It’s a typical Friday night. You’re dressed to the hilt and ready to party with your friends. The night starts off like so many – high expectations and good intentions.
But like so many, your high hopes outshine your esteem. You slug back vodka on the rocks for a little liquid courage. Next, you grab a glass of bubbly – holding it makes you look chic and then chasing it with a martini makes you look sophisticated.
Partygoers laugh at your jokes, compliment your attire and just like that you’re one of the crowd. You’re funny, pretty and confident.
You’re also drunk.
The Day After…
Saturday morning, the sun hangs overhead but you don’t care. You block it out – the beams threaten to burst your head wide open as it throbs.
Believe it or not – fear of becoming lame is a common rationale for avoiding commitment to sobriety. It’s rationalization at its best.-Helen FarrellIt’s evening when you finally get out of bed – just in time to catch the sunset. Too tired to go out and ready to swear off alcohol once and for all – you retrace last night’s events by scrolling through your phone. Every person you drunk dialed there – your ex, parents, grandmother, and your boss – all innocently brought in as uninvited guests to your night of debauchery.
Shamed – you go back to bed and decide to start fresh on Sunday. Another weekend wasted. The alternative would have been going out and staying sober. Not such a bad alternative, but you worried that it would make you look lame.
Believe it or not – fear of becoming lame is a common rationale for avoiding commitment to sobriety. It’s rationalization at its best. But what is so fabulous about drinking? Wasting a weekend, embarrassing yourself in front of others, dragging your unsuspecting parents into the mix – and just when you were trying to show them that you have your life under control.
There are a lot of myths about drinking. Here are four common misperceptions about alcohol use:
- Drinkers are nonjudgmental – There’s a perception of camaraderie amongst partygoers. With that comes a fear that if your glass is filled with soda while others are sipping Chardonnay you’ll be somehow judging them. Drinking or not drinking does not change your value system. It’s a personal choice to imbibe and has everything to do with you and nothing to do with anybody else.
- It’s normal to drink – When someone quits drinking they often feel so different (even abnormal) that they will completely avoid going out. The result is many nights alone and parties missed. The truth is that within every social circle, there are likely many non-drinkers. People strategize to hide this by ordering drinks in sophisticated glasses that might resemble cocktails – but they’re non-alcoholic. If that doesn’t convince you that sobriety is normal, however, then ask yourself this: ‘What’s normal about throwing up at a party or wasting an entire day to a hangover?’
- Being drunk is more fun than being sober – If this rationale resonates with you, then it might be time to reassess your personality and start spicing up your life. The truth is if you’re only having fun when drunk, then you’re likely experiencing boredom your life. The good news is that it’s easy to adopt new hobbies, develop friendships, excel at a career or volunteer for a great cause – it just takes some proactivity and also sobriety.
- Sober friends have a superiority complex – Quite frankly, it’s really hard to stop drinking. I’ve heard people equate it to training for a marathon, hiking a large summit or finishing graduate school. It takes commitment, stamina and grit – all qualities that are nothing less than truly commendable.
Cool to Be Sober
There are many reasons to strive for sobriety. There are reasons why it’s not lame to be sober and in fact, it’s actually quite cool. Here’s a top 10 list – I encourage you to add to this list with whatever appeals to you.
- Life will be clearer and more enjoyable
- You’ll be smarter and sexier sober
- Sober, you can finally feel your feelings
- Life will get busy and meaningful when you’re not dealing with hangovers
- You’ll inspire others
- No more explaining yourself or making excuses
- Your skin will look better
- Communication skills will be enhanced
- There will be a boost to energy and mood
- Relationships will deepen
If you or someone you know is questioning whether or not they have an alcohol problem, then I’d recommend talking with a professional. Below is a list of resources available to help:
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