I think a big part of the reason I've never picked up a drink since I made the decision to stop doing that is that from Day One I put on my Sober Skin and left it there.
From Day One I said to myself 'I am now a non-drinker' ... and with that I metaphorically stepped out of my Boozy Skin and stepped into my Sober Skin.
I adopted a new attitude, a new belief about myself. I wasn't just stopping drinking, I was re-framing myself as a sober person. This had to start from within. So I mentally told myself that from now on I was a person who didn't drink alcohol and I had a new skin - a Sober Skin.
My Sober Skin did NOT fit me at first. It was not comfortable. Frankly it felt as painful as a medieval torture suit, and as conspicuous as a gorilla suit. My new Sober Skin didn't feel like mine at all!
But I was determined that I would make it mine. Come hell or high water this Sober Skin would fit and become comfortable.
I knew it was possible because I'd seen other sober people (usually celebrities on the red carpet because I didn't know any sober people in real life) and they looked very comfortable in their Sober Skin.. so I knew that it was possible and I was determined to make mine fit.
And eventually it did.
You have to expect that for a good few weeks and months the new Sober Skin you have adopted (by choosing to stop drinking) won't feel comfortable. But if you keep it on.. and keep ploughing through the days .. and refuse to take off your Sober Skin.. then eventually it will start to fit and feel comfortable.
Keeping your Sober Skin on means always accepting that you are a non-drinker - no matter how uncomfortable you feel - and not fighting that fact. Not letting the little thoughts creep in like... 'if only I could drink with my friends this weekend', or 'I wish I could celebrate with a glass of champagne tonight'. No! That is the you of old with your Boozy Skin on talking. Someone who is wearing a Sober Skin would instead plan for events KNOWING they are not going to drink.
At first this is hard, but as time goes on (and the Sober Skin gets more comfortable) it becomes super easy.
My Sober Skin was bloody awful at first. I felt like I was wearing my aunties ill-fitting suit made out of cheap, gaudy fabric. But slowly over time my Sober Skin began to settle on me and fit beautifully.. and now I could hardly imagine wearing anything else. In fact, if I was to take my Sober Skin off now and put my Boozy Skin back on that would feel bloody awful! Just goes to show how we can adapt and change!
Trust that eventually your Sober Skin will start to feel comfy and lovely. Commit to wearing it no matter what and eventually it will. And then imagine how happy you will feel.
Love, Mrs D xxx
I appreciate this insight. It is amazing how much more at ease in my own body I am as a sober person. It was uncomfortable at first and worth the journey.
I really needed to read this today…. thank you.. my sober skin is definitely getting more comfortable
Sometimes neither skin feels good
Thanks for your inspiring post. I’m still wearing my drinking skin but it just doesn’t fit like it used to. It’s like wearing clothes that are one size off or underwear that pinch in the wrong spots.
So so true Lotta. ‘Sober Skin’
I’m about to celebrate 8 years in my sober skin and I love it!!! There is no looking back. What I’m really loving is that in that last 8 years, more and more of societies attitudes are changing their views of alcohol. I’m really looking forward to Paddy Gower’s doco on booze where I see you’ll be sharing your wisdom Lotta. I’m telling everyone I know to watch it on June 14th. People that are in that alcohol trap are going to have their eyes opened and maybe it will start us all having more discussions with people with love and care about.🤗
Today I put my sober skin on.
I’ve been wearing my sober skin for 282 days after 43 years of constant drinking. It is transforming my life and I only wish I’d done it years ago. The truth is though I was blind to the damage alcohol was inflicting. It’s only now that I am sober and looking back that I can see things clearly. I am comfortable in my sober skin. More importantly I am comfortable in my own skin and I think when I was drinking I never was.
This analogy is perfect! I can almost imagine what my sober skin looks like.
I really needed it today and the last few days. Few slips there and there and I was feeling my mind become split again around social occasions. No way I’m going back! But it is a bit harder to get that unanimous decision back in. This will help me to visualise it!
Thank you Lotta!
Hi Mrs D, thanks for that. I have been wearing a sober skin for around 27 or 28 days (but who’s counting? :)) and as you say, it can feel just a bit icky sometimes… I like the metaphor, it helps.
Thank you Lotta. This has helped me feel more committed to a sober life .
Such a lovely perspective and alternative way to look at it, I’m just on my sober curious journey and find it really difficult to adopt the non drinking at the weekend. Perhaps if I try this way of thinking it could help. Thank you, I’ve only just found this site xx
Great metaphor. Thank you for sharing this!
Great Post, thank you Lotta. My skin is feeling better every day, 134 days in & it’s becoming ever more resilient 👍 Thank you for your inspiration.
Hi! My Day 1 of sobersixties today and I’m putting on my sober skin. And there it shall stay.
Thank you for this lovely, pertinent article. X