Friday, November 15, 2013

We are not missing out!

Had some amazingly lovely comments to my last post - do go and look at them all. Yay for community! Wonderful to hear from a new local lady. Hello my kiwi friends xxxx

One comment in particular stood out, and I wanted to answer it directly here. It's from someone bravely reaching out through the all-important veil of anonymity. Anonymity is very useful in this environment which is why I always encourage anonymous comments. Lurking is very useful and powerful too. Hello lurkers!

Anyway, here is the anonymous comment from my last post...

"I was sober for 180 days. Now back on the booze; not happy with myself, but felt like I was missing out on life. What to do?"

The wonderful ByeByeBeer has already offered this reply; "Give it another go if you're not happy with going back. Many don't get it on their first try. It takes time to get used to sober life but the rewards are plenty when we stick with it :)" 

Very wise words. Here's my entirely unscientific and massively over-simplified answer to what is a very important and complex question. Here's what I humbly suggest you do if you want to stop drinking.

1) Decide that you are going to stop drinking.

2) Stick to that decision no matter what.

3) Prepare yourself to lurch all over the show emotionally for a while. Like ALL OVER THE SHOW. Prepare yourself for annoying tears and pure rage and deeply uncomfortable sadness and crazy moods and just lurching, lurching, lurching like a crazy person. Know that it will even out eventually. It always does.

4) Remind yourself constantly why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.

5) Make lists (write them down or just think them) about all the good things in your life and all the little things that make you feel happy. Cling to those things like beautiful life buoys. Nurture and foster and embrace all those good things. Seek out new good things.. grow your list of things that make you happy and make you feel good. Things that ARE NOT alcohol (which lies to you and is not your friend).

6) Keep reminding yourself why you have decided to stop drinking and why you are going to stick to that decision no matter what.

7) Find community. Find it in your neighborhood, in meeting rooms or online. Communicate with or listen to other people who have made the decision to stop drinking. Know that you are not alone.

8) Know that you are not missing out by not drinking. Know that not everyone drinks. Know that it is entirely possible to have a great life full of laughter and dancing and fun WITHOUT booze. Sounds crazy but it's true! I was petrified of that too - that I was going to live a miserable alcohol-free existence feeling like I was missing out on all the fun. But the longer I live sober the more I realise that it is people and music and camaraderie and relaxing and chatting and sharing time with people that makes things fun.. not booze. Do not give booze the power to make everything fun. It doesn't have that power. We do.

Any other thoughts for anonymous?

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I just love know that? Great, fabulous, amazing and wonderful post!


  2. Thanks Mrs. D for this - this is how we show true support, love and understanding in this sobersphere.

    I am very much about your last point there - I think that many of us feel that we are *losing* something. Like a limb got cut off. And in many ways, it does feel like that at first. "Why can't I toast my child at their wedding?" we cry out to the gods, hoping that the situation will give us some sort of allowance for it. But the fact remains we all just *know* that drinking gives us much grief and that we just can't turn that switch off. It's just how we're wired. Fair or is what it is.

    So why does it have to be a negative?! We learn to not only live, but live well. We are much more than a hand holding a wine glass. We are spirits that don't need spirits to grow and shine.

    Wonderful post - thank you for sharing your experience with us :)


  3. Beautiful post and a great reminder to all of us with only a brief time of sobriety under our belts. I missed out on life while drinking, not while sober. I feel more apart of things now than I ever did while drinking.

  4. Coming up for nearly 2 years sober I can honestly say I pity people that drink any amount of alcoHELL. They really do not know what they are missing in being totally free .

  5. What a great list!! One we all need to bookmark and revisit often. Thank you.

  6. Great words Mrs D, I have been stumbling in and out of Sobriety for the past 5 yrs, all advice and helpful, kind words are very usefull.
    Thank you
    Emma b.

  7. I am probably the pro at starting over....but this time, it's different. I realized that during my last bought of alcohol living, I lost control of myself and who I wanted to be.....
    I missed my sober, rested, peaceful self and craved that more than the booze.
    Sometimes, we don't know what we got till it's gone...I almost lost my sobriety and I'm so very grateful for having sober blogs and blogging friends to support me....even when I was drinking.....
    My longest sobriety time was 77 days and I've been trying to break this vicious crazy cycle for over 8 years. Starting over and being at day 5 today is difficult to say....but I'm sober today and know that it's where I want to be ....
    It's okay to start at Day 1's all about you....and what you want today.....

  8. Thank you for the words of support. I am still drinking and still feel bad (physically and emotionally). I am not going to give up on "giving it up" though. Just not right now. I will keep you posted. I can't believe I went 180 days and now am right back where I started.

  9. What great advice! As someone who walks the walk, your words mean so much. Important wisdom and not just for newbies!

  10. Hi, I can't speak highly enough of how hypnosis has helped me give up. Your story is my story Mrs D, an Auckland housewife and mother with a drinking problem. For a lot of years. I gave up two months ago and combined cold turkey with hypnosis - what an incredible difference. I was determined not to be someone who was still craving a year into the future, and the hypnosis has stopped that completely. The hypnotheraphy has helped me associate drinking with negative feelings, and not drinking with incredibly strong, positive feelings that have stopped the mental chatter and silenced that sly old fox. It may not work for everyone but I strongly recommend you give it a go to help you mentally support your decision to stop drinking. Best of luck to everyone out there trying to combat this beast of burden. xx