What Routines Did You Change in Early Sobriety?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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What Routines Did You Change in Early Sobriety?

Postby littlemiss » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:49 pm

What sort of things did you need to change in early sobriety? What practical things helped you (aside of A.A. meetings & sponsors & phone calls & not drinking...) Did you start taking walks when you normally would've drank? Exercise? Take tea in the bath instead of drink or ate snacks instead of beer while you watched the Superbowl...
? OR nothing at all...
did you just sit still with the spaciousness?

And how did you handle holidays--the firsts--did you tell your family/co-workers?

Thanks...I so appreciate all of your comments on this board...
Ann Marie

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Postby anniemac » Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:59 pm

Hi Ann Marie ~

All great questions!! One of the most important things I did for myself in early sobriety was to exercise every morning. That started my day on a positive note and got my feel-good chemicals flowing.

My sponsor was big on "move a muscle, change a thought", so keeping active throughout the day was helpful. If I started to get bored and antsy, and thinking about a drink, I would clean. Now mind you, I'm not a big fan of domestic chores, but burning off energy scrubbing the bathroom floor was helpful.

I also changed routines -- instead of coming home from working and walking right in to the kitchen, I'd go right upstairs and change my clothes. Just small changes in routine like that helped to redirect my thinking.

As it says in the Living Sober book, if I ate something rich and sweet, it knocked out the craving right away. Still struggling with an ice cream addiction :oops: but it's much healthier than the path I was on while drinking.

For me, to shake things up and "do the opposite" was good. Nothing changes if nothing changes!

I did tell close friends -- I really had no family to tell outside of my husband and daughter, and yes, they knew. I don't have experience with big family gatherings to share with you, but I'm sure others do.

Around the holidays, though, I made sure I went to extra meetings, it was and still is very important for me to stay connected during times where my emotions can get the better of me.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:28 pm

1. I went to bed sober.
2. I woke up sober.
3. I went through the day sober.
4. I reminded myself that alcohol was a poison for me. I have an allergy.
5. When others offered me a drink -- I let them know I had developed an allergy to alcohol.

:lol: :lol:

When I did that -- all my routines changed.


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Postby carol1017 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:45 pm

What sort of things did you need to change in early sobriety?

The short answer is EVERYTHING!!!

My sponsor told me to put my cigarettes under my bed so I would have to get on my knees to find them first thing in the morning -- and oh, as long as I was down there, pray to stay sober that day. Since I had to get on my knees at night to put the cigarettes back under the bed, I said "Thank you for keeping me sober today" .Then it was lots of little things like making the bed when I usually didn't, and as annie said, cleaning when I started getting antsy. I'm no domestic goddess either, but my house was awfully clean in early sobriety ! :lol: And annie's right about the ice cream too -- ice cream, chocolate, actually anything sweet would help with the cravings.

My husband knew, and I told a few members of my extended family. My husband has been my greatest support outside of AA. I remember the first time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner sober -- I actually ate, instead of concentrating on the wine! And again, any time I got antsy or anxious, I cleaned, or went to a meeting.

The other thing that really saved my butt several times was making sure I had another way home in case I was around people who were drinking and I started to get uncomfortable. With all the parties during the holidays, I was anxious about being around alcohol. Either my husband and I would take two cars, or I would leave and someone else would drive him home.

Hope this helps!

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Postby littlemiss » Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:50 pm

Oh, the cleaning thing is really funny, Ladies....cuz *I* clean like crazy when I'm really mad about something--espec. mad at my husband...(unfortuantely? I'm not REALLY mad that often...perhaps that explains my messy house... :lol:

But about the sugar for craving thing in sobriety...I've read that eating sugar stimulates the craving for sugar in alcohol...& it's good to try & stay away from sweets...cuz we know that the more sugar one eats, the more one craves it...Hmmm...Now, obviously, sweets are better than drinking alcohol...

OK, am off to an A.A. meeting tonight :D ...suppoosed to be ? & answer and a good one! I wasn't able to go on Sat. as I'd planned. I've also been making phone calls & people have been calling ME...YAY!

And I had the opportunity to explain the 12 Steps more to my husband yesterday (even though we got into a huge argument later...)...& I told him I'm going to be going to other 12 Step meetings...cuz I can learn/grow from all of them..& God Knows I qualify for most of them...the A-Non ones, anyway!

So, he didn't ASK me which one/kind I'm going to tonight :wink: ...and I PLAN on going to another women's A.A. tomorrow night & telling him so...

I swear I'm feeling stronger & wanting this for more myself EVERY day...

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Postby carol1017 » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:52 pm

I found this at bellaonline:

Why is there such a craving for sweets when you stop drinking?

Alcohol has a high sugar content and when consumed in the amounts an alcoholic consumes our body goes through as much sugar withdrawals as alcohol. It is very common to develop a higher sweet tooth when first getting sober, even if you never had one to begin with. As with our obsession to drink, our body becomes balanced again and the sugar cravings will eventually even out.


In my experience, having hard candy or chocolate available for when cravings hit was a godsend. I have also heard oldtimers talking about giving a newcomer honey and orange juice to help alleviate cravings.

I'm sure nutritionists and health care professionals can provide better advice for a balanced, healthy alternative -- for me, I just made chocolate a food group, and it worked! :lol:

garden variety
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Postby garden variety » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:33 pm

Hi Ann Marie,

Everything everone has posted is really on the money. Especially what Annie said about doing those little changes in routines - its not so much the change (itself) in routine, but its developing the habit and awareness of learning how to redirect yourself. It's a habit that really helps me all the time - it also helps to shake off the "funk" that sometimes comes from a disapointment. That was a great suggestion Annie - and you made it real simple to understand.

Now about the sweets - yup that's a thing that happens and it's somehow related to the pancreas and blood sugar. For most "normal" folks, eating the junk and sweets that alcoholics eat in earlier recovery is plain scary to them. But it does help with the physical craving early on - but if you work the steps, that is the bigger thing because you will find that it removes the "compulsion" to drink which is different than the cravings. I still eat a lot of sweets, but like the others have said, that has gotten less the longer I'm sober. It was terrible when I developed an allergy to chocolate - but that happened in sobriety. Now I can't even touch the stuff without getting a severe migraine. God gave angels wings, but He gave humans cholcolate. Of all the things I "miss" sucking up, chocolate is the one I miss most - in fact it's the only thing I "miss".

A couple years back, my team went to the Super Bowl (Big Steelers fan). We had an AA super bowl party at a buddy's house - lots of food. Likewise on the holidays, I still eat a bunch. But you might find that more folks are social drinkers than insane drunks and its easy enough to still be sociable. What's good now is I don't say and do near as much stupid things. Like Carol said, always have a way out if you're at family gatherings where folks drink. Literally an escape plan. Also it helps to let others know that for health reasons you can no longer drink alcohol. Then they don't think you're a "party pooper" and they usually respect that.

A friend of mine who is our group secretary has 38 years of sobriety. When he first stopped drinking, one of his thoughts was "What will I do at my daughters wedding?" Well he never ended up having a daughter so we have these rediculous ways of rationalizing why we should keep on killing ourselves with liquor. Don't worry about the holidays girl - worry about today!

God bless

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Postby carol1017 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:39 pm


You have my deepest sympathy -- an allergy to chocolate????? HORRORS!!


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Postby littlemiss » Thu Oct 18, 2007 5:46 pm

I bought that Living Sober book today...& went to another women's A.A. meeting today...so far I've been to 5...I'm on the phone lists...I'm talking to women...I'll be out of town w/ my husband on vacation this weekend...& I'm going to tell him then...although we've had lots of conversations about addiction in general lately...I think he knows something is up...lol!

He's going to think it's a good thing for me...to go to A.A. & to quit drinking...so I know he'll be supportive...& I need the accountability...but I'm doing it for ME.

See Y'all on Tuesday...

amy m
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:19 am

what to do?

Postby amy m » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:46 am

I was told to find consistancy and discipline. I did not use those atributes in my drinking days. The posts list some of the things suggested to me, and I was told to make my bed, take a shower, get dressed in real clothes and act as if. When I quit complaining about having to do the daily grind, I was told I was getting better.

Stick with the winners.


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