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Sober Mommies 9 Reasons I Want To Drink After 17 Years of Sobriety

9 Reasons I Want To Start Drinking Again

There is a part of me—even after seventeen years of sobriety—that whispers ever-so-seductively every summer that it might be acceptable to start drinking again.

There is a part of me—even after seventeen years of sobriety—that whispers ever-so-seductively every summer that it might be acceptable to start drinking again.

Here are some of the reasons I’ve come up with over the years.

I want to drink again – I miss drinking

Sometimes I mourn the fact that drinking—for me—is a horrible idea, but there is very little about my drinking career I actually miss.

I do not miss hangovers or having to ask someone to walk me through the previous night’s events.  I also appreciate waking up next to a man I recognize every morning, and knowing exactly where my car is parked.

Deduction: Even if I do sometimes miss drinking, I do not ever miss the consequences that almost always resulted.

I could probably just have one

Okay, this might be true.

I might be able to have just one drink tonight, be super proud of myself for beating the odds of alcoholism, and maybe even go to bed without anything catastrophic happening. I’ve heard many stories over the years of people doing just that. Unfortunately, many (not all) of those stories continue with two very important words that I must keep in the forefront of my mind.

“And then…”

I imagine my excitement over the ability to have just one drink and go to bed might last for a week… while I fancied how many nights a week I could put the kids to bed and have one.

And then…

Perhaps after an especially horrific day,  the wait might be too much, and I would decide it okay to put them to bed a little early. I might even justify this with all sorts of rationale regarding how tired they must be after their long day at school, but really it will only be so I can have my one drink and go to bed.

Given how quickly my priorities shift when I drink, I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t take long for me to experiment with a two glass rule, and I’m sure the glass would also get larger. Perhaps it would take years for things to get as progressively bad as they were in 2000, but I know in my heart they would.

Deduction: One drink usually leads me to another, and the desire to be shit-faced as often as possible ruins my life.

I’m different now

I have my shit together: I’m married, own a house, I have two cars in the driveway. Things are different. I am different.

The truth is, the only reason I have shit to rub together today is because I got sober. I don’t “do” relationships when I’m drinking—mostly because they get in the way of my drinking, so I can’t imagine my marriage lasting very long. Plus, I often forget how to be faithful when I’m drunk, and predict that to be a rather substantial deal breaker for my husband. The house? Will most likely be awarded to him in the divorce, because he’ll be the one with full custody of our children. I don’t play mom very well when alcohol is an option; and I have very little desire to. 

I am different because sobriety forced me to take a look at myself and take responsibility for the choices I was making.

My life was a mess because until I got sober  I chose alcohol over the actions that could have made my life better.  

Deduction: If I want to keep my shit together, stay married, and continue an active role in the lives of my children, drinking is a terrible idea.

I could just get sober again

I could always just get sober again if my drinking turned into a problem. I have many friends who decided to drink after years of sobriety, with this very thought. Some of them have managed to renew their sobriety, after years of trying desperately, and some of them have not. Getting sober is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. If I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure I could do it again.

Deduction: If I don’t want to risk never finding sobriety or losing another 10-20 years of my life, drinking is a terrible idea.

I have an incredible relationship with God

I have an incredible relationship with God today – a power greater than alcohol. It’s possible I won’t get so lost if I drink now…because I have a spiritual solution.

This thought usually makes me laugh out loud. When I drink, I choose drinking over pretty much everything in my life. Alcohol provides a false sense of security and becomes my solution for everything. I quickly lose faith in all things that do not offer me instant gratification and lean on alcohol.

Deduction:  If I wish to continue having a relationship with God (and literally everyone else in my life), drinking is a terrible idea.

I’m more responsible now

I’ve grown up A LOT since I had a problem with alcohol, and I’m probably mature enough to handle the responsibility now.

I was 22 when I got sober, but had the maturity of a 15-year-old girl. I was 15 when I started drinking. Coincidence? Probably not.

When I think about my life back then, I feel tired. I remember how exhausting it was to balance all the things that I had to do (ie. parent, work, adult) and the things I wanted to do (get wasted, let loose, avoid responsibility).

I like my life today. Maybe that’s because I’m sober, maybe it’s not. Either way, I’m not willing to start a fire I’m not sure I can control because I own a lot of flammable shit.

Deduction: If I don’t want a 15-year-old girl running my life into the toilet, while whining and crying because adulting is so hard, drinking is a terrible idea.

Other people manage it

Other people get to get drunk and still live great lives. *crosses arms and stomps foot* IT’S NOT FAIR!!!

See? Even just the thought of drinking turns me into a very large toddler.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how other people drink, how often, or what happens when they do. Experience has shown me – time and again – that a great life and alcohol don’t mix.

Deduction: If I want my great life, drinking is a terrible idea.

Drinking made me more fun

I am actually not a fun drunk person. Okay, that’s unfair. For like the first ten minutes I’m a hoot. After that, I’m either incredibly obnoxious or a complete drag; depending on my mood. Quite often, the only person unaware of this, is me.I have had way more fun since getting sober…and the kicker? I get to remember all of it.

Deduction: If I enjoy having friends, drinking is a terrible idea.

After seventeen years, I have earned it!!

What I have earned in the last seventeen years, one day at a time, is an incredible life that alcohol just doesn’t factor into anymore. Besides, “it” usually refers to that old false sense of relief and comfort I thought drinking provided. The truth is, the high prices I paid for that “relief” were never worth it.

Recovery has provided the opportunity to practice many other coping skills and tools to deal with stress, etc. that actually work. These tools do not offer immediate gratification the way alcohol did, but they don’t ever result in my wanting to kill myself either.

Deduction:  I choose sobriety today, and the amazing life I get to live because of it. Even after seventeen years of sobriety, drinking is a terrible idea.

This post originally appeared on the blog Next Life, NO Kids.

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  1. I’ve been clean 20 years. It’s early morning all I can think about is having 1 drink. So I googled what would happen if….. I found your article. All I can say is thank you

    1. Same here. I just stood in front of the alcohol section at the gas station picking out my “one drink”. I gooogled this before I left and put it back.

      1. Wow I needed this bad, I am on my third year clean, I drank my whole twenties away, I quit at 28 was the hardest thing to do, still is when I see people drinking all the time but you know, life is not fair and that is ok. Sad to know this is a lifetime battle, wish the best for you all!

  2. Wow thank you for being of service to me, to others and sharing your truth!!!!!! I can relate so much to your article and on my 9 year sobriety birthday I needed to read this

    1. Author

      Congratulations, Erin!! That’s amazing, and I’m so glad to hear you related! Happy Birthday!!! XO

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have been sober for nearly four years after 20 years of heavy drinking. It’s funny about the thinking of how everything is so good in my life causes the circle of wanting that one drink but realizing that everything good has been a result of my sobriety.

  4. Wow! 27 months sober and this is what I needed to read, really wanting to be able to drink, found this post, and there it was all the reasons I gave up drinking. Thank you this has reinforced my desire to stay safe and sober

  5. I googled (4 years sober and I want to drink!) and found your article.
    Thanks for posting it.
    I went to the dentist today and had laughing gas and I enjoyed it so much! I just want to get hammered now.
    Actually for the last month or so I have been thinking about drinking. For 4 years I haven’t really had strong urges. I absolutely hit rock bottom when I quit. Why do I wan’t to go down that road again? Why can’t I just be happy being normal?
    I don’t know.
    Like you said. “It’s not fair!” lol
    Thanks again.

    1. I completely understand. I was sober 17 years and just gave up. I could lay blame but the truth is: I am an alcoholic. David Cassidy’s interview brought it home. He was an ASSHOLE when he drank. The years the Partridge Family aired were the happiest of my childhood. Seeing him finally admit his addiction to alcohol was soooo humbling. The Pierce Morgan interview was humbling. David didn’t make it. To hear him say to drink again was to die is chilling because after all, isn’t that where we are all heading? I believe him.

  6. I am a little over 7 1/2 years clean, and have had strong urges and desires to drink in the last couple months. Whether it’s because I think it could be different, I want to relax, fit in, be “normal”, whatever it is; it’s hard to contemplate it so much with recovery in the background. I got clean at 18, so one of the biggest tapes that plays is that I was young when I got clean, so it’d be different now. I enjoyed your article though, it helped me get back to reality a bit.

  7. I am 21 months sober. I gained back everything I lost except the husband. My divorce was final today. My kids are in my life. Everything is supposed to be great. I work my recovery, I’ve called my sponsor, I’ve went to meeting, I’ve prayed. Yet some how I want to drink so bad right now. Been like this for a couple days. I can’t get it to go away. I googled why a person would want to drink after being sober 21 months and found this. Thank you it helped the moment.

  8. Thank you for this. I had 23 years sober and started the fire. It raged for almost 3 years and I barely got out alive. I’m 2.5 years sober again. My life is worth living fully sober.

    1. Author

      If you ever want to share your story with us, I’d LOVE to hear it and publish it on the site!

  9. 13 months sober and wanting a drink for the past few days. Financially, physically and mentally I must continue my sobriety. Your article has really helped me. Thanks.

  10. I miss drinking that’s the truth. However, bottom line, the pros of not drinking far outweigh the pros of drinking, feeling good etc.

  11. Can I please tell you… I literally have tears in my eyes right now. I’ve been handling a lot lately and processing my daily stress has become tremendously difficult. More than ever for the last 24 hours I have had the constant ringing of the alcohol bell in my head and…its been very hard to ignore the call. I’ve been googling articles to try to justify my actions prior to giving in. After searching the phrase “I really want to drink right now” I found your article. Your ability to share so openly has given me another day of remaining true to my decision to make better decisions. It has also given me a couple of commandments to place in my journal for when I am in this place again. Thank you.

    1. Author

      I’m so glad it was helpful for you!! It’s all good, Dee. We’re just human.

  12. I was sober from 24 to 39, 15 years and then I very deliberately started to drink.
    I decided I now was middle aged, settled and able to handle alcohol.
    And with a firm grip on myself I started.
    And it worked!
    But in hindsight I can see that it took over almost right away, and after three months I lost control. Again.
    I was lucky to find my way back. I’ve now been sober for another 15 years and this time I have no illusions regarding alcohol. It has lost it’s grip over me. Shit drug really. I’m Sober now and not just ”not drunk.”
    If anyone feels tempted to try my method to reach sobriety, please feel free but a word of warning: there were and still are consequenses and a high price to be paid.

  13. Thanks for posting

    For the last few years I’ve had absolutely no desire to drink but just recently, it’s come to the forefront of my thoughts again?

    It’s nice to be reminded that the cons outweigh the pros and that all the success I have today boils down to the fact that I don’t drink anymore

    Just for today 🙂

  14. Amazing article! Thank you! Adore you!

  15. Very grateful to have stumbled upon this article tonight. Like some of the other posters, I’ve been sober 9.5 yrs but, whilst buying expensive wine for my boss as a Christmas present, a little thought popped into my head “You’ve grown up so much, you might handle it differently now, how great would it be to relax with a glass of wine!” After googling Sauvignon blanc and staring longingly at the pretty bottles, I googled “drinking after sobriety” and read your article, instantly I was reminded of the pain and chaos caused by my alcoholism. It was never ‘just the one’ and even if I did manage it tonight, I’d wake up tomorrow planning my next drink…and I’d be on the path to losing my job, husband and children. Stopping drinking was the hardest thing I ever did, it was my best friend. Thank you for reminding me why I stopped and that I’m not alone xx

  16. This article was amazing! I wanted to yell GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I will have 6 years on Friday. After a relapse using the reasoning – if it gets bad I’ll just stop. In 3.5 years I burned my life to the ground. It was so hard to “just stop”. I know I have another relapse in me but I know damned well that do not have another chance at recovery. I’d know never make it again. For me to drink is to die. Thank you for all you write. I love your articles. I feel like you are taking right to me.

    Happy holidays! Much love.


  17. Wow. The timing could not be better to read this. Almost 2 1/2 yrs sober, and I just about threw it away. Can’t find the escape. I work out 3 plus days a week,but that endorphin rush has become short lived. Thank you for reminding me why I started this. You saved me right now!

  18. Thank you Julie for opening yourself up to this rarely spoken of subject. I also found your story when researching if I too could drink again. There are so many generic and robotic answers on the internet but nobody is speaking in modern terms. I am 18 years sober and have been thinking of drinking for 2 months now. Running scenarios through my head at nauseam. I have a few issues with this. AA is an outdated program with desperate need of updating. I’ve been around the rooms and if someone goes out, they are rarely truly welcomed back fully. There is so much judgement. I am guilty of this behavior. It’s what I was taught. I remember going through rehab and if someone relapsed it felt like a death. Relapse can be apart of a search for healthy sobriety. This I was never taught. And I feel bad for women newly sober trying to navigate mixed meetings without being hit on. These are topics rarely broached.
    Another issue I have is, am I really the asshole I was when I stopped drinking at 27? I have a wonderful wife, amazing infant daughter, a home and pretty solid extended family support. These things are a result of being sober I know, but they may just be a result of my maturity and continuous spiritual journey that I have discovered over the years that is not aa related. My mind is pretty much made up. I will drink again. Am I looking to get bombed? No. I am just tired of feeling every inch of life. My wife doesn’t like that reason, but I haven’t been able to describe it any other way without sounding depressing.
    I may be rationalizing this entire thing and that is not lost in me. I am tired of labels and having a “disease”. If there is another form of community outside aa that is free of judgment and and all the bs that goes along with it, sign me up. I have yet to find someone with the vision of an updated support system. Thank ya’ll for your time. Good luck in your journeys.

  19. Thank you so much for this article, it helped put my head back in the correct space. I’ve been sober for 9 years, but lately I find my self thinking it would be nice to have a drink after I put my 2 year old to sleep because its been a crazy day with him. Or that maybe I could meet more mom friends if I still drank. I truly needed to read this 🙂

  20. I just celebrated 36 years of sobriety and for the last several years have contemplated drinking again. I came from a very sick alcoholic home and started partying when I was 13 years old. I was full of anxiety and at my wits end by the time I was 22. When I sought help, I was told I was probably alcoholic. Desperate, I jumped on the band wagon and was gratefully sober during my 25 year marriage and raising my daughters. I have been happily on my own now for several years. A committed christian and loyal employee living a respectable life. I have worked through all the childhood trauma and my emotionally abusive marriage. Life is good. Only I want to know if I could now drink “normally” like other people and I cannot abandon these thoughts. I am not that young and afraid girl anymore. I am mentally and emotionally healed and want to taste craft beer. Actually doing it and telling people absolutely terrifies me. I have been identified as someone who doesn’t drink for many years. But I am more than that and want to experience all the simple pleasures in life that are available to me. I’m afraid to try it and afraid not to try it.

  21. Had my 5 years sobriety birthday 3 days ago and I’ve been struggling with staying sober for about a year. Your article reminded me of all the things im fighting against. It’s better to stay sober even if I don’t want to be.

  22. I slipped and had wine right around my 90 days. I know I shouldn’t have but, I craved it. I am back on the pill and my hormones have been all over the place (depression). I thought I could have some wine on the weekend and be ok. I finished the bottle last weekend. I got a bigger bottle this weekend and finished it, too. The thing that’s killing me is that my toddler said “No, wine, Mommy.” when we were at the store. I considered taking her phrase as a sign (she’s why I stopped drinking). I feel like such a crappy mother.

  23. I googled “why do i want to drink after no longer dependent”. I crushed a bottle of wine the other night, the day before we were selling and leaving our house because it was sitting in my fridge for months after someone left it, my wife never drank it, she probably wouldn’t notice its gone when we clean put the fridge. So i downed it…then i took a handful of benzos, then i was searching boxes looking for some concert drugs i had stashed for over a year. This woke my wife up at 3 am and she caught me drinking after i nearly killed her and myself 3 years ago in a black out. Other than a relapse in December which put me in jail for a weekend when i was off my meds, this was the second time i drank in 3 years. Im chalking it up as a moment of weakness when put in that situation which seemed like a test. like i knew id get caught and do some dumb shit if i drank it. Luckly no one was hurt. Ive never been physically dependent on alcohol so why do I purposely put myself and my family in danger.

  24. You seriously saved my ass tonight. Thank you.

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