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I Stopped Drinking Coffee and Beer (This is Real Life)

There’s nothing wrong with coffee or beer, unless coffee is the god you pray to in the morning for strength and beer is the god you pray to after a bad week for comfort. I did both. It really worked out for me for a long time, but eventually I started crashing around 2 p.m. and being unable to sleep through the night.

So I got a whim three weeks ago to stop drinking booze and caffeine, my go-to solutions to, well, pretty much anything. Here’s what happened:

1. It was the worst.

No lies here. I was hoping I’d sleep better at night, but instead I got to confront all the exhaustion and anxiety I had been staving off.

The first four days I had an awful headache. I spent an entire week catching up on sleep, going to bed as early as 3:30 in the afternoon. I was hoping my energy would jump immediately, but instead I got the crash feeling 24-7.

2. My social life kinda died.

I know better than to set foot in my favorite bar, so I’ve been making best friends with Netflix and taking a lot of walks. It was nice at first, but it’s getting a little old.

3. I’m learning how to prioritize.

Bedtime is my dictator, since there’s no coffee to make up for my lack of sleep in the morning. Whatever I don’t get done in a day just doesn’t get done. It’s not a reflection of my self worth anymore – just the way things are. I just make sure I do the most important things first. I feel like I accomplish more in a week while actually doing less.

4. I’m learning how to control stress in healthy ways.

Without alcohol to relieve my stress I have to take walks and journal and pray. And since it’s quieter in my head these days, I’m better at pinpointing what I need before it becomes a crisis.

Since it typically takes me a long, long time to learn lessons, I’ll be keeping this up until the end of June. Hit me up if you want to go out for, uh, herbal tea. Or water. I’m super hydrated these days.

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