Managing Feelings

A big part of getting sober is learning how to deal with our emotions. This Sober Toolbox is a space for sharing tips and techniques for how to deal with emotional pain or stress. If you're looking for more discussion, interactions and feedback, head inside our Members Feed. That's where the real-time conversations take place.

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  1. Hartypants 2 years ago

    I know yoga & meditation work for me but when I drink I can’t seem to be motivated to do either. I’m an all or nothing type of person. When I’m drinking….I’m drinking. When I’m sober the feeling of wellness encourages me to live a healthier life. Moderation & balance, except I now realise I can’t moderate so there’s no balance. Day 1. Again!

  2. Ellie7 2 years ago

    Try mindfulness. I try and sit with the feelings of pain, regret, anger, resentment etc. Acknowledge them.

    • Anonymous 1 year ago

      How do you acknowledge those feelings and move on? I just feel depressed and like a fool for relying again on alcohol and then end up drinking more and saying I’ll sort my life out tomorrow.. which doesn’t come

    • Choosewisely 1 year ago

      Yes that’s what I found getting sober was dealing with these big scary emotions as I had poured wine on them for so long. Also I was getting off anti anxiety meds which meant a real rawness.
      Meditation apps, especially breathing ones and Jody scan I find good. Breathe in name of one .

  3. fasteddie 2 years ago

    Simplicity / Faith / Service to others ……. offer the best emotional chance of recovery imho

  4. lynnellis 2 years ago

    I write. I journal everyday but I write about my feelings, it resolves stress for me, I sort things out, I survive. I think of ways I can re-adjuct my life to make it less stressful.

  5. Trudi 2 years ago

    Firstly i try to keep myself away from stressfull and emotional situations if i can . I know it’s not always that easy , but anything that brings me down i avoid , i don’t need to put myself and my sobriety at risk , its not worth it in the long term . If i do need to deal with any stress or anxiety i just remember how far i have come in my sobriety and what it was like before i stopped drinking , IT WAS HELL !!!! I don’t want to ever go back there , so i sit with myself for a time and deal with the issues head on and straight away , don’t let them fester in your head , they will only escalate out of control and become bigger than they are .

  6. meano 2 years ago

    I guess I would still drink. Try to keep the stress away. When it comes I am not sure what to do or if I recognize the stress.

  7. mollyroxanne 2 years ago

    Going for a walk. journalling. meditation app.

  8. Deester 2 years ago

    I get very quiet, journal if possible. I do not have close friends, so going to an Al-Anon meeting to get out of my head helps. I am blessed with a very supportive husband. I read positive literature and watch positive videos. Maybe a comedy on Netflix. Exercise, if it is not too hot, I will walk the dogs. Action – take some action to release the emotional hounds.

  9. morgan 2 years ago

    Dr Mark William’s- brilliant

    • ClearRainbow 2 years ago

      Hi Morgan – after I read his book a few years ago I sent him and email thanking him. He wrote back! So nice.

    • Deester 2 years ago

      Thanks Morgan – I will check this out.

  10. Nemo 2 years ago

    Mystic Mamma, thank you. I read your message and tears just started flooding out. Its day 29 for me and I’ve started to realise how numb I’ve been all these years. So many emotions and feelings are bubbling to the surface now and they are raw, intense and very very uncomfortable and inconvenient. Your message has encouraged me to face them instead of brushing them off or hiding from them. I can see this is part of a healing journey. I’m scared though and I don’t like how I’m feeling.

  11. Nemo 2 years ago

    Ignore my family and go do something. Like watch Netflix in bed with tea.

    • 1 year ago

      I need quiet time. 100 days sober and sometimes I just need to go upstairs and read. My nerves are numb. When I come home and see my stepson laying on the coach and not working at 20 years old I want to scream! Then I think – hey that is normal whether or not I have an “alcoholic” brain!

  12. freedomfrombooze 2 years ago

    I have only managed 8 days alcohol free and now I’m back on it and in such a state I always think I can moderate but I cant. Feeling ill, depressed and out of control . Oh and sleep deprived. Totally addicted.

    • JoanneAlbrecht 1 year ago

      Hang in there, this awful time will pass.

    • Itsnowornever 2 years ago

      Hey, Just read your post. I hope you managed to find your way back. Im only day 1. Totally get what your short post said, but dont let it define you. Hope youre all good.

    • Nemo 2 years ago

      Can you get some proper help?

  13. AggieRed 2 years ago

    Problems are not our own to battle. We need each other for support and encouragement. Being a hermit is what led me to my life long battle with alcohol. Thinking I could control something, knowing if I took one drink, I would be back at square one. Yet countless times I did it anyway. I can’t do this alone anymore, with my friends and family and all of you this is more realistic. Time to be honest and accountable every day.

    • whichisnice 2 years ago

      And from what I hear, one doesn’t go back to square one. Were it only that easy. It is often worse and you wish you only felt that bad. I’m hoping I won’t ever find out. I am 32 days af and ready to continue ever onward. Wishing you all well, with love.

  14. Neverenough 2 years ago

    Given myself 100 days AF. Went surprisingly easy, no cravings, no counting days, feeling great!
    Now, day 106 and I’m really struggling. I given myself another 40 days AF to catch up on Lent ( excuse good enough for me to stick to) and hoping longer I’m no drinking easier will it be not to drink again.
    Seems harder. At least today. Didn’t help just spent long weekend at relatives house who is total alcoholic and basically all happens there is accompanied by wine. Got home today and hubby went out to get himself some booze. Brought home my favourite wine and just sitting with me drinking away…I know he doesn’t mean to do it as a temptation but I’m really struggling not to pour a glass for me. Feeling really weak, angry, disappointed, scared…I don’t want to drink again but with the rain outside, all cosy in the call of red wine is just so strong! Help! Give me something to think of to make the idea unappealing!!!!

    • SarahD 4 months ago

      106 days is absolutely awesome. Look how far you’ve came and look at the temptation you over came even not drinking when others are. You should be very proud. Well done 👍

    • Jojogo 7 months ago

      Well done on 106 days – that is a great achievement.

      Your husband is probably just trying to be kind but I’d recommend you ask him (or set him a challenge!) to find you a really nice, interesting, different drink that’s non-alcoholic. I too would find it very difficult to sit across from a bottle of wine. And spending time with relatives who drink – that’s always a challenge.

      You are not weak. You are doing really, really well. Keep posting so we know how you are getting on. Sending love.

    • Teazy 2 years ago

      I drank recently, the drinking part was fine, had a 3 day hangover, felt depressed, sick, no energy for a week, it zapped the natural high i had, took away my joy, was it worth it ? definitely not, you will be so happy if you don’t and so miserable if you do!

    • Tom4500 2 years ago

      Sounds to me like you don’t want to go back to drinking. I had that feeling once when I was on an antibiotic, and was planning to go back to drinking when I got off of it. Part of me wanted to stay sober. When I did go back to drinking, I drank more than ever. Five months later, I quit for good. I say ask yourself if you’re a good drinker, one who doesn’t have those awful moments. If the answer is no, then consider the joy of being free from alcohol forever. It helps offset those annoying cravings, those false feelings of missing out on a substance that, if you aren’t a good drinker, damages you.

      • tgrim 2 years ago

        Tom, I’m going to find your advise very helpful on the long days ahead. I’m only at Day 2. Thank you

    • Izzy 2 years ago

      You’ve come so far!! The taste wont be worth starting back at day 1 tomorrow. That’s all I got

      • Neverenough 2 years ago

        Thank you Izzy. I didn’t. I’m strong and reasonable throughout the day and the witching hours come and last two days been hard! However, I sort of worked out in my head what it is making me weak now- as long I have set plan i.e 100 days I’m fine. Since I’m over the 100 and was just a bit indecisive in my mind what to do next I start to feel divided. It is my mind which needs to have a concrete plan to follow to succeed. So. 40 days now. Another 100 after. I’m so so hoping after that I will not feel like alcohol at all, surely, habits change over 7 months!!!

  15. CConway 2 years ago

    Meditation is my go to tool.

    • Lucky44 2 years ago

      Do you use an App or is there some other guide you use?

  16. TheBee 2 years ago

    Don’t know yet as I’m just starting out again. The really deep stress usually makes me reach out for a glass of wine – even if I’ve managed to ‘feel’ my feelings through meditation. It’s as if I then feel I deserve the wine!

  17. mysticmama 2 years ago

    Hi Everyone, I am slogging through another day of de-cluttering the mess in my head space that alcohol used to get me to avoid temporarily. When lots of negative emotions are coming up, I reach for my spiritual tool box! The first tool I reached for today I’ll call: IDENTIFY and ACKNOWLEDGE the EMOTIONAL GUEST: Today, I’m dealing with a member of my inner landscape I somewhat affectionately call “Death Wish” because s/he would rather give up or give in, cares nothing for anyone and is in a ton of pain all the time. When this part of me comes up, the IDENTIFY tool really helps, but it can work for less complicated emotions as well. It goes something like this. I first Identify and speak out loud to the emotion/or “part” of me: “I see you Death Wish. I Feel you and I Acknowledge you.” This allows me to get a little space from that part of my experience. Then there’s room for it to transform. Sometimes that’s enough.
    If it’s still feeling awful or intense, (like today with Death Wish) I use another tool I’ll call DROP THE STORY and FEEL the EMOTION IN THE BODY. That might go like this: “Okay Death Wish, where are you in this body?” Then I put my full attention on my physicality. I notice it feels like a ball of energy just now, right at my heart center- whoop- now it starts moving up to my throat, it feels like a big ball I’m holding down, like a kid fighting back tears, oop- now I feel it at the back of my throat, it’s softening, i think it’s leaving with my breathing out. I feel my shoulders softening as I breath it out. Yup, a few more breaths and it’s gone. Transmuted. Message received. Feelings just want to be felt, and once they’re felt, they’ve done their job. If we can drop the negative stories they bring up, we stop feeding and replenishing the energy it takes to keep them active and they usually are willing to release. I know it’s hard and reaching for a drink feels easier. But I think we can all honestly say that if we’re going to continue to hoard these negative feelings and use alcohol to keep the door shut on the closet, eventually we will have to deal with the pile up in that closet. No time like the present. Be a warrior of spirit, know you are more powerful and real than anything you put in that closet and any part of yourself that thought it was necessary, or that alcohol was your friend. You are your own best friend when you’re willing to be with every part of yourself, even if it’s messy, even if it’s something you need to put in the “bin” (that’s what you NZ’s call the trash can, right? I love it!). Anyway, that’s how we eventually sort it out and find much more space for good feelings and new experiences! And we don’t have to go through aaaaaaaaaall the negative feelings at once, or find their root causes today. We can just take them as they come up. And in my experience, after a hard day of sorting, next day I feel like a million $! Well, I’m out here sober family, doing the inner work, knowing it’s not always easy or pretty, but it is always worth it! Yours in Freedom, -mm

    • Nemo 2 years ago

      Mystic Mamma, thank you. I read your message and tears just started flooding out. Its day 29 for me and I’ve started to realise how numb I’ve been all these years. So many emotions and feelings are bubbling to the surface now and they are raw, intense and very very uncomfortable and inconvenient. Your message has encouraged me to face them instead of brushing them off or hiding from them. I can see this is part of a healing journey. I’m scared though and I don’t like how I’m feeling.

      • mysticmama 2 years ago

        @Nemo…Fear is a big one. I think because sadness gets tears to release…but fear has this habit of making us freeze or shut down and yeah, we’re not taught to respect fear. Or really any of the “negative” emotions. But being aware of it is soooooo incredibly brave! You are being so brave!! The “not liking” your feelings makes me think of how we have these internal parts that want to help us survive. It’s just a false alarm that is used to getting its way, either by numbing or shaming you for feeling! Haha, that part doesn’t get to be in the driver’s seat! Anyway, I think a big part of riding out any emotion it is knowing that you are going to survive it. You’re bigger and wider and deeper- it’s just a wave but you’re the ocean itself. That wisdom came to me as i was riding a big wave, laid out on my yoga mat in my room, tears just streaming down and no “known” cause I could track. I just felt that answer “you will survive this emotion” as I thought in my mind that it might just go on forever. It felt insane to really stay present for the darkness of it, but after it passed, I was clear, peaceful…and I felt emptied in a way, but also strong and more clear in myself. Very present and like a storm had actually passed through me. And when I saw myself in the mirror later that night, I felt compassion for this person that had worked so hard to not feel all that stuff.
        We aren’t doomed to re-live everything that hurt or scarred us, frightened or freaked us out just because we’re brave enough to be facing the present wholeheartedly and alcohol-free. We are being invited to take hands with the brave part of ourselves that survived it all and is still here, ready to make room for new experiences that fill us up at a soul level, every place we’re willing to do the clearing out of old patterns, emotions and stories! And in my experience, we can go at our own pace. A big clearing out is going to take time to integrate, and be more disruptive to the status quo- but the shift will be seismic, whereas little ups and downs may not rock the boat as fiercely- but we could be at it for years. One way or the other (and sometimes a little of both) we are on the road to a bright future, and one that we are building with awareness and heaps of courage!
        I salute you, Nemo and I send you support and company on your journey. Here’s a little R.M. Rilke for your path: “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” -From “Letters to a Young Poet”

    • Coxy107triesagain 2 years ago

      Really like your example, am going to try this . Thank you.

    • shellbee 2 years ago

      Thanks for the mind map

    • Chaves 2 years ago

      Whoa. What a lesson. I will remember and apply this.

    • WhippetZ 2 years ago

      Love it, really helpful, thanks for sharing that strategy.

    • truthangel 2 years ago

      This is really powerful and inspiring.
      Thank you.

  18. spring64 2 years ago

    Went grocery shopping today and ignored the wine aisle. On my way out the door there was a big poster on a stand. It had a picture of a wine bottle on it and a full wine glass of Chardonnay beside it. The caption: “Sometimes you have to go to the ends of the earth to find heaven”. I got out of there, but it occurred to me that that statement could also apply to attaining sobriety.

    • AprilsFool 2 years ago

      Yup. I was pretty damned close to the end of the earth before I discovered that heaven was definitely NOT at the bottom of a wine bottle.

  19. jnb51692 2 years ago

    I’m on day 3 and I’m already thinking of the boring life without alcohol

    • Jojogo 7 months ago

      Yes, I thought the same. I completed 6 weeks yesterday and I’m anything but bored.
      I’m not waking up with a hangover so I’ve got more motivation to do stuff anyway.
      More interested in exercise, so doing more of that each day.
      Treat myself (massage) or chocolate (over-treating myself actually but that’s another story).
      Netflix – unsure whether that’s a win or a lose in terms of how much I watch but I enjoy it.
      Going to a movie on my own – the ultimate treat:-)
      Have been out for dinner and met up with family (heavy drinkers) but found I contributed more to the conversation ….and remembered it the next day.
      Have a project list I’m working my way through at home to sort shit out.
      Went to a gig sober on Saturday night – really enjoyed it. Had a plan in place beforehand to make sure I was happy with AF drinks.
      Next on my list is meditation.

      Anyhoo, just to say, I thought exactly the same thing, have been surprised and delighted at sober life and what it holds. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the gift of time to settle into it. Take care.

    • Clowance 2 years ago

      Yeh, I thought that, but I’ve just done our regular annual music residential and had a great time, me af, others not, no-one cared and I laughed and joined in as usual.
      But was able to enjoy the early mornings when some clearly could not ?

    • SoberHobbit 2 years ago

      82 for me. 265 since starting so have had a few slips. I had 71 days on cloud 9. No issues. Nothing hard happened. Life was opening up rapidly. I’m in day 11 of really hard stuff. But am coming out of it. I’ve finally realised all this hard stuff was 100% related to someone and something I had/have zero control over. How crazy. It’s been painful but am finally coming out of it. Now I can see it for what it is it’s so easy to deal with. Hasn’t made me drink. I know that drinking wouldn’t help it. Anyway it’s taught me some valuable lessons and I know what to do next time.
      Good work for another sober day everyone. What a miracle.

      • shellbee 2 years ago

        What is a pink cloud?

    • Danssurfin 2 years ago

      Just remember how insane and sick the hangovers leave us all feeling…boring is easier…I try to make myself proud by doing something else rewarding like working out or walking or playing an instrument it’s not easy, you can do it, and it will get better and easier I promise

  20. denversmom 2 years ago

    Day six here. Emotions are sneaking up on me. Although I have a longtime boyfriend
    who’s mentioned he’s proud of me I don’t feel truly supported. I want to talk about this struggle but feel he’s not interested in listening. I guess I can’t assume others no just how hard sobriety is. Anyone else experience this?

    • shellbee 2 years ago

      Yes, it is lonley

    • Chaves 2 years ago

      Emotions are coming up in me too. So are dreams. Sometimes feeling like I am sooooo in love with the world, life, everything… the next like a death wish (@mysticmama) is about to engulf me. There is no-one in my family that could understand such extreme feelings, let alone the deep ache of struggle it is to live without alcohol. Sometimes dear @denversmom … recovery is lonely. BUT that’s why this place is so great, and the people so loveable. A bunch of perfectly imperfect individuals willing and present not only to offer good wisdom and a listening/reading ear (teehee) but who do, I think, truly understand. 🙂

      • alyoop 2 years ago

        yes its hard and although i am still suffering in the brine i know that just joining was the right choice as the members are real and quietly know x

    • SoberHobbit 2 years ago

      Yeah you shouldn’t expect anyone to thank you for being sober. There are lots of us on here to say well done though.

    • Julielynn 2 years ago

      Be proud of yourself! Do it for yourself #1! I don’t think the average person who hasn’t struggled with addiction can truly understand! I also go to a counselor( a licensed Social Worker) to express my emotions. She is not a specialist in alcohol abuse but we connected and she helped me understand my emotions. She helped me realize that I am a highly sensitive person and one of the reasons I was drinking was to numb my emotions).

  21. spring64 2 years ago

    I am eating too much. Can’t get enough carbs and sugar in me. On day 5.

    • Jojogo 7 months ago

      Well done on Day 5 @spring64 and @Julielynn.

      Yep, I’m hearing you.Based on what I’ve seen on LS, these cravings are pretty normal in the early stages. If you are doing exercise that’s brilliant, just remember to be gentle with yourself as you go through your sobriety journey – it ain’t for sissies – and that includes some treats along the way.

    • Julielynn 2 years ago

      I am on day 5 too! I have been going to the gym more to keep my mind and body busy! Taking group exercise classes like Yoga and Step Aerobics helps to get me there and not feel alone.

  22. chefkbell 2 years ago

    I try to keep my mind busy

  23. jep9703 2 years ago

    I relax and listen to Belleruth Naperstak’s guided imagery and affirmation CDs.

  24. Toksez 2 years ago

    I’m just beginning this journey. I have had several episodes of drinking lately where I don’t remember, behave like an idiot with no memory and ended up loosing my balance and hitting my head. I’m so lucky I didn’t do some serious damage. I feel ashamed of myself and my behaviour and I realise that I can’t just have one drink. I binge. I use alcohol for all the wrong reasons, emotionally ones. I need to stop this, and search for other ways of coping.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I don’t feel so alone, just knowing other professionals are out there like me trying to do better in their life!

    • stopnow7 2 years ago

      That’s how I feel, too. Thank you for sharing. I just joined today.

      • Danssurfin 2 years ago

        I feel the same and had the same experience. The reality that alcohol abuse disorder is progressive has finally sunk in, that is definitely what it was doing to me….getting worse and worse.

  25. Mirror 2 years ago

    I can relate to so many of these posts!!! Thank you all for sharing. I can’t seem to make it past just a few days before I dive back into the bottle again. But I will keep trying.

  26. ProblemDrinker 2 years ago

    Hi everyone,
    I’m just beginning my journey towards sobriety (not my first attempt) I have found my triggers to be an inability to deal with emotions properly. For example if I’m really happy and it’s a warm sunny day I almost feel a compulsion to enhance that happiness with alcohol, which would be fine if I wasn’t a problem drinker. One thing leads to another and I end up far more drunk than I’d like to be and this is almost inevitably followed by a deep sense of shame the next day. This is also the case if I’m sad. So my question is what are some tools that could help me process these feelings in a more constructive manner? Would counselling be helpful?

    • denversmom 2 years ago

      Our thoughts are exactly the same. I’m on day six, third time trying this year . I just finished the book, the naked mind. It helped a little and kept me focused. I’m going to try to keep telling myself life will be happier once the alcohol is completely out of my system. And when I look at alcohol ( which is available at my fingertips in the house) I remind myself I’ll have to start the day count all over again. For me, I’m proud of reaching six days…and I would be so disappointed in myself if I break…so I just turn away and find something to keep busy. It’s soooooooo hard. I’m an adult and should be able to drink if I want ?. But as I laugh at myself…it’s running my life. I think about it constantly and that’s a very bad sign. That just cannot be how people are supposed to live. We both realize this hence why were on this site. I’m going to see if I can find a “meetup group “ in my area for sobriety. I definitely need people in my life who have been through this struggle. Also, every time I think about my beloved red wine I make a cranberry and ginger ale drink…I’m trying to trick my mind ???. Gotta have humor with this struggle…I keep telling myself I’m going to get through this if it kills me. Haha. Last night I thought…what if I suddenly die next week, then damn it I missed out on my last days of wine!! Mind plays some serious tricks on us. Stay strong…I’ll be routing for you!

    • Sandybeach 2 years ago

      about to start day 3. not sure if i’ll make it. trying at least

  27. RoRo76 2 years ago

    Day 2…I used to run in the hills to clear my head when I was upset or emotional.
    For the last several years I just reach for that bottle of beer, wine, or vodka. It’s 9.30am on a Saturday morning & I’m already wondering what the hell am I doing and what’s wrong with just having that one glass this afternoon!

  28. Sonic 2 years ago

    Light a spa music…drink liquorice and peppermint tea…

  29. JulzPlz 2 years ago

    I placed post-it notes around my house. ie: “Isn’t it nice not feeling like shit this morning” and “Tomorrow you’ll remember coming to bed”. Also, the money I would of spent during the week and especially the weekend is placed in my “Moving to NYC” savings account. It’s a win win!

    • 20012015 2 years ago

      That’s a great idea. I’m going to do that too. Thanks

  30. Straddler 2 years ago

    Day 3. I just woke up on a Saturday morning. It is 4am and I feel like when I breathe, the air goes all the way down instead of “bumping” up against my hangover. What helped me: Deep relaxation music to go to sleep with. There is actually Music for addiction recover on YouTube from Brainwave. I am finding it useful.

  31. metoday 2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing some strategies. Day 3………`s like a steep hill and I feel too tired and heavy to climb at the moment. It will get better.

  32. Neverenough 2 years ago

    Just this past weekend we went for a huge family reunion which is based on alcohol consumption basically. Everyone drinks huge amounts, no exception. I was really anxious about it the whole week but what helped was not overthinking it. Just thought – will be there and not drinking, end of story! Brought huge chilly bin with me with pretty much every non alcoholic drink known to man ( non sugary ones) and treat – two red bulls. The two main feelings I experienced over there ( from 3pm on sat to over night to Sunday) was total, utter relief that I wasn’t drinking ( I would have been pissed by 5pm) and total boredom. There. It was fine. The good thing I also noticed that you can glugg really fast and you fine! I’m the pick up glass – drain it all person so af drinks are best for that! Believe in yourself, you are stronger that you think!

    • Bigeyes 2 years ago

      I’ve seen several references to drinking Red Bull when out socially. Wondering why?? What does it help with??

      • Neverenough 2 years ago

        The red bull situation doesn’t help with anything to be honest but I get tired earlier when no drinking alcohol and some places are just not good at doing coffee. Also, red bull was sort of treat drink even when I was drinking, only allowed myself have it on special occasions so just continue with it. It’s not big deal, just change from other non alcoholic drink.

    • Torea2019 2 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this @neverenough

      • Neverenough 2 years ago

        Thank you. It was therapeutic to write it all down. ❤️?❤️
        Another family weekend ahead and I’m already getting pressured via txt messages as ‘you have to have a drink with us next week though’!. Seriously makes me so friggin angry! Why!? You drink till you get blotto and leave me alone! This family functions are getting really bloody tiresome now..not surprisingly my friends are very supportive and cheer me on but man this family is driving me nuts now!!! Thanks for reading. Xxx

      • Neverenough 2 years ago

        Thank you. Another weekend away with family and friends where everyone drinks apart from me and the kids. My go to drink treat for the weekend is now diet tonic water. Can’t manage more than half red bull and sleep before midnight…don’t think about it is the way forward with me. Told our hosts as soon as we got there that I’m not drinking and poured myself soft drink in wine glass. Done.
        The only thing I don’t know how to do without sort of offending anyone is to go to bed about 9pm. Really wanted to but felt like had to stay longer ..wasn’t bored just tired…any tips on that?

  33. Neverenough 2 years ago

    Read. Talk. Best to talk with someone close who understands.
    Go for walk. Exercise.
    Only been sober for two weeks so not sure what will happen when the really hard stuff comes along but hope the above will help. Please share your strategies with me.

    • SoberHobbit 2 years ago

      I use a diary and everyday there is what I call the GOD BOX. It’s half the page. It’s empty most days and I believe it’s empty because now I’m sober nothing that bad happens. But when the really hard stuff comes along that is something I can’t deal with, I write it in the GOD BOX section and close my diary. It’s the stuff that I know I can’t change do anything about. Additionally, if it involves someone else, I’ll pray for them as mich as I need to to let it go. Then I’ll go and reward myself with connecting to another person, do some training or just go and get something ticked off my work list. 99/100 if I look at the God Box for yesterday the “hard stuff” from yesterday has gone. It works for me. Might work for you.

    • Amanda222 2 years ago

      I am feeling the same. Day one. A couple of glasses each weekend then it was bottles. Never realised It was becoming such a bad habit.

  34. metoday 2 years ago

    I managed 6 months of beeing sober 1,5 years ago. After that, I thought I could only drink at the weekend, which was, of course, total bullshit. I startet drinking 2-3 glasses of red wine nearly every evening, at the weekend much more 1-1,5 bottles. With family, friends but most of all alone, what I loved the most. Me and the red wine, dating every evening. Every morning the difficult thoughts, self-doubt. I have tried again four times to become sober but cannot manage more than 2-4 days. Today is my day 1 and I have not felt so terrible for a long time. It feels as if my inner voice keeps telling me the party is over, lights off. It just makes me very sad and it takes me a lot of strength not to drive to the supermarket. Will it really get better to manage? I can not remember my 6 months sober anymore. It is like deleted in my brain.
    Thankful for comments.

    • waterbutt22 2 years ago

      I agree with never enough. This Naked Mind book really helped me. Im not quite there yet – but 90% of the time…!
      For me, my trigger is when I get crabbit and I don’t like myself – so I try to run away from me!

    • Neverenough 2 years ago

      Ah, I feel for you. I’m not sure if this would help but the This Naked Mind book is really good to read. Perhaps you might find it helpful?

    • Classic50 2 years ago

      The best thing I’ve found is to expect it to be really hard…and when it comes in floods have a comfort experience on hand to embrace you. …as well as this I read a letter I’ve written to myself and just ask myself to wait till tomorrow lunch time to make my decision….ususlly the poison has drained by the morning and o can move forward….best wishes it’s always horrible till it clicks and one day it does…just keep goingx

      • 20012015 2 years ago

        @Classic50 I like the sound of that. Going to use that tomorrow?

      • Neverenough 2 years ago

        Sounds like a great plan – the letter I mean! I’m going to do this too!

  35. Jodie 2 years ago

    Need some support, as I am reaching the weekend and have thought about a drink all day, really want to stop, and as my friend only lives two doors away, and she doesn’t want to stop, help

    • Lakeview 2 years ago

      Hi Jodie, that’s tricky, try and maybe think how you will feel tomorrow if you drink today. when you say she doesn’t want to stop does that mean you think she also drinks to much. I’m gong to a huge event tonite and i’m panicking as well, maybe make a joke about it and say im giving my liver a break this weekend, boring I know but just to give yourself an excuse !! so you can get strong again.

  36. gilligan5323 2 years ago

    I’ve made it to 50 days. It feels really good. Last night we decorated our tree and that would normally be a big trigger for me. It wasn’t last night. I just enjoyed making the house look and smell like Christmas. It was wonderful.

    • feemac 2 years ago

      My mother is now living with us so we have a tree for the first time in years. It was so nice decorating it with her, my partner and my sister. Listening to carols and goofing off. Well done on 50 days 🙂

    • JoniB 2 years ago

      Hi @gilligan5323 sounds like a prefect night. Congratulations on 50+ days! Well done! ☺️?

  37. lucianorigobelo 2 years ago

    Sometimes is difficult for us to see that happiness in life can be made by simple actions. The more away I’m from alcohol the easier it gets to continue away. Last saturday night I got very happy eating a ice cream. I felt I was taking care of the person that one day left alone: myself. I’m very happy today and feel grateful to have a healthy mind and healthy person. Sometimes I just think that life can be easy and this takes simple acts. Today I believe I’m myself. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  38. palphi 2 years ago

    Go to the gym,or cycle for miles

  39. Kate1975 2 years ago – A really great easy to use meditation app with helpful explanations that anyone can use 🙂

    • 01oceanbreeze 2 years ago

      Thanks @kate1975 – just joined headspace and did my first meditation session – it felt so good. Will incorporate into my life now each day. ❤️?

  40. Brandon Metallic 2 years ago

    Alot of my emotional stress was often from toxic relationships so now that I’m sober I really try to avoid people who’s values aren’t in the right place and in return I’m relieved. But just like anyone else I have difficulties and one is with woman so when I get stressed out about my partner lying or something of that sort I go to the gym and talk about it plenty, Also I share with her about how I’m feeling and if she doesn’t react negatively I get pretty relieved.

  41. singanewsong 2 years ago

    Yes, me too for relapsing, brought on by loneliness and not being able to manage strong emotions. Day 3 again !

    • Annie 2 years ago

      my relasping is always bought on by lonliness too

  42. Chii 2 years ago

    I’m a chronic relapser too.
    I have quit drinking more times than I care to remember, but I always manage to sabotage myself somehow, and quite frankly I’m sick of it!!
    Finding this site is a real help, just knowing there are others like me helps a lot. Good luck to you, hopefully this time we can make it!

    • totemdreamer 2 years ago

      I can relate, I always sabotage myself

    • Rt2long 2 years ago

      Have you read or listened to Annie Graces’s book “This Naked Mind”? I found it extremely helpful. She also has a website: . There you can sign up for a 30 day stop drinking experiment.

  43. MissFreedom 2 years ago

    Found that not overthinking really helps me , like if drinking pops in my mind i say to myself yeah yeah ok i will drink later not now …. it passes and no drinking .

    • Neverenough 2 years ago

      Love this approach, works for me too!

    • Poppy88 2 years ago

      Yes! Over thinking is a hard one to control but once you do it becomes a little more bearable and the benefits of being sober become more and more valuable and you are way more conscious of this as the days go on. Congrats on not drinking 🙂

  44. MalibuStacey 2 years ago – A very broad mantra for day whatever.

  45. Anonymous 2 years ago

    Hi . Don’t make the same mistake as I did .
    I m a chronic relapser. Make a commitment to your self and when you do think you got it under control don’t let your guard down because you will be in the rabbit hole before you know it .
    As much as I hated aa.. try different meetings until you find one that clicks.
    Check in with this sight as often as you can . There’s something about seeing your days tally.
    Don’t think about how you may feel that moment if you are struggling to drink . Think of your worse hangover !!!

  46. Brendab 2 years ago

    Hi Anonymous, you’ve made the decision, good for you, my tip is get a support network around you, read recovery literature, join on line groups, and take it a day at a time. Don’t expect quick miracles just take it at the pace it comes, perhaps see your doctor for a health check up, that helped me, and remember addiction usually gets worse not better if not arrested, so whatever else don’t pick up a drink under any circumstances, find something else to do…worked for me good luck…B

    • thecandidme 2 years ago

      I’m looking for online groups. Can you suggest any that will help me get through the witching hour?

  47. Anonymous 2 years ago

    I’m starting to drink too much. I don’t remember what I did the night before, and I don’t like the things I’m doing. Last night I yelled at my wife for no reason and I don’t even remember it. Today is my day one. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, I think this will help me. I’ve been drinking heavily for the past 10 years, this is the first time I’ve admitted to it. Here we go, but I’m ready. Any tips??

    • Jim 2 years ago

      A few tips that have helped me: read material online about how unhealthy alcohol is, remember the times in life when I was sober and everything was ok, remember the money I am saving, knowing deep in my heart that I am complete and my best without the dimming of alcohol.

      You can succeed. Take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Just refuse to have a drink. Be more stubborn than the addiction, and it will weaken and you will regain control of yourself and your life. You can do it.


    • CMC 2 years ago

      Awesome you’re ready to make a change! I’m in the same boat. Have you checked out the community area? There’s a lot more posting over there. I like to peruse it for inspiration. Good luck to you!

  48. morgan 3 years ago – Great anxiety resource

  49. DaveH 3 years ago

    Go and do something to help someone else is my go-to for these times. It stops me thinking about myself. It makes me think about their problems, not mine.

    • shannac 2 years ago

      Something I will try to do Dave, it sounds like a very good way of deflecting self pity. Something I must do. You look a very kind person in your photo, I can see how doing things for others is you. I’m day one here and looking around the site but currently it’s overwhelming me. I will keep visiting though. Thank you for reading this.

  50. Treefox 3 years ago

    For a blue day (not a seriously suicidal day), just a bad, sad, depressed, negative, tired, low energy day, the best advice I have , with many years of feeling this, on and off, is to ride it out. Remind yourself that tomorrow you are likely to feel very different, go with the flow. Cry, sleep, call in sick at work (if possible), eat chocolate and have an early night. Do not push yourself and be your very best friend. Treat yourself with huge kindness and love and allow yourself to feel low. This advice is not suitable if you are seriously depressed, but it works for off days/mental health days.

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