Three highs (and lows) of sobriety: 1. Peace of Mind; 2. Relationships (Loss & Loneliness); 3. Productivity, are revealed by Mark Holmes, Alcohol Quit Guru, in this calming but thought-provoking video.
Morning and welcome to the Crazy Sobriety Vlog and today we’re asking, What are the highs of sobriety?
1. PEACE OF MIND
When I was a kid I used to write songs and one of the songs I wrote was called, “Peace of mind” – “Oh Lord, give me peace of mind” – because it was the thing that I craved the most.
I lived in a very conflict-ridden household, my parents arguing all the time and finally divorcing. That’s tough on a kid and I think it’s natural to crave peace.
I know that when I’ve met people, certain people are very calm, they’ve got a good kind of energy about them. They are grounded in who they are, and you feel good to be around them. I think that’s all related to how at peace we are with ourselves, in our own skin, and how comfortable we are with being who we are, whoever we are.
I think you find that in sobriety, whereas I struggled to find that in drinking.
So first of all, that’s something that’s really positive about sobriety.
Second of all, your relationships. You’re going to value your relationships more, treasure them more, those interpersonal interactions.
However, you might become aware of loneliness more, too. That’s something I consider in my book, Holmes Complete Guide To Stop Drinking Alcohol. In my book, I consider loneliness because it can be a relapse characteristic, but you will really value those interactions with others much more.
I know that the quality of my relationships with my children, for example, is much deeper, sober. With my baby daughter, time stops still. I’m just exactly attuned to what she is doing, where she is at, I’m really there. And I’m really kind of sharing the joy and success, or the mishap of it [whatever] not balancing correctly. I’m just there and it’s beautiful. You know, I’m really there, and it’s almost like meditation.
And when I spend time with my son, it’s real. Before I might have been, “Which is the most important thing, is it the Scalextric or is it the beer? I don’t know I can do the Scalextric without beer, let me get a beer first then I’ll play some Scalextric.”
I’m not really there, I don’t know who was there, but I wasn’t there. And I suppose that’s one of the saddest things about alcohol, it steals your time, time you could have had with your family.
It also takes away relationships. You could have had better relationships with, not just with your family, but with your friends. The “Sober high” is that when you have time with others, you appreciate it more. So, with my family, with people I meet, with my friends, with social engagements.
Even across the world, when I did that Podcast with John Sheldon, and I was really excited about that, and meeting online on Zoom, it was just great! You feel more alive I guess that’s what I’m saying.
So you’ve got those interactions, I also think generally interactions in the world are better, your productivity will increase.
Don’t think you’re going to make a lot of money suddenly, because I certainly haven’t. But you will find some fulfilment because you can’t bullsh*t yourself. You’re going to do something that means something to you that, I think, will be more positive.
Now it might not be your high-powered job in the bank, or your million-dollar role in the next Harry Potter movie, or your modelling advert for Chanel. I don’t know, but it might not be those things. It might be much more humble than that, but does it matter?
If you’re at peace you’ve got everything.
I’m frightened this sounds a little bit spiritual. I don’t want to sound spiritual. My book is secular. It’s not about believing in a higher power to conquer alcohol at all. I took pains for it not to be. For example, I used relaxation techniques as well as meditation techniques. I don’t want to exclude people who don’t believe in God. It doesn’t have to be that, you can still find highs in sobriety as an agnostic or an atheist or whatever, sobriety can still give you a better quality of life.
Whatever you are, whoever you are, the mission of the Addiction Help Agency is to love you regardless of your addiction.
You can do it and it’s worth it.