Miscellaneous thoughts from today:
- I find myself telling people about my new-found happiness, usually connecting it to my choice to freelance instead of talking about quitting. And really, it’s not all about the alcohol. This process started in February when I made a commitment to do a better job of loving myself. But the quitting has definitely helped. This 9-month process has had numerous beneficial effects, not the least of which is that I feel more self-aware, more mindful especially in situations that would have stressed me out before. Wellbutrin has probably helped as well, and between the two I’m not sure which to credit more, but I’m grateful. It makes this mountain of self-work seem a bit more manageable.
- Had a good day at work, connecting well with the teams and the workload, handling things with a pretty even keel. A fellow freelancer, and good friend and copy partner of mine, gave me a gift today to thank me for helping to bring her onboard at this new agency. She knew I liked my G&Ts so of course it’s a very thoughtful bottle of locally distilled gin and craft tonic. My mouth is watering just typing those words. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’d quit. The idea that I can’t really even try a sip of this, or don’t want to let myself, is tough – really tough.
- Lastly, I had a D’oh moment today when I realized that Kombucha usually has caffeinated tea in it. THAT might have something to do with why I’m struggling to sleep lately! Goddammit I am an idiot. On the whole sleeping thing, I found this interview on NPR to be interesting: a sleep scientist warns about the long-term health effects of not getting enough sleep.
“Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain,” Walker says. “Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it.”*
On alcohol’s effect on sleep
Alcohol … is a sedative drug, and what you’re doing there is simply knocking yourself out. You are removing consciousness quickly from the brain by way of having alcohol, but you’re not putting yourself into naturalistic sleep. The other issue is that alcohol will fragment your sleep — it will litter it and punctuate it with many more awakenings throughout the night, so short … that you tend not to remember them. So, once again, you’re not quite aware of how bad your sleep was when you had alcohol in the system. The final aspect of alcohol is that it is very good at blocking your REM sleep, or your dream sleep, which is critical for aspects of mental health within the brain and emotional restitution too. So alcohol [is a] very misunderstood drug when it comes to sleep — not helpful.
*I believe we are also the only species who overdose themselves on harmful substances on purpose.