4 Tips for Staying Sober

Originally posted to Twitter here.

3 months ago I made the decision to stay sober from the 21st Feb to the 21st July. If I pull this off, this will be the longest I have gone without a drink in over 12 years. I'm motivated by a lot of things (physical health, mental health), but mostly by being sick of waking up and feeling sorry for myself.

I'm halfway through my challenge and while it's been life-changing, it's not been as easy as I'd like it to be. These are a few things that have helped me so far:

1. When you make the decision, message everyone you see often socially to tell them.

Do it when you've made up your mind; don't wait until you see them next. I was really embarrassed when I did this but all I received was a cascade of support. This saves you from having to awkwardly explain yourself when you see them next - and it reduces your chances of thinking 'fuck it' in the moment.

2. Find an alcohol-free beer you like and buy a lot of it; holding a can of alcohol-free beer feels exactly the same as holding a can of beer.

The important part of this tip is that it's alcohol-free beer. Holding a can of soda doesn't remotely feel the same - at best, I feel really awkward and at worse, infantilized.

3. Set yourself a short timeline that you can picture.

'I won't drink for 90 days' is much easier to think about when compared to 'I won't ever drink again'. At the end of the 90 days you are free to decide whether or not you'd like to continue the challenge.

4. Don't compare your drinking habits to other people's drinking habits.

Most people can have one or two drinks and decide to stop. I used to think 'if they can do it, why can't I?' - but whatever the reason (psychological, biological) I can't always do that, and that's okay. I just need to learn to work around it.

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