Here in the UK, the clocks went back over the weekend, giving us an extra hour in the day on Sunday.

It got me thinking about how luxurious it is to have more time… and how often booze steals that from us.

Alcohol is such a time thief.

It quietly snatches hours from unexpected places, leaving you feeling behind (and craving another drink to ease the stress).

I think you might be surprised by just how many hours we’re talking about here:

Key points

How we lose time drinking

Once you’ve opened a bottle, hours can just vanish. But the time spent drinking is only one piece of the puzzle. Alcohol steals time in other ways too. You’ll also want to consider:

  • How much of your time is lost feeling hungover or being too ill to follow through on planned activities?

  • How does a mild hangover affect your productivity? Do you spend longer on basic tasks?

  • Do you beat yourself up about your drinking, worry about it and spend time searching for help on sites like this? That all takes up time too.

  • Going to war with yourself over whether to drink tonight is bound to eat up time, as you distractedly try to decide when, where, how much?

  • How many hours are lost putting things right after the night before – cleaning up, making amends etc?

  • Where are you bending over backwards to make your life fit around your drinking e.g. not being able to drive after a certain time, going to different shops to buy alcohol?

  • How much time do you spend with friends who aren’t true friends – but make great drinking buddies?

  • Do you ruminate over certain issues which cause you stress… but your drinking stops you from taking action?

  • How many books, TV shows and movies have you drank through… and can’t remember the storyline?

  • How often are you spending time with loved ones but find yourself slightly absent, unable to remember what happened, or what was said?


Hour after hour, it all adds up

Can you see how sneaky alcohol is? The combination of these different factors creates a constant feeling of never having enough free time or being on top of things. It’s hard to get a break or feel truly rested – which makes you crave another drink even more…


Why this really matters

Early sobriety takes time and effort to get right. You’re going to want to spend some time learning about alcohol, finding new coping mechanisms and getting to the bottom of why you’ve been drinking in the first place. 

If you see sobriety as yet another thing on your to do list, it will always be hard to find the time to really crack it. Yet when you start to see alcohol as the culprit responsible for your lack of time, it’s easier to find the motivation to change. 


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