On February 19, 2016 I dedicated my life to getting sober. The first 30 days were the scariest days of my life. How would I celebrate my anniversary without champagne? How would I ever enjoy a birthday without shots? But I also hoped for the day that I could wake up not regretting the things I’d done the night before or feeling horrible because I was just too old for this…
So this is supposed to be your year? Well. No one ever hit their goals because they got drunk. If you’re thinking maybe you should have a “dry January” or “cut back a little” or if you’re ready to make a real change, here’s some tips for your first 30 days.
- Pray. I know this sounds hokey, but it is the absolute best thing to do, and if you do it when you’re desperate for change, you’ll really mean it. Get on your knees and ask God specifically “Dear God, please remove the obsession to drink from me.”
- Start a gratitude journal. Write 5 things every day that you are grateful for and 5 things that you can accomplish because you didn’t drink. In the beginning, things as simple as I have a home, I didn’t get fired, I took a shower, the sunrise, I didn’t die today were all I could write down.
- Don’t let yourself get too hungry, too tired or too bored.
- Fill your cup. If you’re used to having a glass of wine at the end of the night, find something to replace it. I recommend dandelion tea for it’s detoxing properties.
- Start exercising. This is the best way to get over those early day anxieties that come with sobriety.
- Take it One Day At A Time. Try not to think about “never drinking again” – it’s an overwhelming thought. Try “just for today” instead.
- If you’re feeling particularly antsy for a drink, make a list of all the embarrassing things you did when you drank too much.
- Write why you want to quit drinking on your bathroom mirror. For me, it was for the sake of my marriage and my business. I knew I would lose everything if I kept drinking. Seeing this reminder every day helped me.
- Eat healthy. Your body is going through a detox and it will need nutrients to not slip into a depression.
- Guard your thoughts. If you need to keep music or podcasts on at all times to keep yourself from thinking about a drink, do whatever it takes. For me, I had to listen to podcasts about sobriety non stop in my first 30 days.
- Get in nature. Get outside of yourself.
- When you feel like drinking, say it out loud. Speaking it out will help take away the desire, I promise.
- If you still feel like drinking, tell someone.
- Try to enjoy the little things. This is really where life’s greatest moments are.
- If you like going out to bars with friends, try switching to ginger beer or a soda water with lime. No one will notice the difference. If someone pushes you to drink, they may have a problem too. Normal people don’t care whether you drink or not.
- Take a good look at your social circle. If all your friends are heavy drinkers, you may need to fly solo for a little while until you get strong enough to admit, maybe they aren’t good for you.
- Try an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. This is usually the part where most people give me push back. If you’re learning anything new, you take a class, get a mentor, maybe watch youtube videos. If you’re learning how to live life without drinking, you’ll need someone to help show you how. If you’re in Tallahassee – you can find meeting times here. If you are not in Tallahassee, just google: alcoholic anonymous meetings near me.
- If you can’t bring yourself to a meeting, try watching some Youtube videos or listen to sobriety podcasts. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Be proud of yourself. Write yourself letters about how proud you are of yourself. Be your own cheerleader.
- Follow some sobriety accounts. My favorite are @sillylara, @shotstoshakes and @soberevolution. I also really love @sobermovement and @1000hoursdry
- Be thankful that you are healing <3
- Clean your home.
- Drink more water. I love having a water bottle that encourages me. This is one of my favorites.
- Rest. Getting sober is honestly exhausting. It can sometime take all your energy to not drink and it’s okay if all you want to do is sleep. Listen to your body and honor your feelings.
- Mourn the loss of alcohol. For such a long time alcohol was my best friend. It was there for every hard day, every good day, every celebration, every rainy day, every Friday, happy hour, taco Tuesday and so on. You are ending this relationship and that is sometimes really hard and sad (at least it feels that way in the moment). It’s okay to feel those feelings! Feel them and let them go.
- Make a vision board. You’re going to be able to accomplish whatever you want. Dream about it. Keep it in the forefront of your mind.
- Make an appointment with a therapist. I sat with my addiction long enough until she told me her name was trauma. Sometimes we drink because we are trying not to feel something we need to work through.
- Make a list of everyone you resent and look for where you might have also harmed them. Forgive them and burn the list.
- Write a letter to the person you were when you were drinking. If you make sobriety a lifestyle, you will become a better version of yourself but it can be hard to say goodbye to the person you were. Sometimes you will miss her. That’s okay. Honor your memories.
- Be proud of yourself and keep going! You got this 🙂
Some of the things I was thankful for in my first 30 days of sobriety:
My husband. My home. The Sunrise. Beautiful weather. My husband who’s skillset is perfect for me. My higher power. Puppy cuddles. Taking the high road. I survived. I did not harm my body today. Being responsible for life. I didn’t drink today. Morning dance parties. Making good decisions. Good friends. I have a job. I’m capable. I made dinner. I had a great workout. We didn’t hit our deadline and maybe that’s my fault but I’m not going to get drunk. I got my nails done. People let me love them. I acted respectfully. Food. Peace among chaos. I’m focused. I’m investing in me. I don’t have a hangover!