My thoughts on Sober October

Cecilia Rios Murrieta

I woke up from a nightmare on Monday.

After 4 years of living alcohol-free, I still get a recurring dream where I wake up realizing that I drank the night before and am once again sitting in a puddle of shame, anxiety, and disappointment. But this time it was different. After recognizing I had done something I knew I never wanted to do again, I was overcome by a feeling of compassion towards myself and my actions. I knew I had strayed from my commitment to myself, but I also knew that I am not perfect and that I am capable of learning from my mistakes. 

I say this as we are now on the 5th day of Sober October. 

To those of you who aren't familiar with this relatively new month long holiday, Sober October originally started as a fundraiser for Mcmillan Cancer Support in the UK. It was meant to encourage people to give up alcohol during October, and now people around the world follow it to foster a more mindful approach to drinking.

And while the intent is to not drink alcohol throughout the entire 31 days of the month, there are still many ways to be part of Sober October without having to go cold turkey. If you're not ready to quit drinking for 31 days or if you started and aren't sure if you're going to make it past the first weekend, it is important to note that you can always start by creating awareness and intentionality around your drinking habits. 

Sober October is simply a great way to think about why and how we drink , what makes those moments special, and how we can make drinking work for us instead of against us. As time and the history of civilization have proven, drinking is a magnificent way of bringing people together. Perhaps Sober October can offer us an opportunity to create moments without alcohol that serve that same purpose of celebration and unity. Start by organizing a Sober October gathering with friends and encourage your community to share moments in sobriety. If you enjoy it enough, see how long you can go without alcohol. Just remember to always practice compassion towards yourself. 

And if it's just not for you, then you can always keep participating by being an ally. Support a friend or family member who wants to stay sober this month by just showing up without judgement. In the end, we're all here for the same purpose: to enjoy and celebrate life together! 

Happy Sober October! 

- Cecilia 



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