Friday, 23 September 2016

A Visit From the Booze Fairy

By the recent Pink Cloud standard the last week has been a bit of a struggle; busy, unsettled, uncomfortable, stressful, frustrating (yet sprinkled with plenty of lovely moments of levity). Sounds like typical life stuff, and it is. My lot isn't much to complain about. My roller coaster is just in a bit of a trough at the moment but I know it'll head to higher ground soon.

Lately I've been contemplating a recent visit from the booze fairy (a term I've seen used on Living Sober). Last weekend I was riding a bit of a high. It culminated in finishing Lotta Dann's compelling sober memoir Mrs D is Going Without. It touched on so many things from my own life and experience, though I couldn't relate the crushing turmoil Lotta experienced in those early dark days after she quiz booze - the cravings and emotional upheaval. I finished the book and I remember feeling how solid I felt about my decision to quit alcohol for good. I was feeling damn grateful for the Living Sober people, the sober blogosphere, and my own realisation something needed to change in my life.

Later I was taking my girls to the bathroom for tooth-brushing time and the Booze Fairy chose that unguarded moment to invade my brain:

"This sober thing is getting so boring! You can't seriously give up alcohol for ever. Just give this up! You'll drink again! Just moderate. You love alcohol. You can't do this forever! You're a fool to even think you needed to give me up. What if you don't even have a problem? You're missing out!"

It's funny I would think that at a time when I was feeling the most solid about all this. So many good things have happened. I'm obviously still not immune to the doubts. I just haven't really had many of these strong doubts in the last 98 days, so it was a certainly a bit of a wtf moment. I'm a decision person. I made a decision and decided I wasn't going to regret it. Right???

Could it be that I'm just getting a bit tired of constantly focussing on this new state of perpetual sobriety; the good things, the future non-drinking events, the regular visits to Living Sober, the sober blogging.

Am I burnt out with all this? I do have a fairly obsessive personality and being sober has become my latest obsession in a way (being an all or nothing guy does help with this endeavour). I felt like blogging about this straight away, but instead I've just let it sit in the back of my mind all week. I'm not sure that was all that healthy. Better out than in (this was something I'd say to myself when I was feeling sick from too much boozing).

By the time I was reading bedtime stories to my girls I had already told the voice to "*@#k off!".

And it did.

But it's effect still lingers.


  1. It's a bugger, isn't it... just when you feel happy at making that decision to stop, along comes your subconscious to let you know you've got it all wrong. Like you, I didn't have those hard first few weeks, and like you I also wonder if I've made a rash decision. I've demonstrated I'm not "an alky", so I might as well just start drinking again. Moderately, of course (yeah, who am I kidding?). I guess you just need to ride it out. Focus on the fact that you didn't commit to "forever", only to "one year", so you can ignore the taunts of "you're missing out"... it's not forever, is it? I also tend to obsess over a particular "hobby", at the expense of other interests, and yes, at the moment "Soberness" seems to be my new hobby. It'll get boring eventually, and then I'll probably stop blogging, and reading blogs, and I guess I'll let my guard down. That's why a firm "I'll stop drinking until ...." helps. Even if I get bored of "Sober-ology" I still have my goal of "No drink until January". Sticking to your original goal should allow the roller coaster to come back up before you reach the end. I guess we should be aiming for "not drinking" to become the status quo, not a hobby in itself. Then we can get on with the rest of our lives - with more time and energy (and money) once the effort expended on "not drinking" is gone.
    Thanks for posting that, it's very interesting to see how, even for people like us, with relatively "high bottoms" there are still unforeseen potholes along the way. Not the crushing need to drink perhaps, but the fear of over-reaction, of missing out, of being a bit rash. It's still a dirty mind trick, still something that demonstrates alcohol's insidious hold over us, and over society as a whole.

    Cheers again


  2. What a fabulous response from makeitea.


  3. What a fabulous response from makeitea.