A former “Super Mom’s” Guide to Early Sobriety

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It wasn’t long ago that I could not imagine doing all the things I do as a mom and a professional without opening a bottle of wine every evening. I knew that I was drinking too much but I didn’t know how to juggle everything that I took on without the lift of the first glass of wine after work.

How do you get stuff done if you find yourself needing/wanting to go to bed at 8 or 9 or God forbid 7 pm in the early weeks of not drinking…..

This was an absolutely huge worry for me

I’m a mom, and I also work outside the home, and I’m a doer….

I was really worried that I would be useless when I stopped drinking because I always busted my butt all day and then rewarded myself, shut down, buzzed out necessarily I thought ! with wine

What I learned in my first two years sober was that it actually WAS necessary because I MADE it so. The routine feeds on itself. At almost 5 years sober I’m still a doer. I bust my butt! But I do what I want to do and I have learned how to delegate to others and how to relax without getting blasted by alcohol.

But I had to learn that.

A couple of things made it possible for me to stay sober and functional in the first weeks :

To begin with, there are only so many hours in the day, you can only do so much and sober, you will be able to do a lot more.

Just not in the evening at first because any evening stress can be an excuse to drink,

so

Turn your day upside down

Most of us already get up early but I’m talking about deciding to get up an hour earlier or even two. You’re not wasting those evening hours drinking anymore and you were so tired last night that you fell asleep at 7 … sooooo

Even if you Do NOT want to…. get up ! At 5 or even 4 if you really did pass out exhausted at 7 the night before because your body is healing.

You will most likely find that after you’ve had a cup of coffee or tea and a shower, that the extra hour or two in the morning is super productive.

Seriously the early morning is GOLD for productivity.

The evening is for rest.

If you have found that there is nothing you want to do at night but drink ( don’t worry that is temporary, it will pass!) go ahead and let yourself go to sleep at 8:30 or 9 or even hit the sack at 7 and read safely and quietly snuggled under your covers starting at 7 .

If you have a child or children at home invite them to quietly snuggle under the covers reading with you.

My son and daughter had absolute rock-solid instructions that there was to be no unnecessary drama in my early sober weeks.

I told them that it was going to feel really weird to me not to drink and I needed their help.

So no bullshit.

Real problems that actually needed my attention were allowed to be brought to me in my inner sanctum of calm ( the bathtub) but absolutely no ridiculous he said she said B.S.

Believe it or not, that worked !

Me not drinking every night was important enough to them to help me out-

They were happy to cut their 11-year-old brother/15-year-old sister drama in exchange for no more drunken drama from me.

Do Not Over-Extend Yourself for a While

I was often taking on a lot of things that I did not need to be taking on and did not want to be taking on but I didn’t realize that.

Right now it is best if your focus at work is to do what NEEDS to be done, the essentials.

You are healing

If you let yourself heal you WILL heal but it does take some time and it requires rest-

My mom was a teacher and a single parent. I understand that there is most likely no more stressful combination BUT there is also no more rewarding combination for staying sober. Kids see it. They see the peace in your eyes. They will respond. You’ll feel doubly good about what you’re doing when you look in their eyes.

This thing we’re doing is a powerful thing. It’s about taking back the beauty of what is simple and true in you. Being proud of it. Reveling in it. Growing with it . No one can appreciate that more than a child. And you don’t even have to talk about it šŸ™‚ Just look into their eyes.

If you give yourself that time and let yourself heal it will benefit you hugely in your work. You will be a much better professional sober than you were on the drink drunk repeat cycle-

Your brain will grab a hold of or create stress to justify having a therapeutic drink or ten

That’s a lie, don’t be fooled

Be Super-efficient and predictable with you evening routine and Stock Up on Sunday.

I came up with 4 or 5 super easy dinners that I could make in ten or fifteen minutes and just repeated them over and over for a while so that I didn’t have to think and wasn’t challenged in any way by my ” mommy responsibilities” in the evening.

So on Sunday before lunch. I stocked up for the week and I made sure that I had batter for quinoa wraps , quinoa soaking for pizza , tomato sauce, grated cheese, salmon filets, lots of broccoli, hamburgers, buns, chips, ricotta and spinach tortellini, homemade soups ….. in the fridge ready for Dinner on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ….. so that I did not have to go to the store or think about dinners at all-

I also made sure that I had stuff on hand to make my lunches with so that I didn’t have to think about lunch. Lunchtime was used for reading stuff that would inspire me to keep going, or I’d run home and do a bit of the domestic chores that I might normally leave for night time.

And I stocked up on Sunday, on treats as well. I made sure that I had lots of green tea bags so that I could take a big thermos of it to work. And ice cream and bath salts- Stuff to treat yourself with, stuff to relax with, make sure it’s waiting for you when you walk in the door

I assigned the kids more jobs than they’d ever had before…even simple things like put away your folded clothes or sort the socks into balls, they are still doing those jobs! and lots more! Because kids love having sober parents … they are more than happy to carry a bit more of the load in exchange for no drunken drama from the adults in their lives

And last but not least!

Alcohol is a weird drug

It works as both a stimulant and a depressant

So that first glass when you walk in the door after work actually does give you a bit of energy and focus… before it knocks you out into a puddle of drunken stupid.

So if you have work you need to do in the evening find a replacement.

Hot tea, dark chocolate, a hot shower, a run, dance in your kitchen to this That’ll get you going :)))

And know that every single day you say no to the numbing fluid you become a bit more fully alive and fully yourself and I can tell you from the vantage point of almost 5 years alcohol-free THAT ROCKS!

Go get some rest….. You’re Healing

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