Hi, I’m Katie. I’m 22 and I’ve been sober from alcohol for about 4 days now, and I’ve been sober from other substances for a few weeks (but I’m not really keeping track of those).
I got sober because I’m trying to be better for myself, and trying to be better for myself means that I’ve gotten put on a few psych meds that interact negatively with pretty much anything recreational, and it causes me to self-destruct, which in turn hurts the people around me.
I wanted to start a thread about coping mechanisms you’ve found that help you, no matter how weird or small you might think they are. I’m still fairly new to this sobriety thing, so I could really use all the help I can get. One of the coping mechanisms I’ve found thus far is drinking plain sparkling water (Liquid Death’s sparkling water helps a lot) whenever I want to have a drink because it has a bit of a bite to it, but it doesn’t leave you intoxicated or lower your inhibitions, plus it’s water so it’s actually good for you! Plus, Liquid Death is a good brand to drink around other people because the can kind of helps you to fit in if other people around you have a beer in their hand.
Can’t wait to hear what coping mechanisms you guys have!
TL;DR: Still new to this sobriety thing, looking for coping mechanisms to get me into the habit of not drinking. I’ve been drinking sparkling water.
I have been doing meditation, working it into my routine:
I find it helps me “ride the waves” of life, to keep grounded and not get swept away.
I also stopped drinking because of meds although it took me a long time to figure out that was an issue and even longer to figure out that no as it turns out I just can’t moderate cause if I have one im gonna have a whole bunch more.
Some things I love to learn to make overly complicated mock tails lol. When my friends come over I’ll make up a drink and if they want to bring their own booze to add in they are welcome to if they just keep it in their purse or whatever. Then it’s not sitting out staring at me.
I also like to put cranberry juice and bubbly water in a fancy glass at dinner cause it still feels
Like a special dinner beverage that’s not just water (I don’t really drink soda. And I won’t drink Coke Zero cause that’s a trigger for me Jack and Coke Zero was my drink. So I try not to tempt fate)
I learned about “playing the tape forward” here which means if I want to go ok I’ll just have one I need to play that tape forward and imagine the night ahead. I’ll have one. It will be delightful. My inhibitions will be lowered. I’ll have 3 more. Still having fun. Too much fun probably. I’ll have some shots with my friends. I’ll get totally out of control (mind you on my meds im drunk after one glass of wine. But that’s when everything else starts sounding fun) the night will go on. Ill stay up too late. I’ll wake up the next day late and feel like crap for 3 days. The whole time having SEVERE anxiety and SI cause it will have jacked with how my meds worked. And while one glass of wine sounds nice and even up to the shits feels like just cutting loose when I play the tape forward to the subsequent days it does not seem worth it at all to me.
The other thing is to say fire not gonna drink. All you have to say is you’re not gonna have the first drink. Cause that’s where it all goes bad. And not having the first drink is a very hard and clear line. If I’m somewhere where it just gets too tempting I just leave. I don’t worry about what my friends or anyone else is going to think about me. And you know what they’ve never thought anything bad about it.
I started a few weeks ago as well. Journaling has been helpful as well as drawing even though I’m not an artist. I try to make a point of listening to podcasts or reading recovery literature as well
I’ve also been drinking lots of sparkling water and soda drinks with melatonin later in the day. Liquid death also has flavored sparkling water if you haven’t tried those already!
Ive thought about doing meditation, but with how often I’m around kids or dogs it’s hard to find the time. I’ve been trying to wake up early in the morning to kinda have some peace. I don’t really meditate, but I try to kinda write out how my thought process has been and philosophically think about why I shouldn’t drink.
I’ve considered doing the overly complicated mocktails myself cause I was like the unofficial bartender in my friend groups and family, constantly coming up with recipes and stuff, so I’ll probably start doing that at some point.
I also like the thought of playing the tape forward. I know that one drink will inevitably lead me to a panic attack the next day, no matter how many drinks I have after that.
I’ve been doing a lot of journaling lately, mostly early in the morning so I can include some dream journaling in it, and I’ve been making some long-term plans in my journaling as well, like an incentive program where I put aside $20 every time i think about relapsing to go get a tattoo.
I didn’t know Liquid Death had flavored sparkling water, though. I’ll definitely have to try some!
Yes! Definitely stock up on your favorite n.a. drinks. Sucking on lifesavers or chewing gum also helped me in early sobriety. And meetings. Also reading books or watching youtube videos about recovery helped. Really got a lot out of “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace.
In the beginning, i taught myself how to cook from scratch.
I did a lot of reading on addiction and alcoholism. Then it was AAs big book…now its Anything related to Recovey Dharma.
Yeah that’s kinda where I’m at too. Not that it’s any of my business but are you on lexapro by any chance? That was a big experience for me on that med. I’ve since switched off of it but am still not drinking. No one else I know had that experience on that medication but me. Single glass of wine. Next day full day panic attack.
Also one last thing. I would just be blunt. When people were like “why aren’t you drinking?” I’d say it doesn’t play well with my meds. And if these people kept harassing me I’d just say “do you want me to be suicidal tomorrow. Cause if I have “just that one glass” I will be” and then I’d just look at them and wait for an answer. They stop asking real fast and just accept that you’re having a fine time not drinking
You don’t have to hem and haw and explain yourself. Because you’re young I’m sure your friends are all still drinking pretty heavily and that’s when the most pressure to drink comes from your friends. So just be blunt and stand your ground. Whatever reason you want to not drink for is a complete sentence. And they can get on board. Lol
I’m not on Lexapro, but I’m on Effexor, Lamictal, and Remeron for my BPD and sleep disorder so plenty of meds for alcohol to play bad with. For me, it’s less suicidal thoughts and more psychosis the next day, and most of my friends have seen me in that state at this point, so the pressure is pretty minimal. Even if they do pressure me, I care about myself at this point more than I care about their perception of me. The only real pressure to drink comes from me and that BPD urge to just not be sober.
Completely fair. I’m glad you have supportive friends. Most of mine were knobs. I needed better friends when I was younger. Lol my friends now are great though. I’m glad you’ve done some self reflection and I’m excited for your journey.
Meditation and lots of podcast. Soberpod has been a lifesaver for me. I really enjoy listening to them.
I started attending AA meetings and tried new hobbies.
I have a variety if coping mechanisms. I dont use all of them everytime im going thru a hard time. But i do usually have a big list and run down that list when im craving or stressed or triggered etc. Basically if the 1st thing doesnt work, i go down my list to the next. And keep going until something helps My list includes things like HALT (checking to see if im hungry, angry, lonely, or tired and then taking care of that need). Bath or shower, essential oils (particularly lavender), focused deep breathing, meditation, exercise, heading outside into nature, prayer is huge and is usually my go to, stretching, distraction such as cleaning or reading or playing a game, talking it out with others, cold water on my face and hands (this grounds me), also the 5 senses grounding technique i use often to bring me back to the present moment, rest, smudging with sage. I think thats all i got right at this moment. If i think of any more ill add to it
Doing a sobriety activity everyday to keep motivation high, and really learn about the negative aspects of alcohol in detail. That could be reading a chapter of quit lit, watching a video on YouTube, etc. I also knew my danger times, and kept my mouth and hands busy. I used mints (I can’t eat or drink anything for a while after a mint, don’t like the taste), lemon tea, study apps, etc. I also had an aromatherapy bottle of a lavender based blend to smell if cravings got bad. Good luck luck finding what works for you.
I spend more time doing my hobbies, and hanging out with friends. I guess one thing to keep in mind is that friends won’t be weird about you not drinking, and if people are weird about it they might be drinking buddies and not friends. One other thing that’s kind of helpful is if I’m out somewhere and sort of feeling like I’m missing out on drinking, I look at the dessert menu and pick something out for myself, and look forward to that instead. If I’m full after dinner I order that sh*t to go. I experimented a lot with n/a drinks, too, some good and some bad, but the experimentation process was distracting itself and I discovered that there’s a lot of alternatives out there.
Also I wasn’t going to make any recommendations so you can make your own choices regarding n/a experimentation, but sweet simmering Satan the Wellspring n/a beer with electrolytes is like if someone brewed beer using yellow Gatorade instead of water, so you should be aware of that. It was not my cup of tea. It was a monstrosity.
my hundreds of failures that came before slowly but gradually gave me a coping mechanism. There were no surprises left so preparing myself mentally for the agony to come and knowing if I can just get through it one more time I’ll not have to ever do it again. Oh and I got told to pray, didn’t know what I was praying to but I’m still sober so I’ll carry on.