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What does it mean to be sober curious? 

Have you ever wondered why alcohol is so prevalent at social events? Do you ever think about what your life would be like without alcohol? Have you noticed that you use alcohol as a crutch when socialising? You may already be sober curious if you answered yes to any of these questions. 

Being sober curious means to get curious about every impulse and expectation to drink instead of mindlessly going along with the dominant drinking culture, according to Ruby Warrington, the founder of the term. If you’ve pursued a Dry January, or Sober October then you’re already more familiar with this mindset than you think; these month-long challenges encourage people to take a closer look at their alcohol use and figure out the best way to incorporate alcohol into their lives. 

Importantly, we must avoid looking at sober curiosity and sobriety as a trend. Doing so ignores the traumas and underlying reasons that people develop unhealthy relationships with alcohol. Instead, it is best viewed as a mindset which aims to optimise your wellbeing by moderating your exposure to alcohol. Maybe your relationship with alcohol has become unhealthy or even dangerous. Our team at Heritage Home is prepared and ready to assess your situation and help you to mend your relationship with alcohol. 

Sober curiosity doesn’t have a one-size fits all approach. Instead, it is adaptable and means something slightly different to everyone on a sober curious journey. The main point is that it encourages a sober lifestyle but also accepts people who don’t plan to (or may not be willing to) give up alcohol completely. Because of this, there are a few different ways you can practice it in your own life: 

  1. Observe your patterns 

Maybe you want to change your relationship with alcohol but you’re not quite sure what your relationship even is. Take a few weeks to observe your relationship with alcohol, answering questions such as: 

  • When do I tend to drink the most? 
  • When do I tend to drink mindlessly? 
  • Who am I with when I drink the most? 
  • How do I feel after I drink? 

Once you have answered these questions, you can create a plan which incorporates sobriety into your lifestyle. At Heritage Home, our team of counsellors will work with you to develop a recovery plan that fits your needs.  

  1. Plan to be sober for certain events. 

Do you have a healthy relationship with alcohol otherwise, but find that a certain event or setting always seems to trip you up? If so, plan to stay sober for these events for a while and take note of any changes that occur in your mood, health, and wellbeing. For example, if you know that parties often mean more drinks than you would like to be having, try and stay sober at the next party that you attend. 

  1. Talk about it 

In our culture, drinking is so normalised that it can be hard to imagine other people would be on a similar journey. But you would be surprised how far a simple “no, I don’t want to drink tonight” can go in creating useful conversations about sobriety. These conversations allow you to share your experiences and opinions about alcohol use, while gaining insight on different people’s perspectives. 

Being sober curious, and not fully sober, is not a viable option for people with alcohol use disorders. This is because of the negative effects that occur as a result of drinking alcohol, such as mentally problematic symptoms, extreme alcohol cravings and depression. In these cases, complete sobriety is often the only option when recovering from the disorder. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, we at Heritage Home are here to support you on your journey of recovery. Take the first step and call us today.