Woooooaaaaah, we’re halfway there! Wooooaaaahh, sober half the yeeeearrrr!
Six whole months sober is totally something to sing about. In today’s world, there are so many damn temptations, addictions and dopamine producers. We sit for hours on end mindlessly scrolling on our phones in hopes of passing time while we procrastinate on the things we’re meant to be achieving. And in the current set up, where we’re not really allowed to do almost anything, a good solid booze drinking session sounds like a pretty sweet idea. But I don’t even care about that. Why the fuck not?
Not drinking is, in the exact way drinking was, the absolute normal state now. The default. In the small window when we could visit friends here in Melbourne, two small parties were hosted and being completely coherent, sober and able to (legally) drive home was such a great breath of fresh air. Where I used to carry my sleeping bag so I could get drunk and sleep warmly somewhere, now holds the option to leave when I’m ready and be the safe, free ride home for those in my former predicament.
Quotes like “I feel sorry for people that don’t drink, because when they wake up in the morning, that is the best they are going to feel all day” from Frank Sinatra or, “I don’t drink any more, but I don’t drink any less, either” were my life mottos. But now the temptation to rise early on a Sunday morning is far greater than any funny drinking quote. (But please, add your favourite drinking quote in the comments below)
It is far harder to find really positive quotes online about staying sober. It took one search to find the above quotes and ensure I was remembering them correctly but finding its opposite? I’m still searching. Today, sober isn’t the normal. Party? Let’s drink. End of the day? Let’s drink. Kid’s first birthday? Let’s drink. When it’s mentioned that I’m on a sober quest, the response is almost always, “Oh wow, you’re so strong/brave/crazy/weird!” And, they’re not wrong! To go against the grain of the social norms is tough but I feel it’s where the magic lives.
Letting sober be the normal. My new normal. As easy as I’ve found the past six months, as much as shifting to a sober lifestyle has been a simple transition, moving forward it needs to be the default setting. Completely banishing alcohol from my world forever was never the ultimate goal but altering the relationship with booze certainly was. In six months time when I’ve finished the challenge and allow myself to have a beer again, I don’t want to fall straight back into old habits.
The next phase will be about changing the habits. Perhaps deleting the habits and starting fresh. There’s a theory that no good habits exist and that everything should involve consideration. Prior consultation before proceeding. It’s kind of a mindfulness thing where a full and complete thought process is involved before every step. While it sounds daunting and perhaps a bit excessive, with practice it becomes quick and easy. Ask yourself, “does this lead me towards or away from what I want to achieve and how?” every time you do something. Ask it even if you’ve been there before. Sometimes the answer is different.
So while sobriety is becoming the default setting, I’m testing my theories by going to parties, walking into bottle shops with friends and sitting round the campfire at home. All times my old habits would ‘crack a can’ open and drift off into oblivion. By not eliminating every opportunity to drink, I’m helping solidify why I’m choosing to stay sober and hopefully beginning to form a solid base default for next year when the challenge is no longer the reason.
As I hope I’ve portrayed in my previous posts, these writings are not to tell you what I think you should do but more to share my experiences. Telling my stories to help you create your own.
*it’s worth saying here that I often say I ‘flick a switch’ and change a thought process or go to sleep or something. But that ‘switch’ is something I’ve built and developed over many years