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How to Stay Sober on Election Day and at Other Times of Stress and Crisis
There has never been an election day in the United States like this one. We are as divided as it is possible to be and both sides see catastrophe if the other wins. There is an energy of distrust in the air and the disturbing possibility that determining the winner may be a long, painful process. Should you drink away the drama? It would seem that the only consistent message in this year of crisis and division is that alcohol is essential to weathering the storm. But if you are like me, drinking to survive the stress and drama of the day, will only prolong it into the next and the next and the next… poor option really.
My staying sober today on election day, and tonight and tomorrow, and every day no matter what may come, is dependent on the same routine that keeps me sober every day – connecting with a community of peers who understand. During this year of crisis after crisis, connection has been more important than ever in the sober community.
In my opinion, sobriety is not a solitary activity. A key element in my sobriety tool kit is the people, and communities, who support me, and the people who I, in turn, support. I have some wonderfully supportive friends and a few solid family members, but these are not always the people I turn to in sobriety.
Sobriety support can be a bit different. These are the people who are there throughout the challenges specific to sobriety, who encourage us to approach things a bit differently, and with whom we can really be honest about our experiences with substance abuse, perhaps for the first time. These are the people who help us discover normalcy in the rollercoaster ride which is early sobriety– the people who “get it”. For me, connection is a deeply important component to the sober tool kit: knowing that people are there helps me to feel more held and supported. And reaching back and helping others not only feels great, but it helps strengthen my voice and authority in sobriety.
It’s vital to be witnessed, heard, celebrated, and even called-out on your BS. We are social beings, and this is a HUGE process, so naturally, we need others to help us grow and shift into our sober lives.
This is how I will stay sober today, on election day, and through every stressful curveball that 2020 may continue to throw. Community. Connection.
Sometimes life can be rough, overwhelming, just plain exhausting. We’re all so complex; each with so many layers, needs, responsibilities, and wounds. And we live in a stressful system! And now, we are courageously giving up a substance which we’ve told ourselves, and have been told, that we need in order to ride the storms of our lives. It isn’t easy to undo the association that alcohol is some sort of safety blanket, even if logically I know that’s a farce.
I personally became sober (with a few slips here and there) at the beginning of the pandemic. I never thought I’d stop drinking, certainly not in a time of crisis, & I had actually been vocally quite against sobriety in the past. But within a week of sitting home alone in quarantine, I realized that I don’t like myself all that much. My body was tired, my creativity was zapped, I was out of touch with my sense of pleasure, and I felt stuck, but I had no idea what I needed or wanted. I didn’t like my life and I wasn’t even really aware of it.
Globally, this was a stressful time and it still is. Personally, it was a time when it would have made sense, based on my behavior over the previous 10 years, to turn to alcohol more than ever in search of comfort and escape. By some fate, I didn’t. I read quit lit and posted to BOOM ( my online sober support community) – and I’ve been a daily poster here since. I found this whole sobriety thing that I didn’t know I needed.
The community connection and support in Boom has changed everything. How I look at things, how I react to things, even before they happen. Being on this space has made the entire difference for me. Boom has made me strong. Every time I post something, it’s never to be anything other than a letter to myself–that drinking is no longer an option. Every time I read a post from you wonderful people, it gives me strength, and reminds me we all want the same blessed thing–to be free of this thing that once had us. I feel a commitment, I feel strength, I feel prepared due to all the great reading and excellent advice I’ve gotten here. There are testing times. Every time I am tested and pass, I think, damn. I am a badass. I can do this.
How do you stay sober on election day and in other times of crisis? If you can, turn off the social media and turn off the news – vote and then go about your business of living life – and if you need some extra support come check us out.
If you are just starting out alcohol-free, in the first days of sobriety – here are some tips and tools to help you keep going : Demystifying Sober – Survival Guide From My First 10 Days Alcohol-Free
Join us alcohol-free today – Join us for No-vember
Sobriety brings so many gifts to our lives, and what better a time to count our blessings than in late autumn? Please join us for NO-vember, a month of saying NO to that which holds us back, alcohol, and finding gratitude for the work and growth we’ve done so far. The theme for this month is a sober tool kit harvest; accumulating things that support us in sobriety and counting our many blessings.
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