#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.

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#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”

#SoberOctober Day 22 – Mental Models To Help You Stop Drinking

I recently started reading and hearing about mental models and I think they are endlessly fascinating. Ideas like “Critical Mass” have changed the way humans have approach problems. These mental shortcuts let us see patterns faster when applied to practical situations.

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#SoberOctober Day 21 – Stop Drinking for Fun and Profit

Digital screen with numbers indicating stock market quotes.

If you are like me, as you age the fun of binge-drinking starts to lose it’s appeal. You think about the hours, dollars and brain-cells you’ve spent doing shots and staying out late and a part of your brain screams “WHY?!”. This is a normal human reaction, you are after all engaging in an activity that’s hurting you body. Little by little your fight-or-flight instincts might be kicking in, telling you something’s got to change.

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#SoberOctober Day 20 – Sober October Fitness Tracker

Sober October Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers like FitBit and other wearable technology to track your movement, heart rate and other vital signs are an interesting trend in health and wellness. The manufacturers claim the device’s ability to create a healthy lifestyle through data, but you don’t have to look far to find examples of how they can fall short. The watch becomes a distraction from exercise, or the novelty of tracking your steps wears off as the healthy lifestyle seems ever harder to attain.

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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.

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#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?

Where are you in your journey?

Are you afraid of 9am?

3 signs you have a problem with alcohol

Killing Yourself to Live

#SoberOctober Day 15 – Don’t stop me now

At day 15 you are just shy of 50% complete your challenge. You may be getting a second wind, or you may feel like the winds are pushing against you. The pressure inside, both physical and mental might be building up now that your body is realizing this experiment in abstinence is longer lived than anticipated.

This is exactly why you shouldn’t give up.

The pressure is what makes coal in to a diamond. Adapting to pressure is what differentiates good from great. When you hear about how it’s “Not the journey, it’s the destination” this is what they are talking about.

If you’ve been putting off self-care, now would be a great time to start. Yoga, meditation and gratitude can sound like fairly-tale magic until you get to a point where nothing else seems like a viable option. Here is where the pressure gets turned up, and coping tools are the release valve.

Don’t give up now!

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

Where are you in your journey?

Are you afraid of 9am?

3 signs you have a problem with alcohol

Killing Yourself to Live