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The Joy of Living Sober

living sober

The Joy of Living Sober

The new sobriety movement isn’t just a thing, it’s, well, a movement. So says Quartz anyway. And a whole lotta folks concur. Do ya think that perhaps there is true joy in living sober?

Of course you do. Because of course there is. And if by chance you’re one of the few who don’t concur, it’s really just a matter of yet. That’s right. You don’t concur — yet. But fret not, because you’ll get there — yet. Even if you don’t have issues with alcohol. And if you’re among those who’ve found themselves drunk under a table two too many times — watch out! Your life is about to get blessedly blessed.

No foolin.’

Crunching the Numbers

(Ya gotta luv the good folks at Quartz. Not only are the ace reporters who content the site some of the most savvy and acute we’ve got, but every week they put a good chunk of their reporting into deep-diving Field Guides. Those Guides not only provide all you need to know about a given topic, but they also include a whole lotta stuff you didn’t even know you needed to know. Even better, they all come with highly edifying drive-by prefaces. Yes, there’s an admission price. But if this is your schtick, it’s a write-off. Besides, you know by now that quality sometimes costs. Anyway, in order to give you some idea of the site’s many splendors, here we’re culling from the preface to Quartz’s Field Guide to Sobriety.)

To some sobriety is simply a lifestyle choice. To others however, it’s a live-or-die choice. Either way there are some serious numbers involved, and they all add up to the same results. Here are five of Quartz’s lead-off numbers.

  • 72: Alcohol’s harmfulness score, out of 100, making it the number-one most harmful drug to individuals and society. So finds a landmark 2010 study conducted by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (now Drug Science) and published in the Lancet. That means, when all the costs are tallied, alcohol is more harmful than both heroin and crack. Put that in your highball.
  • 57%: Proportion of the global population that hasn’t had a drink in 12 months. There’s a reason why it’s called a sobriety movement.
  • 6.5 million: people in the UK who said they participated in Dry January in 2021. See above re movement. Then consider this: the UK only has some 66.5 million people! That’s 10%!
  • 40%: Americans in a 2019 poll who said they were drinking less than they were five years prior. Whoa. 40% of some 328 million is a whole lotta less. The liquor companies must be furious!
  • 46%: Proportion of the US drinking-age population has tried a non-alcoholic beer or cocktail. See above re population. Then consider how many of that 46% liked what they drank enough to stay. Hmmm…
  • 30%: 2020 sales growth of low- and no-alcohol beverages in the US and in the UK in 2020. There’s your answer!
  • Facts That Figure

    Speaking of non-alcoholic beverages… non-alcoholic Athletic Brewing Company won Brewer of the Year in 2020’s International Beer Challenge, beating out its alcoholic competitors. Yes, you read correctly. An alcohol-free beer company beat out a worldwide field of beer-beer competitors. Guess someone’s tackled the taste question.

    Before COVID, much of our social life revolved around alcohol. That’s especially true when it came to socializing with our coworkers. And while most of our colleagues were content to wait till the closing bell rang, a good few wouldn’t or couldn’t hold off. Now, we all know the negative effects alcohol has on productivity and performance. We also know that not being able to wait is a good sign there’s a problem. So condoning at-work imbibing isn’t even a question.

    Perhaps however companies would be better off if they cut back on the cocktails and instead embraced the new paradigm. Surely the sober folk could use the support. Here are a few good tips:

  • Talk about it. Mention sober-sided life in a newsletter. Hold department-wide chat sessions. Perhaps even pull a colleague or three aside. Whatever it takes to understand what it means to quit drinking. Before an organization runs out and makes sober-friendly changes however, the bosses best check their own biases and beliefs around alcohol, especially with regards to its role in the workplace.
  • Sorry, Larry Lampshade. Heavy drinking at industry events is outdated. Way outdated. (In fact, there’s no excuse for heavy drinking anywhere, but we’ll stick with the workplace for now.) For the next company shindig, why not try hiring caterers who are riding the sober-curious trend? Let the naysayers flask it up while you look like the most with-it cat or kitten in town. You’d be surprised how many cool points you’ll earn (not to mention how many office scandals you’ll preempt).
  • Choose restaurants over bars for the next holiday party. Sitting at table compels a much different kind of conversation than perching on a bar stool. It also sends a much different kind of message. In fact, having a dinner party shows respect; whereas holding an open bar shows you’ve really never left the frat. Having a real meal shows extra respect to the (increasing — remember?) percentage of people who live on the sober side of life.
  • The Joys of Living Sober

    Healing Properties has been trumpeting the joys of living sober for nearly two decades. And we’re most grateful to Quartz for putting together their Field Guide to Sobriety and reaffirming our beliefs. We’re especially grateful for their tipping off others to the joys of living sober. We know full well sober people still go out and have fun; that it’s possible to enjoy an alcohol-free beer or well-crafted mocktail when one wants to decompress. We also know companies are lining up to help us sober folk do what we do. It’s just nice to see it reiterated, that’s all.

    Most importantly, any emphasis on the joy of living sober might just convince a few troubled doubters to choose the sober life. If these folks could be persuaded to change before they hit rock bottom it’d be a proverbial godsend for everyone. And you don’t have to believe in much of anything to know there’s no such thing as too many proverbial godsends.

    There’s no such thing as too sober either. Then again, once you find sobriety, that will no longer be an issue. Oh, it’s not as if you’ll forget what you’re missing, mind you. It’s more like the thought won’t even enter your mind. Why? Because your life will be so full that the thought won’t be able to fit.

    If you need help, get help. Please. All it takes is a phone call.

    (Image: Shutterstock)

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