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The Sober Experiment

Updated: Nov 10, 2019

I got sober by mistake.

My plan was to complete a Dry January, but a couple of wholesome and productive fortnights of not drinking made me greedy. Imagine what I could achieve if I gave up for a year!

A dozen false starts later I realised two things.

1. I was going to need help if I was going to manage 365 days without alcohol.

2. If I needed help to quit I might have a bit of a problem.

I ploughed through memoirs about women who had gotten sober and listened to hours of recovery podcasts. I began to fill my head with counter-perspectives to the pro-drinking crowd that I was used to, and the booze-loving chorus resident in my head. I hunted for phrases with the same level of indisputable logic as one won’t hurt.

And when books and audio still weren’t enough to keep me out the wine aisle I found a community of women who were managing it, contentedly, and asked what on earth had worked for them. Accountability helped, they said, which was a crying shame because there was no way I was telling the people closest to me what I was doing.