This is one of my favorite core beliefs to talk about because the only reason we believe it is because society has shoved it down our throats for so long we do not have any choice but to believe it to be true. People spend a lot of time talking about the lies associated with the addict but what about the lies associated with every other aspect of addiction? With most drugs, it is at least relatively clear that they are unhealthy, that they will negatively affect your life, that you may die from them, and that you are a bad person if you use them. Why the difference? Why is a drug that has all of those negative aspects any different than another drug that has the same aspects? It doesn't make any sense, but we all buy into it wholeheartedly.
Sobriety is boring
Let's take an honest look at how it is possible for us to hold on to this belief so tightly. It is a really big deal when thinking about taking the first step into sobriety. I hear it all the time. I am willing to bet the first thought that crosses a person's mind when considering sobriety is not the fear of cravings. It is how boring their life will be if they do not drink. How sad is that? To be fair, let's also remember that it is not our fault that we feel that way. Look around you at pretty much any moment of the day, what do you see and hear? Someone talking to their friend about how drunk they got. An advertisement on a billboard. A commercial touting how lucky we are to have alcohol during this pandemic. A movie showing a low lit bar with a couple engaged in conversation while a cigarette smolders and ice clinks in the glasses as they sip the contents of the glass in an erotic fashion. A magazine advertisement depicting a group of people on the beach playing volleyball while holding a margarita; smiling and laughing.
Everywhere we go we see advertisements exclaiming the joys of alcohol. We hear it all day long from friends, music, television shows, articles, photographs, etc... There is no end to the brainwashing society consistently employs to ensure we all believe alcohol is a necessary component of our lives; if we want to be happy and have fun. And, who doesn't want that to be true in their lives? This manipulation begins even before we begin drinking. As children, we see the fun associated with drinking and we look forward to the day we can imbibe the illustrious liquid to such an extent that we often throw a celebration the day we can legally drink. All our friends and family join in the celebration and subsequently, we begin the second day of our legal drinking age with a hangover so bad we vomit repeatedly and can't function for an entire day. That sounds like fun.
New Core Belief: My life is more fun sans alcohol
Okay, so we have had the lies of alcohol thrust into our brains for as long as we can remember. We bought into them and successfully fell into the inevitable consequence of drinking alcohol on a consistent basis; addiction. Now that we have hit the pinnacle of what alcohol has to offer, and we finally realize it is not all that it was cracked up to be we have to make a choice. We don't want to feel like shit anymore. We don't want to forget the important events in our lives. We want to break free from the constraints alcohol has placed on us, our lives, our careers, and our families. So we consider sobriety. The first thought that enters our minds is all the 'fun' we had while drinking. That is what we remember. Not the vomiting, hangovers, mistakes, regrets, broken relationships, lost jobs, nothing but the lies we have heard our entire lives. Let's change that core belief.
Sobriety. What does it mean to be sober? Obviously, it means not drunk. We all know that, but let me point out a very interesting aspect of this word. It also means the absence of tone and color. Even the word they chose to represent a person not drinking means boring. That, in and of itself should piss you off, at least a little. These are the aspects of alcohol that I began to hold onto in the beginning stages of my sobriety to keep my mind on track. The societal peer pressure, as I like to call it, should be a crime.
I am going to use a different word for the absence of alcohol in someone's life. Awaken. Let's try that in a real-life scenario. "Excuse me, sir, would you like a glass of wine?" "No thanks, I am awakened." Sounds a lot better than sober, doesn't it? When you tell someone you are sober, they usually say something like, "Oh, I am sorry." "Sorry for what? I am the happiest I have ever been in my life." Perception, it seems is synonymous with sobriety. It is simply the way in which we view alcohol in our lives, which either gives it control or takes it away.
Here is what my boring sober life looks like. I am working out every day again, and I am getting in the best shape I have been in, in years. I actively engage with my family every day; we go for walks with the dog, play games, have actual conversations, and I am truly present in their lives. I write a daily blog about the joys and benefits of being sober which has placed me in an incredibly fun and supportive community. I have met more friends in sobriety than I ever did while drinking. I am working towards life-long and life-changing goals. I feel gratitude every day for the abundance of wealth in my life. I laugh more than I ever did before. I actually think I am funnier because my humor makes more sense these days. I truly feel happy every day, and even on 'bad' days, I feel more joy than I ever did while drinking. I am productive and I never feel like I am behind or dropping balls. My life feels like a dream I only read about before I quit drinking.
Sobriety is not only fun, it is life as it was meant to be lived.