One of the things that really hindered me from getting sober for a long time, was the fact that I carried many fears about living life without drinking. I had so many questions about what my future would look like if I never drank again, that all the wondering often kept me awake at night. I actually did not know any people who lived without ever drinking, and my fear of being the outcast or being constantly judged by people was overwhelming!
Fortunately, as I started attending 12-step meetings I was getting to know many sober people who had wonderful and still exciting lives without booze! As I was growing in my recovery and learning to live sober, I started realizing that many of my fears were just not real!
Here are the top 10 fears I had, and what I found was the actual truth:
1. Life will become completely boring.
I have to be honest here for a minute… in the beginning it will feel like your life is completely boring. And this is mainly because the time that you had spent drinking is all of a sudden wide open to you, and you do not have anything to fill it up with! This may give you the perception of boredom. So especially early on, it is essential to find new things to fill your time with. The good news is that eventually, you will find new hobbies and interests and your life will become so full you will be wishing that you had more time in a day! Check out my list of 100 Fun Things to Do Sober – 2016 to get you started.
2. People will judge me because I am not drinking.
Some people will judge you, that is inevitable, there is always someone judging someone about something. The truth is that by choosing to be sober you are making a positive change in your life, and if someone is judging you on that, then they are just completely wrong! You just stand tall and strong, and keep going. Besides, wouldn’t you rather that people say, “Look at that sober girl, she is…,” than “Look at that drunk girl, she is…!”
3. I will not have any friends.
You may not have any drinking friends anymore, that is true. For the most part, the people who also have a drinking problem will not want to hang out with you, or in all reality, you might not want to hang out with them. People that do not care about whether you drink or not, or are grateful that you have quit, and there will be plenty of those, will continue to be your friends. Furthermore, you will be able to make new and real friends, not just bar buddies. Also, with the boom of internet recovery you can find support groups and recovery friends practically anywhere! Check out the Recovery Network Connections post to find a support group.
4. I will not fit in the world without drinking.
Believe it or not, it was not until I got sober that I realized that not everyone in the world actually dranks! There are many people who drink rarely or none at all. I also found that most people do not care if I drink or not. It was only the people who drank heavily, or like I did that seemed to have an issue with my sobriety. Most people have and continue to be supportive of my recovery! Also, and again, finding a good support network will make you feel like you fit in just perfectly!
5. Life will be too difficult.
Life may still feel difficult, and that is just life. You will notice that you have more feelings, and possibly stress more in the beginning, but eventually you will learn how to cope with those times in different ways. See my post Tips For Managing Stress and Staying Sober. Fortunately, life will not be more difficult because of your drinking, and you will learn that every issue can be resolved easier, faster and better when you are sober.
6. I will not know who I am.
I often worried that I did not know who I was going to be without drinking. I actually did not know what my personality was like and basically, I was afraid of me sober. There was a period of time when I was learning about me, and I was finding that some things were still the same, and some were not! Eventually, I was able to find my true self, and I learned to love the woman, mom, wife, friend and daughter that I had become – all parts of me that I never knew I was capable of being, because they were all buried underneath all the drunkenness. In sobriety I finally became free to be me!
7. The shame and fear will never go away.
It most definitely will! I promise you that you will not be burdened by your past forever. Instead, you will learn to see it all as lessons in life, and things that needed to happen in order for you to get here. You will learn to forgive yourself and make amends with people whom you had hurt. Furthermore, you will be able to rebuild relationships and start new healthy ones!
8. No one will want to date me.
This one is completely not true! As a matter of fact, more people will want to date you because you will be more approachable and you will not be getting out of control, or making an ass of yourself on dates. You also will be able to make better decisions as to choosing your dates, and you will have more self-respect when it comes to how you want to be treated. And, people who also do not drink, or drinking is not a huge part of their life, will find you even more attractive. So, this is a win-win situation for sure!
9. I will miss out on all the fun.
Not true at all! As a matter of fact, you will have more fun because you will be able to do anything you want at any time, and anywhere, because you will not be restricted by alcohol. Sobriety will give you the freedom to do all the things that you have always wanted to do! Believe me when I tell you how free you will feel when you can just get in your car at any time and go anywhere!
10. I will fail at getting sober.
Yes, you may stumble, or relapse – it is possible. I stumbled a lot! But that is not a failure. Relapse happens often because many of us are still not fully ready let go of our drinking life. So don’t dismiss any time that you were sober, it is still a part of the recovery journey! As long as you keep trying and you do not give up, you cannot fail! If you relapse, brush yourself off, take it as a lesson you needed to learn, and keep going!!
Do you have any fears about getting sober? Please share in the comments!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.