Welcome to Exploring Sobriety on Substack!
A new, weekly newsletter from Benya Clark
My name is Benya, and I’m an alcoholic.
I was a daily, heavy drinker throughout my twenties—one of those so-called “high-functioning” alcoholics. When my drinking habit was at its peak, I was attending a top law school, getting excellent grades, and even working on my school’s prestigious law review.
However, despite these outward markers of success, my life was falling apart on the inside. My alcoholism led to increased depression, anxiety, and isolation. It also drained my finances, sent my weight skyrocketing, and left me in a constant state of exhaustion.
Fortunately, I was able to get sober shortly before my thirtieth birthday, near the very end of 2016. I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol ever since.
Sobriety has absolutely transformed my life. It began with relatively superficial changes: I lost some weight and saved some money. Over the past five years, though, I’ve seen my life improve in even more significant ways: I’ve developed healthy habits like exercising regularly, my interpersonal relationships have improved, and my mental health is better than ever.
In 2018, I began blogging about my addiction and recovery. I quickly discovered that the act of writing about my experiences was itself an incredibly powerful recovery tool. It helped me to organize my thoughts, wrestle with my doubts, and, ultimately, to end up more committed than ever to my sobriety.
I’ve also tried my best to make my writing helpful to others who are struggling with addiction. I’m not a doctor or a therapist, but I hope that by simply sharing my own experiences as an alcoholic, I can end up helping others like me.
Until now, all of my writing has been in one place: the Exploring Sobriety blog on Medium. I’m launching this new, weekly newsletter on Substack as an attempt to branch out—not just to a new platform, but stylistically as well.
My writing on Medium is quick and off the cuff. I publish daily, which means that I typically plan, write, and edit each blog post within just an hour or two. It’s like a public sobriety journal, capturing whatever thoughts I happen to have about recovery each day: A story from my past, a reaction to something I’ve read, or a simple note of gratitude.
Here on Substack, I’m going for something more polished. Although I’m calling this a “newsletter” you can also think of it as a weekly essay on sobriety, carefully crafted and delivered straight to your email inbox.
Releasing just once a week will allow me to put far more time and care into each newsletter than if it was a daily blog. This will give me the chance to develop my ideas more fully and edit them more closely. My goal here is quality over quantity.
In some of the upcoming newsletters, I’ll be drawing from old blog posts, reediting them and expanding on their ideas. In others, I’ll be covering new topics within sobriety that I’ve never written about before. So, whether you’ve just discovered me today, or you’ve been following my blog since 2018, you’ll find something new here.
This newsletter is for anyone interested in alcoholism and addiction. If you’re thinking about quitting drinking, have already quit, have a friend or family member struggling with addiction, or simply want to learn more about what it’s like to get sober, this is for you.
I’ll be releasing a new essay each Tuesday, starting next week, on April 5, 2022. The first four newsletters will be completely free for all readers. Beginning in May 2022, I’ll have a mix of paid and free newsletters. Your subscriptions are what will make this project possible, and I deeply appreciate your support!
Thank you very much for reading and please make sure to subscribe!