Doing sober January with a chronic illness


In my normal remission state I can enjoy a cocktail or two with no physical consequences. However, the hectic holiday season riddled my body and mind with a list of annoying, painful symptoms that only seemed to become more agitated when alcohol was involved. I pat myself on the back as I type this: I rang in the New Year with no champagne toast!

Due to a scary head-and-chest attack the night before following a mere sip on a cranberry vodka, I decided to totally cut out sugars and alcoholic drinks from my day on New Year’s Eve.

It felt good, too. So I’m still going. Now to be fair, I do not drink as often as some of my cohorts or the average person my age, for that matter. Whenever I do, my cutoff is at 2 drinks.

This is because of the nature of living with an autoimmune disease and dealing with the side effects of a flare-up. The past 7 years have been filled with the most random, unpredictable ups and downs when it comes to pain and pain management.

In layman’s terms, I tend to feel ‘good’ and ‘bad’ throughout the course of a day in hour-long increments. This means that from when I wake up to when I fall asleep, I have experienced at least 10 significant episodes of both.

Part of dealing with a chronic illness that majorly affects the function of my immune system among other things, it is hard to even understand my own body and what triggers it. I can have a glass of wine with dessert and feel fine one day, and the next I can feel like keeling over in agony at any second with neither things in my system.

I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the first major health craze of 2017:

Sober January.

This month will be one spent without consuming alcohol, and even famous women are on board for the trend. Simply because I just want to feel better and preventative of everything that causes inflammation or discomfort in my body, I’m with the challenge. However, I’ll be frank: the sugar part is probably going to be much more difficult than cutting out a cranberry vodka or Moscow Mule.

I have gone from eating a doughnut or cookie on a daily basis–sometimes, one with every meal–to not at all. But I am excited to see and feel a positive difference in the frequency of my symptoms.

Are you going to do Sober January in honor of the New Year?

Let me know. I’m on Instagram @DevriVelazquez and Twitter @DevriVelazquez

P.S. I am so grateful for the years of love I have received from beautiful humans like yourself for taking precious time to read my words. If you enjoyed this post, please continue to support my work by shopping the link below, where I get a small percentage of each purchase while you get an amazing deal.

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6 thoughts on “Doing sober January with a chronic illness Leave a comment

  1. I find it admirable that you stood strong by your decision to say no to alcohol on arguably the most tempting day of the year, even for one who doesn’t “drink as often.” Even more so that you decided to share. Of course I’m not oblivious to those who struggle specifically with alcohol, but still I feel your feat is worth acknowledging. I believe flexing our will power, especially in the face of great temptation, is a great brain exercise. I read that our ability to exercise will power acts somewhat like a muscle. The more you use and work out, the stronger it will become.
    In fact, this post just motivated me to adopt a similar goal. My sober January will consist of no liquors. I decided to modify the “sober” definition after considering the trip I have planned next week, to visit some old pals back home. And knowing myself…I have to be realistic about my goals

  2. I love your outlook on your illness. You deal with it as you must but you don’t allow it to kill your spirit or will to live your best life. Very inspiring. Stay blessed and always hoping your words find those who may need to see the light at the end of the tunnel 😘😉

  3. Greetings I came across your information by an interview you did with Sloane Ivy. I’d like to first start of by saying it’s most expedient to start off our New Year with Christ if you haven’t done so already, and to choose to refer to yourself as the pretty “well”chick b/c the words we speak have power. Don’t believe me? Insult your local clerk at the grocery store and see how she responds. But it’s best we speak well . Anyway before being a true believer I used to drink like a sailor to the point I almost developed alcoholic neuropathy which caused pain so severe in my hands I could hardly work. After praying, drinking a lot of water, orange juice and eating more healthy. A positive change came. I noticed restoration in my fingers and so forth. Honestly the side effects of sluggishness and occasional headaches wasn’t worth with the frequent usage of alcohol which rapidly enabled me to cease from using it. I therefore encourage you to read Biblical passages which promote healing, eat healthy avoid toxins (of all kind) and you will come out a winner all the more. May God bless you and all others reading this post.
    Your friend in the faith
    Minister Keith

  4. Ive been looking for some type of blog to understand how im not the only person wo deals with this everyday. I got diagnosed December 2016 same week of my 30th birthday. Now going through low dose chemo and steroids. Everyday is different mostly with pain and i can tell you ive had some drinks two weeks ago and i was scared as hell … But it didnt do anything to my body. As a conclusion that is the last time i have craved or wanted to go out drinking or etc.. Im already putting so much into my body ..why add more when i know it wont do good… Keepiing a positive mind set and soul with this..and i know something good will happen, and im glad other poeple example like you that have that same mentality. . so thanks 🙂

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