If sobriety is something you’re interested in exploring as you head into the new year (and, maybe more importantly, out of the old one), Nina Renata Aron’s list of books, podcasts, TV episodes, and more will equip you with a lot of motivation. Not motivation to quit, necessarily, but motivation to stay interested in quitting.
Because this collection is shame-free.
As Aron writes: “Decoupling the concept of sobriety from the still-stigmatized disease of alcoholism has granted people greater freedom to experiment with self-restraint without feeling a sense of shame or failure if they do decide to do that tequila shot…
Recovering alcoholics often say they’re lucky. To a newcomer hearing this uttered in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, it can sound ridiculous. “Lucky to be here,” one might scoff, sipping weak coffee in a bleak church basement, surrounded by disconcertingly cheerful drunks? “Ha.”
But if you follow the suggestion to keep coming back, it starts to make sense after a while. That’s because 12-step recovery doesn’t just help people to quit drinking. It offers a “blueprint for living,” a set of tools and strategies that, when practiced daily, slowly transform our lives from feeling unmanageable to something we can deal with…
Recently, when a friend asked me why I thought so many people we knew had stopped drinking, I responded with, “Um, maybe because the pandemic is one of the biggest challenges humans have ever faced, and it’s the only way we can exert a modicum of control over our existence?”
That’s all true, but there’s also the fact that once we’ve quit, many of us discover a new vitality. Even if it’s not a full-on lifestyle change, getting a little dry time under our belts seems to catalyze creativity.
There was already so much to drink about.
We’ve been in a climate crisis for years. American voters have narrowed the most diverse field of presidential contenders ever down to three elderly white men. And now, here to bring the majority of human activities to a screeching, expensive halt is COVID-19, in all its apocalyptic glory.
Standing in my kitchen, reading the latest disorienting, overwhelming news about the virus, I hit “send” on a tweet asking whether it’s dumb to stay sober now.
I had split a cucumber-flavored seltzer, gussied up with simple syrup and lime slices, with a…