You’re not even halfway through your day, and you’re already dreaming of your first glass of wine. Or maybe the thought of a cheeky wine or four later gives you a little bit of a skip in your step.
You look forward to it and everything about how it makes you feel. It deals with Jenny in the neighbouring cubicle who constantly gasbags about her new Ragdoll kitten and it’s new Instagram account.
It deals with the stress created by the crazy juggle of dinner prep, homework and kids after an also insane day at work.
It deals with the partner who can’t see the mountain of dinner dishes, pots and pans on the kitchen bench.
We feel that alcohol deals with all these things but yet, it doesn’t. It’s just a crutch we use to hold us up when we need it. The feeling it gives us doesn’t last, actually, a lot of the time it makes us feel worse thanks to a hangover or guilt. It kicks us right back in the butt where we start all over again, in the same cycle. Yet, no matter how many times we tell ourselves that we’re going to stop drinking, it only lasts a matter of days because we crave that ‘feeling’ but deep down, we want to stop or be more mindful about our drinking habits.
Knowing what I know now about living sober
I get it because I’ve been there, but knowing what I know now and having the mindset I do now after more than 1 year alcohol free, I wonder why I needed the alcohol at all?
I still have stressors in my life, but the way I deal with them is entirely different. Alcohol doesn’t even come to mind anymore; it’s not even an option.
If you’re on a journey of cutting down your alcohol consumption and are looking for other sober living women, my friend Eva from The Multitasking Woman writes about her experience.
“I stopped alcohol right around the same time as Mim, which was a good thing because we were able to give each other support. If there’s anything you need when trying to become sober, it’s support. I won’t lie; the thought of becoming stone-cold sober was scary at first. I have Bipolar Disorder, and when times got tough, I drank to feel better. Little did I know that alcohol had the opposite effect. Now, 15 months later, I am one of those sober women who has never looked back. I feel liberated and powerful, particularly because I won the alcohol battle with my mind, my mind being something that I usually struggle with every day. If I can embrace sober living, I can do anything.”
The lifestyle of sober living women
Women living sober indeed experience a different lifestyle, but you don’t realise the extent of this until after you’ve stopped or slowed down your drinking. When you drink, you tend to become ‘that’ person, it becomes your standard and you don’t think anything of it – skin problems, upset tummy, insomnia, lack of energy and focus, anxiety etc., they’re all just part of life. When you remove the alcohol and all of these things disappear, the change is profound.
But remember earlier where Eva mentioned how important it was to have support? It’s true. You can’t do this alone, which is why my book Less Wine, More Time is such a valuable resource. It’s one of those books that will never make it to your bookshelf; you’ll continuously need it on hand.
It’s for when you’re dealing with friend’s reactions to you quitting alcohol, for when you need help and encouragement not to drink on a weeknight, and for when a relatable story about a sober living woman helps you push through the next week.
Not just women alcoholics
OK, I get it. You’ve read this far, and you’re thinking, “But Mim, I’m not an alcoholic!” Me neither – my I did have an alcohol habit that I felt I couldn’t control.
My sober living book is for those wanting to quit altogether for various reasons, for those who want a living sober book to help them cut back and even women seeking guidance about drinking more moderately.
Most of all, the path for women to sober living or more controlled drinking needs to be mindfulness. Mindful drinking is an attitude and connection with yourself; knowing and recognising how alcohol affects you.
So, you’d love to join the sober women club? Well, I’m your guinea pig. I’ve done the hard yards and reveal all with brutal honesty in my book; I’m your support person, your wing woman. If I can do this, so can you.