πŸŒ…Early sobriety: the power of solo retreats.πŸŒ…

People are busy. Some people seem to enjoy ‘out-busying’ others. It’s like there’s this weird one-upmanship thing going on. Are we supposed to be impressed by the busy factor? Next time someone tries to out-busy you, quietly observe their demeanour. Often, I observe that when people relay their busy factor (e.g.school drop offs, cricket practice, mum-in-laws birthday party, taking the cat to the vet), they seldom appear happy, fulfilled or content . Rather, they look frazzled and burnt out.

Bye Bye busy factor

In the first weeks/months off the wine, literature indicated that looking after myself was paramount for success. In my mind, sobriety is one thing (I consider sobriety as not physically imbibing EtOH); recovery is another. Recovery, to me, is about understanding WHY I drunk. You know, reallly getting under the hood. For example, it’s about getting to the nub of one’s desire to use alcohol as a coping mechanism and the inner child stuff. It’s ugly, it’s hard, it’s painful. But shining a light on those demons is the only way to gear up and eradicate them.

In order to start answering the hard questions and getting down to the raw, painful reality of it all, I needed to be in the right mindset and place. Let’s be realistic; it’s not the kind of stuff you can be doing when friends pop in for coffee or a public place like work’s cafe. So enter the solo retreat. Consider it a kickstart to recovery and initiation of the self care our mind/body/spirit has been craving for years.

Hello holiday house

About a month ago, I got online and booked a holiday house for the weekend. Leaving the cat, my partner and general weekend responsibilities at home, I got in the car and headed off. And there’s been no looking back. Yes it felt a bit uncomfortable being on my own company at first. But the weirdness was soon replaced with beach walks, coffee and sunshine. Here are a few pics from my adventure.

So what did I do while I was retreating? I retreated into my own little state of bliss. I:

  1. Got up early to enjoy the sunrise at the beach.
  2. Did yoga – particularly restorative yoga and yin yoga. Learn why yoga is important in early recovery here.
  3. Ate what I liked (no cooking for others!)
  4. Slept when I liked.
  5. Gratitude journalled my little heart out. Learn how to start a gratitude journal here.
  6. Worked through Annie Grace’s book This Naked Mind. See what others have to say about This Naked Mind here.

And of course, I took pics and wrote this. My intention being to share (and hopefully inspire!) a little slice of my first ever solo retreat with you.

So what did I learn from all of this?

  •  In modern society where the busy factor reigns supreme, time out and NOT being busy trumps it hands down.
  • Getting under the hood of WHY I drunk and setting in place a plan to overcome these demons has been key to my recovery.
  • Merely being sober is not enough going far enough. Terminating those demons to recover is paramount to being amongst the 15% of people who achieve 90 days of sobriety successfully.

You’re probably thinking that a solo retreat sounds lovely… but wait. Let me guess. You’re to BUSY??? Career? Kids? Pets? Job? Partner? I thought I was too busy too. But with careful planning and prioritising, you can make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a fancy, luxurious hotel. It’s simply about putting yourself first for once, if you are serious about overcoming your drinking. If you are genuinely committed to laying off the booze, you have to be 100% committed to your recovery. If you are only 90% committed, it’s likely that you will be in the 85% of people who don’t get to 90 days of sobriety successfully.

Sound ruthless? Yes. But if becomming sober was easy, why do people continually relapse and fail miserably? For me, I needed to smash this 90 days out of the park. In order to do this, I needed to carve little chunks out of each month for me, as part of a broader recovery and self care process. Otherwise I’ll be back on the booze in a flash.

Life is too short to spend Sunday morning in bed hungover. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions.

Thank you for reading, it’s been an honour to share this with you.




8 thoughts on “πŸŒ…Early sobriety: the power of solo retreats.πŸŒ…

  1. Pingback: How to be comfortable in our own company. | No Wine I'm Fine

  2. Thanks go much for this. I am on Day 38 and it seems to be getting harder and harder. I have been trying to get sober for years (decades?) and this is the best I’ve done so far and I feel like absolute shit. I need to tell myself, over and over, that fixing things is HARD and time takes time and Rome wasn’t built in a day etc. Yes, life sober sucks, but drunk life sucks more. If I can remember that I won’t drink today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning from New Zealand, thanks so much for getting in touch. The struggle is so intense (especially in the first 1-2 months, as you mention) but you sound very committed and strong.
      What tools are you using, do you have a couple of people who are supporting you (friend, family)? I’ve tried lots of options, you can find my most useful and successful ones on the resources tab.
      Wishing you all the best, we are so much stronger together. If there’s anything I can do to help, just say. πŸ”†πŸŒ΄πŸ’™πŸŒ»


  3. Pingback: Six months alcoholfree: before and after. | No Wine I'm Fine

  4. Pingback: Alcoholfree living: taking time out for yourself is OK. | No Wine I'm Fine

  5. Pingback: Day 5: 1st Sober Friday | nomore41017

  6. I love this idea. I’ve been thinking about a solo retreat for a long time now. I feel like it would be so beneficial, especially in the first few weeks of sobriety to just get away from it all. — This may have just been the inspiration I needed to actually do it. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so delighted for you, your message made my day!!!! I agree, it was just what I needed in the early days. After all, your sobriety journey is for you, by you. Taking time to get comfortable with your own company, doing whatever it is you enjoy (eg reading, yoga, knitting).
      Please keep us posted, I’d love to hear how you go! xoxo


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