Day 88: Sobriety, phase two


I feel like I know a fair amount about how to get through the earliest phase of sobriety.

1. Have a replacement drink and/or replacement activity for wine-o-clock.

2. Be kind to yourself. Eat sweets. Sleep more.

3. Avoid alcohol and alcohol-related situations.

4. Seek support from other sober people.

5. Let your body and brain begin to heal.

And so on. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I think of this phase as the hibernation period.

But then what? You can’t hide out forever, and you hopefully don’t want to. And, I’m starting to realize, there’s important work to be done. In the next phase. When you feel ready. No rush.

Some call this next phase of sobriety the “navel-gazing” period because you’re thinking a lot about how you ended up in this place and where to go next. How to build a new alcohol-free life. True. But I also think it’s important for there to be action, not just thinking, especially for me. Because thinking rather than acting is my default setting. Perhaps related to that whole law of motion thing.

So here it is: I think I’m getting to the point where I need to do the things I used to do with wine, do them without wine, and work out my new normal.

And I need to realize that I won’t get it exactly right the first time. And then try again. And keep trying until I figure it out.

Case in point. Last night we went out to dinner. We went to the steak place I’ve been avoiding because of the whole red wine red meat thing. And it was great. The food was great. The service was great. And there was dessert. Before the food came, I had an O’Doul’s with a lime. It tasted good and I felt like a grown-up. Also great. Then I tried having a second during the meal. Terrible. I felt like I was drinking a loaf of bread with my steak. I didn’t finish it.

So next time the second drink needs to be something lighter. Got it.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (But don’t drink.)



p.s. Advice for phase two, welcome and appreciated.

8 thoughts on “Day 88: Sobriety, phase two

  1. It sounds like you are doing it the right way. Try, evaluate, figure out what works and what doesn’t.
    Be willing to say goodbye and leave if you feel like it.
    Plan less than you could.

    I think the secret of the next phase is make your life enjoyable. Which might look very different than it used to. And that’s ok.

    I love your posts. You have a nice clear insight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness, I have written about this a few times myself! You are not alone! I find that I enjoy some sparkling cider or sparkling white grape juice or an O’Doul’s, but after one of them, I need to switch to plain seltzer and lime. The drinks are just too filling. So we end up consuming fewer calories! Our bodies are not pushing us to keep drinking high calorie drinks, the way it can happen when we are drinking alcoholic drinks. Not to mention that the alcoholic drinks actually dry our bodies out and increase our appetites. Yes, you are fine tuning things and doing really well at it! Love this blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Definitely I am deeply into navel gazing now and so so much to ponder. You put that very well. I have never before set out to be permanently sober, just to stop drinking for a bit (or to cut back, drink at weekends blah blah all that stuff that doesn’t work if you don’t have an off-switch).
    I’m definitely avoiding situations with old friends, who are all very much associated with drinking in my mind. I can see a time of getting back together but it’s also quite easy to stay away because we moved to another state a couple of years ago and have to catch a plane if we want to see them anyway.
    So I suppose my ‘different’ would be more like introducing myself to new people in social situations and being seen as a non-drinker from the start, rather than the lush that fresh acquaintances might start edging away from by the end of the night! (I started typing that sentence as a bit of a joke but realised part way through that there are definitely times that would have been true in the past… so so much to ponder).
    Thank you for sharing this prompt. I do love to read ahead, so to speak, and visualise myself at 45, or 87, or 213, or 1000 days sober, thanks to the generosity of other bloggers and authors.
    Bec x


  4. I have been avoiding NA beer because it seems too close to the real thing for me. At the local my wife orders a flight of beer or a pint of porter or stout or whatever she’s in the mood for. My choice is a pint of their Northwoods root beer (draught) in a pint glass with very, very little ice and no straw! And I am OK with that.
    And water of course since I always drank water when I was boozing.
    So yes, keep trying different things and you will discover there are many options available. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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