better).
    2466 days ago
    I;m very interested in hearing your results.

    One thing I notice when I drink is I eat more comfort/junk food rather than planned healthy food.

    I should do this too - after the holidays...
    2467 days ago
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