“I was done with making an a** of myself in front of people (I’m still embarrassed), tired of day drinking and feeling like s*** by 6 p.m., not being able to sleep,” cookbook author and television personality Chrissy Teigen recently wrote on her Instagram Story. Teigen shared that she had been sober for four weeks on December 29.
From time-to-time, celebrities surprise the world with their sobriety stories. Demi Moore, Pooja Bhatt, Manisha Koirala, Jessica Simpson, Oprah Winfrey, and many other stars have made that brave choice to open up about their journeys to remain sober. Their frankness has helped others who are struggling with similar issues.
Experts weigh in on how celebrity testimonies can encourage others to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Been there, done that!
Demi Moore talked of her battle with addiction on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk, and let her daughters speak candidly about how the issue had affected them. Describing her struggles, Pooja Bhatt said “Earlier it was pink champagne, malt and packed, city bars. Now it is pink skies & deserted, country roads. I was a prisoner of my own making. Until I realised that the door to that gilded prison cell was locked from the inside and all I had to do was open the door gently and let myself out. Nobody else could lock me in nor get me out, even if they tried.”
For good or for bad, we are interested in the lives of celebrities and value their opinions, says Dr Nisha Khanna, renowned Counselling Psychologist.
When celebrities who have overcome alcohol addiction speak out, they send a powerful message. “Celebs are the role models for laymen. They are professionally successful and have earned name and fame in their fields. When they speak, people believe them. Their experiences underline the fact that addiction doesn’t discriminate among people,” explains Dr Nisha.
What does staying sober actually mean?
“Being sober means that you are in your senses. Under the influence of addiction, a person mostly loses touch with reality and takes decisions which are wrong for the short as well as the long term. The person starts living in an imaginary world and most of the time displays either a sluggish or an egoistic attitude. Such people have a lot of emotional issues or have big dreams which cannot materialise due to many reasons,” says Dr Nisha.
“When a person is sober, he behaves in a mature manner, starts applying consequential thinking, feel motivated and definitely becomes optimistic. Acceptance of the past or self-awareness becomes evident and ultimately, the person takes sound decisions for the long term, personally and professionally. The person becomes empathic too, with the passage of time. Due to all this, his personal and professional relationships improve,” she adds.
What does being sober mean for your wellbeing?
Sobriety is trending, especially among people who care about living an overall healthy lifestyle, says Dr J Anish Anand, Consultant Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals. The health benefits of sobriety are both physical and psychological.
l Staying away from alcohol brings mental peace.
l The skin becomes healthier and muscles stronger. The liver is less stressed by the toxic effects of alcohol.
l The sober person sleeps better, thinks more clearly and become more energetic.
l Being sober helps gain control of weight as eating habits become healthier.
l Relationships with family and friends improve, there is motivation to work, confidence increases and anxiety
l Career and finances improve.
l Risks of heart disease and stroke are reduced and immunity (which helps in fighting infections) improves.
l Staying sober reduces the risk of cancers associated with alcohol
l It reduces the risk of road accidents caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.