No one likes being hungover, and if you have made it this far, congrats on 6 mornings with no hangovers! If you’re anything like me, you’re awake 2-3 hours before you’d normally get up. So what do you do with this time??
You may want to go out and make the most of the day, but I don’t think anyone will blame you if you need to hide out. If your previous Saturdays included getting day-drunk at brunch, then it might be ideal to make yourself some breakfast and tuck in.
If your previous weekend mornings included staying in bed until 2pm, you might want to finally go see what the AM is all about. I used to always sleep through the fast food breakfast, but after quitting drinking I can beat the rush and have a coffee, read the news and more all before 10am.
See what you can do now that you don’t need to worry about hangovers.
Going Sober in October is especially tough because of how many weekends the month seems to have. This year we’re lucky it only has four weekends, but previous years have had five! Since the weekend is generally thought of as the time to get wasted, it makes for emotional challenges.
Halloween is a party day on its own. October 31st land on a Wednesday? People celebrate Halloween on the weekend before AND after. Big parties, scandalous costumes, and a general sense of hedonistic opportunity make Halloween up there with St Patrick’s day and New Year’s Eve as bonafide drinking holidays.
Since this is your first Friday sober, feel free to hideout. If you’re feeling off, take some time to treat yourself. Get takeout, watch some trash tv, eat a whole bag of candy. As you get more practice saying “No” to drinks and partying, you’ll feel more capable to have a soda-water at the club, but for now go easy on yourself.
Are you getting in the groove of things yet? Is your sobriety something you don’t need to think about? You may feel yourself wanting to slump back in to old habits, or being pulled toward temptation, this is normal. For some people who quit drinking, temptation follows them for decades after they quit. We live in a culture of alcohol consumption, so it’s hard to escape temptation when everyone is offering you a drink.
You get in to a groove the same way you get in to a rut (which may be why you decided to quit drinking in the first place): you do the same things over and over.
For you, this might mean changing your work commute so you don’t pass your favourite liquor store. You may need to mute the group-text convo where everyone is talking about how excited they are to get wasted this weekend. You might want to start a new good habit to replace an old bad habit.
Speaking from experience, if you decided you needed to quit drinking for a month, there’s a good chance you have an addictive personality. Take that weakness and turn it in to a strength by pouring yourself in to a new hobby, activity or other outlet for the energy you’d normally expend drinking. I got my Fitbit around the time I quit and I loved smashing those step-goals! That lead to going to the gym more, and before I knew it I was in a groove.
Day 3 might be the hardest day for you so far. Some people say that if you can get through the 3rd day, you can make through the rest of the month. There’s a chance you’re starting to feel normal again, like it’s no big deal. If you’re reading this in 2018, it’s only Wednesday, so you might not have had much temptation to go out. This is actually an enviable situation, you have a few days before the weekend comes and starts to make drinking feel like an obligation again.
Got a social event coming up on the weekend? Maybe a wedding with an open bar? In my first month of sobriety I cancelled these weekend plans and avoided social events like the plague.
“After work happy hour… I’d love to but I’m going to the gym”
“Your band is playing at the pub… sorry I’m seeing a movie that night”
“You’re watching the game… I’ve got to wake up early tomorrow for work”
Sure these excuses are lame, some people won’t accept them, and even some folks will know you’re lying. All that doesn’t really matter when you’re trying to reach a goal that’s this important. If you need to cloister yourself away in your house with a pizza and Netflix, or if you need to head to an AA meeting or to a church group, whatever you need to do, don’t feel badly blowing off your drinking buddies.
If you can get through the temptation of social obligation you can get through anything!
In the post about Sober October Day 1, I said you don’t have to quit drinking forever… just get through a single day without drinking. Getting through Day 1 is one of the hardest days, taking the plunge is one of the hardest parts. However, when I say “Stop Drinking for Life” I don’t mean that you need to commit to stop drinking for the rest of your life… I mean quit drinking so you can ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
Assuming you’ve already dumped all the beer, wine and spirits in your home, I suggest going for a walk, going to a movie, hitting the gym, and literally anything else that breaks the old habits that led to drinking in the first place. Think of sobriety as life, and drinking as death. Think of all the quality experiences you had to miss because you were wasted, or worse yet… the experiences you ruined, or don’t remember because you were wasted.
Prove to the monkey on your back that your life is more than drinking.
The hardest drink is always the last, especially when you know it’s going to be your last. Deciding is easy, taking action is hard. Deciding to finally put down the bottle, pour out the remainder and strap in for abstinence can be the hardest decision you make. If you are like me, and you decided to begin your sobriety journey on a set date, then it can be hard to draw a line in the sand for yourself. Do you need to stop drinking on September 30th before midnight? Or will waking up with a hangover on Oct 1st from staying out too late going to help you kick the habit with a throbbing headache? This is your journey, so hopefully you’ve already had your last drink hours ago.
Some ways to keep it as your last drink:
If there’s any booze left in your house, toss it or give it away
Eat food, drink water and get some exercise
Why? Well you want to do all of the following things to help keep you from breaking your streak: Get rid of temptation, nourish your body, and stay sane. Quitting alcohol is a big step, don’t make it harder than it has to be. If all else fails, remind yourself that you don’t have to quit drinking forever, you just need to prevent yourself from drinking until the end of the day. Then you can go to sleep, wake up refreshed tomorrow and scratch “Day 1” off your calendar and start it all again with Day 2.
Looking for more resources on how to quit drinking? Read more:
Many people call the choice to stop drinking and doing drugs “Recovery”. This is a powerful mind-set to get in when quitting. It takes your goal, and turns it from a chore to an active task in healing yourself.
In practice, you can stop eating French Fries for the rest of your life and still not be happy with your body. Just as you can stop drinking alcohol and still be unhappy with your life. It’s not just about the activity of drinking alcohol and doing drugs, it’s about the harm that it causes and changing your life in a way that repairs yourself from top to bottom, inside and out. Continue reading “Where are you in your journey?”
Does the mere idea of tomorrow morning frighten you? Are you postponing sleep to delay the inevitable? Thinking up ways to get out of tomorrow’s responsibility? Setting your alarm way too early, thinking you’ll need a few punches of the snooze button to even drag yourself out of bed? Continue reading “Are you afraid of 9am?”
Your drinking has hurt you or someone you loved physically or emotionally
The stereotypical drunk person can barely stand, has trouble speaking and should NOT be driving a car. Alcohol impairs motor function causing drinkers to lose their balance, and have issues performing simple tasks. If you’re the type of person that has fallen, been in a car accident, or struck someone while under the influence of alcohol, it may be a clear sign that you have a problem.
Additionally, lashing out or getting in to a mentally or emotionally stressful situations with loved ones can be a sign that you no longer have control of your drinking. Impaired judgement is another symptom of alcohol intoxication. Making bad decisions, saying hurtful words and increased stress and anxiety while drunk are all signs that problematic drinking.
Drinking has costs you more than you can afford
We all know drinking can be expensive but putting your enjoyment before rent/mortgage payments is a major red flag. Again, impaired judgement is a sign of intoxication so if you’ve ever spent come home from a night out with an empty wallet it’s a very bad sign.
Additionally, a hangover is a given when celebrating with alcohol but losing jobs, friends, missing special events, or losing possessions like wedding rings is a very clear sign that your drinking is out of control. Sacrificing money, possessions and relationships with friends and family is not a good tradeoff for alcohol
You wish you could quit drinking
Drinking can be fun, and we’ve all likely wished we were having a drink instead of at work. However, if you’ve ever been drunk and simply thought “I wish I could stop” it’s a very clear indication that you should take steps to curb your drinking or stop all together.
Not everyone will come to this point in their life, but if you’re like me and one day wished you could stop, then you should try! Why would you continue to do something if there is even a small part of your brain that is wishing you would stop?
The lucky part is that you don’t need to wish! You don’t need a genie in a bottle or a shooting star to use magic to stop you from drinking. There are number of stop drinking programs you can use, books to read, support groups to attend and more. No wishes or magic needed!
If you would like to learn more about my journey to sobriety, you can read more blog posts at stopdrinking.solutions
Alcohol is a potent central nervous system depressant with a wide range of effects. The amount you consume effects how drunk you will get.
The effects of alcohol change over time. When you first start drinking. You may feel relaxed. But the more you drink, the more side effects you begin to feel, like blurred vision and slurred speech.
Euphoria is an effect that alcohol has on people. Essentially, getting the euphoric effect means you will feel an overall mood improvement. You may be more self-confident when drinking. Your attention span shortens and you may feel more flushed. Whether your believe it or now, your judgment won’t be as good as you think it is and you may well say the first thing that comes to mind or do things that you would not normally do. You will also start to have trouble with fine movements such as signing their name. With more alcohol, lethargy may start to set in. Lethargy is the side effect where you may become sleepy. You have trouble remembering things that happened, even recent things you have done. Body movements are uncoordinated and you may react to situations more slowly. Your vision becomes blurry and they have trouble seeing.
Confusion is also caused by drinking. You may get confused and very emotional, less likely to respond to pain. If you get in a fight while you are drunk, you will not feel the pain until the alcohol wears off.
Stupor is another short term effect of alcohol. In this condition movement is seriously impaired and you may lapse in and out of consciousness. You can slip into a coma and become completely unaware of your surroundings. At this point, the risk to the body is very high due to alcohol poisoning. Loss of body functions can begin like losing control of the bladder, breathing and heart rate.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to coma and even death. If you want to avoid these risks, the best way to do it is to avoid alcohol. You can start being effected by alcohol from the very first sip, whether you realize it or not.
Excessive doses of alcohol can cause long term as well as short-term side effects. Some of the long term effects are: slowing, blurred vision, vertigo, amnesia, ataxia, and hangovers.
The liver is part of the body’s filtration system. This means when it is damaged it allows certain toxins to build up, leading to symptoms of Jaundice. This is what you are seeing when a person’s skin begins to turn yellow.
Many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug but the fact is that it is a drug. It is just as lethal as any other drug can be. When you overuse any drug you can expect consequences. This is also true with alcohol. Many people think that it is okay to have a beer once in a while or that if you drink at home you won’t be hurting anyone.
Think again. You are hurting yourself and by hurting yourself you are hurting the ones that care about you. Whether you drink some at home or at a bar, alcohol can have the same effect on you. One sip and the process begins.
Find Out More:
In order to start making changes with your relationship with alcohol please visit the Alcohol Free Social Life website where you will learn specific techniques and examples of how to make changes now: