Alcohol consumption is a pretty heavy topic and it’s kind of taboo, which is crazy to think about since alcohol has been ingrained in human society for thousands (yes, thousands) of years.
Back in 2016, I decided to openly talk about alcohol in a very public space…right here on my blog. I was terrified to publish a blog about doing a 30-day no alcohol challenge. Would people think I was rolling out of bed in the morning and boozing it up?
I decided to hell with what people think. It’s clear that I am not consuming alcohol on that scale or I wouldn’t be doing all of the things I do—from running my business Superneat Marketing to running my creative businesses, like my blog, my fiction, and now my podcast—Love Your Enthusiasm.
I was surprised to see how supportive everyone was that read that 30-day alcohol break blog…and also how many questions and comments I received from people. So many people were already thinking about taking a break from alcohol and they were relieved that I talked so openly about it.
In December of last year, I published a blog about going 6 months without alcohol and it has been the most popular blog I’ve ever written. Thousands of people have read this blog, and it showing no signs of slowing down.
- Was it destined for popularity?
- Or did the absolute insanity of 2020 cause an increase in interest as alcohol consumption increased?
I can’t say. But, I do know that it’s important to talk about alcohol and share real-life experiences. I always think the best place to start with changing your life is self-inquiry. Sometimes we just need to stop and ask ourselves a tough question, like: Is it time to take a break from something?
So, is it time to take a break from alcohol?
If you start with that question, a little voice in your head already spoke up. Since you’ve made it this far down the page, I’m assuming that little voice said “yes.” Yes, I’m thinking it’s time for a cleanse, detox, break…whatever you want to call it.
I also came up with a mini mental quiz you can do right now. Ask yourself:
- Do I get hangovers?
- Does my brain feel foggy often?
- Do I skip healthier activities to go to happy hour?
- Do I spend too much money on alcohol?
- Do I wish I had more time for my passions, but that time is spent letting loose with a drink instead?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then it’s probably time to take that alcohol break you’ve been thinking about.
Or, is it time to break up with alcohol?
This is a tougher question to ask yourself, but it’s definitely worth asking: Is it time to break up with alcohol?
If your answer is “yes” to this question, I’ll give you a couple of options to take from here—and it really just depends on the severity of your situation which is something only you know.
Stop reading this blog and get help. There are many resources out there, but here is a one-stop shop…alcohol.org/resources.
Proceed by taking a dedicated alcohol break. This break might lead you to breaking up with alcohol permanently—which might be the goal for you. On the other hand, an alcohol break might help you achieve more balance and moderation—which might be the goal.
I’ll shoot straight with you—the break might not work to help you achieve either of these goals as a long-term option and you will pick right back up where you started with alcohol playing too prominent of a role in your life. In which case, please get help.
I’ve hit rock bottom before and rock bottom looks different for everyone. For me, it meant almost going to prison when I was 20 years old.
I touched on this story in Episode 16 of Love Your Enthusiasm recently with Ra Avis, who talked about the practice of forgiveness. I got into my personal story more in my novel, Everything’s Not Bigger.
I’ve been to AA for drug addiction and I’m not ashamed to say it. At one point in my life, I needed that program to get my shit together. Do whatever it is you need to do to pull yourself out and get your life on track.
How to Take a Break from Alcohol
If you’re ready for an alcohol break, I share all of the steps that worked for me and the many benefits I experienced in my latest podcast, How to Take a Break from Alcohol.
This is a new solo segment I’m introducing on the show where I take a deep-dive into topics that impact your enthusiasm, either positively or negatively…or both.
Based on the need for many of us to bring more balance in our lives in 2020—and based on the insane popularity of my “6 months without alcohol” blog—discussing alcohol breaks seemed like the right place to start.
Would LOVE to hear your feedback about this shorter solo podcast format on Love Your Enthusiasm and also if you have any topics or questions you want me to cover. Feel free to leave a comment below to share ideas for future solo podcasts. Onward!
6 thoughts on “Is it Time to Take a Break from Alcohol?”
I rarely drink alcohol as I don’t like the taste of most alcoholic drinks and I don’t have any desire to get drunk. I do remember one thing you said in that post – about no longer being numb and feeling everything – that resonated because I had given up smoking and ended up going through a period of panic attacks and depression. You have to find something to fill the gaps – I still haven’t done that completely.
Mr. H was a smoker for a looooooooong time, so that was a journey we went through together as well. Obviously, a much harder journey for him.
Substances are substances…and when we put them in our bodies, they can really take a hold of us. Congrats on giving up smoking, Andrea. I’ve seen how hard that one is…that’s a major life win.
I admire your honestly Britt, and clearly so do the many who have gravitated to the blog in question.
I guess I’m lucky. I love a good beer and drank far too much of it when I was younger. However I’ve always found I can take it or leave it, I don’t have to actively avoid it. For too many people I think, cutting down or giving up is a hardship.
Good luck with the podcast.
I love a good beer too, obviously! : ) I’m getting much better about enjoying in moderation. Ever since I started my business, Superneat, life got very hectic and uncertain. I noticed a substantial uptick during those first years of running a business, which is pretty common.
Interesting take on a subject I’m not familiar with. I’ve never been a social drinker, nor one to truly enjoy a glass of wine at home. I found your reflections very unique and quite inspiring, as usual. (although in your place while traveling to Italy, it would have been muuuuuch more difficult for me to stay sober: I’m a wine drinker not beer! ahaha)
I find it particularly strong that you can write something so many people can relate to and use as a means to fight and improve. It’s sooooo great that you could do that. Being awesome at what you do. 😉
Most of our social drinking (both for me and Mr. H) escalated once we started working from home. Because of the isolation of our business, we found ourselves sprinting out of the apartment in the evenings to have a beer pretty regularly. I’ve heard this is common with remote workers (loneliness) and entrepreneurs (loneliness/stress)…and it makes sense.
Anyway, I’ve learned a lot about balancing it all because I do enjoy having the occasional drink. I’d rather find the balance than be an extremist, which is my natural tendency. 🙂
It seems like everything I’ve shared about high-functioning alcoholism has been resonating with people, so I’m glad I did it. Not an easy thing to talk about, obviously.