Day 8 of Sobriety

Honesty, or lack of, in motionSeveral readers have asked, “What actually happens in life coaching?”

While I talk about different issues with everyone, the questions and answers are shockingly the same:

  • What are your principles?
  • Are you willing to live within them?
  • How can you set it up so you can succeed?

When you leave I will see you in a week or two or twelve, depending where you are on your journey. I give you (or you give you) action steps to take to get your life moving in the direction you say you want it to go. After the session I send you on what we discussed, thoughts to be pondered, and a plan of action to be undertaken. At week one you aren’t trying to change the world. You’re trying to breathe and stay sober … that’s it!

Below are notes sent to a client with only eight days of sobriety. Day 8 was harder for him than day one and two. At day’s one and two he had a reason to stay sober. At day eight he was hating life, himself, me, and sobriety. See if you relate to any of this. (This was definitely me with day 8 barely under my belt.)

Action/thoughts to ponder for the week:

  1. Stopping and staying stopping drinking sucks, is hard work, totally un-enjoyable AND we don’t drink anyway.
  2. Do not give yourself excuses to drink. Stop having a conversation about drinking or not. Check it off the “to do list” first thing in the morning and be done with it. You are your own enemy when you engage in dialogue that is destined for failure. The subconscious mind it too powerful to be reckoned with. You are no match for it. It will win every time. It will try and get you alone and get you to drink. That is its job. Our subconscious mind is built for survival. It is not interested in the right or wrong of what we are doing. It is simply trying to keep you alive. For an alcoholic like me and you that means, “DRINK today or die of the pain.” Do not, I repeat, do not try and manage this alone.
  3. The only thing you need to do today to stay sober is not drink. You are the only one that can do this. No one can accomplish this feat for you. It has to come 100% from within you.
  4. Don’t bark at yourself and don’t bark at others … walk away, count to ten, scream in a pillow, journal, exercise. Stop taking out your sober anger on people who love you. You’re destroying things you may not be able to fix.
  5. Be kinder to self. Beating up self over past mistakes is futile and it reinforces the subconscious position of “drinking to survive in this big, bad, difficult, unfair, unsafe, unloving world.”
  6. Identify one thing that brings you pure joy today and do it. No excuses! If you can’t find one then you are to journal about what you think might bring you joy. When you are finished journaling, ask yourself why you do not do this for yourself.
  7. Write, write, write, this is the way of recovery! Until you dig in, feel it, see it, experience it … “IT” is not going away. It will be there to haunt you every time you quit drinking … for the rest of your life.
  8. I know this is not the life you want. You told me through tears as you sat in my office.
  9. Stop saying how much you miss drinking. You abhor drinking. It brings you only misery. You hate drinking.
  10. See you in one week—still sober.
  11. You don’t get the joys of eight years sober, you get the joys of eight days sober. Stop being miserable over stuff you haven’t earned. We earn peace of mind because we have learned to receive and act in accordance with peace.
  12. Ask someone with zero sober days if eight days would be great. They would love to be where you now stand. Stop acting like it is no big deal.
  13. You CAN do this, so get your ass in gear.
  14. I love you. Feel free to love yourself too. We are not our mistakes.

Anyhow, on the coat-tails of of this post I wish my readers to know I get it. I get early sobriety! Let me know if you want notes from someone with three years. We no longer talk about wanting to drink, cravings, raging behavior, irritability, confusion, black-outs, or our spouse’s limited perspective on sobriety. We are engaged in life. We are living fully.  We are contributing. We are evolving.


37 Responses to “Day 8 of Sobriety

  • xnavygal9916
    11 years ago

    Good stuff here Lisa! There is both good news and bad news. The good news is: getting clean and/or sober is relatively easy. The bad news is: staying clean and/or sober takes work. I could write a book about how for me, I chase my recovery like I did my drugs. The bottom line : If you want what you’ve never had, you must do the things you’ve never done! That goes for every area of my life. Sending big HUGZS and blessings, _/l_ jen

  • Dear Lisa,
    I was addicted to alcohol and cocaine for a couple of years.
    Today I’m almost 6 years sober and doing wel (healthy
    Kids, great marriage and a good job)
    Although I stil weekly go to my SOS Sobriety meetings,
    your blog has helped me a lot too.
    I’d like to receive notes from someone with 5 or 6 years
    under their belt. (Link mentionned in your text above)
    If that’s possible ofcourse.
    I would like to end by thanking you for the things you do!
    Kindest Regards,
    Europe, Brussels

    • GS, Thank you for the kind, generous words. Congratulations on many years sober. A blessing truly. Health, family, and prosperity all because you choose to live free of alcohol and drugs. Beautiful. Yes I will forward some notes within the next day. I will need to check the files. Additionally, I will need to clean the data and remove any personal information. It doesn’t even look like an addict in recovery anymore. And it’s shocking to see the sheets transform over the years. Sending my love and thanks, Lisa

      (I will use the email address that came with your post comment)

  • This is a good blog. I’ve been picking around here at this and that. I like what you have to say, and I feel just that bit more solid having read text here.

    I’m making a little pile of phrases, ideas, reassurances, reminders… The pile undergoes a naturally shedding process, so I have to keep adding to it. Thanks for giving me some good stuff for the pile.

    • Thank you for the kinds words. I love this page. Originally it was a post, but it got so many hits that I finally converted it so people could find it easier. I’m glad it resonates. My best as your journey. Hope to see you around here more.

  • I’v been sober for 8 days now. I think about drinking late evenings, but fight the urge through exercise, and prayer. There after I’m exhausted, and good to go to bed. I’ve been eating super healthy, taking vitamins, and plenty of water. I’ve noticed I’m starting to look back to normal after 6 months of heavy drinking. I have also noticed my hair really thinning. Is this supposed to happen? Should I buy Rogaine?

    • Early sobriety sucks. I wish there was a nicer way around saying that. Hang in there. It really does improve. As far as the hair goes, I’m not sure. That’s a great question. Maybe you can wear a hat for awhile 🙂 I noticed I evened out with everything a few months into the process. Give it time. Keep up the good work. There are many wonderful people online to connect with. Hope you hang out with us. Lisa

  • This is a very inspiring post. I’m very new to being sober (5 days) but I have you too thank for getting serious about it. I’m a student of the course and I googled ‘A Course in Miracles sobriety’ and found this blog. I downloaded your book to my kindle and hooked on to every word. It was actually a relief to read the words that were confirming that I am an alcoholic because now the thought of a full recovered sober life is a new light in my life. Anyway the line in this post about not barking at myself or at anyone I love might have just saved my relationship. All I’ve been doing is barking at my fiance and this line was an aha moment that I better check that if I want our relationship to work, which of course I do. My alcoholism has been there long before we met yet the alcoholic in me is still trying to blame the state of my inner world on my outer world. I’ve always made it hard for other people to love me and being sober I hope to change that. Thank you for this blog and your book. It’s given me an entirely new perspective on sobriety.

    • Wow. What a beautiful comment. I am sooooo excited for you. I am here studying for school. Bioenergetics Health Practitioner. And I was getting so frustrated with some of the concepts of energy healing. Seeing this come over the phone made my night. I have a great blog post coming out tomorrow on the science of addiction and the biofield, so please come back and say hi.

      In the meanwhile, keep learning, and never stop dreaming.

      Good night recovery friend.

  • arooun maraj
    9 years ago

    day 8 sober for me intend to read daily for support keep up the great work

  • Hey Lisa, this is what I’ll be quoting and linking to next week. <3 Love ya!

  • Thank you Lisa. Good stuff. i think you would be an amazing life couch. I have 80 days and still find some of your suggestions useful. I’m going to practice self love and stop barking…

  • Did I ever need to read this. Thank you. Taping it to my visor in the car.

  • This evening will be 8 days sober for me. Googled this and am a bit more grounded. Thank you.

    • Lisa Neumann
      8 years ago

      I hope this reply finds you at day 14. This is probably the most popular page on the site. The early days are an unimaginable mixture of emotions and energy. Please stay in touch. I care. Lisa

  • Charlie
    8 years ago

    It is indeed day 14 of no drinking! Thank you for your note. It helps more than I could have imagined.

    • Lisa Neumann
      8 years ago

      Oh my goodness, the holidays are such a challenge to navigate … and you did it. I hope you feel energized by your fortitude. The early days are a blind faith. Trusting those who have walked before us … those we do not know or trust. It speaks volumes for your commitment. Congratulations! And you get to say you got sober “last year” now.

  • stephen
    7 years ago

    8 days and counting for me Boom boom Bang wallop

  • Day 8 for me, 3rd time I have quit determined to this time. Been having blackouts recently and I have had enough. I loved what you said about not engaging with you inner thoughts, this.has been my downfall in the past.

    • Lisa Neumann
      7 years ago

      Thank you for leaving a comment. I love when I hear from new readers. Managing that inner voice has been a life lesson for me. With 13 years in recovery, I am still amazed at its strength and tenacity. Finding tools that worked was my saving grace. Keep up the good work.

  • Day 9 for me and hopefully many more to come

    • Lisa Neumann
      7 years ago

      Thank you for stopping over and sharing your days. The early days are so tough. Making it 9 days is incredible. Keep up the great work. You make all of us in recovery proud. Not a feat for the faint of heart.

  • Day 8 and love the affirmations and this site. This is my third time trying sobriety and days are getting easier but hard at the same time. Thank you

    • Jacquelyn Miller
      7 years ago

      Day 8 for me. Wow, I’m still struggling hourly. I trained myself to drink to cope. I let all the family who abused me go. I love myself and the positive people in my life. I don’t want to hurt myself anymore because I thought that what I deserve. I wanted to drink myself to death. Because of my family. I pray everyday to live a sober life and love who I am. I pray for all who suffer from addiction. I can tell you i drank since I was 50. Long time to waste on negative people. Or negative thoughts about myself. I believed it was all true. I realize I was just scapegoat of total disfuntional family. I became a worrier to fight for me with god help.
      I feel lighter. I feel no more pain. I’m worth more then this drunken state I was in. I don’t go back i forgive but I will set boundaries of how i will be treated. This took 50 years to figure out. I damn glad I have the best years ahead. I’m getting braces and going back to school. Kinda like starting over but on my terms. Best to all of my sober friends and friends who still haven’t seen the sober light. God speed.

      • Lisa Neumann
        7 years ago

        Love this comment. You inspire us all. I’m 53 and still working on keeping my inner circle positive. I know the hours hurt but let that love pull you through. You CAN do this. Sending much love. Lisa

    • Lisa Neumann
      7 years ago

      Mo, thanks for coming over to the site and sharing. I love that you say “easier but harder at the same time.” Much of my early days felt the same way. I wasn’t used to feeling feelings, so this overload was exactly like having one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. Keep up the good work. Keep sharing and letting others (who can understand) support you. Much love. Lisa

  • Ronald Read
    7 years ago

    This is day eight for me. I once went 1212 days sober but foolishly picked up the bottle again thinking I could control it. Bad mistake. Hopefully This time I will be able to regain control of my life. I enjoy your words of wisdom.

    • Lisa Neumann
      7 years ago

      Thank you for commenting AND the kind words. For what it’s worth, you still have 1212 days. It’s like a degree–it’s yours forever. You just took a detour. We never stop growing and learning at any stage of life. Wishing you much success.

  • I’m an eight day-er here too. I got my appetite back in the last few days and returned to the gym. I have a huge amount of energy today but it’s actually causing agitation probably because I’m not used to having it. I have a holiday coming up with friends and none of them know I am not drinking- in fact none of them would have known I had a problem- I was so expert at hiding it. For the past four months I was drinking a bottle of wine before midday and then felt confident enough to go into work. Basically topping up from the night before to avoid the panic and anxiety of withdrawal. A horrible self-inflicted vicious circle that I want to break.

  • Rebekkah
    4 years ago

    Wow I see this post was 7 years ago yet today it reached into my heart. Thank you. Eight days ago I didn’t think I would be here now. Really was scared to go sober. We are not our mistakes and worth the walk. Thank you

    • Lisa Neumann
      4 years ago

      Rebekkah, Thank you for commenting. Today will be day 9, congratulations! I love the warmth in your heart. Hold onto it tightly. In some strange way, we learn to love ourselves —again, or for the first time, when we embark on this path. Correct, we are not our mistakes. We are simply individuals trying to navigate this thing called life. We each have our curriculum. Being sober has taught me to stop judging someone else’s “curriculum.” It’s taught me to stop judging mine. It’s a good life. ♥ Lisa

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