So, if you’re about to join everyone else who’s decided to go sober for October you’ve got today and tomorrow to get as much alcohol inside you as possible then spend the next 31 days all clean and healthy. That’s how it works, right? Well it did for me. Except I only lasted 2 weeks the second time I tried. Obviously it’s brilliant that people commit to this and raise lots of money for Macmillan who were totally amazing with myself and my family when we lost my Dad to cancer. I also think it’s a great idea if you’re wanting to cut down on your alcohol consumption. If I’m honest, I was doing it for other reasons and for someone who’s wondering if they genuinely have a drink problem, I don’t think it’s the best way to tackle it. Here’s why it wasn’t a great idea for me …
I psyched myself up for about a week knowing that I had days before I was ‘on the wagon’. Those few days before, I was drinking at least a couple of bottles of wine each evening when I got home from work. I wasn’t looking forward to staying away from alcohol for a month and I was even wondering if I’d be able to do it but because I’d sent the sponsor forms out and people had actually paid good money for me to stay sober, I’d set myself up and HAD to commit. Luckily I’d only raised about £50 which in the back of my mind I knew I could pay back and this is because I didn’t share my link very often, obviously because I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, because I didn’t really want to! This is the problem. You HAVE to WANT to get sober with every inch of your body. It wasn’t the right time for me and I failed miserably. I cancelled every social event in my calendar for a whole month, I stayed away from places that sold alcohol and I didn’t do anything for 2 weeks. It was work, gym, home and bed ASAP so I wouldn’t be tempted to drink wine. If you have to go to these lengths then it’s clearly a problem.
The first weekend was a massive struggle but I got through it. The second weekend was a struggle then a ‘friend’ turned up at my apartment with bottle of gin in hand “come on, who’s gonna know anyway? Fuck’em, don’t put anything on Facebook and you’re fine”. I didn’t need any more persuading and that evening turned out to be one of the worst of my life. I’d basically starved myself of alcohol so much I completely went for it and got totally wasted. I ended up on the UK Missing Persons register that night. I was supposed to go and visit my mum and Mick the morning after and I didn’t arrive. My mum called and obviously after numerous times and hours of getting no reply she started to panic. I speak to my mum most days and I’ve always got my phone with me. This was definitely out of character and my mum knew it so she called the police. It was quite bizarre really because the only way my mum knew I was safe was because I’d showed up on the police database as in custody at Dewsbury station. I’m not going into detail why I was there, but it was clearly alcohol related. I thought I was there a few hours but I was actually there overnight due to being so drunk I couldn’t be questioned. What I do remember is being extremely hung over and anxious but safe.
So, if you are going sober for October, I hope you’re stronger than I was! Good luck 🤞
P.S. I’m 11 months sober today and by the end of October when people are celebrating their sober month, I’ll be celebrating my sober year!