Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Go Sober October - Day 1

October 1st - Day 1 of Macmillan Cancer Support's Go Sober October.

If you've found your way to this blog because you're doing the challenge, then WELL DONE! This post is dedicated to you....

Perhaps you're doing Go Sober October because a close relative or friend has died from cancer. You don't drink that much anyway, but think that a month's detox will be good for you. Well, good for you. Have fun, and raise as much cash as you can.

Maybe that's not your story. Maybe Go Sober October is just a prompt - an extra reason to address an issue that's been worrying you for a while. Perhaps your story goes a little bit like this:

You've always loved drinking. It's one of your main hobbies! It's how you met many of your best friends. You're the archetypal 'life and soul of the party,' always the last one standing (or not!).

But recently you've noticed that you're drinking more and more. You don't like to sit down and add it up, but you can easily drink a bottle of wine in an evening and - scarily - not even feel that drunk!

You're worried that it's starting to affect your health - you're overweight, not sleeping at all well, you look puffy and you've got a terrible muffin top. Plus, you're anxious and stressed a lot of the time. You wonder whether you have some sort of low lying depression. You feel like you're stuck in a rut.

Every so often you Google 'Am I an alcoholic' and do one of those questionnaires. Sure, you answer 'yes' to a few of the questions (like drinking alone - doesn't everyone?), but you know what an alkie looks like - out of control, passing out in gutters, looking like a tramp - and that's not you!

But you are starting to spend more and more of your time thinking about drinking. Wine o'clock creeps ever earlier, and alcohol free days become fewer and far between. You're losing far too much time to hangovers.

You're starting to do odd things, like watching how much other people are drinking, worrying about whether the supermarket cashier is judging you by your wine laden trolley, and having a few drinks before you even get to the party.

You've tried to cut down several times. You do deals with yourself like 'I will only drink on social occasions' or 'I will only drink at weekends,' or 'I won't drink wine, only beer,' but you never stick with the deal for longer than a week or two... that's why you're doing Sober October, and that's how you've found your way here.

SO WELCOME! We've all been there.

Forget whether or not you're an 'alcoholic.' It's a red herring. The truth is, if the description above is of you, then you are addicted to alcohol. There's no shame in that - it's an addictive drug, just like nicotine.

The bad news is - it's only going to get worse. But there's good news: quitting drinking will totally transform your life - and the sooner you do it, the easier it is.

That's probably a lot to take in right now, so just do Sober October and see how you go.

If you find the first few days hard, then read Jason Vale's 'Kick the Drink, Easily.' It'll totally transform how you think about drinking.

Try reading the first few days/weeks of this blog - starting back in March. Everyone here is happy to help. And check out

E-mail me on if you'd like some advice, or you just want to get something off your chest.

As you go through the month you'll find that you're losing that puffy look, and the wine belly. You'll sleep better. Your skin will glow. You'll save money. And you'll start to feel calmer - less anxious and stressed.

Then have a think about whether a month is really long enough - because those positive changes just keep on coming.....

Good luck!

SM x


  1. Dear SM
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your blog. So I'm on day 9 (yay) - and I'm totally addicted to your blog. (You are a fab writer by the way and should definitely publish your book). Anyway I have never blogged and never even actually replied to a blog, but from everything I’ve read in yours, it seems that it might be the one thing that keeps me motivated this time and gets me to that field of bunnies!! I thought I might wait till the new year and start afresh Jan 1st and all that, however there’s always some other excuse that pops around the corner to delay the start of my new positive life without that son of a wine witch. And I worked out when I started, that my magic day 100 is round about Jan 1st – so I will hopefully be finding everything a whole lot easier by then.

    So wish me luck. I’ll keep checking in to keep myself accountable, and I'll hopefully stay strong with your other lovely followers’ support and advice too.

    From Sober Foxy Mama, (SFM) (visualising my super strong alias, as you suggested, and also hoping to see some of those physical benefits you’ve been mentioning!!)

    1. Hi Sober Foxy Mama! Just typing your name makes me smile! Huge congrats on Day 9!!! You are so doing the right thing, and we are all with you! Check out the soberistas too - there'll be loads of ladies there on and around day 9 too. Huge hugs! SM xx

  2. Great post. I had stopped drinking for lent for many years but it was getting harder every year. So i searched the web to figure out how I could make it easier and how I could get more out of it. Well I'm 7 months sober now and loving it. I don't think I would have stopped if I didn't find some great websites. Your's is my favorite!

  3. I think that is excellent advice.
    Because life can be so amazing once you remove the wine haze!


  4. I'm excited to be starting Sober October with 21 days sober! I've spent the last year knowing I should quit, wishing I could quit, and planning to quit. I've already forgotten my day count a few times, and I consider that great progress. Thanks for writing. Finding yours and a few other blogs a few months ago helped me finally do what I've wanted to do for so long.
    ~ Sober Running Girl