I shared a version of this sentiment last year, but I am sharing it again – one, because we are fortunate to have so many more members of the Raising the Bar community, and two, because these issues are still very much part of our world.
As a small business owner, holidays and occasions are a natural time to market our missions and products. However, I’ve felt somewhat uncomfortable with using Mother’s Day as a “selling” opportunity, partly because it was my drinking habits, as a mother, that led me to create Raising the Bar to begin with.
Raising the Bar was created because I wanted to bring a little fun to the alcohol-free landscape, helping people to create delicious and unique drinks at home while enjoying the mixology experience. But what led me to creating this experience was the culmination of everything that had led me to want to quit drinking in the first place.
When I was still drinking, I genuinely believed that my drinking took the edge off of my anxiety – that drinking temporarily dulled the challenges brought on by work, or parenting, or pretty much anything. What took me years (decades, really) to realize was that my drinking habits were actually just a temporary escape that didn’t help anything at all; in reality, it prevented me from actually facing my challenges head-on and doing the hard work of actually addressing things that needed to be fixed and, well, fix them.
Now, nearly 3.5 years alcohol-free, I am certainly not suggesting that my life is perfect or that I’ve fixed all the things “wrong” with my life – I have so much more work to do on myself, and it will never be finished. What I DO know, is that taking alcohol out of my life has allowed me to be more present and engaged in my own life, the lives of my children, and the people and things that are important to me.
While in some ways, we are starting to get in the groove of a new NEW normal, we are still grappling with the ramifications of the pandemic on our collective mental health. Throughout the course of the pandemic, there has been a growing attention to the ways people (and parents and women especially) have used alcohol, often times excessively, to handle the stress and trauma of this incredibly challenging time.
Raising the Bar IS about a fun alternative to drinking alcohol. We curate zero-proof experiences that make having an alcohol-free drink fun, delicious and aesthetically pleasing. But at the heart of what I want this brand to provide is celebratory options for those who are looking to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol – for WHATEVER reason, whether they want to quit, cut back, take a break, mix it up, or any other reason someone might want to enjoy an alcohol-free drink.
As we approach Mother’s Day, it felt important to acknowledge that moms – now, more than ever – are facing ongoing and unprecedented stressors and challenges, and alcohol is a bigger problem than ever for many of us.
There are amazing resources and communities built around support for the sober and sober-curious. Instagram and Facebook groups, virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, sobriety coaches and more. Please reach out if you or a loved one ever needs helps finding resources – I have been there. I don’t have all the answers, but my email box and DMs are always open to anyone who is struggling and needs someone to talk to. I am filled with gratitude for each of you who are part of this community, joining us in normalizing the choice not to drink.
-Abbie, founder of Raising the Bar