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:
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.
Yay! You’re back! I am 34 days sober today and when I quit drinking in September your blog and videos were one of the first sources I found to help me!
Congratulations on your 34 days Kim! Keep going – the best is yet to come! 🙂
I do love my wine. Can’t seem to make the jump to stop. I am working on drinking only on the weekends. But with my stressful days and high maintenance husband I keep coming back to it. I am 48 hours sober right now. I drink 2-3 glasses a night so not bad but it is every night.
The start of your comment reminded me of another blog I shared a while back: https://thesoberschool.com/really-love-drinking-wine/
If you’re looking for support to feel good about alcohol free living, here’s how I can help you crack this for good: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I’ve been sober now since Sept 2020 and feel great. Your help and advice has been so supporting and I just wanted to say thank you for showing me there is a social life without Drinking.
Found a none alcoholic beer and Prosecco I love so don’t feel
Left out. Though to fair I love lemonade with ice too
Congratulations on your sobriety Sam! It sounds like it suits you, well done 🙂
This is so good. I am one of those people who drinks whilst cooking, so I’m still getting things ‘done’. But I have also spent at least an hour today googling symptoms of alcohol abuse and worrying about my drinking. I know drinking is taking up time in other areas too. I never have enough hours in the day.
Hi Linda, I know how tiring it is when you’re worrying about your drinking and thinking about it a lot. If you’re looking for help to stop and feel good about being sober, I can help. Here’s the best way for us to work together: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Great video Kate…..I’m on the waitlist for the Jan course…..I am sooo fed up of alcohol taking precious time / life from me….I decided enough is enough today….this lady is definitely turning! And how! I AM ANGRY at my false ‘friend’.
Thank you Kate for your inspiring blogs…wish me luck…here I go!
Go for it Lynn! Alcohol is definitely the worst kind of friend… and you deserve better 🙂
Hi Kate, I was only thinking earlier this week how few hours a day I have between feeling sluggish and not wanting to drink and then feeling better in the afternoon and feeling the urge to drink again. It is such a miserable existence and I am struggling badly. Planned a couple of weeks ago to stop today but the urges are very powerful as I suppose the addition gets stronger.
It sounds like your body is telling you it’s had enough – and wants something better for you…
I love this!
I’ve been doing relatively well, making the commitment to do 100 days of sobriety before the end of this year.
But I had one major slip up and it definitely cost me. The same old story which was one night of the old behaviour, feelings and awful hangover to follow. During that time, I felt exactly what you talk about in this post. That I was most angry at myself for wasting quality time being drunk. Even if it was just one night and only nine hours, it took me days to get over the hangover, and I couldn’t stop beating myself up for about a week. It was a complete waste of time, energy, brain cells and this precious life.
Back on the wagon again feeling more confident in my decision to choose sobriety, health and self love!
Great to hear you’re back on track Tamara. It sounds as if you learned a lot from that slip up. Onwards and upwards 🙂
I stoped drinking for 8 months in 2018 as a response to seeing how alcohol has stolen my mother’s life away from her and in turn her away from us. The tragedy of it made me hate alcohol.
I made it tonAugust when the lure of red wine with slow cooked lamb got the better of me. It was then my friends confessed that I wasn’t as much fun when I was drinking (sigh).
I did however finish writing my first book.
I’m back on the wagon after a Covid drink fest. Saving money and getting back time already. But it is uncomfortable.
It sounds like you need a new friend. Please, do not let one thoughtless (and rather unkind) comment like that deter you from this journey. That comment says a lot about your friend – but very little about you!
I love the time when I’m not drinking have extra mee time in evening Start 5 pm – 10 pm. No good sleep. Wake up 3:00 (12 hour )actualy 5-8. Drinking. Time ). Than the whisper of wine which. Starts again
Natascha, I know you’ve been struggling with this for a long time, alone, because I remember some of your other comments. It would be great to help you with this – I hope you will look at joining my class in January. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Trying on numerous clothes for work in order to look or feel half decent after a previous night of drinking Is very time consuming. Then I have to scoop up and put away all the tried on stuff, only to look/feel just as rubbish as if I hadn’t bothered trying! Time wasted on dry, spotty dull skin fixing care, time wasted on straw-like hair repair packs, time wasted on body lotions due to dry snakeskin-like legs, time wasted choosing all the products at the shops, time wasted lying in bed on days off, bemoaning last night’s drinking frightened of how I’ll feel when I get up, time wasted napping in the afternoon on days off, time wasted choosing and buying new clothes etc. to make me feel confident (drinking robs us of confidence!) On and on it goes for me… I had Saturday and tonight off drinking (a first for me in nearly ten years) and I spent luxurious time sitting chatting with my husband whilst watching television – I wouldn’t have ‘gained’ that time had I have been drunk. Not drinking doesn’t only stop us losing time, it makes us gain quality time, so a double whammy if that makes sense? Fingers crossed for tomorrow night, this site is definitely making me think.
Such a good point about gaining quality time in sobriety – it’s not just extra time, it’s time that we can really put to good use. Keep going Laura!
I’ve missed so much. Now I’m trying to fit everything in but there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. At least my days seem more productive now though.
100days sober today!!! Yaaaay!!! Go me!!!
Good luck to anyone struggling. You can do this xxx
Thankyou Kate xxx
Congratulations on your 100 days Cathy – that is fantastic! Wishing you many more to come 🙂
Hi Kate, I’m in your October crew, and so happy I am!
This video really resonated with me because I have had this same conversation with myself for a long time, probably part of why I knew I wanted to join the class, invest the time and money to reclaim my life! As an active person, I just dug in harder to muster through my days, even when I felt quite crummy from hanging out with my wine the evening before. I’d power through but knew I was not efficient. I felt guilt, frustration, embarassment and probably lots of other things that basically drained me of energy, creativity, patience and stamina.
Thanks for the great course…. !
Reclaiming your life is a great way to put it! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the course. Keep going Madison 🙂
Thank you Kate. So very true. Thinking about this, Alcohol is a time thief.
Prior to joining your Getting Unstuck course I lost many hours per day.
Let’s start with waking up after a crap night’s sleep. Hungover and very tired. I drag my sorry backside around the house trying to get chores done. Even taking a shower is an effort. I move slowly and without purpose all through the day. I beat myself up for drinking again. I feel shame that I argued with my husband again. What did we as a family talk about at the dinner table. Did we make plans that I cannot remember. My mind is racing. I cannot think about anything else. That walk I wanted to take – gone. That cake I wanted to bake – gone. That manicure I wanted to give myself – gone. That gardening I wanted to do – gone. to tired and hungover. No motivation. 5 pm hits and bam there’s the witch. Once I start drinking that is it. By 6 pm half the bottle is gone. I no longer have the energy or the inclination to do anything. So from 6 pm until I fall asleep in a drunken stupor on the couch I am non productive. All this time wasted when I could be doing things for the family or looking after myself. When was the last time I looked after myself. Time thief. The witch and alcohol should be locked up together and the key thrown away forever.
Before watching this video I knew I was loosing time but did not realize to what extent.
Thank you Kate. This has been an eye opener for me.x
What a great post Sue! Well done for breaking out of this pattern and choosing a different way forward for yourself. There’s so much to gain in sobriety, and nothing to lose 🙂
Brilliant blog! You always inspire me. I’ve been sober one and a half years!
That’s fantastic Jacqueline – congratulations! 🙂
I drank tonight ☹️. How on earth do I reconcile this with what I wrote (sober) last night? I was so happy last night. Tonight I am so sad. I will go to bed now as I can hardly even type any more. Good luck with your efforts everybody, Laura x
This is why it’s so important to get coaching, help and support along the way – doing this alone can be very hard. If you’re looking for my help with this, here’s how we can work together Laura: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I’ve already registered for January Kate, I’m really looking forward to it! I didn’t drink tonight and I’m very excited about waking up happy tomorrow… I’ve been heavily drinking every night for 10 years and my 3 nights off drinking over the last 6 days have miraculously happened since I joined this site – I kind of have ‘hope’ all of a sudden – from somewhere.
I look forward to working with you Laura! Wishing you many amazing, alcohol free days ahead 🙂
This is all SO true. Not only did I used to waste the last 4-6 hours of every night drinking, but all of the time I spent the next day recovering/cleaning up… so many missed opportunities because of it. But, I’m determined not to let it get in the way of living my life anymore. One week sober yesterday! Your blog has been an incredible source of relatable and educational content for me so far and I can’t wait to read more. Thanks Kate!
Well done on your alcohol free week Brittany. Keep going – it keeps getting better and better!
This has really made me think. I am sure I am saving at least 2 hours a day with everything you’ve mentioned. Thanks Kate
It’s amazing how those hours add up!
Hello Kate! I’m in the October crew and look forward to each day’s lessons. Just had time change in the US and realized I hadn’t look at your email with this post. I totally agree with finding time beyond drinking hours. I love that I’m not burdened with ensuring the cabinet and fridge are stocked with wine, and making time to shop and where to shop for it. Plus hangover-freedom gained time. Love quote “…these are my new happy hours”!