The benefits of not drinking alcohol are immediately apparent. If you combine abstinence with eating healthy foods, you'll look and feel a lot better very quickly. Where I went wrong in my first sobriety stretch was to eat junk food like pizza, chips and ice cream regularly on the basis that if I couldn't drink alcohol, there must be some pleasure I could derive from food to replace my loss.
This is the wrong thing to do. Firstly all that sugar you eat to replace the sugar you are not getting through your mixer drinks means that any weight loss, in the beginning, is going to be negligible. This is not good because you need to see tangible results from your not drinking to stick with the program.
Secondly, eating crap food makes you feel crap. Overdosing on junk food can make you feel terrible the next day. If you ever wondered why you have headaches and tiredness after a night on the Dominos, then that could be your answer. You've overdosed on carbohydrates.
The other headaches, the headaches you get from fasting are a good thing. Because they are signs that toxins are leaving the body and there is no need to reach for the paracetamol for those, they just have to be waited out like a ferocious storm.
Start Your New Life With A Holiday
If you can, it's a great idea to start off your new life booze free with a two week holiday from work. Give yourself a week to make your break with booze and then book a two week holiday for the second and third weeks.
All inclusive travel agent trips to Ibiza are obviously a bad idea but packing a tent and taking off to nowhere is a good one. You can take your time, get away from the constant TV advertising and give your mind and body a well-earned break.
The main reason for starting with a holiday is because after the initial euphoria of waking up sober wears off (but it never stops feeling good) at around the ten-day mark you are going to start feeling incredibly, unbelievably tired. Emotions go up and down like an elevator on speed. This is the body beginning to go to work repairing the damage you've self-inflicted over many years combined with the fact that you are not sleeping very well at night. It makes for a potent cocktail of lethargy.
If you take a holiday, it will save you from poking the bosses eyes out when it gets to 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and he gives you a deadline task.
This feeling of tiredness can last up to 30 days. I'm fortunate that I work from home and many times I just took off to bed for an afternoon kip from feeling exhausted. Overwhelming tiredness that I'd never before experienced in my life. Even after a month of abstinence, there will still be days when you feel so weary that's it all you can do to get out of bed. This is perfectly normal, although it doesn't feel like it and is the body telling you to rest while it reconstructs the biological foundations that you've tried to poison out of existence.
Often you won't need to sleep but only to rest without doing anything. Again this is normal, and you should embrace the recovery process. Don't try and fight it by watching TV or playing video games. They won't help. The mind needs to rest as well as the body.
Begin to think about how you can occupy the mind in more beneficial ways. Meditation is one of those, and it is the cornerstone on which you can build a recovery for life.