Although I’m not Catholic (or religious at all, actually), I’ve decided to give up alcohol for Lent. I’m sure many of you had to re-read that sentence, and are either laughing hysterically right now or worried that I’ve finally completely lost my mind. But, yep, I’m giving up booze for 40 days. I’ve given it up before for much longer stretches of time–because I’ve been pregnant twice–so this isn’t totally unheard of.
So why am I doing this if I don’t have to? Aside from those times when drinking would have seriously impacted my children’s development and well-being, alcohol has been an almost daily part of my life for more than 20 years. During that time, I’ve gained weight, developed psoriasis, and seen my depression and anxiety worsen. Is it the alcohol? I don’t know. As a 44-year-old woman, my metabolism has certainly naturally slowed down, and I have a genetic predisposition for my skin condition and my mental issues. But I think the alcohol has contributed to the extent to which I deal with those things. So I’m giving it up to see if anything improves on those fronts.
You would think that someone who is perhaps on the cusp of clear skin, a smaller pant size, and sanity would be pretty excited, but I’ve got to admit, I’m a little scared and sad. I’m not entirely sure I can do this, and that’s partly why I’m blogging about it. I’m hoping you, dear readers, will help hold me accountable.
I have built in some cheats, however, which my Catholic friends tell me is okay to do. Apparently, Sundays are sort of Lenten loophole on which you get a pass. That doesn’t mean I’m going to go on a bender every Sunday, but it does mean that I can have a cocktail if my husband and I go out to dinner for a date night or that I can enjoy some wine with friends on occasion. The daily glass of wine (or three) is out, though. For the vast majority of those 40 days, I’ll be on the wagon.
How about you? Are you giving up something for Lent? If so, what? Have you given up alcohol for an extended period of time? What was it like?