Thursday, 18 September 2014

One month sober

If I do finally swim the channel one day - fingers crossed for next summer - then it will be a huge achievement. Probably one of if not the biggest achievement of my life and I hope to raise a good amount of money for charity while I do it.

Now it doesn't have to be something as big as swimming the channel. If it raises money and awareness for a great cause then I don't care what it is, throwing ice cold water over your head, growing a moustache or staying sober for the month of October. I'm right behind it, I'm right behind you! That is as long as you're not pretending that it's some kind of achievement. I'm sorry but in my book staying sober for 31 days should not be seen as an achievement (unless you're an alcoholic and/or a student and then well done and keep up the good work).

As someone who gave up drinking alcohol nearly 18 months ago, I can't see staying sober for a calendar month as an achievement and although raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support is a wonderful thing to do, why do it by staying sober for a month? What is the point exactly? What does it prove?

There are of course lots of good reasons to quit drinking (indefinitely). You will feel better, you might lose a bit of weight and there will be no more hangovers, which can only be a good thing. You'll also have more money in your pocket to spend on sweets and football stickers or whatever you wish to spend your new found disposable income on. Also - if like me - you can be a bit of an idiot when you drink, you might find being sober improves the relationships with your family and friends?

However, is staying sober for a month going to change anything? No, not if you go out and get blind drunk on the 1st November and then carry on with your usual weekend binges or mid week glass of wine - or what ever your usual drinking pattern is - for the rest of the year before possibly – but probably not - trying it all again next year?  

That said, if you're prone to uncontrollable crying, getting into arguments or making excellent decisions like ringing your ex or regretful one night stands when you're drunk. Then maybe think about whether drinking is for you? Is it worth it? Maybe you can try quitting for a month - raise some money along the way - and see how it goes? But if you decide that you are going to carry on drinking, then simply make sure that you own your mistakes, try to learn from them and move on. As long as your drinking isn't hurting anyone else then what's the problem? 

So what I say is this: think about it and decide what's best for you. However, if you do decide to try GoSober and not drink for a month, just don't get drawn into a false sense of achievement. In the society we live in staying sober is definitely an achievement but in my book staying sober for a month is not. 

That said, raising money for charity is a big achievement and an excellent thing to do, so why not go out there and raise some money by doing something truly amazing? Something that you can tell the grandkids about one day, like running a marathon, climbing a mountain or swimming the channel (he writes while still in bed at 2pm on a Thursday). 

Or if you want to, join in the fun and stop drinking for a month. Feel proud of yourself, raise some money for a good cause and get hammered on Jagerbombs as soon as it turns 12.01am on the 1st November - after all you deserve it - because who am I to tell you otherwise?

1 comment:

  1. I definitely recommend doing Sober for October, but being mindful of the experience. I think it would be hard not to be reflective during this time, as it is not something that should be seen as an achievement, yet with the drinking culture as it is, the pressure to drink is pretty strong. It makes you think about your habits and the way you socialise. When I saw the advert, I decided to do it straight away and kept it up for around 3 months. Whilst I may have one too many from time to time, I know in myself that it's not what I want, and it has allowed me to know my limits more and be conscious of how much I drink. I may slip up, but I think that in our society, alcoholics aren't the only ones with alcohol problems i.e. binge drinking.