The link between alcohol and depression is complicated.
Alcohol, like other medications, can have a wonderful, positive effect on your mood and a negative effect on your health.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that drinking itself makes you happy.
What does make you happy when you drink?
Some people believe that drinking alcohol provides them with a feeling of relaxation and, at the very least, a feeling of connection to others.
But this doesn’t hold up.
Studies have shown that if you want to feel relaxed, you should listen to music, practice yoga, meditate, go for a walk, play with your dog, go to the movies, read a book, learn a new skill, or simply take a nice, hot shower.
According to psychotherapist Mel Gurtov, if you actually want to feel relaxed, drinking alcohol might make you feel better in the short term.
But you should do something that makes you feel better in the long term.
And that’s exactly what I did when I was sober. I did things that make me feel better when drinking. And I still do them today, while sober.
I know for a fact that being happy and connected to other people is not associated with alcohol and that those are feelings that are likely to be amplified when drinking.
Happiness is, as far as I can tell, outside of alcohol.
But don’t worry if you have trouble getting out of the same-old rut drinking puts you in.
Other things are important too, like a fulfilling job and fulfilling relationships. And maybe they are even more important than alcohol in these situations.
And since I became sober, the happiest times in my life have been when I am doing something that allows me to be myself, not giving a damn what other people think.
You can also change your mind
At some point when you’re drinking, your ideas about the world and the people in it get so warped that it’s like trying to see the world through a funhouse mirror.
People you consider friends and significant others are completely unrecognizable. And the more you drink, the more unrecognizable they become.
At first, I really struggled with this. I thought I needed to be drinking to have any friends or relationships.
But the more I learned about myself and the more I started listening to my inner voice, the freer I felt.
Learning to love me was really difficult when I was drinking. I was also afraid of being alone.
I thought that if I stopped drinking, I’d have no one to talk to and no one to hang out with.
But, as the years went by, I realized that was bullshit. You can have relationships even when you are sober.
The happiness benefits of being sober
Being sober helped me learn how to be happy and how to approach lifeless destructively.
This also resulted in a lot of great personal growth.
And what better way to celebrate your personal growth than to celebrate that in a supportive group with other sober people who are also happy and free?
Why start a club?
I’ve found that to be happy and free, you need to be around people who feel the same way.
I’ve become very close friends with a group of 30-something women who get together once a month to go dancing.
Dancing makes me happy, and a lot of the people who go to these gatherings are happy and free too. It’s a fantastic place for us all to connect and share.
I also started my own women’s group called the Happy Hour Moms.
I also invite them over to my house once a month, and I make us dinner and we talk and watch comedies together and just have fun.
We also talk about all kinds of things. Sometimes we have a different topic, and sometimes we go off on tangents about work or family and just hang out and be ourselves. It’s been so much fun.
Another reason I feel the happiest when I’m sober is that when I drink, I feel like I have to perform in a certain way.
I have to be a certain way for other people to like me and to like me, I have to be funny and witty. But if I am sober, I don’t feel like I have to perform.
It feels more natural for me to be me. And I feel like my funniness, my wit, my cheerfulness, and my good nature come out more naturally, and it makes people happy to be around me.
The thing I love most about being sober is that I feel free and happy and I can share that with other people and it makes them feel happy too.
I’ve been involved in programs that encourage my sobriety and help others. And the best part about that is that people in the program become my friends.
I also take pleasure in the simpler things in life, like a beautiful sunrise or a hot cup of tea, or a plate of food with friends.
All of these things make me very happy. I’m not going to lie. The first time I experienced the beauty of a sunset was sober, and it was life-changing.
Once I felt ready to get sober, the biggest challenge was going from being a great social drinker to being a great social drinker sober.