Drinking alcohol has been sold to most of us as the elixir of life since we were young children. I remember as a child listening to the grownups downstairs having a GREAT NOISY TIME while I went reluctantly up to bed. I romanticized their drinking. To my mind as a child, the alcohol made the party. The drinking was social and it was “sexy” and the adults were doing one of those mysterious GROWN-UP things that I ultimately aspired to do too. I was sold a way to behave by their example.
I’m not buying the idea anymore that alcohol is the elixir of love and life and I haven’t for a long time. I had to fight to get to the point where I felt good about not drinking though. There is such a stigma around needing to stop drinking in our culture. People are made to feel less than if they cross that unclear line between normal drinking and drinking too much. It took years of questioning my drinking and worrying over whether or not I was an alcoholic before I was finally able to stop and when I did finally stop drinking I felt battered and insecure. I needed someone to encourage me to see my choice as reaching for hope rather than running from despair.
The blog Hip Sobriety, which was one of the many that helped me feel strong and positive, has done a fantastic job “Rebranding” sobriety. When I read posts from that blog five years ago, Holly’s writing, as well as the title of her blog, helped me feel ok about needing to stop drinking. She helped me feel empowered rather than afraid. She helped me feel strong and self-determined rather than “defenseless” and “ashamed”. She helped me look forward rather than back. Holly has recently published a book, Quit Like a Woman, that will reach many with the message that living alcohol-free is empowerment not weakness.
Annie Grace, who wrote the books This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment focuses on re-branding sobriety as well. With her books, and videos, and online program, she wipes away the cultural hard sell we’ve gotten since childhood. The conditioning that makes you think that drinking is essential to a life well-lived.
And then there was Hello Sunday Morning, the community where I blogged through my first year sober. Hello Sunday Morning, was started by a 21-year-old Australian nightclub promoter who decided he wanted to see what he could accomplish by taking a year off the booze. He decided to promote not drinking for a while as his avocation and by 2015, when I signed up, Hello Sunday Morning had grown into the world’s largest online community of people supporting each other to change their behavior around alcohol.
The newest “brand” message on HSM is wonderful.
” Our vision is a world where drinking is an individual choice, not a cultural expectation. A world where confidence and identity aren’t measured in standard servings. A world of better choices, fewer hangovers and unforgettable Sunday mornings. “
When the Hello Sunday Morning community evolved away from the format that had helped me and so many others change their relationships with alcohol I started my own community to try to replicate the early HSM model. A community of peers with people in all stages of working through their own goals concerning alcohol. A community away from the frenetic often commercial noise of social media. A place focused on the empowerment of finding out who we are as individuals when we stop numbing out and dumbing down. A place that offers the possibility for tremendous growth in a quiet, supportive, creative space.
And my brand became
” Rethink the Drink. Open your Mind to the Possibilities. The Spirit is Not in the Bottle it’s in You ”
Alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for not using but we understand how it feels to lose your off switch. If you are drinking too much too often, maybe we can help. We are an independent, private, anonymous community forum. Working together to re-brand sobriety for ourselves in a world that sadly glorifies binge drinking. Talk to Us.