101 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Clean and Sober

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Here are some tips for staying sober. Click image for full size.

101 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Clean & Sober

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1. Don’t underestimate your disease. Every single person does at first.

2. Take care of yourself spiritually. Be mindful of your connection to your higher power today.

3. Ignore the dismal relapse rates. You are creating your own success.

4. Make a zero tolerance policy with yourself concerning relapse. Don’t even allow your mind to go there.

5. Avoid fundamentalism, even in recovery. Rigid thinking and dogma can undermine your sobriety.

6. You are creating a life of recovery and you are responsible for ALL OF IT. Yes, others can help you. Their “help” is mere advice. It is up to you to recover.

7. Don’t confuse enthusiasm for action. Figure out what you need to do to stay sober and then do it.

8. Listen to what the relapsing addicts keep preaching. Then do the opposite.

9. Take care of your social network. Reach out to others in a meaningful way.

10. Figure out a way to help other addicts or alcoholics.

11. If you attend 12 step meetings, find one to start chairing. Consider H&I meetings (taking meetings into jails and treatment centers).

12. Use mindfulness and a heightened awareness to overcome ego. Use meditation to overcome self.

13. Practice forgiveness. Forgive all your past transgressors. Forgive yourself. You must do this to get long term relief from resentment.

14. Be aware of diminishing returns, and spread out your recovery efforts (i.e., don’t focus on just “spiritual” growth).

15. Rearrange all the furniture in your house. Anything to get through the night sometimes.

16. Clean your house from top to bottom. Same as above.

17. Go for a long walk.

18. Adopt a pet and care for it.

19. Eat a gourmet meal.

20. Cook a gourmet meal.

Photo by fotofacade

21. Practice the arts. Paint, draw, sculpt, sing, dance. Etc.

22. See a therapist.

23. Work on a puzzle.

24. Connect with someone else who is hurting.

25. Start a project that is bigger than yourself.

26. Revisit an old hobby.

27. Teach someone something. (Anything!)

28. Learn something new each day. (Anything!)

29. Write in a daily journal.

30. Stretch yourself spiritually by suspending disbelief for a day.

31. Write a letter to your addiction where you say farewell to it.

32. Join a recovery forum online.

33. Start a free blog over at blogger.com and tell the world about your progress in recovery. Figure out your own tips on staying sober.

34. Reconnect with your family and spend time with them.

35. Go back to school.

36. Learn a new skill or trade.

37. Sponsor a newcomer.

38. Make a commitment to chair a meeting each week.

39. Celebrate the recovery of a friend.

40. Spend time with your family.

Photo by rene_ehrhardt

41. Email the spiritual river guy and tell him your problems.

42. Celebrate your clean time with a cake.

43. Write out a gratitude list.

44. Read through your old journal entries and see how much you’ve changed.

45. Try a new form of meditation (or make up your own…there is no “wrong” here). Some of the best tips to stay sober come from within.

46. Write out a to-do list and cross each thing off as you accomplish it.

47. Always have a big goal in the back of your mind that is challenging for you, but would make your day if you met it.

48. Practice balance. Challenge your daily habits.

49. Practice humility. Always be in “learning mode.”

50. Forgive yourself and move on with your life.

51. Sit down and write 2 goals out for yourself: one big one and one little one. Keep the paper in your pocket.

52. Inspire someone else to grow. Challenge them to be a better person in some way. Encourage them through your own success.

53. Learn to relax. Find your quiet place of rejuvenation and return to it often.

54. Elevate your consciousness. Watch your own mind and see how it responds to events. Repeat often. Learn.

55. Find the beauty in life. Appreciate all of it. Be grateful for beauty itself.

56. Ask yourself with each decision: “Is this the healthiest choice for me right now?”

57. Quit smoking cigarettes already.

58. Be grateful for existence.

59. If you go to the same AA meetings all the time, switch it up and go to a completely new meeting.

60. Write a poem about how you are overcoming addiction.

Photo by fotofacade

61. Turn off your television and read a book. Better: read recovery literature. Best: write your own recovery literature.

62. Use overwhelming force to conquer a goal.

63. Learn how to stay sober through creation of a new reality. Don’t settle. Create the life you really want in recovery.

64. Write your bucket list. Then, act.

65. Figure out your life purpose.

66. Write out a fourth step and share it with your sponsor.

67. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise. Take a walk. No excuses.

68. Keep your priorities straight. Physical abstinence is number one. Simple and effective.

69. Keep a high price on your serenity. Don’t sacrifice it for just anyone and their whims.

70. Use a sponsor for stage 2 recovery. Let them guide you through holistic living.

71. Take care of yourself mentally. Go back to school. Get that degree.

72. Find your own path. It is your responsibility to do so.

73. Practice humility and stay teachable. Always be learning.

74. Go to long term treatment and be done with it. Best decision I ever made.

75. Don’t pin your hopes on a short stay in rehab. It takes more than that.

76. Call your sponsor.

77. Get a sponsor.

78. Use a zero tolerance policy when it comes to self-pity. Never allow it for yourself ever again. Ever. It is poison.

79. Read recovery literature.

80. Join a recovery forum.

Photo by rene_ehrhardt

81. Use outpatient treatment if that works for you. Take it as seriously as possible and connect with the others in your group.

82. Meditate.

83. Pray.

84. Go out for coffee with a friend in recovery.

85. Find your passion.

86. Work out.

87. Join a church.

88. Volunteer.

89. Take care of yourself emotionally. Don’t get knocked too far off your square.

90. Stay vigilant against potential relapse. The disease can find many routes (gambling, prescription drugs, sex, etc.).

91. Go to a meeting.

92. Don’t pin your hopes on long term treatment. It takes a lifetime of learning for alcoholics and recovering drug addicts to recover.

93. Use long term strategic thinking. Care for yourself, network with others, and pursue conscious growth.

94. Don’t ask “why me?” Instead, ask “how can I create the life I really want now?”

95. Call a friend in recovery.

96. Sit down and write out a gratitude list.

97. Don’t live in fear of relapse. I wasted 5 years on this. Embrace the creative life and know you are strong in recovery.

98. Get extreme. Figure out what you need to do to stay sober…then double it and add ten. That’s how hard you have to push yourself.

99. Raise the bar. Stop settling. Use your talents as a gift to the world and make a difference in some way.

100. Live consciously. Set deliberate goals and go after them with overwhelming force.

101. Embrace the creative life in recovery and live holistically.

So those are my staying sober tips….anyone got any more?

If you found this helpful, please share it with others.


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  • Patrick

    Hi there Liddia.

    Glad you’re here!

  • Karla

    It works if you work it!

  • Patrick

    Yes it does work if you work but I would go further than that and point out that virtually any program will work if you work it.

    Take a hypothetical program that keeps you sober by making you stand on your head all day long. Technically this will work if you really work it. So will the 12 step program. So will the creative theory.

    So just pointing out that a program will work if a person genuinely tries to apply it is not saying much…any program can be designed with abstinence as the goal and then this cliche will apply to it quite nicely. This doesn’t prove anything though and we need to look deeper at what results we are really achieving across the board with a recovery program. What is the real success rate? If a program fails for the vast majority of participants is it really a success?

    Sometimes I just think we can do better and that’s why I push people to create something in their lives that goes beyond traditional 12 step dogma….

  • http://www.recoveringme.com Vivian Eisenecher

    Hey Patrick,
    Your recovery tips are great! I think everybody in recovery ought to have their own personalized list. While I would use the majority of your tips, not all of them are appropriate for me
    (i.e. quitting smoking). I can’t wait to have my own list. When I do, I will certainly share it with the world! Thanks again for a great idea.

  • http://none Dando

    Here’s a program of my own creation that has proved effective.

    Yes, any sort of new ritual proves very useful in breaking old rituals. At the risk of sounding like an old hippy…its very important to keep your blood/energy/chi circulation healthy. You know that feeling when you can feel your own pulse in your fingertips? Thats what your going for… use tai chi, other martial arts or exercise sports for this and do it within an hour of waking up. No excuses.

    Get up at 7:00, drink your coffee, and go shoot baskets at the neighborhood park. Kick a soccerball against a wall for a while, ride your bike HAVE FUN ! Dance in the damn shower afterwards, its fun and loosens up your stiff muscles from laying still for 8 hours.

    I was in active narcotic addiction for 10 years, and a program involving physical improvement to yourself will make you understand your own body and respect it more. When you look in the mirror and see a body that you sculpted through your program of diet and exercise…well I’ll let you be the judge of how that feels. Respect yourself and your incredible human body. It doesn’t need anything but refreshing sunshine, food, drink, exercise and some sort of sexual outlet. Keep telling yourself this to rid yourself of your old, tragically incorrect belief system. Its working for me. I love all of you, brothers and sisters. Take care of yourselves, then the good things come.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Dando

    I like your ideas about living and I think they work well for long term recovery. In the beginning people might need to focus a bit more heavily on staying sober for a day at a time and also on networking with others in recovery for added support.

    But as we progress in recovery I think we should all start moving towards the image of long term sobriety that you just painted there.

    In fact, at the treatment center that I work at, a Tai Chi instructor comes in twice each week and does a one hour class with the clients….they do some basic forms and also a lot of the breathing and movements. Very powerful stuff for some people, others who are not ready yet just shrug it off as being irrelevant to their recovery….

  • http://www.recoveringme.com Vivian Eisenecher

    Okay Patrick. I’ve made my own list. I will share it with you before I blog about it. Thanks!

  • Mary Ann

    Patrick and all,

    This site ought to be a discussion forum, it is great. I too have wasted a lot of time in fear of relapse. I have also wasted a lot of time feeling inferior because I needed to get sober at 28; I am almost 45 and still feel shame at being “in recovery”. Sad. I need to work on this.

    I so agree about the diet and exercise angle. A good diet and regular exercise along with meditation has done wonders for me. It is huge and was among the first creative things I added to my life. That and stopping smoking. I saw people in recovery dropping like flies from cancer and sensed that changes in my life were needed if I was going to enjoy a quality of life that was meaningful. People in recovery sometimes forget that there is a cause and effect; that a diet of caffeine, cigs and cheese burgers might have someting to do with feeling depressed and miserable all the time.

  • Patrick

    Hi there Mary Ann

    Good job on seeking out a holistic approach to your recovery. It is not a conventional path but for me it has been most rewarding…

  • jen

    For Micheal,
    Love Jen

  • shelly

    Just put my 29 year old tonight to a recovery home. Will send him this list.. Good list, but I can also mention one more.. a prayer to who ever you beleive is your higher power or a visit to a church. I hope he can add 100 more reasons and way to live with his addiction…

  • budiman

    i want rocovery my note book toshiba nb100 haw i do it one key recovery

  • Patrick

    Hi there Budiman

    I think you might misunderstand this website a bit….if you want to recovery your Toshiba notebook, I would call Toshiba tech support, I’m sure they can walk you through it….

    If you are interested in addiction recovery, please come back and let us know!

  • Tracy

    Thank you for this list and site!

  • David

    This is a wonderful list not only to start with, but to help one see how far they have come in recovery. I’ve been in recovery for two years and by placing some of these positives in my life, I don’t resemble the old life. I will keep trying to follow these because recovery for me is about change and seeing life alive again. It is a gift just to be here.


  • Patrick

    God bless David, glad you got something out of it. Yes, it is a gift to be here. I need to remember that too….so thank you.

  • http://urbanminister.me urbanminister

    Great tips and advice. It’s good for people to have a list that they can refer to again and again. These tips can help people with all kinds of problems and procrastinations.


  • Jason

    Thank you.

  • Patrick

    Hi Jason

    You are welcome!

  • http://www.addictionrecoveryplans.com/ Addiction Recovery

    Why is it that so many people underestimate their addictions and diseases? Is it because they are prideful or what?

  • charles

    Thanks,Your article was great.I know it will help me in recovery.

  • lifelonglearner

    I have decided today that I will give up drinking. It has created so much pain physically and mentally that I have had enough. I don’t want to rely on it anymore!! I want more out of life!!

    I am grateful that I came across this website, I know that the tips will assist in my road to recovery.


  • Sheila

    I am reading your words of wisdom and I believe that I have become complance in my 16 years of recovery. So today I challenge my self to grow in every possible area of my life.
    Thank you

  • john

    Hey lifelonger, I hope you are doing ok and staying sober.
    Thank you patrick for the list. I need all the help I can get

  • LL

    I’d much rather see #18 say: “Adopt” a pet…not “Buy” a pet.

  • dee

    I have been trying to give up my addiction, started doing NA meetings, lasted a week, I came across this list and I think it will really help in my recovery. Thanks for the list I will refer to it often.

  • Patrick

    Good luck dee. Whatever you do, do something. Take action!

  • Monet

    I think this is the best information that I have ever come across for someone that is truly seeking the step by step of what we should be doing, thinking, and trying to act on while in recovery. I’ve been addicted to marijuana for some years now and have stopped twice, but not for myself. It was for others so needless to say we know that didn’t work because we must do it for ourself only and no one else. I’ve been clean for 2 days now, but I know I have a lifetime to deal. Well I do believe I have what’s needed now to move forward…thank you for this and I will be sure to provide an update as well as share this with anyone in need of this help! :-)

  • bk

    really good stuff very helpful its always good when you can talk to some one or see updates on how people made it and beat the beast

  • Anonymous

    I thank you very much for writing this. I’m in a time of need and this is the first thing I saw when I googled. I’m on a path back to righteousness and I need inspiration, this isn’t the last time you will hear from me. thank you for your blessing and I will pray for myself and all others who suffer, because we are all one anyway, right?
    God Bless, Meditation, & Prayer, literally

  • rob

    I have been tryn to get clean for a long time and always find myself right back at square one. im gna apply these tips to my life and give it another shot. thanks for sharing and fighting the good fight.

  • bk

    its good to hear everybody is still fighting hard to over come something thats just a pain but at the end of the day we control are life and every move we make so what that said we won if you really think about it thats the truth.

  • jamie johnson

    Thank you so much for the knowledge and skills that you so freely share to and for us addicts. I’m a Recovery Support Specialist for a behavioral health agency. Your information I share with my groups, “Creative Recovery”. I have two years sobriety and really strive to help others who suffer with addiction.. I would love to receive any news letters you may have to share.

    thanks again,


  • Henry

    One day at a time…I am going to start again. I will do it this time.

    I can’t look at not drinking for the rest of my life…but I can do one day at a time.

  • Jessica

    Henry-yes, take it one day at a time. I too never thought I could not stop drinking or using for a few days/weeks, and now I have 8 months, but everyone needs to also hit a different “bottom”, and sometimes it takes worse and worse consequences until we finally realize that we’re not taking the alcohol or the drugs anymore, but they’re taking us. Hopefully you get it without having to endure too much, but takes what it takes.

    Good luck to you. The Higher Power part is very important-it’s beyond will power…And get a Sponsor, and get yourself to daily meetings.

    One Day at a time.

  • bk

    jessica sounds like she has her ducks in a row thats some good tools she giving to henry and i am still sober its about four months now i feel great but i am always looking for new ways to keep my power up and stay strong to slay the beast.

  • Amanda

    Go through your cell phone. delete any numbers that you use to get drugs. Change your number if people call you. Send out a text saying your getting clean. Anyone who cares about you will not text you and help your sobriety

  • Raj

    Hi Patrick I been in relapse last 13 year I m really thx to you I’m going to make this time. I have three kids and wife each time I go back in it hurts I can t even explain I missed my only boys birthday because of it I have responsibility I have old parents to take care I thinkwith u guys help I m going todo it thx

  • SLH

    Good heartfelt and honest people on this website.

    The truth about me is – I used the onion approach to start with. Got rid of excuses and bad habits towards drinking, such as, I had a hard day (need to relax or deserve it), or used it to calm myself down after being disappointed or someone pissing me off. For two years, I have taken the battle on and seem to get better than worse again. The excuses were easiest to break. It was harder to break the habit, due to forgetting what condition I would be in and how I may hurt someone. Still both seem to be the easiest as of yet. Being honest with myself and to others (friends, family, and others) was important. The reason for the onion approach was to get down to the core reason(s) I abused my body. Then figured out I would never get to the core reason. So, now I am at a stage of overconfidence’s. Meaning thinking, I can drink off and on, when all it does is take me back to hating myself. Its not so much that I crave it, but just thinking I can drink a few then, stop, for the night – nope, my body chemistry gets thrown off and then it leads to a binge. Actually, the best way I can describe it – I do not have to take the first drink, but when I do, my brain does not shut off (most of the time). I do enjoy being sober, feel energetic and in control of my life. Our friends do not push me to drink. It is me who after seeing repeatedly the drinking going on – leads me to tempt myself (that is where there is no real craving, but over-confidence sets in). Been searching for this answer for a long time, meaning why would I think I can do it, why would I, because all I am going to do is hurt myself and others. But I do. The longest I’ve been without drinking in the last year has been 3 ½ months. Other times, a month, two weeks, a couple of days… Not long enough for my brain to heal. I have no reason to drink at all. Guess in some ways I do feel sorry for myself, but only because I have done it again. Meaning, disappointed in my behavior. If, it does not show, I am trying to be as honest as I know how. Grammar has never been my strong point. However, to stop drinking completely is hard for me to see the next step. I think I see a tad of what I should do, like not hanging around neighbors as much, but when I do “I must control my environment, not just a few times, but every time”. Last month I gave this a test drive and it seemed to work. I love them all dearly and they do not force me to drink at all… its just hanging around too long or when I do not want to can be temptation. Guess with all this babbling back and reading the 101 and other comments, it seems I am at a stage in finding balance in all my life. Now what all does that mean for me, guess I will have to find out. Hope I made sense, any input would be appreciated, going to need to read between the lines of all that was posted. :o) I do thank everyone… take care and the best of life

  • kl

    SI know I will LH you described me totally-I am learning that sometimes you have to separate yourself from people you love or are used to being around to stay sober. The temptation I fear will always be there but eventually I hope to overcome this. I have been sober on and off but Im tired of feeling guilty when I do drink and disappointing myself.And I just cant have one-one is too many and a thousand isnt enough. Im going to keep working-I know all of us can find success!

  • http://www,drug-rehabilitation.org CleanLiving87

    Right on! There has the be AT LEAST 1 out of this 101 list of things that can work for recovering substance abusers!

  • Raj

    I do not know why I start and end up in room that Dark and hope less my kids even know hard how should I explain to them it’s been to long I think I m going to die soon but my self confidence still there a bit I need to live sober if not I m going to die soon so I’m on road of to hell now I m at intersection I’m going to make a turn I feel to samll but going to make it

  • http://www.myspace.com/rockycremeans Rocky

    Hello. I am 17. Five months shy of 18. I have been addicted to Herion and Crack for two years now. I am also an alcoholic. I have lived under a bridge for three months and am now living with a friend of mine because I relapsed. a year ago I met a kid the same age as mine in school. Whom coinsedently was also an addict. He went to AA meetings. I went to the program because of him and was sober for almost a year. I believe that faith had brought us together so that I could find help for my addiction. I am now attending AA meetings once again. Thank you for your list. It has brought me back on the right path and I hope that you are doing swell. :)

  • Scarlett

    This is my drinking name that I will no longer use. I am an alcoholic and I am 37 years old. I am an esteemed professional and on the verge of suicide. I know that I need to face the demon. I will go to an AA meeting and commit myself to recovery. Thank you for this site. I wish you joy.

  • renee

    god grant me the strength or take me away. let me find it in myself to walk away, and to find the peace i deserve.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t want stop

  • Anonymous

    I my don’t
    Want tO this

  • terrence

    I’m 20 and I have been smoking weed for 6years now, it has really changed my life and I think I’m at the verge of a breakdown, I smoke about 10 blunts daily, it seems I have lost all control of myself and my brain is fried, but I’m positive it won’t end this way, ill be clean and alive soon.
    Starting today I’m gonna try, I know how hard it is, I tried it once, but I gotta try, can’t keep up anymore…

  • terrence

    I’ve got a big sack of weed and skunk in my room…weed is a big part of my life, I can’t handle all the pain and evil in the world,the hardship of life, Love,it has a way of creepin on you, I hope for a fact a miracle happens…I need to be free

  • casey

    Im glad I dont do the things I use to! Im 22 years old and have been addicted to substances for 6 years. IM OFFICIALLY OVER IT!

  • Ally

    Hey… hey… I got one.
    Talk to a SOBER friend – a friend who doesn’t and didn’t do drugs or drink in excess. My fiance and I have a problem with quitting pills that isn’t helped by the fact that we’re both in recovery; every time a week goes by… “Wellllll we’ve done really good so far, we deserve a reward….” “Yeah..! I’m proud of us. let’s just get one. and then not again for a week, or more.” yeah I’d suggest talking to sober-sober people, lol, not recovering-sober people.

  • Ally

    oooh I got another one. Get pregnant :D …joking of course, but having a baby is definitely a big motivator for quitting.

  • Rebecca

    This is a fantastic list. I found it by typing, “help, how do I stay sober” in the search bar.

    Went to rehab (28 days) in 2008. Stayed sober with the help of AA meetings for a few months. The past few years have been a mess of struggling to make ends meet, moving for jobs, 1-2 day binges then regret and several days or even weeks sober. Right now I have a great job that is quite demanding mentally. I have missed days of work due to hangovers. Sometimes I just drink through the day.

    The messed up part is that i love to workout, but that too has been slipping. When I am sober I am kind of a health nut. I don’t want to pour poison into my body anymore. I’ll visit this site often…looks like it has a lot of helpful advice and reminders to motivate me to stay away from the bottle!

  • Ike Moore

    I just relapsed and need ways i can get my life straight again, cause I don’t want to go to a year in jail,I have been through rehab, and now living in a half-way house, I want to get clean so bad, but the voice of craving is a lot greater then voice of recovery right now

  • Eric

    your ideas inspire me to get better. im glad i found this sight.I like the part where you say not to allow selfpity its poison, that is very true and it gets the best of me unfortunatly.

  • Eric

    this is good
    god grant me the serenity to except the things i cannot change, courage to change the things i can, and wisdom to know the difference


    you saved my Life, one more day by me finding this and reading every inch of every word! Thank you! How do I share it? How do I print it with bigger “font”?

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lori

    I would just copy and paste the 101 tips into a Word document. Then adjust the font size there and print it out.

    Thanks for reading!

  • tapout

    is it normal not to drink /i have a really bad drinking problem and i am on my way in recovery but thats my hang up it is normal not to drink as a person then it is to drink ? any in put on this….

  • joseph

    first of all, don’t pay attention to buttheads like Jimbo here ^^
    I used to think it was normal to have a few drinks every night, make that a lot of drinks. But now I’m cured!

  • carey

    that is so untrue. You cannot be cured automatically!!! drinking and drug using is a disease and it takes time like any other to heal from. When I used to smoke crack I thought it was the best thing in the world for me. I thought it could solve all the world’s problems, even world hunger ( because who cares about food when your on crack, amirite? ) but then I found out that crack doesn’t do anything good except make you feel extremely happy, like you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, which is usually getting more crack. On that note, gotta go!

  • BOB

    whoever wrote that list is retarded. Its impossibly to stay clean with the world as it is..

  • Anonymous

    We have waited for this day you and me
    You Knew and I new
    Late by any standard but I hate you
    I have always hated you. I hate you
    Your time has been hated, I hate what you did to me, I hate what I did with you, I hate what I am with you
    You have damaged, killed, ruined with ugly and lies
    You are the evil that is hell, you are smiling while I tell you I hate you, I have fed you
    I have fallen for you, given too much, I lie for you
    You have to go
    I will always hate you, every day more hate for you
    Now you must go, I don’t ask you for understanding because you know it not
    Leave me and let me heal. I want nothing from you, you have nothing for me
    Without you I will live, I will breath, I will love, I will be
    Past you is blue and clean, clarity. Past you is life and comfort
    Past you is honest, health, past you is love and my life, who I am
    I go now, you go far away from me. Back to hell. I don’t want you anymore, nothing to do with you .
    Good by is forever for us

  • Tom

    Above is my good by.
    I am not anonymous, I am Tom. A human being that has found Tom again after too long away. Tom is going to be ok. The best person to tell me this was me.
    I can see myself in the mirror now. Not the ugly that was there for decades. I have dreams to collect, prayers to be answered, sins to forgive.
    Thank you all.

  • Jeff

    Great list! My personal favorite motivational tip for staying sober is to keep writing on my blog! Writing in general is such an overlooked and simple way to release bottled up energies, whether good or bad.

  • Holly

    These are great suggestions. One additional step I take is to
    write down all of the positive things I’ve done for myself and others when I take my nightly inventory. The days that I can say I didn’t hurt myself or anyone else make me feel successful. If I have inflicted pain I make amends to myself or others and try for a better day today.

  • http://yahoo Phillip Kopanuk

    Hi, My name Is Phillip Kopanuk, I am a 21 year old alcoholic and am trying to stay sober, does anyone out there know a treatment program that can help me? I’ve already been to rehab and Failed miserably…I drank My first night out, I was forerly in the Marine Corps and am serious about change now. However I don’t know of any rehab programs here in Alaska. Can anyone help me out? you can email me at phillipkopanuk@yahoo.com or facebook me…..Thank you all!

  • http://www.ginashearts.blogspot.com Gina

    I think it is important to remember that hardly anyone gets sober overnight. From the time you make the decision to stop drinking to the point where you had your last drink can be filled with a lot of trial and error until you one day get it right. What is important is that you just keep trying because one day you will. It does get easier. A lot of people say it is easy once you make your mind up not to drink anymore. It isn’t easy, it is hard as hell. My advice to anyone going through the process of getting sober is to start by making little changes to your routine to help get back to being a sober person. There are some good ideas above. For me by starting to make these little changes they gradually led to bigger ones. I am coming up on 6 mos sober. I have seen a lot change for the better as a result. I am hard as hell on myself and am being very disciplined. I don’t cut myself any slack. I can also say that my success so far is also due in large part to having cut ties with pretty much everyone I was friends with, cleaning house so to say.Sometimes you need to look around and really see who really cares and get rid of the people who waste your time. Wishing you all much success.

  • Anonymous

    I hope and pray that one day I can break the strong grip of addiction. I will contkinue to read these steps daily. I wish everyone peace and tranquility in their lives.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the tips

  • Shawna

    I have my nephew living with me. He’s 25 and been to prison, jail, rehab, everything imaginable. Its been a long road, as I know you are all familiar with. I chose to take him in when no one else would. They only see the troublemaker, but I know he can do better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive in thinking I can save him or that he’s innocent, etc. My eyes are wide open in what I’m dealing with. He does talk to his sponsor periodically, but doesn’t think Meetings are for him-hasn’t gotten much out of them in the past, so I’m trying to find a way to convince him that getting drunk(and probably high-weed) almost every night is NOT Ok and NOT the way to live. His reasoning? “Well at least I’m not out getting in trouble anymore”…???…and his other favorite response to my asking “Why you think its ok to act like this when you know better?”…”Why Not? “…again, ??? Another tidbit-he has been diagnosed as Bipolar in the past(by the systems he’s been in) and at this point is NOT taking any meds…I’m not sure how this is affecting his current behavior, since this is the only way I’ve known him for the past few years. I don’t see any extreme manic or deppressive phases, so I’m not sure what else to look for. I do know that it is VERY commom for Bipolar and substance abuse to go hand in hand, so I’m curious if anyone else is dealing with this type of situation and if you have any suggestions on how to guide my nephew before he does end up going back to his old ways of crime and REALLY bad decisions. :-/ Thanks

  • Rachel

    I have been struggling with addiction for 10 years and 4 years ago was the first time I realized I was an alcoholic. Although I have much to still discover I have a tip that seems to be helping me. I HAVE STARTED FOCUSING NOT ONLY ON HOW TO JUST SAY NO, BUT ALSO WHY THE HELL AM I USING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Sounds like common sense, but it’s not as obvious all the time. This new discovery continues to unfold all the way to my very early childhood. Good Luck out there to everyone!

  • sean

    hi nice list I struggled with alcohol n drugs since n early age im now 28, the last 5 years were hell. been in car accidents, wanted by aurthorities,ruined family occasions and couldnt handle my responsibilities as a father and partner. Icame bak into recovery after my last drink on 15.10.10 . Since thn i hav attended aa and na as much as possible got a sponser who i keep in regular contact with. I am now dealing with things i never was able to and getting my life back 1 day at a time.



    June 6, 2011 the day I told my self enough its enough, Im writing this letter to you, Alcohol (beer what ever you are)
    I have being in love with you since a long time I have had you in my system for a long time, I toke care more of you that my own kids…. I spend a lot of money on you… had fights because of you, it was almost impossible to live with out you…but I know its time to break apart and I will move on with my life with out you… I know it will be hard to do so but I must do it for my life I don’t want to die soon You don’t love me you want to hurt me you take my money away you push me away for my kids and my family you make me tire al the times.. you make me sleepy all the times.. I just don’t want you in my life… PLEASE STAY AT WAY FROM MY HOUSE AND MY SYSTEM…


    WOW….Tom that was a powerfull letter you wrote on the 9th of April…so powerfull…i wrote it down on paper and i think i might carry in my pocket…..thank’s i needed to read that today…

  • Phoenix Rivers

    This list has a tone I hate. It sounds like my punk ass jerk of a boss who nobody likes. I know they’r’e suggestions, but they suck. I suggest a different list

  • http://? ?

    Someone once asked me,” DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF”. When I thought long and hard, I came up with the most honest answer I could think of, NO. How can I be of service to others, my wife and children, when I put myself through hell, It starts with me. I can’t express love and tolerance until I’m willing to forgive myself, until I’m honest enough to look at myself. I can’t go through life blaming everyone for the cards that I’ve been dealt with. How miserable I am is totally up to me, and no one else. Do I except me for who and what I am. If the answer is no, than am I atleast willing to change the things that keep me from loving myself. It all starts with me-good,bad,indifferent. I am so willing to be the person that I deserve. Will myself to live, will myself to die, It’s my choice. What am I willing to be today, may not be here tommorow, and yesterday is gone. Today I choose to live- good luck, GOD BLESS.

  • Jennifer

    I for one have been struggling with booze for 20 years…I have successfully quit four times in that 20 years…but always managed to relapse. I have read a book Rational Recovery and I LOVE his concept. For those of you that are not into AA (which I am not) it is worth a read. It is knowing that you are only feeding your addiction not yourself. You don’t really want another drink or fix…but your addiction does. DON”T FEED IT. It is working for me. Whenever the little devil gets in my head I just tell it….Ask all you want…but I am not feeding you. In a short time the urge goes away.

  • HazzeL

    Today was the frist day in 11 years I hated the way I feel,………………empty,hartless with no tears for relief nor joy. Ive had my moments with you and some were awsome and some where just horrible behond imagination. Im a begger with gun, a soules monster of fakeness and lies; CLOWNSHOES.
    I cheated, I lied, I stole everything in my path………………Im an embaressment to men everywhere.
    Now I want it back …………….my life, my love and my sanity…………please, something to belive in.This is my letter and my promise to jeasus crist that I will never turn my back on hime ever agian. ( I love me right now and Im makeing mends with you so I can continue on in peace. I am smart and I work hard to care about people and how they feel, maybe it’s time to care how I feel……..im young and I would like to be a selfesh a little.
    No more of this shit, I have a life to live and dieing would just wreck my image.
    This addiction doesn’t need a celebration for it’s goodbye. Theres never a right time to say good bye. Im unbreakable

  • Anonymous

    This is a great site. I had 21 years sober. Had. I took my sobriety for granted. And fell hard. I’m back to the program now. Its all about today. I had forgot that one fundamental rule for us. One day at a time.

  • Dan Sulger

    To Tom,

    That poem brought tears to my eyes. I feel the same way about my addiction.. I hope you don’t mind I copied and pasted it on a word doc so I could hang it up in my “man cave” so I can read it every time I get weak… I am going through the “tapering” process with oxycodone right now…. I am reading all this and will take alot of the advice as I try to start my journey into sobriety..

  • Matthew

    My partner is a heroin addict in recovery and I am a recovering alcoholic. We have found that hanging out with friends or family on a regular basis, going to movies, working out and volunteering have really made a tremendous positive impact. Saying congrats every day can fuel the fires of addiction. At one time it was something we talked about every day; he was just 3 months clean when we started going out and I was still abusing. Now it’s something that comes up every now and then but it doesn’t need to be something we talk about every single day. I take him to NA and he goes with me to AA. That seems to be all the discussion we need. Support is worth more than a thousand conversations! Anyone who is out there who is reading this I encourage you to go out and change your life. Life is a wonderful blessing and SO worth living :)

  • Ronda

    I have just almost lost everything due to my addiction and believe me thats a lot, but, at almost rock bottom something just clicked even though everyone around me is dirty, I Am Clean today, and pray that lasts forever. Nothing like living with another addict to show you where this will lead

  • Matthew

    Thanks Rhonda and you are so right in what you said. Being with another addict actually made me realize two things: one that I was killing myself and two: that I loved him way too much to either be responsible for him relapsing or hurting myself in a drunken stupor. He is an inspiration every day to stay clean :)

  • Sean

    I am just starting my journey into a life of sobriety. I am terrified to be honest, but I also realize that if I don’t do this now, my life will end up in shambles and despair. I pray for all of you that are fighting this horrible curse, and I hope you do the same thing for me.

  • Brandie

    i have been an alcoholic for over 10 years now and im only 26. Ive lied cheated stole and got the hell beat out of me to many times to even say. but i got on a sober wagon 9 months ago and rode hard for what seemed to be the best 9 months of my life! I enjoyed my 2 little ones more, got up earlier and got more accomplished throughout the day. i even made it to church almost every Sunday during my sobriety…but then i fell off! in July i started consuming almost over ten drinks a day. and for me that means i was wasted! my body just flat out dosent know how to handle alcohol! im starting again today with a new life once again…wish me luck~

  • http://www.anotherpathtosober.blogspot.com another path to sober

    # 56 is the main thing that keeps me sober today. Now, over a year removed from alcohol, I can clearly see how I was being held prisoner. Before I do ANYTHING, I DECIDE IF IT WILL HELP OR HINDER MY PROGRESSION TOWARD THE LIFE I WANT.

  • Blake

    I struggled with cocaine and ecstacy addiction. I just got out of treatment. It was a wilderness program in Utah i was there for 10 weeks. I just got out, and i want to be sober. It is hard already especially in the city I live in. I think everyone looking at this website can do it. Stay strong, and dont get down on yourselves for relapse, look at it as improvement rather than failure

  • Anonymous

    being sober feels so good… I love being free… Ivy

  • Anonymous

    pure, clean and free… just belive… my body feels so good… refreshed… Ivy

  • David

    Live,love,laugh,be sober

  • http://www.stopdrinkingforever.com Khaiyong

    These are all great tips, IMHO.

    However, not all tips would work for everyone. This isn’t a one size fits all shoe.

    The best way is to try out as many tips as possible and focus on those that work best for you in staying sober.


  • annon

    remember how you were before you sold you sole to the devil,look at yourself now,what had you hoped for you life…what life do you have.Set objectives for yourself.you’re a wonderful person and how can anyone see it if you can’t. improve your self love by not allowing your addiction to rule/control you.come on,your done with this rubbish-effortlessly,wholeheartedly..so done with it.enjoy the glow and peace.love you all…fight on warrior,you will conquor.

  • Cathy

    Visit Intherooms.com It helped me Alot!

  • HI I’m Mike and I’m an addict

    All of your stories and quotes are very heplful and very much appreciated. My drug of choice was Oxycontin and herion. I am proud to say I’m sober 70 days. I am looking for advice every where to stay sober. It has been a long and rough road to this point. But I am proof that it can be done by sharing with addicts and non addicts,going to my meetings and also recieving outpatient help. I was doing drugs for close to 17 years. Please all of you keep on fighting, do not give up, don’t ever give up!!! Your life is so worth it, you all are wonderful,beautiful human beings.

  • http://deleted HI I’m Mike and I’m an addict

    When one door closes, another opens,but we often look so long, regrettfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.

  • http://karenjohns.com Karena Giovanni

    Whew! Did I EVER need this fresh, enlightening spin on sobriety, serenity, action, and progress!!! THANK you for making this available!!! I’m learning~daily~that it all boils down to Peace, Love, and Joy (Mercy and Forgiveness are lodged well within all of that)… and THoSe are my primary objectives!!

  • http://www.askanaddictioncounselor.com Todd Branston

    These tips were very helpful. I run a weekly podcast on addiction and have mentioned several of the tips in my podcast this week. I have noted the site where they came from several times as I want to make sure that you receive credit.

    Thanks for all that you do.


  • http://dontshedatear.wordpress.com/ Victory

    I am 32 years old an looking back I am astonished to realize that alcoholism has been affecting my life negatively for about 18 years. ENOUGH! Enough of this madness. I know this will be the hardest fight of my life but I also know that I can do this.
    I would very much appreciate your inspiring words and stories on staying sober, please write me at myblogjv@gmail.com

    Thank You


  • Rebecca

    It is hard to forgive yourself sometimes. I look back and only remember bad memories sometimes. For more than half my life I have abused alcohol, drugs, sex. I am pretty much a straight up addict. Impulsive and functional. That is the worst part…at the lowest point I was still going to work or making it seem like my life was okay. Even when I was put in an crazy house for trying to commit suicide. I made everyone believe it was okay. My friends see me drink…and think it’s amazing..wow you can drink 10-20 shots of jager…beer all night. Ya well that’s called an alcoholic. Drugs…let’s see…I’ve tried them all. The worst for me were crack and meth. If you would look at me you would never know. I am college educated..have a good job…friends. I have always felt alone. Something was missing. This high filled this emptiness. So in saying this, what i did and am still trying to do is fill that space. My advice is to find something else to fill it ..not a quick fix. Find yourself again…what you are passionate about….It might have been so long since you were sober you don’t know. Well try..try new things, hangout with different people, get a pet…something anything. Your life can be better. Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    LOVE THIS. Its brilliant. Thank you. <3

  • http://www.spiritualriver.com manue alvarez zarnowski

    please , i need keep in contact with you,
    is very interesting for me those tips I reed ,
    I’m a alcoholic in recovery that is going to have 4 years in recovery next december 17 2011,
    thank you ,
    and please keep in touch!!!

  • katie

    that was a great list but alot of them are on the list more than once its not really 101 its more like 90 you should revise your list and take out the repeats

  • Ben

    So I have been in and out of treatment about 4 times now and i came across this on my 10 days clean and it really opened my mind that these are really all the things i do need to practice… thank you

  • Tony A

    Number one is the best. If it was up to me, i would repeat nuber one ten times.

  • http://Gmail Faith

    It is hard but you can do it just remember that you can do it

  • http://Gmail Faith

    It is hard but you can do it

  • Anonymous

    Loved it.Thankyou for taking the time to make out this list which I found really useful. In answer to the comment about some tips being repeated I rather liked that. Gives the impression you’re sitting there talking and saying oh and don’t forget…..

  • S+B

    Very Cool List! Thanks for the tips :)

  • Mona Million

    I am very happy that I came across this webpage. I really want to be clean, I deserve it. The 101 ways are brilliant. Thank you so much.

  • chris

    I am starting out on a new journey in my life and i need all the help i can get. i tried it on my own and it never worked for me.so i want all the advice and friends that are clean that i can get.i do not have a cell phone yet but i do have 74 day’s clean.i am at the lords place in boynton beach florida. so if there are some caring brothers and sisters around i need to get to some meetings. do not know the area and i have a 7:OO pm curfew,which is cool.but a brother needs help.reaching out…..

  • La Sandy

    Ty 4ur lite for a brighter day! I really like this and I wrote some of them on paper so I can remind myself how important is for me to stay away from my bad habit that went to be uncontrollable,my choice was MJ,cigarettes,coffee,pepsi,so rite now I am fighting to get myself rite there where I wanna be,I passed test for my learner permit, about to go for driving license,wanna get a car so I could handle two jobs and get that 100$ a day! I try to inspire my ex bf to be like me so he could be proud of me and himself,but instead,I got to be called stupid and boring,so he is past just like my addiction is! And this way I wanna tell all those in denial of their disease, good luck in ur disc ousting lives,coz when I look back,I was disc ousting too, no type of role model,just a bad behavior and shame! Wish every1 win they addictions that ruin our relationships and love and care!and reward would be a healthy body with healthy weight,time spend with ur children and doing productive things every day! Much love from La Sandy!

  • amy

    something i did early into being sober that really helped me and gave me peace of mind is i made a routine doctors appointment and talked with my doctor about being sober and had blood work done, it was good to make sure i hadnt hurt myself physically too much and my doctor was able to gauge where i was officially as far as my addiction was concerned and got me into contact with various support groups and facilities available to me i didnt know about.
    also for me when i cant sleep taking a bath is very calming, drinking tea has also benn a lifesaver, it clarifies and if a great substitute for drinking.

  • German

    Just ant to thank you for the staying sobers tips. I am trying to quit drinking and i have not drink for over a moth. Is very hard for me and i take any help that is available. Please stay in touch and help me and others to recover from this horrible disease.

  • Rick

    I am going on 7 months clean…….anger and grit is my power, remembering how miserable and depressed i was, cut ties with all my negative people i allowed around me, I will not bow. No more looking over my shoulder, its my life

  • don

    good stuff. thanks for sharing.
    alcohol has ALMOST taken me down. no duii and no health issues yet. but got to give it up. funny how my biggest worry is financial security but i continue to have 4-6 drinks a day.

  • T. Mulv

    If u cant swim, ~ yer bown ta drizzown.

  • Gov

    I got drunk and have been hiding it from my wife for a while I had a seizure after drinking all day while at work and we are in a separation right now. I love my wife and my 3 year old son and Im having a hard time getting through this the guilt and grief is overwhelming. I going in to treatment and going to do everything I can I want my life back! And will do anything. Any tip on families and drunks.

  • John Candido

    someone please help me I cant do it on my own

  • Misty M. Mays

    I found this very helpful and the ideas and ideals were great, I was really happy to happen apond this sight for more insight into my recovery. This is a great recource and I hope it helps many more recovering addicts. Thank you Sincerely.

  • Steph

    This simply changed my day!! Thank you

  • Tony

    I really think I will never relapse this time because before I didn’t have the right mindset. If you treat alcohol as a poison like it is, and refuse to poison your body and mind with it then you will never be tempted to drink it again.
    You are not depriving yourself of anything so what is there to miss? Would you miss drinking arsenic?
    Knowledge about the subject is also the key, the more you know about the subject the better. Also I keep a record of how long I have stayed clean, I find it helps me stay motivated and proud of my achievments

  • carey

    Thank you, there is a solution..

  • Karen

    I would love it if you would put a Pinterest link on this article. Thanks!

  • Layla

    Please someone who is recovering please help me. I am running out of reasons to stay sober. I haven’t taken any opiates for about two months but I have been taking other prescription drugs. My situation is difficult, I am sick with an auto-immune disease and I hurt and stay tired all the time. My mama just died in September. And I cannot go to rehab b/c I am responsible for taking care of my grandmother. I am trying my best but I need help please!

  • Angie

    Thanks a lot for the tips. I’m eagerto start using them.

  • Kesslee

    No one can do this on their own. Social connections between people are the best thing there is in life, we are social creatures after all. I need help as well, as I have just relapsed. I think that being able to ask for help and accept it is the strongest part of recovering, it takes so much strength and will to be able to do just that. You are already getting better by asking for help. I am willing to try and help, because I know helping others is the best part of life. And it in turn helps me. I have faith that you can get better, because you want to. That’s what it comes down to, the will. If you have people who depend on you, then use that as a strong reason to get better. Think of them, and think of yourself. Imagine your life with them and with you sober and happy about it. Know that it is in you to get there, that you just have to make that decision and stay diligent. Be stubborn about sobriety, and you will be sober. Keep your head up, and stay strong. There are people willing to help you, and you Can stay sober.

  • Kesslee

    I do not believe it is possible to do it solely on your own. Everyone needs some kind of support, especially when the dependency starts to poison your thought process. I am trying very hard to stay sober too, and I just overdosed a few hours ago. There are people willing to help, and you asking for help is such a strong thing. It is admirable that you are willing to ask for it, it takes such strength to do just that. Knowing that you want to stay sober is also a strong reason to stay sober. It ultimately comes down to the want, the desire to stay sober or not. If you want to stay sober, then ultimately you Will. I suggest finding reasons, possibly a new one everyday, writing them out in the morning and as many times a day as you feel you need to. The list will keep growing, and you will start to realize how much more you will get out of life by staying strong and not giving in. Know that Every Day, Every Choice Matters. So make good ones. :) That is some advice my teacher gave me, and it helps a lot. I know that you can do this, so please stay strong!!!

  • nicole murtha

    HELLO SO I AM WHAT I THOUGHT UNIQUE i stayed sober a week felt good felt positive my liver enzymes are high …i need to get my shit together i have a foster sponsor now i need help getting to more meetings i clean the closet sculpt paint rearrange etc….i have coda issues big time stay with an abusive relationship…i drank today not a lot at LL BUT COME ON…. sio hard for me to end this relationship and begin mine with myself….im gonnna have a major go tomorrow ..actually now :) any advice i am 41 hormonal as well health issues not the perfect hottie depression coda they all are a big ugly mid life ball of wax

  • nicole murtha

    great advice and you stay strong today set back sheet back its all growth i believe

  • nicole murtha

    love this wow now i am never that kind of person this will be work

  • nicole murtha

    i agree i am adopting a pjilosophy i believe in some way that i just moved here …i have to do all different steps different people might as well make it an adventure…hahah

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  • Amanda

    Here is my story… I grew up with addicts and swore that I would never be like that…Well, it all started in my teen years with ExPeRiMeNtInG…I began smoking weed as a junior in high school and my life took a drastic spiral down to death’s front door. I quit high school and would only associate with people like myself, that liked to medicate to have a good time. I was kicked out of my house and stayed with people that didn’t mind if I was high, and encouraged it. So, my smoking weed then led me to experiment with everything besides herion. Years later, I really wanted a change in my life. So, I met this guy, that seemed to have it all together besides his addictive behavior. After a month of dating I was pregnant and moved in with him. All the drinking and drugs were put down briefly while we were pregnant. We fought a whole lot and seperated. I still had this deep urge to have something to cover up all of the pain and weakness I was feeling. I didn’t like who I was and was sooo ashamed in the path I had chose. Two years after my son was born, I had a wisdom tooth removed and had gotten a dry socket. It was super painful, I began taking pain meds and before I knew it, I was hooked. I found people who shared the same interest in pain meds as I. I felt like I was untouchable and pain free. (physical and emotional) Boy did my world turn very dark very quick…as time went by I needed more and more to numb the raging inside of me. I couldn’t keep up with my son, my family, my jobs, my whole life…I remember laying on the couch crying and praying to God for Him to get this crap away from me. I was scared to death of withdrawls, just as they would begin, I would of rather died then feel like that. I kept praying and even moved to the country to run away from the drugs…lol that didn’t work, they just followed me. I came back to the city to get them every 3 days. I met this man that had a huge quantity of them monthly, so we began to date and feel in love with eachothers pain. We moved in together and had a beautiful daughter that I know was a gift from God!! She could see right through me and I could not hide anything from her. I was soooo sick of this life of running and hiding. Night after night, for months, I sobbed in the shower praying for God not to forget about me. One day after work, I felt that it was finally the time for my soul to be set free!! I dropped everything where I stood and let the Lord take over my life. When I couldn’t even get up to take a shower, I felt Him take me to the shower each night and wash me…it was AMAZING!! As time went by, little by little, I felt better and better. Although I love my daughter’s father, I knew I had to start my life from scratch. The temptation was too great and after reading a passage in the Bible, I knew this chapter was closed. I don’t know a whole lot but one thing I do know is God is alive and loves deeply. I feel like all of my pain and sorrow is being healed through the Lord. I am sober and am finally understanding the whys…If this reaches 1 person and gives them HOPE I will be truly thankful again to the Lord our God!! Take care all and God is LOVE!! :)

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