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.

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1. Don’t drink alcohol.

Ultimately it is that simple. Make a firm decision that you are not drinking any more alcohol and stick with it. If you really want to stay sober because you’re unhappy with your drinking then this is the trick - stop putting alcohol into your body. Just stop. Know that there's a big job ahead of you, and that it will take time to transition from being a boozer to being a sober person. But if you make a clear decision to quit and don't drink any more alcohol ever, you're all set for a shiny new life.

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! And remember; alcohol doesn’t relax, it numbs. Genuinely relaxing 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 doesn’t help you bond with other people, it 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. Alcohol doesn’t make you fun, it messes with your neurotransmitters and artificailly alters your mood. 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 Keeping Up With The Kardashians? Is that ‘quick one’ at the pub with workmates likely to be four, plus the six-pack you grab on the way home? Remember the truth of where alcohol takes you and don't 

4.  Think about bed.

Cravings usually hit late in the day. When that happens, push your thinking through the evening to bed time. Imagine yourself climbing into bed calm and sober, not sloppy, smelly 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, certainly 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.

20 Comments
  1. Firefly13 13 hours 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!

  2. Mrs Hazelden 2 weeks 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.”

  3. craftygirl 2 weeks ago

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

  4. AllesNeu 2 weeks 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. 🙂

  5. Strongerthanever 2 weeks 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

  6. Sean 2 weeks 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 👍

  7. EwdD 2 weeks ago

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

  8. daddysgirl 2 weeks ago

    I agree Tom. Simple but not easy

  9. Danni 2 weeks 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….

  10. Girl 2 weeks 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.

  11. soberlynn 3 weeks ago

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

  12. Cinderella 3 weeks ago

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

  13. JennyB 3 weeks ago

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

  14. alyoop 3 weeks 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 3 weeks 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!

  15. AprilsFool 3 weeks 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.

  16. Classic50 3 weeks 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!

  17. Tom4500 3 weeks 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 2 weeks ago

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

  18. Tenten3 3 weeks ago

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

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