Behind the FEAR of getting sober
Updated: Mar 13
In our most recent interview for our podcast, I was talking to our guest about how much fun she has being sober. We talked about how this is often people's biggest fear when contemplating sobriety. I know it was for me. What are your biggest fears behind cutting out alcohol from your life? What is holding you back?
I was terrified to quit drinking. It took me a very long time to find the courage to finally stop.
Recently, since dry January ended, I know friends who gave alcohol a break for the month have started to go back to their evening glass of wine. It is easy to fall back into the ritual of drinking again once it is reintroduced. Lots of people feel like stopping permanently just isn't a possibility. Why? Because they have fears of letting it go for good.
Even after experiencing all the benefits that Dry January had to offer, like better sleep, a clearer mind, more energy, no hangovers and countless other things - so many people still go back to drinking. Some are scared of the stigma attached to being sober. They don't want to be associated with being a "drunk" or having "a problem." Some might feel that the types of people that don't drink are those that have "real" drinking issues and belong in AA, when that just isn't the truth.
There has been a huge shift in thinking in the last year or two towards the drinking industry, and there is an entire movement that has embraced sober living for what it is. Being alcohol free allows one to live more authentic, happier, fulfilling lives. Not everyone needs rehab or a program to help them to stop. You can quit drinking simply because it isn't serving you anymore.
Ditching the booze may also feel scary, because people may be worried about feeling judged by their friends. How will they fit in with their peers? The social scene? What will their role be? Will they have fun? This was indeed one of my biggest fears, and it weighed on me for months. I worried that I wouldn't know how to enjoy myself with my friends once I stopped drinking. I thought my friends wouldn't want to hang out with me, because they didn't think I was fun anymore. I was so self-conscious of who I was in the beginning. It's true that there were friends that stopped inviting me over and texting, and the friends that didn't support me made me doubt myself. It took a while for me to realize, that these friends were not actually being great friends to me. They were not supporting me or being there for me during this incredibly important chapter in my life. And I realized eventually - why did I want to desperately spend time with people that didn't even care that much about me in the first place? When others judge me about my sobriety, it is only a reflection of what is going on with them. It has little to do with me.
I have since let go of most those fears, and I have realized that I can have more fun than I ever did when I drank. Alcohol held me back. It held me down. It kept me chained up. Locked in a cell. I was stuck for so long. Now I am free to do so much more with my life. I experience joy on a whole new level now.
I prioritize myself and my health. I want to try new things and learn new skills. I want to take care of myself and my family, and I want to do things that bring me joy. Instead of getting as drunk as quickly as possible in my free time, I look forward to trying new things that stimulate me differently than ever before.
Some tiny examples of things I have done recently for myself - I have taken some writing courses over the last few months as well as a watercoloring class. I am also talking about taking a pole dancing workout class with friends. I joined the tennis team this fall and have a few personal projects in the works that I am super excited about. I do things for myself, without worrying about the judgement of others. These choices have been instrumental in my personal growth and happiness.
I am grateful that I overcame my greatest fear. I found the strength to step up and finally confronted it. No one ever regrets getting sober.