Upset The Apple Cart
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
11M ago
Why is giving up alcohol so hard? Why is it harder than say…smoking? Or junk food? Sure, alcohol is addictive, but so is nicotine. (So is junk food, scientists are telling us now) The main difference between alcohol and many other substances that damage our bodies, minds and lives, is that alcohol is the only one that doesn’t get bad PR. The marketing genius of the alcohol industry is twofold. First, it has convinced us that drinking is normal. Only non-normal people don’t drink, and only non-normal people who have a “problem” quit drinking. We all want to be normal. Second, the industry has ..read more
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Cherry Picking
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
Alcoholics go to AA. It’s the only way. They must go all the time, sometimes daily.  In the meetings, they must stand up and tell everyone they are alcoholics. Sometimes they share their stories, sometimes they celebrate how many days they’ve been sober. They get little chips to reward milestones, and a cake when they reach a whole year sober. They follow a twelve-step program, and they surrender to the power of alcohol and God. But the most important thing is that they keep going, because they will never, ever stop being an alcoholic. Start doing yoga. Meditate for an hour every day. E ..read more
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The Dreaded “A” Word
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
Assumptions. The phrase “to assume makes an ass out of you and me” applies directly to drinking and sobriety. Our assumptions – and other peoples’ – often stand in the way of change. So what “assumptions” might be holding you back and how can you work through them? Let’s start with:  “Alcoholism” (the other dreaded “A” word.) For about three years before I stopped drinking, I had struggled with the profound fear I was an alcoholic. I answered questionnaires online (often lying), I convinced myself I was an alcoholic and within minutes changed my mind again. Here’s the thing: Labels are ..read more
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Five Instant Sober Strategies
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
There are no “instant fixes” for quitting booze. No magic wand which transports you to a place where the wine witch doesn’t exist. It is, to use an over-worn phrase – a journey. And there are going to be periods of introspection and a need to develop your self-awareness. You’ll have to “feel the feels”. But there are many practical strategies which restrict your access to booze, and aid in your sober journey. Just because these strategies are simple and don’t require a lot of navel gazing, doesn’t mean they won’t work. If you’re trying to cut down, attempting to quit completely (for the firs ..read more
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Don’t Quit Quitting.
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
When I stopped drinking on 8th May 2015, I had no idea it would be forever. I hoped it would, but I had tried and failed many times before. Nothing significant happened that weekend. I hadn’t got a DUI, lost my job, and my husband hadn’t walked out. But there was a moment of realization that all those things could happen to me if I carried on drinking. Moderating my alcohol intake was no longer an option. Every week I promised myself I’d drink “less” – every week I broke those promises. People in my life were bewildered; “Just have one glass”, “just drink on weekends”, “only drink socially ..read more
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Alcohol: Super Fuel for Anxiety.
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
Yesterday I had an appointment with my bank. It was scheduled to address a small, niggling issue, but I was mildly anxious about it. I’ve been through financial difficulties, and I’m embarrassed about them. For years I avoided sorting out minor financial issues because I didn’t want to face questions about my previous poor credit. It’s ridiculous, I know. The night before my appointment, I tossed and turned in bed, until I told myself – sternly – that I was being silly and it was just a fifteen- minute appointment, and I was the customer, not a defendant in front of a judge. We all suffer fr ..read more
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Making Dry January Work for You.
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
Before I finally quit drinking in 2015, I had attempted several sober challenges, and succeeded only once. Unfortunately, I used that one success to “prove” to myself that my drinking wasn’t really a problem. After all, I had just completed a WHOLE MONTH SOBER! Alcoholics couldn’t do that right? And, so what if I was drinking a bit too much? I’ll just have another “detox” in Dry July! Or Sober October! I used each sober challenge as a “comfort blanket” and reassured myself that I “wasn’t that bad”. The truth? I was “that bad”. I had gone beyond “partying” to drinking alone, using booze to so ..read more
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Make The Days Count.
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
After a year where every day seems to merge into the next, as we await the return to normalcy, you can be forgiven for pushing away thoughts of ‘making each day count’.  I get it. I really do. During the first flush of lockdowns, after the panic buying, people seemed to fall into two camps –  the “sour dough bread”  crowd, or the “hand me a another quarantini” brigade. We were all trying not to think about the pandemic – the threat to our health, our loved ones and our bank accounts. It’s no wonder alcohol consumption rose to dizzying heights last year.  We (collectively ..read more
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Reset, Renew, Recharge…
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
The sober journey has been referred to as “steps” or  “stages”, and while I can look back at my journey and see that linear progression in hindsight, while I was immersed in it, it didn’t feel linear at all. It felt like sobriety ebbed and flowed. Some days, I didn’t think about drinking at all, being sober felt “normal”. Other days, it was ALL I could think about.  Some days, every hour was a grind, and the only way I could get through without wine, was to will the clock along and go to bed at an impossibly early time. It worked, but it wasn’t fun. Sometimes, gritting your teeth an ..read more
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When Life Hands You Lemons….
I am Running On Sober
by jackie.elliott@shaw.ca
1y ago
Life handed us all “lemons’ this year. As I’m typing this, many of you will be anxiously monitoring the new academic year. Some parents will be grappling with Zoom, others will be worrying about kids exchanging masks, hugging their friends and sneezing on their teachers. Most of us have some kind of financial worry, ranging from panic to unease. It’s a tough world to navigate. This week has been particularly weird for me. We’ve been jogging along, adapting to our “new normal” (really starting to dislike that phrase), and learning to turn off the TV. Some of the pandemic measures are fine. I l ..read more
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