sobriety

Are Mocktails Gaining Momentum in DC..?

Are Mocktails Gaining Momentum in D.C.?

Booze-free pop-up Sans Bar takes place May 4, and other area bars are beefing up their alcohol-free options.

BY    LAURA HAYES for WCP    APR 30, 2019 1 PM

BY LAURA HAYES for WCP

APR 30, 2019 1 PM

D.C. is the next stop for a national roving pop-up bar that doesn't serve booze. Sans Bar was founded in Austin by addiction counselor Chris Marshall. He teamed up with Bethesda resident Laura Silverman for the D.C. event on May 4. Like Marshall, Silverman is in recovery and runs the blog The Sobriety Collective. But Sans Bar is "not just for 12-step fellowship," according to Silverman.

"We’re tapping into the momentum of the full sobriety spectrum," she says. "That encompasses everyone from hardcore recovery people and straight edge people who’ve never had anything before to the sober curious and our pregnant friends who want a night out without feeling like they’re the party pooper."

Some people who drink might just want a night off. "It can appeal to everyone who wants a chill environment that fosters authentic connections with fun things to do and no pressure to drink if they don’t want to," Silverman continues.

Read more via WCP…

Sans Bar DC - A Monumental Event! 5.4.19

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5.4.19 | 7-10pm | the viva center DC

The Sobriety Collective and The Viva Center DC proudly present Sans Bar DC, a monumental event in our nation's capital! As a stop on The Sans Bar National Pop-up Tour, Washington DC could not be more stoked to have a night of authentic connection with delicious spirit-free beverages. Music includes tunes spun by Raveclean's DJ FM - more details to come so follow us on Instagram @sansbardc for all the latest news and special offers.

Get your tickets today!

6 Myths About Getting Sober You Might Actually Still Believe

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by Erin Gilday

Whether you are newly sober or just sober-curious, you’re inevitably going to have ideas about what you think sobriety looks like.

These ideas about sobriety and what sobriety looks like will come at you from all angles, whether you want them to or not.

Some of these ideas will come from friends, family, acquaintances, TV shows, addiction literature, self-help groups, or the dank basement that is your subconscious. Some are even going to reach you via the wisdom of crappy internet memes or late-night Facebook posts.

Not all of these ideas are helpful. Many of them aren’t even true.

You already know that your mindset is one of your biggest assets in getting sober. And if you’re mindset is being influenced by, well...bullshit...then it’s going to be tough to stay clean.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the most unhelpful and untrue myths out there about getting sober.

Sobriety Myth #1 - You Won’t Have Any Friends

This is a biggie.

By the time your life is semi- (or fully) consumed by addiction, pretty much every aspect of your life is tied up in thinking about, acquiring, and/or using your substance of choice. This very often includes what’s left of your social life.

It’s easy to let the friendship question make you second guess your decision to get sober.

The questions start: Who will you hang out with when you get sober? What will you even do together? How do you make friends sober?

Here’s the truth: you will probably have to get new friends when you get sober but they’re going to be better friends.

The friends you used to drink or use with are probably not going to know how to support your new lifestyle. Most of them aren’t going to get it. They’re going to feel attacked and threatened by your sobriety. They’re not going to want to suddenly quit using and join you in sober friendship mode. And being around people who are still using is probably not going to work for you - especially at first.

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news: You will make new friends when you’re sober, and they’re going to actually be better friends because of it.

These friends aren’t keeping one eye on the bartender or one eye on their cell phone, waiting for that text. These friends aren’t going to disappoint you when they lie to you or steal from you or use you. These friends are going to want to hang out with you first and foremost, and not just as an afterthought.

You’re going to make new friends because now that you’re sober, you’re going to have a ton of free time to do other things: join an exercise group, take a meditation class, attend meetings (of whatever kind), volunteer, go back to school, pick up ecstatic dance or learn taekwondo.

You’re going to meet people at these things and the vast majority of them aren’t going to be addicts. A couple of them might even be your friend.    

Sobriety Myth #2 - You’ll Never Have Real Fun Again

You’re right.

You’re never going to have “fun” blacking out and waking up in your own body fluids ever again.

Addiction might not look like “fun,” especially as it progresses, but for a lot of addicts, the intention to have some “fun” (and enjoy the stress relief that goes along with it) plays a large part in using.

That intention just doesn’t usually work out for addicts.

Unfortunately, many “normal” people who use drugs and alcohol casually are able to have fun using, so it makes sense that our ideas about fun are tied up in drugs and alcohol. The mainstream version of “fun” - going out, taking a vacation, going to a party, watching the game, getting together with the girls - almost always involves substances of abuse.


You go out, you drink. It’s expected.

Here’s the truth: you will have to re-learn how to have fun without your substance of choice. Mainstream society isn’t going to really support you on this.  

It will take a little while to remember how to have fun sober. If anyone is telling you otherwise, they’re not being totally honest. It’ll take a minute, but you will remember how.

Whether it’s painting or singing or playing with legos, we’ve all had fun in our lives without substances, even if it was a long, long time ago.

You’ll get that back. The fun you have will be reliable, safe, within your control, and pure. And you’ll remember it in the morning.  


Sobriety Myth #3 - Sobriety Will Destroy Your Love Life

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(A note for couples: If your significant other is active in their addiction and they’re not willing to get sober with you, see Sobriety Myth #1. Just like the platonic friends who you use with, you’re probably going to have to get rid of addicted significant others, and that is going to put a wrecking ball through your love life for a bit. I’m sorry. It’s worth it.)

For you single people out there, I know what you’re thinking.

How will I ever date sober?

Here’s the truth: There’s a lot of catches out there who prefer sober dates.

Congratulations! You have just dramatically improved your dating pool by weeding out people who don’t value sobriety.

Yes, dating can be awkward and doing it sober makes it slightly more awkward. But you’re able to get a much better read on people when you’re sober and you’re able to spot the red flags you would have missed while using coming a mile away.

The intimacy you built with your date over dinner? You’ll know it’s real because you’re building it sober.

The decision to go home with your date? You’ll know it was a clear-headed, consensual one because you made it sober.

The adult fun you have at their house? You’ll know you were at peak performance because, yep, you did it sober.

Sobriety Myth #4 - You Won’t be Able to Handle the Stress of Life Sober

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Drugs of abuse trick us into making us think that they are helping with stress. They’re not. They’re actually altering our brain chemistry to produce more stress in the long-term.

In reality, addiction is making our stress worse and leaving us less equipped to deal with life as it comes without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Here’s the truth: Consistently dealing with stress in only one way - by using - robs us of the opportunity to learn how to deal with it in new ways.

Whether it’s mindfulness, exercise, counseling, artistic expression, music, conversations with a friend, going for a walk, doing breathing exercises, working on a fun project, or watching ASMR videos on Youtube, there are literally hundreds of ways to deal with stress that you probably haven’t tried.

Learning a new skill is tough but you can do it. You’re stronger than you think.

Sobriety Myth #5 - You’ll Have to Become a Completely Different Person

A lot of people have an idea of a “sober” person in their mind.

For some, it’s that preachy aunt who has been rabid about NA since the early 80’s. For others, it’s that dry drunk coworker who is sober now but is still a pain in the ass at staff meetings. Some people think of that “perfect angel” they know who does hours of selfless volunteering at the church thrift shop now that they are born again and sober.  

It’s no wonder some people can’t see themselves getting sober. With role models like these, who can blame them?

Here’s the truth: You can get sober and still be yourself. 100%. You’ll actually become MORE like yourself as you get sober.

There is no one way to get sober. Forget the ideas you have about what a sober person looks like. You don’t need to become someone else to get sober. Yes, you’ll learn some new tricks, but you’ll actually expand into who you really are once you let drugs and alcohol stop calling all the shots.

You’ll find that some people in early sobriety do try to “be someone else” as they try to adjust to their new identity and reality. From the outside, this can look and feel forced and it can turn sober-curious people off.

Others will be a bit too overzealous in their total adoption of group think. Whether they’re part of a religious institution or some self-help organization, these people will appear to lose of bit of their old selves in the process of getting sober. This is usually temporary and by no means universal. For some people, it works best this way. If that doesn’t work for you - skip it.

In sobriety, YOU DO YOU.

Sobriety Myth #6 - You Don’t Deserve Sobriety

You don’t hear a lot of people say this one out loud, but, boy, is this a doozy.

Being caught in the spiral of addiction sucks. You disappoint other people - but especially yourself - a lot. You have a massive amount of negative self-talk brewing on the daily. You’re sure to criticize yourself before someone else beats you to the punch.

If you’re dealing with other mental health issues - and most of us are - you might be getting an extra helping of self-loathing.

It’s easy to start feeling like you, not the drugs, are the problem.

You’re not.

Here’s the truth: We all deserve a life free of addiction. We all are capable not only of learning how to function but actually THRIVE without drugs and alcohol.

You’ve made some mistakes, sure, but don’t believe the hype. You’re a human and you’re no better or worse than the rest of us.

There’s nothing written in the stars that says your life has to be this way. You won’t always feel this way. It’s temporary. Millions of people just like you have come back from this - and worse.

Bust Your Own Myths

This list is a start, but it’s not exhaustive. There are so many other sobriety myths out there that stop people from pursuing sobriety.

If you’ve got any other myths holding you back, write them down. Sometimes just looking at them on paper is enough to realize they’re ridiculous. If that doesn’t work, share them with a friend or counselor and see if they can help bust them for you. Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need.

As you continue on your journey, I hope you keep finding more myths to bust - and surprising yourself about how awesome sobriety can be!


erin gilday

Erin Gilday is a copywriter and content marketer specializing in addiction treatment. She is a former substance abuse counselor and social worker. She loves her cat, The X-Files, classic movies and organizing for social justice. You can find her on LinkedIn.

How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

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From time to time, The Sobriety Collective will post sponsored content if relevant to our community. While TSC and yours truly (Laura, the founder) do not endorse any treatment center over another, Mountain Peak Recovery did sponsor this blog post and I believe the content will be useful to readers looking for their own treatment or help for loved ones. - L


How to Work Your Way Toward Sobriety

Addiction has taken over the lives of thousands of people as well as their family members who suffer in silence while watching the ones they love struggle with something that has spiraled out of control. Much like it has affected the lives of thousands of people, it may be negatively impacting your life, making you feel like much less of a person. If you are tired and believe you have hit rock bottom once and for all, you are likely looking for ways to work on becoming sober so that you can put a stop to the addiction for good and become a sober person.


Find a Recovery Center

Instead of trying to do this on your own by quitting drugs cold turkey, you should start your search for a recovery center where you can get all the help you need. Mountain Peak Recovery this post’s sponsor, is just one of may rehabilitation centers offered to people with substance use disorder who are looking to change their lives, even if it means following certain steps to make things happen. If you are looking for a light to shine through and eliminate much of the darkness you have been experiencing, this is a great recovery center to visit and stay in while focusing primarily on yourself and what you need to do to get sober.

 

Start Working on Yourself

If you decide to visit the recovery center, you will become a member of the inpatient residential treatment program where you will stay at the recovery center for a set period. The length of your stay will depend on various factors, including the severity of the addiction, the length of the waitlist for the center, and the amount of time you can afford to be away from home. In most cases, programs are available for 28-30 days, but patients may be able to stay longer if they feel like they are not ready to go back home and are still in need of some extra help.

During your time at a recovery center, you go through the detox, you start to receive counseling, and you even get to join group therapy sessions where everyone is being open about what they are going through and the challenges they have faced over the years. You will get to start working on yourself each day while learning coping mechanisms and figuring out ways to avoid drugs when you know they are not doing you any good. There are things you are going to learn how to do, such as learning to identify where certain feelings come from and determining how to take better care of yourself.

If you look forward to the day where you can say that you are sober and do not need drugs to feel good or to enjoy the life you are living, you should start looking for a recovery center to stay at for as long as you need to. While you are at the center seeking help for your addiction, you will get to learn a lot about yourself and discover new ways to grow and improve, which may include finding new hobbies to get involved in and learning to trust yourself when making decisions. Choosing to work on your sobriety is the best decision you could possibly make.

Happy Brain, Happy You: A Celebration of Recovery

In honor of Suicide Awareness and National Recovery Month, Dr. Julie Lopez will moderate an evening of storytelling about human struggles, resiliency, and survival.

Hear from a panel of leaders and survivors within the mental health and recovery movements, including Laura Silverman of the Sobriety Collective and Christie Dondero-Bettwy of Rock Recovery. Anyone who has experienced addiction, suicidality, eating disorders, and other mental health concerns will be able to hear, share (if desired), and honor their experiences in a safe and empathetic group. Additionally, Dr. Julie will provide insight into how trauma can influence these subjects.

Light food and beverages will be served.

Volunteer positions are currently open for this event! All volunteers will receive free admission to one of our Holistic Professional Group's monthly workshops, where professionals in the wellness sphere are able to network while learning more about diverse approaches to mental health.

Register here.