Friday, March 22, 2013

First Few Days of Sobriety

I've been sober for more than two and a half years.  Still feels like it was yesterday that I tried, failed, and tried again, out of necessity. But it wasn't, actually, yesterday.  And there are lots of folks posting on different entries about their first few days (one example is below).  And I'd like to stress a few points about the first days of sobriety.

1) They are harder than consistent long-term sobriety because one's body must adjust to vastly different units of fuel.  If you're a long term heavy drinker, it means that you're "eating" your alcohol, and you have physical dependency.  When you quit, you may experience symptoms of severe withdrawal that could become medical in nature.  Don't hesitate if you think you should seek the advice of a doctor or go to the emergency room.

2)  For goodness sake, EAT.  EAT A LOT.  Eat, in particular, foods high in good fats and not that many carbs.

3) Drink black tea.  Don't be afraid.  With lemon.  Pretend you are sick and need nourishment (you are).

4) Don't think about not drinking.  Think about what you care about.  Playing the guitar?  Listening to music?  Reading?  Whatever it is that gets you going outside of alcohol.

5) Find a way to walk more often.  It reduces stress and anxiety.

6) Don't try to do too much.

7) Don't worry if you don't want to go to AA.  Here's why AA works: if you believe in it, it works.  Whatever you can believe in, works.  Believing in something increases awareness and confidence.

8) Good luck

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What Happens When You Stop Drinking?": 

3 days in 3 hours....spent the last two days reading every post here. I relate to almost all of them. Day 1 and 2 not terrible but now on day 2 plus I've been eating everything in sight and my afternoon nap turned into an all afternoon nap. My workout routine was painful but I got through it. I read about Vitamin B and D here but not sure how much to take. I bought b complex and d 5000. I took one of each tonight. I had to drive by the liquor store to get it and it was mildly tough to get past that. I just try to remember how bad I feel after drinking both physically and mentally guilty. I'm just trying to focus on getting through each day now and not being too hard on myself for sleeping more or eating a little bit more. I've drank heavily since I was 16. I'm now 46. In the last 7 years I've been drinking everyday and at least 3 heavy drinks. For a period it was 1 - 2 bottles of wine because that was suppose to be healthier right? I don't know why I made it this far. Successful in my love life, career but maybe not in building friendships. I used to be a big extrovert and have grown to be a huge introvert. Blah Blah Blah.....I love this blog and it really helped me get this far anyhow. 3 more hours, then onto day 3 plus moving toward 4. Will I make it a week? The weekend is going to be a huge test. Saw some people say Pizza helps. I find that funny. Pizza helps with everything and after eating pizza they are right, I'm too full to think about drinking! Perhaps some pizza is on order for the entire weekend. I'll let you know and when my brain stops spinning I will be more clear in communicating my thoughts on this blog. I hope to continue to see others keep writing. AA is a good place for support but I feel like it's their way or I'm a failure and won't fit in. I don't want to hold hands in a circle and pray. Just saying it's not me so pretending that is me would drive me to drink! 


Anonymous said...

I drink at night so ill pass out and sleep because if I lye there sober i start hearing things and i think someones gonna break in and kill me.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I started! Now, 15 years later, I have two nights sober. Sleeping well, and becuase before bed, I just keep telling myself cognitively a break-in is unlikely, and if one really does happen, well? What can you really do? Lock your doors, leave lights on (not in bedroom) and try to remember most people live their whole lives without being murdered!!

Bren Murphy said...

I haven't had to hold hands in a circle and pray at an AA meeting - I'm not sure where that comment above comes from? Sounds like you may not have been to an AA meeting - you might like to try going to a few different ones - each follows a certain structure, but is really influenced by the people running the show.
For me, my initial reservations about AA were more my mighty ego giving myself one more delay to keep drinking. just stepping inside a meeting is so humbling and so deeply meaningful it still brings me to tears every now and then. Anyway, enough said, I love to share your story at my alcoholic blog.

Anonymous said...

My first day of sobriety. I haven't gone past noon without a drink for months. It's 10:10 a.m. right now and I just got through emptying all the wine bottles around my house and garage -- who know one could have 2 boxes and 3 bottles all in reserve? Since it's Sunday, there are no open liquor stores in my county. This might help me. I like the idea of pizza. I'll fix one for lunch. Thanks for hosting this blog (whoever). It's helped me already.

Anonymous said...

Great comments all! Day 3 of sobriety after 18 years of progressively accelerating drinking. At first one drink knocked me off of my chair. 18 years later I was able to consume 750 mls of vodka, half a carafe of wine and 16 hi-test IPAs in 32 hours. At 5'5" and 140 pounds and female this is extreme and I am surprised I was not hospitalized. Drinking always accelerates to an individual's breaking point. As I struggle to get biochemically balanced, I find I eat much more food than normal, feel enormous anxiety that I even want to live without alcohol, and know that it will kill me in short order. My conscious mind knows that these conflicting feelings will pass and resolve, and I will survive and I will help anyone who wants to rid her/his life of alcohol to do so. Just writing makes it all so much better.

Anonymous said...

I'm on day 3 sober as well. I must say I feel better than I did before I quit. Yes, I had stomach problems first day as well as nightmares that night. And I sweated right through my clothes, hair, sheets. 2nd day, headache, body aches. Slept a little better though. Still sweating and smell like onions no matter if I shower and use deodorant. I had been hospitalized before and on lock down in the psych ward. So I was forced to do without alcohol. I then went to rehab counseling for 3 months. I still couldn't stop. It was clear, I didn't want to yet. I continued to get worse. Finally got to the point I was vomiting, had daily diarrhea, lapsed memory, off balance. The list goes on. I still went on as usual. Then one day it dawned on me that I WANTED to quit. Big difference from NEEDING to quit. I stopped, and I think I can do this. I also told my husband and daughter. I don't think my husband believes me. That's fine. I'm being selfish for a change and doing this for myself. I am finally taking care of me. I'm pampering myself, taking it easy (I still work every day). So wish me luck!

Unknown said...

Today is my 2nd day of soberity feeling edgy, muscles tense. It's 7pm 2/20/17 I'm gonna make it through the night, but concerned about tomorrow. I've never made it past 2 days on my own, even with meetings. Not sure what the future holds but I know I don't wanna drink a bottle of wine and maybe a few shots every night.

Anonymous said...

Day 10. Have not had any cravings. My biggest issues are feeling tired all the time, and not being able to sleep for more than a few hours. I sleep, wake up, eat, go back to sleep, repeat.

I am only craving being able to go to sleep at night, and stay asleep for 8 hours and wake up refreshed.

I have no desire to drink though, and that makes me feel good.

D Whe said...

Day 2 hoping it's the last day i quit ...