One year sober

I started writing this blog not with the determination of giving up alcohol completely. I was going to dry out. The title of my blog “Moderately Sober” doesn’t take the journey of sober life seriously. I didn’t really think I would be sober forever. I started the blog and started the sober journey because being drunk and blacking out was not leading to a long life. I was killing myself softly.

My blog title is a reminder that moderation is not possible for me.

Today I am sober. I intend to stay sober. I am glad I am sober.

I found a strength that was already within me to stop drinking. I added one day to the next. I felt lost with what to do with my hands, what to do with the new found time up my sleeve. I was amazed at the money I saved. I began to notice that there were others out there also not drinking. A minority, yet, a noticeable number.

The support of the sober community is not to be underestimated. Nudges and the right words at certain times make the difference to lift oneself rather than fall flat. Thank you. You know who you are.

I had a flash of admiration from someone unable to stop drinking the other day. There is no special blue pill to take and voila I am instantly sober. There is a thought, a choice, an idea, a decision. One and all of them. Sometimes it doesn’t work first time, but with the desire to keep trying, one can stop the drinking. Being sober is not just one decision, it is a daily decision. One that if repeated often enough becomes an automatic habit. So automatic that you no longer think about alcohol. Other things in life take your focus. Your spouse, your family, your pets, your renewed discovery of your passion, your mornings, your lifestyle.

I have got back my love of drawing. It must be about two and a half months and I have been sketching daily. The broken ankle ‘helped’ me get back into this. I wonder where this will lead me?

An appreciation and gratitude for everyday tasks has also humbled me. Again being immobile and not being able to do things for myself has taught me patience and also how to ask for help. I am still unable to drive. I love driving. But funnily enough I don’t miss it for now. Crutches and moon boot are only for crowded areas, more of a safety net for me now. Hurray – I am able to carry a cup of tea, I am able to cook. I continue with physiotherapy and getting back to walking with a more regular gait. The moon boot is off while at home. We are coming into summer so walking about in bare feet is just the best. Having my own company for countless days in bed with a foot elevated in a cast has given me peace. I’m fine with my own company. I have been for a while now. Sure there have been days when it drove me round the twist but it was more of the decision of movement having been taken away from me rather than the company.

Having a sober buddy whether they be online, in the same household, same neighbourhood or anywhere really, is incredibly beneficial and much needed support when feeling wobbly. Thank you to my sober buddies.

“My Year of Sober” was a success. I have been thinking about what next?

My Year of Wellbeing is my next focus. I have concrete goals jotted down. This starts today.

Sober as. Always.


11 months sober

Yippeee. Here I am today 11 months sober.

What have I learnt so far? A lot and a little.

Yesterday I said no without the need to explain why not. I didn’t apologise. I typed it and then deleted it. I had nothing to apologise for. I made a good decision as well. Who is this person I have become? I barely recognise her. Cue dramatic music. Of course I recognise myself. I am proud of the fact I am sober.

Even when sober you can still fall over and break a bone.

I remember at the hospital emergency room they asked had I had any alcohol within the last six hours and I could easily answer no. Such a simple question yet it made me feel stronger to be able to answer so quickly without having to calculate. No I had not had any alcohol within the last six hours. Today I have been sober for 11 months. Absolutely worth it. Would not hesitate to do it again. Only wish I had become sober sooner.

Yesterday I got my cast off after 6 weeks. The replacement for the cast is a moon boot. I am allowed tentative weight on my right foot with the aid of crutches. I feel grateful to be out of the cast. Slept all afternoon yesterday and a full night’s sleep and still feel tired. I still have yet to master going up stairs on crutches, still on my bum going backwards.

I realise I have a long recovery to go. My ankle was sore when the doctor prodded and now the foot is exposed to air, bring on the dead skin cells. Sorry for the gross image. That’s the reality of it.

I have been craving a hot bath for six weeks. I am still to take the plunge. I tossed up between sketching or a bath before bed last night. Sketching won over the beloved bath because I have been sketching everyday and didn’t want to break the habit. I think I chose well.

Physiotherapy starts today. And my slow road back to walking. I think I thought that I would miraculously be fixed when the cast came off. Fooled. I no longer have to carry a hard shell on my leg. My left leg toes no longer fear being scraped or kicked. Everything is soft again. One leg is slim! Yay. Sarcasm does not become me. Apologies.

101 Tokens App

This app started the ball rolling. 101 Tokens. A little but powerful app that asks you to record the days that you drink alcohol, to comment whether it was worth it or not, and record where you drank and with whom. You can record what you drank and the volume but that’s up to you.

The point of the app is to shine a light onto your drinking habits and to learn to drink in moderation. Limiting yourself to up to 101 days per year of indulging in drinking alcohol.

One token per day, whether you had one glass or twenty. One token per day. And was it worth it? Stopping to ask yourself was it worth it was a good exercise.

I remember last year trying it and by March my numbers were high so instead of facing my drinking habits I stopped using the app. Problem solved said the ostrich to the sand.

When written down in black and white with the fast accumulation of the number of tokens, it was hard to ignore. The results shouldn’t have surprised me but they did. I may have stopped using the app but the number of tokens shocked me. Learning to curb your drinking and consume in moderation didn’t seem like a solution for me. I would want to be the best. At consumption? What an achievement! To be honest I had grown tired of drinking. It didn’t have the results I wanted and it required that I consume more to try and obtain the effects. Hardly a win win situation. A dangerous slippery slope plus an expensive one too.

My choice in wine, beer and spirits were tasteful. Expensive. Not always but I knew what I liked. Living Sober website clicks over your estimated amount you would spend on alcohol per week and it keeps accumulating with time. I have already saved four figures.

I would hate to calculate how much I have spent over the years on the liquid called alcohol. Could I have bought a house? Probably. I don’t have buyer’s remorse. I don’t feel ashamed. Sheepish perhaps but I mostly have wonderful memories. Alcohol was entwined with all my memories. I cannot erase it, without it the memory becomes a redacted memo with black marker throughout and the meaning becomes lost. That I don’t want nor do I need it. It was my life. A part of me. It was fun mostly. It was my way of celebrating life. Or on occasion commiserating. Or just because. I am not glorifying drinking but it was what it was. Enjoyable at the time. Until it wasn’t.

101 Tokens is doing great things. It started in Australia and it has spread far and wide. 75 countries. If you are drinking and want to see how you fare, download the free app today and check it out.

I still have the app on my phone. Not because I intend to drink again but as a reminder not to drink.

Thank you 101 Tokens. I am now a Smart Sober.

Ridiculous Thought #4

“I’ll never be able to joke about my drinking ever again.”

Conclusion: Case Dismissed with Prejudice.

Drinking is a part of my past. It happened. Most were good memories. Few were embarrassing. Some were lucky, some were stupid. I survived. I will no longer be the scapegoat of the family as the drunk one. The stories were rehashed over and over. They were old and stale and I have not found them funny for a long time. They were maliciously spoken. Enough is enough is enough. (I no longer speak to my family but that is beside the point.)

I am now one of the sober ones. That does not make me the serious one. (Some make think I have always been serious.) I do however take life seriously in that I want to be here and enjoy life, to love and be loved, to laugh, to cry, to feel, to create, to care and to dance and sing badly.

I will remember the time when…. and I will remember the time I did…. It is a reminder that I was young and not so young and foolish and using alcohol as a prop when I thought I wasn’t strong enough to face what I was avoiding. Other times I will remember for the plain stupidity of it all. I have come out the other side. I have survived alcohol. The remembering will be on my terms. I won’t look back in anger (Thank you Coldplay) or disgust or loathing. It is what it was. It was a part of me. It is the past.

I will continue to have a sense of humour, be fun or glum and enjoy life. New memories will be made. Life is for living in the present.


Drinking was an avoidance. An avoidance of what exactly? Life? Facing myself? Facing today? The present?

I have been supremely adept at avoidance. Pushing something away. Not facing something actually is far more exhausting and requires more energy than facing it. The avoidance thingy is draining and I am tired. Enough is enough is enough.

I’ll get round to it.
I’ll do it tomorrow.
All right.
I can’t think about it now.
I’m too tired.
It’s too late.
It’s too much.
Not now. Later.

Habits are easy. Once an excuse is spoken or thought it becomes easier the second, third and fourth time. It rolls off the tongue, it glides through. It appears easier not to. On approach it is waved away. Like a small child interrupting adults talking. Soon it knows it’s not welcome. It lingers but behind closed doors. Lurking. There but not really truly present. More of an essence. A residue.

In limbo now. I am no longer drinking. I have no desire to go back to drinking again. A small white lie. I had a thought yesterday. Of what if? The thought was there. How big or small it was is irrelevant. It was there. And now it is no longer there.

I am aware of this avoidance that I have veiled over myself. The cape is see-through. It has slipped down to my shoulders. It pins me still.

Drinking is behind me. The present is in front of me, it is around me, it is here, but I still feel frozen with fear. Fear of what exactly? I have no idea. The fear of stupidity? Of failure? Of success? Of boredom? Of nothingness? Of repetition? Of feeling? Of letting go? Of control? Lack of control? The unknown?


Control. A fear of a lack of control? Is that it?

Does that boil down to ego?

I have no ambition. Never had. I used to think that was a minus. Now I see it as a plus. I had no self confidence. No self esteem. Now I have some. I used to feel guilt, paranoia and perfection. I have managed to shake them off. Anxiety lets itself in still. It comes hand in hand with depression sometimes. They are a pair who have a key. I asked for it back but it fell on deaf ears. I changed to locks. But we are in a heatwave and I need to let in fresh air. Sometimes they creep in an open window. Tonight they are bothering someone else. I am alone with my fear.

The present is now. I am here. I am showing up. I am present. Now what?