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