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. palphi 3 years ago

    Go to the gym,or cycle for miles

  2. Kate1975 3 years ago – A really great easy to use meditation app with helpful explanations that anyone can use 🙂

    • 01oceanbreeze 3 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. ❤️?

  3. Brandon Metallic 3 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.

  4. singanewsong 3 years ago

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

    • Annie 3 years ago

      my relasping is always bought on by lonliness too

  5. Chii 3 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 3 years ago

      I can relate, I always sabotage myself

    • Rt2long 3 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.

  6. MissFreedom 3 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 3 years ago

      Love this approach, works for me too!

    • Poppy88 3 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 🙂

  7. MalibuStacey 3 years ago – A very broad mantra for day whatever.

  8. Anonymous 3 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 !!!

  9. Brendab 3 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 3 years ago

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

  10. Anonymous 3 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??

    • Peppa 4 months ago

      Go you! Great decision !

    • Jim 3 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 3 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!

  11. morgan 3 years ago – Great anxiety resource

  12. 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 3 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.

  13. 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.

    • Liz West 9 months ago

      I agree absolutely! Ride ot out

  14. Anonymous 3 years ago

    Found reading both lotta books helpful. Trying really hard not to over think. Anyone have any other tips for the telly cray days at work dealing with rude people ??

  15. DrewR 4 years ago

    7 years ago I started running. 6 years ago I quit drinking. The running wasn’t really working with the drinking and in fact, it was after a race, in which I hurled immediately upon finishing, that I knew I needed to change something. Running is where I go for therapy. Because of my addictive personality, I tend to replace one addictive trait with another, this has been my MO. When I am struggling, my first reaction is to go for a run. My second is to write. For what it’s worth, I do a lot of both.

  16. Susanpk 4 years ago

    Well for me it’s all about riding it through and embracing those real feelings that I buried for so so long with booze.

    • Susanpk 4 years ago

      Time for me to put my big girl panties on, grow up and live life on life’s terms. Just learning now all about the tools available to me.

  17. Trijntje 4 years ago

    I was in a very good space. At the moment I do not seem to be unable to get a grip on myself. I cannot understand how my drinking can get hold of me. The inner pain wants dulling.

  18. Anonymous 4 years ago

    This comment has just shone a wee light on my dark day.. day 1 to 7 was enlighten in.. now I’m on day 12 I’m tired emotional sad angry.. I have headaches and anxiety I’m pissed off and fed up and bored and most of all lonley

  19. Anonymous 4 years ago

    Dont ever give up.!! First step is the hardest. Stop and take the leap once you do youl never look back. Its not easy but youl have support. Do it for yourself. Your whanau will thank u for it but you must do it for you. All the best

  20. Liberty 4 years ago – This man has a short, blunt and free to download e-book on depression from his website which is aptly named: Fuck Depression:. The book has some resources that might be useful.

  21. Anonymous 4 years ago

    So we think we are Alcoholics or we certainly have a drinking problem or we wouldnt be here right ! The most important question is why are you here ? WE are all here because we have got to a stage where we want to change something, it may not be the alcohol alone ,it may be a combination of things, but for whatever reason we realise Alcohol is a big part of that Jigsaw and we recognise that.
    Recognition is the most important factor ! we may have other problems to contend with but right now we are dealing with our most important battle our cravings for Alcohol.
    I’m sure there are scientific terms for detoxing ,but I don’t need to know them I know the pain I feel although I keep it secret from my loved ones.
    We are all Individuals and all have different strengths and weaknesses and that causes a problem in that there is no magic cure, what works for one may not work for the other. We have to find our own way ! Some confront their addiction , others hide themselves away and ride the storm out, I have learned however its not easy but somehow with determination we can get through each stage and what to expect from my own personal experience .
    Days 1 > 7 was new and exciting I can do this .
    Days 7>30 was by far the most difficult ,physical and mental tiredness
    Days 30> 100 thinking I had this thing beat , and self doubt that I could try the moderation route.
    Days 100> PRESENT , I cant stand the thought of Alcohol , but my life is missing something ?
    I didn’t know what to expect when I stopped drinking and this is what I got, and I don’t want to go through it again. My life isn’t perfect but without alcohol its a damn site better ,read at depth the members comments and share their pain and triumphs , just like us their emotions and circumstances change daily
    and adapt and that my friends is what we have to do to keep this thing beat. YOU CAN DO THIS.

    • Jasmaine 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your post…“I can’t stand alcohol but my life is missing something”….I feel the last part heavily…….I feel it’s the fake joy that alcohol gave me….my mind is playing tricks in me……this constant thinking is exhausting

    • Jasmaine 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed your post…“I can’t stand alcohol but my life is missing something”….I feel the last part heavily…….I feel it’s the fake joy that alcohol gave me….my mind is playing tricks in me……this constant thinking is exhausting

    • Blessed 4 years ago

      Read this post at the perfect time. I’m ten days sober, and day ten was by far the hardest. It’s good to read that I’m not alone in the difficult days.

    • redredwinegoestomyhead 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for this post it has really helped me xx

  22. Labella83 4 years ago

    Grateful to have this site to come to read. 5 days sober. Do not want to go back there

  23. Ana.M 4 years ago

    Me too Coco,hang in there xx

  24. hummingbird 4 years ago
  25. Heidi Mohrlang 4 years ago

    Grateful to habe access to livingsober.organization in timed when I’m stuck and can’t physically get to a meeting. Thanks for being bere!!!

  26. Bjohn 4 years ago

    I have found the app Insight Timer to be very helpful.

  27. Anonymous 4 years ago

    When you decide to quit drinking, you also decide to leave the emotional pain and stress. One aids with the other so you will have to learn how to manage both. I used alcohol to deal with problems concerning my family and marriage. I used alcohol as a crutch until I learned to use God as my crutch. We have to see the power of faith and leave our worries to the Lord. He works miracles for us all.

    • sober4real 3 years ago

      Love this! So true!

  28. Anonymous 4 years ago

    Living has become unmanageable I am a alcoholic addict n gamble. My ways of life are affected I am desperately trying to quit n find it hard. I can’t be a mom to my kids I use to be. I am unsuccessful in life n a failure to the people around me. My drinking has got the best of me n my addiction with crack cocain. My kidneys n my liver r soar n I guess u can say I am tired of life

    • Emptynest 4 years ago

      Never give up , tomorrow is another day , take care xx

  29. april ohslon 4 years ago

    I can relate. I just got on the womens changing our lives sobriety programmed at cads. I did walk in at glendene bridge for 9 weeks, graduated on the 10th week. im 44 maori and I want my mind spirit, me back too. I felt a spiritual movement and the committee in my head which seemed to take over my life suddenly took a back seat as I realised I had a life. I was a people pleaser who got hurt easily then I started giving out shit and got shit and lived with shit. I added zoplicone to the mix last year until I grew a tunnel vision angry mode. I have three little kids and grown up kids but I just want control over me. for the first time im learning loving rehab and I love aa as its life I can relate too. I was a bad company of sorts to drink with because no one related to me and I didn’t relate to them because they spoke about me in front of me like I wasn’t there and just basically piss head druggy crims telling me how to talk act and shut up. I love the support I have from my partner who also stopped but I do intense learning because I want to grow me up and not just age. I want to build my self confidence to grow me to be the type of people person I admired and I learned from rehab, when I thought I want to be one of them (but I wont be – negative thinking), I did become sober and embracing the TFA and taking lessons and enjoyment with me. I learned boundaries and thankfully I was unpleasant company that I don’t get anyone testing the no drinking boundary so far. just a common respect. I really just want to grow April up for the first time and I love me now when I look at me in a photo or mirror.

  30. Anonymous 4 years ago

    I too sleep well since stopping and since stopping zoplicone which I added to a drinking problem of 27 years and the last of the 27 years with zoppies. I go to bed late at times cant shut down my mind always consciously worried I think or I taught my mind to travel and I often have to meditate or really pray. easy to stop drinking although its been 95 days for me but hard to totally regain my own thinking pattern and I have the past to confront all the time. all those in recovery need positive support. I know I don’t need alcohol to make me someone anymore. I can talk be happy miserable but focused and not for too long, still get angry but not complete out of control and enjoy having cuppas biscuits cake and chocolate plus sober company I enjoy.

  31. AndyG 4 years ago

    Sometimes I can’t do inspiration or thoughtful stuff, sometimes its great. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone. What I do at these times is fold some washing, do the dishes, vacuum, have a shower, pair some socks, just something simple to take my mind off the BS for a while and to make things nicer for when I feel better. In other words doing something simple for a while that “normal” people do can be a good delay tactic.

  32. Scared 4 years ago – Coping with stress without alcohol

  33. Thesobersalesman 4 years ago – Feel like you always have a reason to drink? The truth is that you have too many reasons to drink and it makes your life difficult to manage. Sobriety is simple, read and find out how.

  34. morgan 4 years ago – PAWs symptoms = Post alcohol withdrawal Symptoms

  35. Thesobersalesman 4 years ago
  36. Happysober 4 years ago

    Music can be moving and healing.
    I’ve just been listening and watching Nina Simone

  37. Celeste 5 years ago

    This is my 1st post – last night I drank way too much wine ( again) in the company of people I have only known a short time. I woke this morning to find I have no underwear on but am fully clothed. I’m disgusted with myself I have no idea what happened. I can only presume that the women I was with undressed me. I have to stop drinking now ! Scared and embarrassed

    • Teazy 3 years ago

      hi just thinking, why would the women you were with take your underwear and dress you again? makes no sense..hope you are ok, stay in touch, baby steps, from day 1 xx

    • shrn 4 years ago

      I am sorry that happened.. I have had black outs too..
      Best thing to do is forgive yourself and start a sober day today is a new day, wipe the slate clean and start again. HUGS..

  38. morgan 5 years ago – How to deal with anxiety

  39. morgan 5 years ago – A wonderful talk about finding real happiness, not grasping for things which will not truly bring us peace and joy.

  40. Shebe 5 years ago

    I cry and cry and cry then go to bed and get up at 3:00am to go into work by 4:00am.

  41. hangoverfree 5 years ago

    “being our own champion and showing ourselves compassion, erases shame” post about recognising emotophobia

  42. Mrs D 5 years ago – This is a great talk by the wonderful Tara Brach x

  43. Brownie 5 years ago

    It feels good to wake up with a clear head today and to be back home with my family. I have a long road ahead but good plans in place now to tackle this toxic substance that has consumed over half my life. Time to move forward 🙂 Again I thank those of you who wrote such supportive messages before xx

  44. Brownie 5 years ago

    Hi, just wondering has anybody done the “BRIDGE” programme? if so can you tell me what you thought of it? would you recommend it? any info good or bad I would love to hear your thoughts on the programme and if you think it is worth doing. cheers

  45. morgan 5 years ago – Trauma and neglect often drive people to addictive behaviours.

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