2015 – The Year of the Soberista

I think we live in a topsy-turvy world, where it is seen as more normal to want to drink yourself into oblivion than it is to lead a healthy, alcohol-free life in which you are in control of your body and mind. On a daily basis, we are surrounded by messages of endorsement for a seriously mind-altering substance – one that is responsible for the deaths of 3.3 million people worldwide every year. We are bombarded by a collective validation for this addictive drug, the consumption of which is a causal factor in more than two hundred disease and injury conditions.

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And bizarrely, we often find that when we choose to opt out of the merry-go-round of alcohol misuse, we are considered to be boring, ill or someone to pity. It is not always the case, of course, but there exists a great deal of stigma and hypocrisy when it comes to the way people in the West approach the issue of drinking and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, sobriety.

Until I ended up in hospital because of the amount of booze I consumed one night in April 2011, I lived a life that I would describe as one of a binge drinker. On many occasions I despised myself because of something I had said or done when under the influence; there were too many times when I lay alone in the dark considering suicide as a result of the depressive effects of alcohol. But I never regarded myself as someone to feel sorry for – I wasn’t a victim. I was simply unaware that my life would be vastly improved if I omitted alcohol from it. I couldn’t see the wood for the trees – there was no clarity, no understanding that I was, in reality, creating all of the problems in my life because I got drunk so frequently.

I firmly believe in an alcohol-free life now. It’s a way of being that has brought me nothing but positives, and one that has simultaneously eradicated much of the crap that dragged me down so relentlessly for years. I remember a boy at my secondary school who used to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Drinking won’t solve my problems. But it will give me lots of interesting new ones’. Oh the wit! That carefree and innocent perspective of this substance that most people share in their teens was one that I most definitely held – although one that very gradually became replaced with a great deal of wariness and, eventually, fear.

Many people will remain forever in denial that they actually have a problem with alcohol. For every regret-filled morning when with head throbbing, promises will be made to never drink again, there will be an untold number of nights of throwing caution to the wind and an abject refusal to accept that it is not really ok to be drinking to the point of blacking out. And on and on the negative cycle will turn, never to be broken.

But equally, many people are, I believe, now beginning to question this alcohol-fuelled existence as normal. They are pondering whether life without hangovers and booze-induced problems in their relationships and at work might be better, easier. I believe there is a wave building, a revolt against the mass acceptance we have all grown up with, of binge drinking and its place in society as an inherent element of everyday life.

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Christmas and New Year’s Eve are times of the year when alcohol features even more prominently than usual – it can feel isolating and challenging to be a non-drinker in the midst of such widespread festive applause for booze. But there are far more people than many would imagine who are happily getting on with things minus any alcohol, and who aren’t missing it that much, if at all. I am one of those people. I couldn’t be happier than right now, free from the shackles that held me prisoner for so long and which turned me into someone I wasn’t – a loud, overbearing and self-centred person with a shallow existence and a multitude of regrets keeping me awake at night.

The more people who continue to turn their backs on booze, the more normal the teetotaller will become. I hope that in 2015 we will witness a big increase in the number of non-drinkers proudly emerging, and that as an expanding group in society we can make the case heard even louder for a life that’s lived in control, healthily and happily.

Happy New Year! Lucy x

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16 thoughts on “2015 – The Year of the Soberista

  1. Congratulations on another sober year, Lucy. I live with an alcoholic struggling to find enlightenment in sobriety, and your blog inspires me to continue to believe that it will happen someday.

  2. I agree completely. I too was blinded by the empty promises of booze for a long time.
    My sober eyes see a beautiful and fulfilling life. The same life.
    I hope more people join us. It would resolve a lot of unhappiness in the world.

    Anne

  3. Donna says:

    Fantastic post, I especially loved the final paragraph – what a wish for a new year! It has to be trendy for people to jump on, and hey, one never knows – maybe we are the pioneers for a healthy happier lifestyle sans alcohol! Blessings your way for 2015 🙂

  4. Imogen says:

    Joined Soberistas in October,had my first sober Christmas and New Year and they were wonderful. I couldn’t agree more with your concerns and your hopes for 2015. If sobreity enters the zeitgeist this year – perhaps with a little help from the media (noticing more articles about the benefits of being AF written by trendy journalists) then yes why wouldn’t 2015 become the year of the Soberista. Thanks for another great post Lucy – Happy New Year x

  5. Thank you so much for your wonderful posts. I am six days into a commitment to be teetotal which I am so excited to have made, and it is fantastic to read such inspiring blogs from people so much further along the journey than I am. Having seen the devastating effects alcohol can have I completely agree that a teetotal lifestyle should be accepted as much more “normal” than it is… A very happy new year to you and here’s to the year of the Soberista!

  6. Love your post as usual Lucy, makes lots of sense and yes, here’s to the rise of the soberista in 2015.
    Hi to you too auntiequorn, I’m nearly at 4 years and still feel exactly the same!

  7. I believe and hope you are right, the tide is turning and it cant happen quick enough for me. I have a son who is struggling with drinking and sobriety, he struggles to find friends who do not drink. It is so heavily entrenched in our society now. I enjoyed reading your post and you give me hope.

  8. Absolutely love this Lucy! I’ve had a long journey with Soberistas having found the site randomly a few months after it launched. It’s been a rocky road of trying to give up and failing since that time but becoming stronger and more determined each time. You were my first sober inspiration and I will succeed on this journey, I know it xx

  9. DID JESUS DRINK RED WINE? by steve finnell

    Did Jesus drink red wine? No, He did not. That would have made Jesus a sinner and He was without sin.

    Proverbs 23:31-33 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. (NASB)

    (NOTE: Red wine has an alcohol content of 12.5% to 14.5 %)

    The wine that the Jewish people of the New Testament and Old
    Testament drank with their meals was 2.5% alcohol or lower. It would take a dedicated wine drinker to get drunk, though it is certainly possible.

    Jesus was accused of being a drunk. (Matthew 11:19) Today Jesus is accused of being a social drinker in the mold of those who drink mixed drinks, wine, and beer. Neither of these accusation are true. Most, if not all contemporary social drinkers are drinking alcohol content far greater than what Jesus drank.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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