5 Things Newly Sober People Get Really Into
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5 Things Newly Sober People Get Really Into


Newbies to sobriety are cute, aren’t they? Don’t they just bring you right back to your very first desperate days without alcohol and drugs? Maybe you—like them —wandered into the rooms of a dusty church basement, looking all scared and meek like frightened deer, not squeaking out a peep to anyone, getting all weird about holding people’s hands during the Serenity Prayer, then rushing out of the meeting literally the second it ended? Ahh, those were the days!

Anyway, newly sober folks tend to have a few things in common—things they get realllllly into. Here are a few of the ones I’ve noticed.

1) God, they love cookies 

Many new soberites turn to sugar to soothe the weary beast within once they decide to stop feeding said beast with beer or vodka. It’s even “officially” encouraged in the AA-approved book Living Sober! Sugar is a drug, after all (well, kind of) and people bring snacks to AA meetings all the damn time. Sometimes those snacks are boring, like ginger snaps or plain Oreos. But sometimes they’re…homemade. Peanut butter bars, chocolate cake, brownies, et al; how are you supposed to resist them? You aren’t. Don’t even try. And those newly sober kids certainly won’t, either.

2) They suddenly think they’re the happiest people ever 

Many newly sober folks spend their first couple of months acting all bizarro and socially unkempt and awkwardly out of sorts in meetings. But then, after a little bit of that good ol’ AA lingo has sunk in, they seem to suddenly and magically transform. Suddenly they’re all bouncy and exuberant and psyched to be alcohol-free, patting themselves on the back constantly for their massive sacrifice, feeling powerful, even a tiny bit happy. Crazy, we know. Does this “pink cloud,” as we call it, last? Do litter boxes clean themselves? Uh, hell no. Of course not.

3) Prayer suddenly becomes NBD 

Similar to the pink cloud thing above, lots of sober folks—at least the crazy-super-gung-ho ones who, like, totally embrace the program, not those who sulk through every meeting—kind of transform after a few months in the rooms. They open their minds to the least cool ideas imaginable, including getting on their knees and talking to God (uh, even if they don’t really believe in God).

4) Going to bed at 10 pm like, every night 

Remember when you were drunk and young and messy and out at clubs and bars all night, puking on floors and having sex in bathrooms with random drug-using strangers? And then you got sober and those days screeched to a dramatic halt? Well, newbies are witnessing this phenomenon occur in their own lives—the sudden dry-up of any sort of seedy sex or puke-y taxi-cab adventures—and one of the ways they handle this is by sleeping a lot. Or binge-watching Netflix in bed all afternoon and then sleeping a lot. At, like, 10 pm. Every night. I’d like to tell you this habit will shift as they get more time sober, but honestly, it might not. Embrace it.

5) Getting weird and sanctimonious re: people who drink 

So I mentioned above how newly sober people can develop a “pink cloud,” wherein they suddenly become profoundly excited to be sober and happy all the time for managing to pull it off. Another thing they do is suddenly get all weird and judgey toward people that still drink, including their friends and families. Suddenly their old college buddies aren’t just occasional binge-drinkers, they’re full-force raging alkies who—poor things—have never done any work on themselves!!! Thankfully, this kind of attitude tends to subside over time, as sober life reverts back to reality.

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About Author

Laura Barcella is a documentary researcher, author, freelance writer and ghostwriter from Washington, DC. Her writing has also appeared in TIME, Marie Claire, Salon, Esquire, Elle, Refinery29, AlterNet, The Village Voice, Cosmopolitan, The Chicago Sun-Times, Time Out New York, BUST, ELLE Girl, NYLON and CNN.com. Her book credits include Know Your Rights: A Modern Kid's Guide to the American Constitution, Fight Like a Girl: 50 Feminists Who Changed the World, Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop and The End: 50 Apocalyptic Visions From Pop Culture That You Should Know About…Before It’s Too Late.