Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spending Six Months Sober?


This is my second month sober. For the record, I haven't had a serious problem with alcohol, but I question it's presence in my life. 
Becoming a counselor has propelled me into a process of self exploration and reflection. One of the things worth reflecting on is my substance use. Alcohol is a legal substances that is accepted in our culture as a norm. Suggestions like "let's get together over drinks" or celebrating 'Girl's Night Out' or even having a beer while watching The Game are all cultural scripts that we have become accustomed to, and its hard to get away from.
SO why am I deciding not get intoxicated?
I never liked drinking to get drunk.
In my adolescence, it was an exciting new experience that gave me a rush because it was a forbidden act.

AT Put-In-Bay Ohio
In college, it was part of the culture. I fell into the peer pressured atmosphere of beer pong, and other competitive drinking games. However, my family's history with alcohol abuse was always in the back of my mind, reminding me to be careful.
Don't get me wrong I love a good Local craft beer!
 I lived for 5 years in Grand Rapids recently deemed the 4th BEST BEER CITY in Michigan (voted 5th BEST CRAFT BEER STATE). I became acquainted with the art of beer making and gained a deep respect for beer.
This newly refined and educated view caused everything else related to alcohol to seem overly hyped, lame, or expensive.
-I'm speaking mostly to the Alcohol Industry that serves nationwide slop to gullible tasteless Americans.-
It seems there once was a time where alcohol had a culture, an art! A time when each town added their own flair and flavor to their drinks - when it was a treat, instead of treated as a right.
The Day After My 21st BIRTHDAY
In my perception, alcohol is now, all to often, associated with the college "dumb it down" culture OR the fancy 1% who sit all hoity toity with their imported french wines, or select Russian vodkas.
We all know that Alcohol does REAL damage to the body, and the mind. Then why is my generation making it such apart of our culture. Why is the message to get drunk if someone breaks up with you? Why is the answer to stress relief to got out and have a drink? Why do I hear this message repeated in all the music on the radio?
There is a bigger plan at work to get me to buy into a culture of alcohol, and that's why I want to OPT OUT.
I'm challenging myself to go 6 Months without getting INTOXICATED.

(click for video)

    1. I preach a philosophy of self love. If I love myself and my body, why would I put a poison in it? I believe my body is a temple, a vessel that needs to be taken care of. I view this period of abstinence as an act of self love. I must actively analyze the reasons I am using alcohol by asking myself why I choose to drink. Do I choose to drink to cover up a feeling of disappointment, a feeling of insecurity, a feeling of anxiety? I need to look at these feelings and notice when I am not loving myself and trying to cover up unwanted feelings.
    2. I CAN have fun without alcohol. All too often people feel they cannot have fun or relax without the help of alcohol. It is as if we forgot how to party without alcohol- like we forgot how to be children. I have been told one too many times for my comfort that someone will not join me on the dance floor because "I haven't had enough to drink yet". To THAT I say "You're just gonna do the same moves, but look more ridiculous". I think it shows a lack of security when someone needs to be intoxicated to help lower their social fears in order to have fun. If someone thinks people will think they are weird for dancing... well they will still be weird after they have had a few drinks. Maybe it's time to look at those insecure excuses and get to the ROOT of it to eliminate the problem all together. DON'T enslave yourself to alcohol as a way to feel less afraid. It's an illusion, in reality your still gonna make a fool of yourself- if that's what you're afraid of.
      The media has sold the idea that humans need alcohol to have fun, and not just a little but a WHOLE lot. From mainstream movies, to small time magazine ads the message is the same. If you want to have a good time invite alcohol followed by the contradictory statement to drink responsibly. A statement whose only purpose is to cover their legal butts. It's a money making scheme that does not care about public health and safety. It is a capitalist plot that uses cultural holidays like St. Patrick's day and Cinco de Mayo to make a buck. It's culturally offensive, and is cultural appropriation. Corporations make money off of these holidays and do not reinvest in the culture but instead perpetuate a westernized agenda. The media conglomerates peer pressure the people into buying more and consuming more and simultaneously pacifying and distracting the public from prominent issues. It's advertising, and sadly it works.
    4. My fourth reason is the perks of being the sober one.
      - I am the Designated Driver that makes sure all my friends get home safe.
      - I will remember all the fun crazy times.
      - I have the power to take pictures and videos of others in a drunken stuppor which I can then use later as blackmail. If friends were afraid to dance BEFORE they started drinking, I will be sure to capture how they dance AFTER they finish.

      ~*MY TRICK*~ If I feel like I might be pressured to get intoxicated or shift my
      consciousness using alcohol I have devised a way to still feel a part of the party.
      I take an old wine bottle and fill it with super tart cranberry juice. Then walk around drinking straight from the bottle like the hardcore person that I am. I could also use an empty vodka bottle or Jager bottle; Just borrow it from one of those 'bro' friends that saves all their empty alcohol on random shelves throughout the house.
      I also might drink coffee or have an Energy drink so I can keep partying into the night.
    5. DETOX there is no better reason for me to refrain from
      intoxication. Please note that while I preach a healthy live style I am not a purist or dogmatic about my diet. The process of detoxing from alcohol helps me align with my goal of being healthier.
      What is my body made of?
      BEING CONSCIOUS of what I put in my body. The human body is capable of so much. My liver will be refreshed in 5 months time. I will feel healthier and be able to process other foods easier.
      It all comes down to :
      What do I want my body to be made of?
      How efficient to I want my body to be?

      That's the sixth reason (and the best reason) why I am choosing to spend 6 months sober. As I get older, my body begins to feel the negative effects easier.
      No more waking up looking like a hot mess.
      It has gotten to a point that just having one or two drinks I wake up and see a noticeable difference in my cognition and energy. I hate waking up feeling crappy, as if the world's main goal that morning is to attack my senses in malice. No more hangovers means no more taking pills or sleeping in- missing half the day and not being productive.

I hope that this has inspired you to question your own alcohol consumption. These are six reasons that popped up for me within the last 2 months. I've been observing the positive changes, and learning a lot.


Stay Healthy, Stay LIGHT, and Don't Give Up the Fight.~

1 comment:

  1. Being in a society where alcoholic drinks are a staple thing to have on celebrations can add to the pressure of taking it— despite not wanting to do so. It’s great to know that you’ve taken this endeavor on behalf of your health, and the overall improvement of one’s self. I hope people could learn something from you. Thanks for sharing!

    Johnnie Smith @ Ranch Creek Recovery