Cutting out alcohol is not an easy task for anyone. If you’re embarking on that brave journey, you should be proud of yourself. We’re proud of you too.
Many sober folks will tell you that the first 30 days are tough, and they aren’t lying! The best thing you can do is to go in prepared. Everyone has a different experience, but feeling ready for it will only help you.
Below are a few things we suggest focusing on in your first 30 days!
CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY.
It’s important to have a safe space where you can share your ups and downs without fear of judgment. A community doesn’t need to be 30 people, it could just as easily be 3. The point is to surround yourself with people who understand your specific struggles. You’ll have to do a lot less explaining to them versus someone who doesn’t have experience with addiction.
You can find meetings devoted to alcohol recovery in-person or online. There is also a very large presence of sober people on social media - many of whom are always open to chat!
STAY AWAY FROM THE WATERING HOLE.
Wherever it was that you used to drink - don’t go there. If it’s a bar, take a vacation from that spot while you’re in the early phase of sobriety. If you used to drink at a friend’s house and people still drink there, don’t go there. We promise it’s really that simple. Remember, it doesn’t have to be forever. You’ll know when you’re ready to venture out again if you choose to do so. Take time for yourself.
JOURNAL YOUR PROGRESS.
If you’re someone who thinks a lot at night, try journaling your thoughts. Put all of your frustration in a notebook, close it, and imagine it’s left your body to sit on the nightstand for the night.
FIGHT TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.
Forgiving yourself for the past is absolutely one of the toughest steps in sobriety. You may not accomplish this in 30 days either. But, here’s the thing - forgiving yourself takes time. In those first 30 days, allow yourself to begin thinking about forgiveness. Start thinking about what it’ll take to earn forgiveness from yourself.
TRY NOT TO THINK ABOUT FOREVER.
Just focus on what’s in front of you right now - 30 days. Thinking about forever can be very overwhelming, and there’s no need to think about it when you’re just starting. Take things one day at a time!
DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF TOO HARSHLY.
This process can bring out plenty of emotions. You’re bound to feel thrilled on some days and full of anger or stress on other days. That is perfectly normal. Getting sober is a massive lifestyle change. If you need to cancel plans or stay in bed all day just to stay sober and sane - then do it.
Better days are coming, but you’ve got to get through the first 30. Don’t judge yourself for feeling a whirlwind of emotions! It’s okay to be afraid or sad. You’re essentially mourning your old life and starting a new one. Remember, nothing worth having is easy.
This post was written by Nicole Nettell. Nicole is a sobriety advocate and the writer behind Everseeking Copy. To work with her, visit nicolewritesit.com.