today is day 10 and i’ve never been here before …


i named this blog after a really great Tragically Hip song.

I may not meet the textbook definition of an alcoholic, and I may never have had a ‘bottom’. but the problem for me (at least) is that i spend so much time thinking about drinking. how much wine can I have, when can i start, have i had enough, how will i sleep tonight, OK maybe just one more …

And i think that life without alcohol means that the noise in my head is just quieter all-round.

Less noise in my head means I sleep better and I get more done. Is it about self-control? sure it is. and clearly i’m lacking the self-control that would allow me to have a glass of wine, now and then, and just stop at one.

[Frankly the thought of having just one makes me irritated. What’s the point in just one? it’ll make me tired and foggy and then I’ll sober up much too quickly and i’ll still have this residual headachy, thick headed feeling. Yeah, that’s why it’s better to have three glasses instead of one.]

So i think that not-drinking entirely is an interesting and positive trade off.

I give up drinking wine, and what I get back in return is theoretically better than the wine ever provided.

Yes, OK, I give up wine’s company, the comfort, the numbness, and the glorious way that it fills up an evening and brings sunshine to meals and patios and vacations.

in return, I get back energy, sound sleep, peaceful relationships, increased productivity. I consume fewer calories, spend less money, and i gain self-respect.

gee, when i write it out like that, it seems like a no-brainer doesn’t it?

am i giving up wine FOREVER? (or just for my original intention of 30 days)?  well if giving it up forever guarantees that i get sleep+energy+self-respect, then yes, maybe this is forever. I’ll decide when i get there.

for now, all i know is I didn’t drink last night, and i’m not drinking today. it seems easy right now and i’m going to ride this wave (because three days ago i was so irritated i was ready to drink no matter what and i know those times are a-coming again).

i’m going to focus on what i’m GETTING rather than what i’m giving up.  and today is day #10.  I’ve never been here before 🙂

I hate drunkenness

I’ve stopped drinking a few times, for a few days at a time.  I often have to take clients out to eat as part of my job, and i can go for dinner, be a good entertainer, and not drink at all. For a few days.

The longest i’ve ever stopped before was 9 days, a few months ago. I remember I thought I’d try 30-days alcohol free, and I made it 9 days. then i drank for several days, then i took another 6 days off. But that’s it.

I read yesterday that the more times you try to quit, the closer you may be to really giving it up. Maybe we need to practice quitting …

Other than these two recent and brief attempts at more than a week sober, i’ve been drinking daily for about 3 years. Before that, for the previous 15 years, it was 6 out of 7 nights per week (i used to take one night off a week; recently, not so much).

I never set out to get blotto. In fact I hate drunkenness. I always leave parties when the disorderly behavior starts. If someone throws up from drinking too much, I’m thoroughly disgusted. I’d never do that, I say to myself. I’d never let THAT happen to ME.

On the other hand, I am beyond tipsy most evenings, whether we’re home playing cards or out in restaurants with clients. My version of tipsy is enough to feel fuzzy, but not so much that i fall over.

And lots of nights at 4 am, when i wake for no reason, hot and irritated … and lots of mornings when i wake dehydrated and miserable, i say “ok, this is enough.”

What was the turning point this time? We were on vacation last month, and I was overdoing it. I was actually looking forward to coming home so that I could stop drinking so much. And so often.

As usual, I was cruising the ‘sober’ literature online.  I read something about Dry July, and figured “I can do that. I can take a whole month off. How hard can it be? Harder than running a marathon?”

I’m 9 days into July, and now I realize it’s irritatingly hard. I started this blog on day 7 when I realized that I was about to bail on my 30-day plan (again). I wondered if asking the (online) universe for help would help.

So why is it so irritatingly hard to quit drinking? Why don’t my higher level goals just automatically overrule the noise in my head when faced with this challenge? I mean, I don’t speed on the highway, even if it’s fun and exhilarating and will get me there faster, because my higher level goals can say quite firmly “that’ll get you killed” – and i listen …


miserably giving up drinking

I’ve never been a fall-down drunk. I’ve only been completely hammered twice in my life. I’ve never been sick from drinking. and i was very proud of this. I’ve been a good girl, a high functioning girl. I never drink too much… maybe 3 glasses of wine in an evening, perhaps 4. I never finish a bottle myself. On vacation, i might have beer with lunch, 2 pints. then have a nap. then get up and have dinner and share a bottle of wine with my husband. then have a nightcap (cointreau, grand marnier).

I never wanted to be hammered, i just wanted a buzz, to relax.

the problem is that most normal working days, i wake up feeling like a bag of shit. I go for a run, have a healthy lunch, drink tea all afternoon. Then at 6 pm i start with the wine again. never more than 3 glasses. never more than 4 glasses.  or a beer + 3 + nightcap. Every single night, night after night. On weekends and on vacation i just start earlier in the day.

i never want one glass of wine.  i want three and a shot of cointreau.

i have about 15 pounds to lose, i have some vacation debt to pay down and drinking doesn’t help achieve either.

i am cranky with my husband when i’ve had even one drink. I’m more likely to cry, get into an argument, and go to bed unhappy on evenings that include wine.

and most of all, i hate that i can’t keep a promise to myself to reduce, skip days, and have only one glass.

oh red wine, you call to me. i see you in the store window. i see other people drinking you on the restaurant patios in the sun.

oh red wine. you fucker. as soon as the bottle is opened you start calling to me. “drink me. drink me now. make sure you get more than you give your husband, make sure you top up your glass first before his, make sure you send him out to buy more before the store closes.”


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 ( 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…