Sober curious, the sober curious movement—what does it mean? Is it a club? For who, exactly? And why is this something to be curious about in the first place?
Like many of the latest drinking trends—like Dry January or alcohol-free beer—the concept of being sober curious is one that might make you feel like an outsider if you don’t look into it.
There’s an unspoken pressure to drink around us all the time, and if you genuinely don’t know what being sober and curious means or why someone would choose to abstain from alcohol, it can seem like you’re also choosing not to fit in with everyone else out there having a good time.
But here’s the thing: It’s okay to be confused by this trend, but there’s no need to stay that way! Here’s your guide on all things sober curious and the sober curious movement.
What Does It Mean to Be Sober Curious?
The word “sober” can mean many things. The most common definitions include “not drunk,” “unintoxicated,” and “mentally clear.” But when you add the suffix “curious,” it means something different—and people who are curious about sobriety may not actually be sober all the time!
For example, a person may want to experience life without drugs or alcohol at least once to see what it is like.
They might want to attend a party where there is no alcohol available to see how much fun everyone else is having while they remain sober.
Or they might ask their friends why they drink; maybe they’re curious about how their friends use alcohol or what happens at parties where everyone drinks.
Being sober curious often results in conversations around drug use or sobriety; if someone mentions that they are sober curious on social media, for instance, other users will discuss their experiences with sobriety and alcoholism in an effort to help each other learn more about this lifestyle choice (or lack thereof).
What Is Sober Curiosity?
“Sober curious” is a term coined by Lifestyle Sobriety founder and author, Melanie Benson. It is defined as “a person who has been sober for a certain amount of time but still maintains an honest curiosity about their former lifestyle.”
This means that the person has taken a step back from their addiction, experienced its aftermath, and now wants to learn how to change their life in a positive way.
Instead of just beating themselves up over their mistakes or becoming defensive about why they made them in the first place; they are trying to figure out how best to move forward.
So what does it mean exactly? Let’s break down some of the key components:
- Desire or need for self-improvement. This can be anything from wanting more confidence or happiness in your life; being able to trust other people again; improving at work; feeling like you contribute more than just money at home; being able to enjoy hobbies without alcohol…you get the idea! The possibilities are endless!
- Open, honest curiosity about your former lifestyle—This means really asking yourself questions like “Why did I do this? What was so great about drinking all night long every night? How could I have spent so much time doing this when it wasn’t making me happy?”
History of Sober Curiosity
Sober Curiosity has been around for a long time. In fact, it can be traced back to the beginning of the modern recovery movement. The original concept was developed by Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson in the 1940s when he wrote a pamphlet called Sober Curious?
After that pamphlet was published, it went on to become an integral part of AA’s 12-Step program and eventually became part of many other addiction recovery programs today.
In modern times, Sober Curious is often used as an umbrella term that encompasses all different types of people who have chosen healthy lifestyles and sober lifestyles over unhealthy, problematic ones.
This includes people who are not only sober but also those who are more generally just curious about living life without alcohol or other drugs—and even those who don’t consider themselves addicts but simply want to learn more about recovery options available in their area.
Living a Sober Curious Lifestyle
In a Sober Curious lifestyle, you’re open to trying new things and being curious about the world around you. You’ll explore new places, new relationships, and even new hobbies and activities. There are no limits!
To live your best life as a Sober Curious individual:
- Go out with friends who enjoy sober activities when you would normally want to go out drinking with them.
- Try yoga or meditation classes. They can be challenging at first, but they are fun once you get the hang of them!
- Join an online support group for people who have been in recovery for over five years (such as Sober 5 Years). This is a great way to learn more about how others deal with their issues in recovery every day—and it’s free!
Potential Health Benefits
A lot of people think that drinking is a good thing. Think about it: it’s part of our culture! But it’s actually not great for everyone. People who drink usually don’t feel as good as they could feel if they formed a deep connection or experienced greater focus through abstinence.
But here’s the fun part: there are ways to make sobriety better than drinking—and the benefits go way beyond not having hangovers or liver damage from an alcohol-use disorder. If you’re curious about being sober, there are plenty of reasons why you should be curious about this lifestyle choice.
You don’t have to be sober for curiosity to serve you, but it helps. Curiosity is one of the most important qualities in life. It helps us learn and grow, take risks, and connect with others.
In fact, it’s so important that maybe curiosity should be a fundamental part of any recovery program—whether that’s AA or Sober Curious.
Get curious about the world around you: What’s going on in your community? How do people live their lives differently than you with alcohol use? What are some things they’re worried about right now? Or perhaps there are other areas where you want to become more knowledgeable: Yoga? Cooking? Traveling abroad?
Whatever it is, take time each day and pursue something new!
Create a plan.
Once you’ve accepted the idea of quitting alcohol, it’s time to make a plan. This means that you need to figure out how long you’ll be sober, what your triggers are, and what resources you need in order to stay sober by living a sober lifestyle. It also means coming up with ways to avoid those triggers and keep yourself from falling back into old habits.
To help get started with this part of the process (which will probably take more than one day), here are some questions for you:
- How long do I want to be sober? In other words, how long do I want my sobriety journey/experimentation/cleanse/detoxification period?
- What is my motivation for quitting drinking? Why do I want or need to stop drinking? What’s driving me forward right now?
Find a crowd.
The most important thing you can do in the first month of sobriety is to find a community that supports your decision to live sober.
This could be a mentor, sponsor, support group, or therapist. The person doesn’t have to be an addict—it could be anyone who has been through some kind of recovery (from mental illness or a traumatic event, for example) and wants to help others navigate it as well.
They will provide guidance and encouragement during the challenging times so that you don’t give up on your journey before it even begins.
Change up your hobbies.
Having a hobby can be a great way to make friends, stay busy and healthy, and keep your mind off of drinking or drugs. But how do you find that perfect hobby? What are some hobbies that are sober curious? Can any hobby be made sober curious?
First of all, if you don’t know where to start or feel like your life is just too boring without drinking, it’s time to change that mindset!
You have plenty of things in your life right now that are already awesome: food, music, nature and so much more. The key here is finding the right balance of fun activities while also staying away from alcohol.
Sober Curious means having fun while minimizing alcohol consumption; this may mean less bingeing or no bingeing at all, depending on someone’s sobriety goals. This can also mean trying out new things!
Moderation is a key component of a Sober Curious lifestyle. It’s also a key component of a healthy lifestyle, happy lifestyle, and successful lifestyle.
The idea that “everything in moderation” is as old as the concept of moderation itself—but it remains relevant today because we all need to know when to say “enough.”
If you’ve ever struggled with an addiction or other unhealthy relationship with alcohol (or any substance), you know how easily things can spiral out of control if you don’t have boundaries around your drinking.
By setting those limits beforehand, you’re more likely to stick to them once the party gets started (or when your friends start drinking).
And by keeping track of what works for yourself over time, there’s no reason why this isn’t something that could become second nature—a new way of living without having another drink at all!
What if I need help now?
Reach out to professionals for guidance on your next step in your sober journey. Organizations like treatment centers like Haven Health can assist you in your next steps.
How do I ask for help?
Talk to someone you trust. Tell them what’s going on with you, that has made you sober curious. Do you need to get sober, and how you can do that are the next steps.
Is it worth getting sober?
Life can be very rewarding while sober. You may feel differently about your life in the future if you were to become sober today.
Get Help at the Haven
Sober Curious, while it has roots in recovery and alcohol abuse, is a lifestyle that anyone can take part in. Whether you’re looking to cut back on drinking or just want to explore life without alcohol for a bit, it’s something worth trying for your mental health.
It can be eye-opening and help you learn more about yourself and your relationship with alcohol. So get out there! Learn some more about the why behind Sober Curious, try out a few experiments of your own, and connect with others who are feeling curious too!
Reach out to Heaven Health if you feel you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse. We’re here to help. Contact us today at (561) 328-8627 for further information.