You quit smoking

You dump that toxic ex

You give up meat on Mondays

Heck, you even go as far as posting a makeup free selfie on your Insta – you crazy cat.

People’s reactions to any of the above are pretty much guaranteed to be positive. They’ll tell you that you’re brave, strong and ‘making the right choice’

So why is it then when we say we don’t drink, are sober or in recovery that we’re faced with such resistance?

Alcohol is a causal factor in over 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression. ouch. [1]

With this in mind I would have thought that society would see the attraction of sobriety rather than the drawbacks. Which by the way really pale in comparison.

As a side note I’m not against drinking or those of you who do. If you’re one of those unicorns that can drink in moderation with no real life consequences I salute you (and on occasion) envy you. But I definitely believe (and this is just my very humble opinion) that there are more of us who struggle with alcohol in some shape or form, than those who don’t.

I heard a good quote on a TED Talk recently which said that if alcohol came on to the market today it wouldn’t be legalised. Woah, mind blown.

I’m lucky because my friends and any one else I’ve told have been very supportive. The only pointed questions I’ve had have been wondering if it’s something I plan on doing long term, AKA – forever. Because somehow we just can’t quite fathom a life complete without alcohol. It’s a trigger. It’s personal.

As I write this on a really warm sunny Easter Sunday I realise that I am in the minority by either not drinking or being hungover. The London parks and green spaces are rammed, and I spent much of the day sat beside the canal in Hackney Wick just people watching. Looking around there wasn’t a single group of people that weren’t drinking, and the reality of just how much life has changed for me set in a little. it unnerved me for a second but then I sat with it and realised how content I felt. I’ve had a lovely weekend full of flat hunting, cooking, picnics, coffee, friends, bike rides, fave Swedish cafe and the sun on my face! Weekends have never been so full of life.

This feels good. There isn’t any room for day to night benders and parties. I sure as heck don’t want to spend another sunny day locked up in my room eating Chinese in bed feeling like a total waste of space and hating myself.

So can we normalise sobriety and stop fearing it?

What’s more – I’m not gonna need another weekend to recover from the weekend!

Cheers to that.

P.S. Happy Easter, Bunnies!

[1] Burton, R. et al. (2016). The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies: An Evidence Review.

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