4 tips to help you stay sober

4 on a sign in a lake

I know the process of quitting alcohol is incredibly complex and different for everyone, but here are four steps to think about that might help you achieve that glorious goal.


1. Don’t drink alcohol

Make a firm decision that you are not drinking any more alcohol, stop putting it in your body and stick with it. It’s that simple. It’s a big job transitioning from being a boozer to being a sober person, but it starts with that one step. Don’t drink alcohol – ever.

2. Call bullshit on your hard-wired beliefs about booze

Be very aware of the messages you are sending yourself about what alcohol does and challenge those beliefs. Every time you find yourself thinking something romantic and positive about booze, challenge it and turn it around. For example, you might think to yourself; “I’ve had a terrible day and could really do with a drink to relax.” Stop! Remember; alcohol doesn’t relax, it numbs. Genuine relaxation is about finding authentic ways to turn your brain away from worries and stresses, or working on real solutions to problems. You might think “alcohol helps me bond with others.” Stop! Remember, alcohol is a drug that loosens the receptors between your brain and your mouth & ears, giving a false sense of connectedness. Genuinely bonding is about listening, caring, being warm and interested in other people. You might think “I’m no fun without alcohol.” Stop! Alcohol doesn’t make you fun, it artificially alters your mood and slows your brain function. Being fun is about having an open, positive state of mind, chatting freely, telling jokes (bad or otherwise) and dancing!

3. Play the tape forward

Think beyond the romantic image of the first drink and be honest with yourself about how the night is likely to end up. Is that 5pm chardonnay that you deserve for a hard day is going to turn into a bottle and a half and find you in sloppy tears while watching TV you’ll forget in the morning? Is that ‘one quick drink’ at the pub with workmates likely to end up being four, plus the six-pack you grab on the way home? Remember the truth of where alcohol takes you and don’t 

4. Use visualisations

Cravings usually hit late in the day. When that happens, push your thinking through the evening to bed time. Visualise yourself climbing into bed calm and sober, not sloppy, smelly and drunk. Picture your head hitting the nice fresh pillow, your brain sleeping but not numb, maybe your face nicely washed and some night cream on. Imagine yourself reading some pages of your book knowing you’ll remember them in the morning, and having a lovely gentle drift off to sleep. Visualise yourself waking up fresh and proud after a blissful 8-hour sleep, not wrecked after a night of toilet trips, dry horrors, head poundings and guilty thoughts. Remember – no one ever woke up in the morning regretting not getting drunk the night before.

  1. Sarahfla 4 years ago


    Im new here, i just eamted to say thanks for the great tips. Its so true, make the decision to be sober, the every choice you make after that has to support your decision.

  2. Sansa 4 years ago

    Thank you Mrs. D, this is just what I needed to read this evening.

    • 60srfun 4 years ago

      Perfect. Just what I needed this morning as I begin my Day 2.

  3. Firefly13 4 years ago

    Making a firm decision was so important when I quit smoking and when I had my previous alcohol quit of 3 years, have been struggling with making that firm decision this time and keep going back to it. Great suggestions Mrs.D thank you so much!

  4. Mrs Hazelden 4 years ago

    I love waking up feeling FREE from guilt and shame, feeling empowered instead, for having controlled my urge to numb my emotions.
    And to quote Haemin Sunim; “Quietly observe your feelings without trying to change them . It will change on its own.
    Observe your feelings as if they are external to you. If you observe your feelings in this way for just three minutes,
    you will notice their energy and texture slowly changing.”

  5. craftygirl 4 years ago

    I needed this today, especially the last one. The last few evenings have been really hard. Thanks.

  6. AllesNeu 4 years ago

    Thank you. These are all excellent! The last one is my favourite. I actually washed my face and put on cream. Tomorrow, I’ll wash pillow cases and change the bedding. But I think the most important one (for me at least) is #1. Frankly, I love them all. I am sure I will be back to read them again and again. Very helpful! Thank you, again. 🙂

  7. Strongerthanever 4 years ago

    Excellent points and so true. The benefits of not drinking far outweigh the negatives. From the fresh feeling of bed, the clear skin and night cream, to the blissful hangover free, guilt free, brain clearing, non fuzzy headed, non puking mornings….. It is so awesome. Thank you xx

  8. Sean 4 years ago

    Thinking about bed………love this. I sometimes feel guilty about how much I love bedtime these days. My sleeps are so deep . Though being mid 60’s , the trips to the toilet don’t go away and if you don’t mind, I’ll pass on the night cream ?

  9. EwdD 4 years ago

    Indeed. The first drink is the one you forbid yourself to have.

  10. daddysgirl 4 years ago

    I agree Tom. Simple but not easy

  11. Danni 4 years ago

    Needed this today. Hate feeling hungover and then to cure the hangover I would drink again. I too am guilty for making deals with myself. And even tricking my husband after months of sobriety that in fact I didn’t have a problem and I could have just 2 drinks knowing all along I was skulking the bottle of wine I hid in my daughter’s wardrobe. How embarrassed and guilty I feel when typing that….

    • Tobeabettermum 4 years ago

      I feel ya grrl

  12. Girl 4 years ago

    So true…Just stop…NO more…I am still drinking but am totally over it. Tomorrow I am going to smash all of my wine glasses.

  13. soberlynn 4 years ago

    On point, as always. Thank you. Keeping this one bookmarked.

  14. Cinderella 4 years ago

    Absolutely love this. Completely agree on all 4 tips with #1 being the BIGGIE ? Thanks Mrs D.

  15. JennyB 4 years ago

    I love the “waking up in the morning feeling rested and cheerful”. Instead of needing to sleep it off.

  16. alyoop 4 years ago

    i really am scared that i cant maintain being free of booze.and my drinking is pushing people away flatout.i know its stinkinthinkin to a certain extent.very lonely and fearful.but very nice to have you all there.thankyou.

    • Lisamarie 4 years ago

      Dear alyoop, you CAN do this. You’re not alone. Everyone reading your post understands the loneliness and fear. It gets better. Hang in there!

  17. AprilsFool 4 years ago

    Love this Mrs. D.
    I totally agree with @Tom4500. For me #1 was, and still is, the big shiny key that opened to door to finally getting this done. I had to stop screwing around with myself … making deals … ‘cutting back’ … creating excuses … doing all the bullshit things we do to avoid what ultimately needs to be done – JUST STOP. For me it was the only way – and I understand now, that for me, it’s the only thing that actually works. Not easy. But effective in the long run.

  18. Classic50 4 years ago

    Your words are like gold for me right now…just so so perfect my eyes are full of tears…thank you for staying here! Thank you so much!

  19. Tom4500 4 years ago

    That #1…just don’t drink alcohol…so important to get back to, when it starts to feel complicated. It is just that simple. And, simple doesn’t mean easy, but it is the #1 rule.

    • EwdD 4 years ago

      Indeed. The first drink is the one you forbid yourself to have.

  20. Tenten3 4 years ago

    Thanks Mrs D….I needed this one today : )

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