Thursday 14 Apr, 2016, 11:47am by Mrs D 11 comments

Visualisation was a really powerful tool for me early on. It was one of my main strategies for dealing with the awful hours between 4 and 7pm when I was desperate for a drink.

Other strategies were cleaning the house, distracting myself with lots of noise and stimulation (radio and TV on, magazine open, computer on), eating lots of food and drinking sugary fizz.

But the most effective strategy was visualisation.

Here’s how it would work: I would form a very clear mental image of myself climbing into bed stone cold sober. I would literally see myself in my minds eye climbing into be with my PJs on and in the mental image I could ‘feel’ the contentment at having made it to that point in the evening without drinking.

Please note this bedtime could be as early as 7.30pm!! Who cares if I’m being a nana so long as I am achieving at getting my head on the pillow SOBER.

It’s almost like I was charging through the evening with my head down…pushing aside the hours of 4pm, 5pm, 6pm staying firmly focussed on the finish line and BED. Just get me to bed sober and I’ll be happy.

And then I’d flick my mental image forward to the next morning. I’d visualise myself waking up snuggled between the sheets with no hangover, no guilt, no sick-guts, no overwhelming feeling of disappointment in myself for boozing yet again the night before.

I KNEW that I would be so so happy with myself when I woke up not having drunk the night before (no-one wakes up regretting not drinking the night before!!). I knew I would be so proud of myself and so relieved that I didn’t let myself down yet again.

So I’d visualise that getting into bed sober moment and that happy waking-up moment. Really clearly I would form these images.

Me taking my slippers off, pulling back the bed covers and climbing between the sheets with a clear, wide-open, un-inebriated brain.

Me waking up in the morning (without having gone to the loo five times in the night!!), coming to consciousness without a dry mouth or pounding head, feeling quietly proud and happy that I didn’t drink the night before.

Visualisation – I’m telling you it works really well to get you through. Try it, you never know it might work for you too!

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. The wine witch! lol that’s a good one! I read a blog about ‘the ghost tequila’ which made me laugh. It was a lady at a wedding that held an imaginary shot in her hand,while everyone else took a shot! She even did the face that everyone done after they took theirs. This is a good way to still have fun and not feel like you need to drink what others are.

  2. Hi I’m Nikki, and I’m new to the site. After reading your blog it really helped me and made me feel like someone understands and it’s not just me, going mad in my head! I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar and also take medication regularly. Medication which states avoid alcohol. This did not stop me and I felt like I was in a downward spiral. I have achieved 7 days clean and dry. I am so proud of myself! :) My family and friends are also. It was very refreshing reading Mrs D’s blog about feelings… I am feeling things so much at the moment. I thought it was just me, however after reading her blog realised it’s what happens to your feeling once you start feeling and stop numbing yourself with alcohol. Planning to not drink again feels great. I have never been happier. I honestly love my life and know it’s going to get hard sometimes, but also knowing that I can read and write on here make’s all the difference. Thank you! Go sober worriors. :D

  3. I ‘ve been using this technique & it works really well.. when i crave for a drink on my drive back from work, i force myself to imagine going bed with a clear boize free head & waking up next morning without any shitty feelings or hangover.. loved it.

  4. This is by far the most effective technique I’ve used to date to deter myself from drinking, and yet sometimes I just plain forget about it (all the brain noise can be a little overwhelming). It was really good to read this post and be reminded of the power of forward thinking. I’ve come back to re-read this post several times now. Thanks again, Mrs D.

  5. This is a great technique Mrs. D. I used it last weekend. At the beginning of the weekend I pictured myself on Monday morning, driving in to work clear headed and, admittedly, doggone proud of myself for staying sober all weekend.

    During the weekend I occasionally reminded myself of that mental picture, me bopping along in my car, free and easy. No guilt, no regret, and wide awake and ready to attack a work week (ok, that part is over-exaggerated). I didn’t have any strong cravings or weak spots over the weekend, but my visualization helped a bunch.

    Visualization has long been used in the sports world to improve performance. Sports psychologists have athletes to visualize themselves winning, or performing a certain task/skill successfully. Its a well established technique to increase confidence and mental strength.

    Good post Mrs D! I am now visualizing you walking onto the stage and collecting your prize.

  6. Thanks Mrs D, this is a great technique and I am definitely going to use it. Thanks for the amazing work you do, I read your book when it first came out and have ducked in and out of here every now and then ‘skirting round the edges’. Tonight I joined as a member and admitted for the first time that I have a problem with drinking and I no longer want it in my life. I took a while to get here but I may not have even been here now if I hadn’t seen your story, thanks for being an inspiration x

  7. Yes, this totally works for me. On the way home from Auckland tonight (back to Wellington) after a long week and day of work via the free booze in Koru lounge and more free booze on flight home….I just wanted a red wine..just one (who am I kidding) ….I wanted the warm ooze of the bottle pulsing through my veins but I had water and cheese and pictured how wonderful it was going to be to crawl into bed sober and wake up the same. I that is what I am doing just now.

  8. Love this post – thank you for the clear description of how to visualise…. I will use this to overcome my secondary addiction which is my most consuming struggle now. A really timely and appreciated post for me this evening. Thank you.

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