What is emotional sobriety?
We often tell young children to use their words and feel their feels. Both things are excellent advice to anyone growing up. Many of us who were once heavy drinkers find that that is exactly what we need to do as we grow in emotional sobriety.
The following posts were written by members of our community. They speak to that evolution of learning how to sit with the feelings, live through the pain, and evolve in the sheer, quiet joy of becoming who you are.
Simply, honestly, uniquely, you 100% alcohol-free.
From Psychology Today : What is Emotional Sobriety
I believe that emotional sobriety is less about the quality of the feeling (“good” or “bad”) and more about the general ability to feel one’s feelings. Being restored to sanity isn’t about getting the brass ring—or cash and prizes—or being “happy, joyous, and free” all the time, but it is about being in the present moment, whatever it happens to look like. What are you experiencing right now? And how about now? Can you be present to all of your feelings without any one of them defining you?
Like the best relationships based on love, building a good relationship with yourself as a person living sober takes practice.
To have a wonderful sober life filled with joy is not always effortless – at least not for me. I need to put in guideposts, goals, and intentionally find ways of being in the world that are new.
More reading from Scientific American: The Nuts and Bolts of Emotional Sobriety
I trust myself to lean into others a bit more. I actually share my feelings as opposed to assuming they are plastered onto my head like some neon sign for everyone to read. And most often I find, there are at least a few other people who are having the same feelings.
Sober I am calmer, I can breathe deeply before responding. I have powerful feelings, but they die down into something more manageable almost instantly so I don’t need to be afraid of them. Sober I can TAKE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK! Being able to take negative feedback without totally shutting down, freaking out, running away, etc. feels huge. Maybe I’m finally a damned grown-up.
Living one’s life alcohol-free provides a quiet steadiness and strength. In sobriety, I may not sleep problem-free, but the anger and bitterness of my drinking days have faded. Sober I am no longer the victim in the tragedy of my own making, and for that, I am deeply thankful.
Today, I am serene and that is the best part. I can observe the myriad feelings clinging to the fence, wanting to play in my mind’s sandpit, and I let them in, but not for too long. The pendulum of emotions has a smaller arc these days, because I did, and will always do, the work: DAILY. And today, I find angels wherever I go, no longer the hurting people I once attracted, because my energy has shifted.
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