When I was 20-years old, I was hit by a car while pushing my broken down car on the freeway…
I was in the Intensive Care Unit, hospitalized for a month, and I subsequently spent another month in an intensive rehabilitation center. It was a pretty traumatic accident. Although I am very blessed to be alive and able to walk (my friend in the accident with me received an incomplete spinal cord injury), I suffered a serious head injury.
It left me with the inability to recall what I had done the day before…
Imagine being 20-years old and not being able to remember what you did the day before and having the same conversations with your friends…
My neurologist informed me that it would take nearly a year to kind of feel normal again.
“Avoid alcohol as it stops and slows down your brains healing”
I sat with my head down, filled with concern in my neurologist’s office. My neurologist put her hand on my shoulder and then left the room. I swore off alcohol or any other stimulants for a year to give my brain the best chance to heal. I learned many lessons from that year off from alcohol. Here are some things I learned after taking the alcohol to cleanse.
I Learned to be in “Reality”
I was quite a shy and withheld student in Highschool. It was very difficult for me to socialize because of my anxiety and I was too concerned with what people thought about me. When I got to college, I was introduced to parties and drinking. With a couple of sips of alcohol, alcoholic courage filled my body and I would become a more confident version of myself.
I relied on alcohol to talk to people throughout my first 2.5 years of college…and now I didn’t have it anymore. What do you think happened? All of my irrational fears and anxieties in regards to social situations began to surface.
I was stuck with just myself, my thoughts, and no stimulant to ease my anxieties. So, I had to learn. I had to learn how to overcome my concerns and talk to people without relying on anything other than myself. My anxiety was so bad, I was always tempted to break my promise to myself and drink at parties. Even on my 21st birthday, I went to Las Vegas with all of my friends and watched them drink and have a good time. That was tough! I kept the reason why I was cleansing my body at the forefront of my head.
Slowly but surely, it got easier and easier to talk to people and my confidence in myself started to grow. Now, 4 years later, I can approach a stranger and talk to them! I am so grateful to have been put in this situation because it truly taught me how to socialize.
It Re-Taught Me How to Have Fun
When we are children, we would always play around with our friends at the park, with toys, or games together…without alcohol. How come when we are adults, sometimes we forget to just have fun without alcohol!
A good amount of people often fall into the trap that I fell into. Relying on alcohol to have fun and talk to people. Before college, my friends would hit me up to go play football, videogames, watch a movie, and hang out to have fun. During college, drinking alcohol was usually involved when I was hit up to go out. Whether it be going to a party, grabbing a beer at bar or brewery, or a dinner with drinks, alcohol was involved.
Just like how I had to learn how to talk to people, I had to relearn how to have fun without any alcohol. I still went out a lot during my year cleanse. I went to music festivals, concerts, and parties without relying on any substances.
To my surprise, instead of people thinking I was weird for being sober while everyone was drinking, I was admired. It is admirable to have fun without any substance or stimulant. To be honest, eventually, I got good enough to where people thought I had been drinking!
It is nice to know that when I go out now, I do not need alcohol in order to have fun.
I Felt Great…
I always ate pretty healthily because I was pretty cognizant on what I put into my body and I exercised a lot. You can say I lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. I would set fitness goals and weight goals. I would be so disciplined throughout the week with my diet and workout regimen but… on the weekends I would drink party, drink tons of alcohol, spoil my diet and feel not all that great after…
After I gave up alcohol, I was able to stick to my workout routine and healthy eating schedule consistently. I was able to fully complete a nutrition detox course and bodybuilding program.
In turn, my body had this natural high all of the time that lingered and poured over into all the other areas of my life. It helped with my confidence, talking to people, and my mental health. Simply, clearing my body of alcohol left me feeling great all of the time! Seems like common sense that it would, but most people will need to experience the feeling to truly understand how great the feeling is.
Try it out!
I can honestly say, this year was the best year of my life. It was a transformative year for me. I overcame all of the irrational anxieties I had, take care of myself, learn to talk to people and have fun without alcohol!
You don’t have to get a traumatic brain injury or life-changing event in your life for you to stop drinking alcohol to learn the lessons I learned for yourself. Try it out for yourself! It does not even have to be a year. Take a couple of weeks or a month away from alcohol and see how you feel.
Brandon Leuangpaseuth is a writer from San Diego, CA that helps various car accident attorneys across the country with their public relations. You can connect with him on LinkedIn @bleuangpaseuth.
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