Here is how I got and am staying sober (your mileage may vary):
1) Know your enemy, go on the web and research the effects of alcohol on the body and mind. Learn about alcoholism.
2) Eat well. Especially early on your body needs help repairing the damage done. Avoid/cut back on caffeine (I switched to tea, many varieties to try and about ½ the caffeine of coffee). Watch out for foods with processed sugar. The last two items will stabilize your blood sugar level, which for me is vital to felling well.
3) Exercise. It does several things, such as giving a good endorphin rush, gives you something to focus and learn about and it makes you healthy. I personally like biking, running working out at a gym, Frisbee golf, …
4) Replay in your mind the bad experiences you have had as a result of drinking (I either focus on a few really bad things or just start listing off as many as I can).
5) I looked myself strait in the eye (a mirror helps greatly!) and said “I am Todd W, I am an alcoholic. I will not drink today, because if I do something bad will happen such as <fill in the blank with something different every day>.”
6) Don’t worry about drinking tomorrow, all I gotta do is not put the shit in my mouth at this moment.
7) I counted days, then weeks then months, now years.
8) Realize that drinking is no longer an option so don’t sweat it (I read a book titled “Plato not Prozac” that really help to come to terms with the fact that I can’t drink like most people)
9) When the urge strikes, strike back! Don’t put it out of mind, take it head on and use some of the above tools.
10) When at a party, study the really drunk people and realize that it isn’t cool to get tanked.
11) Enjoy the mornings!!
For those of you starting out or having a tuff time, just keep at it. It is worth the struggle.
Todd W., LSRMail list, 7/11/01