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Sober Club Life: My Experience and a New Miami Event

Sober Club Life: My Experience and a New Miami Event

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Probably one of the biggest misconceptions of recovery for people on the outside looking in, whether they are spectators or potential members, is that sobriety is boring. Many people believe that in recovery there is no room for excitement and adventure in the night life. Some people think it is hiding in meetings and holding onto a “Big Book” like a life preserver. So when we talk about the sober club life, people are frequently confused, sometimes even terrified for us.

But the truth is sobriety is about freedom. Some of us experience our recovery in different ways, and not everyone is the same. There is freedom in the fact you can practice your recovery in ways only you may have that intrinsic connection to. So the sober club life is not an theoretical concept, it is a gift some find in sobriety.

Now, as more young people are becoming active in the recovery community, the search for the night life in recovery is taking new form. New sober clubs are making waves and gaining fans all over the world. Now, one of the hottest Miami clubs is starting its own sober club life.

Sober Club Life: Daybreaker in Miami

In a city known for its nightlife, the sober club life finding such an exclusive spot something entirely new. Daybreaker, the early morning dance party, debuted at LIV nightclub this past Wednesday morning with a great deal of success. While it isn’t exactly a “nightlife” event, since it’s going down while the sun is coming up, it is a unique clubbing experience.

After over 4,000 people emailed Daybreaker about coming to Miami to bring its brand of sober club life to South Florida, co-founder Radha Agrawal told the Miami New Times,

“LIV then approached us to partner, and we are excited to help tell a different story and define a new way to connect and self-express.”

Instead of dark and brooding music, the soundtrack is fun and uplifting. Soul house, funk house, disco house. The goal is to start the day off right, with high energy and inspiration. The environment emphasizes joy, mindfulness, and intention. Last year Brimer went into detail about this, stating:

“We want to take out all the bad stuff associated with clubbing: the drinking and self-destructive behavior and mean bouncers, and just bring people together,”

The sober club life event begins at 6am. Tickets for the Daybreaker morning run around $20-$35. With growing popularity, some events have reached a crowd of around 400-500 attendees.

Sober Club Life: Daybreaker Lineup

The lineup for the Miami launch is currently a short list, but seems pretty legit. It’s not just for shaking respective groove things, but for a high energy start to the day. The big lineup included:

  • 6am to 7am- Yoga with “rockstar yogi” Pablo Lucero
  • 7am to 9am- Signature dance party with beats from DJ Alyx Ander

The idea is to wrap it all up in time for plenty of people to head to work. Since it is a morning affair, the menu makes sense.

  • Instead of a liquor bar, there is coffee and fresh juice (of the orange or fruit variety)
  • Instead of drugs, the club offers breakfast

The idea is to get the morning kicked off with dancing and movement, because these activities releases endorphins and other happy chemicals in the body. The Eventbrite for the Daybreaker states:

“Our goal is to bring Miami together with more mindfulness, wellness, mischief, self-expression and camaraderie.”

“With everything going on in the world these days, we need it more than ever.”

So, for those who want to start the day with sober clubbing, the Daybreaker give you yoga, dancing and good food for your good vibes.

Sober Club Life: My Experience

While I have not had the opportunity to check out the sober club life via Daybreakers, I was very fortunate to begin my journey in sobriety with a similar concept. A few years ago I was lucky enough to receive treatment at Palm Partners Recovery Center in Delray Beach, Florida. Every day starts off in pretty much the same way. After breakfast I was given a chance to dance with the community, with a colorful light show and live DJ. It was pretty counter-intuitive at first, but quickly became a highlight of the day. Over three years later, I am the DJ.

There is absolutely something to be said about getting up and active in the morning and what it does to set the tone for your day. I can only imagine Daybreakers is getting plenty of people looking for a sober club off to a great start.

Since my initial experience at Palm Partners, I can say I have continued the habit of being expressed, energetic and active in sobriety. I have been to raves with hundreds upon hundreds of people in Miami. I’ve had the chance to see a lot of awesome performers live in various venues across South Florida, and I have taken many opportunities to experience the fun that comes from the freedom of sobriety. All this makes me want to focus on one important concept.

Sober Club Life: The Freedom of Sobriety

There is a passage in the primary text of the 12 Step Fellowship that speaks on the freedom sobriety provides to those who seek it with honesty and thoroughness. It is possibly one of my favorite passages, and it states:

“He [the alcoholic] can go anywhere on this earth where other free men may go without disaster, provided he remains willing to maintain a certain simple attitude.”

There are those who would debate the interpretation of these words. In the context, the quote is referring to an individual who was once considered an utterly hopeless alcoholic by a great physician. This expert opinion tells him he will never regain his position in society. However, the paragraphs following the pages further express the incredible phenomena of “spiritual experiences” that create exceptions to the most hopeless cases.

Some may take this story as one of warning. I, however, have a different perspective. These few sentences give me great hope, because they assure me I am a free man in sobriety.

The important piece for me is the “simple attitude” I keep. I believe that for me to keep this amazing gift of freedom, I have to maintain my understanding of who I am, what my experience has taught me, and how I impact others. The design for living to me means being introspective in personal inventory, faithfully accountable to those I can help, and willing to seek more extraordinary experiences that will inspire a new perspective. That same 12 Step literature tells me:

“We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality – safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us.”

In this position of neutrality, I feel safe. The problems of the past, the obsession, have been removed. So I go where any other free man can go; clubs, concerts, anywhere that this new and amazing life has given me the opportunity to be, because I am a free man. A sober club life is nothing abstract at all; it is simply what some of us chose to do with the freedom recovery blesses us with.

Not drinking or using drugs is only the beginning. Life is so much more. I, as a man in recovery, must be willing to do more if I am to fulfill my life. That, in turn, has given me freedom. Taking the first steps can be the hardest part, but we want to help. You are not alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder or addiction, please call toll-free now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

New Trend: Early Morning Sober Raves

New Trend: Early Morning Sober Raves

By Cheryl Steinberg

Picture it: Manhattan 6 am at the VIP Room – a nightclub-turned-early-morning-sober-rave-venue.

New York yogis (yoga practitioners) gather weekday mornings to get their morning routine underway. By 7:00 a.m., they’re rolling up their yoga mats and are joined by 400 other ‘Daybreakers,’ as they call themselves, while DJ Tasha Blank started spinning beats and the room once again transforms into what seems like a typical rave scene (albeit a daytime rave).

There’s one other main difference between this rave scene and your typical all-night dance club: drugs or alcohol are completely absent. All Daybreakers are completely sober for this early morning rave.

“It was a little bit of an audacious idea,” said co-organizer Matthew Brimer of the origin of Daybreaker. “Can we get a couple hundred people to wake up early before work and dance and do something that has never really happened before,” he asked, “and do it all sober?”

Turns out, the answer is yes.

New Trend: Early Morning Sober Raves

It’s a relatively new trend, having started merely eight months ago in New York City yet it has already burgeoned into a thriving scene with early morning sober raves popping up in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta; they’ve even found popularity across the pond in London. In actuality, the UK already had a somewhat similar idea, called “conscious clubbing” as part of their Morning Gloryville events. However, unlike Morning Gloryville, which aims to be an alternative to Zumba and other aerobic activities, Daybreaker is more than just exercising.

What sets Daybreaker apart from other movements is its unique curation of live entertainment, with its organizers drawing inspiration from Burning Man.

“Supporting the arts and up-and-coming talent and creative performers of all different genres and all different mediums is a very important part of Daybreaker,” Brimer said.

“It’s very much a movement and a community,” said Brimer, who also co-founded the tech startup General Assembly. And while he makes a clear distinction that it’s not about networking, Brimer says the people that come to Daybreaker are likeminded and have a strong intentionality. “You don’t just accidentally go to Daybreaker,” he said.

Every 15 minutes a new artist or act comes on, ranging from the obvious nightclub acts such as singers and musicians, to spoken word poets, tap dancers, freestyle rappers, opera singers, acrobats, haiku writers, live painters and more.

“You can be sure you’re going to dance your ass off for two hours,” said co-organizer Radha Agrawal, “but what you’re going to experience when you’re there we’re always changing.”

Agrawal is also the founder of Super Sprowtz, a program of nutrition whose mission is to educate kids about healthy eating habits; her vegetable-inspired costumed characters often appear at Daybreaker events. Promoting health and wellness is an equally important part of Daybreaker for Agrawal. Therefore, instead of alcohol, the bar is stocked with coconut water, juice, coffee and tea.

“Most clubs at night can’t even get people to have that much energy,” said Wesley Yu, a first-time attendee. “No alcohol involved and everyone’s just happy dancing,” he said, adding “it’s an amazing environment.”

Yu, who goes against the grain by commuting from his home in Manhattan to a job as a Systems Designer at Newark’s Prudential Financial, said he wishes the events would start even earlier. “I know New Yorkers love getting up early,” he said, it’s “kind of a crazy thing to do in the morning.”

Twenty thousand dancers have already attended Daybreaker events, and the co-organizers say they’ve received requests from people in 25 cities around the world to bring their early morning sober raves to their hometowns.

Daybreaker plans not only to expand to additional U.S. cities, but also to grow on a global scale. It plans to invade Tokyo, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Cape Town and Sao Paolo with its penchant for substance-free music and entertainment. “There’s an outcropping of excitement for interactivity and real community experiences,” Agrawal said. “Millennials – they’re tired of online.”

Like Burning Man, Agrawal and Brimer envision Daybreaker being around for a long time. “We want to make sure the brand and the experience is consistent across the world as we continue to grow,” Brimer said, “but at the same time each city will have its own local flavor.”

Are you struggling with alcohol and other drugs but afraid of the unknown – a life in sobriety? The good news is that a sober lifestyle offers many possibilities and opportunities for a happy – and exciting – life. Getting sober doesn’t only mean that you don’t use substances anymore; it means that you don’t have to use anymore AND you get to live life freely as a fully-expressed human being. Call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist today. We can answer your questions day or night.

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