2020 continues to disappoint on every level.
Originally published here: https://medium.com/the-bad-influence/10-ways-sober-october-has-cheated-me-8e95f69e566e
It has been a shitty year, and yes we’ve probably been leaning into the alcoholic beverage type of counselling services a little more than we should, so ‘Sober October’ felt like a perfect opportunity to turn our lives around.
Four weeks, a fresh start, a reboot if you will.
We made each other friendship bands as you do at school, to remind us 40-year-olds, we must not drink alcohol for this entire month, at the end we would cut them off — triumphant, revived, renewed.
Yay!! I felt excited at this prospect.
I thought back fondly to the other times we had stopped drinking for a month, a few months, even a year, how fresh and clear we felt, we lost weight, our skin improved, our eyes sparkled, we were razor sharp.
Yes, this will be good for us. We will feel better.
And so it began, we embarked on our mission, we undertook it in solidarity; my other half along with my sister and her partner, a team of us on a crusade for better health, for accomplishment, smashing that month like the alcohol-free warriors we are.
I am not sure if the fact that I was so incredibly ill for the first part had a bearing on this, but it got a couple of weeks in and something odd happened – I realised that I didn’t really care. I wasn’t missing drinking, every now and then I might fancy a nice gin or a decent glass of red wine, but for the most part, I couldn’t really give a crap.
I was just looking forward to the end where I would be rewarded. When I would reap all the benefits from this month of ultimate cleanliness.
It got to the end and nothing happened.
Sober October cheated us, on so many levels.
1. I Do Not Feel Healthier
Hardly, the build-up to this fix all life-changing event had so much weight attached to it psychologically that the first thing that happened was for me to become chronically ill.
There was a lot of ‘you’ll feel better after October, October will cure everything, October will save the day,’ when in fact I spent the first ten days bedridden in a pool of my own filth.
2. My Sleep Pattern Is Not Restored
How about fuck you?!*
Forget it. I’m an insomniac, I am made to have an eternally broken sleep architecture, not drinking is not enough to fix this, thankfully there are naps.
3. I Do Not Feel Energised
No. I do not. Once I had started to get over being so sick, I got a horrific cold, that took the rest of the month to shift, and never have I spent so much time lying around on things and moving at a sloth-like pace feeling constantly exhausted.
4. My Skin Has Not Improved
I call bullshit. Not only did I develop some sort of weird blistery scab from the constant leaking of my nose. I also developed spots – I do not get spots. The level of toxicity in my body just appears to be very high, I am basically a walking talking vestibule of puss.
5. My Eyes Are Not Brighter
My eyes’ inability to not piss out an endless stream of water has caused the corners to get all manky, it also appeared to worsen my eyesight forcing another trip to the opticians for a stronger prescription. Superb.
6. I Do Not Feel Sharp
I am still waiting for this to happen, I feel dull, like a spoon, not the multi-layered samurai sword I was dreaming of.
7. I Do Not Feel Motivated
I mean, I was motivated to write a lot of lists and lie on the sofa thinking about the lists I had written and how I could not be arsed to complete any of them.
8. I Do Not Feel Happier
I would say my emotions have gone from despair to exhaustion, to apathy, happiness has not really featured and now I feel quite cross about this entire underwhelming debacle.
9. I Was Not Excited About Drinking Again
I didn’t really care. Even though I saved up all my points to buy the ultimately extravagant bottle of wine, and a fancy wine glass to drink it from, I drank it, it was delicious, but it wasn’t exciting — am I broken?
10. I Did Not Feel Accomplished
There was no fanfare, no unicorns galloping through our living room to mark the end of this ordeal, no balloons or streamers. I cared so little I forgot to cut off the stupid friendship bracelet that served more as a slightly irritating cat toy for the furballs than anything else.
The only good thing that happened is that I lost weight due to the fact that I couldn’t eat for the first week because I was so ill. I don’t think Sober October can take any credit for that, it’s a fluke and it’s a result of my illness, so I will take the credit.
So what have we learned from this?
I will tell you. Once your shitty body gets to the age of 40 and beyond, you are fucked and it doesn’t really matter what you do, you just need to accept that you are a broken shell of the youthful person that you used to be. No amount of not drinking is going to fix that.
You have reached the age where it’s pointless to give up drinking as you worked so damn hard as a youth and have done such a great job of destroying your internal organs.
Your hope of becoming bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is about as likely, as Boris having an epiphany and working out how to slow the grip of the pandemic. In case that is not clear; that would be very unlikely, as by all intents and purposes he is a bumbling idiot.
Your life is essentially over.
Your body is falling apart, your mind is a pile of overcooked cabbage, and your eyeballs have been rubbed in the soft-focus vaseline that is old age.
The sooner you can own up to this reality the better you can deal with the situation responsibly. That’s right. Stock your liquor cabinet with enough booze to last out this apocalypse and stop tormenting yourself with these ridiculously unattainable ideals.
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