After our recent family vacation down south where Tennessee whiskey is smoother than ice water and wine is just plain good hospitality, I needed a detox. I didn’t even know “Sober October” was a thing until people I turned down drinks from kept saluting me with their glasses of booze and repeating the phrase. “Ah, yes Sober October! Cheers friend! You will be back.”
My last drink was 16 days ago, and it was hot sake at a sushi restaurant. God, how I wish it was wine! I FEEL like I haven’t had wine in forever….but my Instagram argues that is a lie. Who knew 2 weeks, 4 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes could be so fucking long…*enter well deserved eye roll from those who have been sober for years*.
I’m not even sure I’m going all the way to the end of October, but I did commit to 30 days when I started this thing (not even knowing it was a thing) and I plan to stick to that. In fact, my subconscious party goblin could not have timed this challenge any better because we have a Halloween party to host on my 31st day, and I can’t imagine being sober at my own party. That has never happened… what would that person even look like?! Is she even fun? How would I know the Jell-O shots are up to par? I really can’t see it. Alcohol is 85% of my social life. Birthday parties, holidays, girls night, date night, concerts, baby showers, weddings, etc. Trying to imagine those things without it isn’t something I can quite wrap my head around, but I know people who do it so I know it is possible.
By no means would I consider myself an alcoholic. I grew up with one and I would never allow myself to become that person. I also don’t like labels of any kind and that word just has such a stigma attached to it. People hear alcoholic and they think rock bottom, laying in a gutter, whiskey in your coffee… which to be honest, I DO put whiskey in my coffee…. but only if it’s Irish whiskey WITH Bailey’s, and only in the afternoon on holidays, cold winter weekends, and rainy nights.
The other day I said hello to a gentleman sitting in a bookstore. He was trying to hold a book and his hands and legs were shaking in a way that implied withdrawal or seizures, I am not sure which. He was older, and his face had a lot of stories behind it. I said “Hello”. He smiled at me and said hello back. I normally would just let that be it as he was giving me an uneasy feeling, but I felt inclined to ask how he was doing. So, I did. He looked like he might cry or scream, maybe both. He took a deep breath and stopped shaking for just a few seconds to look at me and reply “I am doing ok, thank you. How are you?”. I said “that’s good, that’s really good. I am doing ok too, thank you”. That was the entirety of our conversation but I think it’s so important to make people feel seen, no matter what your first assumptions are about them.
Choosing to be intentionally sober over the last couple of weeks has taught me more than I expected about myself in a short period of time. It has forced me to be honest with myself about a lot of things that seem to trigger my habitual drinking. After four days on my little journey to temp-sobriety, I woke up at 5am on a Saturday and wrote for 4 hours about ALL OF THE THINGS. I laughed uncontrollably, I cried uncontrollably. This was the most emotional and open I have been with myself in YEARS. That’s when I realized, as obvious as it sounds in writing, my drinking is a really a way to numb those emotions. I don’t know about you, but whenever I start to feel things come up I just pour a drink on them and move right along. I’ve done this for so long I don’t even realize I’m doing it. We all do something I believe to get away from things we don’t want to feel or think about. Alcohol is just the socially acceptable package most of us choose to order. It’s convenient, it comes in a variety of sizes and flavors, people always want to join you!
In addition to clarity, some other benefits I am currently experiencing are:
- Better sleep, 8 hours a night!
- Extra money in my pockets.
- Maintaining a healthy diet of 70% greens/protein.
- Consistently getting exercise 4 x a week.
- Zero hangovers and regretful waking moments.
- Weight loss
- Self Confidence
The last 2 days I felt incredibly tired, but today I had a lot of energy. I feel fantastic! I’m keeping a small journal of the days so I plan to update you in another 2 weeks on whether or not I met my 30 day commitment and what that all looks like.
So far, I would recommend this sober stuff, at least in phases.