Alcohol addicts often talk about having 'monkey minds'. I like to think that we are particularly interested and interesting people, whose minds just won't stay still. (Or maybe we're just slightly more crazy than the average person).
Sometimes we just want a little peace. An escape from all the endless thinking, analysing, worrying, predicting. And that's what the booze does for us. It stills the mind and allows us to relax, to change gear, to de-stress.
That's what I missed most when I first quit drinking - the ability to transport myself to a little oasis of calm with just a few sips (glugs) of wine.
Buddhists believe that one of the keys to happiness is learning how to still the mind. But, predictably, Buddhists are very anti-booze, advocating meditation instead.
Back in the early days of being sober I tried meditation. I was a complete failure. I downloaded a meditation and tried to sit still for ten minutes concentrating on my breathing. Ten minutes had never felt so long.
The more I tried to ignore random thoughts the more they jumped up and down demanding attention like errant toddlers. Then the dog jumped on my lap and started licking my face, the sort of thing I'm sure never happens to Gwyneth Paltrow.
I didn't try that one again. Until a few days ago.
I've finally downloaded an App that several readers have recommended - Headspace, and I've been doing a ten minute meditation every morning. I'm a convert.
Not only does Headspace give you ten minutes of calm in your day, it also teaches you how to deal with negative and unhelpful thoughts (without diving for a bottle).
So, next time you really, really want a glass of wine, try a Headspace meditation instead. Once you've got over feeling like a bit of an idiot, it really does work.