What Being Sober Really Feels Like


The Feeling of Sobriety

While you’re in active addiction, the life you imagine without drugs seems awful. Depending on who you are looking at, sobriety seems to be hard work, impossible, boring and glum. It may also seem like you have to take a few backseats in life in order to live sober. I thought this before, and if this how you think it feels to be sober you have never truly experienced sobriety.

Now, you are probably thinking well, how do you know? Because I am sober, and I know for me it feels nothing like boring, glum, or hard work. I was someone who hated the drug-fueled life I had but didn’t want to live the good-two-shoes life of sobriety either.

So how does it actually feel to be sober, if not that?

The way it feels to be sober is the same as it feels to be high in a really weird way. I am not talking about the way it felt to be high in the sense of intoxication, blackouts, impairment, or intense short-lasting euphoria; I am talking about how you have no care in the world, life is fun, you are a part of, and you aren’t worried. You are part of the world and the people around you, you aren’t afraid, you don’t worry at all, and you feel content inside. For me, I could escape the constant anxiety of life in my moments of drug use. They got increasingly shorter, but I kept chasing them. The feelings I have now, are a lot like that, but it’s not a feeling I have to chase. Instead of my baseline being anxiety, and seeking an escape, my baseline is now contentment and I solve my anxiety as it comes.

It is hard to describe because it’s not something that is easily put into words but it feels a lot like you were missing something your whole life and when you got sober whatever was missing was found. You feel whole again. You are at peace with yourself. You are content. You are able to sit by yourself without your thoughts racing a mile a minute.

Being Sober Feels Like ….

It feels like success, like being the person you always imagined yourself to be, like achieving goals, being proud of yourself, knowing how much you’re worth. Whatever those things feel like to you is how it feels to be sober.

It is being able able to lay your head down on your pillow at night and not worry about how you might get caught drunk at work tomorrow, what you did in your blackout, what people think about you, how you are going to get your drugs, disappointing your family, failing out of school, ruining your marriage.

It is what it feels like to work through all that crap in your life and when your head hits the pillow, immediately fall asleep because you don’t have guilt or shame anymore.

The feeling of being sober is more of a feeling of wholeness and oneness with everyone and everything around you. Its feeling and realizing that everything is happening for a reason and because of that you are not afraid anymore. You have the ability to see your worth and use it for the greater good.

Furthermore, with the experience of some of life’s lowest lows behind me, I know the troubles I face tomorrow can’t stand in my way. Being too tired to go to work is nothing compared to not knowing if my friend who I’ve been getting high with is going to wake up or not. The stress I encounter now, is manageable in comparison. I’ve learned to use the experience of overcoming this obstacle (daily) as a reinforcement for what I can achieve.

If you aren’t experiencing this in your sobriety for the most part just know that you can and at any time you could choose to if you want.

Anyone can feel this way sober you just have to do it. The way I feel stone cold sober, even on my worst days ever is still something I would never trade to feel the effects of a drug and drink again.

FHE Alumni

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