The first day that quit drinking alcohol, I spoke to my partner early in the day and told him that I acknowledged that I had a problem with alcohol and I wanted to change.
We went about our usual day (at this point, I would start drinking alcohol anywhere between 3pm and 7pm depending on what we had going on). On our way home from somewhere later in the day, we stopped at the grocery store and my husband ran in to get a few things, he asked me if I wanted some wine and I said a very simple but effective word…’No’. I wanted it alright, I wanted it badly, but I said ‘No’.
At home that night, we watched a movie with the family, it was a comedy which really helped to take my mind off the cravings. I should also tell you that I was a smoker too. I had got to the point where I only smoked when I drank alcohol, so on that first day, not only did I say no to alcohol, I said no to cigarettes too. I quit alcohol and cigarettes at the same time.
At the end of the first night, I wrote in my journal about what kind of day I had, how I was feeling, what I wanted to get out of my decision to quit drinking alcohol and I made an outline of a plan for the next day.
Overall, the first day was pretty tough, I had a constant battle going on in my head about whether I should drink alcohol or not. I came close a few times to just jumping in the car and going to the store but each time I felt that way I stopped myself by saying ‘I can do this for today’, ‘I can at least do this for today’.
I went to bed that night feeling pretty proud of myself. I had given up drinking alcohol for short periods of time before but I had a different feeling this time. It was one of determination with a glimmer of hope for the future.
What can help on the first day:
- Tell your significant other, a family member or a friend of your decision. This person must be someone who you trust and will be supportive.
- Gather some tools to help you through the first day, this could be a mixture of a good book, magazines, some exercise, favorite movies or t.v series, cleaning out cupboards, coffee with a friend etc
- When you get the urge to drink alcohol, say ‘No’ to yourself, tell yourself that you can do this for today. It is pretty amazing when you stop thinking about tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. When you find yourself thinking about the rest of your life, just tell yourself to be present. That is what I did and it worked for me.
- Start a journal and write down how you are feeling. This is especially useful if you do not feel like you can confide in anyone.
- Join a local A.A group or Women For Sobriety group for support. (I did not do this but they can offer a wealth of information and support).
Just get through the first day of sobriety then you can tackle the the first week of sobriety.
What worked for you on your first day of quitting alcohol? Share your story in the comments.
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