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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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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