Friday, February 4, 2011

Newly Sober...Now What?

I just received a comment here that reminded me why I do this thing...the blogging thing. It's buried in an old post, but it's from someone who is newly sober, and it made me think about the fact that there may be others also reading who are in the early painstaking days. The days of foggy desperation that seem endless. The comment reminded me why I am sober and working to stay that way and I instantly wanted to add my advice, so here are my thoughts:
  1. Be kind to yourself. You're in the most difficult part. It will get easier.
  2. Do whatever you need to make sure you don't take the first drink.
  3. Reach out for help - recovering alcoholics love to help.
  4. Go to bed early - it will make the days go faster.
  5. Go to an AA meeting - it really does help.
  6. Sobriety is the only thing to focus on right now - whatever shambles exist in your life can be dealt with later.
  7. Pray - anything goes here, just let it out.
  8. Keep going - the minutes will add up.
What advice would you give if you had to re-live your first week of sobriety? Please add to my half-assed list!


  1. I make sure to keep a picture of my son around so when I think about drinking I can just look at him, with his big blue eyes and totally not want to let him down. He's only 2 but I can hear him saying 'c'mon mommy, you can do it!'. LOL

    Hey - whatever it takes!!

  2. Force yourself to eat well each day. Most alcoholics are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, keeping one's blood sugar stable will help ward off cravings.

    I like the bit about sleeping. That was my favorite part of early sobriety.

  3. Thanks for the advice. I'm new here and needed to hear this.

  4. That's not a half assed list at all - it's all the essential advice for anyone just trying to start a sober life.

    To anyone new, I suppose I would simply say... just keep taking it minute by minute, day by day. Things can and will get better, in tiny ways, every second you stay sober. Deep breaths. Don't isolate yourself. That's fundamental - be around other recovering alcoholics, in whatever way you are able. It's how you will understand you aren't alone.

    I got a comment like that this week too, Tara, and it also made me stop to think about how we all affect one another, continuously. Amazing.

  5. Thank you. So simple. So true. I needed to read this post right at this moment. I will re-read it everytime I feel the way I do right now. MATA xx

  6. I am soaking up your took kits and helpful insights like a sponge. Headed out now for a 4 mile run with a friend who is 6 years sober.

    Thank you, for helping me believe that "normal" is possible.

  7. Break up your first few weeks, months even if you need to into small increments. I still find it necessary to do that at times. I also break things up into one event at a time. If I have something going on today, I only focus on what I am doing today. Helps to not become overwhelmed.

    To all of you out there that are new, you can do this!!!! Keep strong.

  8. This is all such great advice! Thank you for contributing.

    The only other thing I wanted to add is to remember that even horrible, awful feelings won't last forever. I always thought they would. But I found once I got the first week behind me (counting minutes and hours) the air around me started to clear a bit.

  9. Tell me, what is the difference between "white knuckling" it, and what I am doing now? I have worked a long, earnest day. My most difficult day yet.Day 4. I woke up in a pool of sweat every 20 minutes last night. I had freaky dreams of being a sex crazed maniac.

    I am not feeling the attractive part of sobriety today. Why would anyone do this?

  10. Hi Becky,
    When I was detoxing I felt like crap. I also had the night sweats in a horrible way and woke up feeling almost worse than I felt when I was hungover. Tired, achey, cranky. I hung on for dear life. Things started to turn around near the end of the first week or so.

    It was harder because people around me were still drinking so I felt like I had to face the stress of that (one of the reasons I drank) right away too. I saw things I didn't want to see.

    I'm not sure what the official difference between detoxing and white knuckling is, but I know there's no way to sail through the first while. You hang on for dear life, and the glimmer of hope that things will get better.

    Hang on and you won't feel so crappy. I promise. Go to a meeting if you can, or call a supportive friend.

  11. Wise words of advice in this blog post. The first few weeks weren't me. The feelings were horrible at times, white knuckling indeed. I didn't desire a drink literally but I hated the way I felt and wanted to be the old me.

    I focused upon that day, work, eat well, talk about my feelings, read the Big Book, attended meetings. That was all I could do. I had a reprieve from people around me, they were very understanding and I wasn't expected, on an emotional level, to respond as I normally would.

    This got me through the first month and slowly since I have been able to raise my eyes from focusing only on the next few minutes to the hours to the days.

    Talk to someone as everyone has said, create a supportive system and use it.


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