Are You Sober Curious? Heres What You Can Do Next

As is the case with all things, you can’t defeat it until you understand it, and this is the first step in doing it. But they don’t show you the hangovers, vomit, financial ruin, regrets, and fights. And although you know these things happen when you drink, you still believe that alcohol will somehow cure boredom and make you have more fun than if you were sober. If you’re involved in a 12-step program, you likely already know the importance of milestones. In these programs, it’s customary to receive plastic chips as you progress to the one-year mark, at which time you receive a bronze coin.

You probably won’t think anything is wrong until you learn to take an objective view of your beliefs. Nevertheless, it was clear that I enjoyed environments where I got mental stimulation or felt connected with other people—and preferably, some combination of the two. Soon, drinking became the only way I knew how to connect with people. It wasn’t just a crutch anymore; it had completely wiped out my ability to socialize and connect with people. I didn’t think I was interesting or cool enough for people to desire my company solely on the merits of my personality.

More on Substance Abuse and Addiction

These environments can trigger cravings and put you at risk of relapse. Alcohol addiction is serious and has severe consequences for each community it impacts. My biggest fears in life include being in large groups of strange people, standing at parties by myself, and really just people in general. Drunk me didn’t have to worry if I was alone at a party because drunk me didn’t abide such things. Drunk me didn’t worry if she belonged, or said the right thing, or had to have small talk because drunk me just handled that.

How those in recovery and those who care about them navigate this with at least some degree of comfort, is highly varied. This may require opening new lines of communication that brings you out of your comfort zone. Speaking to other families or friends who have gone through this is likely to yield many more strategies and ideas if you being sober around drinkers are struggling with what to do. One patient told me that his father — who he knew liked a drink — always abstained when they were together in drinking situations out of solidarity and support for his son. Yet, the patient reported that having at least one other supportive “abstainer” with him made him feel better and more comfortable.

Strategies for Handling Inquiries About Non-Drinking

Look for places in your community that are alcohol free—from farmer’s markets to local theaters, you’ll likely find plenty of spots that don’t serve alcohol. This can help you become more thoughtful about your approach. Mindful drinking might be a helpful concept to explore, and research shows that practicing meditation can help casual drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption. You are a mirror now, a flashlight of sobriety in a society that is laced with the judgment that it’s abnormal to abstain from alcohol. People will assume you drink and will be very curious about why you don’t have a drink in your hand when they do. Or it could be that you’ve developed a physical health problem that you know is probably due to drinking and you want to make positive changes before things get worse.

If someone with a BAC level of 0.08 stops drinking, it will take roughly 6 hours for them to sober up. When a person consumes alcoholic beverages, the alcohol builds up in their bloodstream. The liver is the primary organ for eliminating alcohol and needs time to filter the blood and break the alcohol down. Learn more about the short- and long-term effects of drinking alcohol. For anyone with a family history of alcohol use disorder, there is a higher risk of also developing the condition.

Maintaining Sobriety Around Friends Who Consume Alcohol

If you don’t consider yourself a problem drinker but want to explore living with less alcohol, here’s a sampling of modern approaches to check out. In the early days, I felt that it was my responsibility to answer the question, “How come you aren’t drinking? ” I didn’t understand I could decline to answer or that I didn’t have to make sense to everyone. For a period it was, “I’m an alcoholic,” and that tended to silence anyone (for clarification, I no longer identify as an alcoholic). These days, unless I’m feeling generous, I simply say, “I don’t drink,” and leave it at that.

  • Make a list of the ways drinking has negatively impacted your life.
  • “Really think about your payoffs for not drinking,” Cornett says.
  • A therapist can support your efforts and help you find the strategies that work best for you, your health, and your life.
  • When temptation arises, these reminders serve as powerful motivators.
  • One of the greatest gifts of sobriety is being able to say goodbye to hangovers for good.

Some people experience many setbacks before they find lasting recovery. Your intentions may be good, but it takes more than willpower to avoid having a relapse. This article discusses what sobriety means and describes strategies that can support your long-term recovery. It also covers tips on how to deal with the challenges you’ll face on your journey to sobriety.

Prioritizing Self-Preservation During Social Gatherings

The liver needs time to filter blood and remove alcohol from the system. However, there is no effective way to sober up quickly other than to stop drinking and allow time to pass. Alcohol intoxication is a temporary condition that can impair coordination, decision-making, impulse control, and other functions, which can increase the risk of harm. As such, people may want to sober up to lessen these effects and try to prevent a hangover.

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