How To Break Up With Friends Who Are Bad For Your Sobriety
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How To Break Up With Friends Who Are Bad For Your Sobriety

Congratulations! You’re newly sober and absolutely killing it. It’s been a few weeks (or months) and you’re finding your sober stride. Things are looking up! You’re working out, you’re taking care of yourself, you’re reveling in this new you that is radiating all over this blue planet of ours andddddd…. you’ve never been so lonely. 

As it turns out, this amazingly sober “you” is having trouble connecting to the people in your life. 

How To Get Others On Board With Your Sobriety
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How To Get Others On Board With Your Sobriety

You’ve finally done it. After months (years?) of going back and forth with yourself about your drinking habits, self-reflecting, devouring recovery memoirs and self-help books, and secretly joining Facebook groups for sober people, you’ve decided to change your life. You’re going to quit drinking. 

Congratulations! You got this, and on those days when you don’t, there is an entire virtual community of folks in the exact same boat who will support you and keep you on track.

But what about the people in your real life? The ones who call you to go to the bar every Saturday or your significant other who owns half the bottles in that liquor cabinet in your living room? Or what about your work boo who likes to bring over a bottle of rosé and dish about all the people you can’t stand at the office? How are you going to tell them that you’re not drinking anymore?

Addiction Replacement, Sugar, and Sobriety (updated 2020)
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Addiction Replacement, Sugar, and Sobriety (updated 2020)

When I got sober in December 2016, I realized that I was consuming way more soda and sugary foods than I had before. I read that it’s normal, that lots of people “switch” to sugar when they stop drinking. Switch?

Clearly, I had taken one thing and replaced it with another. That thing was replacing copious amounts of alcohol (not great) with copious amounts of diet soda (also not great). It was my last remaining vice and I desperately wanted it.

What Most Self-Help Gurus Get Wrong About Big Changes

What Most Self-Help Gurus Get Wrong About Big Changes

Change is hard. Like, real earth-moving, deep down in your bones change is hard. That should seem like an obvious statement, but for me, for years, it really wasn’t. I was being flanked on all sides by industry professionals telling me that change was easy. I just had to genuinely want it. If I devoted all my mental energy to wanting this change, the Universe was going to intervene and say, “I got you, girlfriend!” and all was going to be right. If it wasn’t, it was my fault for not wanting it badly enough.

I once read a book where the author told me us that she was battling alcohol and cocaine addiction, a real party chick, and was wrecking her life. Then one fateful day she woke up and heard a voice say, “if you get clean, you’ll have everything you ever dreamed of” and that was it for her. She got clean that very day and everything (seemingly) was sunshine and rainbows from then on (at least on the not using front).

I don’t know about you, but no such voice ever intervened in my life. No magical switch ever flipped in my brain and made all my pain and struggles go away.

Why Remembering the Good Times is Bad For Your Sobriety

Why Remembering the Good Times is Bad For Your Sobriety

I’ve been doing a lot of opining recently for the days of yore. You know the kind I’m talking about. The days when you would sit outside at a bar or house party after a long week of work, perfect weather, drinking cheap brews, smoking cigarettes, and talking shit before heading out for some food and more imbibing later in the night. When opining, these nights are always perfect. Nobody got too drunk or made an ass of herself. At worst, somebody got a little too gracious buying rounds, but ce la vie. When the night draws to an end, we take our happily buzzed selves home, crawl into bed, and wake up the next morning fully able to function. Perhaps there’s a slight headache, but nothing a cool glass of water can’t fix.

This memory is mostly false, as is the case with all memories. We pick the pieces that seemed good and fill in the blank spots with the fluffy half-truths necessary for a pretty picture. This unicorn of a night may have existed once, but what’s more likely is that somebody took a stumble, or had to throw up in the bar bathroom before heading back out for round seven. It’s more likely that the food run was some high caloric burrito you had no business eating and probably saw again after lying down and getting hit with a mild case of the spins. It’s more likely that somebody got talkative after a few drinks and said something embarrassing about herself or someone else. It’s more likely that a regrettable text message got sent or a number given out to a total stranger you had no intention of seeing again. Or maybe that stranger came home with you. It’s more likely that the next day didn’t start until after lunch and you couldn’t really get going until it was time to hang out again and you had your “get right” drink.

How To Manage Difficult Emotions In Early Sobriety

How To Manage Difficult Emotions In Early Sobriety

There comes a point in sobriety where you have to force yourself to confront difficult emotions without any crutches. These are not easy moments, nor are they completely unfamiliar to you. In fact, these are the same thoughts and memories that would, in another life, drive you to open the bottle and get blasted. But now that you’re sober, there’s a new, naked vulnerability invading your inner world and it’s going to get harder before it gets easier.