Mod 2 Recap & Mod 3 Intro
Congratulations, you’ve completed Module 2 of Reframe! We built this program with a foundation of understanding all of the different ways that alcohol impacts our mental and physical health. It’s important for us to better understand the mechanisms at work when we drink or have difficulty managing our drinking; this knowledge equips us with the power to make positive and lasting change. In Module 2, we took a deeper look at all of the different ways alcohol impacts our lives.
On Day 8, we took a look at how alcohol impacts the body overall. We noted that there are very few organs or systems that escape the impacts of alcohol, and there are many risks associated with consumption of alcohol. The heart, liver, pancreas, metabolism, brain, and immune system are just a few of the affected systems, and alcohol consumption increases our risk of several cancers. We also learned that much of this damage is reversible with sustained abstinence.
Days 9-12 we looked at how alcohol impacts emotions, sleep, appearance, and relationships. Each of these categories is influenced by the consumption of alcohol, and they can yield a very difficult existence for us after some time. Whatever your motivation to remove alcohol from your life, know that there are improvements in these categories available to you when you quit drinking.
On Day 13 we dove into an unexpected consequence of removing alcohol after regular use - sugar cravings. When you know it may be coming, you’ll be more prepared to handle it when that sugar bug arises. Know that this is normal, and be gentle with yourself. Cookies won’t make you lose your car keys or give you a hangover, at least.
Day 14 was all about the anatomy of a hangover - how it happens, what happens within our bodies, and a look at the “cure.” We also discussed a phenomenon often called “hanxiety”; the anxiety we feel during a hangover, especially if a blackout has occurred.
On Day 15, we peeked into how alcohol impacts our sex lives and fertility. We learned that alcohol decreases our ability to feel pleasure and can make it difficult for our bodies to perform as we might like. Additionally, fertility for both men and women is negatively impacted by long-term alcohol use.
Day 16 took a look at underage alcohol use; how alcohol impacts the growth, learning, and eventual outcomes of youths. We know that the earlier children begin drinking, the poorer their outcomes later in life. We also know that alcohol can be extremely harmful to developing brains.
On Day 17, we discussed the symptoms of withdrawal and protracted withdrawal. When detoxing from alcohol, there are several common, mild symptoms you may experience, like shakiness, dgestive upset or loss of appetite, headaches, sweating, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and depression and irritability. These are normal and should receed within a couple days of removing alcohol. We noted which dangerous symptoms to look for; heart palpitations, hallucinations, seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs) are all very serious side effects of alcohol detox that require immediate medical attention. Protracted withdrawal -- where we deal with longer-term problems with sleep, mood, and energy -- is also common.
Finally, we took a look at some of the positive changes you can expect when you quit drinking on Day 18. Your sleep will begin to improve, your skin will become brighter and less bloated, your organs like the liver and heart will begin to heal, you may notice some weight loss, and your energy and mood will likely begin to improve. These improvements will continue through your first year of abstinence from alcohol.