Ok… I know October was almost a month ago… I’ve been busy (not being sober). Kidding! Sort of…
When I told people that I was going to be totally sober the month of October, I heard a lot of responses back including things like, “Why would you want to do that?” and “Oh, I could never do that its way too hard.” I was sort of surprised at the lack of support for my decision! It’s not like I was giving up speaking or eating (obviously both would be far more difficult for me). I was giving up alcohol, a substance that in actuality is bad for your brain and for your diet. Not to mention, I wasn’t giving this thing up for life, I was giving it up for 31 days…
Anyway, once I got past the judgment I decided to do it. And surprisingly, I made it! 30 days. Felt like it flew by, honestly. I strongly encourage you to break a habit for 30 or more days, no matter what the habit is. Are you an avid gum chewer? Cigarette smoker? Shopper (present!)? Or, just looking to simply challenge yourself and test your willpower? Doesn’t matter, try it! Here are my quick tips for a successful month of sobriety:
- BUDDY SYSTEM – The buddy system saved my life. Find a friend who is willing to give up the same thing as you and stick with them. You should try and find a friend who normally is a part of the habit you are breaking, assuming you spend most of your time with them. There are not many things I love more than going to a delicious dinner and drinking champagne (and red wine, and chardonnay, and whiskey…) with my girl T Pope. She sacrificed some of her favorite things for 30 days with me so that I wouldn’t be alone. That, my quarter-lifers, is a friend.
- AVOID TEMPTATION – Who doesn’t love to pour themselves a hefty glass of wine after a long day at the office? Well, I sure do. So to insure I wouldn’t cheat, I had to make my home a “safe-zone.” That meant getting rid of all the booze in the house so there would be no temptations. I also had to avoid my local watering holes, and the Friday night drinking crew, because I knew the peer pressure might have broken me come 11PM in a dark, crowded bar.
- FIND NEW HOBBIES – If this was going to work, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resort to my lazy ways after work anymore. I had to keep myself busy so I wouldn’t think about Sobertober. I cooked, A LOT… almost every night (trying to avoid restaurants where red wine is screaming DRINK ME PLEASE), and came up with some pretty crafty recipes if I do say so myself. I will say, however, learn to go to a bar or to restaurants without feeling like you need to have a drink. Food is usually more delicious without it anyway, because you are taking your time to enjoy it rather than drunk rushing it into your mouth. And fun fact, dinner is usually about half the cost without booze. I also found myself rearranging the furniture and knick-knacks in my apt quite frequently, which also resulted in me realizing I have severe OCD… but that’s another topic. If you follow me on social media, you probably know by now I am an obsessive spinner and Flywheel fanatic. I’m like a walking advertisement. It became my second home during the month of October. Believe it or not, it costs less to spin for 30 days with my membership than a night or two out on the town buying drinks! The money I saved is a little crazy. Truthfully, it all went towards Flywheel apparel…
- GET USED TO YOUR NEW 9PM BEDTIME – Again, if you know me at all, than by now you know how much I hate pants. So I welcomed this early bedtime with open arms. Friday and Saturday nights turned into my most relaxing evenings, catching up on my DVR, reading, and rearranging of the apartment. I realize I might have officially become an 80 year-old woman this month.
- NO SHAME – The most important tip of all is own your sobriety! Because really, who the f*ck cares what anyone has to say about it!!! I thought to myself at one moment during the month, “my brother has been sober for 3 years, I can do this for 30 f*cking days.”
All in all, I feel pretty damn good. I feel like I used the month to really kick my ass in gear and get me on a good track, on so many different levels. I think as quarter-lifers we sometimes forget to really challenge ourselves, and just breeze through life. We also forget to have balance. My clear-headed October helped me reevaluate and realize a lot of things. Getting rid of stuff in your life you think might be important can also help you appreciate them more, or understand you might not need it that much at all.
A month of no hangovers, a thicker wallet, and a faster spin stroke… well… I call that a successful SOBERTOBER!
By Alex Devlin