I wanted to talk about the past two months, but more so, the last handful of weeks post Sober October. A few people over the last few weeks have noticed how much happier I am. And I think I owe it to the challenge.￼
Our efforts to better ourselves are at a constant. No one is immune, it’s part of being a human. Most of us live by building up a quality version of ourselves. It is whether we listen to that inner voice or not, that makes us different from each other. ￼
I am always reflecting on my faults, like every day, to nudge myself to change. I like change. I don’t mind turning my world upside down if it means a positive goal or sight is waiting for me at the end. The only constant is change, right?￼
So, on with the topic at hand. Pretty much on a whim, and because I was sick of my habits, I jumped in with both feet to try Sober October. For me, this challenge was an opportunity to opt out of what I considered normal drinking.
As my days started, it was easy. I focused on day-to-day with my family, work and the gym. The time was flying and I felt pretty good. I was happy going about my life, but also in my mind I knew there was going to be an end date to this challenge. By day seven, the challenge really began in my mind, however. Things somehow changed. I found myself in a touch of stress, and I couldn’t rely on a glass of wine, or three, to make that better.￼ All my tricks that I used the days before to keep me from drinking at night were…well, pissing me off. HA. I just had to face facts and work on myself harder each day.
The one thing I can really say I like about me is when I put pressure on myself I work best. And when it’s something personal, I take it absolutely seriously. Before the October challenge, I felt as if I was already sick of how things were heading. I felt like I looked strange- bloated, distorted, mindless, sleep deprived. I felt just off. I felt like, even though I know I’m not an alcoholic, I just felt like I was drinking more than an average person day-to-day. Because I was.
In it’s entirety, I spent five weeks thinking about my well-being. Every day. My well-being for my children. My well-being for my husband. My well-being for my friends and my community. My well-being for ME. The focus was to try not to drink for the whole month, but it went beyond that for me. ￼The bonus was.. this reflection on myself, with something that seems so frivolous as a glass of wine or two a day, which some nights was four, could impact me so much.￼ Every day I was waking up feeling like I had just won something amazing. I had more physical energy, ￼more mental power, too, and you could see it in my face that something good was happening. There was not just joy but I actually looked good, you could see physical differences.. just by this elimination of alcohol.
This is why I wanted to write about it today. Who would’ve thought this challenge would change my life? Since it has been over, yeah I’ve celebrated good times with family and friends but the partying has stayed there, I haven’t brought it home. I can enjoy a glass of wine once a week, when I really want to, and it’s one glass of wine. I can go to dinner and have one cocktail not three. I can go out and have NONE, too! It seems like my brain has almost shut off the want for more, and I kind of forget that that is a feeling.
I guess this feeling is living in moderation￼.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what this challenge was going to bring for me when I started it. . I was hopeful that I would be successful but￼, I thought I would just take a break for 30 days then go back to the way I was before. Even screw up often along the way. But I didn’t. I guess that’s why I feel that day seven was important. Just as things felt very stressful in my life, not turning to drink was a pinnacle change. It was empowering. To gain power over myself felt great.
Now here I am, months later, and life hasn’t gotten any easier, life is always stressful, but I’m not looking to drink! Which I am defining as running away. I am happy talking things through. I can face and focus on what matters. I am happy ‘feeling my feelings’ because it validates me as a human being.￼ I have learned to appreciate my strength as it has opened up a whole new world for me.
It’s exciting to see myself grow.