I begin here

It’s July 8th, and this is the beginning of my 8th day sober. I’ve gone 9 days before, just over a month ago. But never longer.

I’m starting this blog today because I suddenly realized last night that I was not going to make it.

I wanted wine last night so bad that I decided to buy some, then changed my mind, then changed it back again. About 6 times in one hour. I was furious that i couldn’t drink. Irritated, picking at my husband, frustrated. Generally itchy in my own skin.

I hid in the tub (at 7:30 pm), waiting for the mood to leave me. It didn’t.

Then I put on my PJs, and sat in front of the laptop, and read the page that was sitting open (http://unpickled.wordpress.com). A blog written by someone anonymous, going through her own journey without alcohol.

And it inspired me. Her words were enough.

I got off my ass and made myself a special drink of black currant syrup, perrier and sour lemonade. Then I had another. Then I gently suggested to my husband that he could make these drinks for me, more often … like every day starting at about 6 pm right up until 9:30 pm.

Oh i have so much to talk about here. Triggers, why to give up alcohol in the first place, family shit. But I realize that me in my head alone is not going to get this done. I need to write it out. and I kneed to know that someone might read it. Doesn’t matter who, just someone. Someone out there. Might read this and might wonder if i stayed sober for another day…


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Day 8! Really want to do this! I need this! Right now I’m just calling it “dry” January! Hoping to go the month!

  • I am on Day 1. Yesterday, April 1, after working hard all day deep cleaning our bedroom, I thought I deserved a drink [contented edited] … I have no energy today and a slight headache. I DO NOT like this feeling and have been questioning my drinking for quite some time now. Since I have retired, I have at least 2 drinks a night but it seems to creep to 3 or maybe 4. I realize how hard alcohol is on your body and mind and I want to stop!! I tell myself I should only drink with friends and not just my husband but am afraid I cannot do that. I am ready to start and hope this will help with accountability!!!

    • Well done. Yes I’ve retired and now almost 2 years sober after a lifetime of drinking. So glad I got medical help to do it. Well done you

    • For the past 4 years I have done Dry January with great results. Each February I find drinking has lost much of it’s appeal. Last night my wife, who drinks very little, and I, a heavier drinker, had dinner at a bar/ restaurant with 4 friends. I drank alcohol free beer. It was a little difficult because alcohol fuels openness, but I quickly felt comfortable and communicated easier and clearer. And today, no headache and much more energy, allowing day 4 of 10,000 steps early morning walk.

  • I am here on my day 1 on the advice of Cath, of The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober fame. Thank you for writing this. No one knows it’s my day 1, as I drank alone on a walk down the hill fromy dad’s house yesterday. Because of a fight.
    I bought your book. I am looking forward to reading it.

  • Hi there. I’m on Day 3. I read the audiobook of The Unexpected Joy of Sober in December 2022. I finally felt like I was hearing someone like me. She cited your blog so I checked it out. But didn’t really do much about it. A few weeks later after 6 or 7 Day 1s, I ordered your book. By mistake actually. I intended on buying a different 100 day sober book. But I ordered yours for a reason. I gobbled it up these past 2 days. Fastest I’ve read a book since law school. Maybe college. I did the things. Clicked the links. Sent the emails. So I’m here. My anxiety is high and I’m rolling through all the sober supports one at a time. Thank you for allowing me space to share and for sharing your story.

  • This is my Day 1 – I like the sound of that drink. Think I’m going to try that. I need to be accountable to someone – I’ve tried so many times to stop. I’ve even managed two stretches of 6 months and 8 months respectively. But then I picked up again – it’s crazy. I know I need help – so I’m trying something different – I’m trying here.

  • Well…. Day one, I’ve struggled on and off for a few years now.. I started reading “the unexpected joys of being sober” this morning and now I’m here….
    DAY 1

  • Day One. Again. Here I go. Feeling quite positive, but I guess I’ll need more support once I’ve sailed through the Pink Clouds again. (Usually between week 2 to 4).

  • This is my Day 8 as well…… so far so good….. but hell I am I tired. It is a struggle to keep my eyes open at work…. and yet I have been sleeping so much this past week…… I am still using alcohol-free drinks as a crutch though…. I am hoping can cut them down soon so that the habit will really be gone…. I just don’t want Day 1 again

  • Fantastic effort Belle, not just in stopping but in being able and wanting to spread your feelings worldwide for support to others in the same boat. 🌞 Rob day 580

    • I am on my day one again today. The longest I’ve made it is 32 days. I’m tired of this crap too.

  • Hi,
    I am on day 16, And I love being sober, I feel really good that i can go pick up my son at the drop of a hat when he needs it , rather than saying sorry i can’t because I have had a drink, that feeling when I wake up in the morning without a hangover or the dread what did i do.
    I do have a feeling of fraud though after seeing the email about alcohol free drinks, as that is what I have been doing.

  • It’s the start of day 3. The first day was hungover so I’m not sure if I want to count it. Nevertheless I haven’t put alcohol in my body for 2 full days. I’ve done this before and before that I did it before-again and again. I’m 63, alone and really tired of the drunk me. I love being sober. I was never a daily drinker. I was an every other day drinker. What matters is if I drink one mouthful, I’m definitely going to drink all I’m able to drink and it will result in a blackout, a 24-48 hr nightmare hangover and always some bad decision during the drunk. I’m not going to drink today.

    • Hi Karen, This is me. We are we! I am also 63…and alone. Today I complete Day 8. I didn’t drink daily either. I was a “binger”, as in ER ‘frequent flier’ binger. No “OFF” button. AT ALL. I believe that NOW is different. I can feel it. But I won’t be complacent, because I’ve been here before. My longest, most recent stretch alcohol-free was 221 days. Before that, I did quit over 365 days (and lost over 40 lbs.). I hope you are hanging in there. We say we’re alone, but this proves we’re not really alone! I wish you all the best on your journey!

      • This is also me….. 60 year old grandma, mam and wife….. you’d never guess that I drink as heavily as I do
        I hold down a job…. Never absent or hungover and keep a nice home
        I’ve battled with the wine witch for years and she always wins
        I’m soo weary of the regrets, the foggyness in my brain And don’t want to be like this anymore……HELP !!!!!

  • Day 18. Talking to myself a lot about the pros and cons..Will I won’t I, when will it be if ever.. .. Not ready to risk the cons yet….. Enjoying the pros!

  • I’m sitting outside in a church parking lot hoping there will be an AA meeting in 8 minutes as I have missed having my sober tribe. But due to COVID no meeting! Tried of the zoom meetings of 30 or more people and needing that more intimate settings. I’m struggling to drink so have reached out for something different and found your site by reading the book “The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober.” So I’m committed to the 100 day Challenge!!! I will not drink no matter what! I know I will cry and I will sleep and I will reach out. Day 2 of my challenge. Started on Sept 23, 2020. Thank you and smiles! Becky

  • Hi,
    I’m on day six. My husband and decided to do this together as we recently lost his dad to sclerosis. It’s not been an easy time. We’ve done this before and he lasted 23 days, I lasted about 32 as I found him drinking wine next to me too much to cope with.
    We’ve argued tonight, and he’s opened a cider. He literally picked a fight so he could drink.
    I’m going to continue alone.

  • This is my 3rd day with no alcohol… and I am struggling…so I am hopeful that reading your blog and other’s might help.

  • My first comment !
    This is my first day after my decision to stop drinking permanently without alcohol coursing through my veins. I have been at this place many times but this time it will last!

  • So I’ve managed to make it to day 15, which I’m pretty proud of, as I’ve been struggling to have even a single day off drinking for a while now. I’m a stay at home mum and I’ve got into the habit of drinking every evening as soon as my husband gets through the door. And also at weekends, because… it’s the weekend?! Truth is I’ve been a boozer since I was 15 years old. I’m now in my 30s. Wine has always been my go to drink, but I’ve found recently that I’m just not enjoying the taste of it anymore, yet I still pour it down my throat every night and spend all day thinking about it. I feel as though I’ve become a slave to it, which really sucks. So I’m trying to stop. We spent this weekend up at my mums house and it is literally full of booze. There are 4 bottles of white in the fridge, 12 reds in the wine rack in the kitchen, mulled wine in my daughter’s bedroom (wtf right?) and spirits all on display in a cabinet in the dining room. It has been nothing short of torture! Last night my mum was drinking red wine and I took myself into the conservatory and started crying. Wolfie was going for it big time! “Just have one! Start again tomorrow.” So I started listening to your one minute messages, Belle. And you saved me! I didn’t have a drink. Thank you! I ordered one of your Sober Toolkit Charm Bracelets as a reward to myself. I can’t wait to start wearing it. If I can avoid drinking booze here, where it’s free and within such easy reach I know I can keep up this sober momentum. I didn’t fuck with it and I’m feeling kind of proud right now. Thanks Belle, I’m so glad I found you xx

    • Very, very, very Well done. I’m only a little ahead of you at day 22. In some ways it hasn’t been too hard but it is still early days and I dare say, it could be a challenge in a month or so. I’ll think oh I can have one now it’s not so difficult. This is my other self talking to me, aka Wolfie.
      Of course I cannot have one… no way. By the time I realised I couldn’t go on, I was on a bottle of wine ++ a day. What jokes that other self tells me. Right now, I’m still feeling exhausted, as my poor liver has taken an extreme battering. I also find though that everyday tasks are easier or I have more motivation to just get it done. Have you read Claire Pooleys book Sober diaries. It might help as she was also a stay at home mum. I was one at one point and that’s when I started drinking in earnest. I’ve attended some A.A. meetings and whilst that Fellowship thingy is not for me, attending a few meetings helped. I so hope you and I can keep going and feel good about ourselves. I am also turning to Belles one minute messages. We love you Belle. Thank you. I only wish I could figure out how this blog works ?
      Lots of love

    • Good for you. I too do nothing but think about when I can get home and sit on the couch and drink beer all night. I am so tired of thinking about it! Keep going! You do not want to be 54 like me and still stuck in the pit.

      • I just turned 52 and I too was still “stuck in the pit”. My goal was to stop when I was 50! I looked in the mirror, disgusted, and decided enough is enough. I looked back on my daily journal of last year and I am not going to repeat it!! I am 17 days sober and it is going along pretty easily right now. I think because I am ready this time and my prayers for strength are being answered. Good luck to you and keep going!

  • Day 1! I’m already thinking about how I’m gana get past 4pm. My husband is no help but last night he had a vomitting bug so hopefully he wnt drink tonight either. I tell myself il just drink on Saturdays as we always meet up with family for a drink but Sunday is my favourite day to drink so it always turns into ‘il start again on monday’. And then my husband has a few drinks at cricket on Wednesday and I start while hes away so I can join him when he gets bk… and then I think I’m gana drink on saturday anyway so I may as well have a couple on thur and Friday cz afterall it is the w.e.
    This needs to stop. Iv given up for dry July once and 3times completely while pregnant so I can do it. But it just seems point less without a reason. I know my family are my reason to get better but they surely dont need me sober. Exactly like Belle I never drunk much in my early 20s. Didnt care about drinking but after the birth of my first baby I got bored stuck at home and with each baby I got border and drunk more. It has been a gap filler in the evenings. A bit of excitement. Something to look forward to. U think the shiny little button faces of my 3 perfect children would be enough…. but somehow… it’s not. I really want to sort my crap out this year!! New year! New me! Wish me luck!

    • Hi Nanny, I’ve just read your post and was wondering how you were getting on? I’m also a stay at home mum and drink in the evenings mainly through boredom and also as a reward for getting through the day. My drinking has slowly been creeping up again and I was struggling to have any days off of it, so have decided to try and stop. I’m now on day 15 and I’m still feeling like I have a hangover each morning, which sucks! I’m looking forward to it getting better soon (hopefully)! Hope you’re doing ok 😊

  • Today is my 2nd Day Eight. The first one was back in Sept of 2007. I made it to over 2.5 years back then, before I sloooowly started drinking again, until I got back to the point where I was drinking every night.

    Tonight I am going to my usual Friday night thing, which is playing board games and watching movies with a group of people at a friend’s house. I usually drink 8-12 beers. Tonight I will be having fizzy water. I know that we’re supposed to avoid situations like this, but I’ve told my boyfriend I’m not drinking tonight (though I told him it’s because I have two major exams next week, not that I’m thinking about going sober — which he’d love. He’s been sober for 25 years). And my friends knew me back when I quit for 2.5 years. They’re not the type to try and force booze on me.

    So my goal is to be back tomorrow, writing a tiny comment on the Day 9 blog post confirming that I made it through Friday night A-OK. Just wanted to put that out in the universe so I have some extra ammunition to use against Wolfie. 😉

  • I just read your first 30 days of sobriety and all I can say is…when is the book coming out? You are a terrific writer and the information you share is right on the pulse of the people. Women and wine is a hidden epidemic affecting I’m sure many, many, many otherwise normal women. I’m sitting here in stunned silence reviewing all the brutal truths you have expressed in your blog. I thank you.

  • Day 5 for me and man, I want a drink on my way home. But this blog is giving me lots of strength knowing I’m not the only one who is facing these challenges.

  • Day 1 successfully completed. April, 1, 2014. I just keep reading posts and drinking absurd amounts of lemon water. I want to do this. I hope I can do this.

  • Biggest problem for me is staying stopped. I can detox myself and go through all the shame then collapse. Losing jobs. Money And emotional respect. Its causing everyone pain around me. This time I’ve gotta do it. Its been 1 day. Easiest time for me because I’m too sick to swallow alcohol and shameful and guilty. Day 7 will be different I’m sure. But I can do it and if I have to read every night to keep myself educated in the problems it caused I will

  • Hi Belle, I’m on my 8th day today. I’m Christine 43 years old… I have a 5 year old and a husband. I think I only have him still because he doesn’t pay that much attention to what I do… or he ignores it. I don’t know. But I am finally ready (at least part of me is) to be free of this merry go round drinking causes in my life. I have no idea how I will do this. In the past I could NEVER see giving it up. NEVER. Slowing down… only drinking on the weekend ect. But it always leads to the same place. Its NOT good. I completely see now that I’m not in control of it. Not at all. The big news is I made it thru this weekend. Something that I’ve been trying to do over the last few months but have failed when the “lies” come into my mind… I can handle it… no problem. That’s been the hardest part for me – the lies I tell myself. Forgetting all the pain I cause myself by drinking. So this is the longest I’ve made it this year… 2 years ago I g it up for Lent and went 6 weeks with only one slip up. And 5 years ago I went 9 months when I was pregnat with only one tiny glass of sherry to celebrate my wedding anniversary. But I can’t take all the humiliating mistakes I make when I’m drunk, the distance it puts between me and my daughter and all the time it steels from me as I recover from the night before. Hate it. I feel strong today but as the week wears on and the weekend approaches (with a business gathering my husband has at a winery that I have to attend) it will be harder.

    • Christine, I know this is over six years ago but if you read this, I just want you to know that you really hit home with me when you said that you only still have your husband because he either doesn’t pay attention to what you do or he ignores it. That is the same exact way that I feel with my wife. I can hardly believe that she doesn’t realize what I’ve been “secretly” doing to myself for the last 20 plus years so maybe she really is ignoring it- I don’t know. I do know that she deserves better so I’m working hard to change. I’m on Day 8 today.

  • I just started my first serious journey too. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been 4 days (so cliche). This blog was recommended to me on a SMART recovery message board. I’m looking forward to reading along.

    • Hi Leigh, glad you’re here : ) Four days already … you’re already underway! I’d be happy to hear how you do as you go along. If you’d like to be pen pals, just send me a message now and then (or daily!) to report on how you’re doing and what you’re thinking. my email is tiredofdrinking@gmail.com …. All best, Belle

      • I didn’t see this before now. I thought I’d get an email or something. Anyway, thank you for replying and thank you for the offer to be a pen pal. I really appreciate that & I promise not to send you any chain letters or porn. I’m spitfire1267@gmail.com

  • So excited to have found you, thanks for commenting at BHM so I could. I am here and reading and supporting you the whole way. Unpickled was one of the first blogs I found too, I wish she was still writing.

      • I’m enjoying the book (TOTAD) and reading these first comments of yours Belle. OMMs are so helpful too. I’ve had more than 4 days straight without wine…had about a week in Feb leading to the 1st but decided to start on the 1st March ,which I know isn’t necessary but I’ll stick with it now…and that is what I’m gunna do…for the first time in my ENTIRE bloody life, actually STICK WITH IT !
        All the very best to everyone on their respective journeys. Lucie.xxx

  • Dear Tired
    Well done on your decision to quit and your decision to stick with it last night. I have gone without for nearly 7 weeks now and this last week has been very tough for me too. But I am sure its worth it, One of the reasons I gave up was the self loathing I had for myself as I woke up to face another hangover. The biggest positive so far, apart from the lack of hangovers, is the fact that i like myself more. I have also started a blog, but have not been too energetic yet. I go through phases where I dont want to blog as its feels like I am focussing too much on my issue of not drinking. Other times it helps and I am most grateful for others like yourself who do blog and inspire all of us. Good luck I shall be following your journey. Cleo

  • Dear Cleo, how sweet you are, my first comment on this new blog. You’re right, though, about self-loathing. I’ll add that to my list of things to write about! Congrats to you on 7 weeks, i can’t imagine myself (yet) where you are. It’s funny, i can see myself doing a series of days (as some kind of exercise) and then i can’t see anything after that.

    if you don’t mind sharing, what was it about this week that was harder for you? tough enough that you started looking online for ideas? if you can help me understand your triggers, then it’ll help me figure out my own … if you know what i mean. thanks for being here : )

    • Hi
      You have just motivated me to write about the week on my blog. Hope it helps a bit.
      Another great blog is “Mrs D is going Without” – you can find the reference on my site. She has really helped me enormously.
      Stay strong