Now I must admit that I stole the title from Carrie Fisher’s (RIP Queen) excellent memoir but it’s such a good one. I’ve done a lot of wishful drinking in my time. Wishing to change my mood, fill the void, escape loneliness or boredom or just plain wishing for another drink. I’m pleased to report my non-drinking continues and it has now been 1 whole year, surely an accomplishment that should be commemorated with a pin of some kind but anyhoo. Giving up drinking was no picnic but the benefits have been nothing short of a delicious stack of sandwiches; no hangovers, money gained, kilos lost, time freed. Some tips for new sober players.

Mother Hubbard: Don’t have any alcohol; in tha mother***king house (mo bounce is cool though). If it’s there at the back of your cupboard/fridge, it’s in the back of your mind. Tempt not a desperate man and chuck/ give away any remaining booze.

Thirst quenchers: Replace the afore mentioned liquor with something fizzy and refreshing like soda/tonic water, lemonade or ginger beer you can slam down and take the edge off when you’re gasping for a drink!

I’ve got time on my side: Not boozing frees up time for…all those hobbies you wish you had. It can be great but scary to suddenly have so much free time so schedule in some things you enjoy doing. Reading, walking, watching funny movies, yodelling etc. It’s helpful to have a plan of things to do that you can do on your own, at least initially, while time looms large.

Delicious and nutritious: I read somewhere in Google-land that the acronym HALT is helpful when quitting drinking and means to be extra cautious when you’re Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired. Cook up a storm of yummy meals to combat the H part. If you feel like boozing but eat and drink something satiating, the urge will dissipate. For A-move or meditate, L-reach out to a supportive real or virtual friend, T-bath or bed or rejuvenating walk!

Here’s one I prepared earlier: If you’re invited to what one calls ‘a social occasion’ where you feel you may be tempted to drink, have a plan. Once you’ve refused the first offer of a drink with a pre-prepared excuse like, ‘I’m driving/ having a break from drinking/ undead’, it becomes easier to refuse subsequent offers if they are any. Have a drink in your bag-bottle of water/ can of ginger beer to drink instead and self-impose a curfew to leave by. Mine’s 10.30pm but hey-I’m crazy like that!

Not drinking becomes easier the more you do it and the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks. 2 words-no hangover. Still, like a wise man called AA once said, ‘take it one day at a time (sunshine)’. Why not start with a Dry July?

Love and light and lashings of ginger beer xxx Yvette