Friday, 20 November 2015

Triggers and Toolboxes...

One piece of advice that I read when I first quit the booze...was "avoid Triggers", meaning that I should avoid anything that prompted me, or tempted me to drink...

I understood what the advice meant of course, and consequently, I didn't have a bottle of white chilling in the fridge for example...but the advice seemed pretty lame in the early days, as it was really hard to avoid "triggers"; like the clock ticking around to Five O'clock......Every Fucking Day!

A better strategy, I found, was to develop a kind of Sober Toolbox set about 'fixing" the triggers...

In my toolbox was (and still is) ...Fake Booze. This does go against much of the advice that I have read, apparently, for some people, fake booze can be a trigger in itself, but for me, it was a necessary part of my kit. I clung on to it like a hammer, ready to take a swing at the Wine Witch....

Together, with my fake wine/beer was a PROPER WINE GLASS/ BEER GLASS. Just because I have given up alcohol does not mean I have to drink out of a plastic beaker....I am not a child. 
Again, not a trigger for me, it made me feel normal.

It was hard to pick a tool to "fix" Wine O'clock......

I really needed a nail gun to pin the frickin' Witch against the wall when she came calling, but I chose ACTIVITY........during the summer, no weeds stood a chance in my garden, and I have read more novels this year, than in my entire adult life. I also tried adult colouring books (they worked quite well, until my brother-in-law (an actual artist) said gently..."I can give you some lessons if you like...)

It's hard to pick tools to fix other "triggers" like social events where everyone is drinking,....sometimes I use "Lying Through My Teeth", or "Brutal Honesty", depending on my mood....

Then there's the Trigger of Accomplishment........the times when you have completed an onerous task, and you get the  fleeting thought 'Oooh, I deserve wine" .......the "reward trigger".
For this one, I use CAKE...very effective!

You can pick and choose your own tools to go in your box, ( and it doesn't have to be a box, if you don't want, I saw some toolbelts in Home Depot the other day, they even have them in PINK!), but it makes good sense to have a variety of tools for different "fixes".

(I showed this post to my husband and he said (not helpfully)..." You should have duct tape to stick across your mouth if you feel like drinking..ha bloody ha....)

If you are new here, you might also like to see my post about the almost immediate improvements to your life when you quit the booze........You can Read it here

And if you like, I've dropped a new video into my new video blog about counting days.........

You can view it here  

(Warning- sometimes I wear makeup, sometimes not!)




  1. I find having water in a wine glass with dinner makes it seem 'fancy' and less like I'm missing out. Have bought a pack of Becks Blue as an emergency substitute, even though I don't really drink beer so it's just sitting in the fridge at the moment.

  2. Jackie!! Is this your new website? Wow, it's beautiful! You're like an internet machine! Love it, I'm totally subscribed and, as promised, I will buy two of whatever you decide to sell. (You look lovely, BTW:)
    I was loving an NA beer in the summer, and like to be able to order one when I'm out. Pour your NA bev in a glass and NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

    1. Well thank you! I have discovered that I really enjoy fiddling around with the website stuff. Totally right about the NA stuff, although the fake red wine has an unfortunate effect on my digestive system....I know, too much info...

    2. It is good fun! And ditto for the NA beer and my own intestines...I have to really want it. Hahaha!

  3. I love it. I've heard the fake booze is controversial, but I had one the other night with dinner at a pub and it totally hit the spot! I hear you about wine-o-clock, though. It's awesome you give yourself permission to lie or tell the truth about why you're not drinking. It's none of anyone's business and I've decided to say whatever gets me through.

  4. HI Jackie!
    I agree…sober toolbox is so helpful.
    I can drink AF beer, just not more than one or two because it makes me gassy!!!