12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

12 things that helped me stop Drinking and stay sober

I am coming up on two years sober next month and decided to reflect on what worked for me. I know that there are many ways to beat alcohol and everyone has to find their own way. I just want to share what worked for me personally.

To give up alcohol for good I had to come to the clear understanding that alcohol is an addictive substance. If one drinks enough of it and long enough one will get addicted. Perhaps to different degrees but one will get addicted.  

I fought this concept for 10 long years.

I told myself I was stronger than alcohol!

I told myself that I was smarter than alcohol!

I told myself that I had self-control!

I was lying to myself.  At that point in my addiction, I was not stronger or smarter than alcohol. And I had zero self-control. If I had one drink I had way too many after that “one”.

When I finally really understood and accepted that I was addicted to a destructive substance I felt like weights had been lifted off of my chest. I knew I could do something about my unhappiness. I wasn’t defective or broken! I was addicted to alcohol, a poisonous substance! It was the alcohol that was causing the poor health, the self-loathing, the depression, the weight gain, poor sleep, poor decisions, outbursts of anger. It was alcohols’ effect on me that created a person I really did not like at all. The solution was to stop drinking and stay sober.

If I stopped drinking the alcohol I could repair my life.

These are the 12 things I did to stop drinking and stay sober

12 on clock with Butterflies Representing 12 things  I did to stop drinking and stay sober

1. When I wake up in the morning I take a few moments to really enjoy the feeling of waking up sober.

That first thing in the morning “gratitude to be free” does not get old for me. I thank my higher powers daily for giving me the strength to carry on sober. I also thank myself for the hard work I am doing to beat the addiction.

I read somewhere once that sobriety is like deodorant….. For it to work it must be applied every day! 

related reading :

Nothing tastes better than sober…

Row of apples representing Nothing tastes better than sober

2. In the very early days, I took supplements and herbs from the health food store that were calming and healing.

Extra vitamin B complex, probiotics, lemon balm, kava, chamomile, valerian, lavender, passionflower. I also used the herb kudzu to quiet cravings. Maybe it was the placebo effect but it worked for me. I also drank gallons of herbal tea. 

related reading :

Learning Self-Care in Early Sobriety

 herbs to help me stop drinking and stay sober

3. Morning and evening I read a few blogs to see how people were doing.

In the early days I read Belle’s blog, Soberistas, and Mrs. D is going without and many more that are no longer active. I didn’t find the Boom Community until I was around the one year mark. Boom is by far my favorite of all of the blogs I have read over the last few years. 

related reading :

How Posting in the BOOM Community can help you Rethink the Drink

The Women Who Empowered me to Drop the Wine o’ Clock Routine

Boy with Book representing books I read to stop drinking and stay sober

4.  I read quit lit and books on the Science of Recovery

Like A LOT of them!

The one that was key for me was William Porter’s Alcohol Explained. However, there are so many excellent ones. So many approaches to sobriety.

I learned something from every book I read.

After reading Alcohol Explained I understood that I was going through FAB (fading affect bias). As William Porter writes in his wonderful book, humans tend to forget painful experiences faster than pleasant ones. So I am going to refresh my memory…..Before I stopped drinking…I remember the crushing headaches, throwing up for hours, the self loathing, missing out on important events because I was too hungover, looking like crap, not having the energy to take care of myself or the house.

It was not fun or relaxing at all. It was pure hell.

related reading :

You Have to Do Your Part : One Year Sober

My Funny Mix-Match Recovery Discovery Quilt

Cupcakes Sober treats that helped me stop drinking and stay sober

5. If cravings hit I ate lots of foods I had not allowed myself when I was drinking because of the calories.

I allowed myself lots of sober treats. I also popped things like olives and miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups into my mouth like crazy!  I ate Nutella straight out of the jar. I even took a shoot of olive brine to shock my system out of an intense craving. It worked!

That phase is thankfully over. Rarely do I get cravings now and if I do they are very fleeting. 

related reading :

Alcohol Cravings and Hypoglycaemia

Alcohol sugar cravings (managing them) and the whole Gut-Brain health connection thing.

12 shoes for walking - one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

6. I go for many walks by myself to think and to clear my head.

Woman meditating - one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

7.  I learned about meditating.

I now meditate several times a week.  

related reading :

How to Stop Drinking Away the Pain-

Sunday Morning Calm – Spring Rain

Loneliness and Meditation- Just Say “YES” to Sunday Morning Calm

STOP! Setting boundries - one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

8. I established firm boundaries.

People were used to me being a people pleaser. I was always feeling guilty about drinking so I tried to be everything to everyone. That had to stop. It is difficult sometimes but I remind myself to put my oxygen mask on first. 

related reading.

Redefining ‘Me Time’

Knitting - or hobbies- one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

9. Started hobbies to keep my mind off of drinking. 

related reading :

Filling the Empty Space in Early Sobriety

Chalk board Apple and pencils- going back to school - one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

10. Signed up for some classes.

Going to classed kept me sober because I had to drive and it gave me something to do in the evenings when I would have been drinking.

Post box with 12 representing Posting to a community - one of 12 Things that Helped me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

11. Not often but often enough I think back on some to the really bad times while I was drinking.

I remember some of the awful things that I did and share the memories in my community. I don’t want to dwell on them but I do not ever want to forget either. I don’t want to fall into a sober complacency and think I wasn’t that bad. I remind myself often enough that yes, I was that bad. 

One year ago I found myself literally on my knees I was hungover once again. My self-loathing in full swing I was desperate for it to end. I was so despondent that I begged my higher powers for the strength to become sober and to stop the self-loathing. I should clarify that communicating with my higher powers or praying was highly unusual for me. It was not something that I normally engaged in. However, I was so very desperate and had run out of ideas on how to make the madness stop.

related reading :

You Have to Do Your Part : One Year Sober

Reading and Writing Your Way Happily Sober

happy sober sun

12. I reflect on how my life has improved.

I remind myself of all of the things I can be grateful for. I am so grateful that I was able to stop drinking alcohol before I found alcohol more attractive than life itself.

I was following several blogs that may not have ended well for the writers. When I think of those blogs they really do scare me sober. The two bloggers that affected me the most were two funny, charming, smart bloggers who both seemed to have beaten their addictions. I remember being slightly jealous of their sober time because I was still struggling in the early days. However, they both relapsed after more than a year sober and neither was able to find their sober path again. One attempted suicide and the other posted about their emotional pain many times because they were drinking again and then never posted again.

Sometimes I try to imagine them happily sober and too busy to post. But deep down I suspect that is not the truth. And that makes me so very sad and scares me enough to stay sober because I know my story would not end well if I started to drink alcohol again.  

After all, alcohol is addictive and if you drink enough of it you will get addicted.

And addictions can and often do kill. 

The Boom community has been an important part of my continued sobriety. I am so happy to be a part of it and look forward to reading posts each and every day!

related posts :

An Invitation …

An Invitation to Rethink the Drink with Us

An Invitation

Sober Curious? Here’s an Invitation and a Recipe for You

If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us. 

We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using

You can read more about us Here And join  Here

Download the Mighty Networks app here for free easy access and search BOOM Rethink the Drink– community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here and you’ll find our Dry January 2020 posts here

Guide to your First Month of Sobriety : Why and How to Quit

  • Boozemusings is a lifestyle blog and the BOOM Community is a peer support group. We are NOT trained addiction counselors but simply a community of people who have overcome or are overcoming alcohol issues. We do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor does anything on this website create a physician/patient relationship.  If you require medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, please consult your physician.

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