8 Tips and Tools to Get Sober and Stay Alcohol-Free

Staying sober is not something that I ever imagined I could do and here I am, 5 months alcohol-free with the help of an online community. It’s working well for me, but I’ve been toying with the idea of going to Alcoholics Anonymous for a deeper dive into sobriety. I’m lurking on AA Zoom calls and like them, and I feel I get something out of each one.

I was put in touch with someone to talk to about local AA gatherings, and during the course of the conversation, a couple of interesting things happened. She was surprised I had over 5 months of sobriety already without “help.” She asked me if I found it hard (stopping drinking and staying sober), and I said no, not really—that there were a few times that were a little white-knuckled, but it really hasn’t been really difficult. She was apparently amazed by that because she kept coming back to it and telling me how “lucky” I am.


While I do see the value of the process and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I think having someone to talk to who “matches” your experience is super important.  This lady was almost suspicious when I told her my background, and after she shared her background, I just thought, I can’t relate to her and she can’t relate to me.  Which is absolutely okay. Neither of us are better or worse off, we just traveled different roads to get to the same sober town.

Since the call, I’ve been thinking—why hasn’t it been hard for me to hold on to this new sobriety of mine? Is it luck? I mean, there have been times I have thought, wow, no way can I do this sober thing forever, and boy, a glass of ____ would taste good right now. But in terms of abject screaming difficulty, I would say it’s been… not easy… but not “hard.” I’ve been thinking “hard” about why that is and what has worked for me. And believe me, I never thought I could stop drinking—I drank every single day for 35 years unless some big medical thing was happening.

I am amazed that I’m sober. 5 months sober! Was it luck?

I don’t think so. Here’s what made the difference for me:

My 8 tips and tools to get sober and stay alcohol-free
1. On Day 1, I wrote down every reason I could think of to stop drinking.

Every single dreadful incident that I could remember. I wrote about all the drunken arguments with my husband. I wrote about the guilt, the shame, the anger, the worry, the hiding, the escalation of the craving. The fraud I was becoming. The scheduling of everything in my life around drinking.

It poured out of  me.  

The sadness of all those years.  

Over my first month sober, I wrote and wrote and wrote, my own private diary of ALL THE REASONS WHY I QUIT.  I’ve had two major and “hard” big-assed weak moments during this whole time, and I’ve gone back and read my why’s, and it snapped me the hell out of it to remember WHY I stopped drinking.  

The why’s are all still there.  I never ever want to forget or loosen up the reins, and reading the why’s every now and then is keeping it all real in my mind.

2.  I disrupted the wine witch’s routine.  

My drinking hours started at 3 p.m. On about my second day on Boom, the online community where I go for support to stay sober, someone suggested I eat earlier than normal, and I credit this simple thing with making staying sober much easier.

I started making dinner at 3, eating at 4, and poof! Drinking hours were majorly disrupted.

Life saver.

I’m back to normal eating hours now but the wine witch has left the building, she got so bored with food taking up the space where she used to live.  

Related reading : Alcohol Cravings and Hypoglycaemia

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3.  Taking it one day at a time.  

I remember driving home from a pool party at about Month 1.5. Everyone had been drinking (lightly) but me, and while I wasn’t triggered at the pool, on the drive home I had an insane desire to drink.

When I arrived home I had a huge conversation in my head about “forever.”

It was so freeing, such a release of stress, to suddenly think,

“I will just not drink for today and that’s all.”  

I did “not drink” that day, and the next, and the next, and here I am.  Thinking in terms of forever is undoable for me.  Today, I can do.  

I so get the power of One Day at a Time.

4. Alcohol-Free beer.  

I wasn’t a beer drinker before, so the taste of AF beer is not triggering to me, but it helps me so much when a “happy hour” craving hits.  

Crack a Heineken 0.0 and the “Alcohol Asshole” is fooled and foiled once again.  

Every so often, the ritual of drinking pops up. I miss the ritual of drinking sometimes, and when I do theritual the alcohol-free beer covers it for me.

My husband and I went out to dinner for my birthday, and AF beer was my celebration drink.  I took AF beer along when we stayed with drinking-buddy friends for 3 days and by the end of the visit everybody, wanted to try it!


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5.  Staying completely immersed in recovery.  

AA Zoom calls, Reddit posts, my Boom Community.  I don’t read as much quit lit as I did at the beginning now that school is back in full swing, but I stay in the conversation.  I always will.  I am ape-shit serious about this staying sober thing !

6.  Perspective

I read some very impactful books right off the bat that stick with me.  Alcohol Explained 1 and 2 as well as Allen Carr’s Quit Drinking the Easy Way resonated with the critical thinker in me, about the literal poison that alcohol is in our brains and in our systems. After reading these two books I now see drinking as pouring poison on my lovely innocent little brain cells, and why in the world would I do that??  For some reason, this concept has carried me forward and I hope it always will.   Every day, I visualize my cells healing up and becoming normal once again.

7.  Remembering what drinking does to daily life.  

I’m extremely busy with my work and school life and if alcohol was still in the picture, it would be unmanageable.  

Calls at 5 in the evening?  Shit…I have to wait to drink until after.  Agony!

A paper left to write before midnight?  Great–I wonder if I can do it on a full tank of vodka.  

What I hated about drinking–hated–is the waiting.  The planning.  The life revolving around when I could–or couldn’t–drink.  The un-scratchable itch. The constant, constant arranging.  The exhausting thinking about drinking.

8.  Knowing I. Am. Done.  

I am free.  I look forward now, into my new life and all its possibilities.  

I still remember, and hope I never forget, the word Allen Carr uses in his book Stop Drinking the Easy Way.  Elation.  I feel elation to be here, right now, where I am.  

I’m proud that every day going forward feels doable.  I’m elated to be here.

More from this author :

One Day at a Time

Tales of a High-Functioning Drinker Told to My Newly Sober Self

The Two Miracles That Helped Me Stop Drinking and Stay Sober

f you’re “sober curious” …If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… 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

One response to “8 Tips and Tools to Get Sober and Stay Alcohol-Free”

  1. we all travel different roads to the same sober town … what a great picture , thank you so much Susan S.

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