As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and Retired Party Animal, I know one main concern about ditching the drink, is the fear of a boring life.
I understand this completely, because it was one of my greatest fears too.
This is for the sober curious folks, a life of sobriety does not equal a boring life.
Here’s some food for thought when taking a break from alcohol.
Is it sobriety or pandemic?
If you are getting sober or experimenting with being alcohol free, during the COVID pandemic, separate feeling bored and shut in, with being sober. They are not the same thing. If you are bored because of the pandemic, consider yourself lucky, right?
Is it temporary?
Being sober does not mean being shut in, unless you want it too.
In early sobriety you might choose nights on the couch with Netflix over fighting cravings in alcohol induced environments. With practice you will grow your sober muscle and start to venture out more. This is a temporary phase or early sobriety and not a life of deprivation. You will return to social outings and likely be open to going on new events and adventures as your sober confidence grows.
Awareness is key.
Once you start tuning into yourself, you can’t unknow what you know.
Through introspection you may find that you drank alcohol to dull your senses and simply tolerate some of the social gatherings you forced yourself to be part of.
You may find you don’t even like networking, big groups of people, or large gatherings with acquaintances.
You may have found these events boring and were simply drinking to entertain yourself.
This doesn’t make you boring.
This means you have put yourself in a situation that bored you, but you allowed yourself to believe it was fun, because alcohol was present.
What are your limiting beliefs?
When I was drinking, I was mostly sitting on the couch alone or trying desperately to monitor my drinking, while out with others.
I was living under a rigid set of rules for myself around alcohol.
This wasn’t fun or freedom, but the media tells a story that if alcohol is involved it’s likely to be a uninhibited, and relaxed good time.
I was always the opposite = very anxious about my drinking.
Pay attention to the ideas that are marketed to you, and measure them against what is true for you.
The wine on the couch didn’t make my life more glamorous, it actually made my life more sad and unhealthy, but I was duped for a long time.
Anyone who has experienced a hangover knows that it is far from a good time.
The absence of chaos can also be called inner peace
One of the most valuable gifts sobriety gave me, was the ability to sit still with myself.
When I was drinking, my mind was a constant flurry of thoughts.
I had to go faster, push harder, and do more.
I was so full of guilt and shame, I thought I needed to be super productive and high functioning to cover up for my insecurities.
As a people pleasing perfectionist, I demanded myself to put everyone else before me and do everything perfectly, which of course was still never good enough.
As a sober person, I can sit still.
I don’t need to prove my worth through my busy actions anymore.
I have learned to take care of myself first, not last.
I have stopped trying to control the world around me, and I now focus on the things I control.
This is a continuous work in progress.
I can sit and be still.
I practice gratitude.
I can allow things to unfold and trust that the Universe is working in my favor, not against me.
Some might confuse this for boredom.
I would, if I was still drinking.
The inner contentment and peace that comes from living alcohol free stops the need to keep filling the bottomless cup, so it no longer feels boring to me. I am no longer living an unlivable life of drinking to meet my growing dependence on alcohol, but not show any consequences.
I can meet my own needs, my resilience has grown, I don’t need affirmation, approval, drama, or excitement from others to feel at one with myself.
In addition, I have actually had more grand adventures sober than I ever did drinking. Read my blog, Wild and Free for a list of things I did in my first year sober.