32a. Narky niggles

You are getting an extra one today.

Even though I would not drink for £10 000 or more…. today I have been feeling that narky antsy niggling shitty feeling.  Sometimes I get a thought into my head and it eats at me all day.  Today was one of those days and I have continued to be obsessing and annoying myself with it.  There is really nothing I can do about solving the irritation.  And it is tiny but annoying to me.  So by this afternoon I was aaaarrrrghhhhhhhh.

Me: ”All I do is bake and clean and cook and clean up and make meals and clean up and sweep and shit shit.  I have nothing to look forward to like a normal person who can go out and drink a bit boozy drink and feel floaty and not a care in the world.  I am never going to do that so POOR ME.  Frowsy boring stay at home in her apron wifey.  Shitty crappy fucky aaaarghhhhh”.  That has been me all afternoon.  My itch cannot be scratched…. So what do I do?

I go away to be on my own.  I listen to three podcasts in a row and I feel a big sigh of relief.  Some of my ansty goes…. Then I go and I get my favourite glass – from Zara home, remember?  And I put in some ice and half a lime squeezed in and then I pour in a whole gorgeous sparkling tonic.  Then I type this.  Because my sober tools are:  listening, reaching out, writing and having a treat.

I cannot solve my teensy-in-the-scheme-of-things issue.  But I can just do what I can to feel a bit more special and a bit more cared for by ME!!

I hope you are having okay days.  Its Saturday and I need to have extra treats.  I am off to have a lovely deep bath…. Then some tuna and sesame and greens with my daughter and watch Bake Off.  I think that should do the trick.

Byeeeeeee and love to you all (all??? 😉 😉 )


32. Drizzle


It is a grey and cold and wet day.

The first of September…. Every year without fail my husband says, ”First of September, it’s like flicking a switch”.  And he is correct.  The day feels colder, shorter and in general more autumnal than yesterday.  We notice the leaves changing colour and falling.  Summer is soon to be a memory.  Sniff sniff.  I do love summer.  But I also love autumn.  I guess too, for me, autumn is a time when there are less obvious drinking occasions.  So that is a good thing.

I have been thinking a lot about the socialising thing.  Possibly because, for me, pre the entry through small -sober-door, it was what I was most afraid of.  The occasions out and about that I could NOT drink at.  Genuinely these were my thoughts….  ”Well if I can’t drink I won’t bother going” obviously not every single time, but often enough.  So here is a way of reframing that.  ”I am not really going for the people, I am going for the drinks.”  Not very cool.   Now, genuinely, I am happy to go out so that I can catch up with people and chat.  I know that I will have all my wits about me and I can really be present when chatting.  Really listen and care about what I hear.   Instead of sniffing about for a refill….

I am in a transition stage in life.  Kids are really noticeably more grown up and will leave full time home living in around 10 days – son and around three weeks – daughter.  My son has effectively already done one year full time away.   With home holidays of course. It will be the first time for my daughter.  My hope is that they go away remember their mom how I have been this last month.  I am so much less tetchy.  Less reactive…. more thoughtful in what I say.  I have time and energy like crazy.  Witness the jam, cookies, brownies, and the AMAZING ginger beer…. All sorts of spin-offs from no booze.  Love it.

Love it.  Love you all.





31. Another nice thing….

So I am still collecting nice things…

Yesterday my nice things were …… feeling oneself to be trustworthy, and then realising that one can enjoy social occasions and not drink.

The surprise and third one…. I really thought that I would have nothing to look forward to if I stopped drinking.  So much in my life revolved (and to an extent still does) around what we could do food and drink wise…. I love food.  I love eating out.  I love socialising.  I love Aperol Spritz in Italy, red wine in South Africa… (I am an African for those of you who don’t know me.). I loved going to the UK for the ability to buy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc… It’s summer so its rosé time.  Its winter so its red wine.  And don’t even get me started on gin and tonic cos that is anytime.  And so with nearly every fun occasion which is planned in the future revolving around the bbb (big bad booze) I really thought that I would have nothing to look forward to.  That life would be a series of dreary social occasions with me grimly gripping my soda water.  But it is not like that!!!  I have bought myself a lovely glass – not expensive – from Zara home.  It is kind of like my special occasion glass and I have a myriad of ideas of what to put in it.  That reminds me.  My ginger beer is brewing very nicely …. I actually put some of the failed batch into the soda stream… not sure that its wise …. and it fizzed like crazy everywhere but then tasted AMAZING.  So much nicer than Stoney Ginger Beer.  So I am taking that glass with me when I go away and when I go to someones BBQ and so on.  I remember everything at social occasions and I wake up feeling like a newborn.  What is not to like?  So surprise number three is that life is NOT BORING….and there is plenty to look forward to….

In November I have planned a trip with my two besties from school.  We have not been together just the three of us, perhaps in 25 years.  It is going to be such a lovely time.  It is an effort for all three of us to carve out the time.  But I cannot wait.  The day I arrive is the 100 days deadline.  So in theory, I started this experiment for 100 days..so I COULD drink…. And of course I am only on day 31 so I won’t jump the gun…. But I am not planning to drink on this little holiday.  I know that the girls will be disappointed in my non drinking status.  But I really don’t care.  Well don’t mind maybe.  They will see that I am just the same just a better version.  With more energy… I have just said to them I am not drinking and the one said, well you had better cancel your trip!  I know she is jesting… And perhaps thinks I am only joking.  More about them and the trip another time.

In the meanwhile.  I am a month in.  And it has not disappointed ;-).  Indeed there are many small knock on effects and I am going to have to do a separate blog on them.  Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments… And hang in there and cruise in your little sober cars.  Love ya’ll



30. Just here

It is feeling normal not to drink.

At first I wanted to avoid social occasions, or at least preface them with, “I’m not drinking”.  I am not sure why we think we should not be going somewhere because we are not drinking.  So what?  I will be drinking, but drinking something nice and non boozy.

My reason for this blog was to examine my way along the sober path and see if there was any difference between long term non-drinking and my normal drinking pattern.  I feel so different.  But I do think some of it is in my head.  This feeling of finding myself more trustworthy (to myself and to others) is possibly the nicest feeling.  I can say yes to ANYTHING in the future because my ability to do it will not be shadowed by the ghost of a potential hangover.  I have said yes way into the future about things I would never have bothered to say yes to, knowing I will be absolutely capable.  So nice thing number one is the ”trustworthy” feeling.  

Nice thing number two is realising that I am happy to be at any social occasion and not be drinking.  I really thought it would be boring as hell.  And tbh there will be boring times with pissed people rambling on, but I don’t have to hang out at those… But the normal parties where people drink normally – well it is an absolute pleasure to have my wits about me at those.

What are your nice things?  Please tell me 😉

More nice things tomorrow.

Good night


29. Lullaby to the Wolf

If you are following me

and I know there my followers are few and far between but have very good taste in blogs….!  If you have been following me you will know that I have a sober coach  called Belle.  She has been sober 6 years plus and has been an alongside person in nearly 3000 peoples’ sober journey (hate the word journey uuurrgh – too earnest)….She statistically studies sobriety….. AND…. So despite what I want to think there is overwhelming evidence as many other people have proved that …. moderation for certain of us is very nearly impossible.

I want to think that in a year I will be ”cured” of my obsession with drinking/not drinking… how much and drive… how much and not hangover…. how much and still wake up and be proud of myself… etc.

SADLY It has been proved with certainty that I will still be that SAME person with the SAME ISSUE.

My point is that the ”wolf” that she refers to – our inner voice that advises us contrary to our highest well being – the wolf wants that for me.  And I want to agree with the ‘wolf’.  Come a year, or maybe more… It is 1 year and 5 months today till my 50th birthday (God willing) and I am thinking ”SURELY I can drink responsibly by then?”  

One night, surely???  It will be fine, I will be careful, I will not get over excited by the occasion (my son’s 21st too) and my family and friends and I will have one or two carefully chosen glasses of something expensive and it will be fine.

In reality.  One night of a party is anything from 5 hours to 9 hours at a push (either 7pm to midnight or if you are going for it …. 7pm till 4am).  If I am to go by past ability to NOT think ” oh wow this is AMAZING WINE… I feel so relaxed and happy and everyone is in a good mood and I am so young and beautiful I MUST have some more!!”  the past ability is ZERO.  I cannot remember ever having thought that sentence and it ending happily – at least not in the last 10 years.  That part in italics and bold is in confusing English.  Sorry.  Basically I always think that thought and carry it through…..

This is wolf territory for me and though I feel that my battle is not right here and now, for I am indeed enjoying the sunshine and roses that comes with 4 whole weeks without booze, my battle is in my mind in the future.

Even contemplating this far off event is thanks to the wolf.  STOP!!!!

To take proper care of myself I need to:

  • Think only about today
  • Treat myself as if I were my own best and treasured friend
  • Do the next right thing ( in this case the washing of sheets and clothes)
  • Keep in touch with the sober world via email, blog and podcast.

So I will continue to write here as often as I can, every day if possible.  Not so that people can read it and I can be famous.  Heheheheh.  So that even if one person is reading it I will feel accompanied on my ”journey” and I will not want to let myself or them down.  I will be accountable and even if it feels like I have got it all under control in the drinking department… I will know that that is what the wolf wants me to think.  Hope you having great days xx




27. Ticking along and some other stuff

Found this really interesting.  It is from Belle’s daily emails.

shelT: “Really appreciate all the folks who share [that are in your daily emails]. It seems to be absolutely key and ties us all together.

It seems that many of us grew unable to tolerate the normal roller coaster of human emotions. Experiencing them is different and at first, is quite uncomfortable at times. Soon, it becomes clear that this is easier than drowning them and replacing them with anxiety.

In an effort to understand myself and to moderate, I remember struggling to learn what cued drinking for me, but it seemed everything could be a cue. Feel accomplished? Have a drink. Feel bored? Have a drink. Feel overwhelmed? Have a drink. Feel tired, excited, worried, lonely? You know what to do!

I couldn’t figure out how to address drinking at the cue level because it was so prevalent, I didn’t know where to start!

Now I realize that was an indicator of just how intolerant of emotion I had become. It felt normal to want to take the edge off of ANY emotion.

It’s liberating to feel emotions and realize how quickly they pass. And since I don’t drink, I don’t end up feeling regret or worry.

I’m realizing how much of the time I was unconsciously hiding something since I knew I drank too much and was embarrassed about this fault. That seemed to make me think I might be doing everything kinda wrong.  Hugs, ShelT”

It is interesting how drinking does kind of taint everything.  At least it did for me.  I know what she means in the last sentence.  It is kind of like there was a little niggle always at the back of my mind that I was not totally trustworthy ?  Perhaps this is the wrong way of putting it, but its as close as I can get.

Today was hot and I did a gorgeous private wedding ceremony on top of a mountain.  It was beautiful. They all had Champagne and photos and I did think, oh I would love to join in.  Then I want past a friends’ and she had a cold beer and I had a fizzy water with a slice of lemon.  She is a one drink wonder.  Beee-atch. If it had been the old days I would have had a drink with her, and then I would have come home and the thirst would possibly have taken hold.  I would have found an excuse to have another drink, perhaps with my friend down the road, or maybe even coerced my daughter to have one with me.  I would not have necessarily gotten drunk, but I would have had the edge taken off my productivity.  And I would have been fuzzy and irritable.  It is better this way.  No decisions to be made.  I drink soft drinks.  That is me.  I have no wish to return – at the moment ;-).

Love to you xxx