Thursday 7 January 2016

Reasons to Quit Drinking #2: Because it's Fashionable

Yes, really.

One of the reasons we're so terrified about quitting drinking is because we have this picture in our heads of the 'sober person.'

'Sober person,' we think, is a sad case loser with no friends and no sense of adventure.

We do not want to be 'sober person', and we're scared that our friends will not want to hang out with 'sober person' either.

Our life is DOOMED.

For as long as we can remember we have equated booze with FUN, with being the life and soul of the party, with being reckless, daring adventurers. Without it we will be less.

It is very hard to quit drinking when you still have that image of 'sober person' in your head, because you will always feel like you are missing out. You need to replace that image with the truth.

And the truth is that 'sober person' is seriously fashionable. Hot, even.

Amongst the middle aged it's still relatively rare to find teetotallers - hence our concern. And, being drinkers ourselves, we have spent years surrounding ourselves with like minded people. We assume that everyone drinks.

But 20% of the UK adult population are teetotal. And the number of under 25's opting to not drink has risen by 40% in the last eight years.

Now, one in four adults under 25 do not drink. Ever. (In London it's one in three).

We, my friends, are down with the yoof. We are surfing that super cool zeitgeist. We are so far ahead of the curve that we can barely see it in the rear view mirror.

The young have a huge number of sober icons blazing the trail for them: Blake Lively, Bradley Cooper, Jessie J, Tyra Banks, Daniel Radcliffe, Russell Brand and Leona Lewis, to name just a few.

Robert Downey Junior doesn't drink. Do you think anyone tells Iron Man that he's uncool because he doesn't get drunk? Hell no!

And of my generation, two of the Sex in the City lasses are sober: Kristin Davis and Kim Cattrall, as well as one of the Friends - Matthew Perry.

Amongst the seriously ambitious style leaders, staying sober is seen as necessary if you want to get ahead. Katie Perry says "You have to bust your ass off at (what I do), which is why you don't find me getting shitfaced in bars."

For the young, teetotal is becoming seen as a totally valid, seriously cool, lifestyle choice - not something to be ashamed and embarrassed of.

If you're still not convinced that sober is fashionable, then how about asking the most fashionable person on the planet? The lady who dictates fashion: Anna Wintour. Who doesn't drink. At all. Not even champagne.

Do you think people accuse Anna Wintour of being uncool because she's teetotal? They wouldn't dare! Does she get left off party invitations? No, she goes to three parties a night. Totally sober. She is far too cool to lose her cool with alcohol.

You know what's not cool? That's a middle aged lady with a wine belly and broken veins all over her nose, slurring her words and staggering at a drinks party.

(Actually, the word 'cool' is not cool either. But I can't bring myself to describe things that are not ill as 'sick').

We, my friends, are blazing the trail.

I'm leaving the final words to one of my favourite sober celebs: Ewan McGregor:

"The difference between living life when you're drinking all the time and when you're not is profound."

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. Day 4 here in the States. I've been working my way through your blog and am nearly halfway through Jason Vale. Challenging days ahead as the hubs is leaving town, which was usually my evening wine time. Thank you so much for your posts. The honesty and insight is incredibly helpful.

    1. Congrats on day 4 Momstartingover! Keep at it! Hugs x

  2. According to the teens I work with being a sober person is totally dope.. It gives you a buff body and makes you look sick!

    Apparently, the only thing uncooler than using the term 'cool' is your parents (or your friends parents) drinking too much and trying to be 'down with the yoof.'

    So that's me told then... I guess I'll go hang up my hoodie!! :-D :-D :-D

    1. Love you SWMum! I had to ask #1 whether 'dope' was a good thing or a bad thing ;-) xx

  3. As I mentioned, this theme is perfect timing for me...Day 7. And you are so right about the young today! Three young people approached me on Tuesday, while I was shopping in Walmart for discounted Christmas items. They were on a scavenger hunt and asked me what my New Year’s resolution was (if any). As they were complete strangers, it was very easy to say, “I want to be alcohol free!” Their eyes lit up and they said it was a great resolution. We went on to talk a bit, and one the young ladies asked for my email. She wanted to keep in touch for support. Anyway, this encounter reinforced that I’m doing the right thing. And I am.

  4. Love these posts! Really help to reinforce to me the positives of going af. There are times where I still think 'oh a nice glass of wine' but reading about af celebs always helps x

  5. Great SM - I'm feeling stronger than ever and this post really helps. (and yesterday's - cant wait to get rid of the wine belly!! - not happened because I haven't got to day 100 before!) Thanks so much for your supportive words the other day as well. By the way - I musn't ever forget to say congrats and how well you're doing. Goodness knows how many days/mths you're at now. You are sooooo amazing with what you coped with end of last year. Several virtual hugs going your way. Love SFM xxx

  6. I think the current word is "chill"

    I'm chill. You are definitely chill.

  7. Yay! I always wanted to surf a zeitgeist, but I'm not sure I'm dressed for it. Will there be actual moisture?? Do I need to wear my Columbia?
    Like I said, cool kids table. And BTW "cool" always is, was, and shall be in vogue, forever amen. Just like bootcut jeans. And cat's eye eye-liner.

  8. In my office there are 15 staff and 3 are teetotal with no (as far as I know) history of drinking. Then they is me who is still shakily trying to stay tee total but not disclosing yet. So 4 out of 15, almost 1/3. It is becoming 'cool', which is the right word for me.

  9. My 16 year old was offered a glass of champagne at new year. He said "no thanks" and then told me that he doubted he would ever start drinking as he could see no benefit. How times have changed! 30 years ago when I was 16 if I was at a proper grown up new year party and some fashion person offered me a glass of Dom Perignon I would have thought myself the epitome of sophistication. Our kids think drinking is a hobby for tragic old people.

  10. Can one of you chill, sick, totally dope types please tell me how to follow SoberMummy's blog? I mean, where's the chuffin' follow button to click?! (I know , I know, I'm a tragic old person...with a such a buff body though, I can tell you.) This is a genuine request - I want to follow you SM! x

    1. Hey Dude! (or something rad like that). I think you scroll down, click on the link in blue that says "view Web version". It'll take you to a new page, look up at the top right, and there's a box to enter you email address so you cm can get notifications when a new post is published. Hope that helps! Red xx

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. You see, I'm so tech-savvy (not) that I managed to post that twice..

    4. Red's right. You need to be on the 'full web version', so if you're on a mobile device you scroll down to the bottom and click on 'see full web version.' Once you're on that you'll see in the top right corner a 'subscribe by e-mail' section. You put your e-mail address in there (it's totally confidential), and you'll be e-mailed my posts every day. Big hugs xxx

    5. Thanks everso SM and Red. What clever and kind people you are for sure x.

  11. SM - you've hit on another of my fears here. So scared of being seen as boring, having been the outrageous party girl for so long. However in reality I was becoming the sad middle- aged wino. I do want to save my children from the mortification of having a tipsy parent. However they will still need to put up with me using the word "cool", and, I'm ashamed to admit, "awesome". Red xx

  12. I heard Paul Weller (The Jam, Stylecouncil for those not familiar "The Modfather" and seriously cool) on the radio about a year ago talking about giving up drinking once he got over 50. I had never even considered it before. He made it sound normal and I suppose that set me thinking as I didn't know anyone who was a teetotal except ex alcoholics.

    On a similar note, talking to my Student Daughter (20) she was out with her mates the other night and they were rather appalled at some women "as old as you mum" who were drunk and staggering in the pub " and on a Wednesday!" Its not the first time she has said this. I think (and hope) that young people are more savvy about drinking these days.

  13. Day 4 for me too here in Ireland. Finished the book in 2 days and loved it, so bought another copy for one of my kids. Am really delighted and really grateful.