“Sober people are boring. How do you expect to be spontaneous if you aren’t drinking? It loosens inhibitions and brings out the fun side. You never see sober people out at bars because they’re probably just sitting around at home. And if you do see them out they just don’t have as much fun as everyone else. I just don’t trust that a sober person’s quality of life could be that good.”
I’m pretty positive that, for a while, this was the dialog that ran through my mind regarding sober people. For a LONG time, I affiliated sobriety with being boring. I assumed all the exciting, fun people were the ones out having a blast at the club or bars. They drank while they hiked or climbed. Drinking enhanced any experience. Fun people let loose. Fun people drank.
Well, this assumption definitely started to lose steam as I got older. I shouldn’t say lose steam. I flung itself to the other side of the room.
I shifted from being not interested in people who didn’t drink to believing people who didn’t drink (or drank very little) were kin to God. I began to see people who spent a bunch of time at bars as deadbeats and degenerates—unproductive individuals withering their time away in a worthless environment. People who drank a bunch lacked self-control.
Obviously, I was wrong on both counts.
Both those mindsets stemmed from a place of negativity and judgement, rather than a place of insight and love. I was judgmental of others what I judged in myself.
I think the script began to rewrite itself as I began to find myself less and less inspired by liquor-soaked environments. I would go to bars expecting to meet amazing people and have mind-expanding conversations. And, of course, I would go home empty-handed (minded?).
I loved mixing booze with pretty much any hobby or passion of mine. But over time I realized I didn’t really write better while boozed up. I had a shitty hangover after a night of drinking on the trail (camping/backpacking). My climbing would quickly suffer. Snowboarding was definitely a bell curve.
I told myself things were more fun with a bit of booze. But was it ever a bit of booze? No. It was a bit of booze for the first hour, then it was a bunch.
I was already doing so much cool stuff, I didn’t need booze to be/feel more interesting. But it’s one thing to tell yourself that, it’s quite another to believe it. And for a while, in my heart of hearts, I didn’t believe it.
Now I have new tools!!!
First of all, I know I don’t need to crutch on alcohol to enhance—enhance myself, enhance my experiences, etc. It’s just my way of grasping onto something that is already great as it is.
Since I’ve quit drinking I’ve done a bunch of things that I used to need booze to enhance, and had a GREAT time and WAS a great time. Looking back, I realize those things I told myself were total fabrications of my mind. I KNOW I am not boring, and can be just a good a time if not BETTER the way I am today. Sure, some things are going to take a little bit of retraining but I’m ok with that. I am willing to do the work and push myself outside of my comfort zone.
Lately I find myself inspired by sober people who are such a freakin’ great time.
Tim from my work is absolutely hilarious, and obviously comfortable and confident in his sobriety (12 years sober or something like that). Paul Churchill, the host of Recovery Elevatory podcast, is a huge inspiration as well. These guys make sobriety look cool, fun, and effortless (or worth the effort).
I want to be one of those people. I WILL be one of those people. I am determined to redefine sobriety not just for myself, but for others.