The Sober Line & Why it is more important now than ever
Mar 11, 2023
The very first charm that I created for Bold Soul Designs was “Fucking Sober.” I was running business ideas by a good friend contemplating what charms to start with, when she suggested that I make her an edgy sober charm. I needed this push to get started, and thanks to her, “Fucking Sober” emerged signifying the strength and commitment that is takes to tackle sobriety each and every day.
As someone who is not recovering, I will never truly grasp what the struggle to stay sober is like. Only those who wake up thinking about their sobriety and go to bed thinking about their sobriety can truly comprehend. For those in recovery, everyday stressors that I take for granted as manageable can easily trigger addiction to resurface – often stemming from underlying issues such as anxiety or depression – all of which can lead to relapse. Now take all of this and throw it into an unexpected isolating pandemic situation – as if things could not get worse for maintaining sobriety? Covid19 could prove to be the biggest, most unexpected and unprecedented challenge that addicts will ever face.
Many of our states saw alcohol consumption rise as much as 200-400 percent within 24 hours after sheltering at home orders began. According to USA Today, there has never been such a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption in a short period of time; with increases in drinking during the week, as well as weekends. Not only is this attributed to the social and economic stress of Covid19, but also to being confined to working from home (If you are lucky enough to not be furloughed), isolated from people, void of your normal routine, and having days and weeks blend together without an actual end in sight. What I find ironic is that while parks and walking paths as well as gyms were quickly shut down across the country for Covid19, liquor stores were deemed essential with lines out the doors – even though we know that for mental and physical wellness, getting outside and getting exercise is really the “essential” necessity for getting through this pandemic!
While the issue of increased alcohol consumption appears to be a direct result of Covid19, maintaining sobriety during a pandemic becomes the greatest challenge yet for people who have spent their life creating a new, healthier lifestyle free of substance abuse. According to ABCnews.go.com, therapists around the country are seeing significant relapses due to the stress from unemployment, isolation, and the inability to meet face to face with people for AA meetings and therapy sessions. While most of this is being offered online, there are still social pieces missing – like post meeting dinners, regular physical activity as well as human contact needed for reassurance and peace of mind.
I read a great article in preparing for this blog story written by a woman named Shantell Wetherall, on www.sbs.com.au. Shantell quit drinking a year prior to this pandemic, and in describing her current quarantine situation, wrote “I’ve never known cravings like the ones I’m experiencing in quarantine. There’s no step program that can prepare you for a global pandemic. Now I’m home alone and being inundated with one thousand times the wine-o-clock marketing and everyone I know is drinking their way through this on Instagram...”
My hope is that my blog post will be a reminder to all of us that maintaining sobriety right now has never been more difficult and to reach out to a sober family member or friend and check in on them; offering support and encouragement. Keep in mind that while many of us are doing Zoom Happy Hours and posting them on social media, addicts are doing Zoom meetings to stay sober and to stay alive.
I created the Sober AF and Fucking Sober charms because I continue to be amazed by my good friend and her ability to inspire others by sharing her triumphs and struggles with sobriety on social media. She wears the original Fucking Sober charm that I created for Bold Soul Designs as a reminder of her decades of sobriety and it makes me feel good knowing that I have created something that can offer motivation, encouragement and authenticity to her daily life as well as others.
Living in a pandemic and coping with the uncertainty of our economic and Covid-free future is stressful for all of us. Take a moment today to reach out to someone you know that struggles with addiction or mental health issues and see how they are managing during Covid19. We might not all be in this pandemic with the same struggles, but we are all in this together facing the same overwhelming lifestyle changes. Even though our country is slowly starting to open back up, we are looking at a new normal for everyone; and for some that might involve recovering from financial loss, job loss or even the loss of a loved one. So Be Kind AF. Be Strong AF. Be a Bold Soul.
- Kris Mattson