By Erin Schindler
Sober September Week #4
It is week #4 of the September challenge at HOB of no alcohol. I appreciate that you have been taking
part in a challenge to improve your health! Even if you have not taken time off from alcohol, I
appreciate you taking the time to read about how no alcohol can improve your life and health.
Hopefully I have planted some seeds. And of course, ANY month can be a sober month!
We have talked about a few benefits such as weight loss, improved sleep, improved sex, better
relationships, saving money and overall better health! There is so much more! Quitting drinking can
even improve your heart health. Stopping drinking can lower triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and
also reduce chances of heart failure.
Drinking, even small amounts, can be hard on your liver. The American diet is hard on our
livers too! Drinking up to 15 drinks per week can significantly increase your chances of developing fatty
liver disease, cirrhosis, and other issues. The good news is our livers are resilient and can repair
themselves. Taking time off or quitting drinking can undo any damage done to your liver. Again, studies
have shown that no amount of alcohol is good for you. Not only can it cause liver damage, it can also
cause liver cancer and other cancers as well.
Quitting drinking can cause you to get sick less often. Just one night of drinking can weaken your body’s
immune system for up to 24 hours. Regular drinking can blunt your body’s immune system and stop the
body’s ability to repair itself. This is pretty good news if you take time off from alcohol considering we
are living through a pandemic!
There is a lot of stigma around alcoholism and drug addiction. Taking time off from drinking you might
think people will think you are a problem drinker. If you take time off and you feel pressured to drink to
fit in, you can explain why you are taking time off with all these amazing benefits! We all know
someone who drinks too much or is an alcoholic. Think about how you feel about that person and what
your perception of them is. I know when I was young my perception of alcoholics were of homeless
people living under bridges. Never did I think it was people just like me. We all need to work on being
free of judgment towards alcoholics as judgment can keep them from seeking treatment or getting well.
Drug and alcohol problems are serious health conditions. People who struggle with addiction deserve
the same support and treatment as people struggling with other health conditions like cancer. We need
to have a kinder, gentler approach to alcoholics and addicts. Together we can end the stigma!
Celebrities are more open about their struggles which helps a bit. I am sure you have heard about Ben
Affleck, Macklemore, Bradley Cooper, Josh Brolin, Demi Lovato, Don Johnson, Dave Letterman, Tom
Hardy and many more! They have all come out and admitted to being alcoholics. So, what can we do?
Normalize NOT drinking! Take a 30 day or 365 day no alcohol challenge. Tell your friends about it. Get
them to do it with you. Research addiction and alcoholism. If you have a family member or friend that
is an alcoholic that you are worried about, attend an Alanon meeting and meet others that are learning
how to live and love the alcoholics and addicts in their lives. Or talk to someone like me in recovery!
So, if you didn’t take the 30 day challenge this month, I encourage you to try another month! Think its
impossible? Nothing is impossible.
I love the quote by Henry Ford which says- “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”.
Taking time off from alcohol is hard. It is also definitely a paradigm shift for many. It takes a complete mind shift. But we can all do hard things!
Cheers to our good health!!! Have a blessed and wonderful week!!!