First, let me say that I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to get sober. My path to sobriety may look a lot different than yours and that is fine!
I had my last drink on June 28th, 2020, and honestly, I didn’t even want it. I was still hungover from the day before. All the familiar sensations of a hangover coalesced. I was hot, achy, nauseous, anxious, and tired. My body begged me to take a drink and numb these feelings, so I did and I cried. I was so miserable, but I couldn’t seem to change. The events of the previous months had convinced me of the one thing I didn’t want to admit: I was no longer in control of my drinking. I knew I needed to quit….but how?! I was desperate and afraid, so I did what I felt was the only think that could possibly help me: I turned to God.
Out of desperation, I read a Bible verse. I though that if I wrote it down and wrote a little about it, it might make more sense and that that might help me somehow. I only wrote a few lines about that first verse that I read, but that was enough. After I wrote out the verse and a few lines about what I thought it meant, I prayed to God for help. I surrendered completely and asked Him to help me stay sober. I felt in my heart that asking for God’s help was the only way it was ever going to work. I felt an immediate sense of peace and joy after I prayed. I felt as though God was holding onto me and everything was going to be okay. I didn’t want to drink and I had this sudden realization that I didn’t have to drink either. It was so amazing.
Because that moment was so powerful for me, I wanted to do it again. I wanted to feel that connection with God every day! So I decided that I would read a Bible verse, write about it, and pray again the following morning and that I would ask God to help me stay sober again. That helped me so much that I decided to keep doing it. That was 5 months ago. I have kept up this daily practice and it is 100% what I attribute to my sobriety. It’s a daily ritual, much like drinking was for me, but with only positive effects.
I did other things to complement this daily practice, such as engaging in my favorite online support group on Reddit, listening to recovery podcasts, exercising regularly, drinking lots of tea and sparkling water, and talking with friends and family often. Doing all of these things along with my daily spiritual practice has made getting sober easier than I ever thought possible. I don’t mean it’s been easy, but I can handle the challenges of it now because of my daily time with God.
Even thinking about my morning ritual strengthens me when I’m not feeling my best and drinking crosses my mind. There were days when I struggled so much that I felt a deep sense of relief when I finally laid down in my bed at the end of the day. Whenever I had a day like this, I thought of my morning routine. I thought about how I would feel if I missed my time with God, or if I was hungover when I tried to read and write in my journal. I thought about how much I enjoyed my morning ritual and how proud I would feel if I made it through another day without a drink. Playing the tape forward like that was usually enough to keep me sober.
The simple fact is, I never regret not drinking, but I almost always regret drinking. Remembering this is a key part of maintaining my sobriety.
Some other strategies that helped me to stay sober include…
Talking to someone when I’m having a bad day
Staying well hydrated
Eating a few pieces of chocolate every day
Identifying what I am feeling using HALT (Hungry? Angry or anxious? Lonely? Tired?)
Reading “quit lit” such as This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and Alcohol Explained by William Porter
Setting small, realistic goals for myself
Prioritizing sleep and self-care
I’m not an expert on sobriety or spirituality by any means, but I believe that developing my spiritual practice is what has gotten and kept me sober. I do the same thing every morning. It is my top priority and I look forward to it every morning. I wake up feeling great and then I enter into my time with God, which leaves me feeling even better. It only takes me about 10-15 minutes each morning to do this, but that small time investment has saved my life!
What is something that you could do every day to grow your spirituality and enhance your sobriety at the same time? Try making a list of activities that you could use to create a short daily ritual. Make sure these are things that you will enjoy doing and that you can realistically do each day at around the same time. For example, perhaps you could read a short passage from a religious text, write a few sentences explaining the meaning of the passage to yourself, and then pray or do a short guided meditation.
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below and share what has helped you the most. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
“The simple fact is, I never regret not drinking, but I almost always regret drinking. Remembering this is a key part of maintaining my sobriety.”Tweet