Thanksgiving up

November 30 – Thanksgiving in Chicago

I woke up the Friday after Thanksgiving feeling miserable. This was actually because of the flu, though I didn’t know that yet. Committed to health, I still went to the hotel’s weight room to do my morning routine. Sweat happened too easily. I couldn’t finish strong. I joined my family for breakfast, the food didn’t look appetizing at all.

Twenty minutes later, I was throwing up. I had the flu and my temperature started rising. We left Chicago early, it was not a fun train ride home.

The night before, I had my last couple of whiskeys in the hotel room. I had been enjoying more liquor, mostly straight up. I saw this as a natural time to stop drinking alcohol for a while. I now call it “Thanksgiving up alcohol”.

What I’ve learned from letting go after 6 months:

  • I was more dependent on alcohol than I thought.
  • It’s not that easy to quit a habit. There are so many opportunities.
  • It’s easier to quit alcohol when committing to something else (health) or for someone else (son/family) or with someone else.
  • I’m more authentically engaged with people around me when sober. I ask better questions and have deeper conversations.
  • I can have a good time without alcohol. I wasn’t sure how social I could be without it.
  • I am healthier and feel better.
  • I sleep better.
  • I save money.
  • It’s easier to say “no alcohol” vs. constantly negotiating with myself when/how much is appropriate.

I think we all have certain substances, attitudes, people, and habits we’ve added throughout the years that are not helping us.

I once heard someone compare life to riding in a hot-air balloon. We’re busy looking up at the balloon or out towards the horizon as we keep the burner hot. What if we looked down to discover a weight keeping us from getting any higher? What might happen if you subtract one of those weights?

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