woman with eyes closed and hand on head looking miserable

Why do I keep drinking when I just want to stop?

There was the time I woke up shivering and fully clothed in the driver’s seat of my car. I was parked outside my house, the sun was rising and I had no idea why I was there or what had happened the night before... Jo explains why we keep reaching for alcohol even though drinking keeps bringing us misery and why we need to figure out the positive intentions behind the drinking so we can stay sober more easily.
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pile of smooth stones balancing on top of each other to represent a balanced approach

There's more than one way to stop drinking

Jo responds to an article about AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) which caused some angry and defensive reactions. She suggests there is space for different approaches to stopping and more than one way to reach a happy and fulfilled sober life.
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red and white swirly candy cane against pink background to represent sugar

What to do about sugar cravings when you stop drinking

When I stopped drinking, I suddenly developed a craving for ice-cream, chocolate and cake. Weird, because I’d never really been into sweet things before. And, it turns out I’m not the only one. It’s a well-reported phenomena that some people find themselves reaching for the sugar when they get sober. Jo explains what you can do if you find that sugar is your new best friend when you get sober.
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ska band on stage with crowd dancing on a saturday night

Do you ever get Sunday morning envy?

Do you ever get that Sunday Morning Envy feeling? When you look at everyone else going happily about their Sunday morning business and can't imagine ever feeling that good on a weekend morning? When it seems like everyone else is part of some other, sober, happy species that you'll never belong to? Jo shows you how amazing it feels when you stay sober long enough to become that sunny Sunday morning person...
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woman looking at self in mirror to show self-awareness

How your self-awareness grows when you stop drinking

Jo explains how, when you remove the barrier of alcohol, you get to become more self-aware. You get to notice and recognise more of your thought processes and behaviours for what they are. If they're unhelpful to you, you get to do something about them.
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a cup of mint tea with a mint leaf to represent a sober alternative

How to deal with pubs and bars when you've stopped drinking

Jo describes some of the pressures people feel when they first stop drinking and are being encouraged to socialise in environments where they're surrounded by alcohol. She compares her first visit to a pub when she was sober to a recent pub experience and reassures you that it does get easier as you grow in confidence. Eventually, you don't bat an eyelid or think about drinking at all.
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cup of tea in sunlight to represent the gains of living life sober

Do you lose or gain when you stop drinking?

Rather than thinking about drinking as giving something up, it can be more helpful to think about getting sober as a huge gain that adds value to your life. Jo describes what she's noticed about how being sober has added enormous value and how it's the opposite of deprivation.
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hot air balloons against a beautiful sunset

Want to stop drinking? Get yourself uncomfortable

Jo explains a concept that can help you stop drinking more easily. If you're worried about going into certain situations sober, thinking about things in this way can help you stay strong in the face of fear and anxiety.
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woman working at desk

Is alcohol affecting your work performance?

Jo describes how much her work performance was affected by her drinking. She explains how, since she's been sober, her productivity and performance has shot through the roof. How much has your drinking been affecting your work performance?
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a wooden gavel to represent the importance of not judging ourselves harshly when we want to stop drinking

Step 4 of the 12 Step Programme - How do you judge yourself?

Jo explores the strengths and weaknesses of Step 4 in the 12 Step Programme and suggesting that asking people to stand in judgment of themselves when it's likely the people you're asking are already perhaps their own harshest critics could be less than helpful.
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padlocked gates to show alcohol as a barrier

What has alcohol been stopping you from?

Jo explains some of the different ways alcohol stops you from getting the life you want and being the person you want to be. And, how it's only when you stop drinking that you get to start feeling good about yourself and sorting your life out.
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outdoor bar table with non-alcoholic lagers

With growing confidence comes growing influence

Picture the scene: The sun is going down over the green hills behind a little white-washed Spanish town. Cool, grey shadows are creeping up the walls on one side of the street and I’m sat outside a little bar with my mum and dad, all drinking soft drinks: Jo describes how your confidence grows the longer you stay sober.
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elephant in the dust representing wisdom, empowerment and strength

Why me?

Jo describes how it can sometimes feel unfair when you look at other people enjoying a few drinks and you wish that you could do the same, about how it can sometimes feel like you're losing out because that you can't do this but that you don't have to feel this way when you recognise that life is all about making choices that work for you.
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silhouette of sober people jumping for joy in front of sunset to represent freedom and confidence

Why can't I live life like that?

When I was drinking, I used to watch other people enjoying themselves without alcohol and be jealous. I used to think that I was different somehow and that I couldn’t do what they were doing: Jo explains that living life happily sober is just a question of practice and you can do it!
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bottle of wine on its side to represent stopping drinking

What do you do with leftover alcohol?

What do you do with all the alcohol in your house when you stop drinking? What do you do when someone gives you a bottle as a gift? How do you cope with your partner/family drinking and storing alcohol around you? Jo explores some of the options around what to do with booze when you've stopped drinking.
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sunshine over daisies at the foot of a tree showing the importance of positive beliefs about life without alcohol

Life doesn’t have to be denial and deprivation when you stop drinking

Today I want to share with you some words from a sober blogger – I think some of what she says might make sense to some of you. Some of it struck a chord with me: Jo talks about the importance of believing it's possible to live life happily without alcohol and to willingly choose not to drink.
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person on camel in desert to represent sober travelling in morocco

Sober travelling: Morocco

Jo describes an upcoming trip and how liberating it is to approach it sober. Being free of dependence on alcohol (whether it’s physical or psychological) removes a barrier to experiencing life and gets rid of the waste of energy that goes into hiding that you have this dependence.
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a pale pink flower against a sunny blue sky to represent the clarity of sober living

The moment I changed my future into a sober one

Jo describes how and when she decided to stop drinking and live life sober and suggests that when you use your imagination to conjure up the future sober life you want, you start to make it happen.
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snake facing camera with forked tongue to represent the lies alcohol tells

The empty promises alcohol made me

When I think about my life sober, there is a sea of realisations that wash over me one after another. But one of the biggest and most significant is this: life sober delivers everything that alcohol promised and then denied me. Jo explains how everything you want from alcohol is only attainable without it.
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empty bottles of alcohol lying on a patch of grass to represent living life alcohol free

Ten reasons (not) to drink

How many reasons did you have up your sleeve?I had many – these are just 10 of them: Jo shares 10 reasons for reaching for alcohol and exposes how drinking doesn't solve the problems you think it will, in fact it makes them worse.
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a couple sitting by a lake surrounded by dramatic mountains to represent living your life sober the way you want to

Putting your energy into alcohol vs putting your energy into life

Jo explains how, when you stop drinking and as you learn to navigate your way through life sober, you start to put less and less energy into thinking or worrying about alcohol and more and more energy into living your life the way you want to.
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musical instruments in beer garden to represent enjoying pub gigs sober

Surrounded by pints and wine

So, today I went with my boyfriend to a pub garden about an hour’s drive away. He’s in a band (he plays sax and blues harmonica) and they were playing an afternoon gig. Jo describes what it's like to go to a gig completely sober compared to when you're drinking and reassures you that it's possible to have fun and enjoy yourself.
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lion cub rubbing against male lion's face to represent the power of belief when we stop drinking

Stop drinking your way

Today I read an online conversation between someone who wants to stop drinking and is researching the best way to do this: Jo explains that it's important to use the power of belief to help you stop drinking in the way that's best for you.
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row of uniformed men saluting to represent the importance of acknowledging our strengths when we stop drinking

Step 6 of the 12 Step Programme - defects of character

Jo explores the strengths and weaknesses of Step 6 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that for people who've developed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and who don’t believe great things about themselves already, focusing on their “defects” could be damaging to their self-confidence and morale.
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a spade embedded in dry brown soil to represent the importance of self-exploration when we stop drinking

Step 5 of the 12 Step Programme - Admit your wrongs

Jo explores the strengths and weakness of Step 5 in the 12 Step Programme and suggests that reducing feelings of guilt and shame and developing a healthy relationship with yourself is important when you want to change an embedded drinking habit.
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a woman with arms in the air facing the sun to represent the importance of connecting with the natural world when we stop drinking

Step 3 of the 12 Step Programme - Surrender your will

Jo explores the benefits and problems with Step 3 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that it can be helpful to recognise your place and connectedness to the world or universe around you when you want to stop drinking but that surrendering your will might be a less-than-helpful concept.
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a dramatic night sky scene showing the power of a storm to represent the power within us to stop drinking and change habits

Step 2 of the 12 Step Programme - A higher power or power within?

Jo explores Step 2 of the 12 Step Programme and suggests that it could be problematic for some people to believe that only a power greater than, or outside of them, can help them make the changes necessary to live life sober. She suggests there is a need to have different approaches that work for different people.
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How to stop drinking in five simple stages

How to stop drinking in five simple stages

Jo explains the process you go through when you stop drinking and learn to live life sober. Having an understanding of this process gives you more confidence, control and power which all helps you to manage things better and makes it less likely you'll slip up and revert back to old habits.
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a booted foot squelching into a muddy puddle to represent going the reward of going through struggle to get to happy sobriety

Struggling through mud

Sometimes we have to struggle through mud to get to dry land: Jo explains how life sober can be enhanced by the struggle with alcohol that's gone before. We don't have to regret our past when we can appreciate how it's contributed to a better quality present.
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diagram of a comfort circle showing the benefits of stepping outside it and socialising sober

How to socialise sober

I’ve just spent the last week going out and about in the daytimes and the evenings with friends, family and strangers. I’ve visited historic buildings, and restaurants. I’ve gone on mountain walks, treasure hunts and kayaked across lakes. Jo describes how you can do all these things sober, with a smile on your face and laughter in your ears.
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