Day 88: Sobriety, phase two


I feel like I know a fair amount about how to get through the earliest phase of sobriety.

1. Have a replacement drink and/or replacement activity for wine-o-clock.

2. Be kind to yourself. Eat sweets. Sleep more.

3. Avoid alcohol and alcohol-related situations.

4. Seek support from other sober people.

5. Let your body and brain begin to heal.

And so on. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I think of this phase as the hibernation period.

But then what? You can’t hide out forever, and you hopefully don’t want to. And, I’m starting to realize, there’s important work to be done. In the next phase. When you feel ready. No rush.

Some call this next phase of sobriety the “navel-gazing” period because you’re thinking a lot about how you ended up in this place and where to go next. How to build a new alcohol-free life. True. But I also think it’s important for there to be action, not just thinking, especially for me. Because thinking rather than acting is my default setting. Perhaps related to that whole law of motion thing.

So here it is: I think I’m getting to the point where I need to do the things I used to do with wine, do them without wine, and work out my new normal.

And I need to realize that I won’t get it exactly right the first time. And then try again. And keep trying until I figure it out.

Case in point. Last night we went out to dinner. We went to the steak place I’ve been avoiding because of the whole red wine red meat thing. And it was great. The food was great. The service was great. And there was dessert. Before the food came, I had an O’Doul’s with a lime. It tasted good and I felt like a grown-up. Also great. Then I tried having a second during the meal. Terrible. I felt like I was drinking a loaf of bread with my steak. I didn’t finish it.

So next time the second drink needs to be something lighter. Got it.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (But don’t drink.)



p.s. Advice for phase two, welcome and appreciated.


Day 87: Freaking Fridays


Friday: the day I am most likely to romanticize the drink.

Why do I want to drink ethanol? And wake up at 3am wide awake and sick? And how about that droopy face people get when they drink? Well that’s not attractive.

Nope. Not going there.

On a more positive note…

I’m planning a trip to Chicago with the lovely daughter for her sixteenth birthday this summer. Just the two of us.  This is WAY out of my normal comfort zone and thus scary but also very exciting. I’ve never been there, so it will require lots of planning and energy. And a sober brain. 😊

I traveled a lot as a twenty-something (Japan, Russia, UK, Austria, Italy, Greece, etc.) but after marriage, a lot less and a lot less adventurously.

Most recently I remember feeling proud when I took the kids to Florida by myself to visit my parents. That is not a big adventure, in case you weren’t sure.

What happened to my independence? What happened to that brave young woman?

Might just have to do something about that.

Hope you are all having a great sober Friday.





Day 85: Cranky Pants


So I had a great day, until I didn’t.

Great stuff: Cool Bubble Hour podcast that lasted through my commute both to work and back. Interesting and kind comments on the blog. Decent work day and easier day yet on the horizon. Nothing bad happened.

So why the cranky pants? I’m not sure exactly.

The thought pattern goes something like this: I’m pissed off that I still seem to need so much sleep. I think it’s because I do zero cardio but the thought of doing anything about it just pisses me off more. Then I’m mad that my life isn’t more interesting and the darling husband doesn’t seem to care. Which leads to a memory of a fairly exotic trip we went on several years ago and of course there is a large glass of wine at the focal point of the memory. And that in itself pisses me off. Why is it that every bad mood needs to lead to thoughts of alcohol? Then I remember how much I like my desserts now that I’m not drinking and oh yeah we’re all out of cake or anything like it. Grrrrrr….

So it’s just a bad mood.

I’m compensating with a double dose of ginger ale and a bath with music and all the candles.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

And if the husband doesn’t want to do anything new or adventurous, maybe I’ll just do something new and adventurous on my own. I’m a grown woman. I can do anything I like, right? Huh. Maybe I will.

Cranky but glad to be sober anyway.



Day 84: Twelve Weeks


The good in this day came from…

1. a random rush of happiness during an otherwise boring meeting. Is it possible that life really is more joyful just from being sober?

2. an attempt at Yoga that felt slightly more successful than last week. My 4th attempt and I’m actually quite pleased with myself that I have stuck with it even this much.

3. watching the smallest of our two small dogs scamper full speed like a bunny. She looks bright eyed and wild with energy when she does this.

I hope you found some good in your day too.



Day 83: Finding Flow

83BCB36C-F391-4382-B643-FFA92ABAA303Of course, I’m reading another book! This time it’s “The Sober Diaries” by Clare Pooley aka SoberMummy. In her entry titled, “mindfulness” she also writes about “flow.” It seems that there other ways to get one’s brain to just calm down besides drowning it in alcohol. Who knew? Well, flow is apparently similar to mindfulness (provides relaxation, calm, peace) but with the added bonus of getting stuff done!

So I went to the internet to find out more and found this (by Psychologist Deann Ware, PhD):

When you’re in a “flow state of mind”:
You lose track of time
You’re totally engrossed in what you’re doing
You’re not consciously thinking about yourself–in other words, you’re totally un-self conscious
You’re working toward a goal

A “flow activity”:
Is useful and challenging, which makes it intrinsically rewarding
Helps you progress toward a goal
Provides feedback to help gauge the effectiveness of your efforts

According to Dr. Ware, some possible flow activities include:

Physical activities such as sports, yoga, dance, and martial arts
Outdoor challenges such as hiking
Music–writing, playing, mixing
Art–painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery

Do-It-Yourself projects, such as home improvement
Working with animals
Cooking and baking
Software development/coding
Needlework–sewing, knitting, cross stitch
Horseback riding
What you do for work 

I definitely experience flow at work when I lesson plan. It’s one of the reasons I love my job. Painting (houses not canvases) is also meditative for me. And writing can be – when I have something to say.

What else? Maybe Yoga once it gets a little easier. Right now it still gives me a little anxiety. Running if it didn’t hurt so damn bad.

What do you do to find your flow?


Today I feel grateful for…

1. my job.

2. my trim-painting project waiting patiently for me to get back to.

3. this blog as a creative outlet.

Happy Sober Monday,



Day 82: Something Different


Is today yet another day one for you? Do you feel like no matter how hard you try, you keep ending up in this same place? Then consider this: instead of trying harder, try something different.

I borrowed this idea from Belle at Tired of Thinking about Drinking.

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t stumbled upon her blog almost three years ago. She was my first something different. The second was writing a blog of my own. Hopefully there won’t need to be a third.

Today I feel grateful for:

1. this ongoing record of my journey.

2. the wonderful online sober community.

3. this morning’s gentle yoga that seems to have cured my headache.


p.s. In case you are wondering, I do still sometimes question my choices, have cravings, feel depressed or pissed off. I just choose to ignore those thoughts as much as I can.