Have you decided to go sober in 2022? If you are thinking about stopping drinking that is a good beginning, but actually going alcohol-free when you’ve been drinking habitually can be overwhelming. If your New Year’s resolution is sobriety in 2022 it’s important to do some groundwork. The groundwork that worked for me when I stopped drinking in 2015 was reading the thoughts of others who had “been there and done that”. Those stories and ideas helped me tremendously and I’ve stayed sober to this day.
Start with the right perspective. 22 Posts to Get You Started on Staying Sober in 2022 – part 1
The right perspective is crucial when you set your plan to go sober. But how often have you woken up determined to stop drinking and found yourself with a drink in hand just a few hours later? You may find that as you move through your day from morning to afternoon to evening your brain starts to remind you that although you did set the goal to stay sober in the morning, your situation as you have moved through your day is unique!
Your brain may wander over to the wine rack where the siren sings
You NEED me
You NEED me because you are Lonely and I will engage you
You NEED me because you are Stressed and I will calm you
You NEED me because you are Angry and I will stop the fire
You NEED me because you are Bored and I will entertain you
I make you BEAUTIFUL
I make you SPECIAL
I make you VIBRANT
I AM your CREATIVE ENERGY
I AM your SENSUALITY
I FILL THE VOID
The Siren sings
Don’t Lose me because if you let me go you will lose YOU!
Does that sound familiar? We call this “terminally unique” reasoning, because although we often think that there is some extraordinary trigger that sets off dangerous drinking episodes, it is usually this sort of thing. The types of reason that we all drink are not unique at all. The bully in the bottle is just more likely to win if you think you drink for an exceptional reason. We are all triggered by hungry, lonely, tired, bored, stressed, sad, in pain, looking for normalcy …
Let’s get going on silencing that siren.
22 Posts for 2022 – Part 2
Join the Club and We’ll Win Through Together
Alcohol took me aside into a quiet corner… just the two of us… divided me from the pack of my friends and family who were normal drinkers … and when things started to go very wrong in my relationship with alcohol I felt like it was my fault. Everyone else seemed to be fine hanging out with my bully. My bully was their friend.
read more Beat the Alcohol Bully
Overcoming denial is not something that anyone can impose on you. It has to come from within.
Denial is a word that is so overused that we often become immune to the complexity of its meaning. What does it mean to be in denial about your alcohol use? So many people drink, and so many people drink nightly. What is a dangerous amount of drinking?
Although we all find at some point that no matter how commetted we are to staying sober, we simply want to just let go and kick the “Fuckit Bucket” the only way to stop drinking is to stop. Period. Which is simple but not easy.
Bad days, arguments, breakups, job losses, illness, death. These things happen. Shit happens. Alcohol causes stress, depression and anxiety. The easiest way to deal with shit is with a clear head and an open mind and a willing heart.
read more The Fuckit Bucket
The right tools are crucial to fighting through moments of “terminal uniqueness” when the idea of kicking that bucket makes perfect sense.
Trying to live a sober life with only one tool and that tool being “willpower“ will get old and rusty really quickly! Have a spirit of adventure as you work on your box. If one thing doesn’t help then find something else…you need the right tools to back up that willpower that you woke up with. Your plan to stop drinking is noble! Be PROUD! but you have to have practical tools you can actually use to help you reach your goal.
Fighting the cravings that will come and go is dependent on understanding what H A L and T stand for and how to deal with each letter of that anacronym.
We tend to overcomplicate what cravings mean when we stop drinking. I was concerned that I might be “psychologically” addicted to alcohol, or that I craved alcohol because I fit the profile of an addictive personality. But in the beginning, when I first stopped drinking, not picking up a drink was achieved simply by getting all of my drink of choice out of the house, not replacing it, and identifying what the thing I actually needed was. The need was the trigger that set off the alcohol craving. The alcohol was not actually the thing that I needed.
You can only change what you are aware of.
The way that I finally stopped was based on developing self-awareness of my habit. What it took to stop drinking for me was really taking responsibility for what I was doing by looking at it honestly and openly in a safe space where I could talk it through with a group of people who understood the behavior because they had done it too.
Understanding that there will be moments that are beyond difficult is an important step in staying sober.
Heroes don’t get to choose to be heroes. They’re thrust in to a position and they do it. They don’t wake up and think “hey, I think I want to face my fears today.” They step out on to invisible bridges because they’re forced to – as a manner of self-preservation.
read more You Can Do the Hard Things
Understanding that going sober will not automatically fix all of your problems is an important step in Staying sober.
I have taken more than one stab at sobriety in the past. Until this time around, I couldn’t make it stick. I think that was due in large part to the fact that I was holding on to the mentality that one magic pill (in this case, quitting drinking) could fix everything.
read more Sobriety is not a Magic pill
Understanding that without alcohol you may feel a bit lost is an important step in Staying sober.
Alcohol had become the center of my identity. Drinking was what I did. All the time. It was my hobby, my fallback, my safety net…my everything, really. My whole life revolved around it. I was afraid that without alcohol, I wouldn’t know who I was anymore.
read more Who am I without Alcohol
Never Underestimate the Tried and True Methods
Instead of feeling the weight of “forever” on my shoulders, I only feel the weight of today. Believe me, today by itself is a lot lighter than even “today and tomorrow.”
read more One Day At A Time
Never underestimate the need to “treat” yourself daily.
Over the many years that I was trying to stop drinking – before I finally did manage it, one of the things that I did not understand was the importance of replacing my perceived treat of drinking alcohol, with a sober treat – and how to do that. It’s about consciously acknowledging the pleasure that comes from things other than alcohol. Or from things that follow going alcohol-free.
If you fight for it, you will find it, and when you do, you will wonder why the hell you stayed so long in that other bastard place. There will be challenges and problems to struggle with but you can’t fix a problem by hiding from it. All you are doing is helping it to grow teeth. You will face up to your problems and deal with them. You will solve what you can and accept what you can’t. And you will go to bed at night knowing you did your best. And for a long long time, when you wake up in the morning you will hear in your mind one of the best realizations you have ever experienced“I didn’t drink yesterday.”
Nothing tastes better than sober…
read more Nothing Tastes Better Than Sober
Beyond the guilt and the shame.
Beyond the sorrow and the pain.
Beyond the forgetful nights and regretful days.
Beyond the sickness and the constant haze.
Beyond all the tears and the wasted years.
Beyond the darkness and despair.
Beyond…I found myself there.
Beyond the addiction, I am finally free.
Free to feel, to dream and to just be me.
Beyond is truly a great place to be.~
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break or if you plan to go sober in 2022… Talk to Us.
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Don’t let the shame of the stigma of addiction keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”