The Sobriety Code

Sabrina Vallis
4 min readNov 25, 2023

WHAT ISN’T BEING SAID ABOUT BEING SOBER

Red Wine Bottle with Pomegranates
Wine Bottle with Pomegranates Image created with Pippai!

Is that it is easier than drinking.

Try telling that to someone who is drinking and sees, as I did, drinking as the only thing that eases the stress and strain of their life.

What if that very substance that you are imbibing on a daily basis is causing the problems in the first place?

I can hear you say, as I did, “You’re wrong — it’s my friend. It helps me relax. Everybody drinks, don’t they? How am I going to cope without it?”

From experience I can tell you where that leads: down a dark path to a dark place unlike anything you have ever experienced.

To nights of despair to days in hospital, again and wondering how you got there.

To cravings so insane that you feel you are going out of your mind.

To deep depression and despair that bodes no well.

To the long, very long and deep dark night of the soul.

If you are lucky enough to stop, there will be a reason. Either health, or wealth, or death and taxes. The price will always be there to pay — the boatman’s hand is always outstretched and be aware that Chiron beckons daily in the abyss of alcoholism.

I know — I have been there.

I was lucky, but I also created that luck. I shifted my perspective, I stopped grabbing on so tightly to the idea of sobriety being my only goal, I changed course on my relationships, I ate better, I meditated daily, I let other bad habits go.

I started treating myself, and by default other people, better.

I applied a gentle discipline and a probing soul search. I asked what lies beneath. Why, what was the real reason I did not want to be present in my life.

Daily I felt the fog beginning to clear, my mind was clearing, the depression was lifting, and there was a day here, a day that could be normal.

Even in the depths of my self-destructive behaviour, I had enjoyed relative periods of calm and tranquillity but these were nothing compared to the ones I have experienced since I stopped drinking.

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Sabrina Vallis

Sobriety writer. NLP Master Practitioner and Nutritionist. Current research: Addiction and the Brain: Ways to Heal. Neuroscience helps us quit.