If there’s anything you should know about me by now, it’s that I’m always down to try anything (usually health oriented) once… sometimes twice for good measure. So, when a few friends talked about doing sober October back in the summer, I committed on the spot. I was feeling overwhelmed at work, and felt like my weekends were lacking productivity because of my friday and saturday night out. Also, summer brought more weekday evening social events, so I felt like I needed a good cleanse from drinking alcohol. What came out of my experience was unexpected.
I’ve taken extensive breaks from drinking alcohol multiple times in my life, each time for a different reason. This time, I approached it more from a position of curiosity. It is SO easy to find a reason to have a glass of wine/beer/cocktail. Whether you had a long day and are drinking to relax, or you are celebrating, or you are enjoying a nice meal, or you are catching up with a friend… drinking has become so ingrained in our society. I wanted to take a break to really assess my habit and check in to make sure that I was drinking alcohol for the right reasons and wasn’t abusing it. I was also sick of feeling sluggish after a night of drinking and wanted to experience that great feeling that you get after a few weeks of being sober. I knew that I could refrain for a month, but this test was more than just challenging my ability to go 31 days without drinking. It was more of a gut check.
So, I’ll break the news to you early. I didn’t stay sober the entire 31 days. The first time I decided to have a drink was the day of the Queen Bee and Blink. Mer and I ran the race in the morning, then my boyfriend, who lives downtown, had an open house all day for friends and family who were downtown walking around for Blink. We had a few dozen people filter through his condo during the day, and we had so much fun. No regrets. But I didn’t just cave and start drinking and throw this month long intention in the garbage.
From that day on, the challenge shifted and something awesome happened. I started to adjust my relationship with alcohol. I decided to be more intentional about my decision to drink when I do. A casual drink or two on a weeknight just isn’t necessary for me. Catching up with a friend over coffee is just as great of an experience as catching up over wine. And when I’m having an amazing meal with loved ones, a nice glass of Pinot can absolutely make that experience even better.
So, no, I didn’t successfully stay sober throughout the month of October. BUT, I learned more about myself this past month and it gave me back the feeling of control that I have been missing for years.
How to do your own sobriety challenge
I’d be happy to talk more about my experience for those who are interested in discussing, so please feel free to reach out!
If you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem, see here for a list of resources in Cincinnati.
Molly McCafferty is the co-founder of Quidwell where she assists women in finding their personalized version of health. Outside of Quidwell, she is an account manager for a local boutique social media agency where she helps businesses grow through creative practices and influencer marketing partnerships. A self-diagnosed fitness junkie, it’s hard to find a fitness class that Molly does not enjoy: from boxing to weight training, dance to yoga. In her spare time, you’ll find Molly bopping around town to various studios, hanging out at a local coffee shop, or exploring the latest restaurants with healthy eats.