This was originally published at www.thefix.com
Two years ago, I would not have thought sober people were appealing. At all. Whatsoever.
Crazy, yes. Impressive, yes. But attractive... not so much.
After all, there was nothing attractive about someone who couldn't get shwasted with me. What fun was that? Zero fun, that's what.
Two years later, my thoughts have done a complete 180. Yes, this is due in large part to my own sobriety, but there's more to it than that.
I've come to realize that there's a calmness surrounding people who are strong their sobriety. A certainty in who they are and what they stand for. A sense of serenity, if you will. There are numerous reasons that sobriety and sober people are hella sexy.
1. We know who we are and what we need. If sobriety teaches us anything, it's who we really are, not who we wish we were. We learn what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are, why we act and react the way we do. As someone who really, truly knows these parts of themselves, the good and the bad, we are likely better off than we were before.
2. We are intentional in our words and actions. No drunken midnight texts here. No slips of the lips. Nope, everything we express is genuine and intentional. Well, maybe not everything. But for the most part, not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly increases our ability to be aware of what we are saying or doing. It also allows us to realize when we should avoid saying or doing certain things. This awareness is a good thing -- we mean what we say.
3. We appreciate the little things. I can only speak for myself, but there's something enlightening about recovery. It's like all the little beauties in the world become magnified. Everything seems so much more incredible, so much clearer, so much more awe-inspiring. I studied abroad early in sobriety and nothing, I mean nothing, would have been the same had I still been drinking. The experience would have been just another blur in my life of drinking. Instead, I reveled in every moment and never felt more alive. That's a hell of a feeling.
4. We know how to stand up after being knocked down. Every addict, including myself, has a bottom that likely seemed like the end life as we knew it -- and it was. But that is because life as we knew it sucked. At the time of my bottom, I didn't think I would ever be happy again. I had no motivation to get better, but I got out of bed and went to my program every day. And eventually I realized life was pretty damn great. I was on my feet once again, even though I didn't think I ever would be. Addicts are tough. We have to be.
5. We can (and will) admit our faults. Reference Step 10. A large part of an addict's recovery program is coming to terms with the fact that we are not, in fact, perfect. We have screwed up a lot in the past, and we will continue to do so -- the difference being that we are now aware of it and will do our best to amend our wrongs.
6. We remember last night. Seriously. You can take us out, we will sober cab, and we will even tell you all the idiotic things you said/did the night before. We might even have photo documentation.
7. We are honest. A large part of recovery is honestly, not only with ourselves, but also with others. I don't know a single person who does not value honesty or does not find it an attractive quality in a person. Although honestly can sometimes be hurtful, it is a better quality than dishonesty, and probably less harmful in the long run.
8. We likely care about our health and physical appearance. It's a solid bet that while using, our bodies showed it in one way or another. That being said, sobriety has made us more aware of our physical appearance and how that reflects our inner appearance. Not to mention, working out is a great outlet in sobriety.
9. Our financial situation is more stable. *Note: College students such as myself are exempt from this one. But in all seriousness, someone who has stopped using is probably much more stable financially than they were when they were spending their money on drugs or alcohol. Even if drugs or alcohol miraculously did not have a negative impact on a person's financial situation, it is still highly likely that money is currently going to a better cause.
10. We just have our shit together. That's all there is to it. Once we get sobriety, everything else falls into place (or at least becomes manageable). And I'd venture to say that that's much more attractive than a life that's a daily shit show.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.