I’ve always felt that dry January and sober October are a bit of a box-ticking exercise. Whenever I attempted them I felt that they proved one thing only – that my drinking was under control. I mean, if you can go a whole month without a drink, then you clearly don’t have a problem!? I also quite enjoyed some evenings being sober when I would normally have been drinking. This seemed to tick another box – proving I wasn’t psychologically dependent on alcohol.
But these exercises didn’t really do much more than re-affirm what I thought I already knew.
Now, nearly 6 years sober, I have come up with a much better way of regaining control over intake… it’s what led me to quit within 6 months.
This actually works!
It’s all about understanding what you want from alcohol, sip by sip, glass by glass. Then seeing how well it matches up to expectations when you actually drink it.
You’d be amazed how this focuses the mind on what you want from alcohol. It doesn’t happen overnight, but over a few weeks you begin to think about why you are even opening a bottle of wine. This has the effect of making you question how much you really enjoy doing it and whether you are getting near the end of your love-affair/ marriage with alcohol.
Talk about putting a dent in your desire! And when your desire switches focus onto sobriety – anything is possible.
And that’s where the difference lies with sober October. You just don’t gain enough insights from a sober October to change anything.
For more about cutting down and quitting have a look at my book