31 Days Of Sobriety Made Easy By My Environment

Sobriety

Today marks 31 days of sobriety. I enjoy not drinking. I find that my thinking is clearer and my moods are lighter. I’m also partial to a mimosa with brunch or a glass of Sauvignon Touraine in the evening. Alcohol brings out a different side of me. One that is more playful and less intense. 

“If you don’t want to slip. Don’t go where it’s slippery.” Alcoholics Anonymous 

What I find interesting is that I didn’t have to think once in the last month about not drinking. And I didn’t expend any energy thinking about whether or not I minded waking up with a fuzzy head. And that’s because I’m in an environment where it just didn’t come up. I find it a lot harder to resist drinking when I’m around my family or friends I haven’t seen for a long time. I think it’s a nice aspect of being sociable but I’m also really enjoying this period of deprivation-free sobriety.

“Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?” W. Clement Stone 

I find this to be one of the advantages of never living in one place for more than a month or so. It’s not really possible for bad habits to grow roots, as automated behaviour is so contextual. Each time I move, I’m intentional about setting up my environment to make it easy to do the things I say I want to do and hard to do the things that I don’t—and that’s because I have the breaking strain of a Kit-Kat. 

“Lead me not into temptation; I can find the way myself.” Rita Mae Brown

If you do want to try sobriety, my friend Chris has a program to support you in your endeavours.

11 comments

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  • Dear Ms. Carver,
    Congratulations on your 31 days. I have many friends and family members that have and still wrestle with the same struggle and it is not easy.
    Cudos to you for letting your community know. It is isolating to keep such things to yourself and always put on the good outward appearance. There is so much stigma around issues of drinking and alcohol. Society often confuses moral character and dopamine dependence choosing ignores the pressures it places on people and blame the persons character rather than the root causes.
    I wish you strength in your journey.
    Mark Hommel MD

    • Thank you Mark. It actually feels like such a relief not to be drinking. It’s so powerful. I love it but I’m pretty sure I’m a better person without it! Not so up, not so down, just somewhere in the middle. And wildly productive which is always nice! Thank you for your support.

  • If you’ve been around mountain bikers then you know we LOVE our craft ales and beers. Last Labor Day (US) I decided I have had enough hangovers…enough early Sunday AM rides that I was missing because I was saturated with alcohol and tired from not sleeping right…enough of having no recollection of the previous evening and wondering if I even ate dinner. The process began after a crazy bike weekend in Killington VT – a long story. Or looking back, perhaps it began in January 2019 when I decided to start meditating 20 minutes a day – every day – telling myself I would do it for a year and see what happens. Self awareness is a powerful tool. So on Labor Day I told myself no booze for all of September – a monumental task for me. Well, in just a few days it will be 6 months. I’ve never felt better. I love your site. Keep up the good work!

    • I feel so sharp and light at the moment. Even the idea of drinking scares me. And like you, one 30-day success is spurring me on to stack other good habits on top of it. 6 months without booze is epic. Here’s to clarity and remembering what we ate last night!

  • I quit drinking a couple of years ago for my own preferences and health reasons. I never drank so much in terms of frequency or quantity but anyway, haven’t had any alcohol in nearly two years once I made that decision.. Something that has helped me – let’s say if I want to relax (like in a glass of wine kind of way) is pranayama – Basically it’s a daily habit for me (just a 5in 5out or 6in6out for 20mins or whatever). I know you’re already familiar with box breathing. For me this also helps calm me before say, a social event.

    By not drinking, I appreciate that my sleep is better and overall well being is better.

    I am happy about your progress and rooting for you.

    • I love that. I agree to the overall well-being piece. I’m not sure quite how to describe it. I’m not really subject to mood swings but I do notice that I am very balanced. Calmer. And my thoughts are definitely crisper. I think I am at 36 days now. That’s not quite 2 years but it’s something.

      • It is something -36 days -and great.

        Yes, the day after drinking – regardless of how much – I’d be more likely to be a dark, depressive mood.

        In contrast, endurance sports have always made me feel good, and then more recently I’ve learned to moderate my stress and anxious feelings through breath. I try to do at least 20 mins a day of approx. 5.5 breaths per minute… 4-4 or 5-5 or 6-6 pattern (usually longer since I can do it while walking, working, running errands, on public transit etc.), and if I have something more stressful, like a public presentation, then maybe something like box breathing. I’ve experimented with various patterns over the last couple of years to see what works for me /what I like best.

        • There is the day after but also, until you take a proper a break, I feel like it is always there in your system, affecting your moods.

          I too like daily breathing practices and body scan meditation to maintain equanimity and also to release tension throughout my body. It sounds as though you have settled on what the yogis call sama vritti or equal breathing. It is neither up or down-regulating but great for balance and focus. So cool.

          • Sama vritti… thanks for that info.

            Yes, it’s my go-to. I like the extended exhale too but more selectively.

  • Good for you for sharing about your sobriety experiment! Here’s to clear thinking. When we don’t indulge in food or drink, it makes others reflect on their own behavior and they sometimes pressure us to reduce the pressure THEY feel. Be strong and do what is best for you!

    • 39 days and counting! Unfortunately, I cannot blame the people around me. I really do have the breaking strain of a Kit-Kat! But when I am in a sober environment, I don’t even think about it—and I think I am happier as a result.