Sober dating and honoring boundaries

Photograph by:  Ryan Smith

Photograph by: Ryan Smith

I have been thinking a lot about the role that alcohol plays in my life.

Are you someone who only feels at ease among a group of people once you’ve had a drink? Do you drink merely to ‘fit in’ in social settings with friends? Would they judge you if you didn’t order that glass of wine? Or are you OK saying “no thanks”.

What about going on that first date with someone new? Sober Dating - what a concept. Something I have been exploring. I had no idea how refreshing this would be. I had no idea it was exactly what I wanted and needed. I thought it might be awkward, but it’s been better than I could have imagined. Why? Because we are showing up completely as our selves. What is wrong with feeling nervous or unsure about what to say next anyhow? Isn’t that the point of dating and getting to know someone, to lean into those moments because they are, well, real. Dating without alcohol also allows space for true intimacy and finding out very quickly if there is a real connection there that isn’t being clouded by intoxication.

I know I am not alone when I say that through-out my early 20’s drinking on dates or at parties felt so much easier. You can shed those inhibitions a little more, and take the edge off mingling with a room full of strangers or long lost friends with slightly greater ease and confidence. Drinking due to social pressure has become the norm when you are young, but it does not have to be. You think to yourself, everybody else is so why not? Or maybe they are offering and you simply don’t know how to say no, (insert a million other scenarios and excuses as to why you feel you need to drink).

I am not saying that it can’t be fun or that I do occasionally enjoy a nice glass of wine, because good wine tastes good! But drinking socially just is not where I currently am in my life. I asked for a new partner where this wasn’t prevalent and the universe delivered. Be intentional with what you call in! You will be asked to level up and become what it is you envision your life to be.

A friend of mine has been sober for quite some time now and if I’m real, I used to feel triggered when she would share her journey with sobriety. It was nothing personal, however I would briefly read her words and continue to scroll on by. This had nothing to do with her and everything to do with something deep within myself that I had never thought to shine a light on.

When we feel these triggers, it is typically a good time to ask ourselves why we are having a reaction that leaves us feeling conflicted or at unease. Are we judging this because we ourselves don’t want to look at something within? Or are we ignoring a piece of our shadow that wants to be illuminated so that we can integrate it?

To be real, a big part of why I seldom drink is due to the fact that, well, I don’t love alcohol in the first place. Do I like an ice cold beer in the heat of summer? Sure, but I will reach for an ice cold kombucha with equal satisfaction. And in complete transparency, I haven’t entirely trusted myself when it is involved but more importantly, I am committed to being a clear vessel for my spiritual practice and alcohol has no real place there. This is my true WHY. When we talk about vibration or frequency in regards to how we live our lives and what surrounds us, well, alcohol is not a ‘vibrational match’ for where I currently am or want to be.

Have you noticed that there is a rise in community lately around alcohol being less of a focal point in our social scene? I know NYC has begun to open up sober bars now! Maybe you are simply curious to know how it is that you fully operate while living life without alcohol, or, because you can not drink due to being an addict, or maybe your adrenals are so taxed that your body physically can’t process its toxicity. I have come to revere the whole idea of leaving this indulgence behind.

More and more people are sharing their experiences with sobriety, and that doesn’t mean that they are an alcoholic or that they will never have a drink again, no, it means that more people are leveling up. More people are willing to live with less distraction and engage with life with a clear mind - how beautiful!

Another story I resonated with recently is with PHSY-K facilitator Raisa Reyes on her podcast, The Fire Within, talking about her experience with sobriety in which I feel we share many parallels. Another recent share I came across is with Amanda Blair, telling her journey into sobriety that I think many will find insightful. We truly are coming into a time of complete transparency. These are not new stories or revelations. The difference is that people are no longer afraid to speak their truth and use this as a bridge to connect so many that feel alone, or simply tired of the secrecy that has enveloped society as a whole for centuries. This is how our sick society is going to heal.

Since being romantically involved with someone that does not indulge in this whatsoever and being surrounded by beautiful people, like all of these women, I have been inspired to ask myself many questions. I have been in a deep period of reflection around this. All of these people have offered up a nurturing support system to reflect, and practice enforcing my own boundaries when it comes to actually living this existence that suits me well. It empowers me to say no where I used to say yes. Boundaries are my latest super power and it feels amazing to honor them.

How can you show up in your life completely uninhibited? Allow this to be an experiment in building your confidence, and to show up as you, without that liquid courage. Because guess what, I guarantee you are pretty great as you are.

marika jewellComment