One of the biggest concerns people have when they decide to stop drinking and start living sober is: will my life be boring?
Problem drinkers suffer from all sorts of negative impacts on their lives because they’re unsure of what they can expect their lives to be like without drinking – when they’re living sober.
And when you think about it, that’s a completely valid concern.
For many people, drinking has been part of their lives for decades. When living sober, you might feel uncertain how to socialise. You might wonder if you’ll lose friends, or even if you’ll like your new, sober life.
The most important thing when deciding to stop drinking is to take the right approach.
The fact that problem drinkers see living sober as a potentially negative thing, focusing on the things they’ll lose rather than the things they’ll gain, shows how negative a lens drinking makes us see the world through.
And, all of it is NONSENSE! Want to learn how to start living your best sober life? Well it starts with reading this article in full!
Just for the record, we’re not going to be focussing on how to stop drinking here. If you want to learn more about that, then I recommend watching this video. We’re only going to be focussed on living sober.
Improving Health, Fitness, and Energy Levels
If you’ve been drinking for a long time, it becomes easy to forget what good health looks like. People who have been long term drinkers forget what waking up in the morning without a hangover feels like(!)
I remember, back when I drank, my energy was so low. I’d always wake up and have to push myself through the motions of life. Everything was a giant drag.
One of the biggest benefits, when you stop drinking, is that you wake up feeling refreshed. Instead of feeling sluggish, you feel well rested after sleep. You feel ready to get after it.
You’re energised and looking forward to the day ahead. No feelings of vague dread. No crushing anxiety about what you said to upset anyone last night. No muddled thinking. No feeling under the weather.
You feel supercharged.
Not actively damaging your health with drinking is a great first step, but when you’re ready you can go even further. You can start to focus on adding things to make you even more healthy.
You can start increasing exercise and start improving nutrition.
One of the best ways to start prioritising your health is to become interested in your fitness levels. Helen, one of the Soberclear members, is doing exactly this. She’s made her health and her life a priority again, and she’s making great progress again! You can listen to a video she made here.
For some people this might mean joining a gym, even investing in a personal trainer and committing to a regime. For other people, it might be far more simple, like taking some walks in the fresh air in the morning or evening.
Once you stop drinking, you start to have the capacity to make your health a priority. Working on health is a great foundation to living sober.
Gaining Clarity and Defining Your Dream Life
When you stop drinking, your clarity starts to get restored. You’re able to start thinking clearly about what you want out of life again.
I know, for a fact, that when I was drinking clarity was almost non-existent. But, when living sober, the clarity all started coming back again.
When this happens, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Things that seemed so daunting and challenging when you were drinking now become a possibility again.
The business you wanted to start, the improvements in your home, starting back at the gym again – it all becomes within reach.
When living sober, it’s worth spending time to start defining what you want to get out of your new life.
I always say stopping drinking shouldn’t just be about stopping drinking – it should be about building a better life without drinking.
That all starts with deciding what it is that you want.
Try to come up with a vision of how you want different areas to look over the long-term.
This takes work – most of the population have no idea what they’re working towards. But when you’re living sober, you can really start to build plans, set goals and take your life to the next level.
Improving Your Relationships With Loved Ones
When drinking regularly, we limit our ability to form meaningful relationships. It’s sad, but it’s true. Drinking can make us selfish, and sometimes the depth of the relationships we have is…shallow.
We put limits on our friendships or romantic relationships by another relationship – our relationship with drinking.
When you choose to stop drinking, you may lose a few “friends”. Those people that are unsupportive to your current lifestyle goals may drift further and further away.
Not every “friendship” will survive when you give up alcohol. But, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Real friendships not only survive but thrive when you decide to stop drinking. It makes room in your life for those that really matter.
What’s even more important though, is your relationship with yourself. Your mental and physical health. Your happiness and wellness. The need to improve your quality of life.
By trusting yourself to live without drinking you start to learn who you are.
You trust yourself to make a life which is more fulfilling in every way than one where you depend on alcohol.
When you understand that you are deserving of your trust, you start to respect yourself. You start to reconnect with things that you like about yourself.
And, when you’re happy, confident and feeling good, that affects people around you. When you start to respect yourself, others start to respect you as well.
This provides a wonderful space to start improving your relationships with your friends, family and loved ones. A great benefit to living sober!
You Can Act More Courageously
When we drink, we sometimes believe that drinking gives us courage. We use expressions like “Dutch courage” to make us feel like drinking is giving us something more – an extra boost of bravery.
In fact, the opposite is true.
Alcohol robs you of your opportunity to be courageous because it removes fear. This is actually a bad thing; we need fear, it’s healthy and it helps us to make good decisions.
I explained this in detail in this blog post.
Without fear, you cannot be courageous. Courage is the ability to take action in the face of fear.
When you stop drinking, providing you take the right approach, your courage starts to get restored. Those things that you used to shudder at become possible again.
In my experience, I started a new company, moved to Thailand and got into another relationship.
When you start living sober, you can truly start to act from a place of confidence and courage. Sweet!
Developing Your Superhuman Sober Identity
One of the best things about living sober, is the ability to recreate your identity.
All of those parts of you that don’t serve you – you can give them up.
When you take a First Principles approach to stopping drinking, you don’t feel deprived or like you’re missing out. You feel this sense of elation and joy.
Nor do you need you to label yourself. A long term label that you’d never be clear of. Any minute of the day, you have the freedom to make a better choice for yourself. A choice which doesn’t include drinking.
And with that, comes an exceptional privilege: You get to redesign your superhuman sober identity.
When you start thinking about who you want to become, consider how that person would spend their time. Think about what values they have, and how they would choose to live courageously. Try to make this thought as detailed as you can.
Your superhuman sober identity is the person you wish to become by giving up alcohol. This should be as detailed as possible so that you can clearly visualise that life for yourself. Imagine what your perfect day would look like. Imagine the perfect, energising, inspiring job. Imagine an incredible romantic relationship, deep and meaningful, trusted friendships. Imagine your home, where it would be in the world and how it would look and feel. Imagine how you want your body to feel like and look like.
And once that life is as clear as possible, as detailed as possible, and almost real… commit to making it a reality.
The thought that your life would be boring without drinking couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, yours is a life of astonishing possibility – and it can begin as soon as you finish your last drink.