Day 15 with no caffeine and nearly* no alcohol
*I had a glass of wine Friday night
The headache went away on day four. I don’t have to pee nearly as much as I used to, and I am much less dehydrated. I know this from the colour of my urine. Did I ever tell you guys that when we first viewed this townhouse that we’ve owned for nearly 10 years, there was a urine colour chart thumbtacked to the wall behind the downstairs toilet? It told you whether or not you were dehydrated based on the colour of your pee. Yes, there was still a bidding war for this townhouse.
COMMENTS FROM MY CO-WORKERS:
First co-worker: Wait until you get to day 15. That’s when the withdrawal really starts.
Another co-worker said: I like you better on coffee. That’s not an insult! But you seem kind of down, like too much Eeyore, not enough Tigger.
(It helps not at all that I’m the one who told her about the Tigger/Eeyore personality types several months ago. She is a Tigger, obvs.)
Another co-worker responded to my self-assessment “more low-key, in a good way” with: I can’t imagine you getting any more low-key.
What the co-workers are actually seeing is me in my natural state, without the desire to pretend to be something I’m not. All raw edges and narrow eyes. I am not pretending to be interested in a story I’ve heard a hundred times from you, co-worker, and you read that as lack of enthusiasm. You are not wrong.
DEPRIVATION IN ONE AREA MEANS GLUTTONY IN OTHERS
I’ve had to re-adjust my diet because at the beginning of the month I allowed myself to eat or drink anything OTHER than alcohol or caffeine, which is not strictly good for a body. Like pizza three days in a row or a bag of gummy bears or several helpings of doughnut. By the second week I was feeling even more tired, and bloated, and irritable as well. I re-declared my intention to not eat as much wheat or dairy, two food groups that bloat and irritate me, and to modulate my sugar intake as well, and presto the last few days have been quite enjoyable.
You really can get high on just half a doughnut, if you’re free of stimulants for a few days.
I am getting sick of herbal tea, though I got a very tasty orange Rooibos from a fancypants tea place in Yaletown. It’s a good time in history to be drinking herbal tea, if you have money.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS ANYWAY?
The reasoning behind DETOX CLEANSE LIVER REBOOT (SEO!) of 2016 is to make more room in my life for important things. One important thing is right up front in my face right now: writing.
In November, I applied and was accepted to the Writer’s Studio program at SFU Continuing Studies. I am in the narrative non-fiction stream. It is a part-time program in the sense that there is one class every Saturday and a workshop every two weeks on an evening, but a full time program in the sense that in between the structured parts you are meant to be writing as though it will save your life.
To make more room in my life for writing, I considered getting up earlier, but 5:20 really is my limit. I already write most days on my commute. I could probably get away with writing at work but on the other hand I like my job enough to want to actually do it. The only other time in my day is after the kids are in bed. From 7:45 until 9 pm, that’s where my time is. To make that time functional time, rather than relaxation time, though, required me to remove alcohol from the equation. Alcohol makes me sleepy. Sometimes it makes me want more alcohol, which makes me even sleepier. Often the evening ends with TV and Cheezies.
And when the evening ends like that, the morning is not all it could be. Much lolling about in bed, moaning about getting up, moving towards the coffee like a zombie. Sometimes having more than one cup. Getting sleepy again at 2 pm, moving towards home and that evening glass of wine like a zombie.
I wanted my evenings back, and I wanted my mornings to be more efficient. I wanted to not be always chasing the next thing like a donkey following a carrot on a stick. Getting rid of the false things that drive me, in a sense, seemed like a good way to reset and reconnect with what really drives me.