The first 30 days of sobriety felt impossible, hard, and miserable but I’m glad I did. It was tough, but I managed to make it through. Here’s how I did it – and how you can do it too.
The first 30 days after I quit drinking was hard. It felt like I had an open wound. I was very concerned about what other people thought about my decision & also uneasy about what my new alcohol-free life would look like. I did however make it my full-time job. I was lucky enough to have a very supportive husband and some time to devote to devouring every book and podcast out there. I was also in weekly therapy and attending meetings with other alcohol-free moms. It was a lot but having that support made it a lot easier. I thought everyone was lying and that it would get easier at first but slowly I started to believe it which gave me some hope.
When I was struggling with sobriety, getting support early on was essential. Attending meetings not only kept me busy, but it also gave me validation from others that what I was going through was normal. I also received hope from my support group that I would make it. Additionally, my support group kept me accountable because people would reach out to me if they didn’t see me at a meeting.
I really focused on changing my thinking about alcohol. I realized that drinking had no benefits and was only causing me more pain when I started listening to books and podcasts. I believed that I needed a drink intensely. I had to unlearn this because I was using wine to cope with all my emotions. Once I accepted the fact that alcohol was a solution for me for a long time, but it no longer worked and created more pain than good, something flipped in my brain.
I had every type of bubble water possible stocked in my fridge. I also gave myself permission not to worry about my sugar intake. I really focused on not drinking. Other things could wait. I realized that if I made it to 7pm, my cravings would usually pass, so that’s when I’d dig into gummy bears or whatever else as a reward. I did not buy any non-alcoholic beers, wine or anything else in the beginning because I was too worried, they would trigger me to want a drink. This was a good decision for me in the beginning, and I recommend it for anyone just starting out to hold off.
I didn’t leave my house for the first 30 days. This was during the depths of the COVID pandemic, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I was afraid of being around people who were drinking, so I just stayed home and said no to everything. I didn’t want to be around anyone or anything that would remind me of drinking. The dry month of January was a great excuse when something did come up. I started to venture out of the house a little bit more after a couple of weeks. I went to the grocery store and told the cashier that I was sober. I got a confidence boost from the reactions of strangers–everyone was so nice. Saying it out loud was a good way to practice this, I realize now. The most terrifying thing to me was telling friends and family. So much of my energy and thoughts were consumed for the first few months.
It started to get a little easier I was surprised that I could be around people who were drinking but not without a lot of ruminating and planning.
The cravings never really went away, but they did become more manageable. Now at almost two years sober I rarely get a craving to drink. I get the feeling that I want to escape all reality and people with any mind-altering substance, but a drink doesn’t sound good. It really took almost six months to hit a baseline where I started was able to focus on other things besides not drinking.
If you’re thinking about quitting drinking, I would say just go for it. It’s not going to be easy, but it is so worth it. Sobriety is something that you will have to work at every day, but it’s so worth it in the end!