Sobriety As I Know It

Carly BensonSobriety, Transformation2 Comments

sobriety as I know it carly benson

Sobriety as I know it today certainly isn’t as scary as it was almost seven years ago. After publishing a successful article on Elite Daily about what happens when we say “I’m never drinking again,” and mean it, I’ve had a lot of people reaching out wanting to know how I did it, where to start and how to “be” sober. I’m working with several coaching clients as a sobriety mentor. As we continue to work together, I keep realizing more about sobriety, as I know it.

It’s the new normal. I never thought I’d say that sober is normal for me, but after realizing that being drunk and outrageous no longer suited my soul, the shift began to happen. I can’t even imagine what being intoxicated feels like anymore. It seems so far off. So disconnected. So unattractive. Normal to me is being in full awareness. Anything less would feel unnatural. I’m not bashing those who like to partake, but for me, it’s just no longer a fit.

It started with asking for help. Once you make the decision to go sober, God (or the universe or how ever you want to refer to a source much mightier than thou) – conspires to set it into motion. I literally got on my hands and knees and begged for a miracle. I was exhausted and worn out. I couldn’t do it anymore. I didn’t want it anymore. I needed help. As soon as I admitted and believed this, everything changed.

Getting under the hood is imperative. While I’m not an advocate of the 12 steps in the AA format, I do respect the step work and think working through what’s deep down inside is key for sustainable transformation. Drinking and drugging are just the tip of the iceberg. Literally. They are the surface answers to the multitude of layers below. Getting to the root, and in some cases roots (plural), is how real change takes shape.

Understanding the vice is pivotal. For me, I had a drug problem. I knew I had to quit drinking to quit using. My understanding of the real vice was a turning point for my sobriety. Some people know they can’t moderate. They can’t just have a couple drinks. Happy hour turns into happy weekend. And that’s ok, but own your stuff. As soon as you own it and understand it, you put yourself in a position to change it.

Willpower and consciousness go hand in hand. Most people think being sober is all about willpower. While this is an important aspect, the real denominator is being conscious of our thoughts. Seeing when urges surface, why they are surfacing, what is triggering them and being aware of temptations – these are the things we need to be more cognizant of. When awareness and consciousness become part of our mental focus, it becomes a living practice that fuels willpower. The trick is to bring awareness to the thoughts surrounding drinking and then willpower is secondary.

It works better with a routine and accountability. Going at it alone can work, but it’s rare and much more taxing. In fact, it worked wonders at the beginning for me, but then I realized how much easier it is to have someone to hold me accountable. I have a coach and I have sober mentors I’ve turned to throughout my recovery process. I’ve put routines in place for myself such as spiritual practice, prayer, meditation, yoga and breathing techniques that keep me grounded, daily. Developing a practice that works for you will take your sobriety to the next level.

Being socially sober is freaking rad. I saved it for last because it is the number one concern most people seem to have. “How do I have fun?” “How do I deal with my friends who drink?” “How can I still be social and not awkward?” All valid concerns. I wasn’t sure about navigating these waters at first either. But over time, I have implemented several hacks for being socially sober. I have a blast going out, being social, destroying the dance floor and vibing with my peeps as they indulge. It’s all about being comfortable in our skin. I promise, with a few adjustments, this fear melts away and a new, awesome you appears without the need for alcohol to enjoy any part of life.

I share these insights because it is becoming more and more apparent that there is a real movement happening across the globe.

People want to clean up their acts.

They want to be healthier.

They want to create and achieve bigger goals.

They feel the urge and they hear the whisper that there is just more to life than bar hopping and Fireball shots.

The fun wears itself out while wearing us out in the process. Sobriety becomes a viable and attractive means to an end as the party scene loses its luster. It happens to the best of us.

Being sober isn’t about being weird, having a disease or giving up your social life.

It’s about learning to live differently in a world revolving around alcohol.

It’s about raising the bar for ourselves instead of passing out on it.

It’s about becoming accountable to the higher potential tucked away beneath the binging, numbing and escaping.

There is something to be said for seeing, wanting and actioning more for yourself.

Sobriety is about stepping into a life that not only feels better, but also one that creates abundantly more happiness, clarity and overall well-being.

Whether you are newly sober, thinking about it or a veteran to sobriety, I hope this resonates with you. I’m passionate about truth telling when it comes to facing addictions, getting help and living sober.

I’ve got to be honest, sobriety, as I know it, is nothing short of beautiful. It’s a miracle at large and at work every single day. Sobriety is a movement. It’s an evolution. Not just of self, but of society. And that, my friends, is powerful stuff.

More information about working with me HERE.

  • chris405

    I called you out on your previous article for not sharing your solution. You actually responded to me and said you’d be writing on that so I followed you to see it… kuddos. Good article. It was interesting to me that while you did not advocate for the 12 steps, you seem to mention several key aspects of the AA fellowship such as an inventory, higher power, coach and mentor, etc. Everyone’s path is different. Good luck to you.

  • MiraclesAreBrewing

    Hi there! Thanks so much for reading and following along in my journey. Yes, I took your suggestion to heart and will continue to write more articles that are solutions driven for sobriety. I think the most important piece is finding what works and what resonates inside. I couldn’t agree more – each person is different and to each their own. I wish you well on your path! Thanks again for the support! :) Miracles are brewing…