Did you know that there is a such as thing as the Sobernet. A whole sobersphere of people who engage in, discuss and enjoy alcohol free living. Yes, I said enjoy 😉 , they are actually enjoying the sober life!!! It’s a worldwide tribe and is growing bigger and stronger everyday. In this world phrases like the wine witch, wine o’clock and pink fluffy clouds are common place in the conversation.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to give up your wine or your gin. 😬 I Just want to let you into this part of my world. I’ll talk about my world with alcohol, my world without alcohol and why I stopped rather than cut down

I joined this world very recently (6 January 2019) when I had my last glass of wine. I’m saying I’ve stopped for 3 years rather than forever. I reckon 3 years is a good long break, after that I’ll see how I feel. But, I have to say, at this moment, it’s not looking good for alcohol’s chances of getting back into my life. I’m enjoying myself too much.

Here’s a brief outline of what I’m talking about, it’s about a 5 minute read.

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And then went the Wine

I loved wine.

It was my friend.

My go to for when I was happy and when I was sad and when I was excited and when I was anxious and when I was celebrating and when I was commiserating. In short wine was everything to me, at all times, in every situation.

red wine

I looked forward to a glass after work, before going out, whilst making dinner, at the end of a hard day looking after the children.

It was my company when I was alone as well as my bravado when I was in company.

I used it to dull my pain when I was suffering and also to take away my feelings of loneliness.

The wine was my company when I had no company which was quite a lot.

Does any of this sound familiar?

So why did I end this love affair with my wine. I wasn’t an alcoholic if there is such a thing. My body didn’t have a physical requirement for it. I wasn’t physically dependant.

I always say I had a good go at becoming an alcoholic since over the years I have drank an awful lot more wine than I should have. Certainly enough and of the frequency that should my body have had the persuasion to become physically addicted I certainly would have.

There are a few theories as to why some people become addicted physically and some don’t. It’s not sure which, if any, are correct but what is fact is that some do and some don’t.

The widely accepted picture of an ‘alcoholic’ is of someone who get the shakes and tremors if they’ve ran out of drink. They might develop the DT’s and/or lose everything eventually. Some may even lose their lives… (💔💔 May they rest in peace)

Is it perhaps the case that we are all just in different stages of the same addiction, as in Alan Carrs book (2). We are all like insects sinking deeper and deeper into the same insect eating flower, we’re just at different levels in the danger zone.

Taking a Break from Alcohol

In the last few years of drinking I was doing alcohol free months, twice per year. I was sailing through these without a shake, no sleeplessness, and no hot sweats.

But what was really enlightening and a main reason why I no longer drink was the fact that I was beginning to look forward to my alcohol free months. I was anticipating them with excitement not dread. I couldn’t wait for them to happen and when I was in the middle of them I loved them.

In the sobersphere, the generally accepted opinion is that peoples’ levels of alcohol consumption goes upwards never downwards as their lives progress. In my case this was not true, my alcohol consumption was taking a downward spiral. I was drinking less and less and enjoying my wine less and less.

I put this down to my lifestyle reset, to my Amazingly Healthy Life. My body was too healthy to tolerate the toxins.

It was crazy that I was so extremely healthy all day in what I consumed and how I lived my life but then I often poured liquid poison down my neck at night. I knew it was coming for many years to be honest. I knew it was just a matter of time before I quit the final and most beloved of crutches.

If you are thinking of taking a break from or even quitting alcohol you might find the following discussion on the wine witch, wine o’clock and pink fluffy clouds enlightening.


The Wine Witch and Wine O’clock

The wine witch is that voice in your head that whispers, ‘Go on Shona, it’s not too early, its 12 noon somewhere in the world (LOL), have a glass of wine, you deserve it (1)”.

The wine witch is sneaky and very persuasive. She creeps up on you from behind when you least expect it and somehow always manages to persuade you to drink alcohol, even when you’ve promised yourself you won’t.

If you want to take a break or stop drinking alcohol you have to learn to say no to the wine witch. You have to realise how sneaky she is. The wine witch doesn’t care about you, she just cares about herself and getting her wine.

If ignored enough she stops coming around as much but you have to remain weary, you never know when she will be back. She often comes to call when the chips are down, when you are struggling. She likes to take advantage of you at your lowest points.

wine o'clock

When the wine witch visits it becomes Wine O’clock. Wine O’clock is a pretty well known term. It’s that time of day when you just need your glass of wine (or whatever it is that rocks your boat)

You’ve had enough, you can’t do another thing until you have a glass of your favourite tipple in your hand. This is when the wine witch normally comes a calling but be careful, she tends to call earlier and earlier in the day and more and more often the more you give in to her demands.

Pink Fluffy clouds

Pink fluffy clouds is a term used in the sobersphere to describe that euphoric feeling you get some time after quitting alcohol. Where the world is just wonderful, you feel just wonderful, everything is just wonderful. A bit like a honeymoon period I guess. When nothing and nobody can put a dent in your world.

Your body is clean, your mind is clear. You have epiphanys and wonder why the hell you drank in the first place. Life is soo wonderful without it. You are effectively ‘high’ on your new lifestyle.

Like all highs you will eventually come down again. Sober life becomes normal and you have to ride the rollercoaster that is life, with it’s ups and it’s downs with full awareness. This is really the best bit about alcohol free living. Not the pink clouds high but that clarity where you can fully see and feel life.

Why Quit Why not Just Cut Down.

sleep like a baby

In truth my reasons for quitting rather than cutting down are many but there is just one truly fundamental one.

The sobernet would give The Moderation Myth as an answer. The Moderation Myth states that cutting down, moderation, it doesn’t really work. We cut down for a while and then your alcohol intake inevitably slowly creeps back up again, which I think we can all agree is true because we’ve all been there, right? but…. despite the fact that this is true it’s not my number one reason.

Just one drink”, you say, “won’t hurt me.”

Yes thats true…

but it will hurt my sleep!!!

Just one drink will affect my sleep.!!!

Beautiful, glorious, unbroken sleep.

No more waking in the middle of the night then unable to get back to sleep for hours. Then you do get back to sleep just as the alarm goes off or it is time to get up and you are physically exhausted and want to cry and scream.

No waking in the night with heart beating way too fast, palpitations and fear that you are going to die, fear that you are killing yourself.

You know deep down it’s the wine thats causes the fast heart beat but can’t seem to remember this when Wine O’clock comes.

This awful, recurring nightmare ceases to exist immediately when you refuse to feed the wine witch at wine o’clock and thats the biggest reward. Thats the main reason why I choose to quit rather than moderate. I’m sending the wine witch a clear message, she’s not welcome here anymore.

(1) What exactly do you deserve
(2) “Easy Way to Give Up Drinking” by Allen Carr

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