Today I want to talk to you about something very serious… I want to talk about what to do if you fall off the wagon.

I know from personal experience and the experiences of countless people I’ve met who also struggle with alcohol abuse that most of us have many “Day One’s” – meaning, we fall off the wagon, beat ourselves up relentlessly, and crawl dejectedly back to our original goal of being sober with a new “day 1 sobriety date”. We are depressed, some are suicidal even – thinking that everyone would be better off if you were just not on the planet anymore.

But I want to pre-encourage you here on your new journey toward quitting drinking and rebuilding your life. I want to remind you that the fight against alcohol is a WAR. And though you may lose a battle here and there, you do NOT have to lose the war. Read on…

* * *

My personal goal in life is to be the one who will encourage the person who has fallen…

to help them get back up…

to give them a glass of water if they’re thirsty…

to believe in them until they can believe in themselves.

I don’t always succeed with that, but that’s who I want to be. The main takeaway I want you to have from this day’s lesson is that IF you lapse, binge, or “slip” DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP. Get back up and keep moving forward.

* * *

Sometimes when you’re brand new, you think everyone else around you has more sober-time, and it’s just an unimaginable thing for you to even think that far ahead. It seems unattainable. But we are all human… each and every one of us only has TODAY.

It’s a good rule of thumb not to place anyone on a pedestal to being a sobriety-god. Not even your leaders, and certainly not me.

For an example of how imperfect we all are and how we only have “today,” I once had a therapist who was well-known on the speaker circuit for AA in a very prominent city too, and after 14 years of continuous sobriety, she went out and got drunk and kept drinking for several months. She came back to AA and sobriety for another 14 years after that.

I also had another mentor, a key leader in my SMART groups I attended and at my outpatient I went through, and he went out after 8 years of continuous sobriety. I don’t know if he’s doing well or not at this time. It has been a struggle for him to get back. But boy, he was pivotal and so helpful for me. He is a good person fighting a really difficult battle. You are too.

What I’m trying to point out to you is that nobody’s perfect, so get that out of your head right now.

NOTE: you do NOT have to count sobriety “days” if you don’t want to. If trying to achieve a certain number of days of sobriety is a hangup for you, then don’t count them. If achieving a certain number of days for you is encouraging for you – then go ahead and do it. I want you to have the choice though. For me, counting days was a massive hangup. I had to throw that out the window so I could actually get some good traction going forward.

I will tell you right now that am not perfect. I don’t have several years of spotless, continuous sobriety. I have the vast majority of nearly 3 years, which is a MASSIVE miracle for me, but it hasn’t been without a few bumps here and there. I have to constantly practice what I preach… which is everything I teach within this course. All of these tips I share in the lessons are from things I learned the hard way. I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way.

So I speak from my heart when I say “get back up and keep trying.”

Again, you may have lose a battle, but you do NOT have to lose the war.

***

Here is a story from a slip I had a while back: I was going through the pain of coming down when a dear friend texted me the following encouragement: “…when you start to normalize, please remember to be gracious with yourself. Any judgement you have will only make it harder for you to rise up. God, your family and friends all love you and support you. The best thing you can do for yourself is the same: love, forgive and walk forward. No shame, just truth and progress. You will wake up better tomorrow.”

She couldn’t have said it any better. It was the perfect message at the perfect time.

So IF you mess up during your journey to quitting drinking, or at any time, and you find yourself having your 25th “day one” of attempting to be sober… Don’t wallow in guilt, shame or regret, no matter how tempting that may be (or gratifying to the loved ones around you who want to see a demonstration of remorse)… it is not helpful.

Sure, you might be angry with yourself.

Others may be angry with you too.

You might be ashamed or embarrassed of what you did or said or how you behaved.

You may even have done a lot of damage to relationships, cars, jobs, finances…

But don’t for a single moment let that stop you from trying or from doing this “The Other Side of the Bottle” course. Get back up again… Get your feet off your own back so you can walk forward. This session’s only homework is to drill the following mantra into your head so it’s there when you need it:

If you fall down, don’t stay down.

Don’t wallow in regret.

Get back up on your feet

and keep moving ahead.

~ Take care

Please watch the Day 4 Course video below with my heartfelt message to you. There is no “homework” today. I also gave you a little song I wrote about a friend who kept actively binge drinking and it was sad to watch happen. It’s a rough song, recorded in a hurry, and an even rougher video edited in a hurry too, but maybe it will speak to your heart.

The little music video has some short movie snippets in it. I don’t make any money off it, and I’m not aware that it’s any kind of copyright violation. Just letting you know.

Watch Lesson 3 Video:

Lesson 3 Video Bonus – My Song:

Download Homework:

There is no homework for today

REMINDER

This course is NOT a substitute for professional healthcare advice or treatment. Also, when this course was originally filmed, I was offering a weekly Live Session via Zoom. Sometimes the video or the homework might mention the Live Session, however, I am no longer able to host them. So please remember that even though this Lesson might mention a Live session, it is no longer part of this course. Thank you for your understanding, and sorry for this annoying popup. Click ESC or click outside this box to close this alert.

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