Is it worth going sober for a while? A challenge like Sober September offers you the opportunity to take a break from drinking even if you have not yet stumbled over the line between alcohol use and alcohol abuse. You may be finding that even if you are still following the rules of safe drinking practices – more or less – you occasionally wake up feeling abused by alcohol and wish you could do the previous night over.
Abused by alcohol? Isn’t it the alcohol that gets abused not the other way around? When we talk about alcohol abuse we talk about people abusing the substance, not the substance-abusing the person. But if you spend any time at all talking to people who are having trouble controlling their drinking, they are most definitely abused by alcohol. And it all starts with breaking those safe drinking practice rules.
Don’t drink alone
Don’t drink when you’re angry
Don’t drink when you’re sad
Don’t drink on an empty stomach
Don’t drink before 5 pm
Unless of course, it’s Saturday…. or Sunday brunch… or you’re on vacation… or it’s a three-day weekend… or you are REALLY angry or REALLY sad, or very lonely, or looking for an elegant way to keep from pre-dinner snacking ….
Or simply bored?
Sober September and other initiatives like Dry July and Dry January, encourage you to take a break from alcohol without the stigma of needing to stop drinking or the daunting perspective of being sober forever. Needing to stop drinking is often seen as a punishment, but the reverse may be true if you have been finding that any of these things are the result of your relationship with alcohol …
Things I know about myself when I’m actively drinking:
My life falls apart at the seams and I try to sew it up with alcohol.
I do not function like a normal human.
I have this bitter outlook on life that I hide behind sarcasm and humour
My husband and I fight constantly.
My emotions are numb and I can’t feel anything.
My daughter has told me she always wondered if I would be nice or mean.
I’m 15kg heavier.
My house is always clean because I try to over-compensate.
I forget hours of my life.
I put myself in precarious situations.
I am SEVERELY depressed.
My mind tries to fill in the blackouts and leaves me with false memories (anyone else?)
I’m in a constant shame and anxiety cycle.
I hate being drunk all the time.
I like being drunk all the time.
I like that I have a buffer against me and the world.
I hate myself.
As a woman and as a mom, I thought for years that self-care came in a bottle. I bought the mommy’s wine time thing and often drank more than I wished, more often than I wished. But I finally did find a way to stop. And now I know that living alcohol-free is most definitely not a punishment. Maybe a break from the booze will lighten your world up enough to make giving yourself a Sober September well worth while.
Things I know about myself when I’m not drinking:
I am stable (stability is relative right?)
My work attendance is amazing
I am coming to terms and dealing with the things that have not been dealt with for years.
I like not having a buffer against me and the world.
My husband and I very rarely fight and our communication skills have leveled up
My house is a bloody mess.
I am more tired than I have ever been in my life because I don’t drink for that extra boost.
My daughter and I have an amazing relationship.
I’m learning to form boundaries.
I’m 15kg lighter.
No more precarious situations that I don’t remember- apparently putting myself in precarious situations is just what I do.
I haven’t struggled with suicidal ideation since I stopped drinking.
I still have issues, but I feel more equipped to deal with them.
I’m learning how to live without shame.
My anxiety is circumstantial rather than general.
Moods are still an issue.
I don’t have a big festering secret.
I don’t lose days of my life at a time.
I don’t drive drunk.
I (mostly) go to bed at a decent time.
I’m learning the art of self-care.
I am PRETTY (and humble)
I love myself.
I love myself
In Australia, 1 in 10 parents of kids age 9 to 12, say they drank a lot more alcohol, during the Covid-19 lockdown. Does that sound familiar to you? Whether you are in Australia, the UK, Canada the United States, Ireland, or South Africa – in our English speaking countries, alcohol consumption was way up in 2020 and early 2021, as we isolated and locked down to protect our health and the health of our families and communities –
It’s pretty common, although arguably counter-productive, for people to suggest that you drink yourself numb in times of stress. It’s also common, although arguably counter-productive, for people to suggest that the more time you spend home alone with your kids the more you may need to drink yourself numb. There has never been a time when tweets like this one – were more normalized.
You cannot close the schools and also close the liquor stores. Please. Please have mercy on the parents
In the months leading up to the beginning of the 2020 school year in the United States, widespread joking on social media about “quarantinis” and COVID day drinking fanned the flames of alcohol abuse, which was already a pop culture, cutesy, mom-power topic.
Mommy’s Wine Time has been an accepted pastime for years in the U.S. but maybe now it’s time to slow down on that ideal –
Why Sober September? Don’t let a little habit become a big problem. Think of staying alcohol-free or going sober as putting your oxygen mask on first.
Start Today – There has never been a better time to go alcohol-free.
Come join us for a Sober September. It’s not about giving something up as much as it is about getting something back. We are talking about taking back your freedom of choice. Breaking the status quo. Putting down the booze not because you are weak and cannot handle it, but because we have found that we are STRONGER if we do not get sucked into the inevitability of drinking in a culture that promotes drinking as essential.
Here is an invitation for you
If you’re “sober curious” open your mind to the possibility of living life more fully alcohol-free. There are thoughts on the Grey Area between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence in these posts from our blog
and thoughts from our community blog on alternatives to AA and traditional recovery.
Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”