Should I Do a Sober Challenge?
Sober challenges pop up at various times of the year for various causes, often for fundraisers and as a means to jump start a healthier lifestyle. But is a sober challenge right for you?
There are varying opinions on whether sober challenges should exist at all.
Some, like this blogger, find them offensive and believe they send the wrong message , allow those who are in denial about their alcohol dependency to remain in denial, and allow cheating and a final binging at the end.
While others, like this blogger, share how a sober challenge provided benefits and was an opportunity to prove to themselves that alcohol did not have a hold on their life. Everything in moderation seems to be the philosophy for those who support a sober challenge.
Benefits of a Sober Challenge
A sober challenge is a great opportunity to take a break from alcohol and enjoy a good sparkling water or mocktail. It’s an opportunity to boost your health, in the same way a sugar fast or a month-long cleanse would be.
Sober challenges make us aware of how much alcohol we actually consume. Once something is off limits its easier to take note of how often it is set in front of us.
Sober challenges make us aware of how dependent we have become on alcohol. If you find it difficult to turn down a drink, or find your mind consumed with wanting one, or make excuses to cheat than chances are high you have an addiction and should seek help. A drink should never hold control over your thoughts and decisions.
Sober challenges, according to an ABC News article, provide psychological and health benefits lowering levels of liver fat, improving blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, while also improving sleep and concentration.
Those who participate in sober challenges are actually more likely to give up drinking alcoholic beverages all together or reducing their intake when they do begin drinking again as opposed to those who do not do the challenges.
Downside of a Sober Challenge
A sober challenge can be used as a crutch for someone who is prone to binge or drink heavily. Being able to give up a drink for 30 days or more is not enough to declare one is in control of their drinking. Honesty is important during this time. The 30 days needs to come with soul searching and the ability to access how much of the time you are not drinking is consumed with thinking about alcohol.
The ability to complete a sober challenge is not enough to say that one does not have a dependency. Sober challenges can work to identify a problem but can also perpetuate the problem by playing towards your denial.
Before beginning your sober challenge think through your motivations. Why are you choosing to give up alcohol for a short period of time? Are you willing to do some soul searching and to be honest about your struggles during the time? Are you willing to make lifestyle choices if a behavior or addiction is brought to light during the challenge?
For more information on sober challenges be sure to check out these sources: