Time to get the tools back out.

Well, I made it to day 2 so there’s my first success on this journey. I have been thinking about some of the tools I used last time I did this, digging out the tool box and replenishing it.

The Blogging Community

This was by far the most useful and valuable tool I had at my disposal. Both posting on my own blog and reading other’s posts was immensely supportive. The interaction between myself and other bloggers who were either sober, trying to achieve sobriety or simply struggling with some of the mental health issues I have experienced was the thing that stopped me drinking and kept me off it. I think it’s no coincidence for me that my decline into drinking again coincided with my withdrawal from word press and the blogging community.

Acts of self care

I have really learnt a lot about self care over recent years. What it means, why it’s important and how it is very personal to each individual. Once I started drinking again my commitment to self care waned. My daily yoga routine is gone. I spend less time planning lovely healthy meals turning to snacks instead. I start to reach for my phone rather than my book or my cross stitch. No more happy evenings with a jigsaw puzzle or taking time to meditate. I am tired and groggy a lot of the time, even when I don’t drink the night before. In that frame of mind, self care goes out of the window. It is vital to ensure you create space for yourself and develop positive habits that structure your day and calm your mind. The bath, with a few candles and soothing music. That was a huge treat for me. Cost of living means baths are a luxury but if I’m not buying alcohol, I can use the money for my bath instead.

Self Compassion

Ooh this is such a lovely idea but so very difficult to cultivate a practice of self compassion. The book by Kristen Neff, titled ‘Self Compassion’ literally changed my life. It had such a positive impact on my mental health and reduced the rumination and anxiety that led to craving alcohol. We are human, we make mistakes and we have to hold those mistakes in a space of kindness for ourselves. Drinking inhibits my ability to be compassionate with myself and when I’m hard on myself I become depressed and want to drink. So the cycle continues.

KRISTEN NEFF
Planning ahead

I found being prepared was essential in achieving sobriety and remaining sober. Having the words ready when I was challenged as to why I’d stopped drinking (and boy was I challenged, a lot!), knowing what I’d drink when I got to a place or an event, taking my own drinks if possible, and planning a ‘get away’ excuse in case I started to struggle. I eventually didn’t need to do this planning as much because I didn’t really have cravings. Reflecting now however, a few months before I fell off the wagon, I did start to think about trying alcohol again in certain situations, and allowed myself to imagine it. So inevitably my resilience began to waver and I was less prepared and focussed. I had an evening out and before I knew it I was just trying ‘one’ . I don’t need to tell anyone here where ‘one’ leads do I?

Sober literature

I relied heavily on reading as much as I could about sobriety, about alcohol and alcohol addiction and about anxiety, depression and addiction. I learnt so much but I believe the real value is in creating a regular habit of dipping into this information, either in books, articles, podcasts, blogs etc. It reaffirms why you are sober and why you choose not to drink. It strengthens resolve and once I stopped accessing this information on a regular basis my resolve weakened quickly. Lots of literature and information to hand is an absolute must for me.

What now?

My tool box needs updating and replenishing. There will be new things to add and old things to rekindle. That’s fine. To start with I know I need to put the following in place:

  • Blog daily and re engage with the blogging community
  • Incorporate acts of self care on a daily basis
  • Practice self compassion regularly
  • Get prepared and plan ahead
  • Rediscover sober literature .. old and new

Hopefully the rest will follow …

Love Claire

Advertisement

20 thoughts on “Time to get the tools back out.”

  1. Great thought out plan! I still from time to time go back to podcasts for a “reminder” how alcohol is bad for me. I think I have to do this since I haven’t completely stopped. When I was lifting weights I got into a lady named Beth Feraco on Tik Tok. Yep, I have a Tik Tok account but I don’t post anything. I just started following a bunch of fitness, alcohol free people and people that make me laugh. When I first got on there I hated it but as I followed people I was interested in, my feed became more of what I wanted. Anyway, she’s almost 50 years old, a certified nutrition/fitness coach and sober 7 years. Her content is more fitness focused and debunking a lot of false information out there but I have learned a lot from her and I think she’s inspiring as she was quite a drinker before she quit. Anyway, I listen to her podcast with another fitness coach, Matt. I love him too. She mentions her sobriety in some of the podcasts. I’ll send the link to ya. I already knew them both from Tik Tok so that may have helped me in liking this podcast so much.
    Anyway, holy rambling! 😂 also-she swears a lot FYI.
    Sober Veg Mama ( don’t know how to tag her ) is back on here too trying to quit! I always love hearing from her!
    Anyway, great plan and we are sure here for ya!! ❤️💪💯%

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I will look them up. I intend to catch up with other’s blogs over the next couple of weeks. I am already getting panicky about events coming up because I hate telling people I don’t drink. But once I do it I’ll be fine I’m sure xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. belle has a bunch of suggestions for what to say to people. I’m sure there’s a podcast or two dedicated to exactly that. You might find some new ideas in there.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s day 3 for me today … I find it tricky on day 3 because the hangover starts to fade and so does the motivation and commitment 😆

        Like

      2. My thoughts exactly
        And many of us will never achieve full sobriety but being aware and acknowledging our challenging relationship with alcohol likely stops us descending into a point of no return. So let’s keep going, even if we are the ‘not quite sober’ crew 😁😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to see you so determined and thinking so logically through what tools and strategies you need.

    You’ve inspired me to engage more with the blogging community. And I’m wondering what self care I can add to my own life.

    I have every confidence that you’ll knock this so sobriety out of the park. You’re doing everything right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the list. I find self-care (and non-self-criticism) to be a fascinatingly subtle and mysterious process. It’s only recently (the past month or two) that I’ve seen a much huger chunk of my self-mental-abuse. (Through insights from the enneagram, which had my type having a certain type of this but which I couldn’t see for a long time but was open to its being correct. Turns out it was.) I don’t have “negative self talk.” They aren’t words. It’s much more inconspicuous than that, for me. I feel like a whole new landscape has opened up and now I can (start to try to) let those mental/emotional attacks slide away.

    Keep writing … and have a great day. Adrian

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yes, yes and yes!! agree with all of this 100%. I am looking forward to reading your continued journey. I still look for sobriety posts on here and it’s been my number one saving grace…Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s