We know how hard it is to quit drinking; trust us.
We will be teaching you how to know when you should stop drinking, what to expect in the first year of sobriety, and we will identify some common fears that people associate with retiring from alcohol.
People often ask themselves, and us, if their problem is big enough that they need to quit drinking altogether, so we have put together a list of ways to know when your drinking has become too much.
If you find yourself establishing rules to limit your drinking and you end up breaking them anyway, like both of us have done, that could be a sign you need to stop. An example of this would be saying you will only drink wine but after two days finding your way back to other types of alcohol. If drinking prohibits you from upholding relationships and interferes with your work, you should consider quitting as well. When alcohol causes strong relationships to fall apart, you may find yourself feeling isolated and, as a result, can end up increasing your alcohol intake even further.
If you wake up after a night of drinking and instantly regret it, that should be a signal for you to reconsider your drinking habits. When deciding to drink on a given night, decide if the temporary pleasure is worth the regrets and the hangover that will follow in the morning. Along with these regrets, you may envision yourself in the future where you are sober. If you often have these fantasies in which you see yourself happy and healthy after quitting drinking, you should go after that future and achieve the recovery you have dreamed of.
If some of these signals apply to you, it is ok. We do not mean to make you feel bad about yourself, but we are trying to help you identify different aspects of your life and how they are being affected by alcohol.
The first year of sobriety is always the toughest part of the recovery process, so we have compiled a few tips about what to expect during that period.
We believe that the first 90 days is the biggest turning point, and you will begin to see huge changes in your mindset and how you feel physically. Your questions about drinking will start to change from “When is the next time I get to drink?” to “Why was I drinking in the first place?”. You will see improvements in your skin, sleeping habits, hydration, happiness and you will cut out the painful headaches and nausea that come with alcohol.
You will also be able to realize how much time and energy you put towards drinking and you will put that energy towards other things. You can find new hobbies to keep your mind busy, and you may see an enhancement in your relationships and career as well. Make sure to journal how you feel throughout this time because when you reach a certain point in your sobriety, it will be essential for you to look back on how hard the process was at certain points and clearly see the original reason you made your transformation.
Some of the biggest reasons that people avoid getting sober are the fears that they associate with it. We have laid out some fears that hold us back from quitting alcohol and provided some advice on overcoming them.
One thing that we always asked ourselves was “will I ever have fun again?”. Once you quit drinking, you will realize that everything you do with friends and family will become more fun, and you will be able to remember all of it. For more information about this, check out our podcast about the social dynamics of sobriety.
People are often afraid that they will lose friends when they get sober, and to be completely honest, you will. However, you will gain so many more friends by getting involved in the sober community and relating through your shared experience. If you have friends who would not support you in your goals of getting healthy and living the life you want to live, they may not be good friends anyway. We both found ourselves drinking to tolerate people, so if you have someone in your life who you cannot handle being around without alcohol, you may need to decrease their involvement in your life because their presence is promoting an unhealthy habit of yours.
Sometimes the process will be day by day but know that each day you wake up sober, you will become increasingly proud of your accomplishment. If you end up deciding to get sober, try to envision your sober self and list the amazing possibilities that will be waiting for you in the future.
You will realize the incredible life that drinking has held you back from, and you will be able to clearly see the reasons that you drank in the first place. Write a detailed letter to yourself about your vision for your sober self so you can identify the reasons that you want to stop drinking. Again, it is okay if what we have discussed applies to you. Our goal is to help you make the decision about whether or not you need to get sober and guide you along your journey to recovery.