Thursday, 16 June 2016


Thank you so much for all your comments and support after my last post.

I took your advice. I ignored the ever lengthening To-Do list, slept (a lot) then baked some banana bread, did some yoga, and now I'm feeling (almost) back on form.

It did make me realise though, that we over enthusiastic drinkers are not very good at listening to what our bodies are telling us. We spend our whole time fighting them, rather than working with them.

Our poor bodies start waving the white flag, dialling 999 (that's 101 for you folks over the pond I think), desperately trying to get us to pay attention, and we just reply:

What do you mean, you're tired? We're going to party!

Or You may not be hungry, but that triple layer bacon sandwich is the only thing that's going to fix this hangover. So we're eating it.

Or You're feeling stressed? Drink this litre of toxins and stop bleating on about it.

One of the major benefits of being sober is learning to work in partnership with your body. Suddenly it feels like you're on the same side!

You learn to only eat when you're hungry, drink when you're dehydrated (yes, that's what drinking is actually for. Who knew?), and sleep whenever you need it.

So, when you get that feeling of bone deep tiredness you need to pay attention.

I was thinking about the times when I've felt properly exhausted, and why.

Early pregnancy. Remember that one? That's your body saying:

Hey, you, I'm doing some really intricate building stuff here, so cut me some slack. You think making a brand new human being is easy?

There are also those sick days, like when you have the 'flu and you sleep pretty much all day. It's saying something like this:

Dealing with all these pesky bacteria and this raging temperature is taking every bit of energy I've got, so you're just going to have to lie there and not ask me to do a single additional thing. Got it?

And then there's the after effects of a period of stress, which is where I was yesterday. My body was saying:

I've been pumping up all the adrenaline, constantly on alert for fight or flight, and now you say it's all ok after all? Right, well I'm shutting all systems down or they'll overload, and then we'll be in proper trouble....

But one of the longest, most extreme periods of exhaustion I've had to cope with was when I quit drinking.

I was expecting to be bouncing around like the Duracell bunny, all fit and healthy and toxin free, but instead I felt like I'd been hit by a bus and wanted to sleep for twelve hours a day. And I felt like that for three weeks. At least.

So, if that's where you are now then don't panic. It's perfectly normal. It'll pass (eventually!). The main thing to do is listen.

Start thinking of your body as your partner, not your enemy. Quitting drinking is hard work, physically and emotionally.

Your body is flushing out all those toxins, and having to adjust to a completely new regime. Plus, if like me you had drink induced insomnia for years, you've got an awful lot of catching up to do...

(See my post: Sleep, Glorious Sleep)

You're feeling tired because you need to sleep.

So do it. Go to bed in the middle of the day if you have to. Pretend you have 'flu and take a few days off work. Let the kids play Minecraft till their eyes go square.

DO NOT FEEL GUILTY! Soon enough you'll be paying back in spades with all those hangover free, super productive mornings.

Love to you all,



  1. Glad to hear you are feeling better, I was worried!

  2. Abso, abso, ABSOLUTELY, Quitting and fatigue? Hand-in-hand partners! Certainly for me, anyway.

    Fortunately, all the reading I was doing in early days (including here) told me it was nothing unusual. To really think of the huge change we are making in all our bodily systems....that the brain and body initially are overwhelmed...just makes total sense.

    As drinkers, we are heaping toxic abuse on ourselves -(in the guise of 'feeling better' - how twisted is that?) - and then, wham, we yank it away.

    But to newbies, I echo you, SM. Give in - (as best you can, given day to day have-to's). Just sink into the fatigue like a big self-hug. Sleep whenever you can, as much as you can. It does get better.

  3. My word girl, you are a fighter! A brave, courageous, wise fighter!
    Please accept my loving thoughts but would you also pass on my love to your mum.....I hope that's ok....
    I was thinking about you both when I was driving to work this morning. As a mum of a grown up daughter myself, I have so much compassion for both you and your mum. It can't be easy for her seeing you go through this and the fact that you are in exactly the same position she has been just can't be easy for either of you. You're her baby, no matter how old you are. I'm sending both of you huge hugs xx

    1. Thanks so much for thinking of my Mum, hurricane. She is an amazing lady. I am very lucky!

  4. I can't believe the way you have bounced back- great you are feeling almost returned to normal. Sometimes, simple messages really resonate with me - listening and working with your body seems such an obvious thing to do - but I have been ignoring what it has been telling me for years. " I feel sick and tired so better add the substance that made me feel like this". Planning to keep giving my body the much needed love and care it needs- (making an exception for Tunnocks caramel wafers obviously) xx

    1. I always have Tunnocks in the cupboard for emergencies, NewLeaf ;-)

  5. Your post is so ridiculously spot on for me today SM. I'm knackered. And yet... I do the opposite. I was thirsty, I even thought "I should have some water" but did I? No. Insane. I'm still battling with myself and I want to just give in, peace out, and love my body that is telling me to slow the heck down! Thanks for the reminder I'm so pleased all is well, the journey India Knight who I obsessively follow says for a happy healthy life "do yoga. don't ask me why. Just do it" xxx

    1. I love India Knight too. Didn't know she said that about yoga. Now I love her more! X

  6. *journo not journey. see I'm that tired I can't even form a sentence :)

  7. Thank you for this. I'm on day 24 today and I am still utterly, utterly exhausted. I am plugging away at some work whilst the small one naps but you've just given me permission to go and sit on the sofa and close my eyes which is all I really want to do. The deadline's not for a couple of days so it can wait. Thank you. xx