What Being Sober Has Meant to Me

My choice to live the next half decade in sobriety came about through a different cause than those that might have been struggling with alcoholism, alcohol dependency or using alcohol to self-medicate. Nowadays, the collective conscience encouraged by global awareness movements such as “Go sober for October”,  “Dry November”, or “Dry January”  are calling on more people to re-evaluate their drinking habits. This year’s Alcohol Awareness week (15-21 November) is focused on the theme of “Alcohol and Relationships” and incorporates several sub-themes which will resonate with many of us. You might have heard the term popping up on social media recently but unsure of what it is.

She occasionally binge drank and had memory lapses where she would act in ways that were uncharacteristic of her usual personality. She woke up hungover the day after her 35th Birthday and decided that she needed to get sober. However, she was embarrassed to tell any of her friends or family that she needed help and discretely attended a 12-Step meeting an hour from her house to avoid running into anybody she might know. However, she continues to feel shame about being in recovery from alcoholism and hides this part of her life from many of her friends, family, and coworkers. At times, she feels that there’s more of a stigma around being a recovering alcoholic drinking than there is about being an active drinker. If these concerns resonate with you, remember that sobriety doesn’t happen overnight—even if you try to rush it.


If you’re in a romantic relationship, you may feel easily judged by your partner, and you might lash out in anger or express your anger through passive-aggressive behaviors. Shame can make it harder being sober around drinkers for you to trust your partner, or it may make you not want to go out and meet a potential partner at all. We can see evidence of shame in human babies and close relatives of humans, such as apes.

But for most people, staying sober isn’t that straightforward. The more strategies you learn to identify triggers, cope with stress, and manage your new sober life, the easier it is to prevent relapse. Over the past two decades, food and work have emerged as my real drugs of choice.

sober American Dictionary

You can expect certain alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as sleep disruption to occur, though some people can experience seizures and other severe symptoms. Financial troubles and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. Just keep in mind that your improvements won’t happen overnight.

  • If you are thinking about addressing your relationship to alcohol or substances, you may ask yourself if being sober is worth it.
  • If you’re involved in a 12-step program, you likely already know the importance of milestones.
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  • One study found that 68% of people treated in a detox unit experienced moderate alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • You may order a mocktail and hear a judgmental statement, or simply a look you may interpret as judgmental.

When you’re unable to avoid a situation with people who might shame you for abstaining from alcohol, try to bring a friend or your sponsor along with you as a buffer. The buddy system may not seem so effective right now, but it https://ecosoberhouse.com/ can be powerful to have someone backing you up and telling others you’re trying to stay sober and to respect that. On your journey, sober shaming is one thing you may need to worry about because it could lead to a relapse.

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