I want to talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to sobriety. I know in my own sober journey I’ve faced a bit of scrutiny when people see me out at clubs or music festivals and they wonder what I’m doing there. I have been approached so many times with questions around my sobriety after pictures or videos surface of me being in environments where drinking and drugs are around.
If you know me well, you know that I love electronic music and dancing. They are just part of who I am as a person. Perhaps at one point in time they may have been accomplice to my addictions, but they never made choices for me. I made the decisions to indulge in extracurricular activities that happen at those events.
My sobriety has enabled me to still have those experiences but stand strong in my recovery roots. The whole point of sobriety was for me to be healthier, not for me to disengage with places and things I love as long as I stick within the boundaries I’ve set for myself.
Most of time, I make connections on the dance floor with people who see me and then realize sobriety mixed with the party scene is attainable and it tends to breathe inspiration into that culture. While it may seem contradictory for me to be seen in these places, it’s actually the most productive place to be.
It’s interesting that so many people view the sober life as one without any excitement or one that infers just because we abstain from alcohol and drugs means that we also must abstain from being social in environments that are typically fueled by them.
This got me thinking that if I’m faced with the dilemma of being sober and maintaining my social life along with tastes in music and activities, then others must also face this. It’s become my mission to spread the news that sober does not equal boring and to show everyone that you can have a blast without drinking and drugging.
A perfect example came about on my recent travels to Barcelona. I was dancing around in my own little world, per usual, when a woman next to our table pulled me to the side. She was offering me drinks and trying to be friendly because she said I looked like I was having a great time. I politely told her, “I don’t drink,” and she looked at me with a smirk of confused joy, it seemed.
She then proceeded to tell me that if someone could have as much fun as it looked like I was having without drinking, that she just had to know who I was and we needed to be friends.
In that moment, my sobriety showed another person what it looks like to enjoy life, music and even a nightclub without needing to be under the influence. It lead to a friendship and deeper conversation that night that I’m it sure left a mark on her as it did me.
This scenario has happened countless times. I don’t say this to boast, but to demonstrate the importance of continuing to have fun in a life of recovery. My sobriety does not define me as a person or my ability to have fun; it’s just a lifestyle that works for me as well as many others.
Living the sober life is gaining popularity across the masses as people step up to the plate to live more authentically and realize that in order to really flourish in that space there is less room for alcohol if we truly want to feel more connected. In fact, the generation of heavy boozers is starting to decline as more and more people become mindful of not only their health but also the growing number of sober activities available, the ability to be entertained without it and a thriving sober community to match.
There is a certain stigma that comes with being sober that suggests without alcohol or drugs we are boring and don’t know how to let loose. It’s quite the contrary to be honest. I’ve found I enjoy myself so much more by being present in the moment, uninhibited and able to tangibly recall conversations and connections. I feel myself bringing the most raw and genuine version of myself to the table each and every day.
The clarity gained from living in sobriety is a new kind of high. Learning more about myself and the challenges of facing life on the realest terms without numbing or escape agents keeps me on my toes and proves to be the farthest from boring I’ve likely ever felt. Boring is subjective for everyone, but I can say without a doubt: I’m sober, not boring.
Each experience is more meaningful and sobriety itself is a daring adventure. You can’t be boring when you’ve embarked on the most thrilling adventure of your lifetime, which in recovery is merely you being you sans the substances.
Sobriety doesn’t mean you’re boring. It just means you’ve traded straight up drinks for a straight up life. It isn’t for everyone, but for me it’s been the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done and that will always be light years away from the realm of boring. So, let’s stop assuming sober means boring because that stereotype is played out. And I don’t know about you but when something is played out, usually that means it’s boring. Touché…
If this message resonates with you, please share it. Let’s raise awareness that sober is the new cool as we make strides to break the stigma that sober is boring.
Shout out to the homies at Sober Is Sexy for my shirt: The Only Coke I Do Is Diet