Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Development of a Sober Infrastructure

Just as drinking wine consumed and infiltrated every aspect of my life, I now find that being sober has done the same.  *Warning: may be trigger-y to some readers*.

On Saturday I contemplated, quite rationally, choosing to step off the wagon. I tried to avoid my black and white, all or nothing thinking and see the reality of having 2/3 of a bottle of wine being just  that and no more. Could I drink wine one day and then continue the next as if nothing had happened?

I checked the fridge and there was a bottle of mediocre white wine languishing at the back that would do. I suppose.

I thought some more about having it, and some more again about the consequences of doing so and found my reasons for not drinking have changed somewhat from those I held firm over the last 2 and a bit years.

I accepted I was a bit down, a bit bored, a bit meh, and that wine would take my focus away from this negativity. I also noticed it was 4.30pm and the wine drinking would be over by 7pm. What would I do for the rest of the night? Drink more? Switch back to tea?

What if?

Would I blog about drinking alcohol? Would I dare? What would you think? Could I credibly continue to write a blog with sobriety at its core? Would I do a good bye post or just change the focus, perhaps to one of moderation? No, I didn't want that feeling of having let myself down and besides, moderation; been there, done that, works for some but not for me.

What about my forthcoming meeting with my sober friend? Would I tell her or would I keep it secret? If I told her could I really sit with a glass or two of wine while she stayed firm in her sobriety, that sobriety that brought us together?

What about my work colleagues to whom I've stated that I no longer drink? We have an overnight trip coming up, how would I explain that I was drinking again? (Ironic since I debated so much about how to tell them I had stopped!)

What about tomorrow? Would I really be able to shake it off and convince myself there was no harm done and no fuss to be made? Or would I begin a downward slide into lethargy, disappointment, despair and self-loathing at my choice?

What about my current diet with its base in high protein, low carbs, even less sugar and NO ALCOHOL? Its success would suffer too. Mmmmmm.

All of a sudden it seemed that my whole life was set up and around not drinking. It just no longer fit in and it was certainly not worth all the effort it would take to shoehorn back in.

 To begin to drink again would be as big a change now, as giving up was then.

All along I knew I didn't really want to drink and that wine would not be a helpful option but I had wanted to explore some of my thinking around this. By the time I had finished my thinking it was 8pm. I was still a bit bored but my mood had perked up after having cake for dessert and I was horrified at the thought that I could have chosen to drink only a couple of hours beforehand.

I removed the wine from the fridge and put it to the back of the cupboard just in case I take leave of my senses again.


  1. Dear Rachel,
    I so loved your thinking.
    That your life is set up around not drinking now.
    I am so happy you didn't take that first drink.

  2. Do you think it was the wine witch/wolfie? Do you still get visits? I think you made the right choice. You would have felt awful the next day, not just physically but mentally as well. You are awesome! A x

    1. That inner voice is always there. It takes advantage of us when we are down, over tired or not taking care of our basic needs.
      In yoga they call it the ego. I like to think of it as my inner child, who needs love and kindness, not booze.

  3. Hi Rachel,
    I have alcohol all around my home as well - it is part of our business - and it can be a major distraction knowing that it is there. Each box is labelled and numbered so I am completely accountable (ahem) and it is just not an option anymore. But I like your idea of the sober infrastructure - it's like building this whole depth around being sober, so a momentary urge or craving must rub up against the edifice of our sobriety - and it simply doesn't persist.
    Lovely post on being vulnerable and having the courage to re-direct yourself and be wise in the shadow of temptation.
    Thanks, Bren

  4. Hey lovely :) What an interesting post and yes like you the biggest rider to my new life is staying sober!! That sober friend at dinner would have been fascinated and wanted to hear how the 'alcohol experiment' had gone. She would probably have spent the drive home turning over the idea in her mind thinking if she can do - can I? I prefer it as a thought experiment though ;)

  5. Love this. What a great way to think about things. How to explain to people about drinking again when all of the worry had been about how to explain the NOT drinking! Such an interesting thought process.

  6. Just as it was apparent that I stepped over that line of addiction it is very apparent that I couldn't ever go back to drinking!! My God my whole life is wrapped up in soberville... Thanks for the reminder Rach.

  7. Just as it was apparent that I stepped over that line of addiction it is very apparent that I couldn't ever go back to drinking!! My God my whole life is wrapped up in soberville... Thanks for the reminder Rach.

  8. I have a similar thought process when the craving starts nagging.

    I really like how you relate the decision to drink to being as big of a decision to not drink. Why are we so quick to think about picking up the bottle, which is usually more negatively life changing, than we are about choosing to quit, which provides so many positive life changes?

  9. what a great perspective - that your life is now built upon the assumption that you don't drink, rather than upon the assumption that you do. really helpful to me too, thank you!


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