5 Tips to Help Reduce Alcohol Cravings

5 Tips to Help Reduce Alcohol Cravings

5 Tips to Help Reduce Alcohol Cravings

Recovering from alcoholism is a constant uphill battle that takes a lot of strength to overcome. Here are 5 tips you can use to help you on your road of recovery to reduce alcohol cravings in a fast and healthy way.

There are millions of people suffering from alcoholism. Of those millions, only a tiny fraction will choose to go sober and maintain their sobriety.

One of the things that make alcohol so hard to kick is the changes it makes to your brain. If you have been a heavy drinker for years, some of those changes could be permanent.

Here, we give you 5 tips to help reduce alcohol cravings so over time it can become less of a struggle to stay sober. Even better, these are all completely natural and dietary based changes you can make today to lessen your cravings and keep you on the road to recovery.

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8 Tips for Rebuilding Self Esteem in Addiction Recovery

8 Tips for Rebuilding Self Esteem in Addiction Recovery

No matter how far along you are on your path to recovery, it's vital to set aside time to focus on yourself and reclaiming your self-esteem.

Addiction can strip us of our sense of self-worth. When we feel bad about ourselves seeking outside help and trying to better our lives may not feel like a battle worth fighting.

It is for this reason that rebuilding your self-esteem is a vital part of the recovery process.

Unsure of how to take back your sense of self-confidence and respect?

Here are eight tips to help you begin rebuilding self esteem as you continue working toward your recovery from addiction.

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Do Addiction Recovery Apps Work? Here Are 6 That Could Help Your Alcohol Recovery Journey

Do Addiction Recovery Apps Work? Here Are 6 That Could Help Your Alcohol Recovery Journey

Do Addiction Recovery Apps Work? Here Are 6 That Could Help Your Alcohol Recovery Journey

Should You Try Addiction Recovery Apps for Alcohol Recovery?

There's an app for everything including sobriety apps. If you're considering addiction recovery apps for alcohol recovery, here are 6 you might want to try.

Alcoholism grips over 40 million Americans ages 12 and older.

That means 1 in 7 people struggle with alcoholism in the United States. There's no doubt that this is a common battle to face.

And if you're recovering from alcoholism, it can be a difficult task to face on your own. Without the proper help, you may even slip back into your bad habits.

Lucky for you, addiction recovery apps are out there and ready to help you. Using these, you may be able to stay on track to full recovery.

Read on to find yours.

1. Sober Grid

Often, when struggling with alcohol recovery, it can become easy to feel alone. No one should have to do it alone, and that's what Sober Grid tries to do.

Sober Grid connects you with other people that are recovering. And some who have already may be on the app to give support. The app is free on both the Itunes and Android stores.

Users on the app can see in what areas other users are. This gives you the ability to meet with people like you in person.

Sober Grid offers you the community you need to get through recovery. You won't need to feel alone again.

If a situation becomes too tempting, you can contact someone in the community. Like social media, you can also publish your thoughts to a welcoming community.

2. Sobriety Counter

Sobriety Counter, also called EasyQuit, is a free app that makes sobriety fun. While the struggle can be hard, Sobriety Counter gives you some positive encouragement.

Sobriety Counter lets you personalize your recovery. You can choose to go cold turkey or take a slow path. Its flexibility makes this a perfect app for anyone.

A counter on the app keeps track of all the benefits quitting has given you. You can watch as your body's blood circulates better and fat disappears.

The app also counts up how much money you have saved since quitting. If you want, you can set a goal to reach before buying something.

Sobriety Counter also includes a three-minute game to distract you from the urge to drink. It's three minutes because that's how long it takes to lose the urge on average.

Sobriety Counter also has 64 badges that you receive when you meet goals. This positive encouragement will help you recover more than you know.

3. Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson

Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson ranks #31 on the Itunes Medical section. Although you can't get this app on Andriod, this app may make all the difference for $2.99.

Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson focuses on the mental aspect of recovery. This app doesn't stop with helping you avoid drinking. It also shows you why you shouldn't.

When you open the app, it offers you a daily listening session to relax you from drinking. Using hypnotherapy, Andrew Johnson leads you away from your negative habits.

The therapy changes your thought process about alcohol. Soon, even your subconscious wants to turn down a drink.

The app also offers you different resources to use. For example, it also offers visualization tools.

4. 12 Steps AA Companion

The 12 Steps AA companion is a helpful partner to any AA member. It costs $2.99, and you can get it on the Itunes store but not Android.

It respects your privacy from the very start. Even the app icon doesn't look like an AA app. And each time you open it, a calculator tells you how far you've come since being sober.

The app also includes the famous AA big book, which costs more in print than the app does. This means you can even save money by buying this app.

The 12 Steps AA companion also lets you use the book as any book. You can highlight text, bookmark specific passages, and more.

Along with these features, users also have access to a prayers section. The prayers are many of the common AA prayers. It also includes prayers to go along with the book.

A contact and notes section is also part of the app. With this app, you can have all the perks of the AA at your fingertips.

5. SoberTool

SoberTool is a free app on the Itunes store. And because it isn't specific to alcohol, you can use it for any kind of addiction.

A certified alcoholism counselor with 27 years of experience created the app. It focuses on creating habits that keep you sober.

Like many apps, SoberTool lets you know how many days you have been sober. Then, it calculates how much money you have saved too.

You'll see daily motivational messages that SoberTool created. And it will remind you to read them.

Because a professional developed it, the app can help you with almost any situation. You can even use a search bar to look for help.

And, because sobering up isn't a job to do alone, the app includes a community forum to use. With it, you talk to others experiencing similar emotions to yours.

6. Happify

Happify is not an app for alcoholics, but it is worth mentioning. Happify helps you defeat the feelings that make you want to drink in the first place.

It takes account of your habits and helps you decide what new habits to make. Using these new habits, you tell it how happy you feel.

Then the app quantifies how happy you are, and over time, you can see how you improve. Soon, you'll be able to improve your happiness in the way you want.

Happify is free on the Itunes store and not on android. To get full features, you could consider paying for a yearly subscription.

Want More Than Addiction Recovery Apps?

Now that you know about addiction recovery apps, it may be time to get yours. What are you waiting for? Your virtual assistant could help save your life.

If you're looking for more help, check out our blog for more. You can also find more helpful information in our AA literature.

Do you know someone recovering from alcoholism? Buy them an AA gift to celebrate their recovery. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


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8 Strategies for Staying Sober During Family Reunions

8 Strategies for Staying Sober During Family Reunions

Staying sober can be essentially challenging when in social situations surrounded by family. Do you share that you are sober now? How do handle people offering you alcohol?

We're going to give you 5 great sobriety tips for staying sober at your next family reunion.

1. Make a Plan

Prepare before the reunion what you are going to do when someone offers you a drink. You are at a gathering where people will be drinking and partying, so someone will most likely offer you a drink.

You don't owe anyone an explanation on why you are getting clean. Come up with a response and stick to it so that you aren't tempted.

A great way to prevent the whole situation from happening is to grab a water or soda early on. People are less likely to offer you a drink if they see you already have one in hand.

2. Why Aren't You Drinking?

If someone does offer you a drink a natural question will be why you aren't drinking. Now it's your family, maybe they already know you are sober.

If this is the case you can politely remind them that you are sober now. Or you can say that you realized you had a problem and decided it would be best to stop drinking.

If you aren't comfortable talking about trying to stay sober, there are plenty of other responses you can have at the ready. For example, you could say that you just don't feel like drinking.

You could say that you are the designated driver for others, which is mostly a true statement anyway. You could say that your current diet or medication prevents you from drinking.

3. Set a Time Limit and an Out

Family situations can be stressful. This is especially true when it is a large family reunion where there are more than a normal amount of family members in one place.

Setting a time limit for yourself can help you cope with the situation while you're in it. It will also limit the amount of time you spend in a situation that may cause you stress and trigger you to want to drink.

Preparing your out in advance ensures that when you've hit your limit and you need to leave, you can. If you drive yourself, then you're set.

If you drove to the reunion with others, or the reunion is where you are staying, you need an alternate plan. Maybe this means you arrange with a friend to be available to come get you.

You could have uber at the ready to get a ride. If the reunion is at a destination you can scope the place out before you go.

Look for options that allow you to "take a time out" from the situation. This could be at the destination or a nearby coffee shop.

4. Get a Buddy

Have someone that you trust be with you at the family reunion to help hold you accountable for your sobriety. It is a lot easier to stay sober when there is someone else there.

This is especially true if you are early on in your sobriety when temptations are stronger and easier to fall for. Don't think it has to be a family member, you could bring a significant other or close friend.

5. Avoid People Pleasing

Remember that just because they are your family doesn't mean you should feel obligated. Do not feel like you need to do anything you are not comfortable doing.

It can be tough to stay strong when you are facing a group, but remember that you and your sobriety are more important. Think about what situations make you uncomfortable and prepare yourself to say no to them.

We all know who that "toxic" family member is, we all have one. Limit your time with these family members as they will increase your stress and risk level.

If you can't avoid them, try planning on limiting your time at the reunion. Only go for a day or two instead of the whole week.

6. Have Realistic Expectations

Life and people aren't perfect, so set realistic expectations for your family reunion. Your family members probably haven't made major changes.

The conflicts that popped up in the past will probably pop up again. Accept them, take ownership of your role, and let it go.

Resist the urge to try and control the situation and others. You can't control how other people are.

7. Plan Activities

Don't let yourself end up sitting around for hours with family drinking and talking. There are plenty of other activities you can do with your family that doesn't involve drinking.

Don't let yourself fall into romanticising alcohol. When family members start bringing up the past and romanticising drunken events, remove yourself.

8. Find the Local Meeting

Before you go to the family reunion, locate when and where the local AA meetings are held. This will be the support system you need when the family starts becoming too much.

If you already know when and where the meeting is you remove the excuse of not knowing. You'll most likely need to go to a meeting after being surrounded by all of your family for extended periods of time.

Staying Sober

The smartest thing you can do when staying sober at a family reunion is to make a plan and prepare for your family reunion. Get your responses ready for the tough questions, and remember that you don't owe anyone any explanations.

Know where your out is, and where you can go if you need a break from the situation. Look up where the local meetings are.

Check out these great meditation tips you can take with you and use at your next family reunion.

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7 Ways Your Body Reacts During Alcohol Recovery Timeline

7 Ways Your Body Reacts During Alcohol Recovery Timeline

Have you recently made the decision to stop drinking? Perhaps you've already detoxed from alcohol and are ready for recovery.

In either case, the road to recovery isn't easy. 40% of alcoholics eventually abstain from alcohol completely or become low-risk drinkers.

Relapse is common in the first year of recovery. It also occurs in some individuals after the first year and even after the third or fifth years.

There are, however, ways you can avoid relapse and make long-term recovery a reality. By understanding the alcohol recovery timeline, you can prepare yourself to defy the odds.

In this article, we'll explore 7 things that happen to your body during alcohol recovery. That way, you know what to expect in the days, months, and years ahead!

1. Acute Withdrawal

The time it takes for your body to flush away the last of the alcohol generally takes about a week to 10 days. The first 72 hours after your last drink, however, are crucial.

The first 72 hours is often the most difficult period. As the alcohol leaves your system, you may develop adverse physical side effects caused by acute alcohol withdrawal. Acute alcohol withdrawal is often the first thing that happens along the alcohol recovery timeline.

The symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness/tremors
  • Sweating
  • Appetite loss
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue

These symptoms are most prevalent in the first 72 hours. They can last anywhere from a week to a month depending on the severity of a person's alcoholism. Those who drank heavily for months and years are more likely to develop acute alcohol withdrawal.

How to Cope with Withdrawal

It's important to stay hydrated during this time. Drinking lots of water and electrolyte beverages, such as Pedialyte, will prevent dehydration. They can also soothe some of the symptoms of withdrawal, like nausea and sweating.

Reaching out for support also helps. You need a support system of positive people who will encourage you to keep going. These should be people who will help you cope with withdrawal, not enable you.

In serious acute alcohol withdrawal, rapid heart rate, seizures, and hallucinations can occur. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

2. Post-Acute Withdrawal

For some people, detox starts the first hour since their last drink. Acute alcohol withdrawal can last up to two weeks. It's often this amount of time it takes for your body to detox from alcohol completely.

If you've made it through detox, you've overcome the hardest part. Next in the alcohol recovery timeline are the psychological effects of post-acute withdrawal.

During post-acute withdrawal, you may experience some (or all) of the following symptoms:

  • Lower energy
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Aggression
  • Decreased libido
  • Memory problems

You may also experience alcohol cravings as your brain and the central nervous system adjusts to the changes.

How to Cope with Post-Acute Alcohol Withdrawal

During this time, it's imperative that you seek counseling and medical attention. Not only so you cope better with the symptoms of post-acute alcohol withdrawal. Therapy can also help you develop coping mechanisms to deal with alcohol cravings.

In the first month after quitting drinking, your liver function starts to improve as the liver fat decreases. You'll start to feel better physically and will likely start to lose belly fat.

Don't disrupt the progress you've already made once you get through acute withdrawal. Reach out to help so you can conquer post-acute withdrawal, as well.

3. Anhedonia

You may also experience something known as anhedonia. Anhedonia is a loss of interest and pleasure. It often develops during the first weeks and months of the alcohol recovery timeline.

Anhedonia often develops during the transition from frequent alcohol usage to abstinence. They'll often withdraw socially or experience general malice and difficulty socializing.

Someone is likely to develop anhedonia if they have depression or anxiety. They're also more prone to anhedonia if they've recently experienced trauma or have a history of abuse or neglect.

How to Cope with Anhedonia

Here are some ideas on how to deal with anhedonia:

  • Joining a gym or a sports team
  • Practicing yoga or meditation
  • Cooking new and healthier meals
  • Taking up a new hobby, like knitting or painting

Some doctors may prescribe antidepressants to recovering alcoholics who are experiencing anhedonia.

It's important that you stay busy and find new activities you can enjoy that don't revolve around drinking. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is not only helpful for staying sober. It can give you an opportunity to socialize and connect with others who know what you're going through.

4. Sobriety

The first weeks and months of recovery are physically the hardest.

After about a month or so, your body will no longer go through withdrawal. However, the road to recovery doesn't end there. The coming months and years are often the most difficult - emotionally and mentally.

Social events or certain people or places can trigger cravings. Stressful events or trauma can also trigger one's desire to start drinking again. Often times, these kinds of cravings can feel more physical than they do mental.

For as long as you stay sober, it's important that you keep working on your coping mechanisms. That way, should you experience triggering events, you'll be able to abstain from alcohol rather than giving in.

It's also good to keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to get sober. You can write reminders down in the form of inspiring quotes or as a list of goals or reasons.

Understanding the Alcohol Recovery Timeline

Recovering from alcohol addiction is a big accomplishment. It's physically and emotionally challenging, and you've made the decision to recover, you should feel proud of yourself.

You'll need reminders along the road of recovery to keep you moving forward. AA coins can mark each milestone you accomplish in recovery and can keep track of your progress.

Keep reminding yourself of why you wanted to get sober. For ideas, contact us at The Token Shop today!

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Get Ahead in Your Treatment: The Benefits of Alcohol Recovery

Get Ahead in Your Treatment: The Benefits of Alcohol Recovery

Get Ahead in Your Treatment: The Benefits of Alcohol Recovery

The Benefits of Alcohol Recovery

Quitting your alcohol addiction is difficult at the beginning. But after years of alcohol recovery, you'll begin to feel a lot better. Here are the benefits of recovery.

There are so many different withdrawal symptoms that people are forced to deal with when they make the decision to quit using alcohol.

Some of those symptoms include restlessness, agitation, nausea, anxiety, headache, seizures, and more. In some cases, people may even need to get medical help to detox from alcohol safely.

But over time, alcohol recovery can work wonders for your body, your mind, and your life as a whole. Before long, you'll feel better than you've ever felt before and be glad you made the decision to walk away from alcohol.

Here are some of the many benefits that come along with alcohol recovery.

You'll Look Younger

You might not necessarily realize it since you look at yourself in the mirror every day. But there's a good chance alcohol use has made you look older.

Alcohol can dehydrate your skin and cause it to lose its elasticity, which can make your skin sag. That alone will make you look older than you really are.

When you're on the road to alcohol recovery, the collagen levels in your skin will slowly return to normal. That will make you look better than you have in years.

You'll Save a Lot of Money

A six-pack of beer, a bottle of wine, or even a liter of hard alcohol doesn't cost a fortune. You can usually get your hands on your drink of choice for less than $10 if you're willing to drink the most affordable option.

But if you drink every single day, that can obviously add up over the course of a month. You could be spending hundreds of dollars every month and thousands of dollars every year while drinking without even recognizing it.

When you go through alcohol recovery, you'll save all that money and see a real difference when you check your bank account. Many people are surprised by how much they were spending on alcohol.

You'll Form More Meaningful Connections With People

Most people turn into social butterflies when they use alcohol. They don't have any problem holding a conversation with a total stranger in a bar.

But when you meet new people while under the influence of alcohol, you're unlikely to form any real bonds with them. You might run into them the very next day and completely forget what you talked to them about just 24 hours prior.

You might not be quite as social when you're not drinking. But you can rest assured knowing you'll create better connections with other people when you're sober.

You'll Shed Pounds

Alcohol is loaded with tons and tons of calories. Even low-calorie beers and wines still have lots of empty calories that your body won't really be able to use. Your body will also treat alcohol as though it's sugar and store it in the form of fat.

Over time, all those calories can take a toll on a person and cause them to gain a lot of weight. It's not uncommon for someone who is addicted to alcohol to have at least 10 extra pounds packed on their frame.

The moment you make the decision to stop drinking, your body will start to shed some of the extra weight that it's been carrying around. You could lose 10, 15, or even 20 pounds or more without much effort on your part.

It's one of the benefits of alcohol recovery that people welcome the most. They feel so much better when they aren't overweight.

You'll Make Your Heart Healthier

Alcohol is not good for your heart at all. When you take in too much alcohol every day, you can develop everything from high blood pressure to an increased risk of heart disease.

As soon as you stop drinking, your heart will begin to get healthier and healthier over the months and years.

You'll Have Time for New Hobbies

Outside of wasting a lot of money on alcohol, you're also wasting a lot of time on it. People often spend hours and hours at a time drinking beer, wine, and other forms of alcohol.

Think of the things you could be doing with all that time! You could be playing a sport, reading more, or even just hanging out with your friends and playing video games.

Alcohol recovery gives you your precious time back and lets you spend it on something more productive than drinking.

You'll Sleep Better at Night

Those who drink alcohol regularly often have a hard time sleeping at night.

Some people can't fall asleep for hours, while others fall asleep right away only to wake up over and over again throughout the course of the night. And then, there are those dreaded bathroom trips that follow a night of drinking alcohol.

When alcohol is removed from the equation, all those nightmare scenarios stop. You can sleep better at night and get a more restful sleep so that you feel refreshed in the morning.

You'll Improve Your Self-Esteem

Most people who drink alcohol all the time don't feel very good about themselves. They lose confidence in their abilities and often drink even more to try and regain the confidence they've lost.

You'll see a spike in your self-esteem when you put down the bottle forever. Part of that will be because you've demonstrated the willpower to live a life without alcohol. But part of it will also be because your mind will be thinking more clearly than it has in years.

Continue Down the Road to Alcohol Recovery and Reap the Benefits

Putting yourself on the road to alcohol recovery and maintaining your sobriety at all costs isn't easy. You'll encounter trials and tribulations that will make you want to go back to drinking again.

But by sticking with it and taking the recovery process seriously, you can reap the rewards that come along with it. You can also add AA coins to your collection to prove just how far you've come.

Take a blog at our blog to learn tips and techniques for overcoming an addiction to alcohol today.

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5 Alcohol Recovery Stories to Inspire You This Year

5 Alcohol Recovery Stories to Inspire You This Year

A major component of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is attendance at 12 step recovery meetings where we hear others share their experience, strength and hope on how they stay sober one day at a time. However, if you are traveling, ill or otherwise unable to get to a meeting, it's important to stay connected to the alcohol recovery stories of others.

Reading the literature online or listening to podcasts is an integral way to remember what it was like and how it works when you can't get to a meeting.

Here are five alcohol recovery stories of men and women who found the easier, softer way of living life without alcohol. We hope you will identify with their stories.

1. The Pink Cloud Bursts

Melanie H. found the rooms of AA and quickly saw her life get better once she put down the drinks and drugs she had been using for years. She quickly found a sponsor and a home group. She went out to the diner for coffee once a week with a group of sober women who shared their alcohol recovery stories with each other.

"I love AA!" Melanie would announce to anyone who would listen. Her sponsor informed her that the euphoria she was feeling was commonly known as "the pink cloud" - the happiness one initially feels when one realizes there is hope in life without alcohol.

By the time Melanie's first year anniversary started to approach, however, she started to feel disillusioned with the program. One of her best friends went out and she never heard from her again. Another friend whom she considered a paragon of sobriety revealed she was having an extramarital affair.

"How can these people talk about staying sober in meetings and then go out and act like that?" Melanie cried to her sponsor. "Everyone is such a hypocrite!"

Melanie's sponsor talked to her about the physical and mental changes she herself experienced after one year of sobriety. She encouraged her to accept her coin on her one year anniversary to show others how it worked for her.

Melanie was honest about her misgivings when she celebrated, and a newcomer came up to her and said she felt the same way. Melanie started to sponsor her, and her program became reinvigorated and renewed.

She frequently shares how her pink cloud burst after one year of sobriety, but that she still keeps coming and her life is so much better.

2. Herb's Coin Reminded Him Not to Take the First Drink

When Herb celebrated three years of sobriety, his sponsor gave him the coin that his sponsor had given him on his third anniversary twenty years earlier. Herb was grateful that his sponsor would give away something that had so much personal value.

Herb put the coin in the pocket of his sports coat and went off to work. His career had taken off in the years since he had put down the drink, and he was enjoying his newfound financial security.

That night, Herb was at a professional industry gala with many of his work colleagues. The champagne was flowing and everyone was having a great time. Herb started to feel awkward standing around the bar with a sparkling water in his hand.

"Come on Herb, why don't you join us in a toast?" his supervisor yelled in front of all of their colleagues.

Herb felt embarrassed: he thought everyone was wondering why he wasn't drinking. He stuck his hand in his pocket and there he felt the coin that his sponsor had given him, handed down from his own sponsor years before.

Holding the coin in his hand, Herb smiled and raised his glass of club soda. He toasted his friends, and in his heart, he toasted his own sobriety and the chain of fellowship which gave him strength in moments like these.

3. You Are Never Alone

Dan was in the armed forces. He was five years sober, but his military service often required that he travel to far off places. AA meetings were not always easy to find, and leaving the military outposts was often prohibited.

At one posting, Dan was stationed on a tiny island in the North Sea and he found himself thinking about drinking more than he liked. He was allowed off the base, so he thought he would look into whether he might be able to find a meeting.

To his surprise, Dan discovered through Intergroup that there was a weekly meeting not far from where he was stationed. He made his way there one evening to find a solitary man sitting in an empty room with a Big Book.

The man was glad to see him. "I haven't had anyone else come by in over four years," said the man. "I still come here every week, just in case someone like you shows up and needs to speak with another alcoholic."

Dan's military days are long behind him, but he knows that no matter where he is in the world, the hand of AA will always reach out to help him if and when he needs it.

4. Getting Through One Hour at a Time

Carol C. wanted to stop drinking, but she could not seem to put any time together. No matter how many inspired she felt by the alcohol recovery stories she heard, she still felt she was different.

How could all of those old timers understand her, when she could not seem to stop drinking for even a week?

One night Carol was standing on a street corner, weighing the choice of going to one of the many bars she used to frequent or going to a meeting in a church next door.

She wanted to get drunk so badly, but she could not stop thinking of Bill W's choice in the Big Book, when he tried to decide between going to the hotel bar or seeking out another alcoholic to talk to. that other alcoholic was Doctor Bob.

For a reason she didn't really understand, Carol decided to go to the meeting. She shared about her urge to go to the bars down the street and drink.

At the end of the meeting, the leader presented Carol with a 24-hour coin. "Just hold on to this," he said. "Just get through the next 24 hours, that's all you have to do."

Carol held on to that 24-hour coin and she didn't drink that day. She began to understand what AAs were talking about when they repeated the phrase, "One day at a time."

5. She Craved the Applause

Mary was an actress, and she was ordered to go to AA when she got her second DUI.

She didn't think she had anything in common with the people in AA. She didn't understand what anyone was talking about. Then she heard people clapping for the members who had reached certain milestones, like staying sober for 90 days.

I want them to clap for me, she thought. So she hung on for 30 days, then 60, then 90.

I want to celebrate a year, she decided after reaching 90 days.

Mary is now celebrating twenty years without a drink. She laughs at the memory of herself as a newcomer, craving the applause of the rooms. "But it kept me coming back", she says.

Now she urges her sponsees to celebrate their sobriety milestones. "When you receive your coin, even if it is for the applause, you are showing others that it works if you work it," she says.

Alcohol Recovery Stories: Inspiration to Keep Coming Back

The fellowship we find in AA meetings shows every alcoholic that they are not alone in the desire to stop drinking. By hearing each others' experiences, we learn that everyone has the capacity to recover if we are willing to be honest.

By celebrating each other's triumphs over alcohol one day at a time, we see how the program works for others, and gradually come to believe that it may work for us too.

For more information on the 12 steps and to order celebratory tokens for your group, contact us.

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7 Summer Getaway Ideas for the Newly Sober

7 Summer Getaway Ideas for the Newly Sober

Looking for a sober summer getaway this year? You deserve it! We all deserve the chance to rest, unwind, and relax.

With that said, many typical summer activities can be triggering- with all the alcohol, focus on partying, and pervasive messages to let go and indulge.

However, you can definitely stay strong in your program and enjoy seeing the world at the same. Let's get to our top favorite getaway ideas!

Sober Cruises

Although they may be typically synonymous with free-flowing booze and all-you-can-eat buffets, several companies, including Sober Cruises and Sober Celebrations, focus on balancing on recovery with fun.

In general, even if alcohol is present onboard, these companies aim for spiritual fitness and creating a tight safety net for all members.

There are meetings, special events, and the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded individuals. These events are not sponsored or endorsed by any 12-step group or treatment center.

If you want to sail throughout the Caribbean or lounge on the Hawaiian beaches, these are the trips for you to consider!

Sober Resorts & Hotels

Did you know that there are several sober hotels and resorts all around the world? You're just a few Expedia clicks away from finding a charming inn or bed-and-breakfast that maximizes fun without drugs and alcohol.

Gather up your friends and loved ones, and get out there! No need to worry about dicey hotel bars or minibars in the bedroom.

Unsure if it's really sober? Just call the hotel and ask. The concierge will let you know what the sober scene looks like (or doesn't look like). Be proactive in taking care of what you need!

Meditation Retreat

Are you interested in embracing your sober lifestyle by staying spiritually fit and connected with nature and your Hig?er Power.

Consider looking into meditation or silent retreats. Both religious and secular organizations host different events all around the world, and you can often choose from lengths ranging from a half-day to several weeks.

Not only will you get to experience a new place (and typically take in some gorgeous scenes), you'll actually get to learn and grow through your summer getaway.

Best of all? You don't need to go with anyone to have a good time. These retreats are typically designed for you to go within yourselves and deepen your internal relationship.

Travel Agency Tours

Did you know that there are entire companies devoted to sober travel arrangements? That's right- you can have someone else completely plan out your summer getaway free from drugs and alcohol.

For example, In this Life Travel has its own Recovery Travel division. You can take advantage of their 20+ years in the industry to book some of the best private and guided tours around the world.

Furthermore, you'll also have access to different meetings and fantastic recovery speakers throughout your trip.

While these trips may cost more money than, say, planning travel out on your own, you won't have to worry about all the organizational details.

If you've never been to a foreign country, this may be the best option for you. No worries about language barriers, planning out transportation options, or figuring out your hotel accomodations. These tours handle all of that for you.

Camping Trips

Travel doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. You don't need to jump on an airplane to have a blast.

Grab your group of sober friends and head out to the national parks for a cheap, easy, and fun summer getaway.

Depending on where you live, there are probably several awesome nature spots within a few hours of your location.

Take it back to your summer childhood, pitch a few tents, roll out the sleeping bags, and get your s'more roasting skills ready.

After all, there's nothing like a summer getaway like lying out under the stars with the people you love the most, right?

Fitness/Athletic-Based Trips

Now that you're sober, perhaps you've picked up running or rock climbing or surfing. What about planning a summer getaway surrounding your new hobby?

For example, maybe you've always wanted to complete a marathon or hike Mt. Whitney. Maybe you've had dreams of surfing in Hawaii or bouldering in Colorado.

Whatever it is, now is the time to do it! You're healthy, you've got a quest for life, and you hopefully now have the time(and mental sanity) to actually pursue your adventures.

It's time to start ticking some of those items off your bucket list!


Don't have a ton of free time or disposable income? Don't stress- you can still plan an awesome summer getaway, even with short notice or limited funds.

Chances are, there's plenty to see or do within your own city- or just within an hour or so away.

If you've never played tourist in your own home, now just may be the time to take advantage of your own surroundings.

Book a local hotel (or just plan your own day trip and stay in an Airbnb or at home to save money). Check out Yelp to see what places are trending. Visit that park you've always driven by but never stopped at.

Bring your camera and make it a point to take pictures- after all, you're playing tourist! You're on vacation, right? Have fun with it!

Final Thoughts on Planning the Perfect Sober Summer Getaway

They say travel is one of the only purchases that can actually make you richer. Best of all? When you're sober, you can actually remember all the novel experiences and exciting adventures!

Interested in more inspirational blog posts about recovery and growth? Be sure to check out our blog today!

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