So what’s different when you are sober… 

Sunday morning, cocooned deep in the soft luxury of our hotel bed. My only significant decision for the next few hours is what to chose from the extensive breakfast menu ! And I am appreciating being clear headed and having a bit of time to think…

I did “miss” drinking yesterday, in an esoteric kind of way, as we sat outside and ordered a lunch platter, I did envy Mr Lily’s glass of sav blanc, and I noticed how droplets of condensation collected on the glass, and could imagine the ….. Ok ;stop. It’s not helpful. Suffice it to say, I would not have stopped at one glass , so I  played the tape through and stuck to Diet Coke.

So, Mr Lily is taking a swim, and I’ve been looking at my list of definite sober benefits – I’ve been compiling this list for a couple of months….

  1. I am not  attractive when I drink a lot. This is particularly bittersweet, of course, because I FEEL more attractive. There are plenty of photos to prove otherwise  The smeared eyeliner, the vacant look, the staggering to the bathroom: and worse, falling over. Not pretty, not classy. A woman in control is much more attractive. And I feel more attractive.
  2. A LOT of people have told me how well I look. Mostly my patients, many of whom I have known for a long time. That’s nice.
  3. People who pay attention to what’s in my glass are generally people with alcohol issues. I’m not judging them – but it’s true
  4. It’s surprisingly easy to talk to people when not drinking. I used to fret that without liquid courage, I wouldn’t be able to manage at social events. What would I say? How would I make people laugh? Sober, I manage quite well, actually. What I notice is that most people are also struggling a bit with social anxiety , and they enjoy it when you laugh at their jokes and ask about their lives.
  5. Conversations without alcohol can be astonishing. Without the distraction and numbness of a bottle (+) of wine, I can string an argument together, debate, and LISTEN!
  6. Related: Drunk people talk much louder than they need to, and their jokes are not nearly as funny as they think, and they tend to repeat themselves a lot.
  7. I have noticed how easy it is to leave. I have no guilt about driving home or unattaching myself if I’m bored or tired or have to work the next day, instead of staying until the bottles have all been drained and suggesting we make a beer run for more.
  8. Not drinking is also an amazing way to halve the dinner bill. A nice dinner without alcohol is so much cheaper ! Who knew!
  9. When you’re sober, it is a sad fact that there are some people  you feel comfortable around, and some  who make you itch for an open bar.
  10. There are many less arguments in our house, especially between me and Mr Lily. I have more patience and perhaps more tolerance. I can wait for things to be resolved, as long as there is some movement in the right direction. This is the subject of another post I think.

Against that lot, and the promise, and expectation that there is more good stuff to come … What’s the value of a glass bottle  of wine ?

Nope, day 135, and I’m keeping on…


    • Thank you Nelson. I’m writing for my own therapeutic support, but Its so great if it helps you too. This stuff is coming out of my head, some of which has been buried for ever, some of which I haven’t even known was there until I start writing with a half formed idea. A hour later there is a post, encapsulating something … Lily x

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      • Yes, I think most of us are writing for the same therapeutic effect. And certainly a bonus if it helps others. Well, and its a bit like Step 12 in AA; helping others helps ourselves as well. Everybody wins!


  1. I agree with everything on your list. I would add to #6 with the fact that drunk people get easily emotional and upset as well. Which when dealing with them, can be a nightmare, but when it’s us, it’s even more devastating. I’d rather be sober. Awesome progress! So happy for you!

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  2. 135 days is fantastic! I identify with much of this – especially the shocking loveliness of socializing without alcohol. In my opinion, that aspect only gets even better over time. Congratulations on your sobriety. 🙂


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