Sober October 2019

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Stop Drinking Cold Turkey

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I’m not going to guess or do any research. I don’t really care where the term “Cold Turkey” comes from. If you have an idea, please leave a comment. When you quit drinking, cold turkey is the method of complete abstinence. It’s an all or nothing approach where many people will dump every drop of alcohol down the drain. Continue reading “Stop Drinking Cold Turkey”

New Year, New You – Stop Drinking Resolution

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People make many more resolutions than they keep. Quitting drinking is hard, and in some cases harder than a goal like ‘lose weight’ or ‘run a marathon’. It’s harder because quitting alcohol is a choice you need to keep making. If I make a goal to lose weight and weight myself on February 1st, 5 pounds lighter than I was on January 1st, then I can say ‘DONE’ and go back to eating chips and ice cream for breakfast. If I run 42 km, regardless of how fast, I can say I ran a marathon and post a selfie on social media for all to see. Continue reading “New Year, New You – Stop Drinking Resolution”

#SoberOctober Day 24 – Go Slow to Go Fast

A photograph of a man and woman practicing tai-chi. Used to draw a parallel between slow practice and sobriety.

Sober October is not about fixing your problems with a set-time of sobriety. The old-timers can attest: just because you stop drinking, doesn’t mean you stop being a drunk. Abstaining for a short interval isn’t a fix, but it can be a test. It can also be a practice of self-discovery. What you learn on this month-long journey will depend on your unique experience.

Continue reading “#SoberOctober Day 24 – Go Slow to Go Fast”

#SoberOctober Day 23 – Life Finds a Way

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As famous fictional scientist Dr. Ian Malcolm once said;

“Life, Uh, Finds a Way”

Of course, he was speaking about genetically engineered dinosaurs but the sentiment stands true to this day.

As a human being your DNA has been passed down generation, upon generation based on the simple fact that someone survived long enough to pass along their genes. Like a sunflower that starts as a tiny seed, the human body starts small, breaks free and enters this world against all odds. This miracle is an example of life finding a way. Continue reading “#SoberOctober Day 23 – Life Finds a Way”

Sober October Day 19 – Don’t Forget Your Feelings

“F**K your feelings” is something I’ve heard more than once in self-help circles. It’s mostly followed by some psych-up talk about how feeling sorry for yourself is what’s holding you back. That by allowing yourself to be vulnerable, you’re making yourself a victim. Victims, by some definitions are losers, and losers never get what they want. The old you is a loser, the new you is a winner.

I’m not in this camp, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to forget your feelings. Continue reading “Sober October Day 19 – Don’t Forget Your Feelings”

#SoberOctober Day 18 – Legal Limit

A man on a nature hike is walking away from the camera down a dirt path.

In my neck of the woods, 18 is the legal drinking age. I started much younger. It really seemed like the thing to do at the time. Coming towards the end of middle school I had too much newly found maturity and not much responsibility. I remember thinking that drinking would make me more like an adult. After those first few failed attempts at maturing through intoxication I held back, but it wasn’t for long. Not wanting to be “that guy” at the party, I tried to monitor how much I drank.

Continue reading “#SoberOctober Day 18 – Legal Limit”

#SoberOctober day 17 – Addiction

Addiction is no joke! Today is the day in 2018 when Canada legalized marijuana for recreational consumption. If you choose to spark-up today, that’s your choice and it’s understandable. In moderation cannabis use can have a less intoxicating effect on users. Fatal over-consumption is rare compared to alcohol or other drugs, but a dependency is still a dependency. Especially in the eyes of many recovery advocates, using marijuana to replace alcohol is NOT a good idea. Continue reading “#SoberOctober day 17 – Addiction”

#SoberOctober Day 16 – Self Reflection

It’s easy to get lost on this journey towards sobriety. Even if you’ve decided to only quit drinking for the month, Sober October can leave a person lost and lonely. Quitting one of our culture’s most social activities can leave you isolated physically and mentally. If you’re not drinking, what are you supposed to do with your hands? If you’re not drunk, what are you supposed to do with all these thoughts in your head?

We’ve talked in previous blog posts about prayer and meditation as a coping mechanism. Since prayer and meditation are different for everyone, it also might be helpful to do some more casual self reflection. Journalling, or keeping some type of diary are both excellent ways to get the contents of your head out in to the world so you can reflect on them. It can be as simple as going to a coffee shop by yourself and thinking about your life.

You can ask yourself questions like “Why do I drink so much?” “Why did I think I needed to quit?” “What are the triggers in my life that make me binge?”

In Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the steps is a “Fearless Moral Inventory” which asks the member to write down everything awful they’ve done under the influence. This doesn’t need to be an exercise in shame, but if you choose to embark on this project I believe you won’t want to drink to excess once you write out and reread all the downsides to drinking.

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Want to read more about sobriety and other stop drinking solutions?

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3 signs you have a problem with alcohol

Killing Yourself to Live