According to most dictionaries, sobriety is the state of not having any levels of alcohol or other mind and mood-altering drugs in one’s system. The word sober has its roots in Latin: sōbrius, meaning “without wine”. Nowadays, it could also mean that a person is in control of his senses – whether partially or completely, as defined by a variety of sobriety tests that can be done by a police officer or any other authorized person.
However, in real life, a state of sobriety is as different as our personalities. Although we have standardized tests to check levels of intoxication, real sobriety is hard to attain. For some, sobriety is just a concept that they may connect with the emotion of happiness. Current addicts or those who are struggling to stay sober have a lot of meanings and concepts attached to the word sobriety. Some think that sobriety is a state of misery while some would say that sobriety does not exist. The thing is, sobriety shouldn’t have a stigma to it. So here we will outline the different meanings and connotations behind the word sobriety.
Sobriety, in its strictest sense is about being free from all drugs and alcohol. For some, that’s just the first step to actual or sustained sobriety. For a lot of recovering people, sobriety is also about never wanting another drop or another shot. This is why sobriety is hard to attain for some. They think it’s a state of mind wherein drugs and alcohol don’t pass through their consciousness. This is wrong and would only lead to a downward spiral. Even non-alcoholics or non-drug addicts would stop to think about drugs or alcohol every now and then. We’re all entitled to our thoughts whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’. What we’re leading to is that when we change the meaning of sobriety, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn’t be so hard to attain.
To put things in a different perspective, what exactly happens when we’re not sober? It’s simple: we are not in the present. Marijuana high can lead you to think about future endeavors without actually doing anything. An alcohol binge can make a person think about the ugly past and forget about the future. These are all generalizations of course but almost all alcoholics and drug addicts are what they are because they need a means to an escape from their present – at whatever cost.
The key here is that true sobriety is really about living in the moment and accepting all the emotions of the present. As with all those with addiction problems, behavior and attitude is a big factor that could determine relapse or recovery. An emotionally sober person (one who can experience and process all feelings whether sadness, anger, or guilt) is a person who can live in the present and stay sober for good.