Would love some tips and advice for getting through the first couple hours, or days without alcohol. I think I have reset my clock 20 times since getting this app.
Well I went boating with family, and being out on the lake made me want a drink. Then went to a pool the next day, that made me want it as well. I think it’s when the anxiety kicks in when I have not had it in 2/3 days, it’s this intense craving.
Welcome Brandee have you tried sitting down and thinking about why you drink and what triggers you to pick up? Maybe write the reasons down, then (a) see if you can reduce or refrain from being around some of those triggers, and (b) write down other things you can do instead as an alternative - bit like creating a toolbox to use when you feel like picking up…
Whenever I get an urge to drink, I just open this app. I read others’ posts and sometimes to post too. The people here are very supportive and they help you get over the worst parts. I’ve managed 72 days now. My longest stretch ever. Still going strong. Basically you need to be accountable to someone. Noone around me in real life understands so I lurk in this app
I have done it mentally but have not taken record on paper. I really like that idea. Thank you. It’s hard because sometimes I don’t necessarily want to drink or feel triggered, but a lot of the time I’m craving it to where if I don’t have it I’m angry and I’m edge.
Yeah that’s hard because we associate drinking with those activities. The cravings do pass though but it takes alot of willpower, digging REALLY deep and reminding yourself why you don’t want to drink anymore. Once you start pushing through the cravings without giving in, you start to feel stronger in tackling them next time they hit. Do your family know your trying to quit alcohol? Are they supportive?
The early days are really hard, I completely relate. You’ve just got to fill the void with other things. Create new interests, go for a walk, jump on here and chat to others, listen to recovery podcasts… anything but giving in to that urge
Yeah, not long ago I made it 8 weeks and it was the best feeling to go a whole day and then realize I had not thought about alcohol! I want that agin so bad. My family knows when I’ve tried to quit, but they are all drinkers. They are supportive as they can be. One of my cousins who was with us though had been sober for a year and we spoke about his journey but as soon as our conversation was over I was craving a drink. It’s terrible.
I think I may need to take a break from the activities that are triggering, at least for a month or so
Absolutely, and there is totally nothing wrong with doing what you need to do for you during this time. Its ok to be selfish when it comes to our recovery, it will only work if we put ourselves first. And as we get stronger and better, it creates a domino effect on you being a better person for those around you too. That’s awesome you’ve had 8 weeks before, you can do that again! You know how good it felt so definetely use that as your motivation you’re also lucky to have a cousin who can relate to your journey, that’s great support right there!
Yeah! It was really cool too because I didn’t even realize he was not drinking but he could still hang out with everyone and have a good time. It’s a major goal of mine to get to that point. But thank you, it’s nice to have a reminder that it’s okay to be selfish with this. I love my family and it’s nobody’s fault but it is a big trigger to be around them because alcohol usually comes with it.
I mean nobody’s fault but my own. My responsibility
What did you do to help yourself when you got to 8 weeks? Whatever you were doing that worked, use that again. Have you tried AA, SMART recovery, counselling or reading This Naked Mind by Annie Grace? These are only ideas, theres lots out there to try and everyone finds different things that work for them. I love this naked mind, it completely changed my attitude and pretty much rewired my brain to how I view alcohol, I no longer feel like I’m missing out.
But Brandee, you can do this, take it one day at a time, sometimes it’s one hour at a time. Baby steps. Keep the goals small so they don’t feel impossible. Hope to see you around on the forum more
That’s one of the big reasons why I quit: that voice in my head
What helped me trough the first days/ weeks was finding things to distract me. So I tried multiple things and some of them where really helpful so I still use them when I have a hard time.
What worked for me was:
A walk in nature
Listen to a sobriary podcast like " Recovery elevator"
And if that doesn’t work I come here to talk about it and share my feelings.
- acknowledge, that from now on sobriety is your number 1 priority, it is your most important commitment
- be prepared for triggering situations, parts of the day, make plans in advance
- drink a lot of water
- start new little habits of self-care, like making tea for yourself, taking long showers or bath if you prefer that one
- eat sweets
- do some activities (walk, run, exercise)
- go outside a lot
- connect to people, call friends, write here, etc.
- deliberately distract yourself with anything you can
- avoid all the directly triggering places and situations
- make sure, you don’t have HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired)
- reach out here if you have cravings
I found it super helpful to have a list of why I don’t drink available to read thru anytime I needed it (so I keep it on my phone). That way when I would think, oh hey, maybe just one, I would re read that list and I never wanted to go back to that life when I would read about it. Here is some of it to get you started, in case this sounds like something that may be helpful for you…
What I will gain from not drinking and how I want to live my life…
Feel healthy, clear and strong - mentally and physically
No hangovers ever!!
Treating my husband with respect and no drunk fighting
Self respect gets a major boost
No more internal conflict about drinking and if/how can I cut down or stop
Restful restorative uninterrupted sleep!!!
No waking up wondering where I am or who I am with
Major pride in myself and all that I have and can accomplish
A sense of peace and calm
No more embarrassment and shame because of my behavior
Forgiving myself for past mistakes and terrible judgement
No wondering what I did or how I hurt husband or others while drunk
No treating people I love, including myself, poorly while drunk
No drunk driving and possibly hurting self or others or jail
No upset stomach from drinking
No anxiety and near constant agitation when hungover
No dark suicidal thoughts
No shame around neighbors if I was loud and yelling or loud music
No blackouts ever
No overwhelming shame at my behavior
No oversharing with strangers while drunk or making plans I will need to cancel
Not having to check my phone in the middle of the night to delete social media posts - no drunk texting/emails/posts/calls
Not be bloated and puffy and look haggard
Major pride in myself and a boost in self esteem
No hangovers ever again
No more excuses or lies
Peace of mind
Best advice I was given was, to play the tape through to the end. There are triggers and always a reason to pick up that first drink (sunshine, rain, birth, death, marriage, it is a Thur etc etc etc) Everything may seem great at the moment, but play the tape through. It is everything @SassyRocks says.
Thank you, that whole list I can relate to.
`:heart: I hope you are still going strong