I’m a preschool teacher. A newly sober preschool teacher who stopped indulging in “wine time” when my drinking slid from concerning, to alarming. I’ve been noticing as I write my way through my second year sober that the first months of my sober journey followed the curriculum I teach at school pretty closely.
We start the year by teaching routines, rules, and making relationships. Part of our curriculum is teaching vocabulary words. This was one of our words yesterday.
The definition I used for my preschoolers is “something that is difficult”.
Alcohol is difficult.
Alcohol is the problem.
Alcohol was my problem for many years. Actually many, many years. When I was younger, it wasn’t much of a problem. I was a social drinker. My husband drank and my friends drank.
Over the years, the amount I was drinking slowly increased. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s addictive. I was a gray area drinker. Someone that could function just fine during the day….even with a hangover, I could go into the classroom and be a pretty decent teacher.
But than my life slowly began to unravel. I was spending more time dealing with migraines and hangovers. I was acting more and more like a total fool. I was not proud of my behavior…..I did things that were mortifying to my heart and soul.
The definition of solution that I use for my preschoolers is “the answer to a problem”.
The solution to the problem of alcohol and how it’s making us feel, is to stop drinking.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
If you want to Go Sober – actually if you want to love living life sober – take a look at the solutions that we teach to preschoolers.
Trade? Trade alcohol for La Croix, Kombucha, Tea, Coffee, Water!
Get an adult? This may sound condescending but all it means is grab someone with more experience at staying sober than you may have right now. Talk to us in Boom, talk to an addiction specialist, talk to another alcohol-free friend or relative.
Set a Timer? Remember time outs? Take time out of your busy adult life and act like a child. Run, dance, scream, cry, paint, snack on goldfish!
Friends matter! This is a path meant to be SHARED with others such as an online community like our Boom Rethink the Drink, a recovery counselor, AA, or a sober buddy who is further along down the path than you. It is not possible, or very much fun, to do this alone.
Learning is an adventure! When you Go Sober you’re learning a new way to live. Hop on Your Bike and Join Me on the Path to Loving Life Sober.
Are you just starting out alcohol-free or in your first month or two sober? SLOW DOWN, some things on your TO DO list need to wait until tomorrow, or next month, or next year…slow down, rest, be gentle with yourself, and just don’t drink today. That’s ALL that matters right now.
You do not have to climb Mt. Everest this afternoon. You do not have to clear 7ft on the high jump, or discover a practical method of cold fusion. In fact, you don’t have to do anything at all. You just have to NOT do something – not lift a glass with booze to your lips. And the only time you have to NOT do that is right now. The only drink you have to not drink is the next one. So chill out. Don’t let that Little Voice, or anyone else, make a mountain out of our molehill. Just don’t drink right now.
My favorite thing about gaining momentum in early sobriety is that I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to improve myself or hustle or repent or be a perfect example or make up for all of my mistakes. There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but I don’t HAVE to do them. What I do have to do is not drink today. Then sleep. Then wake up and not drink today, ad infinitum. That and that alone is sober momentum, the building of sober moments merely by being – being you, not drinking. Which is enough, by the way. You are enough!
Eat healthy food, reward yourself with treats.
This is a green bottle of Perrier in the basket, NOT WINE! We don’t drink wine anymore.
Understanding the importance of sober treats is part of demystifying the process of staying sober. 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.
The picnic basket is a symbol to remind you to connect daily with yourself, your creativity, your mind, your loved ones and, with Mother Nature.
Loving living life sober is about connection, not what’s in your glass!
Sobriety, if I’m gentle, open and patient with myself, is not deprivation, though it can feel like that. Actually, boozing is. Deprivation of hobbies, intimacy, creativity, spirituality, health, gratitude and more… The void enters and the decision to move toward something better or run away happens, sometimes many times a day. May you love yourself by being alcohol free. May you love yourself to try again. And again and again.
This changing your habit of drinking alcohol and adapting your life takes time. This is a hard thing some of us are doing but the positives are worth every negative. And I never get over how lovely it is that we’ve all ‘met’ on a wonderful site like this. So many of us – and more and more joining every day. There are too many of us being affected negatively by alcohol. Now that we are being ‘open’ with each other we can see that alcohol is causing pain and disruption for so many. In talking together on the site and in the giving of support to each other we can help each other get to where we want to be.
While you travel along on this alcohol-free journey you’re gonna have very blue days.
Days when you feel like that little chick on the bottom, and days where you feel like the top chick.
Sometimes those feelings all come in a day or even within the hour.
They are called FEELINGS because you need to feel them. We don’t numb them with alcohol anymore. You’re going to have BIG FEELINGS so try mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, counseling or therapy so you don’t drink to numb them.
When we stop drinking, there can be a tsunami of raw emotion to deal with. Emotional regulation in early sobriety is a bear. In the first weeks and months when you go alcohol-free feeling the feels in an unfiltered, authentic way, can be overwhelming. Here are thoughts from our Boozemusings blog, based on the experience of members of our Boom community, on sitting with whatever may come your way in early sobriety.
Think about what you enjoyed as a kid.
Baseball? Soccer? Fishing? Biking? Exploring?
Get outside and enjoy what’s around you!
You might think this little ladder is odd, but to me it represents “scaffolding“.
In my career as an Early Childhood Teacher, scaffolding is how adults support children’s development and learning by offering just the right help at just the right time in just the right way. We don’t do the work for them…we demonstrate and offer opportunities for repetition and practice. In other words, you have to do the hard work yourself, but use the tools (scaffolding) like Boom, podcasts, treats, sleep, exercise, AF drinks, bubble baths, etc.
If you are new on this sober path, I hope this package of posts may help encourage you to stick with it through those difficult early days. This “sober journey” truly is a most interesting journey. It’s far different than I could have ever imagined. I’m finding more peace, more connection with an inner wisdom, a contentedness, that I’ve been searching for for years. I believe sobriety is the first step needed to help me get me back to my true self.
My issue with alcohol has never been a “rock bottom” but rather a slow steady erosion like a stream wearing down a pebble.
Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to others.
Repeat every day!
Did I say DANCE?
Dance! Dance alone, dance with your partner, dance with your husband or wife, dance at weddings, even if you think you can’t dance, DANCE!
Let’s Dance, as David Bowie said, Let’s dance to the song they’re playin on the radio!
Be patient as this metamorphosis takes time.
We are worth it!
read more You are Allowed to Change
These pictures were taken on a bike trail I recently enjoyed. Yes. I got off my bike to take each picture myself. I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to take pictures…but over the course of taking the pictures, I realized I had the beginning of my next article. It feels very magical here. Somebody changes the art…for awhile it was fairy houses, now it’s painted rocks and summer themed paintings.
I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Do you want to Go Sober? Loving life begins when you cut out the poison. Come join us for the journey. It is truly an adventure.
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break or go alcohol-free in 2022… 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
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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”