Thank you for coming back to read Part Two! As I mentioned in Part One, I’ve been working to curate a comprehensive list of resources for anyone looking for some guidance or inspiration. Whether you’re considering going dry in January or giving booze the boot for good, I hope you’ll find some value in the following collection.
You’ll notice that I did not include a category for books. There are probably hundreds upon hundreds of great books on the topic. However, I’ve only read one so far (Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety by Sasha Z. Scoblic), barely scratching the surface. If I follow through with my 2018 goal to read more (my recurring New Year’s resolution since at least 2010), I’ll happily add some reading recommendations in the future.
Also, I will update each category as I discover new resources. (I also apologize to any of my Instagram friends whom I’ve omitted in error.)
Ivy League Insecurities – Aidan Donnelley Rowley – Author and Creator of Drybe
Momastery – Glennon Doyle – Author and Speaker
Tammi Salas – Tammi Salas – Artist, Writer, and Podcast Host
Laura McKowen – Laura McKowen – Writer, and Co-host of HOME Podcast
Mary Beth LaRue – Mary Beth LaRue – Yoga Teacher, Rock Your Bliss Co-founder, and Writer
Meadow DeVor – Meadow DeVor – Yoga Teacher, Money Coach, and Writer
Gabby Bernstein – Author, Speaker, and Spirit Junkie
Nicole Antoinette – Nicole Antoinette – Podcast Host and Writer
This category contains a variety of websites that include blogs, courses, rehabilitation options, support, etc. Some of these sites allow you to sign up for a newsletter or be added to an email list if you choose.
A Girl and a Tonic
The Sober School
One Rep at a Time
One Year No Beer
Instagram Accounts for sober CrossFit chicks – if buff, booze-free babes are your jam (because they’re mine!).
Curious Elixirs – Booze-Free Craft Cocktails (I haven’t tried these yet but love what they’re doing and they have recipes you can make at home!)
G.T.’s Kombucha – My favorite brand, overall, and easy to find in most grocery stores.
La Croix – Flavored sparkling water with a cult following and available everywhere.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides – The single product that I believe has made the biggest impact on my wellbeing this year! (I drink it in my coffee and add it to smoothies and elixirs.)
I have compiled a list of the things that I’ve done over the past 350 days that helped me in the preparation of – and throughout – the journey thus far.
- Make a list of your “why’s” and keep it handy so you can reread it frequently. Why is this important to you? What do you hope to gain by going dry?
- Set a date. If you’re going to go dry in January but starting after the first, that’s okay. Just designate the 31 days following whatever date you select.
- Clean out any remaining alcohol stock you have on hand. If it’s something special that you want to save, consider having someone store it for you. Drink what you must but give away the rest or pour it down the sink.
- Have non-alcoholic beverages on hand. Lots of ’em. If you are partial to your evening drink rituals, you’ll need something to replace the sensation of holding a drink. But make it special. I always have La Croix and kombucha on hand. Sometimes I’ll swap in a good ginger beer or make a crafty mocktail. I’m not afraid to use a wine or cocktail glass either. However, that is going to be different for everyone.
- Find distractions. Take up a new hobby or revisit one that you’ve put on the backburner. Set a new goal. Sign up for a 5k. Renew your gym membership. Take a painting class. Join a book club. Whatever floats your boat.
- Plan to reward yourself. If you’re doing a shorter period, say a month, plan a nice reward after you complete your goal. A massage, tickets to a sporting event, a new pair of pants from Lulu, etc. Something big and as extravagant as your budget will allow. For those going longer, consider a small reward every 25 days or at the completion of each month. This was the strategy I used. Every 25 days, I would treat myself to a small reward with an average of $20-$25 (a book, a houseplant, crystals – yes, I’m that girl – to name a few ideas).
- Connect with the sober community. I’ve given you plenty of rad people to be inspired by.
- Ask for support from your closest friends or loved ones. As I mentioned in part one, I went at this alone in the beginning and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a very strong sense of resolve. Invite your spouse, partner or best friend to join you and encourage each other.
- Create a toolbox. I have two. One is actually a small pouch that I carry with me most of the time. In it, I have Liquid Bliss, Rescue Remedy (oops, need to restock) and some other Bach flower essence, a couple sachets of tea, mala beads, a piece of amethyst and other gemstones, a stone with the word freedom carved into it, essential oil, a stick of palo santo, and arnica. The other is a list of things I can do instead of drink. It includes:
- Make tea, a mocktail, matcha, or an elixir
- Go get a latte
- Drink some kombucha
- Make a smoothie
- Do some yoga poses or stretch
- Meditate or practice pranayama (breathing exercises)
- Light some candles, incense, palo santo, or sage (smudge)
- Listen to a podcast
- Bake or cook something nutritious
- Buy some flowers
- Take a bath
- Put on a face mask
- Watch a movie
- Go for a walk or workout
The contents of my “toolbox”.
A Couple of Additional Suggestions
I also carry a reminder to myself to own my decision. It is not a sad consequence but rather a proud choice. It is a very powerful and totally badass act of profound self-love. Additionally, I printed out a small calendar to track my days. There are a number of apps out there that you can download onto your phone to keep track of how many days you’ve refrained from drinking but I prefer to write it down each day. It allows me to recommit to my choice daily and express gratitude for another day feeling clear and completely awake.
Regardless of whether you’re going dry in January or have elected to go for the long haul, take it one day at a time. When you wake up each morning, remind yourself why you don’t want to drink and tell yourself that you are going to choose to not drink that day.
There are so many tools out there that are readily available. Don’t be afraid to do some exploration. Go as deep as you’re comfortable; you will likely find that there is a vast spiritual component to sobriety. While I’ve been doing some digging on and off, because it is something that I crave in my life, I will be doing more of that work in the future. But like I said, do what is comfortable for you.
Remember, these are the things that worked for me. From what I’ve offered here and whatever else you find as you begin your journey, you can piece together your own protocols.
If you have any tips or helpful suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. The same is true if you need some support or have questions. You are not alone in any of this – by a longshot – so if you feel compelled, feel free to reach out! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!