Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 - The Year I Quit Drinking

I started 2015 imagining it was going to be a year just like the decade preceding it. I wasn't expecting any big changes at all.

As ever, my main New Year's resolution was to 'cut down' on the drinking. Not immediately on Jan 1st, obviously, but around Jan 5th, once I'd got over the hangover and got the kids back to school.

I started off resolving not to drink at all until February. That lasted a week. I then told myself I'd only drink at the weekends. Which lasted another week.

Ah ha! How about only drinking when I was out - never at home? I went out most nights that week and exhausted myself.

Finally, I decided to only drink beer. I managed that one until I'd had so many beers I thought 'sod it - I'll open a bottle of vino.'

By the end of February I was back to a bottle of wine a day, feeling toxic, fat and hating myself.

So I quit.

The first few weeks were really hard. I was exhausted all the time. I thought about booze constantly. I was convinced I'd never be able to have fun again.

I started this blog, and found people like me all over the world who travelled the journey with me, and without whom I'd never have made it.

Then, at around day 100, miracles started to happen.

I looked 5 years younger. I started losing weight - about half a pound a week, every week, without trying. I had bags of energy. I got stuff done, like decluttering, decorating, and I finished writing my novel.

By September - six months after quitting - I felt like a new person. The cloud I'd not even realised I'd been under had lifted. I re-discovered a sense of fearlessness and optimism. I became a much better Mum, better wife and better friend. I found my mojo, and felt like the world was my oyster.

Then, in October, I found A Lump. In my left boob. A 23mm invasive, lobular carcinoma, with associated DCIS, to be precise. Aka breast cancer.

I went right back to the beginning. Constantly fearful, taking one day at a time, no idea what lay ahead, or if I could handle it.

But I got through it. Sober. And, whilst I'd never say I was glad it happened, it's left me with the ability to not sweat the small stuff, and the realisation that life is short, and we have to make the most of every day we're given.

I ended the year celebrating Christmas, being cancer free and the things that really matter - family and friends - sober.

So, farewell, then 2015. The year I lost the drink and gained a life.

And a Happy New Year to all you wonderful people. I owe everything to you. Without you, 2015 would have been a very different year.

Love SM x


  1. You are brave, amazing and inspiring. Happy New Year, and I hope 2016 is my year for losing the drink. Annie x

    1. It will be, Annie, you just need to have faith in yourself! Happy New Year!

  2. Hi There
    I really enjoy reading your blog, I have been on the trying to quit my bottle a day habit forever it seems. I really can relate to you, great family, excellent career, wonderful husband and kids but but but that little wine habit that wakes me up at 3am and I cannot fall back asleep and I am up till 6am and fall back asleep at that point only to have to wake up at 7am and feel like crap all day long until I either have a drink or I start to feel better and then have a drink. I really am going to try and do 100 days as I need to lose weight and feel better! Starting today!

    1. Hi Mary! I had exactly that sleep (or lack of sleep) pattern! You can do it! Good luck, and happy, sober, New Year! Xx

  3. Just discovered your blog and it speaks to me on do many levels. Congratulations, and thanks for your honesty. I'm on Day 5 (again) and 2016 will be my year.

  4. I love hearing about day 100 and things turning around, SM, as I'm fighting hard at the moment and not feeling the benefit much yet. But you continue to inspire. If you can get through what's been thrown at you in 2015 and carry on in such a positive manner, then I can bloody well pull myself together and crack on through the first 100 days! Big hugs. Red xx

  5. Love your blog! I have been following for a few months. Yesterday, I finally learned how to reply with my blog name/tag.
    Thanks for your daily inspiration, laughs, and tesrs.
    Happy New Year!

  6. OMG, I tried all those things too. Isn't it funny how we all did the SAME THINGS and thought we were all clever and could outsmart addiction?? No can do! Anyway, I must say your commitment to blogging has made my Quit Year easier, SM. You are always here cracking us up and making us think and sharing. I hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

  7. You have done so well, and handled everything brilliantly. I can't wait to get to 100 days and beyond. Here's to 2016!

  8. Hello SM. I have recently discovered this blog and find it very inspirational. I want to see the back of the wine witch in 2016 and am going to join Soberistas too. I can relate to an awful lot of things mentioned in your blog. I think I drink because I lack confidence and self esteem (both of which drinking has managed to damage further - especially regarding weight gain and this constant thirst I have - did you get a constant thirst too?) Anyway many many congratulations on your achievement and I will continue to read your blog as a source of inspiration and advice :)

  9. Happy New Year to you!!
    The best is still to come!

  10. Cheers! I am so grateful for this new life as well! Thank God! Almost 10 months! OMG I am doing it!
    Naples Strong, Naples Sober

  11. Couldn't have made it this year without you SM! Have a wonderful sober New Year!

  12. Ditto the above. You rock SM! Here's to a happy, healthy and calm New Year. Big, fat, squishy hugs LNM x

  13. happy new year! thx for a great blog and inspiration xx

  14. Thank you, SM, for ... well ... being you! You are such an inspiration for us all and simply an amazing person. Can't wait to see what is in store for 2016! xx jill

  15. Happy New Year. Here is to 2016! Thank you for inspiring me with your posts. With your words. Let 2016 be just a bit better and a bit brighter for all of us.

  16. It's hard to realize you haven't been sober a year yet, you've gained so much wisdom, so quickly. It was definitely your time. I'm glad you joined the sober club, we needed you! Happy New Year, my friend!

  17. Happy New Year to you! Thank you for sharing your journey. Your honesty, openness and humor have made a huge difference to me. Here's to continuing the journey in 2016!