So, identify other activities that you love and increase them. Whether you play sports or hang out with friends, “we need a different outlet to fill the void alcohol leaves,” said Dr. Murphy.
Find your people.
You are more likely to successfully quit alcohol if you have assistance. “Tell about it as many of your friends and family who feel as safe as you can,” said Dr. Murphy.
It also helps to connect with others who share your goal. In the pandemic, it has become difficult to access in-person support meetings, but online help has increased. Free Sobriety Support Communities with Virtual Meetings include Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, SheRecovers, In the Rooms, Eight Step Recovery, Refugee Recovery, Recovery Dharma, and LifeRing, among others. Neither good lighting nor charisma are required or expected. Connect from your phone while walking in a park or sitting in your car.
“I go to two meetings a day now,” said Braunwyn Windham-Burke, a reality television star whose sobriety journey is currently on season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County. “It’s so easy because it’s in my bedroom.”
A Tempest member, Valentine Darling, 32, of Olympia, Washington, thinks virtual meetings are also more LGBTQ-friendly. “I feel safe when I sit next to my houseplants, so I am more present and authentic: I wear clothes and express my gender-specific characteristics without worrying about someone following me home.”
Many organizations have meetings specifically for people of color, certain age groups, or even professions. Ben’s Friends is a sobriety group aimed at restaurant workers. “We speak a common language in restaurants,” said co-founder Steve Palmer. “You find out he’s a line chef. She is a bartender. These are my people. ‘”
Understand what recovery means to you.
If your month of sobriety has been relatively easy to manage, consider it simply a reset. However, if you’re having trouble sticking to your plan, you may need more than group meetings. You may have AUD, a disease, not a moral failure, and it needs to be treated like any disease. The most effective form of recovery usually involves long-term behavioral therapy and community support, as well as medication as needed.