Stop drinking alcohol? AURGH! Giving up alcohol was the hardest thing I have ever done. Alcohol was etched into my very soul, I think. I did not want to stop drinking. Yet I understood that if I didn’t cut back, I would die much sooner than necessary. And mostly I was sick of the hangovers. God, they were awful at the end.
I didn’t expect it to be easy to stop drinking alcohol but I was surprised by how incredibly difficult it was to moderate my drinking. So, I started reading books about how to break bad habits like The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. At this point, I really believed that drinking was just a bad habit that I could break and then eventually control my alcohol consumption. I hoped to abstain for a while and then eventually become a normal drinker.
That did not work for me.
However, Duhigg’s book is excellent. I did learn much about bad habits and how to overcome them. I also learned about interrupting the loop that habits are a part of. That was extremely helpful as far as figuring out my drinking triggers and changing the habit loop.
Next, I started searching online for resources to learn more about alcohol and how to “control” it. I found blogs written by people in similar circumstances. I read blogs every morning and evening. Slowly it dawned on me that to find peace and happiness again I was going to have to give up drinking entirely. Moderation was not an option for me.
I read my first sobriety book and loved it. Mrs D is Going Without by Lotta Dann
Then I read more:
Kick the Drink by Jason Vale
Which is very similar to the book written by Vale’s mentor Allen Carr. I read Carr’s book next.
The Easy Way to Stop Drinking Alcohol by Allen Carr
30-Day Sobriety Solution (program in the book) by Jack Canfield.
This book included a website where you logged in every day and did writing exercises and watched or listened to clips about an alcohol-free lifestyle. It was all about selling you an expensive program at the end. I did the “free” part of it (the part included with the book, not the additional expensive one.)
Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind Control Alcohol and The Alcohol Experiment. Annie Grace (at the time, about 5 years ago) offered a lot of free stuff after you bought her books. I’m not sure what her offerings are like now. However, I did all of the “free work” she offered with her books. Lots of online videos and journaling prompts.
I signed up for Belle’s jumpstart program which you can find here Tired of Thinking About Drinking. She has a lot of free content on her blog that is better than her paid program in my opinion. However, signing up and paying for something cemented in my mind that I was committing to something important and putting some hard-earned money down to do this sobriety thing. When I was tempted to drink I looked at the receipt from when I signed up for the program to remind myself of just how desperate I was to find relief from the hell of drinking, regretting, promising myself to never do it again, to drinking again, regretting……
So on it went…..
There were layers of support I needed for my personal sober momentum.
Signed up for Belle’s free daily emails.
Found I liked reading about sobriety, so I read some more books and blogs.
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
All the books by Lucy Rocca (founder of Soberistas) starting with How to Lead a Healthier Happier Alcohol Free Life
Recovery by Russel Brand
I had some random slips.
And one relapse.
That was when I started reading even more books and blogs. I read William Porter’s book Alcohol Explained . I learned about brain chemistry and what happens to the addicted brain during substance abuse and during recovery. I managed to stay sober for a year. Right around that time I found Boom. (I am over three years alcohol-free now).
I own about 50 books about sobriety, addiction, and recovery. They range from the “How to do it” to memoirs of people whose lives were at rock bottom and how they fought their way back. I suggest that you use whatever search engine you like to search for books about sobriety. Search for “The How to stop drinking” AND the personal stories of people who have overcome their addictions. It is empowering to read about people who conquered their demons. You can also use our library post here and get an idea of what our BOOM Rethink the Drink community members think of these many books.
Something else that worked for me: I took vitamins and supplements while I was changing my lifestyle. I think that some helped, and others may have been a placebo. But every day that I took them, I was recommitting to an alcohol-free life. As I put them in my mouth, I thought about how I was taking supplements instead of drinking alcohol. For me, it was a way to reinforce my new lifestyle. Just a mind game? Maybe. Maybe not. I took kudzu for alcohol cravings, vitamin b complex, multivitamins, valerian for sleep, drank gallons of herbal teas that have been used for centuries to calm the mind and body.
What worked for me to stop drinking alcohol was not one magic thing. It was many things layered on top of each other so that I felt like I had a good knowledge base of what was happening to me, my mind, and my body while I was changing my life from a hard-drinking life to an alcohol-free lifestyle. I had to add layers and layers of knowledge and support to get through the first year. It became almost a hobby or maybe more like a passion to explore the ways to give up alcohol and to realize that happiness was possible without alcohol.
For some (most?) people all this research and support is not necessary. They say they are going to quit, and they do. They may need one support or maybe a couple. I needed more. Much more. So, everyone’s sobriety is unique. All I can do is tell you what worked for me.
It was a lot of work to stop drinking alcohol. But so worth it.
Don’t give up.
Come talk to us How Posting in the BOOM Community can help you Rethink the Drink
The Boom community has so many of the components that were critical to my recovery. The posts from a diverse community are key. Support after a slip or relapse. Resources to learn more about addiction, brain chemistry, recovery stages, sleep help, book suggestions, humor, a dash of this is what can happen if a slip turns into a relapse story, and the absolute best of humanity showing up to give help to each other even when they are still fighting their own battle. Do whatever it takes to stop drinking alcohol and stay alcohol-free. If you need more than one type of support reach out and ask for help. Someone in this fantastic community will respond and let you know what worked for them. Try some new things if the old ones are no longer working. There are so many sober supports available. With a little research, or asking the Boom community a whole new way to stop drinking and stay sober may open for you.
This is a wonderful time to be living an alcohol-free life!
April is Alcohol Awareness Month #alcoholawrenessmonth
Join us for an Alcohol Free April!
More on how to use the BOOM Community to help you stop drinking alcohol:
And More From the Author :
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
community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here
Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”