sober is the new black

Carrie (day 249): “Been socialising three nights in a row and wearing my sobriety like it is the new black! I am in that place where it just rocks and I couldn’t care what anyone’s drinking. In truth, I think they all look rather sad and tired, puffy and bloated! It’s earned me a few envious stares and curious looks this week.”

When i first quit drinking, i didn’t want anyone to notice. I didn’t want any scrutiny or questions. I didn’t socialize very much at all in the first 6 weeks. I felt safer at home with my tea and my routines.

Turns out, hardly anybody gives a shit if you’re not drinking… Only a real boozer will give you a hard time, and usually because they’re worried about how it’ll impact THEM if you’re not drinking. When i was on day 19, i was confronted with that kind of guy. He said i wasn’t as much fun … i shrugged and didn’t really even provide an explanation.

Then slowly, bit by bit, on its own, without me really even thinking about it, I got braver and perhaps prouder of myself. By approximately 60 days sober, I was hosting a catered dinner and I was quite pissed that no one noticed that i wasn’t drinking. I wanted some attention. I brought my clearly non-alcoholic drink components right to the table and mixed myself a mocktail … and nobody said anything.

and super recently, like in the last 2 weeks, i hosted a dinner, was drinking mint tea, and by the end of the night 5 of the 10 guests were also drinking mint tea with me. Who ARE these people who can have two glasses of wine and then switch to tea? They chose tea over more wine? Who even KNEW these people existed 🙂

turns out hardly anybody cares if we’re not drinking. except the boozers. and maybe it’s because our abstaining holds up a mirror to their behaviour, and that’s uncomfortable. Doesn’t matter. We’re doing our thing. We can wear our sobriety proudly or quietly or silently or bravely. But it’s ours.

and the rest of them can take a long walk off a short pier

Team 100 update: Thanks to a mention of my blog in Good Housekeeping Magazine and the Guardian newspaper in the UK (both this week!), we now have 356 people in the challenge. Welcome to Nancy (1), Brooke (2), Lucky, Cathy, Fulu, Craig, Koala Girl, & Suzie (4), Tina, Mary, Ellena, Pickleball, Miss Jane, & Suz (5), Koala Boy (6), Terrie (7), Norman (8), Disney, Ginger, & Nan (9), Moon (13) and Raquelle (16).


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Hi Belle! Congrats on spreading the good work! My good days keep on coming; day 182 today which means it’s only 3 days till I’m sober for 6 months! Who’d have thought, huh? Feels like I won’t ever go back. Keep’em coming and may the namaste be all around you!

  • Looking forward to going out tonight, its a big party, organised by wine makers!!!
    I will be sober and driving my children home in safety…and tomorrow when I go back to help clear up I will be one of the only ones without a headache…
    I am back with you again team 100.

  • It’s true that friends haven’t batted an eye, but has anyone talked to you about dating while sober? Just curious, because I might start dating soon and I haven’t seen many people writing on that…

  • Woo wee! That is AWESOME. And, YOU are awesome. I love how it just comes on its own; first we are really self-conscious and embarrassed, then, we get bolder and stronger, and then–bam–it’s NO BIG DEAL. I LOVE how Carrie says she looked at the drinking folk and they just looked sad, drinking, all puffy-eyed and sad. Ain’t that the truth? Go, you, go, Amy, go, Carrie, and gooooo team 100/365!

  • It just amazes me. My drink of choice has lately been elderflower cordial and soda, not really common in Illinois. People ask for a taste and then say they’d rather have that than wine. WTF! I never took anything over wine. Until now.

  • I am thrilled to have found your blog. It has helped me more than I can say. I decided that I had to tell close friends because if I didn’t say it, if I didn’t admit it, I would continue to pretend I did not have a problem. Not only were they amazingly supportive, some of them decided to stop drinking too, because they too realized they were drinking too much. This is my 6th day. I thought it would be a horrendous nightmare but instead I feel less anxiety and I feel peace… so far!

    • Congrats, KG, for telling your friends and being a postitive influence on them and giving them the encouragement to quit too. That, my dear, is HuGe. And as to how good you are feeling, that will continue to improve and altho some days may be hard the majority will make you so glad to be sober you’ll just be amazed. Hang in there, KG, keep us posted how it’s going, ok ?

    • I have some help, not to worry : ) and I’m also watching that things don’t get overwhelming… cuz you know, overwhelm + boozer = bad news. so this boozer is pretty careful about that!

  • I couldn’t believe all the people who didn’t even bat an eye when I stopped drinking, as if it were totally normal. And just last night I met some friends at a pub and there were more people drinking N/A beverages than not at our table. And not because these folks were sober, but just because it was a Wednesday and why would they need to drink?

    All of this was a big secret to me before I stopped drinking. And you’re right about only the boozers really giving you a hard time. I think at one point I was one of them …

    Great post! And super congrats on the publicity. That is rad 🙂