Sunday 27 March 2016


I have a number of e-mail and sober blog friends who have been trying for months - sometimes years - to get past the first few days of being sober, but constantly end up back at day one.

We've all been there, and I know they'll make it eventually.

(If this describes you, then please, please click here to read my post on The Obstacle Course. I promise it'll help).

What their stories remind me of is how much headspace it all sucks up..

There is only so much time in the day for thinking, and when you're addicted to drinking, hours and hours of that time is used up in a totally destructive way.

Here's how it goes:

How awful do I feel this morning? What was I doing last night? Did I make a fool of myself/upset anyone/spill any secrets? Who do I need to apologise to? What do I need to get done this morning, and how tricky is it going to be?

....moving on to lots of.....

Why do I keep doing this? I promised myself I wouldn't drink last night. That's it. Today I am NOT DRINKING. I am going to detox and be reborn as a virtual goddess. NO MORE. This time I mean it.

....followed fairly swiftly by a bit of....

Perhaps today is not the VERY BEST day to stop. Surely it's best to stop on a Monday? And I've got Steph's party in a few days time. It'd be foolish to quit FOR GOOD now, and then have to immediately do a big party! Plus, what I really need today is a bit of 'hair of the dog.' Just a small glass. Just to take the edge off....

....Leading inevitably to....

Need to go and buy a bottle of wine. Actually, better make it two, as the husband is bound to want to drink some, and it wouldn't be good to run out, especially since this is one of my LAST DAYS of drinking. Can't go to my local shop. Bought 2 bottles there yesterday! Better go further afield....

....and then....

Not much point leaving anything in this bottle. If there's half a bottle sitting in the fridge I'll only want to drink it tomorrow. And I'm not going to drink tomorrow - oh no! There we go. All gone! Clever me...

....and back to....

How awful do I feel this morning....?

It's all so repetitive, and boring, and time consuming.

The problem is that for the first few weeks after you quit it gets worse. You think about drinking even more.

But DON'T GIVE UP GIVING UP, because slowly, slowly all that inner dialogue stops (for many, it takes 100 days before it really starts to get better). And you're left with....

.....silence. Peace. Quiet.

And you can use all that headspace to think about much better and more interesting things.

Suddenly you realise just how self-centred addiction makes you.

Because all that dialogue is inwardly directed, you just haven't had the time to think about sending x a birthday card, supporting y through her divorce or dropping some spare home baked cookies off to the old lady next door.

(Actually, I've still not done the cookie thing, but I will soon).

Now you find that you're a nicer person.

Plus you have the time and energy to think about the big stuff. Like what you're going to do with the rest of your life....

So, why not make today your final day one (if you haven't already). It's Easter Sunday - a perfect day for new beginnings.

(If you want to read my story from my final Day One, then click here).

Love SM x


  1. So very true SM. That addict voice/wine witch/Wolfie gets louder as the first second and third day draw round each time. If it helps anyone, if you had your last drink last night then 100 days from then is July 4th Independance Day. I know I would like to be independent from the endless cycle of stopping and starting. March 29th 2015 was the day I started drinking after nearly 6months alcohol free. WARNING!!! This was an experiment to see if I could moderate. One year on and I haven't managed more than 15 days in a row. Don't ever try to drink again cos it is worse than you remember and so hard to get back.

    1. Thanks so much for that reminder, GG. Even now I still get the 'perhaps I can moderate now' thoughts from time to time! Go for independence! Xxx

    2. Much needed reminder so thank you. Read this today just as was finishing preparing easter lunch for a house full and was hankering after a glass of wine/oblivion for the first time in ages. Thank goodness i didn't. House tidied and going to watch last part of night watchman soon. Bliss x

    3. It was good, wasn't it? What's next for Sunday evenings? Feeling bereft....

  2. This is my day 2, after many many attempts. I am desperate to quieten that inner dialogue, to be free of the constant debate. I am more than the drink, and my world has narrowed so much; I need to get past these few days, and weeks, and get to a place where I stop thinking so much. Annie x

  3. Along with no birdcage mouth/hangovers in the morning, the equally BEST part about not drinking is the peace and quiet in your head. No voice telling you how lousy you are, what a failure you are. Poof! The guilt is gone! Thinking about how great that 'quiet' and self-satisfaction is in the morning....has been enough to get me through a few evenings.

  4. I read a quote the other day - I'll find it again - that talks about the relief that comes with a "circuit breaker" and I thought about this continuous loop that we all go through, the misery it brings, not only to us, but everyone who is watching. Great post SM xx

  5. Hi, SM! Indeed, that EXHAUSTING discussion is absolutely the worst. It is so much work being a drunk! My life got about 8000 times easier:) I hope you enjoyed your Easter!

  6. July 4th it is! I can do this!

  7. Wow, just got past the 6 mos. mark AF and starting to justify and reason with myself why I can have a few drinks. What a great reminder today of all of the wasted, unproductive time I spent doing exactly what you wrote back in the drinking days. Just decided to say on my AF path. Thank you!