I have started getting a lot of emails (AND I LOVE IT!) from people wondering where to start or are at the beginning of sobriety. First, I have to say, if you are reading this and you are just starting: you are loved and you are held and you are NOT alone. This is hard, but it won’t be Day 7 hard forever. I promise, you are not the only in your circle dying to make a change, but you are the brave one, and that means you are already a bad-ass. We are in this together you and me and a million other fighters. Second, I have to say, this is what has worked for me. My path might not be your path, the voices that speak to you might be different than the voices that pull me through. It’s okay. The most important thing for you to do is to start on your path, you will learn what works and what doesn’t work.
The first thing I tell everyone is read this book:
The Naked Mind is perfect for starting out because it gets into the conditioning and science of alcohol but it isn’t so heavy that you feel like it is one more thing you can’t do. I learned a ton and it really shifted my perception of the role of alcohol in our society. My kids will be reading in high school!
If you have read parts of my blog you have probably heard me talk about Holly Glenn Whitaker the founder of Hip Sobriety School. This school literally (actually literally) changed my life. In a society that sees those of us that choose not to drink as a broken or labeled, Hip Sobriety presents a much more appealing narrative of FREEDOM from a drug most of our society is addicted to on some level. There is no shame. I love all her posts but these are a couple that pushed me to make a change the first time I clicked on Hip Sobriety:
I will say, Hip Sobriety is open to men and women but from my experience, it is about 99% women in the groups, coaching calls, etc.
One Year No Beer was founded by two men and is a great option of the vibe of HSS isn’t for you! They also have several different options but do have a free 30 day starter that sends you daily emails and offers support.
Annie Grace, the author of The Naked Mind, also has a podcast called The Naked Mind. I LOVE the reader question episodes because they are about 10-15 mins long and you can easily search them on the podcast app to find a question that you find relative to your journey. A couple I loved at the beginning:
Episode 8: Is Moderation Possible?
Episode 16: Should We Stop Using the Word Alcoholic?
Annie Grace also does free workshops, 30-day challenges and has coaching options.
There are a million other resources out there and thousands of voices to follow, these are just my favorites that are doable in these beginning days. Right now, you don’t have to read every book, you don’t have to have all the answers, you don’t have to know what you are even doing. Your main job right now is to take care of yourself. Your kids will survive without a home cooked meal, look around and decide what can be cut out right now. This is not the time to do it all and push through to prove you can still do it all and be the life of party without booze. This might be a time to hibernate and let your body and mind heal. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or your story right now. Settle in and re-learn what life can be!