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!