This month I’m enrolling in the challenge “Sober October(t)”, a challenge where no drugs or alcohol can be consumed during the full month of October. I’ve been inspired to take on this challenge because of the podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Where host Joe Rogan and his 3 comedian friends Bert Kreischer, Ari Shaffir and Tom Segura are flushing their hedonistic habit for a month.

 

I think it’s a great idea. My own relationship to alcohol in my life has been at times very destructive and non beneficial for my own journey. I used to rely on alcohol to hit on women and blame my drunk self for the mistakes I did when I was fucked up.

 

Nowadays my relationship to alcohol is a bit different. I rarely drink, so this October challenge so far has and will probably be a walk in the park for me.

 

But I want to shed some light upon my previous relationship with alcohol as I’ve learned quite a lot about myself during this journey. I had my first drunken adventure at the age of 16 when my brother took me to a party where we drank hard liquor and moonshine. It was thrilling and exciting and the buzz that comes with alcohol made me feel more free in my expressions.

 

In Sweden the age limit for alcohol consumption and getting into bars is 18. So before that I didn’t drink as much. But when I turned 18 I became a regular at one of the nightclubs in my local area.

 

It was fun, it was exciting, it was thrilling to be out drinking with my friends getting fucked up together and hitting on women.

 

But it was also very destructive.

 

I used alcohol as a crutch, big time. I used it so that I could relax and numb myself enough so that I could hit on girls. I had a lot of issues with my own self esteem and anxiety in my adolescence years.

 

I used alcohol to fill up a void inside me, I used alcohol to quiet down the inner critic and negative self talk so that I could hook up with women. I used alcohol to shut out the teen angst for just a couple of hours.

 

And sure it worked for the night and having sex with one night stands was very gratifying in the beginning, but that exhilarating feeling subsided very quickly over the next couple of days and I still felt that void inside becoming more present than before.

 

This went on for a couple of years, going out with the mates, seeing who could outdrink who, bragging and gossiping about who made out with who, and who got laid last night.

 

And down the line I realised that this wasn’t beneficial for my journey, I realised that I was chasing empty temporary relief for a deeper rooted dis-ease in myself: Not being okay with being me.

 

I was very much attached to alcohol, it was my companion and wingman, a better wingman than all of my friends all together as alcohol could warp my consciousness.

 

Then gradually I realised this myself and took a more restrictive approach to alcohol, I took a firm distance from it and tried to preach to others how bad it was to drink. I detached from a lot of situations that included alcohol, which made me a very excluded person. I drank once in a while (mostly from social pressure to fit in to the norm).

 

Nowadays I have more of a non-attached relationship to it. I let people be and do whatever they want with their beers. Trying not to preach or putting myself as some righteous being who has all the right answers around the topic. Because I have no right answers to give, I only know what works best for me.

 

This journey from attached to non-attached has been congruent with my path of self-development and making strides in uncovering my own inner shadows and darkness. The more I have looked inward, the less I’ve looked for a substance or exterior answer to fix or fill that void inside of me.

 

And occasionally I’ll have a beer or a glass of wine, it’s only bad/good if I see it as that. For me what it boils down to is where does the need to drink come from, is it coming from a place of compulsive need or is it that you just want one because it tastes good?

 

And as not drinking for a month is not that big of a challenge for me this month I have decided to take on another challenge alongside with it: No porn or masturbation for a month to see what shows up when I refrain myself from that.

 

What’s your relationship to alcohol?

 

Let me know your thoughts!

 

PS! If you haven’t listened to JRE do it. Lots of interesting guests with a lot of interesting topics.

 

Love, Robin

 

(email: robin@robinhallsten.com )