Your Alcohol-Free Journey Doesn't Have to End with Sober October
Many find themselves seduced by the alluring images of alcohol used on television shows and normalized in the media, which create the belief that it’s necessary to have fun and enhance romance.
Unfortunately, though, alcohol has the potential to leave you feeling broken and alone, and many have found themselves trying to put their lives back together after they find themselves left in a lurch with its empty promises, including me.
Did you know that alcohol can adversely affect our mental health? It increases anxiety, worsens depression, and at times, results in psychosis. Alcohol has been responsible for exacerbating violent behavior as it lowers our inhibitions. Its long-term effects are even worse and include brain damage and dementia.
No one ever picks up their first drink believing it could cause a problem for them as they are doing what most normal teenagers and newly turned twenty-one-year-olds do. But some of us are at higher risk than others when it comes to addiction and alcohol use disorder, and before we know it, alcohol has us in its grips.
Sadly, when someone finally realizes they have a problem, their self-esteem, relationships, bank accounts, and mental health have been seriously damaged.
Realize that no one’s alcohol abuse looks the same, and we should never compare ourselves to someone else or use someone else’s problem with alcohol as a gauge to determine if we have one.
Plain and simple. Drinking is a problem if it interferes with your life. PERIOD.
If you wake up anxiety-ridden over what you may have done the night before or check your phone to make sure you didn’t drunk dial someone, you may have a problem.
If you can’t concentrate during the day because you wonder if you have enough wine at home for your after-work glass or pack a bottle when you head out on vacation, just in case you may have a problem.
The point is, if you think you might have a problem, there’s a good chance you do. If you have taken online tests to determine if you are an alcoholic, you may have cause for concern.
Yet, there’s no need to be afraid for there’s tons of help out there and not only one way to gain control of your life again.
As we near the end of Sober October, I ask you to consider this. If you have refrained from drinking this month, before you pick up that glass of wine or ice-cold beer or scotch straight up, reflect on how you felt all month, alcohol-free.
What were your mornings like? How was your patience at work, with your family, or in general? Was your mind clearer?
Were you able to laugh and enjoy life without the alcohol for 31 days? And if so, why not keep going? It only gets better, I swear. I am nearing eight months sober and I have never felt better, physically or mentally.
I am here for you, to encourage and support you, and I have access to tons of resources and ideas, so please reach out if you need help.
If you are currently struggling with alcohol addiction, today could be the start of a new life for you!