Wednesday 26 August 2015

New Start September - Just Do It!

I've always loved the lead up to September. It's a time of fresh starts. New, brightly polished school shoes. Well stocked pencil cases. Catching up with old friends, and making new ones. Clean slates. Days getting shorter; light getting longer.

Going sober can seem very lonely much of the time. It's easy to feel like the only black sheep in a flock of white. (Hang on. Surely we should be the white sheep in the flock of black?). Or the solitary lemming shouting "how about heading away from the cliff, folks?"

It's especially tough over the summer, I think. All those boozy barbecues, glasses of rosé at the water's edge, Pimms on manicured lawns. No-one wants to quit drinking over the summer. And many don't stay quit.

One of the things I love about blogging is that you get these fascinating statistics: how many readers you have each day, where they are, which posts they're reading, how they found you (no names or addresses - don't worry!). You have a sort of 'sober barometer' at your fingertips.

So, since I started this blog in March, the number of readers grew and grew every month....until July when whoosh! About half of them disappeared. Tumbleweed.

There I was, Norma-no-mates, banging on about the Wine Witch, weight loss (or not) and the benefits of vitamin B in fighting PAWS, and everyone had gone off down the pub.

But now, as September approaches, there are hundreds more people every day googling 'am I an alcoholic?' and finding their way here.

(Answer: forget about the terminology. Alcoholic is a horrible word, and not terribly helpful. If you've found this page, and you're still reading, then you're probably addicted to alcohol. No shame in that; it's a horribly addictive poison. It's messing up your life, and you'll be way better off without it).

See: Am I an Alcoholic? Am I an Alcoholic Part 2? and Am I an Alcoholic Part 3?

We're surfing the zeitgeist again, my friends. And it's so much easier feeling like you're swimming with the tide, not against it.

I guess this seasonal issue is preparation for the bigger challenge: Christmas. I shudder at the thought. But, at least it's followed by January. The month when millions hop on the sober bandwagon - even if  only temporarily. Bleak, miserable January - Bring it on!

So, if you've just found me, then WELCOME!

Maybe you're reading this, glass of vino in hand, thinking you just can't imagine how life can be any fun at all without booze.

But you're feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. You're bloated, depressed, stuck in a rut. You haven't had a really good night's sleep in ages. You're convinced you're a terrible mother, friend, wife, lover.

You're starting to think that the liquid you'd believed was your friend - there whenever you've been celebrating, miserable, stressed, anxious, relaxing - is actually your worst enemy. You turned round for a second and it's bitten you on the arse.

Well, you're in the right place. Because we've all been there. (see Secret Drinker hits the High Bottom) And September is a great time to go sober.

Just make one small change (STEP AWAY FROM THE VINO, or whatever your favourite poison is) and watch every aspect of your life transform. Your self respect, your moods, your relationships, your weight (eventually!), even your hair. And we're with you.

Huge congrats to Edinburgh Housewife and Angie on 100 days sober. Whoop Whoop! You are awesome!

Love SM x


  1. La Rentrée, that period after the summer hiatus when real life returns. Love it too, after 2 months of structureless lazing I feel the need for the framework of everyday life.

    Well done you lovely ladies who have managed 100 days plus. It will be a day 1 again for me today. My husband is away with work (he is in the U.S. half the month) and sometimes the expat loneliness gets me. Took the dog out, cooked with the kids etc but at the end of the evening the wine witch seduced me with her silver tongued talk of what a wheeze it would be for just we two to have a jolly time together.

    After waking at 1.30 this morning heart pounding and sweaty, filled with "the shames" I felt like a right fool for listening.

    1. Just pick youself up, dust yourself off, chalk it up to another lesson learned and get back on the waggon, Laura. So good to have you back! Xx

  2. Yes, congratulations all around! Now, please tell me: Is something changing for the better around the 100 day mark? Or sooner, preferably? I'm 43 days sober, which is a real feat, and I have no plans of drinking, but I don't feel much better than I used to. I'm lethargic, just ... tired. When, oh when, will I get all the new energy you speak of?

    1. It takes time. Have you read about PAWS? It is a real thing.
      I would say that at about the 100 day mark things definitely improved for me. But, today, at almost 21 months, life continues to get better and better.

      Give yourself time to heal. Honour your body and rest.

    2. Hi Ulla! I just checked back through my blog, and day 46 was when I hit 'the wall' (see post called Sobercoaster). Classic timing for first episode of PAWS, characterised by lethargy, sense of hopelessness, fatigue, poor concentration and memory etc. It'll pass! Hang in there.....
      I agree with the others about 100 days. It gets easier all the time, but around 100 it starts feeling like a lot less effort.
      You're doing great Danish Goddess ;-)

  3. Personally, it seemed to get easier after day 100. I wasn't thinking/negotiating it as much as it felt more 'normal' to be reaching for a mug of hot chocolate and bed come 9pm. As for weight loss - not seen that yet. And energy boost - although I love the clarity I still need my weekend naps. I'm almost at 6 months but am ever hopeful I will be slimmer and bursting with energy one day. x

  4. Hi SM, thanks for the mention. I am proud of my 100 days. Still can't quite believe I did it! Day 102 today. I love September too, the start of Spring. Although getting to the end of the year freaks me out a bit! Christmas is just around the corner and I'm not ready!! A x

  5. Hello SM, Thanks again for the great blog. Much more cost effective than therapy I say!
    Anyway, in light of being atop the board on the Zeitgeist (is it a capital?) swell, I would draw your attention to an article by Jill Stark in The Age newspaper here in Australia last weekend.
    here's the link:

    She has written quite a good book called "High Sobriety"- hard drinking health journalist tries being alcohol free- you may well have referred to it.

    Anyway, three enjoying a cup of tea through clear eyes and feeling smug. I think you all know why!
    Keep up the good work!
    Ooooh my initials sound like a weapon in DOOM! Must be tough!Hee hee