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Getting Sober IS Not Supposed to be Easy

I know that many of us put down the drink and think that things will magically just fall into place – that is most definitely what I thought! But most of the time things do not get better right away because years of damage to our bodies and unhealthy thinking cannot be fixed overnight. It takes time, sometimes considerable amount of time.
Single Step
Getting sober is not supposed to be easy. If quitting drinking was easy than it wouldn’t be called alcoholism. And if you are having hard time with early sobriety than you should know now, that you are most likely addicted. The inability to live sober is just another sign that there is something wrong with your relationship with alcohol.

If you want to stop drinking, you have to stop drinking!

I still consider my first year sober one of the most difficult times in my life. My life revolved around alcohol for so long, it was quite a challenge to go forth and to rebuild, to become human, and to be normal. I had to learn everything. It was grueling. I hate it! But the truth was that if had continued on this path of devastation, my next stop would have been death. The miracle is that I did not continue, and that I was able to change my path. You can change your path too!

Yes, you can!life3

In the beginning all you have to do is worry about not drinking, without any concern about your past or expectations for your future. I know this may sound tough to do, but believe me, if you just stay sober everything eventually will fall into place. Don’t let the fear of the unknown block you. Taking the first step can be quite challenging but it is just like riding a bike, you get on, you fall, and you try again! The important thing is to keep trying! Keep that memory of your last drunk close by to help you remember why you’re doing this.

It is all going to feel new and scary. Seemingly normal tasks like sleeping and eating may be quite difficult. And since your body got so used to having alcohol on regular basis, this may be quite a shock to your system, and you will go thru a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Your feelings may be very unstable and all over the place, from being angry, irritable and tried to even happy or somewhat delirious.

You may also physically feel horrible. If you get the sweats or the shakes, and they are persistent and unmanageable, please seek medical assistance, as withdrawals from alcohol in severe cases may cause death. Don’t worry about finding a rehab at this time, your local hospital is most likely equipped to deal with alcohol withdrawals – let them know you are detoxing from alcohol. I have been to detox several times. Usually you get some IV fluids to hydrate your body and medication to help you with the withdrawals. Some hospitals have meetings and counselors on staff, which can help you with your next step in recovery. Detox usually lasts 3-5 days.

keepIt is a good idea to have a plan after leaving the hospital/detox. Staying sober in the early days can be quite difficult! Chances are that you will feel better physically, but your mind will be filled with carp. This carp can lead you right back to a drink, trust me, I have been there! The key is to have a plan! You should call a local county rehab to see if there have any spaces available. If they do not, they will at least be able to give you contact numbers for other rehabs in the area.

There is also AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and it is FREE. You may be reluctant to attend a meeting but, give it at least a try! You do not have to speak, you can just sit and listen. For me, meetings were crucial in the early days; it was the only place I felt safe from the drink. I also found many supportive people who were willing to help me stay sober! Please check out the extensive list of support sites under the Find Support link at the top of this page.

Most of all, stick it out, get thru it!

Give yourself a chance because you are worth it, and it does get better!!!


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles. You may also find some great inspiration, support and resources at the bottom of this page.

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*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. (Ref:




  1. This is a good, honest read because it’s an good, honest thoughtful post.

    Making the decision to stop drinking is incredibly empowering and more so if the decision can be carried out with resolution as was the case for me. Funny thing is that all of the problems I hid from by drinking and that were created by drinking were still waiting for me when I got sober.

    Finding the sober courage ( 🙂 ) to be vulnerable and seek help was critical to my recovery. Although there are many different ways to find help and hope, being open to and trying something is better than stewing in misery. There isn’t only one way to achieve sober happiness and being open to as many ideas as possible helped me immensely.

    To paraphrase someone far more intelligent than me … Are you willing to do the things you don’t want to do in order to get the results you want?


    • Hi Gelnn, so true, all the problems were still there when I quit drinking too, but the longer I stayed sober the problems started going away. And that’s the beauty of it all. Things do eventually get better and even now I know that if I stay sober, whatever problem might arrive it is sill much easier to deal with than when I was drinking.

      And I totally agree, being open to help, asking for help and actually getting help is crucial. There are many ways, you may need to try few to find what fits, but as long as you are willing, I think that is the key!


  2. What a Supportive Post! I just Celebrated my 7th year in recovery on Jan 29th, that was my Sentencing Date in Court for a crime I committed. The last day I gambled and drank was Jan 28th 2007, mostly from being disgusted with myself for doing what I did to someone else, and stress over what was going to happen. That’s ALL behind me Thank The Lord!!…..( I do thank him each day! )….Just a PS…I have a wonderful “Relapse Prevention Guide” listed on my blog’s Recovery Resources Pages……All are welcome to copy & paste!! Another Great Post! God Bless! Cat


  3. Great post…can’t add much to it. you say it all in a fantastic way. Yes – it’s not supposed to be easy! I think many of us out here are afraid to say that – don’t want to “scare” the newcomers. Well, as they say, if we scare them out, booze will scare them back in! And that’s the truth. I love reading posts like this and hearing speakers who say that it’s hard. I remember a few of the councillors at treatment saying that if every year was like their first year, they’d have gone back out. And I agree, to an extent.

    Fab post, my friend…!!



    • Hi Paul! I think this was sort of an awakening for me when I first heard it. It’s supposed to be hard? What? – lol. Many things are hard, why do we think quitting drinking would be easy, beats me. But I guess thinking that all you have to do is stop drinking and that’s it, is the main misconception. It takes some hard work to get to know your sober self and to live a sober life.

      I like what your counselor said, and thank goodness it gets better doesn’t it? That’s the hope that I was always holding on too.

      Thanks Paul! Hope you’re keeping warm.


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