This Sober Short series is taking you through our Tribe Sober Toolkit – this toolkit is just one of the things that we share with you during our regular Zoom workshops – just go to tribesober.com, hit Our Services and you’ll find all the info about our workshops. You can do a group workshop or a private workshop to suit your schedule and time zone.
These workshops have been a gamechanger for many people so if you want to kickstart your sober life then sign up today. Just go to tribesober.com/services and click on workshops.
During the first 14 Sober Shorts, we looked at the first 14 Tools in our toolbox. Before we move on to the final tool here is a quick recap…
In this Episode
Tool number 1 was “Get Connected”
- Connection is the Opposite of Addiction” and if you’re serious about getting sober then you need to connect with others on the same path.
- If you’re not yet a member of our tribe please check us out on tribesober.com – just hit “join our tribe” to read about the benefits of membership.
Tool number 2 was “Get Moving”
- We all know is that exercise is “good for us” and many people exercise daily but they also drink daily – sometimes excessively.
- Ditch the drink and keep exercising and you will be amazed at how much fitter you will get!
Tool number 3 was “Building Emotional Strength”
- All about “learning to sit with our feelings” – instead of trying to chase them away with alcohol – alcohol is the “easy button” and enables us to bypass difficult emotions.
- We have to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” as Tribe Sober coach Lynette says, or as Glennon Doyle says, “First the Pain, then the Rising.”
Tool number 4 was “Mindset”
- It was about changing your thinking – about drinking.
- We talked about overturning those false beliefs that we have picked up over the years — for example, we believe that we deserve a drink at the end of the day!
- We talked about overturning those beliefs – one by one.
- “Do the work” and you will never see alcohol in the same way and…
- You will never suffer from FOMO which is the key to sticking to your sobriety.
Tool number 5 was “Visualisation”
- We talked about some powerful ways to use visualisation.
- One of them was to “Play the movie forward” – if you get the urge to drink, then just think it through – what will happen after that first glass. Do you really want to wake up at 3 am full of anxiety and regret?
- Do you really want to keep going back to Day 1 – and do the hardest bit – again and again?
Tool number 6 was “Information is Power”
- It’s hard to believe it these days but not that long ago we had NO IDEA that smoking was bad for us.
- Even if you do decide to carry on drinking then make sure that it’s an informed choice. The information is out there and just a quick Google search will connect you with scientific research proving that alcohol is linked to 7 different types of cancer and more than 60 diseases.
- That’s a good place to start and there are many QuitLit books out there and of course podcasts – almost 100 episodes of the Tribe Sober podcast are available now, all packed with advice inspiration and information.
- If you’d like a QuitLit Reading list just email email@example.com – you can also go to tribesober.com and hit the Inspiration tab where you’ll find a wealth of information that will inspire you to get started – and motivate you to keep going.
Tool number 7 was “Be Accountable”
- When we embark on this journey, we need a community of people who actually care – people who have been where we are now and can advise and encourage us – people who are thriving in their alcohol-free lives and can inspire us that it really is worth doing this thing.
- WE NEED TO BE ACCOUNTABLE – we need to know that we can share our ups and downs with other people who really get us.
- So, if you are looking for a sober community to inspire you and keep you on track just go to tribesober.com and hit join our tribe.
- If you’d like to sample the kind of support we offer then email firstname.lastname@example.org and request our Sobriety Battleplan pdf which is packed with great advice, charts and trackers.
Tool Number 8 was “Journaling”
- At our workshops, we advise people to buy a beautiful notebook that will become their sobriety journal throughout this life-changing journey.
- Sobriety is a journey of self-discovery and recording your thoughts, emotions, struggles, and accomplishments is so beneficial.
- Early sobriety is a very emotional time and for most of us it really helps to process emotions if we can write them down.
- We can note our triggers as well as strategies for coping with them
- Journaling will give us perspective – reading back on the early weeks of sobriety will remind us just how hard it was – and make us realise it’s getting better and easier every day.
- To learn more about the magic of journaling listen to Tribe Sober podcast episode 98 to hear my interview with writer in recovery Melinda Ferguson – released on 26th March 2022.
Tool No 9 was “Get a Project”
- It’s very common for people to feel a bit flat once they have achieved their first few months of sobriety.
- Many people in Tribe Sober (including me) experienced that “flatness’/depression/void” or whatever you want to call it – when they asked me what they should do about it I just told them to sit it out as it would eventually pass.
- However that advice changed after my podcast interview with Dr Loretta Breuning (author of the Happy Brain) – so do have a listen, it’s episode 55 and was released on 14 August 2021.
- Loretta explained that my brain was quite happy during the first few months as it had registered that it was working on a project (i.e. sobriety) and I was making progress – however after a few months my subconscious was thinking – ok so now we are sober, now what?
- Well here’s the thing – as human beings we need projects – think of the cavemen, they would wake up hungry and have to go and find some food, eating the food would give them a dopamine hit but then they would get hungry again and have to go hunting.
- So as you settle into your first few months of sobriety, GET A PROJECT to keep you on track and to keep those happy brain chemicals triggered.
Tool No 10 was “Be Prepared”
- As with most things in life preparation is crucial…
- Play the movie forward – what ARE you going to drink – if it’s a restaurant then check out their drinks menu online and decide what you will order.
- If you are going to a dinner party the text your host in advance and take some AF bubbly with you.
- Decide what you are going to say when/if people start to interrogate you – you can keep it simple “I’m on meds”, “I’m driving” or my favourite, “I’m on a health kick – no booze, no sugar, no carbs for 66 days!”
- If drinking at home was your problem then give away your booze – or move it to somewhere you can’t see it (the garage is a good place) and make sure your fridge is stocked with delicious AF choices – if you are in SA, just go to drinknil.co.za and they will deliver to your door.
Tool No 11 was “Track Your Progress”
- When a new member joins our tribe we send an Annual Tracker. It helps to give perspective, to keep an eye on the big picture – sure there may be slip ups on the way but what matters is a feeling of progress – are those “Sober Stretches” getting longer?
- If you would like one of our Annual Trackers then just email email@example.com and I’ll send you one right away!
- It’s so important to celebrate Milestones on this journey – the Forever word is just too daunting when starting out on this journey so we suggest 30, 60, 100 days as Milestones… followed by 6 months and then moving on to Annual.
- The great thing about Tribe Sober is that many people stick around after getting sober – they want to help and inspire others – we even have a chatroom for people with more than 6 months of sobriety
Tool No 12 was “Nurture Yourself”
- When we embark on this life changing journey we are going against the flow. We are going against the flow and that takes confidence and courage!
- We need to nurture ourselves so that we can access the inner resources we need to embrace an alcohol-free life.
- Many people (me included) discover that they are introverts at heart and not the party animal they thought they were when they drank!
- Sobriety is a journey of discovery so spend the extra time you’ve saved exploring – Tribe Sober members have free resources to sample like coaching, hypnotherapy and root cause therapy as well as online yoga and art therapy.
- You need to spoil yourself! Think of your sobriety as a pregnancy – 9 months of doing exactly what feels right for you – read books, be alone, go to bed early, have naps, light candles, eat chocolate, turn down social invitations, light candles, have hot baths!
- The pregnancy analogy works so well because for most of us 9 months is long enough for our sobriety to be strong – to survive in the outside world!
Tool No 13 was “Know Your Triggers!”
- Triggers are a response to an outside stimulus that results in an automatic action.
- We have trained our brains to drink, and now we have to untrain them.
- Our brains need time to “rewire” – we need to uncouple experiences – eg: sunset and a glass of wine
- Let’s remember that triggers won’t last for ever – quitting is not about abstaining – or about resisting – its about building a new life when we won’t even want to drink.
- But while we are adjusting we will need to learn how to deal with our triggers.
- Typical triggers are H.A.L.T.S (Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired. Stressed) that can affect our sobriety.
- Although we will experience triggers we don’t have to act on them – we are not like a toddler having a tantrum in a supermarket because we can’t have chocolate!
- We need to pause and breathe when we get a trigger – be curious – write about them in your journal and develop strategies to deal with them.
Tool No 14 was “Do the Work”
- At Tribe Sober we’ve helped hundreds of people to quit drinking and our observation is that it takes 3-6 months of hard work – and then it gets easier and easier. That’s where we differ from AA – we don’t see it as a “lifetime struggle” which necessitates going to meetings for ever.
- “Doing the work” in AA of course means going through the 12 steps but at Tribe Sober we believe that “the work” is different for everyone. It depends on various factors – including how dependent we have become.
- “Doing the work” means listening to all the podcasts and reading all the QuitLit books – other people stories and struggles remind us that we are not alone in this and that it is possible to make a change.
- “Doing the work” means trying out the tools I’ve outlined in these Sober Shorts until you have created your very own sober toolkit. Even better sign up for one of our workshops to learn more about changing your mindset about drinking and meeting others on the same path.
- When we stop drinking we have time on our hands – we have to reconfigure our life so that it’s a life we don’t want to escape from. It’s an ideal time to try different activities and to connect with other people on the same path. That’s why we offer our members opportunities to try coaching, hypnotherapy, art therapy, yoga, meditation as well as providing nutritional and medical advice.
Tool No 15 was “Find Your Purpose!”
- When we are dependent on alcohol we get stuck. Our life doesn’t evolve.
- If you’ve seen that movie Groundhog Day you will remember that the guy woke up and repeated the same day over and over.
- When I was “working hard and playing hard” I was in that place. Sure, I was making plenty of money for the shareholders of a massive corporate, but after a long day of doing that I would come home and numb my brain with a bottle of alcohol.
- Then I would wake up the next day and do it all again.
- When I finally got sober I recovered my health, my energy, my creativity and most importantly I recovered time – time to think.
- Time to think more clearly about what I really wanted out of my life.
- Time to make the changes I needed and to create a life I no longer wanted to escape from.
- We see this all the time in our community – people get sober and then start looking at other parts of their life. Are they eating healthily? Are they exercising enough? Are they in the right job? Are they happy in their relationships?
- We call this The Domino Effect and we have a podcast on this subject – Tribe Sober podcast episode episode 52 from July 2021.
- So that’s it for the Tribe Sober Toolkit – if you’d like more info on the Toolkit as well as the mindset changes you need to make then please check out our Zoom Workshops
- Let me leave you with one of my favourite quotes by Victor Frankl
- “Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure as Freud believed, nor is it a quest for power as Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in their life.”
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