It’s October 1st, and I am embarking upon my first Sober October. But this time, something’s different—I’m going Cali Sober.
I’ve done Dry January before, and it was great. I lost 5 pounds, stopped getting headaches, had more productive time. But it wasn’t perfect – I ended up avoiding social settings, and barely spoke to my husband for the entire month. Not having a definitive end point to my day made me focus on all the extra things I needed to get done. I couldn’t even sit still for long enough to have a chat with my family. Happy hour was, of course, totally out of the question. I didn’t want to be the odd one out with no glass of wine in my hand.
I realized things needed to change when my preschooler said, “Mommy, you’re so serious. So serious about cleaning. You should play more.”
Why I’m Doing Sober October
I’m doing Sober October for the same reason I did Dry January. Alcohol is completely acceptable in our society—and I think we can all acknowledge that many of us drink more than we should.
I recently applied for life insurance. When the agent asked me how many servings of alcohol I have per week, I answered, “Oh, one or two a day.”
She said, “One to two a DAY?!” with obvious shock.
I responded, “You know, like a glass of wine with dinner.”
You know what she said?
“Oh, a glass of wine with dinner. That’s fine.”
Now, what is the difference between one or two daily servings of alcohol and a glass of wine with dinner? Nothing, from a chemical standpoint. But from a social acceptability standpoint—everything. Meanwhile, my liver has questions. As does the extra 5 pounds I’ve gained back since my Dry January. And the pile of laundry nobody did while I was busy relaxing.
Why Going Cali Sober Works for Me
This time around, I’m going to try something new. Going “California Sober” is described various ways, depending on the source. It’s generally accepted by West Coast millennials to mean that you don’t drink alcohol, but you do use the occasional cannabis product. By going Cali Sober, I plan to get the best of both worlds. I am going to lose 5 pounds AND talk to my husband. Lucky guy!
People use substances for a lot of different reasons, and many of the ones we use aren’t even counted as such. If the Guy Who Takes Nyquil Every Night to Sleep is reading this, FYI, I’m talking to you. But not just him—those of us who do have “a glass of wine with dinner,” sit up and listen. We’re in this together.
For me, wine punctuates the day. Workday over! Evening begins! The process of pouring and holding a glass, sitting down in my favorite spot, and talking to my husband about his day is more important than what is in the glass. The contents of the glass help also, as I get relaxed and start to think about things other than my to-do list, the further in I get.
Making My California Sober Resolution
For Sober October, I will use the occasional cannabis in the form of a CBN weed gummy or a THC drink, and I will maintain this punctuation mark on my day – all without the extra 150 calories from a glass of wine, the dehydration of alcohol, and the regular stress on my liver.
No one is able to say for certain that cannabis is better for humans than alcohol. There haven’t been enough studies on its effects, and the existing ones generally aren’t longitudinal studies that describe statistical outcomes in different populations. It’s a recently-legalized substance (in some states), and there just isn’t enough data. But, anecdotally? I can confidently say that I feel better—and isn’t that what substances are for?
A canna-converted OC mom