Higher IQs? –

August 8, 2020 – For Darien, a 28-year-old tattoo shop manager, working in hospitality meant that alcohol was an unquestioned part of her daily life. “I was absolutely overloaded with labour and underpaid, very much a cog in a system in need of a huge overhaul. So I would start work at 11am and be drunk by 3pm. I’d drink teapot negronis all shift, washed down with a nice bottle of wine or a jug of beer when I clocked off,” she says. Like many people I spoke to while writing this article, Darien’s decision to embrace sobriety was directly related to her mental health. 

“I was having drinks in the park with friends and somewhere during the second beverage, it felt like an alarm system went off in my brain; I just didn’t feel safe. I didn’t want to feel intoxicated, I wanted the safety of sobriety and to keep hold of my mental tools. I left the park and walked around until I was sober. It took a few of these events before I picked a date and promised myself a year of sobriety, at the end of which I would take stock. It’s been about eight months and I have no plans of going back.” 

Prior to going sober, Brodie, a 25-year-old public health researcher, was a “complete binge drinker” who would struggle to limit herself to only one or two drinks. She chose sobriety for a variety of reasons. “I have family members that are or were full-blown alcoholics, and had a fear of ending up like them. My drinking was getting more regular and I kept embarrassing myself while drunk. Nothing too bad, but I don’t deal well with any embarrassment. 

“My mental health while sober was not great, but it was worse when I was drunk, and hungover.” 

Aside from avoiding embarrassment and bad hangovers, she’s found that her depression has improved significantly since being sober, and while she still has difficult periods, “…my coping mechanisms now are a lot healthier and I am better equipped to ride out the low times,” she says.

But there are also plenty of young people who don’t fall into the “problem drinker category” that are opting for sobriety. ​Kitch, a 24-year-old social content manager, describes her approach to drinking prior to going sober as “pretty normal”.

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