Sunday 15 March 2015

Sober Saturdays

I think Saturday is the hardest day of all. I've noticed that my page views drop by 50% from Friday to Saturday. Hopefully that's because we're all busy with family time rather than out getting trollied ;-) I was thinking about Kags last night - one of my readers - and hoping that she got through her first big night out sober. Please let us know, Kags!

I thought I'd compare and contrast my day yesterday with how it would have gone 'in the old days' (i.e. 2 weeks ago) in the company of - approximately - 2 bottles of wine.

Yesterday: Woke up at 6.30 full of beans after 7 hours deep sleep. Went downstairs to drink coffee and write blog, then back to bed for big group hugs as the rest of the family woke up - husband, 3 kids and dog all under duvet (dog pretending not to be there as 'officially' he's banned). Bounced down to kitchen followed by the merry band at about 8.30am to make breakfast.

Drinking days: Would have been awake since about 4am drinking pints of water and stressing about anything and everything. By about 7am would drop back off to sleep. At around 7.30am when kids and dog start piling in would hide head under pillow and hope that it all went away. Would give up eventually (about 8.30am) and get up grumpy and knackered.

Yesterday: Husband and son went off to football club. My eldest (11) was playing her oboe in a big music competition in the afternoon and hadn't done any practice all week. She played her competition piece and it was pretty awful.  I quickly realised that she was nervous about the afternoon, told her that it didn't matter at all, it was only practice for playing in public and, if she really didn't want to do it, we could pull out. She thought about it for a bit and then said that she really didn't want to let her teacher down. She played the piece a few more times and it was sounding way better. We then decided we should have a break, put Spotify on loud in the kitchen and danced.

Drinking days: Eldest would have played her competition piece badly. I would have yelled at her for not having practiced all week, and told her that she was letting her teacher down. She would have stomped upstairs to her room and refused to play any more. The bad atmosphere would have prevailed until it was time to leave for the competition.

Yesterday: We had a jolly family lunch. I drank water. Husband had a beer (I've become obsessed by watching what he's drinking!). Eldest and I hopped into car in a good mood and headed off.

Drinking days: I would have been having an endless internal monologue about whether/how much to drink at lunch time. I would persuade myself that I absolutely had to have a glass of wine to 'take the edge off' the competition nerves. Having had one I'd want another. I'd try to work out how much I could drink and still be under driving limit. I'd consider sending husband to competition. Daughter would complain vociferously on basis that her father is tone deaf (true). Another argument would take place. I'd decide that two glasses was bound to be under limit. We'd leave with me grumpy because I hadn't drunk enough, and guilty because I'd drunk too much. Daughter would still be cross with me for yelling at her over lack of practice, plus worried that - due to her big sulk - she hadn't done any practice at all!

Yesterday: Daughter played beautifully and came out with top prize for under 12s - medal and a cup. We were both totally gobsmacked. As I was sober I was sufficiently socially aware to spot the rictus grins of the assembled tiger mums and realise that we had to scarper quick before we were lynched. We got to the car and whooped all the way home.

Drinking days: I would have hated arriving at competition as I'd have to 'air kiss/hug' all the Mums I knew while trying not to breathe alcohol on them. Daughter would have done fine, but not won anything due to lack of practice, and we would have left grateful to have got it all over and done with, vowing not to go again the next year.

Yesterday: Got home and celebrated with a cup of tea (actually felt v cross at not being able to crack open champagne, but craving only lasted ten minutes and I got through it!), managed not to post unbearably smug photo of daughter holding cup on Facebook. We all went out to local bistro for steak frites. I drank water. Husband drank 2 glasses red wine, one glass sauternes (see, I'm doing it again!). Watched 2 episodes of new box set on sofa without falling asleep, then slept like a log for 7 hours.

Please let m know how you got on, and - for all my UK readers - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


  1. Hi there ladies,
    Well, if you had any doubt you're doing the right thing, let me remind you. Friday morning I decided I wasn't going to drink the weekend. By midday I decided that if I didn't drink on Friday that was great. By Friday night I'd poured a wine because I made it through lunch without drinking! (the power of persuasion never ceases to amaze)
    Saturday morning came, I climbed a mountain with a girlfriend and was off to a good start. See, I can manage a glass of wine (read: bottle) and still function.
    Saturday afternoon arrived and by 1pm it was wine o'clock. Well behaved me held out until 3pm. By which time it was all over.
    One thing led to another, I got home at 3am on Sunday morning after a ridiculously stupid night feeling like a total bastard. Worst hangover ever, spent the morning in bed and copped the usual frustration and judgement from hubby. Huge, huge failure.
    Didn't drink yesterday, but was probably only sober by the evening. Does that count? I had cups of tea at family function instead of wine. Surely that counts.

    Where do you even start - defusing the stress and anguish that causes you to drink or cut back drinking and facing the distress. I drink for a very good reason - because I struggle every day to connect with the world and really be myself. Life is such a paradox, so too is this notion of happiness. I'm successful, have a beautiful baby girl, an amazing family, great career and beautiful house. Gorgeous friends and everything to look forward to. Yet I depend on my good ol' buddy Shiraz to hold my hand through each day.
    I'm just musing here...
    Hope you're all well x

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hey, Whimsical, don't beat yourself up. We've all been there. None of us are perfect - the world isn't perfect. Not sure if I've recommended this already, but try reading Jason Vale - Kick the Drink. You might find that after reading it you have the confidence to give it a go.... Sending you big hugs xx

  3. Hi SM,
    I totally relate to how "watching what hubby drinks"! I am, AGAIN, trying to go alcohol free. So many attempts to stop, sometimes with a couple months abstinence. OK, so now I'm on Day 2, again! It's hard when the other half continues drinking. Which is fine, he controls his better than I do, but still, it's hard not to watch and monitor.
    Thank you for posting your story. I, too, grew up watching Dad have his nightly wine. Went to University and my husband and I successfully raised 4 children along with doing well in the community Raising four children was stressful and what partially led to the nightly wine (though, I bet it would have become an issue even without children) I, too, have never blacked out, had a DUI, etc. Even with a recent diagnosis of atrial fibrillation and very high suggestions of no alcohol to help alleviate's been hard to stop the wine. And, yet, when I am sober, there is so much I enjoy about it. I can actually drive to the store in the evenings! :)
    I've been on Soberistas for over a year, read many of the books, Mrs. D's book and now your blog. It's refreshing to know that there are so many of us all around the world dealing with the same issue. (Yes, I'm an American) It encourages me to continue on in life AF.
    I hope your holiday in Switzerland is wonderful and you are blessed with peace, love, and joy.
    Stay Strong,

    1. Hello from Switzerland Dana! Thanks so much for posting. Keep on at it! I'm sure that it takes a few goes at the sober thing to completely convince ourselves that moderation isn't an option! Please stay in touch and let us know how it's going! Love SM xx