10 Journal Prompts To Help In Early Sobriety

I know I know. Everyone talks about journaling, how great it is, why you should do it, and that it’s life changing. I first started journaling when I read May Cause Miracles and did the 30-day challenge with Gabby Bernstein. Before that my only experience with journaling was writing in my diary as a child or writing out angry letters to ex-boyfriends that I would never send. I’ve gotta be honest at first, I was like where’s my pen? I don’t really have any paper nearby. I’d rather just skip this part. I will learn all of this without writing it down. I really didn’t want one more thing to do. I felt maxed out with all of the things that people suggested doing for self-help. Journaling felt silly. I preferred to overthink as my method of pondering.

I did it anyway and soon my pen started doing the work. Slowly but surely I would put pen to paper and could solve problems, glean insight, or just clear my head. It felt really good to get all of that jumbled mess out of my body and onto the page. A place to put all of the stress, worry, and agony.

Journaling is such a great way to unpack some of the feelings that you might have when you first stop drinking, when you’re thinking about quitting drinking, or when you want to observe your drinking habits. Here are a few prompts to help you get started.

  1. How were your beliefs around drinking formed (go back to your childhood, what were some of the messages you learned about alcohol)?
  2. Why are fears that come up when you think about not drinking? (Ex. I’ll have no social life. What will my friends think? What would I do on holidays? How would I relax?)
  3. What are fears that come up when you think about continuing to drink the way you have been drinking (Ex. health issues, hangovers, embarrassment, etc.)?
  4. How are you using drinking to cope? Have you noticed that when you see the news, have a rough day with the kids, a hard day at work that you turn to alcohol?
  5. Do you think drinking is a reward? If so, how did you come to that conclusion? Is this true? Do you feel better long term if you use drinking as a reward?
  6. What coping skills do you practice and use other than drinking?
  7. What are some things you could do to replace drinking?
  8. Are the stories you tell yourself about how great things were when you were drinking true? Did things really happen the way that you think they did? Were your experiences true, authentic, and did they help you feel more connected to yourself or your loved ones?
  9. What are things that you have believed about drinking that aren’t true (it makes me funnier, more outgoing, happier, more fun)?
  10. How has alcohol held you back from living your best life? How much time have you spent drinking and does it get into the way of your dreams?

I don’t suggest doing these all at once. Take your time. Do one a day or one part of one per day. Let yourself really think about how drinking is impacting your life vs how society tells you that drinking is impacting your life. Allow the answers to come to you and don’t judge your responses. Simply put it on paper and see what happens. Also, really do this on paper vs the computer or tablet. There is a process that takes place when you actually write things out vs when you type. Let yourself have the full experience. Good luck and have fun! Share some of your answers here on in the comments on social media if you feel inclined.

Originally published at https://www.spaliveaf.com on January 11, 2021.

Author of Alive AF-One Anxious Mom’s Journey to Becoming Alcohol Free. Founder of Alive AF blog.