More than 14 million Americans struggle with alcoholism. For many, this addiction causes pain, anger and frustration. But while overcoming addiction is often a long and bumpy road, it is possible.
With one in 13 Americans struggling with alcoholism, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Additionally, there are many proven steps you can take to reach your goal of sobriety. Whatever your journey, here are some sobriety tips to help you along the way.
Make sobriety your number one priority
Whether it’s a summer wedding, big Super Bowl party or upcoming boating trip, we all have events where it may feel weird to not have the usual cocktail. But instead of focusing on what the toast will be like at that wedding that is three months away, focus on the present moment. Taking things one day at a time will help keep you from becoming overwhelmed and allow you to celebrate mini-successes along the way.
If possible, it’s also recommended to avoid taking on other big changes for a while. Overcoming alcoholism takes your full dedication and discipline.
Attend meetings and support groups
It’s no wonder that many who have had successful journeys to sobriety have used 12-step programs. However, 12-step programs work best with commitment. When you’re first starting out, make it your goal to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. While this may sound daunting, you’ll be amazed at how much time you have on your hands without drinking.
Try to attend a variety of meetings at different times and places, so you can find the ones that are most effective for you. When possible, aim to arrive early and stay late so you have the opportunity to shake hands and meet other attendees. If it feels uncomfortable, remember that these people have been in your shoes and most are eager and excited to help.
Start building a life you love
Rather than focusing on what you can’t do that involves drinking, think about all of the fun things you can add into your day. Whether it’s enjoying time in the park with your kids, picking up a new fitness routine or joining a bowling league, there is something for everyone. For most people, it’s easier to avoid bars. But if you must attend an event at a bar, we recommend bringing a sober friend.
Here is a quick checklist of tips for staying sober:
- Do I have a mentor or sponsor?
- Do my friends and family know about my goals to overcome alcoholism and stay sober?
- Have I scheduled a meeting or support group to attend today?
- Am I celebrating the small victories I am accomplishing?
- Do I have a strategy for what I’ll do when I am presented with situations where drinking is involved?
During this time of self-care, we also recommend adopting a healthier diet, active lifestyle and strong sleep patterns. When you’re feeling your best, you may be less likely to crave an unhealthy habit.
We wish you all the best in overcoming or helping your loved one overcome an addiction. While the road isn’t always easy, it is worth it. To find a meeting near you today, visit the Alcoholics Anonymous website.