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Sober Treats

July 24, 2014 228 comments

These are the little things that get us through the flat times. They may seem small but are very important and hugely powerful.

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228 comments

  1. I bought myself an inexpensive silver plated bracelet that you thread murano glass beads onto and a bag of said beads – also not expensive – so that I can thread one on for each month I accomplish. Three so far. I haven’t told anyone what it’s for- it’s my little secret reminder.☺️

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    1. I’m going to do this! I need a visual reminder of what I have accomplished. I don’t have daily support from my partner. He lost his drinking buddy and is mourning her I think.

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    2. I liked this idea, and love bracelets, so decided to give myself one bead for each day I stay a.f. it’s just going on a week since I decided I need to seriously look at my increasingly regular binges. Anyway, I have 5 beads on my bracelet, which makes me feel pretty good about myself. I bought some bigger beads to add when I get 30 small ones on. It’s baby steps, but it’s more a.f days than I’ve had in a looong time!

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      1. I’m on day 2 today also and I LOVE your idea! I saw in the “shop” that there was this pin that says “not today.” And since I am a crafty person, I thought I could make a pin with polymer clay that says “not today” on it. But now, I’m also going to add 5 little hooks from it. One for 30 days, 60, 90, 180 and 365. And I’ll hang a special little bead/stone or even a little coin medallion I can also make in polymer clay for each of these milestones. Oh how powerful that will be for me! I can feel it. Great idea!!!

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      2. Lakelover – I’m on day 2 and I love your idea of the daily for now then exchange for a bigger “monthly” reward!! Going out today to start my new jewelry collection!!

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  2. My two eldest kids (10 and 8) have to read every day for school and I have to sign their diaries to say they’ve done so. So, we started a new little routine…. once the two babies are in bed, 7pm ish, I light candles in the living room while hubby and kids make hot choccie, then the four of us sit together in the living room, just for 20/30 minutes, reading our books and sipping our hot choccie. I absolutely love it. I’m ashamed to think that not so long ago I would be three quarters of a bottle down by that point.

    Long may my children humour me in this pleasure :)

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  3. Well I can afford (price wise and waistline wise) to have a lot more treats in general now. I love going out for a morning tea of lattes and cake and sitting in the sunshine watching my children play and laugh. I love going on shopping expeditions and buying clothes I like that fit since I’ve lost weight from not drinking. I love feeling full of energy and getting to regular gym classes that I really enjoy because I’m not hungover. I love waking up to a clear head- that in itself is a treat..when for so many years the opposite has been true! I love reading books again. I now take the kids out to all sorts of places I never did before..like the library, the park, and the market, because I am thinking of them instead of myself and my addiction. So then, my treat is seeing my children happy…I could not hope for anything more really! Feel so blessed to be sober and have my life back.

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    1. I am 12 days sober and already I have a completely different contact with my children, like you say it’s about them and not me and my addiction….
      Lovely post..Thanks

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  4. My favourite sober treat is making the time to read a good novel, which I do a little bit every day. It gives me a chance to drop into an alternate world, which I kind of need, without all the nasty parts of blotting out the world with wine. Reading like I used to read when I was younger has been one of the great pleasures of sober living.

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    1. Me too. How great to open the book the next day and REMEMBER what happened in the last chapter before bedtime! I get lost in stories when I’m looking for a wine-time cop-out (though more often I’m cooking, and I find if I get over the first ten minutes of pangs – trusty lime and soda in a wine glass – I can relax with that too).

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    2. I love the books by Robert Galbraith (the outed JK Rowling) first one was great, second one which came out recently even better.
      First post by me (!) – I’m at home on a Saturday night with lots of wine around and trying not to drink it! I started reading Mrs Ds blog which resonated in all kinds of ways – and have now been following everyone’s comments on this site. Not many days sober for me though – only 7 as I have a had a few failures.

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    3. Yeah I’ve been a bit slack on the novel reading front lately and am feeling it… I’ve got Caitlin Moran’s new book maybe i’ll try to get in that tonight

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  5. Just starting day 2, having found this website, I am feeling positive. That’s a great idea about the beads. I am going to try something similar. I am going to buy a nice glass vase and a bag of pretty coloured glass stones, and each day ,I don’t drink, I wii add a stone to the vase. I will place it in a place where I can see it, from the chair I sit in at night and drink. A visual reminder of each daily achievement.

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    1. I love this idea! Thanks for suggesting it. I’ve got some stickers I was going to stick on my calendar for each day alcohol-free but I like the idea of having a vase out in the open in the house, but having it be my secret what the little stones signify.

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      1. I’m going to do this too!!! I have a really nice chunky glass vase that’ll do the job perfectly! Thanks Marsha :)

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  6. Tons of treats for me… really good tea, Lindt chocolate (I heard there is a salted caramel out but i haven’t seen it yet), slow beach walks, body balance classes, candles, baths, reading, buying things at the market that I normally wouldn’t but then realise it’s the same price as a bottle of wine and think “why not” (huge juicy olives stuffed with blue cheese – OMG!), contemplating the sunrise…. I did lots of these things before but they are SOOO much better now!!!!

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    1. I agree about the new treats I’m purchasing at the market, that I would usually spend that money on champagne, now its fancy cold press juices, dark chocolates!

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  7. I’m trying to remember the things I like…..I have lost some of who I am in the fog I was in. Between being mum and wife, and hiding from myself by drinking – I’m really not sure who I am anymore. I know I am finding more pleasure in the simple, every day things. I hope that in time, I can be the person I am meant to be – whoever she turns out to be.

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    1. I really relate to this comment so much of my identity was a party hard drinker. I was a guarantee for a party quite often by myself unfortunately, but like you I am finding simple pleasures wonderful! I am training hard and eating well and my mood has benefited 10 fold! I also am not sure where my new identity lies but I just know its not the big fat party guy anymore! Should I aim for a new persona or let one develop organically? whatever…i’ll be doing it healthy smile on my face.

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      1. I’m only on Day 5 but I can really relate to this. Felt today that I’m not really sure who I am without the wine! The day is soo long – what did I used to do to fill up the time (for me, I mean – not for others like hubby and kids) before wine came along? But I’m looking forward to finding out and rediscovering or inventing a whole new me.

        3
    2. Your comment really hit home. I’ve been trying to understand what it is I’m going through in terms of losing my old self and becoming my “new” me. I used to have FOMO (fear of missing out) but now I have JOMO (joy of missing out) as I’m really tuning into ME and luckily, I am really liking who I am. I have the patience and the gratitude to move forward with this new identity; healthy, strong, loving and hopeful.

      1
    3. I know this is an old post, but, I am new to the site and your description is exactly one of the things that scares me about becoming sober…I have lived this way so long, I have forgotten who I am and even what I like…and what do you do with all of the time when you’d usually be drinking? I’d love to hear an update of how it looks to you now, further on. Thank you for sharing!

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    4. Yes I too can really relate to what you are saying. I too had a persona that I feel was clouded by drink and all the carry on that went with that. Plus it lasted on and off for 3 decades! I find it weird getting to know myself. I also find it scary that I can’t blame my drinking/hide behind my drinking and have to deal with feelings that seem so raw!………happiness included. All power to you and you are not alone x

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    5. I also identify with your comment. I’ve known for a while that I lost myself but didn’t connect it to my drinking. How’s that for denial. One more reason to quit.

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    6. Wow That describes me too. I can’t remember all the little things I like…my life has been in a big fog. Im looking forward to find out who I really am without the booze :)
      Deede

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  8. sometimes, i just “sit in my stuff.” it is uncomfortable i wont lie. and i talk to the wine. i tell it. “no, you didnt solve all my problems. you only created more. no you werent my best friend. you are my enemy. no you didnt make my life easier. you stirred up trouble. no you are not going to take me down. i am going to lay you down. its a battle and i want to win.

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  9. Day 32. Feeling like this not drinking is almost starting to feel a little bit like a new normal, but I have to be so careful not to let the sneaky wine thoughts get in. A couple of times in the last couple of days I’ve suddenly been hit by one out of the blue, like opening the fridge and there’s a bottle of wine there and almost just grabbing it without even thinking. Scary. Reminders of some of the good things about not drinking:
    1. Waking up clearheaded day after day
    2. Saving money
    3. Skin looking better
    4. Feeling calmer
    5. Not feeling guilty about drinking too much the night before
    6. Feeling more balanced

    All good stuff and so worth being vigilant about. Good thoughts to everyone out there – stay strong with it :)

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  10. Buying a soda stream (with all that money I saved by not buying wine) was the best investment I ever made. I keep a lemon or lime in the freezer and grate some of it with a microplane into my icy cold fizzy water.

    That and my sudoku gets me through.

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    1. I was talking to someone today who was suggesting that soda stream is a great investment. I relish the quest to find ace good drinks that are delicious. She was also saying about Lime in them. Going to get one! Sadly I don’t see much marketing of them as a great alternative to booze.

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    2. Don’t what I’d do with out my soda stream. Get thru about 2 litres a day of ‘bubbly water’. At wine o’clock put in nice glass and add some citrus.

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  11. Happy Day 8 to me!!! The first day 8 for about 17 years. I am pleased with myself. And so angry that I drank away my children’s childhood. So pathetic and so selfish. Nearly drank away my marriage. Strangely my children are fabulous young people and my marriage is in tact.
    It’s been a tough week in that I have lost my job. It’s been completely overshadowed by my joy in being sober. Job schmob. It’s more like a change in opportunity than a job loss really, so I just need to get off my chuff and make the most.

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    1. Well done for 8 days, onwards and upwards. Your attitude is wonderful, with an outlook like that the sky’s the limit! Keep us posted.

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  12. I can’t believe I missed my 800 days on the orange counter yesterday..Guess I was too busy with my family & celebrating my son’s 44th birthday. Anyhow so happy to continue my sober journey, I am going on holiday this week & on a holiday to the same place,where over 2 years ago I decided to have my last alcoholic drink ..right in the middle of the holiday..no one was more surprised than myself but I had been reading a lot of books about giving up & the clincher was Allen Carr’s book ‘Stop Drinking Now’, I often think about it now..must have been the right time for me..After that I read Jason Vale’s book & Mrs D’s which led me to this great site which is so supportive..Happy sober day to you all X

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  13. My sober treat has been a new skin care product each weekend. Something slightly expensive( saving so much money on the weekend not drinking!). People are telling me I look good lately. I like to think its a combination of no alcohol in my system and the new skincare products in my medicine cabinet:)

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  14. I have discovered online jigsaw puzzles. I do small ones – 100 pieces – which gives me a 20 minute burst of pleasure. Doing doing jigsaws is apparently very good for getting both sides of brain to work together and producing good brain chemicals. I certainly find it very calming and there are so many beautiful pictures to choose from – like chocolates in a box!

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    1. I’m going to try that. Lately, I’ve been playing this dumb-ass game named “Candy Crush”. It takes me to la-la’ville. Perhaps the jigsaw thing would be a little more appropriate, heh. xo

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    2. I too recently discovered jigsaw puzzles. They are fun and quite satisfying. Glad to hear they are good for the brain. I do some word games too. I think the games may be addictive and I’m okay with that.

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  15. I have read through all the comments and envy you people the peace you have found! I am still a bit frantic, being newly sober. Here is a list I am making up on the fly:
    - buy a new puppy; she is my treat for doing something right for myself
    - buy a new book? So many of you on here seem to find comfort in reading
    - garden, garden, garden–buy a pretty new birdhouse for the garden? Lots of new plants and run out even in the middle of the night and plant something to avoid drinking
    - keep a jug of green smoothies in the fridge so I can have a refreshing sip whenever I want. I just drank 900 ml of “extreme green” smoothie recipe…oops. That’s 540 calories. Oh well
    - keep some delicious snacks on hand…but what. Will think about that.
    - start exercising. But what? A little run down the street at night? yoga?

    6
  16. Living on my own I was concerned about what I would replace drinking with, particularly with no one “to keep an eye” on me. But for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I have embraced the freedom to drive at night because I’m no longer drunk by 6pm! Now most evenings I drop in on a friend or family, or go to an AA meeting, hang out at the library, catch an evening movie or just drive into the city and take in the city sights and lights. I get such a kick out of being able to leave the house after the sun goes down and it reinforces my pride and commitment to my sobriety!

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  17. Being sober, Ive remembered the person I was before I started drinking. Ive rememebered the things I used to enjoy; reading, eating, watching a movie (and remembering the ending!), writing, painting my toe nails, crosswords, helping my kids with their homework, buying jewelry, writing a diary, burning incence, making photo albums, walking in the sunshine, me time – too name just few! I relize now how alchol was just stripping me bare of all the things I enjoyed to do.

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    1. Oh how I needed to read this today! I was thinking the same last night. All the interests I had before this got out of hand. Drinking, then hangovers, thinking about not drinking, then feeling unwell all the time and beating ourselves up takes us away from our true selves…I want me back too :)

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  18. Just thought I’d share this gorgeous, and it truly is gorgeous, mushroom soup recipe I made this week following a pretty bad stomach bug I had where i couldn’t eat anything solid, but this was a bit more filling than tinned soup so I gave it a go. At the end of the recipe, I blended the whole thing into a smooth soup rather than with the chunky mushrooms in but that was only because after putting the 2nd batch of flour in, there were lumps of flour i couldn’t get rid of. I didn’t think it needed the extra flour so may well be worth just leaving that bit out if you want it chunky. But it is still beautiful as a creamy soup so either way you want to do it will be great still.

    INGREDIENTS

    SERVINGS 6
    8 ounces fresh mushrooms
    2 tablespoons onions, chopped
    1 -2 garlic clove, minced
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 -3 tablespoons flour (separated)
    2 cups chicken broth
    1 cup light cream or 1 cup evaporated milk
    1⁄2 teaspoon salt
    1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
    1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg

    DIRECTIONS

    Cut the mushrooms into slices.
    Melt butter in large frying pan. Add in onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are soft.
    Blend in 2 T. flour and stir.
    Add in the chicken broth and heat until slightly thickened while stirring frequently.
    Stir cream with additional 1 T. flour and seasonings. Add in cream to soup. Heat to thicken while stirring frequently.
    Serve and enjoy!

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  19. I am just starting out and today is my last ever hangover. I have decided to treat myself every third month to a facial or body treatment. I am also going to join the leisure centre to do some fitness classes.

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  20. I bought wool which became my new hobby and gave me something to do in the evenings. It’s amazing what you can learn off You Tube. I started with a plain blanket and am now up to doing cabled socks.

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    1. I love it! Plus it’s really hard to knit and drink, don’t even ask how many times I’ve had to correct my mistakes the next day.

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    2. I love the idea of learning to crochet. A great site for thousands of free knitting and crochet patterns is Ravelry. Good luck with the crocheting Charlie.

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  21. I’m just looking online at buying myself some RayBans and then I’m going to fix up my car so that it doesn’t look like a drunk/crazy person has been driving it!

    4
  22. I am enjoying some simple things that are gratifying and don’t cost too much. A hot bath is almost instantly a fix for over thinking and aches and pains. A good herbal tea at night or green tea during the day. First cup of coffee in the morning is sooo wonderful. Homemade popcorn with real butter. A walk to enjoy nature and the sound of the birds. Loving my pets. Working on my business. Sitting in bed and watching ASMR. :)

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    1. @jeanetteq I went with your buttered popcorn idea last night. I sat in my big armchair with a big bowl of it in my lap, in front of the fire, nibbling and sipping on a really realistic no-alcohol beer. I was happy. I’ll be doing that again. Thanks!

      1
  23. I do yoga now! When I go to bed sans booze I can wake up with the energy, free time and (sometimes) motivation to set aside an hour for myself to practice yoga. It’s truly just for me: I light incense, play some blues or jazzy tunes and get to be alone with my thoughts for an hour.

    Plus, I can have the occasional chocolate something or other and not feel guilty.

    Xoxo

    4
  24. I have been treating myself with all the money that is now in my account. I made a garden room, bought plants and thrifted cool items so my ‘hang out’ space is inviting, no booze allowed. I bought an instant camera and I am making a summer book of photos what I did, after a suggestion from Prudence. I get a mani pedi every once in awhile and take care of my skin, hair and nails to try to maximize what the change has been for me physically. I allow myself some carbs (sweets) once in awhile they help with the cravings. Good stuff helps.

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  25. I am going to put the money I would have spent on alcohol in a jar. I’m saving for a horse!! I am nearly 43 and have always dreamed of having my own horse. This is the year for it

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  26. I’m loving buying new clothes,fresh flowers ,scented candles,good books-clever thrillers,going to the movies,getting massages,& delicious hot baths .

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  27. Falling asleep at night next to my partner not ashamed of my wine breath. Waking up every day feeling clean in my skin, waking up and my first thought being, “I’m sober, not hungover!!” I’ve got a pair of shoes waiting for me if I finish the week, a couple Victoria’s Secret items at the end of the month, and new camping gear for some TBD date. The satisfaction of knowing I’ll be able to exercise more regularly again now that I’m not hungover every single day–I want to be able to jog all the way up my hill without stopping. The anticipatory pride of knowing I’ll be able to look back and say FINALLY I DID IT! And when stress comes along: Tension Tamer and Stress Relief teas, CBD oil, deep breathing, mindfulness, perfume samples, lavender anything, gratitude exercises, getting outside, gardening, and actually listening to my body and sleeping when I need to all help tremendously.

    Plus (and this may be somewhat of a bass-ackward treat, but I’ll take what I can get…) I hate pickles. While cancer, cirrhosis, and DUIs are all of the “maybe possibly doubtfully someday” kind of consequences, I know with a visceral and immediate and utter certainty that here and now, in this moment, I loathe and detest even the thought of going anywhere near a pickle. So: I have promised my partner I will eat a pickle before I have another drink. And I have given him permission to pour pickle juice in said drink should I ever pour one for myself. Just the relief I feel from avoiding that fate feels like a sober treat, lol!!

    3
  28. My treat came unexpectedly: to be fully present in the evening after 5:30–to walk dogs in cool evening, read a book and remember it, and not wonder who I emailed or texted in the morning.

    On a crasser note, calculated how much I spent in wine for a month and used it to buy an iPAD, with $ left over.

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    1. Love the fact you bought an iPad. I’ m finding mine great at 3 am when I can’t sleep and log onto this site. I did Dry July last year and sponsored myself. Worked out what my alcoholic consumption would normally cost in a month and did something way more useful with the money. Been with out booze 5 days this time. This time think I’ll treat me. Thinking about a pair of winter boots, really expensive ones.

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