Quick tips and advice for achieving sobriety
By Keating Smith, Staff Writer
I would like to start off by quoting everyone’s favourite American father, Mr. Homer J. Simpson, who once said, “To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”
But what if alcohol is becoming more of a problem in your life and less of a solution, like it was for me towards the end of summer?
In a personal quest to test my will and seek clarity, I have abstained from consuming alcohol for 100 days. The journey has been interesting. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you might have a problem with the bottle, here is what I have to say:
1) Be strong-willed. Like, really strong-willed
The thought of refraining from alcohol may seem nice, especially if you think you may have a problem with the amount you consume. However, the action of staying sober is not as enjoyable—especially for the first few days. Dump all your boozehound friends, quit going to the bar, keep walking when you pass the local liquor store, and, most importantly don’t give up. Keep a positive frame of mind and when you have accomplished something huge, reward yourself with something besides booze.
2) Research the negative effects of mass alcohol consumption and seek advice
There is a ton of literature you can find on the consequences of consuming too much alcohol. You don’t have to wander further than the search bar on YouTube. Another good resource at your disposal is the counselors at both campuses who typically can be seen on a drop-in basis. Your tuition pays their salaries and these professionals can help you with your goals of staying away from alcohol and any associated influences in your life. Finally, if you think you have a really big problem with the bottle and need a support group, go to an AA meeting.
3) One day at a time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither should your journey to sobriety. If you think about how awesome you will feel after a month of not drinking or how shitfaced you will get after a month as a reward, chances are you will fail miserably. When you took your first steps as an infant were you running in a marathon two days later? Didn’t think so.
I really don’t have to explain this one in detail, but I will say that once you have quit drinking and overcome the drowsy/lethargic stage that typically lasts a few days to a week, I guarantee you will get a massive surge of energy and will need to go and get rid of it. Go Forrest Gump-style and run across the country. Who cares, just keep physically active.
5) Don’t substitute drinking with other “extremes”
You may feel the need to substitute the void in your inner self with some other lewd act. Examples include: overconsumption of energy drinks, becoming the village bicycle, illegal or prescription drug use, and performing socially unacceptable actions. Don’t do these things. This is a personal journey to find “you” without the assistance of substances or extreme behaviours.
To be honest, I don’t miss alcohol at all. This feels weird to say considering my old buddy and I go way back, from the high school parties, to the social gatherings as an adult, to even essay writing in college. All aforementioned events involved some type of inebriation, which at times was extreme.
On a final note, the amount of money you will save and the good you’re doing your physical and mental health (including gaining confidence, self-esteem, and peace of mind) are all incredible feats. I don’t want to throw some spiritual or religious lecture at you; I just want you to know that there are certain questions your mind will answer that can be heavily silenced by alcohol in the big picture.
Illustration by Oliver McTavish Wisden