I have heaps of different types of sober days. Some are good and some are not so good – but all of them are better than the hung-over alternative.
My days range from:
- I don’t think about drinking and don’t feel like it
- I am too busy to think about it
- I have strong temptations and really struggle until it passes
- I was close to giving in – but couldn’t because I drove to the event
But my favourite type of day is when the thought of drinking crosses my mind but it’s not overwhelming or uncomfortable. I’m just able to internally say “thanks but no thanks” and I remind myself about my medium term goals.
Clear and practical goals are really useful for me in the early months of not drinking. I like physical activity goals which usually involve training for a future event. I find that they help me because:
- They give me a preferred alternative to drinking
- They keep me physically busy in the evening when I’m most likely to be tempted
- They keep my mind busy and focused on something else
- The physical activity helps burn up some of the anxiety which happens in early sobriety and helps me sleep better
- The activity is energising and I feel alive and cheery (which contrasts well compared to feeling hung-over, moody and sluggish)
Last week I typed up a 10 week training program and printed it out. Then 2 days later I was having some slight temptations so I looked at my program and thought “I’d rather focus on this”. The temptation passed within a couple of minutes. It was empowering (I hate that word) to make an active decision and not struggle with it for an hour. I felt like I was in the driver’s seat rather than my drinking.