Sober October Update: How to Unwind in Shitstorm 2020

Sober October seemed like a good idea eight days ago

You know, switch it up: Cut out the booze and give the liver a break, have more energy on Saturday mornings, exercise your willpower. See what opens up with the clarity and focus you get with a clear head.

Then the shit hit the fan. Again, and harder. No need to recap the first week of October 2020 — we all lived it and will be trying to forget about it for, um… a long time. Whether the 2020 shitstorm has crested or not, it turned out to be a challenging time to abandon the tradition of a nice cold beer or three at the end of the day. After all, old habits can be comforting when, you know, civil society seems to be crumbling before our eyes. 

There’s a lot to be said for escapism — who among us can say they face down all the demons and bullshit of everyday life without some help? Not me. So I’m sticking with my Sober October plan, so far. And between my temporary abstinence and, let’s call it ‘current events,’ it’s at least made for some weird-but-true headlines that aren’t even click-bait: 

I Gave Up Alcohol for Seven Days and You Won’t Believe What Happened

How to Make Your Stuff Go Viral — Really and Truly

The New Mr. October: Crushing it With Steroids

Don’t Cry for Me, Quarantina: I’ll Be Drinking Soon Enough

Anyway, as unnatural as it seems, I’m hanging in there; I’ve had no alcohol since Sept. 30, which is already the distant past. Instead, when I’m not yelling at the TV, I’ve been drinking hibiscus tea, iced. And by my rules, sober means not drinking alcohol; cannabis is medicine and is still allowed, something to be grateful for when we need relief from stress and anxiety.  

Dry vaping CBD instead of drinking beer

Not that I’m getting planetary every day. After dinner I’ve been inhaling vape from some high-CBD flower, using one of my favorite dry vaporizers. It lightens my mood, instantly, without getting me stoned stupid. Which is nice.

Dry vaping is a fast, clean way to get your cannabinoids — CBD or THC — with minimal processing and without inhaling the soot and ash that comes with smoke. You’re heating the herb to below the point of combustion, so you get the steam of the plant’s trichomes and resins, delivered straight to your bloodstream by way of your lungs.   You can easily titrate your dose, one hit at a time, and there’s a ritual to it that can itself bring some measure of relaxation. It’s therapeutic.

I’m also taking 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD per day, just to keep my endocannabinoid system toned as we enter the final innings of… the most stressful year of our lives. So far. 

The lack of any alcohol in my system has also led to better sleep. And my workouts are good — I’m swinging the kettlebell several hundred times per day. I seem to be able to go as hard as I want, and not be sore afterwards.

It’s an experiment of just one week, but so far I’m on track. Can’t predict if I will hold out all month, as shit keeps getting more real by the day. But for general wellness, including better sleep, which is foundational, I can recommend trying less alcohol, more cannabinoids, regardless of what’s going on out there.

Sober or not, be safe and be strong.