…and then some.
What normally is my No-Alcohol-November has turned into Sober October. This is the fourth consecutive year that I have taken the month-long abstinence from booze. It’s a pep talk to my immune system! It ensures I’m hydrated and helps me enter the long winter months with a sense of mental clarity. This break is something that I look forward to yearly.
I started my No-Alcohol-November tradition in 2014, my first year in my current apartment. It was a choice. In a way, it felt empowering, like those first few, easy checkmarks off your to-do list. I knew it would be a satisfying way to be in control, and a quick turn-around to feel the strength of success.
Now I know that “4” is not a typical anniversary year, however, I believe what we accomplish (or chose to exclude, in this case, I suppose) should be celebrated daily. Because we’re worth it, dammit. And everyone should know.
That first year was an easy attempt. The concept is a bit gimmicky in general, so by excitingly telling my peers, their attention was caught and I was held accountable to meet my goal. I wanted to lead by example and though some folks were impressed, some Happy Hour goers just didn’t get why I’d go dry.
Alcoholism runs in my family. I’ve dealt with it directly and indirectly with family members, though many of them have gone 100% sober after years of overindulging. Although the darker years are never forgotten, the sense of accomplishment and pride will forever outshine. But it’s in my genes too. So to keep myself in check, I give it up once a year, for a month, and then ease back in throughout the Holidays, because it’s COLD after New Year’s and that whiskey warms those places that space heater don’t.
And I sure do love me some whiskey. Or, sometimes, a celebratory cocktail. Maybe the occasional glass of red or white wine, vodka in the summer, or tequila on the beach. I even don’t mind a $10 Bud Light at an outdoor concert, back home, in Boston, in July. As long as the music’s good. But usually, it’s the whiskey. Preferably Bourbon. Never Scotch.
I’m not sloppy though. I don’t get angry or overemotional. Like with a Red Bull energy drink, I grow wings. I remember my conversations, I create and laugh, and get just plain chatty. I don’t over-consume, though I’m the kind of person where if it’s in the house, there’s a glass waiting in the kitchen. Much like with my coffee consumption, it’s not how much - it’s how often. And my Father always taught me: everything in moderation.
I must admit, I cheated once last month (first week - White Russian – worth it) and once in 2015, during my second annual liquor-fast. Though it’s called a fast, it didn’t go by very quickly that year. On a roller coaster of work stress and personal weight, I craved a drink to relax every other day. One day, I finally broke and begged for a shot at my friend, Amanda’s door. I drank it with zero regrets. Then she offered a lovely dinner.
Last year, 2016 was also very difficult. I mean… The. Election. But my friend, Pope came out West to visit for the last week of the month, which helped get me through the home stretch, alcohol-free.
This year, to mix it up, I decided to detox in October instead. Really, I just have too many fun things planned this month, and I expect to have more than just a Holiday toast. This month yields 3 Tori Amos concerts, 2 Seattle trips, 2 Emily Saliers concerts, and 1 amazing Thanksgiving dinner with my friend, Lela and her family! I even have an Ani Difranco ticket! What am I most excited for? Lela’s meat stuffing and guava pie, for sure.
I predict I will fully enjoy myself at these special events over the next few weeks. However, to keep my pennies in my piggy, I will not be visiting the liquor store until Christmas. This will allow for larger Christmas shopping funds in the meantime! Shutterfly shipped my stack of 2017 Holiday cards, and although I had coupons, that cardstock ain’t free! Most importantly though, this extended diet will maintain my gorgeous complexion.
So, let’s CHEERS to that!
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