As you may know I now work as a coach for Annie Grace and the team at This Naked Mind. It still amazes me how I have gone from a bottle of wine a day enthusiastic drinker to a happily sober alcohol coach!
I was coaching in one of the This Naked Mind groups recently and we were discussing the 5 stages of sobriety, I wished I had been aware of this when I quit as it gives a bit of structure to the journey when you want to quit drinking.
I thought I would share the 5 stages, it really did make sense to me and I am sure if I was back in the place where I wanted to stop this would have really helped.
The 5 Stages to Sobriety
1) Unawareness – You don’t even know you have a problem, so many people are stuck here, they never get past this point and just carry on day in day out. If you have made it past this point you should congratulate yourself.
2) Awareness – This is the point where you have realised something is wrong, it is causing you pain and internal conflict. You know something is wrong but you don’t know how to fix it. This is the most painful part on the path to sobriety, don’t worry, you don’t stay here for long.
3) Education – You start to learn about the issues and the solutions – this is key, it is all about changing your beliefs, educating yourself and understanding. I launched into sobriety like I was studying for a university degree. I read every book I could get my hands on, joined Facebook groups (in fact I even started my own – link in the menu above), watched videos and signed up to online courses. I wanted to know everything there was to know about getting sober and discover the best tools and tactics. Take the time to learn, some tools are better than others and different people like different things, explore as much as you can.
4) Action – This is when you do something positive to make a change, you take steps forward and start putting the education into practice. You start to experience things for real without alcohol involved and start truly changing your beliefs that life really is better without the booze. A great example is that I didn’t ‘believe’ you could go to a gig and have fun without drinking, how wrong I was, but that belief would never have changed until I had experienced it for myself.
5) Mastery – This is when you are truly free, alcohol no longer runs the show. This stage took me a good 6 months and mastery only comes with real-world experiences and real changes in your beliefs. Once you are here you will have changed your mindset from ‘can’t have’ a drink to ‘don’t want’ one.
There are loads of articles and advice right here on the Be Sober blog, it should all help you find the tools and support that are right for you.
Make sure you join the Be Sober Facebook group, it is easy to think you are alone on this journey, this isn’t the case.