Saturday 8 August 2015


Saturday morning in Cornwall. We've now been here a whole week. The sun is shining and I can hear the sounds of #1 and #3 getting up (it's a small cottage).

#2 is snoring next to me. He snuck in last night, taking advantage of the fact that Daddy's been stuck in London, working. (He's joining us today - yay!).

I've been thinking about what's made this holiday, so far, different from previous years, when effectively the formula's been exactly the same (I'm obviously a creature of habits - good ones and bad ones!).

It struck me that the main difference is an absence of restlessness.

Throughout the drinking years I often wanted to be somewhere else. The only times I felt completely at peace were when I had a drink in my hand (which, increasingly, was quite a lot of the time).

Almost as soon as I'd start one activity, I was already considering what to do next. Rather than concentrating on the moment (mindfulness), I was already focussing on the future.

I called this 'planning.' Now is see that it was, actually, restlessness.

There is a biological reason for this feeling. When we are addicted to something (nicotine, narcotics, alcohol, whatever) our brains get so overwhelmed by the dopamine rushes caused by the substance  that they start to reduce the amount of dopamine produced naturally.

This means that without our drug of choice we feel depressed, edgy and restless. We feel like something is missing - we're not complete. Which is, in fact, the case, as we've created an imbalance, a hole, in our neuro chemistry.

So, however much we try and relax, to be in the moment, our subconscious (the Wine Witch) is whispering is there any wine in the fridge? Do you need to go to the shop? Haven't we been at this play centre/playground/funfair long enough? It's definitely time for a drink. Don't just sit there - do something about it!

In previous years, with the kids on the beach in Cornwall, by 5pm I'd be feeling angsty. I'd be hurrying everyone along, packing up, yelling eventually, making sure that we were back home in time for 'me time'.

But this year, as low tide has got later and later, we've adjusted our timings. We've been, literally, going with the flow - getting up later and going to bed later. Staying on the beach until 8pm to make the most of the surfing.

We've had sandy burgers on the beach for supper and watched the sun go down. And I haven't wanted to be anywhere else at all.

That's one of the best gifts of sobriety: peace.

Love SM x


  1. It sounds like an amazing holiday, SM, and you're giving your kids some of the best memories ever xx

  2. It's a real eye-opener when you live with someone, or hang around with someone that still has that restlessness. You know that they are constantly thinking about when they can get to that next drink. When you're shopping, when you're out for a walk, when you're at a movie..It makes you realize how free you are without the constraints of booze. It also makes you want to delay, delay, delay, just to see them start pacing. As I said on another blog, I get my kicks where I can these days. Subtle cruelty seems to be my favorite place. lol

  3. Fab post SM! I am day 7 today and already feel less angsty and edgy. Managed a family party this afternoon with everybody drinking all day and I just felt relieved that the pressure was off for me regarding drinking. It had become stressful all the time, 'how much can I have?' 'Am I drinking too fast?' 'Can I have another without looking like a total lush?' 'How much has everyone else had?' Thank heavens I don't have all that to contend with anymore at every party/gathering. They did all start to irritate me by this evening but I made my excuses and left with the kids (driving for a change!).
    Thanks again for your fantastic blog, you have inspired me and probably added years to my life in the process! 😉
    CB xx

    1. Hi Crazybird! I've done 7 days like you too :)

    2. Huge congrats CrazyBird at TFAC! Keep at it, and stay in touch. You rock. Remember to get enough sleep and be good to yourself in the early days... Xxx

    3. Thanks for the tips SM. I'm loving the solid sleeps x

  4. A great post! That's what I'm after too - Peace! I'm in awe of your 5 months SM. Very early days for me. Enjoy your hols x

  5. Hi TFC! Great news on your 7 days too! Keep me posted how you are getting on xxx

    1. Thanks CB! I'd love to keep in touch with your progress too x

  6. Spot on as usual sm. Just back from 2 weeks hols and I can totally relate to this.