Why Stay Sober When the World is [BLANK]? 

Why Stay Sober When the World is [BLANK]? 

In Sober Living by Tree House Recovery

I’m as mad as hell, and I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!” – Albert Finney in Network

Whether you have a substance abuse problem or have never taken anything stronger than an aspirin, the above quote rings true whether you’ve seen the film or not. We’ve all had moments where we’ve looked around at our surroundings at work or the world and simply have had enough. At times, it can seem like a mass insanity has taken over, depending on your own worldview. 

For people without substance issues, the answers can be simple: Go for a run; stay off of social media; ignore provocative cable news shows; and so on. With recovery, things might go a little differently. The craziness of the world—or our apparent futility in trying to change it at the micro-level—can make us throw up our hands and give up on sobriety. In the self-destructive individual, this can become even more acute. It’s a feeling of being ill at ease in the world, and it becomes tempting to want to unplug and soothe the raw feelings the world offers us.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t waiting for us to get better. We need to make the right decisions to live in the world as it is, while doing our part to make it what it should be—along with everyone else. You see, you’re not different from the responsible drinker who yells at the TV, or the fearful teetotaler who keeps their fears of the world inside. You just have the added responsibility of making the most of the world while you are sober.

So what do you do? You can do [gasp!] what everyone else does.

  • Exercise until you are out of breath. Significantly out of breath.
  • Unplug from news and other media
  • Don’t engage with strangers who have become your Facebook enemies (don’t feed the trolls)
  • Don’t BE the troll.
  • Realize that falling off the wagon only means you fell off the wagon. It’s not more honorable because the world isn’t how you’d have it.

Lots of us want to make the world a better place. Consequently, doing that means that we must arrive and meet the challenge in all of our fulness. Doing the opposite means we can’t achieve a better state while medicating ourselves. Join activist friends. Let your voice be heard. Just don’t let it be stifled or amplified by substances. All they do is smother the message.


The world can be scary, but sobriety doesn’t have to be. At Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon we use cutting-edge techniques and individualized programs to help men and their families achieve freedom from addiction and triggering behaviors. Taking a sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help; our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474