#SoberOctober Day 29 – Home Stretch

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Here we are mere days away from the end of the month. In my original attempts at making sobriety work, I partied pretty hard the day my challenge ended. Pretty much the hardest I had partied even before I quit for the month. It was a good time and I still look upon it rather fondly.

You may be itching to get out there and party. Halloween is coming up, which is an annual excuse to partake in some hedonism, so I can’t really blame you. Six years since my last drink and it’s one of the alcohol themed holidays I miss the most.

These days it’s hard for me to get excited for the “end of the month binge” since I’ve gone so long without drinking. I always want to suggest that people keep it going, quit for good. Stay the path and join me. That doesn’t work, and begging or guilting you in to doing something you’re not ready for is not the way to convince you.

Truth is, I did Sober October twice before I decided that my third sober October would continue as long as I could take it. Even my second Sober October was extended after my Halloween binge gave me a serious cold and I had to quit drinking again so I could get healthy for a trip I had planned. I lasted until February where I ended up drinking more in one week of vacation than I ever had before.

From the end of that trip, until the following October I drank heavier, behaved worse, and generally screwed up more than I had done before. Turns out taking one month off drinking per year didn’t make up for all my persistent problems with alcohol.

The problem at the time was, I didn’t do enough reflection after each Sober October. I was simply abstaining from alcohol to prove a shallow point about my own self-control, and learned nothing from the experience. I was holding on for dear life, “white knuckling” sobriety and then bingeing with reckless abandon at the end of my sentence.

I highly suggest using the last few days of October to reflect on the past month, past year and even the entire history of your alcohol use. I definitely can’t blame you if you decide to drink on Nov 1 or whatever, but I do foresee you returning next year.

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