Breadcrumbs

You've Made It To Two Days Sober. Congratulations! Now What?

Getting past the first two days is a significant accomplishment. People who haven't experienced addiction may scoff if you mention how (rightly) proud you are of your achievement but they don't know how hard you have struggled just to get this far.

I lost count of the times I failed to make it past the second or third day before caving in and drinking again. It's a significant achievement so don't let anyone belittle you. Better still don't even mention it to anyone. It's a lot easier to plough your furrow and stay sober than it is to heap pressure on yourself by telling everyone within earshot how long you've gone without a drink. Especially at this early stage.

 The task now is to stay on track. Drinking and going back to a day one is so much more than just another drinking session.

You'll probably be feeling tired. The delight of waking up sober soon fades. The alcoholic voice perks up first thing in the morning:

“So you didn't drink last night huh?”

In the early days of sobriety, it is draining to have your brain continually reminding you that you haven't had your fix. From when you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed your Alcoholic Voice will take every opportunity to chirp up and have its say. Bedtime can come as a merciful relief.

It's an adage that you should take it one day at a time and concentrate on not drinking today. For thinking about not drinking forever can seem so overwhelming. “I will not drink today” is the mantra you need to adopt.

My own experience was that because I had tried and failed so many times to stop drinking it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. My AV would start to snicker at me and tell me that as I had never managed to stop drinking in five years of trying why would this time be any different?

Then it would needle me with “you may as well have a drink today because you know you are going to give in one day anyway. Why torture yourself?”

Don't Press The Reset Button On Your Recovery

Drinking again starts the whole process over. Unless you stop, you'll never weaken the voice inside your head that insists on having more alcohol. The only way to stop drinking is to stop drinking.

At this point, you can't see any benefits from not drinking. The mental dialogue going on in your head can be unbearable, and it only takes friends to invite you out or a cold beer in the fridge to tempt you back to the dark side.

Get rid of all the alcohol in your house. If you are a problem drinker, then you probably won't have much to get rid of. Just what's left from your last bender probably. Only people who don't have a problem with drink have large quantities of booze in the house because they don't drink it all!

Make sure you get a big meal inside you around 4-5PM. It will stave off any sugar cravings that will transfer to a craving for alcohol if they go unchecked.

Stay away from pubs, clubs, and restaurants for the first month. The temptation is too high if it is put in your way. If you have weddings to attend or other functions then don't duck out, this is about making your life better, not making it a misery by avoiding all social contact!

Instead, take the car and make an excuse that you are driving. These days I love being able to go and pick up my son from his mates house at 11 PM or later, especially in the summer when the weather is nice. One of the greatest things sobriety has given me is not having to worry anymore about being the family taxi. It's a pleasure to be able to ferry people around, where once it was a chore that used to give me feelings of anger.

When you get to thirty days, you can decide on whether you want to be involved with those pub trips or restaurant meals that are an excuse for a boozy time of it. By then you'll not be out of the woods altogether but the internal drinking dialogue that rages inside your mind today will have quelled so that you can manage it.

Every day that you stay sober is a step further away from the madness of drinking. Your future self will thank you for not drinking today in more ways than you can ever imagine. You have to believe that the future is a lot brighter. How can it not be? Why go back to another hangover and another day one?

The only way to stop drinking is to stop drinking. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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