Being sober isn’t something people usually want to talk about, and I don’t blame them; it’s a challenge in our society when most Americans drink alcohol, whether it’s excessively or not.
Whether you’re new to sobriety, a long-term sober person, or somewhere in between, here are five things people who have been sober for a while want you to know.
“We’re rising up against systems that tell us what to do and how to be, yet we rarely mention what a great act of defiance it is to choose not to drink in a world that profits from making people (especially women) feel like we should.” — Gooch, Millie. The Sober Girl Society Handbook
It’s not easy to be sober in a world where alcohol is so pervasive. Often, you can find yourself defending your choice to abstain from alcohol, especially at social events and gatherings.
Here are five things sober people want you to know about their decision to avoid drinking:
1. We don’t judge people who drink.
2. We don’t feel left out when we go out with friends and family.
3. We don’t feel obligated to explain our sobriety or disclose what made us choose to get sober. You don’t always have to hit rock bottom to decide. It’s time to start making better choices and do what’s best for your health.
4. We don’t have any regrets about being sober, even when missing out on opportunities involving alcohol. We embrace the many benefits of sobriety that people who drink don’t usually experience.
5. It isn’t necessarily easy being the only one at the party who isn’t drinking or the only one in our group of friends who wants to do something other than go out for drinks after work, but it is worth it. Being sober allows us more time and energy to devote to things that matter to us. Without the hangover and drunken setbacks, we can focus with clarity and move forward toward our goals. Our sobriety is a treasured aspect of our lives and something we are grateful for.
- We are not trying to be complicated or “kill the fun” by being sober. However, it is hard for us to go against the grain and stand out from the crowd, especially when not drinking alcohol, which seems to be so widely accepted. We have decided that doesn’t align with social norms, but we are still all-in on having fun and making sure everyone else is having fun.
- Please respect our decision not to drink. It would mean a lot if you didn’t try to push drinks on us or make us feel bad about not drinking. It is perfectly okay for you to enjoy your drink and for us to enjoy our non-alcoholic beverage.
- Please don’t ask us why we don’t drink unless we volunteer that information. We aren’t obligated to share why we made this decision, but if we choose to share our reason, please listen without jumping in with your opinions or advice unless we specifically ask for it. Not everyone who chooses sobriety does so for the same reasons, and your opinion about what worked for you may not work for someone else.
“Alcohol is a toxic and extremely addictive substance. It is highly diffusible across cell membranes and metabolized by most tissues, meaning its toxicity affects the majority of your organs, but especially your liver, where most of the alcohol metabolization happens. Alcohol can dehydrate you, irritate your digestive system, contribute to electrolyte imbalances, impact your immune system, throw off your blood sugar levels, and have a detrimental effect on your sleep — all of which can contribute to that wonderfully painful state we’ve come to know as a hangover.” — Gooch, Millie. The Sober Girl Society Handbook
We hope you have found this article helpful. If you have, please share it with someone who could use the advice too. So many people experience discomfort because they have been pressured to drink, and for many, those feelings are growing more intense. Take the time to talk to your friends and loved ones and make sure they know there is someone out there for them if they need help getting sober and staying sober.