“That wolfie noise is incessant and bloody annoying”

From my inbox:

TJ (day 1):  “I was in the 100 day challenge last year and I didn’t drink for 126 days … and then I started again. Not ridiculously out of control or anything but it crept back to a point where it occupied too much space in my head. Most people I know (including my husband) don’t think I need to stop at all.  But there are enough nights when I have more than I intend to, when I step over the line I have drawn for myself and drink to blur the edges, when I wake up at 2.30 a.m. with the night sweats and then berate myself until I go back to sleep, get up not really hungover in the morning but tired and a bit sluggish.  Days when I argue back and forth in my head about stopping, the daunting question of forever shouting at me, that noise is incessant and bloody annoying. I know how good I felt last time.  I know how as I moved further and further from my last drink, it did get easier and the noise got quieter. I just felt better, stronger and more confident. And then when I actually came to drink, I was not certain it was what I wanted anyway (how dumb was that!!!). The idea of forever was not as scary once the benefits started to show through. I want to get back there again and I am hoping that once I get far enough from that Wolfie, his voice will be so small and from so far away that I won’t even be able to hear him any more. I’ll be too busy listening to the sounds of living to even take any notice of him. Hugs xxx”

[N.B. for everyone who really really really really wants to try moderation, her length of time between relapse and restart was 9+ months]


Beach Gurl (day 47): “I really enjoyed the Jumpstart class because it reinforced the written encouragement. Hearing your voice made it feel more personal. The best part was the phone call. I was nervous at first but you made me so comfortable and you seemed to really care about who I am and what my struggles were/are in this sober journey. It felt like you were just talking to me! You’re an angel, thank you for caring.”


KateF: “Day 30! Hurrah! I was super blue this morning about it all. “What am I doing? This is too hard. I wasn’t THAT bad. I don’t want to think about this all the time. Maybe it’s not wrong to want an escape from reality once in a while.” Probably because I was tired from being at a party, sober I hasten to add, until after midnight. But I was determined to make my second AA meeting (partly to get my chip!) as I want to try a variety of types of meetings/locations/times to see what suits … So I left the house at 8 am, got terribly lost and arrived late. But I went in. And it was great. I nearly cried when I got my chip and a cheer from the group. Actually, I DID cry on the tube on the way home! Then it was back to business as usual. Some chores at home, movie with friends, a few drinks at the pub (soda and lime and soda and black current, obvs) then out for pizza. Bloody perfect! xx PS: besides the million reasons being sober rocks like saving money, more energy, not acting like a dickhead, being safe, etc, etc I freaking LOVE how much stuff I get done these days. Finally got the bedside tables I’d been taking about for, oh, a year(!) that I’d always been to hung over and tired on a weekend to sort out. Idiot!”


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

  • TJ your story is so similar to mine. I didn’t drink for over 100 days then decided to moderate. It worked for awhile, but then I was back to drinking more than I wanted to and waking up at 3 am. It wasn’t as if my life was awful, or my drinking was out of control, my family wondered why I quit, my friends wondered why I quit. But I knew in my heats that drinking just takes up too much space in my life. So I am on round 2, I haven’t drunk in 77 days and I just hope that I can stick with it. This blog and all the others that I read and comment on are a blessing to me.

  • That wolfie voice will never completely go away. You just acquire better tools to deal with it; are in a better place which you wouldn’t dream of trading with what he has to offer. He’s almost impossible to ignore in the beginning buy further on he can become very beguiling with thoughts of moderation. I know, I was there after 160 days and thought, how can one beer hurt? Now on day 15.

  • I read TJs comment yesterday and it must have struck a nerve because last night I dreamt I was in that position – post 100 days and wondering whether to try to have the odd glass of wine. I felt as though I was on a precipice, knowing that if I took one more step it would be over. It was quite scary. Fortunately, I do feel scared about having ‘just one’. I would hate to look back on 100+ fantastic clear days and have to reset my sober app to day 0! In my dream I also contemplated cheating Belle (this must have been on mind from the clutter class). She admitted herself, that she would never know if was drunk/hungover when I sent my sober e-mail, but I would know and I sure as hell don’t need any more feelings of guilt messing up my head now that I’ve banished those awful drunken-guilty thoughts.

  • I am humbled and encouraged by the thought that my experience connects in any way with someone else. I don’t want to be a poster child for relapse but when Belle points out that it has been 9 months+ since my last decent period of abstinence it really hits home. The fact that my drinking doesn’t seem to escalate after a period of abstinence probably lulls me into a false sense of complacence and it takes a while to get to that trigger point again. Or maybe that is just me trying to justify why the hell it has taken me this long to get back in that sober car!

    • TJ – I am 194 days today and I am really connecting with what you have written here. I am feeling rather “settled” at this point, although my family and friends still do not really support my decision to stop. Now my mind is tricking me into thinking moderation could work “now” – now that I have accomplished this, now that I feel better about myself, now that I’m “cured”…. Could a glass of red wine really hurt? I WANT a glass of red wine. I still feel the alure of the glass, the scent of the wine, the taste – I remember it all so well….. What I need to remind myself of is the things I do not want to experience again…. The children telling me I smell like wine when I tuck them in at night, the moment of panic when I wake wondering WHAT did I do, say, how did I act…. It’s the things we DON’T want to go back to that we have to try to recall when we feel weak….. The idea of forever is overwhelming, but today can be accomplished, and then I’ll think about that tomorrow (Scarlett)….

  • TJ –
    Needing another Day1 may have not been what you hoped for, but i can only imagine it is a learning experience. I am only on day 10 – my first try of self imposted 30 day ‘challenge’. This has been one of the hardest 9 days – – not just because of the lack of alcohol, but because of all the emotions, reflections, dichotemy of if i’ll ever try to ‘moderate’ again and confusion that comes with it. You are not alone on your day 1. Your description of what led you here in the first place is very familar and I see myself in it.

    Just remember you got there last time (100+), you will get there again. And I hope I will also. Peace and Love – G

  • TJ: to use some American slang, glad to see you getting back on the horse.

    Something worth thinking about: the observer who hears the voice of wolfie is the real You. Wolfie’s voice is not. I am trying to make a concerted effort to stay in a disinterested, “observation mode” when I hear that pathetic little voice.

    Seems to help.

  • TJ … it’s obsession of the mind … and Wolfie may get quieter but do remember he is always lurking, a wolfie in the dark, subtle, cunning, powerful, telling you it’s ok to drink again. IF you truly have a problem with alcohol, if and when you drink again it will be progressive … those are the facts, the scientific facts of the metabolism of the substance …. best wishes to all here … day 1779 here.

    • Way to go Annie, you are rockin’ sober like nobody’s business. Moderation (here used to mean “no hard liquor”) never worked for me either. As a black out drinker I’d just drink faster and more to reach that sweet spot where I don’t remember anything but everyone around me does… Bad News Bears.

  • Nutmeg Day 14: I feel like I’m reading my own mind 100 or so days from today! I think about how alluring a nice glass of chardonnay will be after feeling so in control after meeting the 100 day challenge…but then reality and “history repeating itself” comes into focus and I conclude that the one nice glass is likely to morph into too many, too often and nights spent as TJ describes: night sweats and mental torchure. Only 14 days in and I feel far enough from Day 1 that I cannot bear the thought of repeating it all. Printed off TJ’s comments and plan to revisit time and again!

  • TJ I can relate! I still haven’t really made up my mind if I will drink again after the 100 days. What you are saying here is exactly what would happen to me….it would take about 9 months of noise to be tired of it all again. There sure are some ups and downs!