You Don't Have to Be an Alcoholic to Want Sobriety
Full disclosure, I was very nervous to begin writing on alcohol abuse and addiction. I have many friends who only know me as a heavy drinker and others who may be unaware of just how much I struggle with this drug. I have felt nervous because I am writing on alcohol abuse and mental illness, yet I would not consider myself an alcoholic, nor would I ever use this term lightly.
I have seen alcoholism in various forms, and it is a dreadful mental illness that requires nearly a lifetime of treatment, which many people suffering from it do not seek. I have watched people die from alcoholism, but I have first watched alcohol kill their souls long before they physically left Earth. Substance abuse disorder is a severe mental health disorder that has taken the lives of so many loved ones.
Yet, alcohol is such a normalized and socially accepted drug. In my experience, it is far more common to live a life with alcohol than of sobriety. But alcohol is still a drug, and once I found myself struggling to live life without it, I knew I had a problem.
Why This Non-Alcoholic Wants Sobriety
Alcohol has had its effects on my life for as long as I can remember. As with most people in my life, I began drinking far before I could even be aware of the mental and physical damages it was causing. It was an ingrained part of my life all throughout my youth and into my young adult years. But once I started connecting the dots with my anxious and depressive episodes and my binge drinking habits, it stopped feeling cool.
I have sought out different forms of recovery, and to this day, I still struggle. Sobriety is never linear, and each person's journey will look different. I know who I desire to be, and I know that alcohol does not fit into her lifestyle. I have found myself comparing my journey and struggles with others, claiming that if I am not that bad, then why do I have to stop? But I have learned that it is not about who has the worse story or who is suffering more. It does not matter how you identify yourself, as long as you are able to identify the problem.
I share all of this in hopes of making it clear that your recovery journey is yours and yours only. If you are able to identify ways in which your drinking habits are affecting your life, it may be time to make a change. If alcohol is acting as a barrier, keeping you from reaching your full potential, no matter the level of severity of your alcohol use, then deeply consider sobriety.
Sobriety Is Courageous, Even for Non-Alcoholics
One of the most challenging parts of sobriety for me is feeling as if I have to explain myself to others. I have always heard the saying, "You have to be an addict to understand an addict," but I believe all you need is empathy and acceptance. I view sobriety as a strength that takes great courage to reach. People use drugs and alcohol for many different reasons; to feel confident, alleviate pain, or simply unwind after a long day of work. In sobriety, you are sitting in your feelings and engaging in the world without the help of a substance to make it easier. That is bravery.
If someone in your life has come out saying they are sober or living a drug-free life, please try your best to provide empathy and accept their decision to live a healthier life. On the other hand, if you are sober or choosing to become sober, please hear me when I say that you are brave, you are courageous, and you deserve sobriety.
Davidson, K. (2022, February 3). You Don't Have to Be an Alcoholic to Want Sobriety , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2022/2/you-dont-have-to-be-an-alcoholic-to-want-sobriety
Author: Kayla Davidson
There was only one for me,unlock my subconscious and put an permanent End to it. Abstinence is just a penance.
Kayla! Thank you for touching on this. It is SO relatable I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself addicted to alcohol but I definitely relate to and can notice a lot of tendencies in myself. I seek a sober life to be the best version of myself and can relate with the struggle of not feeling supported by “society” since alcohol is such a norm. Thanks for writing this piece and creating a safe space for those of us who seek a life of sobriety but don’t necessarily fall into the “alcoholic” category! It's a lot harder than it seems to be in that “middle category” and not really fitting into “normal” or “alcoholic”. Keep Sharing. Your content is Great!
I could not have said it better myself. Nor would I want to.
You are such an amazing writer Ms. Davidson. I can relate to this blog like you wrote it about my own life. I to have had many addictions in my life time as well. Unlike a lot of addicts, I was able to over come them on my own. It was not easy by any means.. keep up the good work Ms. Davidson. I’ll be looking forward to your next blog
Thank you very much for your kind words. I only share my story in hopes of showing others they are not alone in this world of addiction and drug abuse. We all struggle in some way and community and connection is the best way to push through the struggles!
Love this!! You are amazing