“We don’t think there’s one size fits all … people need to find their own sweet spot for their relationship with alcohol and pursue that.” This is a quote from Roger Falconer-Flint, speaking to The Guardian about the Australian organization Hello Sunday Morning, which takes a flexible, supportive approach to help people manage their sobriety. It’s one of many organizations highlighted by The Guardian in a recent feature on quitting alcohol written by Shantel Wetherall, who details her own decision to stop drinking and the effects that decision has had on her life. It’s a surprisingly uplifting read and provides a wealth of information for anyone considering a change of their own. Bottom line: you don’t have to hit the classic version of “rock bottom” to decide to live a different life.
“The AA vision of sobriety couldn’t have been further from the truth for me,” writes Wetherall. “Sobriety isn’t about sacrifice—the lucidity I’m able to bring to my important moments now intensifies their brightness and hue.” Wetherall explains that while she struggled with alcohol, she also didn’t exactly feel “sick enough” to seek help. It turns out there are tons of people (and a lot of women) who feel this way, which is why many more groups beyond Alcoholics Anonymous are rising up to provide the sort of support that both sober and sober-curious individuals might be seeking.
Tempest, for example, takes an approach that investigates the various stressors that contribute to drinking. It also wants to lift up people who might feel resigned to this decision instead of empowered by it: “Sobriety, and the refusal to partake in alcogenic culture, is subversive, rebellious, and edgy,” its manifesto reads in part.
Wetherall also mentions Served Up Sober, a support group that aims to make “holistic tools more available” to women of color who are either sober or sober-curious. According to founder Shari Hampton, “Instead of being powerless they can be powerful. That’s a new approach to sobriety, it’s the powerful piece of you. The bigness of you, not the smallness.”
It’s worth reading the whole thing and learning about new ways to address very old challenges. And if you have organizations to recommend, we’d love to hear them.