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Replacement Behaviours – Ten Things That Helped Me Kick Booze

tea and oil diffuser

These are a few of my favourite things….

 

 

When the idea to quit drinking started sprouting in my pickled brain, I kept thinking What else IS there? What did I even DO every night before I became a daily drinker? What will I ever look forward to if I can’t drink? How will I relax, celebrate, or pass the time?

I understood that one purpose of recovery meetings is to fill the time previously spent drinking with other activity so, borrowing that concept, when I took the plunge into sobriety I knew I had to shake up my routine. Considering the extent of obsession with alcohol in addiction, it is not surprising that new behaviours took on an addictive-like pattern as well. That’s okay though, because they were easing me out of old ways and replacing them with better alternatives.

Here are some of the most helpful ones that seem to have stuck throughout this journey and continue to have positive effects:

  1. Blogging – On that precious first day, I decided I’d chronicle my experience in a blog (even though I had never read a blog before and wasn’t entirely sure how it worked). Setting it up was time consuming (good distraction), choosing the layout was creative and fun (hurray for creative fun!), and then finally hitting “post” was a leap of faith. Getting that first comment notification might as well have been fireworks, because my joy was that big. I told the truth and someone responded “me, too!” I started searching other sober bloggers – how exciting that lots of people out there are telling their truth! – and our comments became exchanges of encouragement, knowledge, and hope. Here we are more than years years later and this process continues to be a great tool for recovery. Consider giving it a whirl!
  2. Sugar – There are two benefits of using sugar as a tool in early recovery. One is that sugar can negate alcohol nestle-dibs-crunch-smallcravings by triggering the same pleasure/reward circuitry of the brain, so having a few sweets can help get you through the witching hour. (I kept a bucket of “Dibs” in the freezer, and popped one in my mouth whenever the cravings felt overwhelming.) The other thing sugar can help with is to shift your taste buds away from thoughts of alcohol. Since most alcoholic beverages pair better with savouries, it is more likely that eating cheese or nuts will make you long for a companion beverage than if you eat something sugary (even fruit – I sucked on orange slices constantly for the first few weeks). I now try to limit sugar, but in early recovery it was an enormous help. It is still helpful in some situations, for example if we go out to dinner and I feel surrounded by temptation to drink, I will allow myself cappuccino and dessert at the end of the meal as both a reward and an exercise in delayed gratification.
  3. Walking and Podcasts – When I think of the first year of recovery, my strongest memory is of walking while listening to recovery podcasts. I walked before work. I walked after work. I walked after dinner. And I listened constantly to the voices of other people in recovery who were just like me, or not at all like me but still somehow telling my story. It soothes my soul and opened my heart and mind to new ways of thinking. It cleared my head and then filled it back up with better thoughts and new ideas. It made me challenge the things I considered “normal” and gave me pause. When I get this cast off my leg, going for a walk in the sunshine is the first order of business!
  4. Coffee and Tea – One thing I missed about drinking was all of the ritual – the choosing, opening, pouring, holding, yadayadayada. So I channelled some of that energy into coffee and tea. For me, it was evenings at home where I did my problematic drinking, so after dinner I would choose a lovely mug and a fragrant herbal tea (preferable one that promised to promote sleep) and suck back three or four mugs of the stuff through gritted teeth. Eventually I came to like it and now I can’t imagine an evening without my Sleepy Time tea. As a final “nightcap” I would set up the coffeemaker for morning, synchronising the timer with my morning alarm so that I would awake to the smell of a freshly brewed pot – the reward for making it to one more day alcohol free.
  5. Online Recovery Groups – (see my Resources page) – My online groups were my lifeline for a long time and continue to play an important role in my recovery. It gave me a place to share small victories with people who understood, ask questions, vent, help others (one of the best things you can do to stay sober is help someone else do it, too!), and post pictures of the my kooky habits like matching my travel mug to my outfit.
  6. Cleaning – With too much time on my (wineglass-free) hands in the evenings, I busied myself with housework. I had a cleaning company come to our house weekly until then, but with all that energy to burn I found that I no longer needed to have extra help with my chores. It felt good to look after things myself and putting my home in order was therapeutic. I listened to podcasts while I buzzed around the house, feeling productive and positive. (Sadly, this broken foot means I will be hiring a cleaner again for a few months. I am sure I will love the luxury of it once I have it back in my life again.)
  7. Beads – Some women from my online support group were getting together for meetup and I decided to bring a big bucket of beads so we could all make bracelets while we visited through the weekend. It was a hit and we all took home treasures that will forever remind us of a special gathering. I was left with the remaining supplies and an obsession with using them up. I couldn’t stop – it was so fun! I had forgotten the simple pleasure of making something to give away. If this is too girlie for you, stop by the craft store to see if something sparks your interest – paints, metals, or those intricate colouring books that cause you to accidentally meditate.
  8. Sudoku – Speaking of accidental meditation, that’s what seems to happen when I do Sudoku puzzles. I started doing these at bedtime (with my tea) to shush the voices in my head and force me to focus on something meaningless. It quiets my mind and shifts me into sleepiness quicker than any alcohol ever could.  I have advanced to a pretty fierce puzzler (if there can be such a thing), so much so that my husband bought me a thick book of strategies as a Christmas gift and I didn’t hit him with it.
  9. Essential Oil – Er ma gerd! Oils are crazily addictive in a good way. I think there is a part of me that will always look for that “fix” to change how I feel, and oils are full of promises. I diffuse orange and grapefruit in my office while I work and clarey sage by my bed (while I drink tea and do puzzles before konking out), make custom rollerball blends for everything from skin irritations to immune boosters to headaches. Just fussing with them relaxes me and look at the fun rainbow of little bottles. Who could resist?

    essential oil bottles

    Hmmmm, what shall we mix up today?

  10. Yoga – For a long time I rather prided myself on my disdain for yoga because it reflected my busy-ness, which reflected my importance, which validated my worth. Nothing sounded more agonising to me than slowing down and being alone with my thoughts. I worked hard to avoid that very situation and when I couldn’t avoid it I drank it away.  I stumbled into yoga by attending a retreat for women in recovery and was surprised by how soothing and enjoyable it was to be led through every breath and movement by someone else’s voice. It was the opposite of agony – it was deeply calming and safe. It was also surprising challenging and I do so like a challenge. Now I go to yoga several times a week (and will return as soon as my broken foot is healed!) and I can’t imagine my life without this regular treat. I used to run to help burn my energy and keep me in shape, but yoga has improved my body in ways that running never could (more arm definition, a stronger core and more flexibility). The studio I go to has people of all ages, sizes, and abilities – there is no push to perfection – just progress. Sound familiar?

Have you tried any of these things and were they effective for you? What helpful habits helped you break up with booze? Can you feel your tendencies for addictive behaviour spark with these things, and do you find that to be a good thing? I look forward to your insights!

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About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on January 4, 2017, in Early Recovery, Getting Sober, How I Did It, Life After Alcohol, My UnPickled Life, Reflections on Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. yay for essential oils!! They have been a great help 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean, our journeys have been so similar, i have been following your blog and the bubble hour from the beginning and i celebrated my 3rd soberversary on Nov 7 –walking while listening to podcasts really did it for me and your description of how it helps is spot on.

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  3. Great article. Great food for though. Reading or meditating to facilitate sleep is a good one for me.

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  4. Sorry about your broken leg, Jean! That must have been so scary. Thank you for using your down time to spur us on with words of wisdom. What a great list! At 18 months sober, walks, tea, and reading everything keeps me sober also, as well as staying accountable with Belle from Tired of Thinking about Drinking.
    In early sobriety, I definitely needed my replacement drink in my wine glass, especially when making dinner. Something about holding the goblet and sipping the grapefruit juice and bubbly water concoction was so comforting. Eventually my wine glasses got raised to the second shelf in my cupboard, and now they are on the high shelf, reserved for entertaining.

    I had a wine buffet display that I replaced with pretty coffee mugs, tea in baskets, and a sugar bowl all on a beautiful tray. It is very inviting. I turn my teapot on, pick a tea, and enjoy.
    Alcohol sells partly because of the packaging. Display your Pellegrino and Sparkling Cider with pretty glasses and cut up some lemons and limes. Then indulge in the special treat!

    I made a sober music mix to sing along to in my car. Walk Away by Tom Waits, A Beautiful Life by Tim McMorris (Google the lyrics, they are really good) and Hold On (cheesy but true) by Wilson Phillips are some of the favorites.

    I listen to a lot of books while walking, including Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck- a book very similar to Jason Vale, Guts by Kristen Johnson (the actress was addicted to drugs, but addiction is addiction) , and Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnson. For fiction, I like Catherine Ryan Hyde books. She touches on alcoholism or addiction in almost every book-Don’t Let Me Go and Take Me with You are some good ones. These books are light and easy listening with a message. She is the author of Pay It Forward- the book that was also a movie.

    We are so blessed to have sober blogs! I relate soooo much to your blog…thanks so much Jean. I love the Bubble Hour and Home Podcasts too.

    Happy sober January!

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  5. In early sobriety I read A TON of books. Listened to podcasts. Read blogs and blogged. Slept more. Binge-watched mega-amounts of Netflix. And ate ice cream as if I got paid to do it.
    All of the reading and podcasts helped me gain perspective on what I was doing and helped me feel not alone. I learned about PAWS, and common challenges in early sobriety. The books and podcasts were a lifeline.
    The sugar and the excessive TV got “out of hand”. But slowly through day-in-day-out self-care I’m working on that. For me, I had to first remove myself from self-assault of the daily excessive alcohol and take care of myself for some serious initial healing to take place…having turned my life around from being addicted to alcohol has given me the strength to face my food/sugar addiction in a healthy, self-caring, patient manner. It’s not easy at times and I am still figuring it out here as I approach the two-year wine-free mark. But I am so glad I quit…removing the drinking from my life opened up a world of healing that was not even possible whilst I imbibed as I did.
    Jenn

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  6. Currently I am at day 6 after resolving to not drink as of the new year. A few of these ideas have worked wonders for me thus far.

    Coffee is much more enjoyable in the morning. I don’t feel nearly as dehydrated so that cup of joe gives me a good kickstart without too much of the jitters. In the evening time, nice cup of warm herbal tea around witching hour does the trick.

    Exercise during the day has been a life saver. Before lunch I take off for a nice run with my dog — he happens to be a huge help in my early recovery as well. This helps me sweat out those toxins that have been locked in for so long. Since my wife and I received a punching bag for Christmas, I try to spend a little bit of time in the garage taking out some energy and getting a natural high throwing the good ole 1-2 combination. Stretching at some point during the day has helped release a lot of the pent up tension that usually really weighs me down.

    Dinner was a big drinking time for me, so I have been indulging in a cup of ginger ale as a replacement drink. For desert, I would previously continue the drinking until I felt like stopping — usually right before bed. Now, I cap dinner off with a few squares of dark chocolate. Oh how good it tastes. Even more important, I chose chocolate that some of the money goes to helping endangered animals. I’m helping the furry friends while helping myself.

    To finish off the night, I typically sit in my home office and get some reading done. Typically I read a few verses and now I’m working through a great book, “What’s Best Next”, that is really helping put things into perspective for managing my time effectively.

    Every now and then I sneak a nice warm bath with the jets on and some epsom salt while enjoying a good book.

    The best part about all techniques helping me abstain from drinking is the sleep at night. Oh how sweet it is to dream away, not have to wake up to pee constantly from so much beer and roll out of bed refreshed in the morning.

    One other thing I did in a previous attempt to stop drinking for a while that really helped me reflect on my progress was penning a journal article called turning 21 again. At that time, I had only been sober for 21 days and wanted to compare it to when I turned 21 years old and the drinking that had occurred. As noted, writing is very cathartic whether it is blogging, journaling or anything else.

    Thanks for the great post by you and the inspiring comments from all others. It is wonderful to read such insight from all and enjoy a community of other sober people.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow are we sober seekers benefitting from Jean’s misfortunate accident! Daily words of comfort and inspiration. I have one year and 9 days sober. Although I quit for myself and used some of the above incentives to do so , my final resolve to just do it came from my daughter’s engagement and my visualization as sober mother of bride. I had had a sneaking suspicion that I had not hidden my secret at
    home Chardonnay fix as well as I hoped, having gotten sloppy at a couple of social gatherings . I had hidden the real me in that insidious fog of booze. I happily spent 7 sober months helping to plan her wedding.My sisters and I grew all the flowers for the tables and bouquets. I spent money on luxuries for me that I had from going sober. And I loved being sober and alive on my daughter’s big day. All night. Open bar. Sober and happy. For me. Get well Jean, and thanks.

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    • I love that you did that for yourself and your daughter, I have in the past year made a point of not drinking at big events – as I can not start – it’s not stopping I struggle with.

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  8. Hi Jean! I’m super jealous of your scented oil collection and I feel I must start one immediately. I drank a ton of na beer during the first summer I quit. Blogging obviously. I recall buying myself a coloring book and some raaaather expensive pencils while I was still drinking but was NOT ALLOWED to color while intoxicated. So after I quit I finally got to color. I also started two other blogs, home improvement and travel. Ridiculous amounts of time on my hands now.

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  9. Drinking my evening tea now! This blog is so helpful for me as I work through day 4 of not drinking – thank you! The Bubble Hour has also been hugely helpful on my commute. I look forward to getting up and out of the house in the morning so I can listen. I am getting nervous for tomorrow and the weekend, however. Friday night without wine??? This is a huge paradigm shift for me. I’ve tried the no drinking during the week thing before (not with lots of success), but not drinking on weekend? I don’t think I have done that since I was pregnant. I’m sure I will be reading and re-reading lots of your posts just to stay occupied and not give in to temptation. I’m super nervous about driving home from work tomorrow without my usual stop at the wine store….

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    • Maybe stop at the beauty store for lotion and bubble bath and nail polish instead. Have a spa night!

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    • In NZ I’m ahead in time so it’s your Friday evening, my Saturday afternoon – stay strong you can do this. My Friday night was eating lovely dinner made by partner, followed by chocolate eclairs, watching Netflix, then hanging out with my fourteen year old daughter and her friend having a great sober laugh filled time in her bedroom. Saturday morning glorious summer day, sober and off to the farmers market, then the library. Home to some gardening, reading and baking. Planning a lovely dinner followed by ginger crunch (I’m not worrying much about calories as I’m not drinking and worked damn hard in the garden). Love to hear tomorrow that you woke sober and had a great day too.

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  10. outofthedarknessintothelight2017

    Really happy to have found this list!! I am newly sober and looking for ways to maintain. I started a blog to get the thoughts out of my head and somewhere concrete, invested in my favorite teas and chocolate, loaded my Kindle and upped my knitting supplies. Looks like the next steps may be online support groups and yoga;-)

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  11. Hi Jean!
    I also read a lot!!
    I’d go to the library or book store, and sometimes read a book a day!
    (Well, I was a teacher.)
    xo
    Wendy

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  12. Here I am, 6 months alcohol-free for the first time ( aside from pregnancy ) in *gulp*30 years. What made the difference this time? Firstly, I finally reached out and asked for help,and it was there in minutes.Really, minutes, I kid you not.Thanks Jean and Anne.😍Next, I bought a notebook with graphing paper in it and started a Sobriety Bullet Journal. Everyday I set a goal of not drinking, exercising and engaging in some sort of sobriety work like listening to a podcast. Everyday I made a little box marked S(obriety) W(ork ) and everyday I had to do something directly related to sobriety. That was my cheap, easy, and for an introvert like me, anonymous support system. The expensive part of recovery has been the initial nightly container of Haagen-Dasz Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream. Thankfully that seems to have tapered off and is out of my system. My current “90 in 90” as they say is the P90X workout kit I bought myself with not-buying-wine-money and am kicking my own butt with. In the end, none of this would have been possible without the Bubble Hour, Unpickled, Ainsobriety and all the other sober ladies who put it out there for us all to share.☺

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    • Sending love, high fives, hugs, tears and giggles. I look forward to meeting you one day soon to do all in person. Love the bullet journal idea – that sounds cool.

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      • Thanks Jean, I always resisted journaling or blogging because it just seemed like a homework assignment. Ever the perfectionist, I didn’t need the stress.Bullet Journals are whatever the writer wants them to be. It’s strangely rewarding making little boxes and ticking them off by the end of the day. Some days I doodle, sometimes I make notes on a podcast I learned something from, sometimes I glue articles from a magazine or a picture in there.So many ideas on Pinterest. I go back and look at my notes when I’m having an off day. I also couldn’t live without my iPad,there’s soooooo much out there to support sobriety.

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  13. I am grateful for your list of things to do to survive the witching hour and ways to use up excess energy and calm the soul. I love the idea of listening to podcasts while walking as I walk my dog every evening and would probably walk her farther if I had something to listen to. However, figuring out the technology of how to get a blog post onto my I-pod is beyond me. Any tips?

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  14. Just wanted to say that I am loving these daily posts. Your blog was the first one I found when I decided to stop drinking and it is still my favorite. Hope your foot heals soon and thanks for sharing your time with us.

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  15. Hope your leg heals quickly! What a bummer!!

    I will have 6 years of sobriety Saturday. I have to admit I’m a different person than I was 6 years ago. I now have dreams, passions, a clear head and most of all self respect. After rehab, I did lots of AA meetings, worked the steps, found a sponsor. Now my sponsor is a dear friend. The meetings are less frequent for me now, but it’s a comfort to know there is one if I need it. The 5 pm time of day was hard at first. I used to drink while making dinner. I had to change that habit. I signed up for exercise and yoga classes for that time slot. Dinner became something quick and easy or better yet, a crock pot meal. Coffee, tea and sugar are still my main food groups, haha. But yes, a much better alternative than that first drink. I knit, work out, golf and bike. Staying active is my answer.

    Love your blog. It’s great to read about other women and their private battles.

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  16. Hi Jean,
    So sorry you broke your leg, but I truly believe bad things happen for a reason. You posting everyday has brought back memories of how I honestly got through my sobriety journey. It was YOU and your followers!! Your blogs and follower’s comments gave me the foundation and strength to be sober. I looked forward to reading story after story of how to get to the next sober day. I mostly read them around the bewitching hour of 5 o’clock. Currently I’m 18 months alcohol free but whose counting!! ME!!!
    The first week of sobriety, I went to the beach a lot to reflect. I started gathering hundreds of small smooth white stones in the sand. I decided to write a number on each on each stone I didn’t drink and watch them multiply. I placed them in shot glasses. When I got to one years worth, I filled 6 glasses. My year badge, I chose a sand dollar. I proudly display it next to my stone filled shot glasses. Visuals are important to me!!
    Thank you Jean for sharing your story long ago. It has rippled into so many lives and saved mine!! It only takes one stone!!
    God speed and hope you get back on those slopes soon!!

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  17. Wine-o No More

    I am newly on the wagon and was just thinking about this last night! It was 7:30 pm and I did not know what to do with myself! I’m not a huge TV watcher and the kids were occupied with video games. I decided to get in bed and found an online book to read. What do people do in the evening when they aren’t drinking? I can’t remember my old life. I imagine it was spent watching TV. I’ve recently purchased some Yoga DVD’s. I have made myself a “survival kit” complete with chocolate, teas, bottled Frappuccino’s, super soft socks, my favorite scents, inspirational sayings, etc…

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  18. Very similar. Yoga was an almost immediate for me. I scoffed at it as well, thinking I was much to hard core (I was a bootcamp/weight lifter).
    But it was like coming home. The relief of not having to preform. The softness. My soul needed that.
    Plus- it was a safe space.

    Coffee with real cream. Mini gluten free cheesecakes (still in my freezer at all times). And reading. Books on recovery, self acceptance, Buddhism and yoga.

    Eventually io found my dear friend jean at Unpickled and she showed me the way to online support and blogs and real life support.

    I decided to stop judging and try everything. I have gone to AA. Therapy. Refuge recovery. Hypnotherapy. Sensory deprivation tanks. Reiki.

    Life has become one big possibility!

    💗Anne

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  19. Hi Jean, so sorry you broke your leg. I truly believe bad things happen for a reason. Getting to read you everyday brings back memories of how I truly got to this point of sobriety. YOU and your followers!!! From day one I couldn’t wait to read another post especially around the bewitching hour of 5 o’clock. Your blog was my strength and foundation to get me to 18 months alcohol free but whose counting!!!
    I went to the beach one day and gathered up hundreds of small white stones. I decided to number each stone for on

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  20. Great list. Thanks very much for sharing!

    On your second point of sugar, ultimately I found that I replaced the alcohol addiction with ramped up sugar and tobacco use. After about 10 years of sobriety, i dealt with my cigarette addiction in exactly the same way as with alcohol – 12 Step program and many of the items on your list. Now, some 30 years sober, I am finally dealing with my compulsive over eating and certainly identify some foods, like refined sugar, as triggers in the same way that alcohol triggers me into a full-blown binge.

    I went to a nutritionist last summer to get some handle on eating right. It’s like, I know how to lose weight – don’t eat and exercise – but have a more difficult time knowing what a healthy diet looks like. Regardless, in the same way as drinking alcohol was a symptom of a much deeper issue, so it is with food. So the nutritionist clearly does not agree with my sugar assessment, repeats that after I get a handle on good diet, I will need to intro sugary sweet stuff back into my diet, etc. etc. I view this the same way as the “one drink won’t hurt you” statements of relatives and friends. I don’t really care whether my decision is supported by science, in my head, or whatever. For me, I have no interest in consuming alcohol or refined sugars today, regardless – it is simply not worth the risk.

    I have wondered at times over the past 30 years if the 30 day detox center had not allowed us to smoke and dealt with eating issues too, would that have made a difference in my overall recovery? Not certain, and it is a moot point anyway. However, I am always impressed with the number of folks at OA meetings who started out in AA years before.

    So, just something to think about. Here is a blog post of mine on the relationship between my compulsive over eating and alcoholism: http://wp.me/p3CPQv-hi

    Hope you are on the mend!

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  21. Jean, so sorry to read of your broken leg! Get back on your feet soon! I am looking forward to your daily blogging. Your insight helps me a lot.

    I think one of the hardest things for me in early recovery was feeling comfortable in my new skin. I was so manic the first year….so much energy and not enough outlets. Walking and meditation did it for me. Walking gave me a sense of freedom, and allowed me to clear my head. Meditation helped me slow down and focus. This was on top of working full time, 1 day of individual substance abuse counseling, and 2 days of group. I also traveled a lot for my job.

    Tea is my go to drink, who would have thought there was so much to explore with tea?! And I have also become an essential oil addict. Do you have a salt lamp? Those help to clean the air and promote positivity. I have one on constantly in my living room, near the front door.

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  22. Thank you very much for all your helpful suggestions. I am going to my first yoga class tonight and am looking forward to it, although I am a little nervous. I agree with you on the cleaning and organizing. I’ve been more productive in the last four days than in the past few months. :). Thanks for a great post!

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  23. Day 30! Horray for me! First I’ll start out with what’s helping me. Here are my substitutes: reading your blog and another one that came back to life recently; I LOVE reading but haven’t done pleasure readings in a loooong time, because I was either “too busy with work”, “too exhausted from work”, “too stressed from work” or I was “enjoying myself and taking the edge off” aka drinking, or thinking about drinking, or trying to fight off the urge to drink, or obsessing over who to invite out for dinner to justify my drinking on and on… so aa of the past three days I have been reading A BOOK! I ordered three from Amazon and was soooo excited when they were shipped on Monday! I have been reading before bed and it is so great! Other new obsessions, listening to podcasts. As you mentioned podcasts on recovery are really helpful, right now I want to make it through all of the bubble hour episodes. At some point I want to take up knitting, playing around with the idea of starting my own blog as I have been journaling a lot especially first thing in the am. Which BTW I wanted to share my thoughts for today. I hope it is ok…

    Day 30:
    Today I woke up thinking ALL of the things…well not all but a lot of the things. One would naturally expect that I would also be feeling all the things, but here not so much. Which if i shift perpective from “you SHOULD be feelin something” (I SHOULD on myself 90% of my adult waking life) “at least you’re not feeling as anxious, guilty, and ashamed as you did December 4th” this is a big win for me. But with recovery comes the stuff that my numbing agent of choice covered up. Yesterday watching a series on TV brought up memories that reminded me that I have unresolved trauma…that needs to be worked on and processed…not today not right now, because well one thing at a time but soon. The feelings that came along with that memory? Nothing, nada, zip! Numbness or is it? Is numbness an outcome of something else? Enter the big S! S=suppression, suppression is a BEAST! It helps us survive so at one point in my life I am sure it served an adaptive function…but no longer so that need to suppress, very much likes it minion alcohol needs to go. But again one thing at a time…for today my SMART goal is to not drink today! And in service of that I decided to decline an invitation to a party I mentioned yesterday. I was pretty confident I would be ok saying no, but there is no need to test my resolve today. There is a new voice today, the anger voice! The voice that likes to through a fit when it doesn’t get what it wants, the inner critic that tells me I have failed, or am not being strong enough. She came up today and I think she’s pissed that I decided not to go out today. It’s ok, anger is ok. Anger motivates us to act in service of our values, it helps us get stuff done. Other times we experience not so helpful anger, but we get angry and we get over it. When is anger not ok? When we give in to it’s tantrums, this reinforces it and keeps it in control. So for Today I chose day 30, anger will fall away and what I will be left with is extreme gratitude for my recovery journey. Basking in day 30 and accepting all the “feels” that come along with it.

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  24. Sorry about the leg,Jean. Hope recovery is swift. You are one of the main reasons I’m sober 3 1/2 years! Reading your blog and “talking” with Belle, walking, audiobooks, tea and, yes, I have a container of essential oils that looks very much like yours. I’ve made countless DIY body butters and scrubs. We are all so different yet so much alike. Thanks again for my renewal.
    Sharon

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  25. There is so much more time now to be filled – my ideas include reading, writing, adult colouring books, Pinterest, sewing, personal grooming manicure, home facial, spending time sober with daughter, loving my pet, long bath – oooh another earthquake going on here in NZ as I type.
    That brings me to another plus about being sober – being able to respond in emergencies – to be there for my family and others – who wants to be blacked out with a Tsunami rolling in! Being available if my ageing mother needs me, and being able to say “yes” lets do that today or tomorrow because I know I won’t have a hangover that needs nursing and the associated anxiety that makes leaving the house such a burden.

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  26. Am so sorry that it’s an broken foot that’s giving you the space to blog daily – but I am loving the daily words! Am nearly a year sober thanks to finding your blog. Many hugs and wishes for a swift mending, and I highly recommend a handy knitting kneedle for scratching the ankle that will start itching after a few weeks in a cast ….:)

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  27. Blogging has helped me so much this time around. Having other people who ‘get it’ is just eye opening because I felt alone in the struggle for so long. All my previous attempts I tried to do it alone and it didn’t last. Never thought of cleaning the house while listening to podcasts, I’m definitley going to try that. xxx

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