6 Tips for Maintaining Sobriety in 2018

6 Tips for Maintaining Sobriety in 2018

The holiday season is officially over, which means that a new year is upon us. And with a new year comes new resolutions. One of the most popular seems to be maintaining sobriety.

Alcoholism is an extremely serious disease that affects millions of people every day. In addition to tearing apart families and social circles, it can cause liver and brain damage and in extreme cases, may be fatal.

Sobriety is tough enough on its own, but it gets even harder when you start to realize that temptation is practically everywhere.

Keep your mind and body sharp by knowing what to expect. Here are six easy tips on maintaining sobriety in 2018.

1. Maintaining Sobriety Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

When it comes to sobriety, there's a common saying that sobriety is a marathon, not a sprint. It may not be the newest phrase on earth, but it's certainly poignant.

Sobriety isn't something that can be accomplished in a set number of days. Even with the help of a 12 step program, you'll face temptations all the time.

Instead, it's important that you approach your sobriety as a journey of sorts. Like anything worth doing in life, it's going to take time and plenty of effort.

If you're just beginning your sober journey, expect a rough beginning. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may experience nausea, profuse sweating, and sudden outbursts.

For your safety, consult a physician before quitting cold turkey. Your body gets used to certain chemicals and substances, and depriving your system of those substances suddenly puts your body in a state of shock.

Be safe and be patient. Sobriety may be tough, but you're tougher.

2. Grow Your Support System

During your initial days of sobriety staying away from alcohol can feel daunting. You may feel alone and like no one understands. But the truth is you have tons of people around you who love and support you no matter what.

Psychologists suggest that having a strong support system in place is a great way to stay sober and those who have a strong circle of friends and family are likelier to stay sober than those who walk their path alone.

There will be days where maintaining sobriety feels almost impossible. It's precisely during these dark days that you'll need to turn to your loved ones. It's a good idea to surround yourself with sober individuals, or at least individuals that won't pressure you into drinking.

3. Remind Yourself Why You're Quitting

Everyone has their own personal reasons for maintaining sobriety. It may be for your own health, for your family, relationship, or even your career.

Whatever your reason, physically writing out your reasons for quitting is a great, cathartic exercise. Grab a piece of a paper and a pencil and find a quiet area.
Take a few moments to reflect on your life. What is it that made you choose to quit?

There's no right or wrong answer. Write down whatever you think is important enough to get you to stop drinking.

Then, once you've finished, fold up the paper and keep it in a drawer or private area. When you're feeling tempted to drink, open up the list and remind yourself once again what you're fighting for.

4. Give Yourself a Physical Reminder

It's nice to have a piece of paper to turn to, but plenty of people would rather have a physical reminder of their sobriety. For those that want a reminder to stay strong at all times, we'd suggest picking up an affirmation chip.

With tons of different options, there's sure to be an affirmation chip that's right for you. These trinkets offer both comfort and accountability.

Imagine having one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong.

Work is tough, you didn't get enough sleep last night, and you overhear your coworkers talking about grabbing drinks after work. You want to partake, but then you remember that helpful little coin in your pocket.

One day at a time, it says. Suddenly, you're reminded why it may not be such a great idea to head to the bar tonight. And just like that, your token of sobriety keeps your temptation in check.

5. Learn Your Triggers

Alcoholism in and of itself is often a symptom of something else. There's always a reason why someone turns to the bottle. Understanding what it is that makes you drink is a great way to keep yourself in check.

Determining your triggers may not be something you can accomplish on your own. Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to a mental health professional or a trusted confidante at your local AA meeting.

There are plenty of people out there who would love to help you get to the bottom of your addiction, and the sooner you understand what attracts you to alcohol, the sooner you can understand how to fix it and what to avoid.

6. Be Vocal About Maintaining Sobriety

Sobriety is never something that should be hidden or looked down upon, even by those who actively imbibe. It takes immense personal strength and fortitude to quit self-destructive behaviors.

Yet so many addicts find it tough to talk about maintaining sobriety as if there's a stigma. But vocalizing one's sobriety is a fantastic way to inspire yourself and others.

Don't be afraid to share your story with those around you. Sobriety is, after all, a journey that no one can take alone.

Reach out to others around you. Consider sponsoring a newly recovering addict at your local AA meeting, or just share your own story with friends.

Your desire to maintain sobriety has the capacity to affect everyone around you for the better. Imagine how much of a difference you can make by letting others know why you're staying sober.

Maintaining Sobriety is Tough, Let Us Help

Truth be told, there's no easy way to stay sober. But you have what it takes. Stay strong, and don't be afraid to share your journey with the world. You never know who you may inspire.

Don't forget to pick up your personal token to help you maintain sobriety. Get in touch or browse our shop to find the perfect recovery gift.

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The Importance Of AA Chips On The Road To Recovery

Recovering from alcohol is no easy feat. If you're in recovery, how do you remind yourself how far you have come? Is there anything that can make you stop and realize your progress?

The answer is yes. If you are a recovering alcoholic, AA chips can be a lifesaver, and give you pause before you consider drinking again. Read on to discover the benefits of having these valuable little tokens.

AA Chips Are More Than Just a Prize

If you have a drinking problem, you have likely gone through Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as AA. This is a group that can easily be found in towns and cities all over the country.

Research has shown that participating in AA benefits you if you are having a difficult time getting alcohol out of your life. Since you are spending time with other people who are trying to accomplish the same goal, it removes the need to drink in a social setting.

One of the benefits of joining AA is the opportunity to pursue your sober journey. Through each step that you make, you are given AA chips, which remind you of how far you have come.

Mark Every Step of Your Journey

The first step of your journey begins with putting down the alcohol and starting a new life. The chips celebrate each sober movement you make. This helps provide you the encouragement you need to continue your promise to yourself.

When you first start out, you might not feel strong enough to stop drinking. By looking at your first chip, you will be able to see the promise you made to yourself. This provides you with the strength to carry on.

Grow Your Confidence as Your Chips Track Your Sobriety

As you continue on the path of sobriety, your collection of AA chips will expand. The chips are offered in this order during the first year:

  • 24 hours
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months

Each chip is a different color. After you have made it through a year, you receive a chip to commemorate this passage.

Another chip is given at 18 months. Although some folks do not keep attending AA meetings after a year, you will be acknowledged through continuous chips for each year of sobriety if you decide to keep going.

A Helpful Reminder to Carry Everywhere You Go

AA meetings work for many people, which means that regardless of how severe your alcoholism is, taking part in group meetings can benefit you. You will learn more about yourself and discover other like-minded people who have made the same commitment to quitting alcohol for good.

More than just helpful reminders of how far along you are in the journey, AA chips can be used to provide you with positive affirmations. Daily reflections are a primary component of AA. If you find yourself walking past a bar or another area where you might be tempted to give in to alcohol, these offer help.

These chips are used in addition to the ones that celebrate your steps to take control of your life again. Use them when you need a boost in confidence. If you are having a difficult time with family, work, or other pressures from life, reading the positive message on why you should continue to stay sober will leave you hopeful and provide courage.

Personalized Options Can Make It Meaningful for You

Your chips give you the chance to have more than the months in recovery or a positive message. Personalized AA chips can be made unique to your situation, giving you a solid reason to quit.

You can make the chips meaningful when you engrave these on the back of them:

  • The date you quit
  • The person you got sober for
  • The person who is sponsoring you
  • A positive quote that means something to you

Quitting and using a physical reminder of why you want to stay sober gives you the chance to remind yourself why you are doing this. Having a reason that is personal can be more meaningful and useful as you try to stay sober.

Offer Inspiration to Someone You Love in AA

If you are the friend or a family member of someone in AA, you want to help them on their journey. You may find yourself confused, not knowing what to do, or how to offer assistance.

One of the best ways to show your support is by purchasing a chip for the person you care about. They might not earn them at their AA meetings, so giving them something to be proud of can help.

The Token Shop also offers:

  • Books
  • Recovery bracelets
  • Plaques
  • Pens

Having alternative reminders can be useful, especially if you or the person you care about find them more helpful than the chips.

Continuing on Your Path of Sobriety and Growing

If you are part of AA or have thought about joining one, see how easy it is to find a group that can offer you the recovery and friendship you are looking for. You will learn about yourself, and see how it is possible to maintain a new life as a sober individual.

By using AA chips, you can experience firsthand the benefits of having a sober lifestyle and feel proud of yourself when you realize how far you've come. Sobriety is not easy, but feeling healthy and in control of your life is worth it.

Get Started Today

Come visit us at our online store, and see how you can find AA chips that will help you. Pick ones that will represent your months of sobriety. You can also select special chips that leave you with a positive message or special date that means something to you.

Make sobriety your priority and get your special chips that will aid you along the way.

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How to Be a Good Sponsor in AA

How to Be a Good Sponsor in AA

Alcoholics Anonymous is a support group where people go to get and stay sober. The idea is while detoxing, going through the steps, and staying on the wagon can be tough, no one should have to do it alone.

Along with allusions to a Higher Power and the 12 Step Process, the word, "sponsor" tends to come up quite a bit. If you've gone through the steps yourself, chances are you have your own sponsor, a person you can call when you're struggling.

Maybe you'd like to give back by helping a new member. If that's the case, here is a little more information on how to be a good sponsor.

Where Did the Idea of Sponsorship Come From?

The concept of the sponsor dates back to the very inception of Alcoholics Anonymous.

AA began in 1935 when founding members, Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson got together. After Wilson was sober for a few months, he began to search for another alcoholic who had dealt with a similar problem and found a confidante in Dr. Smith, who also struggled with staying sober.

The founders discovered that one of the key benefits of being involved in the organization was having someone to learn on, and the two men helped each other maintain their sobriety.

The model of AA relies on alcoholics helping other alcoholics--and a sponsor is an individual who is in recovery available in a mentor capacity to someone who wishes to achieve long-term sobriety themselves.

You Need to Have at Least a Year Of Sobriety Under Your Belt

A sponsor should function as something of a sobriety guide to new members. As such, you'll need to have gone through the steps yourself and be living a clean and sober lifestyle.

Sponsorship is Beneficial for Both Parties

Aside from being just a flat out, kind thing to do, becoming a sponsor is a really great way to maintain your sobriety. A study from Brown University's psychology department found that people who choose to be sponsors are less likely to relapse in the year after their initial treatment.

How to Be a Good Sponsor--AA Sponsor Guide

Impatient? Angry? Well, you might not be ready to be a sponsor. Addiction is a recurring disease and relapse is a possibility no one is immune to. With that in mind, the sponsor needs to be understanding and ready to help with the difficult times that inevitably come up during the recovery process.

Some other things that will contribute to sponsorship success:

You're Well-Adjusted to the Sober Life

You know how hard it is to get clean, and have that insight to offer your sponsee. Ideally, you have a few years of sobriety under your belt and can demonstrate that this change has made a positive impact on your life. If you have a poor attitude toward sobriety and all its trappings, you run the risk of passing that along to your sponsee.

You Shouldn't Sponsor Someone You Want to Date

A sponsor is meant to be a trustworthy party, if you have feelings for someone in AA, it is not wise to sponsor that person. If your motives extend beyond helping a fellow alcoholic, you run the risk of doing more harm than good. Ideally, it's smart to pick someone who is a gender you're not attracted to.

Be Prepared to Listen More than You Talk

As a sponsor, your duty is to listen and encourage a newcomer's integration into the group. While you're not a therapist, your role is to listen and answer questions about sobriety and share what worked for you. You're more of a shoulder to lean on than a resource for treatment methods or counseling.

You Met Your Sponsee At a Meeting

The benefit of Alcoholics Anonymous is its anonymity. It's out of bounds to offer your sponsorship at a bar or a social gathering. Instead, turn your efforts to members who are already attending meetings.

You Have the Time to Share

Issues with substance abuse don't exactly stick to a regular schedule. You must be able to pick up the phone at any given time or return text messages within a short period. With that in mind, make sure your work and family obligations

You Can Relate to the Person

Your role as a sponsor is to be someone your sponsee trusts and feels comfortable confiding in. If there's no connection, it's going to be hard to reinforce sobriety best practices or come through in a time of need.

Keep Your Expectations Clear

Communication is key as an AA sponsor. Be upfront with sponsees about what they can expect from you and what you expect in return.

Sponsees may be concerned about being dropped by a sponsor, which can lead to feelings of abandonment. On top of trying to stay sober, the fear of being rejected only makes things more challenging.

If you have certain criteria you need your sponsee to meet, it's imperative to tell them right away. Some sponsors prefer to be called at a regular time each day, while others are available if needed.

AA Gifts and Tokens

In the end, there's no one way to be a sponsor. Each sponsor-sponsee relationship will be different. Still, you should look for someone to sponsor that has a similar set of values.

Some sponsors may check in all the time and provide reading assignments, while others approach this relationship as a casual and supportive friendship.

Now that you've got a sense of how to be a good sponsor, it's time to put the above steps into practice. Between the listening skills, your patience, your understanding, you've got this.

At The Token Shop, we get the recovery process and know that things aren't always easy. For that reason, we make a number of tokens and recovery-related gifts. If you have a sponsee, show them you care. Take a look through our collection and see if anything catches your eye.

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10 Ideas for the Perfect Alcohol Recovery Gift

10 Ideas for the Perfect Alcohol Recovery Gift


It can be tough to find thoughtful gifts for loved ones at the best of times.

But it can be extra challenging when your loved one is recovering from alcoholism. It's common for people to be so concerned about giving a present that doesn't trigger relapse that they freeze and do nothing.

This is especially true if you want to give your loved one something to acknowledge their recovery and all they've overcome. Giving a recovery gift is a beautiful gesture.

So, instead of shying away from giving a gift to celebrate a recovery milestone, embrace the opportunity. The key is to remain thoughtful of what helps your loved one manage stress.

To get you on the right track, here are 10 ideas for recovery gifts.


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Recovery Jewelry to Remind You of Your Strength

Recovery Jewelry to Remind You of Your Strength

The work you've performed so far is an accomplishment to be wholeheartedly proud of. And some members of Alcoholics Anonymous wear that pride, literally, by donning recovery jewelry.
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Working Through the 7th Step Prayer

When you are battling alcohol addiction, know that you're not alone. Some 18 million people in the United States suffer from alcohol addiction. 

The 7th step prayer, which is part of the Alcoholics Anonymous twelve step program, helps to strengthen hope and faith on the road to recovery.

If you want to get the most out of your recovery process, you'll need to focus on this step and prayer intently.

In this article, we'll discuss this prayer, how integral it is to recovery and how you can apply it to your life. 

Let's take a look below at the meaning of the prayer and how you can use it effectively in your addiction recovery process. 

Commit the 7th Step Prayer to Memory

Before you run out and start going through the 7th step prayer, you'll need to learn exactly what it says. This prayer revolves around asking for forgiveness for shortcomings.

It asks the Creator to get rid of any flaws that are keeping you from living the highest version of yourself. 

This 7th step prayer is deeply rooted in self-acceptance and humility, which are cornerstones of the recovery process. 

Use the Prayer Every Day, in Good Times and Bad

Consistency is the key to working the prayer to the benefit of your life. 

No matter your spiritual beliefs or affiliation, prayer is powerful from a scientific point of view. According to neurotheology, prayer literally changes your brain. 

You'll be able to use prayer to build your belief and willpower, which can change the circumstances of your physical reality. 

Because this prayer is so important, you'll need to make it an everyday part of your life. As with anything, repetition is crucial for making a change. Use this prayer when you wake up, before you go to sleep and during difficult times in your day. 

Apply the Prayer on a Personal Level

If you are planning to commit this 7th step prayer to memory and use it, make sure that it means something to you. 

It's one thing to recite the words, and another entirely to internalize it. 

When saying the prayer, try to invoke the feeling of what you're saying. Think about your joys and triumphs, contrasted by despair and failure. This way, when you say the prayer, you'll add emotion to it that can build your faith. 

Consider creating a vision board with all of your hopes and dreams. 

This way, you'll always remember your higher purpose and what you are trying to attain. Remember the rock bottom moments and tough times and use the prayer as a means to transcend those hard times. 

Understand the Importance of Humility

There's strength in humility. 

This very human character trait is often portrayed as a virtue of "niceness", rather than true strength. 

True humility involves quieting your ego and recognizing you're flawed. When you recognize your flaws, they're put in their place, as opposed to internalized through shame. 

The 7th step prayer focuses on humility, allowing you to recognize and acknowledge your weaknesses. Only then can you accept help. 

Humility lets you develop an accountability circle, celebrate your sobriety goals and get the support system that you need. 

Make it All About Your Work

Saying the 7th step prayer is an act of faith. A verse in the bible asserts that the works keep faith alive. 

In addition to reciting and memorizing the prayer, apply it to your goals. For instance, if you've always wanted to start a business, make sure that you're stepping out on faith to do so. 

Saying this prayer regularly will keep you in the proper frame of mind, which can then power you toward your goals. 

Continuously Develop Your Spiritual Footing

Make sure that your spiritual walk doesn't end with this prayer. 

There's value available in religious and spiritual systems -- no matter which you subscribe to. Read through spiritual texts in order to get some grounding in your life that can be helpful. 

The more you exercise your faith, the more conviction you'll have with the prayer itself. Whether strengthening your faith means reading spiritual texts, attending church services or finding gurus, you'll want to take this seriously. 

The healing from something deep as substance abuse won't happen overnight and requires your full focus and effort. 

Stay Involved in Your Groups and Meetings

Take your accountability groups, counseling and meetings seriously. 

Initial treatment is crucial, but your chances of success depend on how much work you put in with these constants. Rather than just assuming you've learned from mistakes, you'll need to both receive help and provide support. 

In these meetings, you'll typically have a sponsor and will receive a chip or other commemoration as you stay sober. Sharing with others recovering will make you continuously find new meaning and context to the 7th step prayer. 

Add Meditation To Your Lifestyle

Meditation will be useful to you no matter what sort of life you lead. 

For best results, make sure to meditate every single day. By meditating regularly, you'll be better able to stay in the moment and will change your brain networks. 

Perhaps most importantly, meditation will help you to quiet the part of your mind that is involved strictly in your survival. This impulse is only concerned with moments of the past and future but takes you out of the moment. 

The more that you meditate, the easier it will be to override your impulses and simply make clear decisions. 

By coupling the 7th step prayer with regular meditation, you'll find that you're less carried away with stress and better able to deal with the feelings that naturally arise inside of you. 

Since addiction is a mental and emotional issue, meditation and prayer are incredibly impactful.

The 7th Step Prayer Gives Hope

Applying the 7th step prayer helps you to find some grounding, so you can make the most out of your future. 

When you're sober, you'll have more clarity of mind, can get into better shape and enjoy impeccable physical health. 

Consider these tips so that you can employ the prayer in your recovery. 

Need a daily reminder? Our affirmation tokensrings, and key chains will help remind remember your mission. Place your order today.

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How to Deal With and Recover From an Alcohol Relapse

Relapse.

For those struggling with addiction, an alcohol relapse is an unfortunate part of the journey. But it happens. Probably a lot more than you think.

How you choose to handle an alcohol relapse can have two different outcomes:

  1. It can set the stage for continued, and possibly better, recovery;
  2. It can spiral into complete, life-controlling addiction once again.

If you, or someone you care about, has suffered from a relapse, don't walk around believing it's the end of the world. It is possible to master sober living....

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17 Addiction Recovery Quotes to Stay Strong

Quotations are usually popular on the internet because they reinforce the way we already feel about something or our view of the world.

But addiction recovery quotes mean much more to the recovering alcoholic.

40 - 60% of all recovering alcoholics will relapse at some point, studies show. Two-thirds of those will do so within the first year. After five years even 7% will relapse...

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