When I first got sober, a mere five months ago, one of my most immediate concerns was how would I reward myself at the end of the day? As my alcholoism took grip, the first glass of wine became more appealling. I began to see it less of a reward once my son was in bed and more of a need.

Towards the end of my drinking, “Wine O’Clock” got earlier. My husband and I would clock watch for lunch-time. Once our son was safely deposited at nursery after lunch, I would open a bottle of wine and my husband would have already started on his lager. By mid-afternoon I was often already a bottle of wine down. Plastering on make up, fixing a smile (which most likely appeared more like a manic grin), spraying myself with body spray and sucking on a few extra strong mints before collecting my son from nursery all became the norm. I (perhaps naively) assumed no one noticed. I have since been told (by people who only know me for nursery drop off/pick up) that I look healthier and happier.

I found the lunch time drinking sessions easy to drop. Instead I spent my time rediscovering my love for reading. I worked out my plans for the future as I suddenly realised that my son would be at school full time from September. As someone who cannot currently work, I realised I need something to fill my time. I think I have found what I want to do and once it is confirmed, that will be a post for another time.

However, my self-declared “Wine O’Clock” time (and indeed that as voiced on social media such as Twitter which seems to be anything between 5 pm to 7 pm or once your child is asleep depending on who you ask) was another story. Perhaps I found (or still find) it hard because I am on social media so much.

Our son was used to staying out late with us or just staying up late because we simply couldn’t be bothered to read a story to him and so bedtime quickly became a battle and I would catch myself thinking “At least I can have some wine”. Remembering that, actually, that glass of wine is no longer an option was difficult so I quickly became a chain smoker, I replaced wine with Coca-Cola and chocolate and sweets. A consequence of living a sober life is that I have piled on weight; I have put on about 2.5 stone whereas most people seem to lose weight. As such, my confidence took a battering for a while; my clothes no longer and I once again found myself becoming isolated, simply because I didn’t like how I looked. Treating myself to a bit of a shopping spree definitely helped! Having that shopping spree without the frequent stops for a glass of wine, was yet another new experience.

Over the last week or so, my son has once again started acting out at bedtime. The thoughts of wine, followed by swift dismissals have made another appearance. My dreams are filled with relapses, my coming to each morning finds me asking my husband for reassurance that I didn’t drink due to how vivid they are.

My sponsor told me that Dr Bob, one of the founders of AA, had the obsession over alcohol for the first two and half years of his sobriety. Whilst I hope that will not be the case for me, until that disappears, I shall use the tools I have and try not to worry too much about my weight, since I don’t need to just yet.