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.
You may answer one or more of the following questions:
- How did this month affect my body?
- How did this month affect my mind?
- Were my cravings manageable?
- Do I have a serious problem?
- What kind of coping mechanisms were helpful/unhelpful?
Your ultimate goal may be to slow your drinking to a more manageable level. My hope was that I would take the techniques of abstinence I learned during SoberOctober and apply them to everyday, only drinking on weekends and special occasions. This actually had an opposite effect in the short term.
That being said, I have found success in longer-term abstinence from alcohol after 3 total Sober Octobers. Realizing in the summer before I finally quit that it should probably be my last as a heavy drinker. I needed the first two attempts as practice runs, to prove it could be done without falling apart completely.
The positive coping mechanisms I discovered in the first few attempts at a Sober October helped me through to this day.
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