My Not So Secret Diary


Substitutes using other things instead of alcohol to get over an addiction. Claire Hatwell My Not So Secret Diary blog
Some of you may already know that when I stopped drinking the last (and final) time, I replaced wine with non-alcoholic versions. I know it can be seen as a controversial subject, some say you’re replacing one addiction with another and others that you’re not really addressing the issue. Other people swear by them, so it’s a difficult subject to navigate.

I’d never liked non-alcoholic drinks. I didn’t see the point in wine without the kick, but when I gave up the last time I needed it to be for good, so I used whatever tactics helped.

I liked the ritual of having that special something in a glass still in the evening. One lady I met in recovery poured milk into a wine glass every evening for the same reason. It’s the little habits that seem to help the most. That ritual in itself gave me something to focus on, so while everything was different, pouring my glass each evening made it seem more normal.

Of course, me being me, it got to the point where it was never enough. Like with wine, I obsessed about it, I needed it in the house and couldn’t settle if I didn’t have some, ‘in case’, although I’m not really sure what I thought might happen without it. It wasn’t a physical dependency, but it became a mental one, as I relied on it to help me settle in the evening. If I wasn’t at home, and hadn’t poured myself a drink, I couldn’t relax.

Removing wine from my life only highlighted just how bad my anxieties were, and while I hoped they would go away in time, I didn’t really deal with them as I probably should have done. Time was certainly a healer, and for a lot of people, it is the end of the story. For me, giving up drink just uncovered my insecurities and made me see how much I’d relied on wine to help me numb everything.

I think, it just brings me back to the fact that in recovery there isn’t a one-size fits all remedy. If you’re in the same boat as I was, try new things. Just because it hasn’t worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. We’re all different, as are our addictions and recoveries. If it works for you, it isn’t wrong. And always remember to be kind to yourself.

Take care and thank you for reading.
Claire x