The Importance of the Bubble

When I first got sober it was crucial to develop and maintain a “sober bubble” to live inside until I felt safe. This bubble has been talked about in depth by many other people, but it has become a very important concept for me during my 439 (!!) days sober, so I wanted to touch on it a bit here.

I have recently come to the conclusion that the bubble is a way of life for me. In order to be happy and feel fulfilled, I need a bubble. The people and things that I put in my bubble vary, but I am responsible for taking care of my bubble and making sure that it is healthy. If a person is making me feel crazy, they might need to be removed from my bubble until I can handle them better, or for good. Facebook is no longer a part of my bubble because it doesn’t make me feel very good a lot of the time, and it takes too much of my precious time. My sober bubble is no longer so much about keeping the world out, but instead filteringΒ  and making room for the important of things in my life. When I take care to monitor my bubble, I feel secure, safe and happy.

These days, when I am asked to do something for someone else, I think about it a bit harder than I used to. I think about the big picture and my bubble. I try not to say yes to things simply because I feel like I should. Is the person important to me? Does doing this “thing” make me happy? Then yes. If not, then no. Simple, right? It isn’t always so easy in practice, of course, but it helps me differentiate the truly important things from the not-so-important.

Us sober folks can sometimes feel like we are missing out on things, especially in early sobriety. That was my experience, and I have a hunch that it is/was the same for many of you. Keeping a carefully curated bubble can help to alleviate those bad feelings. WE are in charge of our lives and what surrounds us. We choose not to have alcohol, or other toxic things, in our bubble.


23 thoughts on “The Importance of the Bubble

  1. The bubble is a great concept, so lovely and floaty and nice. Yesterday I read a blog post where the writer talked about taking an empty container with limited space and filling it back up only with what’s really important to us. I love the imagery of both examples, and hear the message to choose more carefully how I spend my time and with whom.

  2. hi Jen – great post! yes, we have a say in what surrounds us. and then we decide how we react to what surrounds us. knowing that we make both those choices is an incredibly empowering thing.

    if you are interested you might like to see this post by Sarah Bessey: ‘Guard your gates’. it examines some of the topics you raised. give it a chance as far as the the second half, as that’s particularly interesting – looking at what it means to let difficult things inside your bubble, too:

    ‘Sometimes it is this simple: is this influence – whether it’s a book or a movie or a friendship or a Facebook page – bringing life and wholeness to me and others? Is it challenging me to be fully alive, to be more compassionate and human, to be more wise and loving?

    It doesn’t have to be pleasant, oh, no sometimes the things that bring compassion and wisdom and wholeness into our lives are the very things that break our hearts or make us angry or challenge us.’

    It’s written from a Christian viewpoint but I think makes some valuable points whatever your faith…

  3. Reblogged this on club east: indianapolis and commented:
    Jen at The Soberist Blog writes about protecting her own sober world through the sober bubble.

    My sober bubble is no longer so much about keeping the world out, but instead filtering and making room for the important of things in my life. When I take care to monitor my bubble, I feel secure, safe and happy.

    This looks to be what we in the business world would call a the makings of a sound strategic plan.

  4. I definitely have A personal bubble. Protecting myself from useless energy drains keeps me happy and balanced. If in doubt, I still choose to retreat to security. I keep my house free form alcohol to eliminate split second poor decisions. My family supports me.

    It’s about making my life easier. I used to make it complicated. It didn’t work very well! Lol


  5. Excellent post. I’m trying to figure out what stays and what goes from my bubble now that I poured the beer out of it.

    • It definitely takes time. I am still figuring it out, too! I think it helps to generally be more conscious and mindful about it….we still make mistakes but fewer than when there was NO bubble or when it was filled with beer.

  6. I really needed to hear this today. I’ve found that I have really tried hard to create a bubble in the last months, and gotten rid of many things/people around me that were not safe for me. I need to to more of it and really keep this a sacred place for me. Thank you!

  7. I definitely hear you on the bubble. I like my bubble, and I need it! I feel more selfish now that I am sober, and I don’t care. πŸ˜‰ I think I used to always feel guilty (for drinking/being hungover), so I felt the need to always say yes and please people. Over do it, so no one knew I wasn’t a highly functioning person in all aspects of my life. Who was I kidding?! Not sure how I even had the energy to keep up that facade for soooo many years?! I am exhausted just thinking about it. I feel so much calmer and at peace now. It’s OUR time now!

    • I hear you on people pleasing in order to compensate for the guilt and shame associated with drinking too much. SO happy to be out of that cycle for the most part. It isn’t selfish- just setting practical and necessary limits! Remember that! πŸ™‚

  8. I love picturing a bubble, my bubble. I am becoming better and better at creating boundaries and working on not feeling guilty about it. I am glad you mention the importance of this at 439 days. I am at 389 days and caught myself thinking maybe I don’t need to protect myself as much as before but this simply is a better healthier way of living for me. And I have to agree about Facebook – just a few weeks ago I cancelled and it felt like such a relief! Thanks for your blog, you have really helped me over this last year!

  9. Jen, I have been reading your blog for a short time now. I am actually reading what you wrote each day from a year ago. I am a newbie, 7 days sober. Reading your blog has helped a lot so far, giving me some support in the wee hours of the morning when I am struggling with insomnia, or during my lunch break when the stresses of the day are mounting. You even inspired me to start a little blog myself. I see it as therapeutic, to be able to get down my thoughts and feelings as I take this journey, one day at a time. Man it is tough, but I hope to someday be over 400 days like you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us πŸ™‚

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