What I Talk About When I Talk About Sobriety: Five Months Sober
When my experiment with quitting alcohol became a permanent decision, I committed to publishing an article every month for my first year of sobriety to hold myself accountable, track my progress, and put all my thoughts and explanations in one very public, easy-to-find place. So, I’ve talked about my tumultuous history with alcohol and the click moment that made me quit drinking it. I’ve detailed what happened when I quit from the morning after to the two month mark. I’ve confessed all the shit bits of being sober and how much I really do miss drinking alcohol, and last month I did a wee Q&A with my social media followers. But what I haven’t really yet explained is exactly what I mean by “sober” and how I talk about it when people ask.
What Sobriety Means To Me
Quite simply, I don’t drink anything above 0.5%ABV. I’ve written before about how I don’t identify as an addict or an alcoholic, but that’s not strictly true. The withdrawal period I went through in my early sobriety showed me that even if I wasn’t psychologically addicted, my body certainly was. Ultimately, I don’t think the terms “alcoholic” or “addict” are helpful to me for several complex reasons, which I may write about in the future, but for now is more about my right to control how I identify and how I talk about my own sobriety.
What About Drugs?
I said this to my therapist, and I’ll say it to you: the only way you will get me to stop drinking coffee is over my cold, dead body. I will admit to being a coffee addict. If you’ve ever tried to speak to me before my morning coffee, you will know this. I’m not ashamed of it, and I have no desire to change it. Coffee is love. Coffee is life. Inject it right into my veins and leave me alone.
I take fluoxetine (an SSRI) and quetiapine (an antipsychotic) daily to manage my OCD symptoms. These were prescribed by a psychiatric doctor after a lengthy diagnostic process, and they help to keep my mood stable and prevent episodes of psychosis. I need them the same way some diabetics need insulin, or someone with…