Sober October Starts Now
My name is Elizabeth, and I like to drink. My love affair with alcohol began unceremoniously at a fraternity party in college and has been going strong ever since. The poisons may have changed over the years from keg beer to French bubbly but the joy I get from softening the edges after a stressful day or cutting loose after a long week remains the same. Like fine food, frequent travel and the NYTs in bed on a Sunday morning, imbibing is one of my favorite past times. I love pairing wine with dinner, I rejoice at a new negroni recipe, and I find the simplest pleasure in sipping a cold IPA at a hot summer music festival.
While singing its praises may sound like I have a problem with alcohol, I don’t. But the increasing popularity of Dry January and Sober September have been fascinating to follow and think: Why not me and why not October? I could’ve just as easily chosen coffee or carbs or complaining—all things that I reach for regularly to self-medicate and avoid feeling what I’m really feeling. To numb my anxiety that I’m not in control, and all of the uncertainty that life brings no matter how firmly planted I remain in my comfort zone. I chose alcohol because, of the bunch, it’s the most awkward to give up. I am social creature who loves to entertain and be entertained; drinking comes with the territory.
I don’t remember the last time I went a week without a drink, even if it was just a glass of wine with dinner. I’ve definitely never gone an entire month in 20 years. I guess I want to know that I can, and I want to see what happens when I do. Will my friends still want to hang out? Will I still be fun and interesting? Was I ever? Will I lose weight? Will I find healthier ways to relieve stress or will I binge on Cheetos and Netflix to fill the void? Then there’s this: What if I don’t miss drinking? What if I feel so good and have so much energy and finally face whatever I’ve been hiding from or realize I have nothing to hide from?
You’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from any of you who have done a dry month or taken an extended break from drinking. Better yet, who wants to join me for Sober October?!