Why We Should STOP Saying “Good Luck” to Encourage Someone’s Sobriety

It hints that they don’t have something that they do: Control.

Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

“Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit.“ — R.E. Shay

I was talking to someone the other day who admitted that they had a relapse after being sober for almost six months and were kicking themselves for it. I did my best to give them encouragement and let them know, “the battle isn’t over until you give up” to help with motivation.

Towards the end, as we were parting ways, the phrase, “good luck” came out of my mouth before I even had a chance to assess why I was even thinking it.

As the words left my mouth and the person nodded in agreement and appreciation, it instantly felt weird and wrong for some reason.

What about this person’s success or failure would in any way relate to luck?

What did I find this so natural to say at that time, and why this does sometimes come from others to encourage people to stay sober or fight their addiction.

As I thought through this and all of my education into the world of alcohol-consciousness over the past two-plus years, I landed on why this just felt weird and plain wrong for me to say.

The whole concept of luck implies that things are out of our control and that some outside forces are responsible for our success or failure, and in regards to one’s fight with alcohol, that is not the case.

There are many things that those who desire to stop drinking can control each and every day, and luck has nothing to do with it.

We control our exposure to triggers.

When one first starts out on the alcohol-conscious journey, protecting one’s sobriety is immensely important. To do that, one must always be conscious of any situations they are in that could expose them to triggers.

For that reason, it is imperative that individuals know that they have the power to not going places that they know will be hard for them to not control at times.

If you know going to a bar with a bunch of friends is going to make you want to drink, then stay away from that bar.

If you know that a certain gas station was the one that you always stopped at to buy your favorite beverage of choice, then choose a different gas station to fill up.

Finding substitutes to fill up our time and prevent our desire to drink is a must-do during these times. Instead of sitting around the house and doing nothing, it will be better to find something to do so your mind is not on various things that could cause you to want to relapse.

It is important that those working to cut back or not drink alcohol at all recognize the things that make them want to drink, so they don’t put themselves in situations they can’t handle.

Luck has nothing to do with this.

We control the people we hang around.

At the beginning of the sobriety journey and even as it progresses, you are going to have two groups of friends primarily — 1. Those who are going to be happy that you have decided to become the best version of yourself by giving up alcohol and 2. those who will be sad that they lost their drinking compadre to this decision.

As shared, you will lose friends in the progress, but this is often something that will yield better results in our lives in the long run.

Just as you have to be mindful of the situations and triggers you expose yourself to while you are new and growing in your alcohol-consciousness, you have to do the same with the people you decide to hang out with during your free time.

Some will support you in your decision and be open to doing things with you that don’t involve drinking because they don’t want to hinder your ability to stay committed to this decision.

However, others may not understand it, question it repeatedly, and even openly discourage your decision. They will also probably want you to do the same things with them as before, e.g. go to a bar or a nightclub to hang out, and will think if you relapse, then better for them, so they can get the “old” you back.

While you don’t have to completely stop hanging out with the friends that are okay with putting you in situations that may be a bit uncomfortable for you, initially, it is probably best that you limit or completely shut off your time with them to give yourself the best chance to be successful in the long run.

Luck has nothing to do with that.

We control how much we educate ourselves and implement strategies to stay alcohol-conscious.

Lastly, when one begins the journey to alcohol-conscious, it is very important to not attempt this journey alone.

It is so important to have someone else that you can turn to for advice and guidance when things may get tough, so you don’t have to figure out all the answers on your own.

One of the reasons that I believe support groups have been beneficial to many is not only because it gives someone a person to share their feelings with at times of distress, but it also gives people an avenue to listen to other’s journies and strategies to find things that will help them on their own.

In this digital information age, the reason that so many people are able to quit now on their own and do what is called “spontaneous sobriety” is that there is now access to so many stories and information from others online and in books, that we can get all the benefits of attending an AA meeting without the stigma and the negatives associated with it.

However, the onus is on each of us to pick up a book and/or subscribe to publications like this one to ensure that we are exposing ourselves to different views and lessons to help us stay alcohol-consciousness.

While it is true everyone has their own unique journey, there are others who have already experienced some of the struggles that you may go through and can give you the answers to the test instead of you having to try to figure it out on your own.

For that reason, taking the time to read some of the great alcohol-conscious content out there will give you so much knowledge and information that you will be supremely armed with the knowledge you need to put yourself in the best situation to be successful in the long run.

You could just use Medium and type in “alcohol” or “sobriety” in the search bar to get a plethora of great content that will have you well on your way to establishing and maintaining your sobriety for as long as you desire.

Luck has nothing to do with that.

Conclusion: We control our luck

In life, we can’t often control who our parents are, what socioeconomic class to which we are born, or our physical features. That would be something that someone would attribute to “luck.”

However, as it relates to our ability to establish and maintain alcohol-consciousness, there are so many things that we can control to even think luck has anything to do with it seems to cheapen our strength and resolve.

Therefore, the next time someone tells you “good luck” as you share your alcohol-conscious journey with them, don’t be afraid to respond,

No thanks. Luck has nothing to do with it.”