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Sober October

The idea of abstaining from alcohol for a month sounds like a good one unless of course you are an alcoholic.

There are groups that utilize this to raise awareness and money for hideous diseases which is wholly commendable. It is often used as a restart or a refresh. It's a break to shuffle the deck and gain some perspective. For non-alcoholics I think it can be a good way to start a new fitness routine or realistically assess how much time and money one is actually spending on alcohol. It is often eye opening to see the health benefits of an alcohol-free life. I think it can have some real positive effects for people. That all being said I do have a tiny resentment towards those people or rather their ability to start and stop at will. I suppose I'll have to talk to my sponsor about that.

As someone who's unable to effectively "take a break", who's had to rewire and retrain his brain, heart and soul to a different way of being, who's life was on the brink of broken glass and twisted metal I only have to say, "Good for fucking you!" But seriously, I want ALL people, addicts and non-addicts alike to have a beautiful, fulfilling life soaked in splendor and brimming with joy. I hope to live out the rest of my Octobers sober.

The biggest problem I see with some people during this month of social media self-promotion, sweaty selfies and pithy quotes written over sunsets is halfway through the month I begin to notice the yearning for a drink. People begin talking about it, counting down the days till it is "allowed", fantasizing about margaritas and rose. I've noticed people start making plans weeks in advance about their first drink back. This is where Sober October will, for some, become a punishment and prison sentence. It ceases to become something uplifting and just a thing to get through and sometimes a way to prove one is not an alcoholic.

I have had the opportunity to listen to a great many alcoholics. Some with years of sobriety that have relapsed and they have all said the same thing, "I was back to my heaviest level of drinking in no time at all." Rock bottom was right there all along just waiting for them.

"That's not me. Stop being so dramatic!" you may be saying.

"Awesome! Enjoy your monthly reprieve, sincerely but I imagine you know someone who might benefit from these words."

The best thing about recovery from alcohol for me is that I don't have to drink anymore. There is a liberation and a freedom like nothing else. It literally feels like a curse has been lifted. So to hear that someone has already decided what they are going to drink on November first seems to defeat the whole purpose. The added exercise, better sleep and proper hydration should be lifting one up to a higher vibration or at the very least give one a little clarity and not just be another arduous chore until the next drink. For an alcoholic the relief is in releasing that craving.

Everyone is different and has different motivations and reasons for quitting alcohol whether temporarily or for the rest of their lives. Whatever has led you to this decision I welcome you and hope that it doesn't shackle you with chains but rather elevates you with wings.

---John Staley 10.16.18

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