Happy sober new year!

New year’s eve came and went and I didn’t drink a drop. I cooked some ras el hanout spiced lamb and stayed at home with my partner to eat nice food and chill out. I put two wine glasses on the table and a bottle of red grape schloer which tasted ok, if a little sweet. My partner rarely drinks and when he does it’s only one or two then he’s had enough, unlike me 😉

My partner actually ended up going to bed at about 11.30pm, his eyes were drooping and he could hardly stay awake. I told him it was ok to go to bed and not worry about midnight as I knew he was working long hours today.

At midnight it was just me, (with a big glass of sparkling water and elderflower cordial) and our cat. It was really nice, and quietly contemplative – once the fireworks had stopped and the cat had come down from defcon 1. Being alone can provoke feelings of isolation or solitude depending on the person. As I’d describe myself as about 75% loner I’m fortunate that for me it’s the latter.

New year’s day without a hangover has been pretty good and for me it’s day 5. It’s not been particularly productive but I did manage to dye some beige cords black which I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. They needed dyeing because I stained them by dripping red wine on them a while back – oops!

I’d say being sober is going well so far and I genuinely haven’t had any cravings though I know from past attempts that they will come. I’m sleeping lots today, mostly on the sofa. Doze, wake up, eat some leftover Christmas goodies, read for a while, shoot some xbox aliens, doze again etc. I think I’m having a mini-hibernation but it feels quite restful and happily doesn’t involve any headaches, clamminess, crushing anxiety or nausea.

Happy sober new year! x


Let me introduce myself

I’ve realised I should introduce myself before I ramble on any more.

I’m 40, female, have a 26 year history of problematic drinking behaviour and I’ve decided it really is time for a change.  As this is an anonymous blog I’ll be going by the assumed name of Sam.

Since I was 14 my drinking has fluctuated between very heavy bring-it-on binging in crazy situations, to a bit too much creeping in a bit too often at home on the sofa. I have had one fairly extended period where I rarely drank but this was when I lived in a country that has decriminalised cannabis 😉

I’ve been reading sober blogs on and off for some time now and so many of them resonate with me on so many levels – lots of slow nodding with a wry half-smile sort of a response. I’ve also read a few alcohol related books and have a few more queued up in my to-read pile. The question of ‘Do I drink too much?’, ‘Is drinking trashing my health?’, ‘Shall I drink today or should I have a day off?’, ‘What could I do with my life if I didn’t spend so much time wasted on the sofa?’ and so on and so on… have been occupying far too much brain-space for some time now. I think that’s pretty indicative of a problem in itself.

As I’ve turned 40 I’ve also realised that I have a choice in how much quality of life I will have as I age. I need to lose weight (about 2 stone). I have a few minor but constantly niggling health issues to sort out. I’m currently underemployed but have a plan/goal/dream to work on for the future. Overall I feel like I’m only really living at about 50% of my potential and I suspect that wasting time and energy on alcohol is the root of this problem.

I’m beginning to see alcohol as the insidious little fucker that’s interfering with my ability to expand my life into something wider, brighter, happier and healthier. I’m treading water and I’m tired of it. Sick and tired of it.

It’s nice to meet you 🙂 x

Day 3 – changing my Tuesday mornings

Tuesday morning is my equivalent of Friday night. I work nights and Monday night is the last shift before a 4 day (night) break. Every Tuesday morning I get home from work and crack open a bottle of red.

Not today I didn’t. I had lots of herbal tea, a coffee and a pepperoni pizza for a treat. The pizza really did feel like a ‘new year’ sort of treat because I am aiming to be much stricter about excluding gluten next year.

I noticed there was none of my usual mental wrangling through the night about whether I was going to drink in the morning, how much to buy, whether I should lay off a bit etc, etc. Life did feel a little bit simpler this morning which was good.

It’s lunchtime now and if I’d had the wine I’d be starting to feel crappy now. I’d be droopy and sleepy and headachy after drinking with a physically tired body and probably an empty stomach once the first glass hit and I couldn’t be bothered to make breakfast (dinner for me). Instead I feel pleasantly tired, relaxed and am really looking forward to a decent sleep.

Change feels good at this moment.

Where do I start?

How do I even begin to write about such a huge life-changing idea and the reasons behind it?

It’s day 2 and my head is as tangled as a bowl of noodle soup.

I was going to wait until after new years eve to start dry January but then I started thinking about what message that was sending to my subconscious. I drank too much between Christmas eve and boxing day, ending up with the worst hangover I’ve had in ages.

Do I want another one of those clammy, nauseous sessions or am I going to start the year as I mean to continue? Why am I clinging on to the idea that a new years eve needs alcohol to be fun or meaningful? Why am I reinforcing the idea of losing something when it would be more helpful to focus on the potential gains?

These questions were in my head when I was trying to sleep on the 27th December and as it turned out, day 1 was actually almost over by the time I realised it was day 1.