When I committed to my first month alcohol-free I knew it was time for me to go sober for life. I wasn’t happy about it but there was no wiggle room left in the decision to end my toxic relationship with alcohol. A dear friend of mine was doing a 30-day sober challenge at the time, and even though she was not in a permanent abstinence mode, she and I were able to be sober support for each other in those first crucial 30 days alcohol-free.
It’s been over 8 years since I put a cork in it with the help and encouragement of my friend, and with the support of an online community. My friend and I stopped drinking in different ways, her bit by bit and me all at once, and for different reasons, I knew that I was addicted to alcohol and she stopped for her health, but in the end have both found that we prefer living alcohol-free. That was not something that either one of us expected when we started our first month sober back in 2015. If you are “sober curious” or thinking that your relationship with alcohol has become toxic and it’s time to call it quits, a 30-day challenge with an online community to support you can be a great place to start.
How do you tackle those first days alcohol-free?
Below are 30 resources from our Boozemusings blog and from inside our Boom Rethink the Drink community to help you stay focused on your goal, whether it’s a 30-day sober challenge or living alcohol-free for life. Join us! It’s a great conversation to be a part of. One that will open your mind, open your heart and change your life. We are there together 24/7, 365 days a year. People helping each other help themselves.
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Resources for your 30 Day Sober Challenge
Many people ask this question when they start out in the first days of a 30 day sober challenge ” Why is it UNIQUELY hard to stop drinking? I can do so many things, Succeed at so many things, and Overcome so many obstacles, and yet this thing, stopping drinking, has me stuck”.
To get into the conversation about what might be making this challenge uniquely difficult for you – Open – A New Perspective on Alcoholism, Alcohol Use Disorder, and Sobriety – from our Boozemusings Blog – and – What advice would you give our new members about those first 30 or 40 days? What do you remember about the early sticking points? from inside our Boom Rethink the Drink community. A question with almost 200 answers from different people sharing what worked for them.
The conversation usually starts with the idea of control.
The question of control plagued me for years before I found the answer. I felt that if I just tried hard enough I should be able to control my drinking, but found when I finally accepted that I could not and chose to never drink again, life got a lot easier.
There are many reasons that we chose to drink another day while telling ourselves that we will control the stopping tomorrow. Maybe you are drinking to escape? open – Here’s another way – grab some inspiration here – The Battle to Owning My Life at 4 months Alcohol-Free – and some practical ideas and techniques here – Breaking Free
Remember that – The Only Way Out is Through
Have you ever heard of Addiction Voice Recognition Therapy or AVRT? Some people have come up with metaphors for that voice that tells us to drink at 5 pm even after we swore off booze in the early morning light. When I stopped drinking, my ability to finally stay sober was based on recognizing that voice for what it was and understanding that in saying NO, I became stronger and more resistant to it each day.
I identified that voice as my “Lizard Brain” and found that this information was important to me in shutting it down. Open – How to Override your Lizard Brain – from our Boozemusings blog.
Whether you call it the lizard brain, the beer beast, the whiskey werewolf, the vodka vixen, or some other name that fits its personality in your mind, if you open these posts from our Boozemusings blog, you’ll find resources to keep that voice from derailing you. Open – How to Quiet that Thirsty Little Voice in Your Head and Silencing the “Drink Now” voice.
The opposite of identifying the addict voice is learning to hear your own voice and value its power. In Boom, we are all about listening to ourselves and listening to each other. I often save the voices shared in BOOM for our archive of resources in Boozemusings. If one person finds exactly what they need to read today to take them from “I Need” to “I Am!”, then the work that goes into this project is more than worth it! Open these blue titles to read voices from our archive.
If you’re struggling to get started with a 30-day sober challenge or struggling to keep going, here are three posts in one – Decide. Survive. Then Thrive – that are all about Perseverance, otherwise known as Staying Sober When Pink Becomes Grey, something that every single one of us has faced.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of at least trying to go 30 days alcohol-free.
If you are on the fence, there is a reason. Give yourself the gift of seeing what’s around the corner and the insight into why you are even considering this. You don’t even have to tell anyone that you’ve decided to take a break from the booze! Just tell them you’re on a diet or you’re on antibiotics. Keep your not drinking a secret if it helps you to try. No one has to know.
You can always go back to drinking after the 30-day sober challenge. Even if you only take 30 days alcohol-free, at the very minimum you will give your body a good cleanse. You will get some good, solid, deep rest, will probably lose some weight, will gain insight into what it feels like to go without drinking, and will have SO much more time to get things done. You will be able to read those books you’ve been wanting to read, feel more creative, do those long walks after dinner you’ve been wanting to do, and give yourself endorphins because you will be proud of yourself for sticking with something! Imagine not having a hangover for thirty consecutive days, and and and…
Just try it. This month is a great month to experiment.
Here are two unique perspectives on how to stay sober. The first is a top ten list that covers all the basics of getting started and keeping going – open – Ten Ways to Overcome My Drinking Problem – and from a preschool teacher who found herself drinking too much too often during the Covid lockdown and is now over 3 years alcohol-free – open – Everything I Needed to Go Sober I Learned Teaching Preschool – both from our Boozemusings blog.
How about some survival skills? Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs and the bells that made them drool? A creative new take on the science that we all think we already understand can be the thing that helps you get through today when you are fighting cravings at “wine o’clock”. Here is a great post written by one of our community members to remind you – Be With the Drool – when the urge to drink threatens to derail you. Open Staying Sober Survival Skills – from our Boozemusings blog.
Did you know that dopamine is released in your brain not just when you drink but when you decide to drink? This dopamine release at the expectation of drinking is why sober treats are so important. Sober treats are not just about replacing a treat with a treat. They’re about giving your brain something to get excited about, something to anticipate. Understanding Sober Treats and how they work is a big piece of the puzzle for staying happily alcohol-free.
Open – Sober Treats – Rewiring Your Reward Pathways When You Go Alcohol-Free from our Boozemusings blog, and What Are Your Favorite Sober Treats, Big and Small? How Have Sober Treats Helped You Stay Alcohol-Free? from our Boom community.
You can also read How do you reward yourself for not drinking alcohol? and Silly rubber unicorn and babies while you’re inside BOOM.
And speaking of unicorns, your perspective on what it means to be alcohol-free is the most powerful resource you have to get you through those first 30 days sober. Check out Shake off the Myths of Everything Alcohol Can Do For You – Be a Unicorn! from our Boozemusings Blog and find more here #aresourceadayfor30days inside our Boom Rethink the Drink community.
Below are several more articles, free resources from our extensive archive,
If 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