*Well, so much for my grand plans of blogging each day about my experience of giving up alcohol. I was all set to bang out a second blog yesterday (Wednesday) focused on my fears surrounding my newly minted life without alcohol when I was literally knocked me off my feet and rendered useless. I was pretty discouraged but I soon realized it was a sign that everything was perfect.
Let me put this into proper context: Sunday was my first day without alcohol for what I intend to be the rest of my life. This was a big move considering that beer and wine have played such an integral role for me on many levels for over 27 years.
Sure, Sunday and Monday were a bit hung over and tired, but that was to be expected and I had planned to recover those days and to meditate on why this was all a good thing. I woke up Tuesday morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to publish my blog announcing that I had quit drinking.
For me, telling the world that I was done was the final act required in making the 100% commitment to being alcohol free. Up until that point, I was still questioning whether this extreme act of renunciation was desirable and even doable.
Once I hit the Facebook ‘share’ button on my blog, I knew there was no turning back. Everything was real now. I was excited! And I was so ready to feel that burst of energy that I had been leaking for my entire adult life. I went to a well-timed dentist appointment right after posting on FB, and had a painfully deep cleaning. Perfect!
But as soon as I got home from the dentist, I suddenly felt exhausted and achy. A fever came on and I had the chills. I was forced to lie down for two hours and woke up with what seemed like a full-on flu. Except there were no respiratory symptoms- no head cold, no congestion, nothing aside from the dying remnants of a drip cough I had from a couple weeks before. Yet, I definitely had a temperature and could hardly move.
I tried to get on my work agenda for the day, but I was like a zombie. Everything hurt. My body was seized up and all I could do was be catatonic and nap. I craved and eventually took a rare Epsom salt bath for the pain. I woke up in the middle of the night with sweat-soaked sheets from the fever.
Then it hit me: this was not the flu! I was detoxing from the alcohol, going through a classic version of the ‘healing crisis’ or what in the medical world is called the Herxheimer Reaction. Subsequent weird mucous-filled bowel movements confirmed this theory.
For those of you who are not familiar with the term ‘healing crisis’, you can read more about it here http://izocleanse.com/healing-crisis/. But here it is in a nutshell in terms of a liquid-only cleanse:
We eat solid food to gain energy, but the fact is that digestion of that solid food takes up so much of our energy. So when the body is without solid food for 12 hours or more, it switches over to detox cleanse mode and uses that excess energy to heal itself by dumping toxins at the cellular level.
As these toxins, which have been laying dormant ‘killing you softly’ get kicked up into the bloodstream, we tend to feel their effect on the way out, manifesting in the form of a headache, sluggishness, or even flu-like symptoms. http://izocleanse.com/healing-crisis/
I was most definitely experiencing a healing crisis as if I was on day 2 or 3 of an iZO Cleanse, except I *had* actually been eating solid food… and hangover comfort food at that! i.e. not healthy food that would’ve triggered a detox response like this.
I was shocked. This was totally bizarre. Allow me to put this into perspective as to why this was bizarre. I’ve cleansed many times over the last 10 years, and had recently done my annual New Year’s cleanse for 7 days. I have not had a healing crisis where I become bed-ridden and flu-like since the early days of my cleansing exploration, meaning I was pretty damn cleared out of toxins. Or so I thought.
And then there’s the fact that I had stopped drinking two days before and had already experienced the direct hangover from that last drinking episode. I was already recovered, all good to go Tuesday morning.
It was when I made the 100% emotional soul-level commitment to give up alcohol for good by announcing it on social media that my integrated mind-body-Spirit finally released the toxic grip that alcohol had on me. The act of emotionally and spiritually committing to this path literally triggered a physical detox of alcohol. Amazing!
By the end of yesterday, I was feeling back to normal. And today, I woke up all good, excited for the road ahead, free. Whew. Thank you for listening. In a way, you are all my sponsors during this journey, and so I am eternally thankful for your attention and support during this radical shift in my way of living.