Hi friends – this post is just a little challenge. You do not have to reply – or follow-up in any way.
I just wanted to write to you and ask some of you to consider “not” drinking this holiday season.
A few of you might want to consider fasting from alcohol for Christmas and New Year’s – and see how it makes you feel.
Are you up for the challenge?
Some of you reading might think this is a crazy idea – you might hold fast that the holiday parties are your chance to unwind and indulge. I say – go for it.
Some of you are feeling a little defensive and you might think I am judging your libations – missing out on the culture of good wine and craft beers – or forgetting that a good meal is complimented by such beverages. And while I agree- I also think you can easily do without and then it might even help you appreciate it more when you enjoy them again.
It is also just really good discipline to “fast” from things. I know we associate the fasting with religion and faith matters, but fasting needs to be more of a regular practice because it is so good for humans. It can help us “see” things clearer and it is just good for our psyche. I also think it can break strongholds, but that is for another time….
Some of you might be “living sober” and have been going strong for months or years without putting alcohol in your body – and you might even have other reasons why you think folks should fast from drinking alcohol this holiday.
Well here are my reasons for this post.
~ I was just watching a the show about the history of the sitcom Mork and Mindy. Actually, I watched it in segments – three different times of riding the recumbent bike – and when I finished it, I recalled the bio I saw about Robin Williams earlier this year and I was saddened by the way Robin Williams partied. I know there is a time to party, but years of partying heavy-duty can have negative consequences. And while research is still not clear about the connection between years of alcohol abuse and dementia, we know there is a connection for some people.
~ Last Sunday, I ran into someone who was 60 days sober. I stayed to talk with this lady because I wanted to celebrate with her. Seriously, I had so much to go and do, but I stopped in my tracks to encourage and listen a bit. And I pray for her right now – that she will fortify her body and set herself up to break any addiction with strength. (Some people fall off the wagon because they go cold turkey and they do not take care of their physical body – when it needs fortification. Hannah Kroeger has a best-selling herbal formula that used to called “Stay Sober”- and is now called “Liver Care” – it has herbs that can help satisfy (and repair) the body – making cravings diminish.
~ I was also talking this week to a lady named Vicki. She is Shanna’s mother – who is Shanna? Shanna is a girl I met in 1995, when she was 15, and Shanna died a few months later in a drunk driving accident.
~ I also know so many people who turn to alcohol at this holiday time of year. To have fun, to escape, or just because it is a lifestyle habit. They work, pay bills, do exercise, and drink alcohol a few times a week and think nothing of it… maybe we should think about it a bit more….
~ Every Christmas, I also remember the stay at home mom – back in 1998 – who almost fell over while wrapping holiday presents – because she was SO buzzed from drinking too much wine as her spouse was away on another trip.
~ I think of the guy who is drinking instead of dealing with family issues.
~ I think of Doctor Carlson, from Hanover County, who was just sentenced for killing Meg Menzies, a runner, back in 2013. I guess the story is that the doctor drank a lot of alcohol and then went to bed. He got up and went to work, but still had so much alcohol in his system and ended up hitting this runner and killed her as she jogged. Such a tragedy.
~ I think of my special blog friend, the Spanish poet, who is trying to stay sober so his body can heal (strength to you my friend, and May God continue to show you what your body needs hour by hour).
~ I think of anyone who is drinking instead of finding ways to improve life.
Nobody ever said, “I had marriage problems and some debt and some pain – and then I started drinking more and everything got so much better.”
~ I think of the group of six people who were drinking all day along the beach – and when someone asked them if that was how they were spending their entire Saturday – they defensively shared that they earned that day off to do their drinking. Really….? In their mind it was an exalted pleasure for the fruit of their labor – to sit and get plowed for hours and hours. Good times…. so you could talk while mentally impaired – get a ride home – and wake up to a headache, dehydration, and a healing body. I am not saying all drinking is wrong – but it is the mindset of these people I am noting… as they did those shots of Jägermeister.
~ I think of anyone who is letting a love for craft beer – or using their enjoyment for a high-end wine – as a way to convince themselves that ongoing drinking is OK – because it is not. It takes a toll on the body – and less alcohol can be more – and for some folks, no alcohol is the way to go.
I am not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but come on now – let’s be real – poor alcohol habits are something many people wrestle with (and it can make you poor) – so we all need to learn more about this dangerous pleasure.
We live in a culture that conditions us to view alcohol consumption as sexy, celebratory, and powerful. We see commercials with fictitious people (the stud of the world’s most interesting man, or the sleek woman with a polished look) – they are depicted as wonderful as they have their alcohol- but this is not truth. Let’s show the world what people really look like when they drink and drink. Let’s show the skin quality – the eyes, the inner organs – and even the affect. Just sayin’
We are conditioned in the mind to celebrate with alcohol after a success- and to celebrate with the “best” alcohol items after huge successes – and while sometimes this can be great – other times it is overdone and it is wrong. Too much inclusion of alcohol for celebrating can lead to unhealthy living in a way that PULLS from wellness.
It is GOOD DISCIPLINE FOR THE HUMAN BODY TO FAST – AND BECAUSE ALCOHOL IS SUCH AN ALTERING SUBSTANCE, – IT CAN BE A VERY NICE THING TO FAST FROM.
Fasting from alcohol gives your organs a break, can save money, and it can also enrich you as a person. When we stretch ourself by putting the flesh down it can lead to very good things. Maybe you don’t need to fast from alcohol – maybe sensual porn is your little secret and you can fast from that for a while. Or maybe you want to stop smoking cigarettes – well try fasting for a few days and see if that gets you moving in a new direction. Or maybe you just want to fast from TV, from music, or from reading – just for enrichment – sometimes it allows the mind to clear and helps one “see” with freshness.
If you are up to a fast, well you have my full support – and shoot me an email if you need encouragement – because it will be my pleasure to remind you of the value of your effort!
Alcohol itself is not bad, but when we drink, it can distort the mind and make us do or say things we regret.
As a wellness counselor, you know I could write more about the benefits of a “fast” from alcohol, but I will wrap up this post with a resource suggestion.
If you are thinking about fasting – or getting sober – or if you just want some tips for someone you know that is trying to embrace sobriety, this blog will give you a few ideas.
Side note, K’s blog is NOT in any way related to this guy’s “bye bye beer” you tube video – with his misspelling of a beer for bear – but you do need to see how the bear waved goodbye (so cute ) –
Kristen’s blog is a rich resource for sobriety tips, but she also just writes about life as a working mom, wife, and as a lady who likes to do some jogging while she muses about donuts and family events.
Maybe this fasting from alcohol post is NOT for you, but maybe there is someone in your life that you need to talk to about their drinking?
Sure, it is not always your job to speak up, but sometimes we DO need to speak up – sometimes we might have a word of reason or nugget of advice that changes someone’s life.
Maybe if you see someone is struggling – you could suggest you both fast from drinking (for ten days??)- do it together and then find other ways to celebrate.
Do you think you could do that? You don’t have to answer me – but think about it.
Some people cannot fast from anything – and they get defensive at the suggestion – but maybe they need to consider understanding more about their relationship with things – especially alcohol – because it is layered and it is an interactive kind of thing that we NEED to learn more about.
Kristen Rybandt’s bye bye beer blog was also noted as one of the best recovery blogs of 2016 by After Part Magazine – HERE
Okay – signing off for this Tuesday.
Hope your week is going well and thanks for stopping by.