How to Get Sober, Stages of Change




I’m sharing a few tips for how to get started with any new habit including ditching the drink. I am starting a new habit of walking in the morning. This is something I’ve been considering for a while. For months I would say to myself “I should really get up and do that,” and then I would not get up and do that. Relatable?

I did this while drinking too. It is part of the contemplation stage of change. 

 
The stages of change model describes the process individuals go through as they make behavioral changes. The stages of change include:

  • Precontemplation or as I like to call it, blissfully unaware. In this stage you are unaware or resistive to the idea of change.
  • Contemplation. This is when you are starting to think about making a change. This stage can last a long time. In my case with alcohol it was years if not decades. For my new walk routine, I’ve probably been thinking about it for 6 months. I recognize the need for change, but I still...
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5 Years Sober - Here's What I Wish I Knew on Day 1

I just turned 5 years sober. For most of my life this accomplishment seemed so out of reach for me. What would I tell myself back before my last Day !?

 1. You can do it. You absolutely can. 

 

 

Put all of your energy towards that. Stop looking behind you. Keep moving forward. Just because you are not doing it perfectly, doesn’t mean you are not doing it at all. Keep doing it. It’s a process and not a single event. Stay curious and keep learning. Believe you can and you will. It has to start here. You must believe in yourself bigger than you ever have before. You must believe in yourself BEFORE you have proved anything. BEFORE you have reached your goals. This is how to start. Start believing and stop giving up on yourself before the miracle happens. Keep the faith and it will happen. 

 

 2. The relationship that matters most is the one with yourself. 

 

 

You will not be able to make this change and keep...

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Memorial Day Weekend

I used to be gone drinking every Memorial Day. It was tradition. I was pretending to have so much fun in pools and boats. Some of it was fun. Some of it was not. I am not faulting the company that I was in. I thank the hosts so much for their generosity. The problem wasn’t with them, the problem was with me.

I didn’t know myself. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I needed. I wasn’t comfortable anywhere. Truth be told, I loved the excuse to drink all weekend. I think everybody did. I am not sure anyone drank as much as me, but that’s not my business.

I was anxious.

I drank.

I woke up with hangovers and shame and did it again on repeat for 3 days of the holiday weekend instead of two.

I needed to start the summer with a big splash. Literally, lol. 

I needed to prove we were having So. Much. Fun. I needed my drinking, around others, in the daytime, to be super normal. I needed to compare myself to other drinkers so I could say “See? I am...

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Why Can't I Stop Drinking?

 

Why cant I stop drinking?

It is a question that has pained millions, including me. 

These words are typed into a Google search, daily by people feeling broken, confused, and desperate for answers. 

I am here to tell you, there is nothing wrong with you. 

It's not you, it's alcohol.

I know because I became dependent on alcohol too.

After years of exploration, I came out on the other side. 

I had a lot of things going for me, and still I was sucked into alcohol's hole of despair.

At the end of my relationship with alcohol, I no longer recognized myself.

I didn't know how to get out of the cage I had built around me. 

I am a highly productive, educated, mentally strong person who lived an almost perfect life.

I have children I adore, a house I love, a devoted spouse, lots of friends, and a wicked sense of humor.

Yet, when I was drinking nothing brought me happiness.

I had no hope and I looked forward to nothing.

Nothing was wrong, and yet nothing...

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3 Fears of High Functioning Drinkers

When I first quit drinking I wanted everything in my life to stay exactly the same. The only difference would be that I was no longer drinking. I didn’t want anyone to know if I was drinking or not drinking, and I definitely didn’t want it to be the topic of conversation. I feared my relationships would change, or that others would feel uncomfortable around me. I wanted to go on living my life, only somehow secretly not drinking alcohol. 

Now, at 3-years sober, I realize how that was both unrealistic, and not in my best interest. 

Looking back it doesn’t surprise me that I had all of these expectations. I had set myself up to live an unliveable life in many ways. I wanted to go unnoticed and keep everyone around me happy at all times. I also never wanted to feel anything. If I started having an intense feeling, I would get disappointed in myself. It was easier to pretend it didn’t exist. Whatever the feeling was, it had to be wrong, and it was my...

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3 Tips for Giving up Alcohol For Lent

So you’ve decided to give up alcohol for Lent. 

Congratulations!

This is one of the healthiest things you can do.

Because you have chosen alcohol, I assume there may be some challenges in letting go of this vice. It is afterall representing a sacrifice. 

Maybe you are #sobercurious, on a health journey, looking to lose weight, get better sleep, or evaluating your relationship with alcohol. 

Perhaps alcohol has become a staple in your daily routine since the pandemic hit and it secretly scares you how much you have come to rely on it. 

Maybe you see it’s hurting you more than it’s helping you.

Regardless, I am glad you are here, taking a break from booze.

I am now 3 year sober, but I started with an alcohol free experiment myself. My goal was to be alcohol free for 100 Days. I made it to 70 Days and felt confident my overindulgence was cured. I did alcohol free challenges and experiments for 3 years before I decided to give it up for good.

I...

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3 Years Sober, Living a Life of Luxury, not Deprivation

The world is full of bad news involving alcohol.

In my feed from just today:

  • A grandma in Wisconsin killed her granddaughter in a car accident at 8:30 in the morning with a .092 blood alcohol level from the night before. 

 

  • Britt Reid, son of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, had alcohol prior to a crash that injured two children leaving one 5 year old girl fighting for her life.

 

  • Patients with liver disease die of COVID-19 at rates three times higher than those without it, and alcohol-associated liver disease has been found to increase the risk of death from COVID-19 by an additional 79% to 142%.

 

  • Bruce Springsteen admitted to drinking 2 shots before DWI arrest. In his 2016 autobiography “Born to Run,” Springsteen said he avoided drugs and didn’t try alcohol until he was 22, partially because he saw how drinking affected his father.

 

  • Women’s drinking is up 41% since the pandemic. 

 

  • The Americas are the only region of...
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Pandemic Drinking

Many Americans have been drinking more since the coronavirus pandemic. 

American adults say they're drinking 14% more often during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the journal JAMA Network Open. The increase in frequency of drinking for women was more pronounced, up 17% compared to last year.

Instances of heavy drinking among women, which for women was defined as four or more drinks within a couple of hours, spiked by 41%.

We know it is not a healthy choice, but disassociate from the idea that it negatively affects the body’s immune system. Weakening our defense against the exact virus we are trying to avoid. 

We are coping with our stress, fear, and boredom with alcohol.

At first it felt like just playing hooky, not going into the office and hunkering down at home. Making the best of the situation by Zoom Happy Hours and Quarantini’s.

Social connection and a sense of humor go a long way towards a healthy state of being and I commend these...

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Sobriety Taught Me to Sit Still

As a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and Retired Party Animal, I know one main concern about ditching the drink, is the fear of a boring life. 

I understand this completely, because it was one of my greatest fears too. 

This is for the sober curious folks, a life of sobriety does not equal a boring life.  

Here’s some food for thought when taking a break from alcohol. 

 

Is it sobriety or pandemic?

If you are getting sober or experimenting with being alcohol free, during the COVID pandemic, separate feeling bored and shut in, with being sober. They are not the same thing. If you are bored because of the pandemic, consider yourself lucky, right? 

 

Is it temporary?

Being sober does not mean being shut in, unless you want it too. 

In early sobriety you might choose nights on the couch with Netflix over fighting cravings in alcohol induced environments. With practice you will grow your sober muscle and start to venture out more....

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The Best Gifts this Holiday Season

This year, more than ever perhaps, the negative effects of consuming too much alcohol are coming to light.

A study by JAMA Network found heavy drinking among women is up 41% from 2019 - 2020. Alcohol related deaths have also increased. Excessive drinking increases one’s risk for anxiety, depression, suicide, seven different types of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. 

Alcohol has been an easy “go to” holiday gift for business contacts, neighbors, teachers, and hosts.

 Enjoy these healthier alternatives to gifting this holiday season. 

1-Beauty

Why not treat someone special to some pampering? Bath bombs, face masks, sugar scrubs, and more. The nudge for time alone will feel like a complete luxury for anyone who’s been wearing all the hats this year. Luxurious spa products are a great step in the right direction. 

2-Comfort

Tis’ the season for fuzzy socks, cozy pajamas, and soft blankets. You can find these items in any...

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