When you quit drinking it usually leaves a big hole. It certainly did for me.
So much of my life revolved around drinking - at parties, in restaurants and bars, and at home alone - that when I stopped, there was a huge... gap.
I've discovered that it is crucial to fill that gap with something else, ideally something that allows you to switch off, to get out of your head, the way that alcohol used to do.
My readers have found all sorts of ways of doing this - running, yoga, drawing, knitting, gardening, jewellery making, and much, much more. The crucial thing is that, whatever activity you pick, it keeps you in the moment.
If you're in the early days of quitting, and you're really not sure how to fill the hole, then here's my advice: think back to when you were a teenager. What made your heart beat faster? How did you spend your spare time? What did you want to be when you 'grew up?'
Many people tell me that when they quit drinking they re-discovered long forgotten passions. I read a story about a lady who loved to ice-skate as a young girl, but stopped when she became an adult. She took it up again in middle age, and it's now her greatest joy in life.
Another lady told me that she was passionate about horses and riding. When she quit drinking she got back on a horse for the first time in twenty years. She can't believe she left it so long.
It is never too late to rekindle that fire. And, if you find the right thing, you'll discover that it gives you a much greater high than alcohol ever did. And without the hangover. Perhaps you'll even turn it into your new career....
My 'thing' as a teenager was words. Writing, reading, anything and everything. So, when I quit drinking, that's what I went back to. I set up this blog and started writing every day, for the first time in nearly thirty years. This blog led to my book - The Sober Diaries.
Then, as you may remember from a previous post, I applied to do a three month novel-writing course.
I've spent the last three months lost in a fictional world in my own head. It's been the most intense and mind-blowing experience. At times I've felt like I was going a little crazy. And apologies for not posting on here very much through that period.
But it's not just the writing that I've loved - it's the course itself.
There are fifteen of us in our group, and our ages range from twenty-three to around sixty. We come from very different backgrounds, have different careers and interests and are writing totally different novels, but we all have a shared passion.
I spent decades choosing companions by their ability to match me drink for drink. It's wonderful to have a diverse group of friends with something completely different in common.
I've loved spending two evenings a week discussing great literature and our own (not so great) attempts, rather than just exchanging idle gossip down the pub.
So, why not spend some of the money you've saved on not drinking doing an evening course? It'll keep your hands and mind busy, introduce you to a new social circle and may become your new passion.
Learn to make pots! Discover how a car engine works! Find out how to do your own decorating or plumbing. The world is your oyster.
Do tell us what you're planning to do in the comments below.
I'm still posting information and inspiration daily on the SoberMummy Facebook page here. If you 'like' the page then Facebook will keep you updated.
Lots of love to you all!