Friday, 2 October 2015


It's funny how when you first stop drinking time crawls along - agonising hour by agonising hour. You follow the old mantra of 'one day at a time', and one day is an eternity.

But now - blimey, where did that last month go?

One of the reasons I was terrified of quitting was that I feared life being boring. I've always wanted to be extra-ordinary, special. Don't we all?

I thought that drink had the ability to make everything more. More fun, more wild, more interesting. (see my post Rebel Without a Cause)

By the same token, I assumed that 'sober' would be flat, dull and grey.

But the truth is that drink, because it blurs all the lines and rounds off all the edges, takes away your ability to see joy in anything ordinary, or to see the ordinary at all. If it's not jumping up and down and yelling "LOOK AT ME" we pass it by, overlook it, trample all over it.

We even start to actively fear the ordinary. Ordinary emotions, like anxiety, boredom and anticipation. The minute we feel them we medicate them away.

One of the joys of being sober is re-discovering joy in the everyday, the ordinary. A sunrise (who knew?). A tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. A child's fingers tickling the back of your neck.

You find that the flat and grey, when you look up close, is teeming with colour and life and little miracles.

That's why this quote by William Martin from the Parent's Tao Te Ching made me cry:

Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

If we can't see the joy in the ordinary, then how on earth can we teach our children to find it?

Being sober is more 'ordinary', but that is its joy. I've had it with the artificial ups and downs of drunk.

And, you know what? The extraordinary really does take care of itself.

Just you wait and see....

SM x

Related posts: Six Months Sober!


  1. Thank you so much for this blog today. I am late to Sober October but today is my Day 1. I have a calendar (with a sachet of gold star stickers attached ready to apply to each day, I hope) and I have written quotes on it from your blog from yesterday, telling me that as I go through the month I will lose that puffy look, wine belly, etc.

    Also, from todays beautiful blog, telling me to find the joy in ordinary, not the artificial ups and downs of drunk. I will see this everyday as it hangs on my wardrobe door.

    You are so inspiring. Thank you! - SusieQ

    1. Yay! Go Suzie! Have you read Jason Vale yet? He makes it much easier! Stock up on hot chocolate and bubble bath. Stay in touch. We're rooting for you!!! SM x

  2. Thanks for this post. I really need it as I head into Day 8 and feel the crawling cravings of an approaching Friday evening. Annie x

    1. Hope you made it Annie! For months I hated Friday evenings - now it's back to being my favourite bit of the week (along with Sunday mornings!) xxx

  3. Yes. Exactly.
    Congrats on 7 months. Enjoy the day!

  4. Yay on 7 months!!
    Keep on rocking it!!

  5. Yes time flies when you're having fun doesn't it! It's strange thinking about those early days when 'not drinking' was the main preoccupation every day and it was so hard. It gets so much easier and I can't believe days go by where I don't even think of alcohol and I certainly don't obsess about it. Am almost at 5 months! There are times when I still would like to disappear into the bottom of a bottle of wine after certain stressful times but am able to look elsewhere for relief. Walked up a hill with the kids to watch the beautiful sunset the other night then home for a cup of tea. Simple. Well done on 7 months. You remain a constant inspiration. Thank you xxx

  6. I love this blog, thank you. I'm two days behind you - seven months on Sunday - yay x

  7. OMG! I too put it down right behind you SM as you know. And I am loving almost every minute of it! Women put it down, just give yourself a chance. I did and so can YOU!

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  9. Now that I know how to post....on this I can continue what I was saying above. SM is so right. It was one of the best actions I have ever accomplished and continue to do so on a daily basis.
    I used to be drink wine to help me fall asleep and leave my worries behind. I'd say "had a long day at work I deserved it!" "I work hard", "my marriage sucks", yada yada yada! My list was very long.
    Yet, I was drowning in the Pinot Noir! I was drowning myself slowly. This became a daily routine. Yes, ME! I got hooked and couldn't stop. I used to be able to drink and put it down....but quickly I became an alcoholic at 48! I raised two successful, happy kids and thought what's wrong with a few glasses of wine?
    But after a hell of a lot of time denying the problem I realized this...the only way out was to admit it AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. ...IF NOTHING CHANGES, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. Ladies, you will continue to drink. I stayed on the merry go round until I made the decision to get off the ride. I got help. Today I didn't drink. Most days I am anxiety free, comfortable within my skin, and calm. Yes calm, relaxed. Put it down...YOU are worth it.
    Boston Strong, Boston Sober!

    1. Listen to Jen, folks - she knows! Xx

  10. Friday night is behind me and I am sitting here with a cup of Lady Grey tea. Into month two now and the cravings are lessening. Funny, today I had a conversation about the blandness of Friday nights now that the demon drink has exited my life. That beautiful quote has nailed it. Sometimes one needs to embrace the bland, along with the highs, the lows, in fact, everything that makes us human. So I've had a bland evening but actually it's probably because I've had a really busy and stressful week and I'm feeling washed out. That's okay, no panic, tomorrow the headache will have gone and I'll be as fresh as a daisy. No need to reach for the vino.

    I've always like the quote from The Great Gatsby "He could climb to it, if he climbed alone, and once there he could suck on the pap of life, gulp down the incomparable milk of wonder." Perhaps one doesn't need to suck on the pap of life on a daily basis. Perhaps one can be content with feeling a bit ordinary and appreciating the small things of an ordinary day without panicking that life is passing us by. Perhaps the booze is leading us down the garden path with its promises of sucking on pap and limitless milk of wonder. x

  11. (in my finest Bette Midler voice) #Did I ever tell you you're my heeeeerrrooooo? # ;-) You rock SM! Keep up the good work. LNM x

  12. Sunday mornings are such a beautiful time now - 7 months sm well done where has the time gone ? Drinking seems such a lifetime ago on the other hand ! - welcome any newbies keep going the promised land is so much more about living in the present and feeling each moment (good or bad) but feeling much more at one with yourself x

    1. I'll second that. Wise words Kags x