Early sobriety is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. It's a rollercoaster of moods, cravings, social events, boredom and discomfort. We often lurch through emotional states constantly, worried about what people are thinking, unsure about the future, afraid of missing out, desperate for our usual tipple or alcoholic fix.
Our bodies are adjusting, our brains are adjusting, the people around us are adjusting. It's all really big, monumental stuff and it can feel endless.
Getting through the tough early weeks and months takes a big effort, and it can take a long time to settle down. You need to stay determined and focussed and put a lot of energy into learning new ways of being.
It helps to connect with others who are doing the same thing. People who can relate because they're either going through it right now as well, or they've been through it before. Find them - maybe around you in your family, friend group or wider community or in online forums like this one.
It helps to read and listen to as much recovery material as you can. Soak up books, blogs, podcasts, articles, interviews, videos. There is a lot of material to be found in libraries and on the internet - much of it free. So go hunting.
It helps to treat yourself very gently and shower yourself with gifts and loving kindness. Act towards yourself as you would towards a best friend who is going through a major shift in their life. Do lots of lovely small gestures that send you a little message that you are worth looking after. And buy yourself little treaty treats!
And finally, it really helps to remember exactly why you you are going though this massive effort. There will be many motivations and reasons as to why you are guiding yourself through a monumental life change.
Make a list of them. Sit down, have a really good think, and write out all the motivations and reasons as to why you are quitting alcohol.
Some reasons might be that you're sick of waking up hungover, you're worried about how much money you're spending, you're embarrassed by some sloppy behaviour.
Some motivations might be that you want to be fully alert at all times for your kids, you want to live a healthier lifestyle and look after your body, you want to learn how to be more grounded and present, you want to properly deal with an underlying physical or mental health issue.
Write out all your reasons and motivations. Commit them to memory and think of them often. They're your 'why'. They're powerful and important. Bring them to mind often.
And know that one day you'll look back from a happy and stable position, one where alcohol does not feature so strongly, and be so grateful to the you of today who is doing all this hard work. So keep going. You've got this.
Mrs D xxx
Being present is a great one, no hangovers, being able to focus, saving money, not doing my own head in daily when I want the first drink, being healthy and happy, seeing my family friends and partner more, doing my job better, taking my dog for walks and actually paying him proper attention, looking better and not bloated, actually being able to eat food more than a little meal a day, losing the beer fat and bloat, waking up knowing I am sober.
Just a few lol.
I agree, I guess for me not wasting the remainder of my life being wasted is a big one. Not acting in a way that goes against my morals and beliefs when I’m drinking, sloppy embarrassing behaviour, doing and saying things I regret. Not being present. Feeling less than. I want sobriety today more than I’ve wanted anything else in my life.
When I was early sober I wrote 2 lists on the same page. Benefits of being sober / benefits of drinking. And guess one really out run the other list. There is little benefits of drinking. Make sure it’s easy to access for the hard days
This: “And finally, it really helps to remember exactly why you you are going though this massive effort.” For me, I just don’t want to waste my remaining life being wasted. I want to live it completely present.❤
Thank you ? might find my letter to myself I wrote 596 days ago, and see if my motivation is still the same. Nice post very on point! Happy day ?
Thanks @MrsD Your advice is always helpful