Introducing a new pair of shirts printed with an illustration from the cover of an old book of daily reflections for living more mindfully.
We also sat down with our friends Scorch and Erin, who runThe Next Sober Life, to talk about their movement and the recovery mindset.
Illustrated with a design recovered from the cover of an old Gamblers Anonymous book for daily reflection, our new 'A Day at a Time' shirts find harmony with the wisdom of recovery movements everywhere. In practicing mindfulness we strive to be present, living just one day at a time. We share in this peaceful power of community and find it in the elemental tranquility of New Orleans.
Modeling our new design are our friends Scorch and Erin, who organize The Next Sober Life — a social movement that emphasizes sober living without sacrificing a social life. They encourage the prioritization of health goals and motivate members of their community to pursue their dreams. Scorch, a recovering addict, and Erin, two years sober herself, realized that New Orleans needed a community of sober people that didn't fit the normal recovery script.
The Next Sober Life is focused on total health of mind, body, and soul — integrating diet, exercise, relationships, and goal-setting. Their mission is to break the cycle of consumption and addiction and to nurture productive lifestyles through whole body health coaching. We took some time to discuss these goals and how living 'A Day at a Time' has influenced their social movement and personal lives.
It seems a lot of your movement is about inclusivity. How did that come about?
Many recovery programs and sober organizations can feel exclusive and seem to discourage the maintaining of old friends and old lifestyles. We feel that that's not sustainable because it's divisive. If sobriety is to become an accepted, de-stigmatized lifestyle choice, it must be inclusive. The Next Sober Life is not just for people struggling with addiction — it's also for people who have chosen that alcohol and drugs do not serve them or their future. It is for people who have chosen to prioritize their health and their goals over everything else. We encourage our members to continue going out and participating in the social scene that New Orleans has to offer, just to do it sober, and to not let their social obligations interfere with their long-term vision. We don't encourage preaching sobriety because it can come off as judgmental and can be alienating. We hope to eventually see sobriety as easily accepted as vegetarianism, as a lifestyle choice than anyone can opt in to without feeling like they have to explain themselves.
“Our ultimate goal ... is to allow young people to have a chance at finding their purpose and contributing that to our society, and to break down the systems that keep our generation complacent and stagnant under the guise of having the time of their lives.”
What has sober living taught you that you feel you can bring forward to future generations?
Being sober has become a centerpiece of our current life. Many people ask us how we can possibly stay sober in a city like New Orleans – where every social event is centered around substance-use. We have two answers to this question. First, we made a decision, and once you truly decide something in your head and in your heart, nothing can break you off that path. Second, this city can chew people up and spit them out, and we see this happen all the time. People move here bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and soon enough (sometimes within just a year), the party culture shows visible effects on them. The young people moving to this city often come from cultures where health is an important factor in their lifestyle. You will see most of them at Whole Foods during the week. But there is only so much that organic food can do to fight the effects of alcohol and drug use mixed with weekend-long benders. Being sober, we see the way that alcohol is so indoctrinated in to our culture in a way that almost feels intentionally crippling. Every single one of us has a unique skill-set and purpose, and it seems that the party-culture prevents us from finding and capitalizing on that. Our ultimate goal with The Next Sober Life is to allow young people to have a chance at finding their purpose and contributing that to our society, and to break down the systems that keep our generation complacent and stagnant under the guise of having the time of their lives.
What does ‘A Day at a Time’ mean to you?
Most of us know someone who is struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs. Most of us are suffering from our own addictions, although they may be less apparent — sugar, caffeine, food, work, power, etc. We all have to fight that little devil on our shoulder as we try to create new habits. The simplest way to do this is to take it ‘A Day at a Time’. If you can make it through the rest of the day without breaking down, you win – and you can do it again tomorrow. ‘A Day at a Time’ can also relate to building your dreams. Looking out in to the distant future can feel scary and impossible, especially when you have big dreams. But the only way to build big dreams is to take it one step at a time. As long as you keep moving forward each day, you are making progress, and before you know it you will be looking over your shoulder and dropping your jaw at the amount of progress you made just putting one foot in front of the other.
“... before you know it you will be looking over your shoulder and dropping your jaw at the amount of progress you made just putting one foot in front of the other.”