7 Reasons Why It’s Fun to Be the Sober Friend
Before I got sober I thought of sobriety as depression, lame, and not fun in any way. I actually felt bad for sober people. I thought, “wow it must suck to be the sober one in the group.” I thought there weren’t many benefits to sobriety and there couldn’t be anything more than embarrassment associated with being the sober friend. In sobriety, I was pleasantly surprised. I was wrong about being the sober friend and I’ve fully embraced it. Here are 7 reasons why it’s fun to be the sober friend.
1. Built-in designated driver
This is an advantage in every sense, but you also shouldn’t feel like you are required to be the designated driver all of the time. Like I’ve said many times before, sobriety provides us with freedom and choices. However, I love the fact that my friends can count on me if they need a ride and do not want to drive under the influence. I like being able to remind people that they do not have to or need to drive drunk. I go out of my way to help in this area if I can because I myself, drove drunk many times during my addiction and I know how this decision can be made frequently and unconsciously at times.
2. Enjoy yourself guilt-free
There was no telling what shenanigans I would get into when I drank. I could lose my purse, break my arm, charge $100 in drinks to my card, or go home with a stranger. Now that I’m sober I get to decide when I go out, where, with who, and when I go home. Those actions are never left up to chance. I can enjoy myself knowing that I will remember everything, I will make conscious choices for myself, and I sleep well knowing I won’t wake up with a hangover, not knowing what happened.
3. Fill in the gaps for your friends
It took me a long time to accept that not everyone wants to be sober or drink in a controlled way. Unfortunately, there are times when I am around drinkers who black out, or don’t remember some parts of their night. I am able to answer questions for them and help them piece together their night if need be. Some might say, well isn’t this enabling them? No. I’m just meeting every person in my life where they are. I’ve been in those shoes where I didn’t know what happened, who I was with or what I said and the anxiety was crippling. If I can help people I know get through that in any way I can, I will.
4. Be the dependable friend
This one makes it wonderful to be the sober friend. I love that I’m finally a dependable friend. During my addiction, I was the least dependable friend. I often said I would do something or meet someone or drive someone somewhere, and got too intoxicated to do so, or didn’t keep my word. I can’t tell you how many times I drove my friends to a bar or nightclub and said I wouldn’t drink, but I did and either was too drunk to drive, or drove drunk without thinking, putting everyone in danger. Now my friends can look to me for rides, for advice, for help when they need it, or just to be there for them, and that fact gives me endless joy.
5. Participate in a more thoughtful way
When I was drinking I was just going through the motions of life. I wasn’t worrying about or planning for the future. I wasn’t living in the moment and truly enjoying myself. Being sober offers me a chance at participating in my life in a thoughtful way. Being the sober friend gives me a chance to be a thoughtful friend. Instead of thinking about what I will get out of an interaction or social situation, I get to thoughtfully show up for my friends and family. This might require planning a party, buying a gift, or just being there when I am needed.
6. Embrace your uniqueness
Being the sober friend was the last title I thought I’d enjoy claiming, but here we are. I love being the sober one in my group of friends who are drinkers. I am sober, I am unique, I am me, and that’s a beautiful thing. I’ve learned to embrace this new part of myself and be proud of it. I enjoy answering questions and talking about my sobriety. My friends have embraced it as well. They are protective of me and my sobriety. They like to make sure I feel comfortable and there are options for me to drink that are non-alcoholic. It’s fun being different from the status quo of imbibing all the time.
7. You learn to be yourself
Alcohol changes people. It’s a potent drug that lowers inhibitions and causes people to make decisions they wouldn’t normally make. Morals often go out the window. Thoughtful decision making goes by the wayside. In sobriety, I’ve learned to be myself. I’ve learned what works best for me and to stick with it. I’ve learned that I don’t always have to say yes and people please. I’ve learned that alcohol doesn’t make me more fun, funnier, cooler, or sexier. Those are all qualities I already possess. Being sober makes me cool because I don’t need drugs to have fun.
About the Author
Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.