Dehydrate the wolf

If you can picture booze like a Big Wolf With Black Eyes, he represents the voice in your head.  Now you have to very calmly starve the wolf. Or better yet, you have to dehydrate him by not giving him anything to drink.

At first he’ll be mad at you. “Where’s my drink?”

You’ll say … I have all this free time now. I can’t talk to you, wolfie. I’m running, baking, singing, reading, cleaning, spending time with my kids. I’m paying my taxes, cleaning off my desk, enjoying the weather.

The wolf will taunt you. “Everyone else is drinking, why can’t you?”

You’ll say … sorry, wolfie, can’t hear you. I’m too busy cranking up the volume on my new iPad that I bought with all the money I’ve saved. 50 days of sobriety @ 3/4 bottle of wine per day =  $225.  And some days were more, and other days included booze in restaurants, so it’s really more like $400 (or probably even $500).  At an even $10 A day, that means that in a year it’ll be $3,650 saved.  That’s a trip to Australia. That’s a small car. That’s a new wardrobe, le creuset cookware, and 2 new books a week with money left over. Sorry wolfie, can’t hear you, i’m COUNTING MY MONEY.

The wolf will throw temper tantrums. “Why can’t I? What about now? When is this sober thing finished? Can I drink in a few more days? When exactly can I drink again?”

You’ll say I’m too busy snuggling with my husband, staying awake for conversations, i can see the look in his eyes, how proud he is of me, how supportive. i would never want him to look at me any other way, wolfie, don’t you understand that one glass of red wine does NOT equal my marriage? I pick my marriage. I pick it every day of the week and twice on Sundays. I pick meaningful conversations with friends. I pick sober laughing. It’s the best. Have you tried it wolfie? Sober laughing? you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

The wolf will nearly be dehydrated. He’ll try a few more last-chance, desperate attempts. “You’re broken,” he’ll snarl. “you bitch, you can’t be fixed, you’ll always be a fuck-up, you suck at this, you might as well quit now.”

And you’ll say:  You want to fight? I’ll win. I’ve got so much more energy now that i’m sleeping through the night. I can outrun you wolfie. I’m light on my feet now.  I’ve got so much more spunk, clearer thinking. I’m planning to take over the world, wolfie, me and my clear-headed genius.

What is that? Sorry I can’t quite hear you. Your voice is so quiet wolfie. are you nearly dehydrated? you’re going to dry up and turn to dust.

[puts palm of hand up to lips and blows across the surface … dust disperses, wolfie is specks of gray in the air … and then gone]


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

  • Belle I’m day 1 and petrified, not my 1st go around! But probably now or it will kill me! I woke up this morning and started reading your book ( I love your raw honesty ) . I went to this link were you speak of laughing, sober laughing and I broke down,it hit me so hard,I want that so fucking bad!!! Thank you, I will keep that with me today!

  • I really do want to be sober. I’m tired of the constant noise in my head. I know how wonderful (and I mean full of wonder) it feels to be clear headed and well rested and calm. Last day of drinking Tuesday 17th October. Lillibet

  • Day 5 for me. Am reading your book, rather compulsively. Thank you. I’m going to keep at it. Really liked your bit on moderation, too. Changed how I thought about it.

  • I am the better version of me now. I am staying here. I can not express my gratitude enough. You literally helped me save my life. It took almost 2 years of me being here, you being here. You don’t give up on us. You are helping so many!!! Your way of support is amazingly cool. I’m so happy I reached out and then did what you suggested to get sober. Thank you a ton!!!!

  • I just started your book and I’ve been reading the blog when it comes up in the book. Today is my first day without wine. I was drinking 2 bottles of wine pretty much every day. I drank in the day so my husband wouldn’t know. I’m 69 years old and retired. I’m afraid I’ll fail. I do want to quit, don’t i?? Or do i?

  • Just love love love that post… and how ironic ( or not ) that it is right next to the one where you are thinking about “giving it all up”… shows just how much our (my) brain can oscillate in one day…
    To drink or not …..
    not is most definitely the best and crucial right answer 🙂

  • I have fears that I won’t be able to stick with it. I have been trying to completely get rid of alcohol for 4 years. I am not a huge drinker but I know from doing 30 days sober that I am happier with none than even a little. It seems that I talk myself into drinking, which is so weird.

  • Today is day 5, where I have so often failed, not through trying, just through thinking “that’s enough of a rest for my body, let’s start drinking again” This time I’ve named my drinking voice Venom who is a Symbiote from the Marvel comics and also played by Tom Hardy in the film Venom (🤤) who ironically was an addict. So, here goes, day 5, I’m jumping in!

  • I’m frightened that without my friend alcohol I will be lost and boring …. I’m a weekend binge drinker and always have been, as soon as I pull the cork, my weekend begins … what now ???

  • Wolfie really does seek to destroy time, energy, love and money! Not anymore! Thank you so much for this inspiration 🙂