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Sober Living

What to do when somebody isn’t supporting your sobriety

When I told people I was going alcohol-free, I was lucky enough to be given much love and support. I was blown away by people’s open-minded attitude and genuine interest in my decision.

So, when I had a conversation that wasn’t met with that same love and support, I was shocked. I was also angry, hurt and confused.

Why would somebody not want to support you in your sobriety?

The fact of the matter is that alcohol is so ingrained within the fabric of our society that to not drink is taboo. Choosing to live alcohol-free means that you’re separating from the crowd and taking a direction of your own. Inevitably, this will make some people uncomfortable.

Why does my sobriety make others uncomfortable?

While it was tempting to unleash my anger back on the person who had caused it, I realised that this wouldn’t help the situation (something I’d never have concluded if I was still drinking). Instead, I needed to understand that my sobriety made this person uncomfortable because it went against the grain of their living and forced them to think about their drinking, something they didn’t want to do. Instead, they defended their drinking as though it was under threat. The fact I hadn’t brought the subject up didn’t matter, my decision to not to drink was enough to rile them.

What should you do when someone is choosing not to support you?

It is not nice to have to deal with people who don’t support your sobriety. Unfortunately, like myself, you’re likely to have to face this situation at least once. My advice: don’t lose your temper and remind yourself that their lack of support is a reflection on them, not you. Do not let the situation force you to question your choice not to drink. If you feel it doing that, make a list of all the ways your life has improved since not drinking and use your sober toolkit to keep you grounded. Stay strong and remember that you are in control.

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