The turning point came at an evening soiree in the middle of December, when Mai Trinh spotted a friend’s luminous face amid a crowd of cocktail-quaffing partygoers.
“She stood out — she looked absolutely radiant,” recalls Trinh, 44, a corporate wellness consultant and mom of three in Alexandria. “So I asked her, ‘What’s your secret, what are you doing?’ ”
The secret, it turned out, was what she wasn’t doing: Trinh’s friend had decided to temporarily bail on booze, after signing up for an alcohol-free challenge through an online program.
It wasn’t the first time Trinh, who then considered herself an occasional social drinker, had heard of the burgeoning “sober-curious” movement, which touts the appeal of an alcohol-free lifestyle — separating sobriety from the stigma of addiction and presenting it instead as pathway to a healthier existence for anyone who wants to drink less, or not at all.
Unsettled by neighborhood moms showing up to the playground with coolers of champagne, Trinh had clicked through some of the sober-curious literature online, and read the testimonials of converts who embraced sobriety (or, at least, moderation) and trumpeted the results: better sleep. Better skin. A clearer head. A calmer vibe.
Her friend’s endorsement — and one final, fuzzy-headed morning after a night out with fellow mom friends that holiday season — sealed the deal. Trinh rang in the New Year sober, and hasn’t had a drink in the six months since.
“It’s been life-changing,” she says. “My kids say I’m really mellow, and I’m not a mellow person.” [Continue reading…]