I think we need to accept that there is a certain amount of grief that goes with getting sober. Grief for the good bits of our past boozy life. Yes the good bits. We have to acknowledge that and grieve it and accept the grief as a part of sobriety.

Not a huge amount, but a little bit.

It’s like when a loved one dies.. you’re told that with time it’ll get easier to deal with the grief. Not because the grief goes away, but because you learn to live with it. Your life fits around it. You re-shape things around the grief. It becomes a part of you.

It’s the same with living sober. We learn to live with the grief at losing the  past ‘fun’ times (I’m putting that in inverted commas because often the fun wasn’t fun at all). We learn to live with the fact we’re always going to be the sober person in the room. And we learn to live with the knowledge that this is our reality forever more.

Grief. It’s a measure of grief. And I think to deny that would be silly.

Like all grief the grief at losing alcohol is very intense at first and lessens over time, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes still get pangs of it.

But it’s ok. I’m used to it. I can live with it. And I can quickly rationalise why the grief needs to be a necessary part of my life.

Because my boozing wasn’t fun AT ALL at the end – it was heavy and sloppy and miserable.

Because I am so much calmer and happier inside myself since I took alcohol away. I feel like I’ve finally woken up as a human being and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know myself and my emotional landscape really well.

Because I am more present to myself I’m also more available to be there for my loved ones. I’m a better listener. I am way more empathetic and sensitive to others which makes me a better wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.

Because I feel healthy and well-rested most of the time which was certainly NOT the case when I was necking wine like it was going out of fashion.

Because I am a part of the coolest gang in the world – that being the gang of brave and amazing sober people who have dug deep to remove alcohol from their lives and re-frame their identities as a sober person in a booze-soaked world.

Anyone who does this is a LEGEND and I’m delighted to know and be connected to them.

I’ll take a little grief over all these wonderful benefits any day.

Wouldn’t you?

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Margy 7 years ago

    Thank you Mrs D. Once again, incredibly well said!!! Day 421 for me thanks to the initial inspiration from your blog and then book. I feel fabulous and cope much better now when rough times arrive, as they do. My next personal challenge is to mostly eliminate refined sugar which I started hitting pretty hard when I quit drinking alcohol. Day 2 for Living Sugar Free (refined sugar)!

  2. reena 7 years ago

    Thanks so much for this today, what I am feeling is grief I guess. I am newly sober and struggling with making plans for the summer, wondering how I will have fun without drinking….
    Knowing that others are shining the light on the path before is very helpful, I am not alone with this sense of loss. Even if what I am “losing” is really a sign of why it need to GO. Thanks.

  3. shayshine19 7 years ago

    This is exactly what I needed today…. Thank you

  4. Gilbert 7 years ago

    I still get the odd pang and I do immediately follow it up with what is good and fun about the event or situation that I will enjoy.It is a wee loss and sometimes I feel that slight emptiness but then I forget about it and just get on with things.

  5. Wvlheel 7 years ago

    This is great. It is certainly best to get these feelings on the table. I do grieve for my favorite times drinking. It’s a feeling that washes over me at certain times. I have to allow myself to feel it and then let it go. Those moments of absolute feeling my sense of loss are uncomfortable but essential. The alternative is a constant, underlying nagging feeling of “less” that will ultimately undo me.

  6. timeto 7 years ago

    It does make me sad sometimes….. I feel it when I am looking forward to an event or trip and then remember….”oh yea, I can’t drink” 🙁 Then I have to do some self talk to convince myself that it will be ok…and OK. it usually is… not crazy fun like I falsely think it could be… I do miss it…unfortunately. This is when I use my One day at a time tool. “Just not today”

  7. BackwoodsGal 7 years ago

    Ah yes…grief and the feeling of loss when it comes to no longer drinking. I agree, I don’t think it is totally avoidable and is especially present just starting out. I am on Facebook…something I both love and at times abhor. I took myself off for almost a month, because I couldn’t handle seeing my friends toasting, wine with dinner at fancy places, drinks on the beach…you name it. Just very hypersensitive to reconciling what you see out there that looks like so much fun, then reminiscing, but realizing those days for you are long gone.

  8. Agent99 7 years ago

    Oh yes, I have really grieved over the loss of my beloved wine (and cocktails on holidays). I’ve always been a controlled drinker socially – never much drunk more than the other drinkers, never did anything terribly embarassing. Just got a bit tipsy and happy and had a great time and rarely had much of a hangover. (Early years were different but I’m past them). I truly grieve for these moments.

    It was my at home drinking that was ruining my life. The slow and steady consumption of (lots of) alcohol throughout many days and every night, on my own, that was never going to be sustainable if I wanted an OK let alone a fulfilling life. I do not at all grieve for the booze I was drinking at those moments.

  9. Prudence 7 years ago

    Yep! Any day at all. Thanks for reminding me xo

  10. Kerris 7 years ago

    Such perfect timing for me to read this. has really helped me understand some of the feelings and thoughts I have been having. Thanks Mrs D 🙂

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Licensed by NZ Drug Foundation under Creative Commons 4.0 2023. Built by Bamboo Creative and powered by Flywheel.

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account