I’m a bit over a year sensationally sober and it’s time to COME OUT! The stigma and shame surrounding alcoholism made privacy and anonymity crucial to my success in my first year , but at some point, those of us who have managed to stay alcohol-free for long enough to feel solid, need to stand up and say proudly
“Enjoy your drink, I’ll enjoy my sobriety. I’ve earned it.”
One of the most difficult situations that many people have to deal with when they stop drinking is explaining to friends, family and work colleagues Why they’ve gone sober. In the online community where I found support to stop drinking and stay sober, we often come up with lists of workable excuses for new members to pull out at cocktail parties and family dinners.
“Oh I can’t drink tonight Thank You! …antibiotics…blood test in the morning…doing a one month detox.”
It really shouldn’t be so complicated to explain to the people that we love and respect that we really can enjoy their company without a drink in our hands…but sadly it is.
When I started my first sober year I did come out to my family and my closest friends. They all knew that I enjoyed drinking but I needed to be honest with them about how seriously I had lost control if I was going to have any chance of success at sobriety. I needed to know that the people who were closest to me would really understand that I absolutely could not have “ just one” drink ever again.
The problem is that if I’m at a party or a work event and say
“ Oh no Thank You I don’t drink…period”
then every stigma that goes along with the word alcoholic attaches to me like flies on paper. People suddenly see me a fragile, unreliable and somehow diseased, or worse yet , they think that I’m exaggerating and going through some sort of menopausal rebellion against the status quo.
The reaction is either
Oh my ! are you an ALCOHOLIC!? or Oh Come On YOUR not an ALCOHOLIC.
For me, sobriety is the most empowering experience of my adult life. I have not been brainwashed or hypnotized and I don’t think that alcohol is demons poison. I also do not think of myself as an alcoholic. I just know that my long and illustrious drinking career is over and I am thrilled with the result. Rather than waking up blurry, hungover and grumpy, I’m up at six am ready to rock. I used to think that drinking alcohol routinely was necessary to enjoy a full and vibrant life but it turns out that every occasion I once thought required a drink is actually more fun, less stressful, easier, and more genuine with a clear sober head.
My goal now that I’ve achieved one year sober is to encourage people to think about alcohol and alcoholism a bit differently. For the past twenty years or so many of us have been enjoying all of the reports about the health benefits of wine and alcohol in general. But a different picture is starting to emerge.
We have a serious health crisis in the United States. My generation of Americans is dying at a much younger age than expected due to alcohol and drug-related suicide and disease. Maybe we are actually drinking a bit too much. Maybe it’s time to slow down and think. Maybe we can send the generations coming up behind us a different message than the one they’ve been getting.
Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity, Freedom! Community connection is the first step.
If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.
We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
How do you go Sober? ( more reading in blue titles)
B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed Ideas Here
N Nourish your body with good food Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here
W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress Ideas Here
R Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep Solutions