Sobriety seems to be something that people are curious about and trying out for themselves, and with good reason. There are many benefits to ridding yourself of alcohol and substances that alter your reality.
So, why are so many people interested in trying out the sober way of life? Well, for one reason, the health benefits alone are something to be considered. The impact and toll that alcohol can have, when consumed in excess, put you at risk for death, liver disease, job loss, money issues and relationship problems.
You don’t have to have a drinking problem to become sober curious. You just have to be curious about wanting the best for your life and then give it a chance. First, get honest with yourself about your relationship with drinking. Is it a part of your everyday life? Is it coming in between you and those closest to you? Are you finding it hard to make it through the day without a drink? Wherever you may fall on the spectrum of alcohol usage, there are some facts to consider if you are sober curious.
1. Addiction Is Unpredictable
If alcoholism runs in your family, then you may notice the similar patterns within your life. Childhood trauma is closely linked to the destructive behavior a person may face along their journey. If not addressed, substance abuse can become a symptom of unresolved trauma. Alcohol has a way of becoming a coping mechanism for those who did not properly learn how to deal with everyday stressors or complicated emotions.
Alcohol use, even if it’s not abused, can still become habitual. Alcohol causes dopamine — the neurotransmitter associated with desire and reward — to be released in the body. If you end every night with a drink, you may find it hard to remove that behavior from your life, which is a perfect example that even when alcohol isn’t abused, you might still establish a drinking habit.
My point is that addiction is unpredictable in the way that it shows up in your life. We can justify our actions all we want, but no one is immune to developing an addiction to alcohol or another substance.
2. Getting Sober and Living Sober Are Not the Same
When you first start out in sobriety, it can be overwhelming to deal with the everyday hustle and bustle of life, especially if you have made a habit out of resorting to a drink to calm you down. When getting sober, it typically happens over a time frame that allows you to regain control of your life, but you may not immediately be focused on an overall goal of living sober.
When you’re living sober, you have made the changes in your life that will make it easier for you to take it one day at a time. Getting sober is a temporary solution, and living sober is addressing the problem. This is not to say that one is better than the other, it is simply to point out that one requires a boost of discipline, and another requires a complete lifestyle change.
3. There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Sobriety Program
When it comes to avenues to take for sobriety, you are in luck. Today, with people in recovery sharing their journeys openly, we are discovering that there are many ways to begin and remain in recovery.
Alcoholics Anonymous tends to be the route most people will start in. The community and support group it provides makes it a bit easier to transition into a completely new way of being. Others may benefit from support groups, counselors, online communities, meditating or all the above.
You are allowed to do sobriety your own way. That is the beauty of it. You are creating a new way of life for yourself, and you should be able to enjoy it.
4. Alcohol Starts Early and Could Potentially End Young
There are a huge amount of alcohol-related fatalities in the United States every year, and so much so that alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable death in America. An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 26,000 women and 62,000 men) die from alcohol-related causes each year.
In 2015, 26.9 percent of people ages 18 or older engaged in binge drinking in the past month, while 7.0 percent reported that they engaged in heavy alcohol use in the past month. It is alarming to me that alcohol abuse starts so young. It is no wonder people are becoming sober curious — the numbers don’t lie.
5. You Get Your Life Back
This reason is my personal favorite. The quality of life that you regain for yourself should be reason enough to make anyone consider becoming sober. I will admit, it is also hard work, and it requires sacrifice on the way back to the path that you belong on.
Growth does not happen overnight. It occurs with each moment and each decision that we make for ourselves. Slowly but surely, we begin to see the progress and the right steps we’ve made since getting our lives back on track. Sobriety shows you who you are, and this can be met with fear at first, but in time, we begin to love ourselves again, and we get our lives back.
I hope these five reasons have helped guide you in your sober curiosity. Even if it does not last a lifetime, what do you have to lose by giving it a chance? You may end up loving it after all — it may just be the exact thing you didn’t know you needed.
– Megan Lawrence
Need to find addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one? The Recovery Village is here to help. Call one of our representatives today (many of whom are in recovery themselves) to learn more about rehab at our facilities. Your call is free and confidential, and there’s no obligation to commit to treatment.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).” 2015. Accessed April 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI).” 2013. Accessed April 2019. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Updated August 2018. Accessed April 2019.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).” 2015. Accessed April 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Alcohol and Public Health: Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI).” 2013. Accessed April 2019.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” Updated August 2018. Accessed April 2019.