(My new reality)
If I were a bit more on the ball I would have done weekly, or even bi-weekly, posts on this as a way to track my month of sobriety. Before moving to London I had never heard of ‘Sober October,’ but it sounded like a good thing, and something I desperately needed. When my friend Darsh brought me the idea, I jumped at it.
I wasn’t heading down a bad path or anything, but London and the UK in general, is a very drinking-focused culture. I’m used to spending a nice day hiking or going for a bike ride. Around London when its nice you drink outdoors, rather than in a pub. A month of sobriety was needed to ‘right the ship’ so to speak. I was expecting a few things, but my hopes and reality have not exactly synced up.
HOPE: MORE ENERGY; REALITY: CAN’T GET OUT OF BED
The first impact I figured to feel was more energy. Not like a surge or anything, but just easier to get out of bed and better sleep. I anticipated a few days to get all the remaining alcohol out of my system, but a boost in energy never came, and has yet to. In fact, I am finding it tougher to get out of bed at my normal time. Now some of this might have to do with shorter days, and colder mornings, but its been a mainstay all month.
On the positive side though my sleep has been much better. I do not wake up during the night, and I wake up feeling rested. Also, I am having much more vivid dreams and remembering more of them. When I checked with Darsh, he said the same thing, and even he had ones where he was lucid dreaming and could manipulate what was going on.
HOPE: LOSING WEIGHT; REALITY: NO REAL CHANGE
I have been sticking to a solid nutrition plan, with some deviations from time to time to maintain sanity. I figured subtracting two to eight pints a week would help me drop a few pounds. Now I haven’t been weighing myself (I feel like I dropped the ball on this thing in regards to tracking it) but I don’t feel like I’ve lost a significant amount. My jeans still fit the same, and so do my shirts.
One major impact on my diet has been my cravings for sugar and sweets. The need for sugar hits me at least twice a day, if not more. My only assumption is my body is reacting to the lack of sugar it was getting from the beer, and hitting me in waves. I have done fairly well controlling it, and find if I eat some fruit it subsides. But I’m sure that’s why my weight has remained the same.
HOPE: I WOULD MAKE IT AT LEAST HALFWAY; REALITY: IT’S EASIER THAN I THOUGHT
This one makes me sound like I did have a problem. I thought for sure I would not make it all month. With friends, co-workers, work events/dinners, friends in town, and so on, I would not make it past two weeks. Not to mention the decompressing of stopping by my local for one after a tough day at work. However, it has been a lot easier than I thought.
The first few days were tough, and even a co-worker of mine fell off a few days in. However, after about five days, it’s been a breeze, and it’s not like I have not been tempted. A co-worker was in town from our Los Angeles office who I had not seen in almost three years, and a friend from Grand Valley who I had not seen in almost eight years and I didn’t have a drop. The best part though was I didn’t even crave or want one. I was fine with being with people who were drinking and not taking part.
I have no problem going into a packed pub and ordering a tonic and lime, or even a water. I was in one last night, and just met a couple friends at one this afternoon to watch a football match. The only thing I miss is the small glass of red wine I would have when I was making dinner. It has been eye-opening for sure.
When October ends I know I will have a drink for sure. I am heading to Manchester with two friends for a Manchester City match (CTID) on November 5th, so I will most definitely drink, and with my new, low tolerance I will definitely be drunk. However, I think this month will have cured me from the pressures of society to have a drink all the time.
That is not taking a shot at the UK either. I am notorious for not having the will-power to say no when it comes to having beers, and it’s never just one (I’m similar with food, especially pizza). This time of being sober has really broken me of the need to fit in and feel like I am part of the party. I can be part of the party and not have a beer in my hand. I can hang out in a pub for four hours and not feel the urge to try a new beer. It’s a great feeling, and my bank account thinks so as well.