It Isn't That Hard?

I recently read where someone wrote that “getting sober isn’t as hard as people make it out to be.” Oh really? Well good for you, im glad you were able to easily get sober. I do not know why this comment got to me but it did. Getting sober was not easy for me and for someone to say that is like punching me in the throat. Am I the “people” he is talking about? Well if that’s the case then I guess I missed the memo on getting sober is easy. I really wish I would have gotten that.

When someone has decided to get sober the last thing I would tell them is, “getting sober isn’t that hard,” although maybe for them it won’t be but if they have a problem with alcohol it is more than just putting down the bottle. It is changing the way they live their life. I know that I must sound like that obnoxious self-help guy who promises to share the secrets of his perfect life for a fat check and the soul of your firstborn child. The difference is, I don't have any magical secrets, and I don't want your money. In fact, I actively discourage you from taking this as gospel. If you decide to quit drinking, you should do it on your own terms and for your own reasons.  Enjoying alcohol doesn't make you an alcoholic. Getting drunk can be fun. If you can drink without ruining your life, don't let me, or anyone else stop you.

If you have publicly decided to inform people via Facebook or Twitter or whatever it is that you are getting sober than good for you. For me, publicly acknowledging that I have a problem only helped me become and stay sober. It is not easy to turn down the opportunity to drink when you have a problem and are newly sober. And unfortunately, the world around us is very good at offering us those opportunities whether it be cocktail parties, dinner parties, birthdays, weddings, happy hours or wakes. If you have a problem with alcohol and are like me, you will actively, if subconsciously, seek out those opportunities, and it is very possible that you will cave in to them. Unless, that is, everyone around you knows that to offer you a drink would be not just a bad idea but a hugely selfish and dangerous one. The more people know the easier it will be to stay sober.

I applaud anyone who decides to go online and let people know they are getting sober. However there are people who decide to quit drinking that may never have had an actual problem. I applaud them too because I am sure they wanted a healthier life without booze, but don’t undermine the difficulty of getting sober for those who actually struggle. It is as hard as some people make it out to be.