I feel like no one really reads what ever I write before the actual tips, BUT if you are just know that these were and continue to be the tools I use to help me stay on track with my Sober Curious goals!
1. Take all substances/substance related paraphernalia out of your living/working space
Now this may seem like an obvious one to start with, but you'd be surprised how many people try to justify keeping alcohol. Everything from what if they have company to this was very expensive it would be a shame to waste it. Whatever your reasoning for wanting to keep your fancy bottle openers or your favourite coozie. Just know this step will save you LOADS of trouble.
Out of sight out of mind.
2. Unfollow any social media accounts that remind you of partying
I know you'd like to think you have enough self control to not be triggered by your fav dj or festival account. But let me tell you, the brain does some crazy things and if you aren't careful you could find yourself dissecting your house for your "emergency" cigarettes.
3. Don't go to places that make you feel triggered
I don't know why but for some reason almost everyone I know (including myself) had a hard time not drinking because we kept going back to the places we used to drink. For some reason I truly believed I could just carry on in life, doing exactly what I had been doing and just not drink. Lol. If only I could warn past Kaitie how absolutely wrong she was.
4. Listen to your body
Okay I can't stress this one enough! To keep it simple, if at ANY point when you're out and about and that little voice in your head starts telling you that "just one shot is okay". VACATE THE PREMISES. I'm serious. No good-byes, no-more I love you's (this joke aged me) you just leave before you cave and all hell breaks loose. If your friends get upset at you for bailing to protect your sobriety and general well-being. I'm sorry, those just aren't your friends.
5. Make sure you're journaling
Yes this can sound a bit cheesy if this isn't something you're used to, but a journal can act as a really great pocket therapist. Which is great when dealing with change, new/enhanced emotions and irritability. You're going to be feeling A LOT without any substance to hide behind. Just remember to breathe and feel through it. The only way for it to go away is if you work through it!
6. Bring alcohol-free drinks where ever you go
This tip is awesome because it gives you a chance to be creative. Alcohol-free drinks are becoming more and more popular and once the word gets out about how amazing your life can feel without alcohol. Everyone will want to get involved anyways.
* Insert ad about checking our website for high-end alcohol-free products ;) *
7. Tell your friends and ask for moral support
Now I know this can't be done by everyone. Not only because your party friends aren't going to pay attention but also because no body else wants to see a mirror of themselves in you. It sucks I don't want to smooth it over, you're going to lose friends. BUT surprise surprise, you're going to make some pretty rad new ones.
8. Invite your friends to alcohol-free hangouts
Lol. Okay for me personally this didn't go over so well. I went from casually staying up until 5am to casually waking up at 5am. Can't really be calling my friends who have been up all night to do daytime stuff. BUT I find dinner is usually a great time to catch everyone. Its usually before everyone is going out and usuallllyyyyyy before the heavy heavy partying starts. Usually.
9. Find your own type of support system
I wish I could have told myself this tip when I was at the beginning of my journey. Don't put expectations on how your friends are going to help you. Maybe you'll be super lucky and you'll get a lot of immediate support, but chances are your current association may not know how to act around you now that you're not drinking.
You can find support by hotlines, podcasts, meetings, workshops you name it! Or if you can't find something you like, be like me and CREATE your own way to cope with things. Yes thats correct if this foster child, party freak gone wild can start a business that helps people out of addiction, so can you.
10. Pick up a new hobby
YAY! You've done it, you've gotten to a place where you have space to breathe in your sobriety. Things may not be perfect (hell they may never be) but for now your new free time no longer has to be filled with pacing or biting your nails. Instead it can be filled with workshops, reading, sports, cooking, vacations anything you can think of.
This is the part where you remember who you are.
Thanks again for tuning in and remember check back every Thursday for new entries!