Sober October, or sometimes known as the Sober October challenge, began in 2014. Originally Sober October started as a fundraising campaign by the United Kingdom-based charity Macmillan Cancer Support. Initially, the main purpose of the campaign was to raise money by taking the challenge, with money going to provide support for individual’s living with cancer. However, in the more recent years, Sober October has become more of a worldwide movement that promotes a month of sobriety for people to examine their personal relationship with alcohol.
Worldwide, society is experiencing a rejuvenation of personal health and wellness. People around the world are looking at ways to improve their health and wellness through multiple pathways, including better and healthier eating, exercise, physical fitness, holistic practices, and other activities, behaviors and products that produce a healthier body, a healthier mind, and a healthier spirit. An individual’s relationship with alcohol supports these initiatives, as clearly there are healthy relationships with alcohol and unhealthy relationships with alcohol.
Sober October promotes the idea of abstaining from alcohol for the entire month of October, and then examining how it went. Was it easy? Was it difficult? What does the personal results mean for each person, and what emotions occurred by taking the challenge? These are some of the ways in which Sober October can help a person figure out their relationship to alcohol. There are numerous cases where individuals found the Sober October challenge to be difficult, and in doing so, realized that they had an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
An added healthy bonus of Sober October is that sobriety is healthy. While drinking alcohol is not altogether unhealthy (although recent studies do suggest that alcohol in any form or quantity can be detrimental and damaging to the human body), there is little question that staying sober has many benefits. Some of these are a more energy, better sleep, a clearer mind, and overall better health. Not to mention that by staying sober, many of the problems associated with alcohol disappear. No hangovers or blackouts. No car crashes or DUIs. When sober, with a clearer head, people do not put themselves in situations that can be dangerous or detrimental to them that they otherwise wouldn’t have done if intoxicated.
Some of the things that take place during Sober October include family and friends engaging in sober activities, trying new social activities while sober that a person may usually engage in while drinking, making a point to connect with new friends and acquaintances that are also abstaining from alcohol during the month, trying new things like mocktails when out to dinner, taking up other healthy behaviors or new healthy activities during the month, such as working out and exercising, and engaging in education and advocacy surrounding alcoholism or problem drinking, individuals that suffer from alcohol addiction or alcoholism, and those now living in recovery from addition and alcoholism.
For those people that try Sober October and find that they may in fact have a problematic relationship with alcohol, there is no shame in that revelation. Millions of people drink alcohol, and many people find that they have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, as well as realize that they have a problem trying to stop drinking. If that is the case, don’t be discouraged. Seek out help, which could come in the form of supportive friends and family, or through the support of a professional, such as a therapist, counselor, psychiatrist, or treatment center. Many people that also try to stop drinking during Sober October find that, when they are sober, they seem to suffer from other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. These mental health issues are common, and help can be found similar through local professionals in the area.
Sober October promotes the idea that sobriety is a healthy lifestyle. It also offers the opportunity for someone to examine and, if need be, question their relationship with alcohol. Whether engaging in Sober October is simply a challenge to raise money, to create a personal challenge to see if it can be done, or to truly take a deeper look at an individual’s relationship with alcohol, Sober October offers a healthy platform to promote a sense of health and wellness, and an opportunity to improve one’s quality of life.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.