Quartz examines why the pleasures of sobriety are appealing even to those who haven’t struggled in their relationships with alcohol.
Time To Stop Drinking
In the summer of 2019, Angela Martin decided it was time to stop drinking. “I woke up one morning after having a couple margaritas,” says Martin, a 41-year-old health and wellness coach who lives in Bend, Oregon. “I felt horrible and was like, ‘Why do I continue to do this?’ No matter how bad the hangover was, I never seemed to learn.”
Martin had taken a break from alcohol before. But that 90-day stretch came to an end when a friend who worked in public relations offered her a spot on a free wine-tasting trip in California’s Napa Valley. “I got trashed, I lost my keys, I had a huge fight with my husband—and he and I never argue,” she recalls. The only way to really change her relationship with alcohol was to make a big commitment: one year of not drinking. She announced her plan on social media. “I thought, ‘Shit, now I’ve really got to do this.’”
The new guides to quitting alcohol
Among the most influential people in the new sobriety movement is Annie Grace, author of the books This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment. She runs two digital recovery programs and hosts a twice-weekly podcast that has more than 8.5 million downloads to date.
Grace, who got sober in her 30s and previously worked in marketing, has a soothing voice and down-to-earth smile. Her school of thought holds that it’s possible to rid oneself of the desire to drink—thereby making sobriety not a struggle, but an easy choice, once you decide to make it. When you change your perspective on alcohol, she writes in This Naked Mind, “you begin to see the truth about drinking. When this happens, no willpower is required, and it becomes a joy not to drink.”
The book explains that alcohol doesn’t actually do the things we think it does. Like, relax us, make us happy, make us have more fun. The craving we have for a drink at the end of the day, she writes, is a signal we misinterpret. It’s not the drink itself we want, but an end to the feeling of wanting.
Discover the pleasures of sobriety
The pleasures of sobriety do exist and you can discover them for yourself. Start reading This Naked Mind for free now to discover how.