10. Know that you CAN succeed in sobriety. This is not a seven-foot-high jump. It’s not “rocket science”. It’s just NOT drinking alcohol. Never let Little Voice con you into thinking, “I can’t do this.” Horse manure! Tell Little Voice to, “Stuff it!”.
9. Visualize yourself not drinking. If you’ve slipped, think back and figure out what happened that caused it. Then come up with a plan for the next time. Then sit and imagine yourself back in that situation, using your new plan, and succeeding; Do that a couple of times and you will find the new plan right there when you need it.
8. Weigh the outcomes. What will happen if you drink, What will happen if you don’t drink. Sometimes it helps to write down how you feel after you’ve overdone it, and re-read that honest assessment the next time Little Voice is feeding you a line.
7. Create accountability. Post your goals here, and faithfully log in an ‘fess up when you slip. If you have a spouse or friend who can serve in this role that helps too. Accountability strengthens resolve.
6. Break it down. Remember, the only time you can actually not drink is right now. The past is over and the future has to wait its turn. Just don’t drink today, don’t drink right now.
5. Reward yourself for not drinking, with a favorite show or new clothes. Don’t be bashful; Post here that you’ve completed “Day ##”. Stick your chest out!
4. Take your brain out of it. Remember when you learned to ride a bike? When you were thinking about it, you wobbled all over the place, but then the time came when you just did it. Don’t dwell on sobriety; Just make it an integral non-optional part of your life. Then move on to other things.
3. Surround yourself with success. I’m not into dumping friends, but there may be some dyed in the wool drinkers you just need to move on from. More importantly, make new sober friends, and read the posts here from folks who are running the good race.
2. Look back once in a while. As you make progress, occasionally remind yourself of what it was like “back when”. It can be a huge motivator.
1. Prepare for success. We all know when the tough times will be: At the pub with pals, the 5PM Happy Hour. Have a plan. Be aware of the times you have problems (this is often half the battle) and have something planned. Exercise at 5PM. Be ready to order a non-alcoholic drink at the pub.
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking to much.
Sobriety is Clarity, Creativity, Freedom! Community connection is the first step.
You don’t HAVE to drink.
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This top ten list came from a man who I’ll call Ted. My freind Ted is a husband, father, grandfather and hard working professional who is fighting off the” little voice” in his head that loves whiskey. Ted often simply posts top ten lists, that always hit the nail on the head. Sometimes these lists are serious and informative and sometimes very funny, but I know that I would not have gotten through my first alcohol free year with style and a smile if it weren’t for Ted.
When Ted and I parted ways he said that I could publish his posts far and wide on behalf of the Boozemusings Community .
And so I will.
Thank you Ted !