Samantha Schafer- The Sober Millennial
When did you first give up drinking, and why?
Even drunk Samantha thought she had a problem. When I went out on the weekends, I would consciously know that another gin and tonic would put me over the edge and lead to a blackout but I could not stop myself. I didn’t care about the blackout because I was “having fun”. Turns out it is hard to have fun when you don’t remember what you did!
I got sober at 24. I didn’t like the anxiety drinking gave me, the hangover after a night out, or the fights I got into with friends and family because of alcohol. Overall, I did not like my drunk self. While I am not clinically anxious, I suffer from anxious episodes and almost all those episodes revolved around drinking. I started to ask myself, why would I ingest something that I KNOW is destroying my mental health?
My sobriety journey started out as a New Year’s resolution and after three months, I knew this year-long journey would be a lifelong one. I thought that getting sober would make me “uncool”. There are not many 20-somethings who are outward about their sobriety or questioning their drinking habits. For a long time I did not think I had a drinking problem because all around me I saw people doing exactly what I was doing. It is normal in your 20s to take a bottle to the face, stay out until 4am at a club, and then spend the next day bragging about what stranger you spent the night with. I finally realized that I did not care what others around me were doing and that I needed to do what was best for me.
What are some misconceptions of being sober?
I thought I would lose my social life when I was drinking. Turns out, my social life is just beginning! Thanks to sobriety, I can form meaningful connections and real friendships that I could never do when I was drunk. The sober Instagram community is unlike anything I have ever experienced, and I am thankful for every one of my new sober friends.
Where should people start if they're sober curious?
People who do not have a problem with alcohol do not question their relationship with alcohol. If you are questioning that relationship, my advice is to stop. Try 1,000 hours dry (42 days alcohol free) and see how you feel. Notice all the good that comes from sobriety. I can guarantee you once you try it, you will never want to go back to your old drinking ways!