Friday, August 2, 2019

Sober Curious

The Sober Curious Movement
Being sober on a bus is, like, totally different than being drunk on a bus.” -Ozzy Ozbourne. 
When I first heard the term “sober curious,” I was confused. I mean, we all know what it feels like to be sober…what is there to be curious about?  In case you are not familiar with the expression, someone who is sober curious is choosing to abstain from alcohol for an undetermined amount of time. The idea has been gaining traction on social media and has recently been featured in several news stories such as NPR and The Washington Post
At first, I admit I was a tad bit judgey and I rolled my eyes a little.  I’m thinking, “If you don’t want to drink alcohol at a bar, order a soda water with lime and be done with it. Sheesh. You don’t need to post a picture of your drink on social media with a hashtag announcing this decision to the world.”  But after reading more, my thinking has shifted.
A Sense of Belonging
Wanna find out who your true friends are? Get sober.
In his hierarchy of needs, Maslow rates love and belonging right after food, water, and shelter. As humans, we need to feel a sense of deeper, more meaningful relationships. Identifying as sober curious is gaining traction because it fulfills our need of belonging. We may not realize how prevalent alcohol is in our social lives until we make a conscious decision to not to partake.  It’s easy to fit in when you drink. While we all have experience with sobriety, what might be harder to envision is a social life without alcohol. I have a friend who recently completed an amazing weight loss and fitness challenge. Later, she remarked that she was often lonely—choosing to avoid temptation and stay home when her friends were out eating and drinking. I’m not so fond of being stone cold sober in a bar full of drunk people either. I just don’t feel like I fit in. So, the challenge is to find other activities where alcohol isn’t the focus.  One function of #sobercurious is to provide a platform for like-minded people who share a common interest. 
Breaking the Stigma
Avoid using cigarettes, alcohol and drugs as alternatives to being an interesting person. -Marilyn vos Savant
Let’s face it. Sober people don’t have the best reputation. Society thinks sober people are boring. Even the dictionary definition of sober includes the terms restrained, serious, and sedate. Are you not drinking because you are a teetotaler, an alcoholic or a Sober Sally? Often people who choose not to drink pair the decision with some kind of excuse. 
Reasons I have used not to drink:
·         I’m not old enough.
·         I’m driving.
·         I can’t mix alcohol with my medication.
·         I don’t want the extra calories.
·         I don’t sleep well after a few drinks.
·         I’ve been drinking for the wrong reasons.
·         I’m pregnant.
·         I have too much to do tomorrow to feel sluggish or hungover in the morning.
·         I want to be a good role model for my kids.
·         I’m trying to save money.

The #sobercurious movement is a PR team coming in to revamp the image of sobriety. It is breaking the stigma that being sober is no fun. #sobercurious lets people choose not to drink without having to offer up some excuse.  Sometimes I love a glass of wine and sometimes I don’t. Lately I’ve been choosing not to have one more often. Do I have to have a reason why? Or justify my choice to explore the physical and mental effects of abstaining from alcohol? I hope not. Whether I’m holding a cocktail or a mocktail, I’m still me.
So, if you are ever interested in hanging out sober, text me. I’d love to be sober curious together. We can even post it on Instagram. #sobercurious #partofthemovement

Enjoying our mocktails

1 comment:

  1. One of your sentences sums it up for me "Do I have to have a reason why?" I stopped drinking two and a half years ago. Now everyone wants to make it "cool" by saying they're sober curious. I think I've always been cool :) and now I have a much healthier body and more money to spend on other things. I hate that society thinks we need a justification. I could talk for hours about this subject - Great post!