The first thing to know about sobriety is it's not about what you're not allowed to do. It's not about depriving yourself. It can be, if you only choose to think about it that way, but you won't gain much from your adventures in abstaining if you limit your perspective to that.
Anyway, it's no fun moping around about what a bummer it is you can't have alcohol. Luckily, going sober is actually about the things you can do that you may not have had the time, money, energy, mental clarity or emotional bandwidth for in the past. It might start out as simple as sleeping a little better, thinking a little quicker or clawing back hours of your life once lost to the hangover void.
Soon, you may find you now have the energy to catch a sunrise—on purpose. You may have the spare change to dine out at a Michelin-starred restaurant (no overpriced drinks!). You may have the stamina to finish a 5K (or a crossword), or the self-assurance to call up an old friend you'd lost touch with (... or text them). Sobriety is an opportunity to be enjoyed, not an ordeal to be endured, and you might as well make the most of it.
There's never been a better time to make sobriety your New Year's resolution, in part because everyone else is doing it. There are sober activities and communities to fit any interest or personality. You can go hiking, climbing or e-biking, or hit up a sober rave, sober art show or even one of the many sober bars that have recently opened. These activities and places aren't just for people with long-term sobriety or in recovery from addiction: Usually the only requirement to get in the door is that you're not consuming alcohol at that moment.
If you're more into digital spaces, you can check out plenty of online sober communities, on platforms like All Sober or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. If you post an announcement that you intend to go sober, you just might find your pride will keep you on the path. There are also sobriety-tracking apps, some of which can tell you how many calories you've dodged and how much money you've banked in the process.
Even if you're socializing in your usual spots, there are now many nonalcoholic adult drinks out there, and many are good. If you're into connoisseurship, take some time to explore complex nonalcoholic aperitifs, botanicals, teas, coffees and sodas.
The bottom line is nowadays, in 2023, you don't need to have a reason—or a "problem"—to skip alcohol. (And if substance use is dragging on you, you should be proud, not ashamed, to have the guts to seek treatment or counseling. We've tried to make that as straightforward as possible with All Sober.)
Throughout this month and beyond, we'll be posting stories, tips, ideas and inspiration for your dry life, whether you're sober curious, sober today, sober for Dry January, or sober, loving it and thinking about keeping it up. We've also got you covered if you're considering recovery, in early recovery or long-term sober. We hope you'll join us and enjoy the journey!