Sobriety | Q&A | "I'm sober not boring"
Updated: May 14
There is so much stigma that surrounds the topic of sobriety! I’ve decided to do a Q&A on my Instagram (@samuelgegen) and hash some of it out. First, it’s 2020! AA and the big book are great but that is not the only way, let’s be kind to our brother and sister’s that are struggling. Golden rule: Say nice, positive things or shut the hell up. I mean, that’s what I tell myself and the mantra I try and lead by.
I think we all could be a little bit more accepting of alternative ways to get sober. I am going to be the speaker for the people! The route I used was unconventional and will probably not work for a ton of people but I did it using some discipline, reprograming my thoughts and adjusting who I surround myself with and what activities I do.
I can simply think of my life before sobriety and get so turned off from it that I will never pick up a drink again. But as they say, take it one day at a time, folks!
Let’s dive right into this Q&A. The questions involve tips & suggestions to get or stay sober and common things we hear just because people are coming from a place of not knowing.
How do you cope with cravings or stressful situations?
Man, this is a loaded question! I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t really crave it anymore. It’s because I’ve done it for so long and have completely changed my perspective on alcohol. This does not mean I am ‘recovered.” Recovery is something we all need to work on every day! Old perspective: I need this to have fun and it’s essential to my life. New perspective: Drinking will kill me and take away everything I’ve worked hard to earn. “Change your perspective, change your life!”
With that said, I think it’s important to take a personal inventory on what brings you joy and what releases stress. Example. After I was sober for almost a year, I remember going to a pool party just to do something and be around a few friends and I faced hard temptation and negative people that didn’t understand the sobriety life I was working to create. That is a-okay if someone doesn’t understand but I hated the way it made me feel. It made me contemplate my decision to be sober and also was such a negative force of energy. From that day on, I never went to one of those pool parties nor did I see the few people that made me feel like sh*t ever again. It was not worth it to me and it was not a loss, it was a gain. Back to taking inventory, I know the things I love to do and enjoy doing and when I’m feeling the stress, I ensure I indulge in self-care because it makes me feel GOOD. Taking a salt bath, hoping in my sauna, doing a face mask, listening to my favorite music or calling a friend who is supportive of my sobriety journey always uplifts me!
Check it out! My YouTube Video on my Sober Journey – Why did I start Addiction of Choice: Success?? The roots run deep people:
What are fun things to do SOBER?
You know what is fun!? Like really fun??? Never feeling like sh*t! Not having a hangover and thinking clearly is the best. You make better decisions and have little to no regrets because you are acting from a clear mind. This can tie into the previous question also! What are fun things to do sober? Self-care is fun and helps you to feel better from mind to body to soul. I enjoy working out, doing house projects, writing this blog and connecting with other people who want to inspire others. Don’t overcook this. So many things can be fun sober! Replace going to the bars with going to get a good cup of local coffee. In the spring and summertime, the farmers markets are always good to visit. One of the best things I’ve done is using that time to build connections with people that have the same goals. People who are also sober, striving for a better life, starting a business, writing a blog etc. Look for those that have the same things in common and you will find many things to do sober together!
You can’t just have ONE drink?
No, bish. Not even ONE! Let me explain why on the behalf of all alcoholics. The reason I do not drink is because I cannot control how much I drink. If I have 1, I will have 1000 more until I am passed out or throwing up. And then when I wake up, I will grab for the bottle to keep it going. With that said it must be ZERO because alcohol controls me, I cannot control it. Short, sweet, simple – make sense?
Sober = BORING, right?
F$!%&. This is a question that can be looked at a couple different ways. Like, I am not a boring person but I do enjoy not doing much on the social side. I am content staying in and being a home body. For those that love being social let me answer this for you. If you have a self-diagnosed problem or drinking does not bring joy to your life, being boring or bored is a better alternative than being dead, suffering major health issues or getting in trouble with the law. Period. That was the route I was heading down. I mean, I already got in trouble with the law several times but that’s a whole other conversation. You can find other ways to be social that don’t include the bars or booze (see previous question about doing fun things sober).
When you adapt to the sober lifestyle, I promise, you find other enjoyments in life that you never discovered before. Genuine human connection, being present, goal setting & accomplishments etc.
PSA: If you generalize sober people as boring, you’re probably obnoxious.
2 Part Question: How do I know if I drink too much? What’s my first step?
These are great questions and let me simplify them. Only you can make that assessment. I know the signs to look for but I can’t diagnose someone as an alcoholic, that’s not right. I can tell you how I knew I was. I could not manage how much I drank. People always say if you drink alone that’s the sign of an alcoholic but I’m not sure that is necessarily true. What if you had 1 glass of wine with dinner by yourself and then stopped and switched to water? That doesn’t make you an alcoholic. I got SMASHED by myself. I didn’t have dinner and would take shots. I couldn’t control how much I drank and that was the biggest sign for me. I will say, if you are asking yourself that question, it’s a good possibility that you may indeed drink too much but that is something you need to evaluate for yourself. Instead of feeling like you are missing out, ask yourself these questions: Is this fun? Does it bring me joy? Does it lead me to my goals? If no is the answer to those, your life could be better without booze.
As far as the first step, that’s an easy one. You have to admit it and be honest with yourself. It doesn’t have to be extreme. Having a problem is okay. Everyone has certain issues. It can be simply saying “Drinking is an issue and I need to cut back. If I am incapable of cutting back, I should probably quit.” Then you get support. Tell a friend or family member you trust or someone that has brought it up to you before (hell I had plenty of people tell me I had a problem so that wasn’t hard for me to find ;)) and then find a program, group of people or some way to work on building a new life. One thing I understand is it’s very hard to do it alone. You don’t necessarily have to go to rehab or AA but you do need to be around the right people because that can make or break you.
I created a YouTube around this topic as well. Check it out and would love for you to subscribe to the channel!! Lot's of free value to come!
If you need help, please seek professional help. I am not a doctor nor claim to be. I do speak to experience and I can tell you I do have a lot of valuable knowledge in this arena. Getting the precise, professional help you need can change your life.
One of my favorite thought leaders that can help in this field and/or sober themselves is Brene Brown. I suggest to read her books and give her a follow – she’s great!
Thank you all for reading! Please let me know any feedback or content you want to see. I take any and all suggestions at email@example.com
I have achieved financial, sobriety, mindset, professional and health successes and am excited to share some road maps and tips with the world!