Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Drinking

I’m just going to start by saying, I really want a glass of wine right now.

I’ve paused Real Housewives of Salt Lake City to write this (because inspiration rarely strikes at convenient times), and normally I would be watching all the drama go down accompanied by a nice glass of red (or white) (or rosé).

But no.

I am doing Dry January, which I sometimes also call “Dryanuary.”

Never has the urge to drink in daily life been stronger. We are living through a global pandemic, a bunch of fuckwits stormed the Capitol, Harry Styles is dating Olivia Wilde, Tr*mp was impeached again, Armie Hammer wants to eat people, we still have to do our jobs, I haven’t had eye lash extensions since last March, every single restaurant we know and love is closing for good, I haven’t seen my friend group since last year and I think they all probably hate me because of it, I can’t stop crying because of that song “drivers license” AND I missed a dental appointment so they are billing me $125!

I!

WANT!

A!

DRINK!

But,,,,, if I am being honest with myself, and with you — mom, the only person who still reads this site anymore — I was drinking more often than I liked.

I would like to note that in pre-pandemic life, drinking was also a social activity. Rarely did I drink alone.

I miss cozying up between friends and strangers at the bar, gabbing about work, ordering apps, bonding hard over a second glass of something. I miss everyone in various stages of hair and makeup while the most ready person fixes drinks. I miss getting a little buzz and hitting the dance floor.

I really fucking miss blasting Taylor Swift in my ear pods, drunk in the Uber and on the way home.

During pandemic life, I live with my boyfriend so if I am not drinking with him then I am drinking alone.

Drinking by yourself is fun if you’re in the bath or cooking dinner. I have found that it is less fun when you are doom scrolling through Twitter or seeing photos of people on Instagram in M*GA hats, wearing shirts that say “6 MILLION MORE.”

So new year new me, even though I haven’t had a hair cut in ages.

No drinking. Also I deleted my Twitter.

So what have I been doing for the past 14 days? LET ME TELL YOU!!!!!!

I have been drinking a lot of tea and non-alcoholic kombucha. Tea is nice because it makes you feel cozy and sleepy. Kombucha is nice, because it tastes like juice and it is especially nice to drink when it is icy cold.

I have been working out. I started doing Blogilates routines because this influencer that I follow did Blogilates last year and she had the most amazing butt.

I have had discussions with people — both negative and positive — about Dryanuary. I have found that some people who typically don’t drink, like to use your month-long resolution as an excuse to remind you that they aren’t like you and that they don’t feel the need to do this. It has been an opportunity to both practice and lose your patience!

I have also had some encouraging conversations too.

I have been on walks. I have taken baths. I have tried reading books. I cooked more meals. I online shopped. I called my parents. I called my therapist. I have been doing yoga for my upper back and I have read through all my old text messages, even the ones that cause me to hurt.

And to be honest, I don’t feel that different. I still have anxiety. I still have depression. I still have OCD. I still feel like whyyyyyy is this happening? But I didn’t expect to quit drinking and have everything magically change for me.

This is/was an exercise in breaking a bad habit for me. It was never about making a permanent change. Like most of us who resolve to do better because the Earth has successfully completed another spin around the sun, I wanted to kick off the first day, week, month in way that inspired future physical and mental health.

It has only been two weeks but my face feels less puffy and I am sleeping better — both things I will remember once January fades into whatever the hell we are headed towards.

But I don’t feel mentally amazing. And how could I expect to? I am thankful for so many things in my life, but the world (especially America rn) pretty much sucks! It’s not like drinking ever deluded me into think it wouldn’t, or that it could ever stop the pain of being robbed of an entire year of life.

Maybe one day I will quit drinking totally. I probably should, this audio book about alcoholism that I am listening to is scaring the crap out of me. Plus, because I drink for pleasure I like to drink things that taste nice and those things tend to be a little $$.

But until then, I will continue to have tea, paint my nails, call my mom, water my plants, take self-inventory of my feelings and try to enjoy the rest of this month (where I have spent all my money on $$ health snacks).

When it’s over, maybe I’ll celebrate with a kombucha.

xo

LL

The Morning Tonic That Makes Me Glow

Lately LOVES apple cider vinegar. Kate and I have texted about it before for like 15 minutes, just talking about how we take it (shot vs in a mixture), how often, how much, and what it does.

Yes, it smells super strong and on its own kind of tastes like ass. But the BENEFITS!!!

The first time I read about taking ACV (what we shall henceforth be calling apple cider vinegar bc abbrevs are totes amaze) was on The New Potato. I don’t remember who said they take a tablespoon of it every morning–either some Polish model/actress or a writer I really admire–but I was instantly intrigued. She said it made her skin absolutely glow.

So, I started taking shots of ACV in the morning, which I promptly quit after about 4 days. I couldn’t get used to the taste of it on its own and would have to drink like 4 big glasses of water after–which I guess, is another way to make your skin glow–but didn’t feel worth it.

Because I am a person who spends a lot of time reading about health and wellness trends I also tried drinking warm lemon water every morning, which I also quit after a short while because….who wants to drink warm lemon water all the time? I don’t. I think it’s kind of gross.

Then I realized, I could combine the two! And not just combine the two, but improve upon the concoction! So, what I have been doing is putting about a tablespoon and a half of ACV into a mug, adding boiling water and tea bag of my choice (frequently it’s throat coat because I like the taste and also I spend 80% of my day screaming) a generous splash of honey, and a teaspoon of lemon juice.

The whole thing has made me absolutely RADIANT!*

*a lie

But it HAS improved my skin, my gut health, and my immune system. According to Reader’s Digest (where I get alllll my health news) (jk) ACV has serious antibiotic properties which help assist with things like digestion and getting rid of bad bacteria that could be impeding your gut health and/or causing forms of acne. So basically, it makes you *ahem* regular, but it also fights the bad shit that might be wreaking havoc on your skin!

The lemon juice I add is also full of a shit ton (pardon the pun) of Vitamin C which is great for your immune system. It also helps maintain PH levels in your body and makes you pee a lot–which is annoying, especially if you’re hanging out with me–but helps not only to fight toxins, but to flush them out of your body and give a little boost to your renal system.

IMPORTANT: I DO NOT drink this to lose weight/detox/whatever bullshit anything online says like “drink lemon water/ACV and never be hungry again!” That is bullshit. I glow because I take time to nourish myself and give my body fuel. I make this beverage every morning, along with a lARGEEEEE glass of ice cold water, and my breakfast of choice.

I 10/10 highly recommend.

If the ACV taste is too strong you could always reduce it to 1 tbs or 1/2 tbs. Or add more lemon. Or honey! Play with it!

Anyway

Lmk if you try! It’s good.

Ok

bye

ily

 

 

Does Literally Everyone Have Misophonia?

In other words, “you’re not special bitch”

When I screenshot and posted about Misophonia on my Instagram story, I was not expecting 15 different people to DM me about it. I’ve never felt unique for having this condition–I just never realized that so many other people do, too.

According to WebMD Misophonia is “selective sound sensitivity syndrome.” Simply put, when someone is chewing near me or I can hear them breathing, I want to scream. The sound is disgusting and horrible and bothersome! Most times I can’t sit in the same room as whoever is eating breakfast near me.

My earliest memory of having Misophonia is from when I was in middle school. My dad came into my room one afternoon, crunching chips. He was literally just eating bbq potato chips by the handful, but the sound was so grating and absolutely disgusting to my ears that I demanded he, “GET OUT!!!!!” I felt almost panicked by the sound it was too…..gross.

The thing is, I don’t just hear the crunch. I feel like I can hear every grinding squelch made by your teeth and your tongue, and as I type this I feel my shoulders protectively gravitating towards my ears.

Harvard Health Publishing says that Misophonia is “a real disorder and one that seriously compromises functioning, socializing, and ultimately mental health. Misophonia usually appears around age 12, and likely affects more people than we realize.”

They found that “persons with misophonia showed much greater physiological signs of stress (increased sweat and heart rate) to the trigger sounds of eating and breathing than those without it.”

I can’t handle whispering sounds (I would rather die than listen to serious ASMR) or breathing. You know, that thing everyone does that allows you to take in oxygen and continue living your life. I had a college boyfriend who would breathe so freakin loudly when we watched TV, I wanted to strangle him. I used to joke that he should hold his breath, because I could barely hear the show. In response, he would purposely breathe into my ear. Strangely, that is not why we broke up.

I can eat with other people in restaurants (the sound of the restaurant covers up the chewing) and fall asleep next to someone snoring (I think this is because I snore?) I can also watch that little red haired ASMR girl (you know the one) on a low volume because I think she is hilarious. The sound of my own self chewing doesn’t bother me either but that’s because I think I know what’s coming.

I have told other people in my life about this feeling that I get when I hear things aka wanting to scream and run away/strangle boyfriends and have been told I’m just being oversensitive. BUT DAMN. AFTER I POSTED ABOUT IT ON INSTAGRAM, IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYBODY HAS THIS!!!!

“Omg I have this!! Glad to know I am not crazy”

“Sameeee”

“Omg YES”

“My mom and I have it. It’s MISERABLE”

“Extremely same”

“I’ve had it for as long as I can remember”

Those are just a few of the–no joke, 15 DMs I got from people saying they have this condition. So like…..does everyone have Misophonia? I decided to investigate.

If you Google, “Does everyone have Misophonia?” a bunch of tests pop up. There’s even one from Buzzfeed! I’m so glad I can find out which Crazy Rich Asians character I am and if I have extreme sound sensitivity!

I found a Reddit thread called, “Surely everyone can have misophonia” where people were debating that very topic. Some posters were saying they have Misophonia so terribly that they want to harm themselves and others when they hear certain sounds and that people who are simply “disgusted” or “bothered” by noises shouldn’t qualify as having the sensitivity….which seemed kind of discount-y. I wondered if there might be some kind of sliding scale and there is!

There is tolerance scale to diagnose the severity of your Misophonia. It’s called “The Misophonia Activation Scale.” So while you may not feel like stabbing whoever is chewing near you in the throat, you might feel so bothered that you have to listen to music/leave the room and still have a form of misophonia.

So yes, probably a lot of people have this disorder, just not to the degree that they feel like self harm. Although there is no known cure, you should definitely see a mental health professional if you feel like harming yourself or others.

Am I glad we could all bond over this? Yes and no. It’s always nice to put a name to the thing that is plaguing you, but I’m sorry if you’re suffering.

Please don’t chew near me in quiet spaces and I will try not to breathe too loudly around you.