Sunday, 1 January 2017

Dry January

Happy New Year everyone!

It's 8.30am in the Scottish Borders. The children are fast asleep, after staying up hours later than usual, and the grown ups are sleeping off the booze.

I'm feeling fabulous.

I threw a wonderful party last night, but this morning both the sky and my head are clear and even the kitchen is clean as a whistle as I washed everything up before going to bed.

How different from the decades of New-Year's-Days-of-Despair during the era of over-enthusiastic imbibing.

So, if you've found this page because your New Year's Resolution is to quit drinking - for a while or forever - then you're in the right place! If I can do it, anyone can.

I finally stopped drinking when, after years of trying to cut down, I realised that I had no other option. But I did it with a fairly heavy heart.

I realised that life would never be the same and that there were many events - such as New Year's Eve - which would always be (like myself) pale shadows of their former selves.

Well, as someone who's made it out the other side, I can tell you that it's true. Life will never be the same. It'll be WAY BETTER. More real, more technicolour, more manageable and more rewarding.

The first few weeks, and - let's face it - months, are hard but there is huge amounts of help in the sobersphere. You are NOT ALONE.

If you're after advice on how to get through Dry January then click here: Dry January

If you're still not convinced that quitting is a good idea, then click here: Reasons to Quit Drinking

If you're here because you think you may be an alcoholic, but you're not entirely sure, then click here: Are You an Alcoholic?

If you'd like a summary of my first year without booze then click here: 2015 - the Year I Quit Drinking

If you'd like to read my story from the beginning then click here: Mummy was a Secret Drinker

I, along with all the regular readers of this blog from around the world, am here to help you and am cheering you on. You are awesome.

2017 - a new year for a new life.

Love SM x

41 comments:

  1. Dear SM,
    After years of trying and failing to quit drinking permanently I stopped in September and today is my 100 days landmark. I've managed it in no small part as a result of your blog and the comments and blogs of others I've found on your site, like Groundhog Girl and Red Recovers. Knowing that there are other women (mums, professionals, 'normal' and 'together' women on the outside) out there who have endured the same tail-chasing internal conversations about moderating has been hugely helpful. And knowing that YOU have made it - to the 'good field' as you so aptly describe it - is, to use an overused word but true in this case - inspirational. I also thank you for having written back to me when I wrote to you directly. How kind and rare for you to offer that to people. I've just looked back at my notes I wrote on January 1st 2014 and 2016 and they're both full of anxiety and woe about trying to control my drinking. I've now managed my own big birthday party, my own office Christmas party, Christmas and New Year - all without alcohol - and there are no downsides. Which is crazy when you think about it. Seeing everyone else suffering after the work party - it's a very odd addiction when one thinks about it. And a sort of country-wide if not global madness to be so hooked. Any road, I'm rambling now. This is just to say thank you to you for posting so regularly and being such a good cheerleader to people like me who are in a battle with booze and want to be free. And also to tell anyone who might read this - that, like SM, if I can stop for 100 days - as a nightly bottle of white drinker - anyone can. May the force be with us! Happy New Year and thanks again for the quietly brilliant help you give so many of us who've happened upon your blog.

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    1. Congratulations on 100 days today 007mum!! I am just behind you at 75 days & I echo everything you say about the support SM's blog & others like it have given you! Happy AF 2017 x

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    2. How absolutely brilliant you have made it to say 100 on today of all days. That is INSPIRATIONAL in itself. Well done 007mum and I think it is lovely you are the first commenter on today so everyone can see that it is possible and the fact that you are so obviously happy about it. So many of us think our life is over when we stop drinking when as so many of us actually find out, our lives become 1000 times richer. I am thrilled for you really I am. The next 80 days are when for me and others you start getting down to business of getting stuff done. Watch out for the post 100 wobbles when a sly voice pops up and says "I wonder if I could try moderating". May you have a fabulous 2017 and well done you.

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    3. Wow - so many congrats, 007Mum!!! Fabulous comment - and knowing there's a band of us supporting each other, and sharing our experiences is a huge thing. Enjoy every second of your 100th day of real living!! Red xx

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    4. Huge congrats on 100 days 007mum! You are AWESOME ๐Ÿ‘What a phenomenal way to start the year. 2017 will the the year when all your dreams come true ❤. Huge hugs xxx

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  2. Happy New Year SM, I hope it's a brilliant one for you.

    @ 007Mum and Catherine K, so well done on coming through what is probably the hardest test, the first Christmas period and New Year, it's my first festive sober too, so we've all done it together. YAY US!!
    Happy new year.
    Steve.

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    1. Happy New Year, Steve, and YAY US indeed! Xxx

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    2. Love your blog, Steve! Check it out on www.outsidetpp.blogspot.co.uk

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    3. Hi again SM. Thank you for the shout out, I'm still not sure as yet if my blog is a good idea or not, the next few weeks will probably tell. It's difficult to keep up momentum as a newcomer to such a covered subject, but I felt the need to get more involved in the world of sobriety, to keep my own focus, and also, if possible. to pass on help or advice to others whenever possible.
      Once again, thank you.
      Steve, x,

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  3. Happy New Year SM! This was my first sober for a long time. Feels amazing. I've said it before, but your blog, with all its honesty and humour has been instrumental in helping me get where I am now. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2017! Red xx

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    1. Huge congrats on your sober NY, Red. I read your blog today - sounds awesome (vomiting aside). Hugs xxx

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  4. Happy New Year! Thank you for your support and friendship. Here I am, setting off on Dry January and hopeful this will be the kick start I need to make 2017 the beginning of my sober life. Annie x

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    1. Go Annie! Don't be 'hopeful', KNOW you can do it - in fact, you've done it already! You are a non drinker. Whoop whoop xxx

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  5. Happy New Year!!! A clear headed start and an encouraging blog from your good self. Thank you SM. 007Mum has expressed very eloquently what I am sure many of us feel. Thank you 007Mum.
    Happy New Year All ... Wishing all a bright eyed view forward from day one to infinity and beyond :-))))

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  6. Happy new year sm!!!

    My New Year's Day is identical to yours last year!! Started 2017 feeling amazing skiing at 9.30am, the slopes were so quiet and I'm guessing the majority of people were still in bed!!! I feel so so so amazing and can't believe I'm actually 42 days sober.

    Jason vale changed my life and the support from your blog has helped me to continue in my sober journey.

    I'm so so so grateful!!! (And can't wait for your book!) thankyou from the bottom of my happy heart!! Xxxxx

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    1. That's so awesome Ang! Now you can eat a bucket of melted cheese to celebrate! Xx

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  7. Happy New Year SM and everyone else! I'm only 1 week into my dry journey, but thanks to this blog I achieved 3 months sober towards the end of last year then ridiculously started down the moderation route. No more of that nonsense for me, 2017 will be my first 100% sober year. It's also going to be my best year ever as I start out on some exciting new career and lifestyle changes, which I am sure I would not have the courage to see through (or even begin) if I was still drinking.

    Many many thanks SM - let's raise a glass to 2017!!

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    1. Well done Minnie on week one! We're all cheering you on!

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  8. Happy New Year SM. Yours was the first blog I came across when I decided alcohol wasn't the way forward and it has helped me so much. I'm not quite there yet but it will happen and soon and a large part of that will be down to the motivation and proof that you and lots of other fabulous bloggers give to us still at the beginning of our journey. Can't wait to read your book, hopefully as another success story in a growing number of people regaining their lives and being the cool ones. When sobriety finally hits the media as the next big trend I want to be one of those who can say, "Oh yes, I did that ages ago." That is not, however, my motivation. A better life for me and my loved ones is. Thank you for all the support you give.

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    1. This year is your year, new way! Thanks for your support too. Hugs xxx

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  9. Happy New Year SM! Thank you for continuing to write. I continue to lurke :) It was my 1 year AF on Dec 11, so technically my second New Year sober. I was up early today with kids and went for "polar swim" (although I live in a warm area, but who's counting)! What a difference a year makes. I second everyones comments, you have helped so much.

    Thank you, thank you,
    Waxwing

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  10. Happy New Year! Glad you got in a little peace to yourself in the morning and thanks for sharing it with us to write a post. I love the quiet morning time that I feel like I have gained back from not drinking. So much easier to bounce out of bed when you haven't been drinking into the wee hours.

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  11. Happy New Year SM, and all who follow....so glad the party was a success, but nothing beats the morning after feeling .....I was a little concerned about this time of year, and whether I would be triggered and sped time fighting with myself..but need not of worried,,,long may this feeling last,,,that alcohol just does not play a part in my life...I am at the stage of thinking why would you do that to yourself...have to remember I did for 4 decades.....I wish I could wave a magic wand and make others see what they are doing...but you have to want it for yourself ....looking forward to a wonderful AF year ahead ...look forward always to your posts...xx

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  12. Happy New Year ! I am on Day 7 but I can't deal with the unrelenting
    tiredness .. it is unbearable. I can't function except go into kitchen and make a cup of tea and then go,back to bed. When will this go ? Help!

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    1. That was me. And, for me, the exhaustion lasted quite a while...and January sure doesnt help! But hang in, DO hang in. It all gets better!!

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    2. Hi NewMe! The exhaustion generally lasts around 3 weeks. Go really easy on yourself and get as much sleep as you can - it's your body healing! You're doing brilliantly! Xxx

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    3. Hello Newme. I was absolutely KNACKERED for days and days. I was just dying at work. And I'm the boss so that wasn't a great feeling! It just gradually goes - after a few weeks. Very good luck.

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  13. I have been following your blog for well over a year now and after some on and off moderation I have completed my first sober Christmas and New Year. The posts submitted by you and other bloggers have been a life line for me over the past few months so I just wanted to say thank you and wish a happy sober new year to us all!

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    1. Huge congrats Little Miss Sober, and happy New Year to you!

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  14. Very best wishes for 2017, and so many thanks for being there for me since I stopped drinking - finally - one year ago today. I've made it, through Christmas, through New Year, and feeling better than ever... I hope you know how many people you help through your blog. Looking forward to the book xxx

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    1. Happy soberversary Pattik! That's awesome! What a great way to start the year!

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  15. Happy New Year SM! I have been following you for a little while now and can relate to pretty much everything you say. I have drunk wine forever but the last five years or so, on average, a bottle of wine a day and occasionally to stupid quantities. I keep telling myself I can drink in moderation but think, as many of your followers do too, it just isn't possible! (If anyone has managed it, please tell me how!) I was wine free yesterday after feeling gruesome all day after getting hammered on NYE and decided to try to keep it up. However I feel better today, have a party to go to tomorrow (two in fact!) where there will be alcohol offered and, so I've poured myself a glass as I know I will indulge tomorrow anyway! One day off, then I succumb! I'm so rubbish! I feel, as you described it, that my heart is heavy about giving up but I can see so many benefits (number one, being a better role model to my two gorgeous teenage children) and you and your blog are inspirational! I need to pick a day to stop but which day?! How do I just stop? That sounds like such a silly question! I want to stop feeling like a mess and constantly worrying about drinking! I feel like I am ready... almost! It's the almost that I am trying to get around! You and so many here are doing so well and I know I will be joining you soon! Just not quite sure when... Love and best wishes to you all ❤️ ๐Ÿฐ xx

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    1. Hello Bunny! If you haven't done so already, then do read Jason Vale's book - Kick the Drink, Easily. I bet once you've finished it you'll have banished that 'almost' Huge hugs xx

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    2. Thank you! I'll get onto Amazon and take a look! Hope your new year is going well so far. ❤️ ๐Ÿฐ xx

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  16. Dearest SM - it's my soberversary today - and I simply would not have got here without you. Thanks so much - can't wait to read the book xxx

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  17. Happy new year one and all. Personally am glad the festive season is over. I am happy not drinking and will be 2 years off it in may but the pressure to have a few drinks and let your hair down at Christmas and especially new year is relentless. Looking forward to being on same page as everyone else fora month or so!

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  18. SM, I love your progression of trying new things and reviving old things. Hungover and drinking days are all the same and so boring! Thanks for being such a positive force in the Sober World. You are really rockin' it!

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