The Plan

When you go into battle, you don’t go blind. You plan for every possible permutation of what may happen. You put on your armor. You surround yourself with an army. You create maps – ways in and ways out – and you study them. You tuck a picture of your loved ones into a safe pocket, to keep them in mind during perilous times. You gather your strength.

I may need to adjust and rethink along the way, but here is my Plan:


  • In the months preceding, start cutting back during the week and trying to take days off, learn about triggers – use a drink tracking app to gauge how well I’m doing
  • Sample curious elixirs and other mocktail/drink replacements
  • Read other people’s experiences online
  • Look into guided meditation apps/exercises
  • Look ahead at calendar to see when there will be celebrations and other events that will be difficult, plan ahead
  • Create mantras and cheat sheets of why I’m doing this – make little printouts or frame for desk area and safe zone, maybe make business-card-sized versions for purse
  • Look into stacking rings to reward/celebrate achievements – start date, first month, first year etc
  • Think about healthy replacements, and what to do when I’m desperate
  • Find some liver boosting supplements and foods to help with the physical detox
  • Look for an app that might support quitting


  • Start by telling only those closest to me: my husband, my closest (and most supportive) friends, family as needed
  • Build current friendships with people I admire who I know will support me in this
  • Distance myself from those who will be less supportive, or difficult to be around because of their drinking habits
  • Find a online social support network and become an active member
  • Think about a short way to turn down drinks, and a longer “elevator speech” for the close friends who will want to know why I am doing this
  • Think of ways my husband can be supportive (while continuing to drink), asking him for understanding when I need to get the hell out of dodge etc


  • Cut back or eliminate visiting places where alcohol will be present
  • Turn a room of the house into a non-drinking safe zone – renovate to create cozy space, include mantras and/or family pictures
  • Work on making alcohol and glassware less visible in our home: hiding beer on the bottom shelf of fridge, putting gin into garage freezer, moving wine glasses into a less visible cabinet
  • Find new places to go for enjoyment that don’t involve alcohol (movie theaters, concerts, etc)


Here are some of the things I plan to use as replacements, in no particular order. We’ll see how successful or unsuccessful any of them are.

  • Exercise, run around block when desperate
  • Cooking/baking new recipes, trying fancy smoothies
  • Being fully there with the Boys
  • Woodworking, setting up shop
  • Reading
  • Home improvement projects
  • Piano
  • Smoking pot (yeah, I know)
  • Yoga/kickboxing
  • Learning meditation
  • Listening to music/organizing my music collection/investing in new music
  • Trying out new beauty products, like korean face masks
  • Sewing (Month 1 will be creating Halloween costumes for myself and the Boys)
  • Sleep
  • Spicy chocolate yogurt


My carrots:

  • Less escaping, more processing and personal growth
  • More connectedness with my boys and my husband
  • Healthier body and all that comes with that (better sleep, no hangovers, no dry mouth etc)
  • More time to do the things I love
  • Stacking rings to celebrate milestones
  • A shoulder tattoo after 1 year sober