So it’s the year that didn’t happen. A year of cancellations. A year of staying in and for me this meant alone in my flat, which could be a recipe for disaster. I felt my alcohol intake was creeping back up. So I decided to do Sober October.
I can’t drink much, I’ve experienced periods of really difficult mental health and alcohol tends to make this worse. When drinking I don’t sleep well, I tend to overeat and feel low. There was a time where it was a real crutch for me, it was a coping mechanism but one which led me further down a downward spiral.
I had history when it came to abstaining, I gave up alcohol for 6 months a few years ago, and have completed numerous Dry Januarys and always feel so much better. Having an alcohol-free month this October has given my mind and body a chance to replenish. I’ve been more self-caring, I’ve practised yoga in the morning with my light box on and I’m just about managing the elusive morning routine. I’ve also had more energy in the evenings to do things instead of slumping on the sofa, OKAY I’ve still sometimes slumped on the sofa!! My thinking has been clearer and my mood steadier. It’s been good for me, I’m not going to rush back to alcohol.
There are loads of Sober Facebook groups out there, I joined one the first time around and it helped. It was great as people were so committed to being alcohol free, for some people it was and is a necessity.
I would recommend the following book if you are interested in reducing/giving up alcohol, This Naked Mind, Control Alcohol by Annie Grace. In it she talks about the power of the subconscious; how we take messages in from society which bypass our thinking brain, such messages include the regular occurring Facebook meme ‘Wine O’clock.’ Drinking is seen as fun and normal – it’s WHAT YOU DO ! In fact it’s the only drug that people/society will openly pressure you to take!
I’d love to hear any stories about alcohol and mental health if you would like to share..
Thanks for reading, Tori. x
Disclaimer, it can be dangerous to give up alcohol if you have a physical dependency without medical supervision. Also it can be really tricky if you are struggling without much support. If you feel you need more support with alcohol contact your GP or Forward Leeds.