Que up the liquor commercial:<< INSERT: Elegance, sophistication, grace, style, refinement, fashion, beauty, power, seduction, pleasure, delight, enjoyment, thrill, and charm HERE>>… and pour on an extra splash of sexy!
Fade to the addict: <<INSERT: Chaos, confusion, desperation, defeat, madness, turmoil, misery, hopelessness, disarray, despair, fear, anguish, and loss HERE>>… and throw in a bit of vomit and an occasional death!
Let’s face it, that shit doesn’t sell.
There was nothing stylish about where we ended up before changing teams and turning toward recovery; our move, however, has not secured us a much better social ranking than the still-using addict.
Is it time to glamorize sobriety? Is it possible to eliminate the nasty-negative stigma associated with the word addict? We think we can and believe we should, but the mountain we must climb is tall and treacherous:
According to Grandview Research, the North American spirits market is valued at over 154.0 billion dollars.
Simultaneously, the CDC announces that the cost of “excessive alcohol use” is a “drain” on the American Economy – revealing a loss of over 249 billion dollars annually.
Somewhere in between, the dealer (Alcohol and Pharma) and the addict hide a sliver of a population enjoying a healthy and fulfilling recovery. This sober nation (small as it may be) is challenged yet proud and lacks a collective voice and a volume that will stop the lies.
On a recent episode of sober.coffee, an absolute dynamo from the east coast, Claire, joined
Mike and Glenn to promote her aim to glamorize recovery. To support her efforts, she founded RehabStudiosNY, an online apparel boutique whose true mission is to normalize sobriety.
3 ½ years ago, Claire was on the buy side. Unfortunately, she bought into the falsehoods sold to her and millions of others. These days, she is on the sell side, splitting her time as the sole designer at RehabStudiosNY and chief evangelist for reform of the global perception of what recovery is all about.
In a nation battling mental health issues (typically by throwing drugs at it), we established that the chicken/egg conversation is unproductive. We have seen actual proof that, in many cases, the mental health diagnosis fades or disappears in sobriety. This is just what we have witnessed in people we know intimately. Again, this is not scientific or medical reporting – simply an observation that alcohol and drug reactions can present as a mental health issue, and mistreating as such can be dangerous.
Mental health conditions such as mood disorders (depression and bipolar), anxiety, personality disorders, and eating and trauma-related disorders (mentioning only a few) are REAL, as is substance abuse disorder. What we are arguing is the effects of the shameful stigma of addiction, and even recovery, that burdens the affected. Therefore, let us diagnose correctly and treat professionally with respect and without the destructive labels assigned to individuals making an effort toward total sobriety.
Let us stand proud and loud, declaring that sobriety is the cooler of the options being forced our way.
For RehabStudiosNY, existence goes beyond the products - it is about building up a community of like-minded people.
That is a mission worth getting behind.
Can we rise out of the ashes of the world’s most significant health crisis ever witnessed? Claire thinks we can: 1 person in recovery at a time. Her dad affectionately refers to us as “her tribe” (a group of people who live together and share the same language, culture, and history), and we think Claire makes a good commander. -- “community,” she says, is the most important thing in recovery. We agree with her position as we have seen the power of people working together - good for each and good for the group.
We have found the inner beauty we washed away for years, and we should take it out and show it off – maybe others will see the light. Perhaps more will choose to be different.
Claire is making a difference, and so can you.
Welcome to recovery – the new sexy!
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #105 Table For THREE: Claire Joins to Introduce RehabStudiosNY. The podcast dropped on 3/29/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.