Sobriety Has Its Downside

Listen, not everything in sober-living-land is all pink puffy clouds, rainbows, unicorns and methadone. No, there are plenty of adjustments to be made, life decisions to be contemplated and funny to be kept up despite not always feeling so hilarious. So lest you think I’m not struggling just a bit, here are some major downsides to life without wine:

People seem more irritating at the gym – then again, people have always seemed irritating at the gym. For instance – what is with wearing street clothes on a Precor? There’s a reason we wear running shoes and not moccasins when we work out. And that reason is to not be an eyesore to me.

People seem more irritating in traffic. But again, traffic is irritating and it’s not like I whipped out a flask everytime someone didn’t go right away when the light turned green back when I was boozing. Or did I?

Despite the fact that I said I wouldn’t be the type of person who looks around and thinks everyone has a drinking problem, I’m looking around and suspecting that quite a few people may having a drinking problem. Hi Paul.

In-laws refuse to take into account my newly sober status and still insist this would be an appropriate time to visit for a week.

Replacing alcohol with sour Jelly Belly sours seems like a better idea than it is – my tongue hurts. On the other hand, they are deliciously intoxicating.

The only thing non-alcoholic beer is good for is making you pee a lot.

Swearing isn’t quite the stress reliever I had hoped. Hang on let me try. “God Damn TWAT WAFFLE!” Nope. Still irritable.

On the upside, since I don’t drink, I will probably never get a tattoo or eat at Denny’s at 2:00 a.m. or write a drunk blog post that I regret the next day and I could easily walk in high heels (if I owned any).
Before you go, check out the review of my book by Black Hockey Jesus at Mamapop. And when you’re checking out the review, treat yourself and buy the book, find out crazy shit against me and then gossip about me to your friends.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on July 31, 2009 9:23 pmDrinking49 comments  


  1. beyond said,

    mmmh, jelly belly sours…
    hang in there, tattoos are totally overrated anyway!

    | July 31, 2009 @ 11:19 pm

  2. TKW said,

    You are going through life SOBER? Dude! What are you thinking?

    My new favorite mantra: Life is too hard to suffer through sober.

    Hmm…I am probably not the best influence on you right now πŸ™‚

    | July 31, 2009 @ 11:21 pm

  3. Petunia Face said,

    You forgot about having to believe in a power higher than yourself. WTF is up with that? I AM GOD! Ok, I'm not really. Just the adult child of an alcoholic who doesn't like having to hold hands with people in meetings.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 12:00 am

  4. Anonymous said,

    Great review!

    | August 1, 2009 @ 12:42 am

  5. Carolyn...Online said,

    Those things are all irritating anyway and I don't think anything is sour enough to make you forget it.

    And great review of the book. I'm in the middle. HI-LARIOUS.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 12:45 am

  6. Marinka said,

    and when you're sober, everyone is super unattractive.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 1:08 am

  7. Andrea (ace1028) said,

    People at the gym are so irritating that I just gave up on the gym altogether. Or maybe I'm just lazy?

    Can't wait to read your new book, loved the review!

    | August 1, 2009 @ 1:24 am

  8. eden said,

    Everyone on the frickin' planet is irritating, and I say that at almost nine years sober.

    Maybe you could find something you really like doing … that's not bad for you?

    You are doing really well, btw. Awesome review!

    | August 1, 2009 @ 1:36 am

  9. Jamie said,

    Keep on keeping on- or something like that.

    Did you say twat waffle? Totally stealing that.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 2:20 am

  10. Heidi said,

    I have been trying to order your book and for a while I was told it was not in stock. Finally it shipped today!

    | August 1, 2009 @ 4:14 am

  11. Lisa Page Rosenberg said,

    So the good news is, according to my research, the irritability thing only lasts like, the first 7,965 days or so.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 4:52 am

  12. Janefilms said,

    twat waffle should fix it for a few minutes fo sure.

    inlaws can drive anyone to drink, so good for you for noticing how annoying everything else is instead.

    I drink so much damn Perrier that my blood bubbles and I have lemon-ee breath.

    which is to say, totally hear you.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 5:05 am

  13. Anonymous said,

    Hi there….in 1976 I invented the Jelly Belly jelly beans. A documentary will be out in about a month on my live–The Candyman a man and his beans. We have perfected a sour jelly bean cqalled Spanks—so sour they spank your mouth…….www.niftycandy.com would you like a sample? david klein

    | August 1, 2009 @ 6:55 am

  14. BabyonBored said,

    Um, yes, David Klein, I do want some super sour Jelly Belly candy. Did you really invent it? If so, why the heck did you never come out with a pumkin pie flavored jelly bean? That would've been awesome. You need to send me your real email if you want to send me candy.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 7:06 am

  15. abdpbt said,

    Sobriety is not affecting your sense of humor, so you're doing great. And I thought I was the only one who got annoyed by regular clothes at the gym.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 12:09 pm

  16. Shannon said,

    Kudos to your review! You deserve it! I am sure your book is fantastic! I am sure you are wondering, Then why don't you buy it bitch?" Truth is…I haven't finished reading the last book I won from your contest that you autographed for me. I don't have ime to take a private pee let alone read a freakin' book. But I promise you, when my kid grow up a bit, and I get some time… I will buy your whole series of books! Keep up the great work on sobriety girlfriend… I am very proud of you. I will see you soon in the rehab section, I am soon to be hooked on Xanax, the kiddos are driving me off the deep end!!! Shannon

    | August 1, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

  17. momtrolfreak said,

    It's super handy how all the google text ads that pop up in relation to your post are about AA centers, rehab facilities, and the like. Sadly, no ads for gym shoes, in case those annoying moccasin-wearers decide to change their ways. My family has 'addiction issues' and I'd just like to say kudos to you for writing about it with you ever-wicked sense of humor. The more it comes out into the light and is ok to talk about, the better. As usual, you rawk.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  18. Rebecca said,

    Sour Pez, that's the ticket. Those are amazingly delicious! Try them, you'll sing their praises too!

    And yes, people at the gym are atrociously annoying. For instance, I won a free month at Curves. The only time I could go and regret it the least was at 6am. Yes, I'm already pissy at 6am, but the girls there were all up and peppy and laughing and talking like they hadn't stopped drinking since the 70's. On more than one occasion I wanted to swallow a bullet. The mother/daughter duo who was there every single godforsaken morning were the worst. I wanted to run them over with my car.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

  19. nikki said,

    A great writer once said:
    "I don’t mean to make a big deal out of sobriety, by the way. Of all the modes of human consciousness available to the modern consumer I consider it to be the most overrated."
    -Michael Chabon

    | August 1, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

  20. wendi said,

    I WISH I'd been drunk when I was next to that guy in swim trunks and hiking boots on the elliptical at Gold's today.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  21. Sober Mommy said,

    I've written and removed what I've written three (make that four) times.

    The annoyance thing at the world passes…Or so I've been told.

    But then again, maybe it's just my overall sparkling personality that makes me annoyed.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  22. merlotmom said,

    Read the book. LOVED IT. You have had one crazy ass life and I thank you for entertaining me with stories of it. Really. LOVED IT.

    | August 1, 2009 @ 10:57 pm

  23. Aunt Becky said,

    I just love you.

    | August 2, 2009 @ 12:15 am

  24. Becca said,

    All those things are irritating no matter what. I think if I were drinking and dealing with those things I would be even more or at least the same irritated at it. :/

    | August 2, 2009 @ 3:03 am

  25. help4newmoms said,

    Great review – not surprised – gotta check this book out.

    | August 2, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

  26. Wicked Step Mom said,

    Sour Starburst Gummie Burst are the gate way candy to Jelly Belly Sours. Next thing you know, we will all be eating atomic war heads, just to stay ahead of the curve.

    Also, another down side is that you don't get to go to bed with wine breath.. oh, wait a minute.. that is a plus.. πŸ˜‰

    | August 3, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  27. My Bottle's Up! said,

    your book is currently rocking my world… when i'm sober and when i'm not so sober.

    | August 3, 2009 @ 2:22 pm

  28. Anonymous said,

    My name is Silvana, I am a Brazilian au pair and I was living in westchester NY taking care of twins babies girls. I am looking for a family and because of my experience with multiple I wish you can help me. I dont know who help you take care of your babies or if you know somebody who needs help.. I am working with Au Pair Care agency and I gave around 6 years of childcare experience. Thank you so much!
    Silvana tiasilsil@hotmail.com

    | August 3, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  29. Susan said,

    In spite of you detailing the down side of being sober, I just can't take myself there. And I really need to. Sigh. You're funny as hell whether you're drinking or not!

    | August 3, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

  30. Kendra said,

    I'm still a relatively enthusiastic drinker (maybe that's a bad sign?) and I find all those things extremely annoying. I've decided perhaps the solution is to take up smoking. Sure, it took me years to quite once before, but I need a good vice right now.

    | August 4, 2009 @ 12:27 am

  31. surcie said,

    I really feel for you. I'm trying to cool it with the sugar/white flour eating and I'm extra-easily irritable. I've been thinking my MIL has become more of a pain in the ass, but after reading your post, I'm realizing it might be the fact that my not "using" to deal with the stress is making the stress seem worse. See, you thought this was about you. HA! ; )

    | August 4, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

  32. Ilina said,

    I think everyone is irritating, and drinking just makes it worse. I see it as a personality flaw; rather a flaw in everyone else's personality. I was just at the beach and saw a man swimming in a long sleeve blue oxford shirt and khaki pants. He was not saving a drowning child. He was swimming. What the fuck is up with that?!

    | August 4, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

  33. Stillie said,

    I've been told this is the hardest time in recovery; learning how to deal with situations as a sober person. Eventually, you'll have experienced most of them sober and it won't be quite so hard. In theory.

    I went to my first AA meeting in over 2 years last night. It was not fun.

    I've learned to depend on Crystal Light – the little water-bottle-sized packets in a variety of flavors – to overcome those bizarre cravings in lieu of fermented goodness.

    Keep it up, girl. You're doing good. Every day is a struggle for me and I haven't been a habitual drinker since 2006 or so. I've slipped up twice and, quite frankly, I think one was totally warranted. So keep fighting – it's worth it. I get a bit of strength from reading your journey, too.

    | August 4, 2009 @ 8:46 pm

  34. Christen said,

    Yeah, I know how you feel. I stopped drinking when I recently found out I was pregnant. I have a lot less patience these days, and everything gets on my nerves. BTW, I'm gonna buy your book, as soon as I get my lazy ass off the couch and to the bookstore.

    | August 4, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

  35. Single & Married said,

    I think the worst part of sobriety is the damn clarity. Everything is so clear…no blurry lines making things softer around the edges…then again I am only sober when pregnant so it could be the hormones that make me want to punch people out. Especially when they think I am going to slow down b/c they are in a crosswalk! The Nerve!
    BTW I agree: why isnt there a Pumpkin Pie Jelly Belly??? See, sobriety is good–you are a genius!

    | August 5, 2009 @ 3:23 am

  36. LiteralDan said,

    Tell you what, go get yourself that tattoo sober, somewhere that won't sag or wrinkle much when you're old.

    That way you can have all the fun without the regret. Or, at least, the same kind of regret.

    Congratulations on sticking this out despite moccasin-wearing twat waffles who can't drive.

    | August 5, 2009 @ 4:50 pm

  37. Anonymous said,

    I seriously miss yummy, dry red wine. Alas, it was giving me a big ole chubby belly and was probably kickin my liver's butt.
    The feeling is similar to when I stopped smoking. I'd get the feeling that I was forgetting something, missing something, then think Oh, yeah, after-dinner cig! Now after an annoying day I YAHOO, glass of wine! then I remember I don't have wine at home, dammit dammit dammit! Now I want my chubby belly to go away or by darn I'll start having a glass after dinner again. Neh, I'd forget to buy it.
    Ame, TN

    | August 7, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

  38. Mommy on the Spot said,

    I was at the gym last week taking a really intense kick boxing class. I looked over and saw this girl wearing ballet flats. Ballet flats in a kick boxing class!! It was very annoying!

    | August 8, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  39. Crystal said,

    All I can say is WOW. You got offered free jelly beans AND a resume for an au pair.

    It's like the David Lynch of blog comments in here.

    (love you)

    | August 12, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  40. txmommaleelee said,

    OK- Wind in Your Vagina was the blog I found surfing the internet at work and I had no idea about mom and daddy blogs and all that, but his blog opened me up to this whole world of awesome blogs that I love and I can relate to. That was like over a year ago, right after I had my daughter. Back before the economy screwed me out of job. Any way I'm off topic- so Black Hockey Jesus went missing a few weeks ago and I was devastated so I looked for him at Dadcentric and Mamapop and found the review he did of your books. I bought Naptime is the New Happy Hour that day, which was like a week and a half ago. SO GREAT! I'm ordering the new book now and just wanted to say I am such a fan. Although I just found your blog so I have no IDEA WHY you want to quite drinking but I'll read some back history and maybe figure it out? Anyway great book, you made me feel like a better mom and person. Like a NORMAL person. Thank you.

    | August 13, 2009 @ 3:43 am

  41. Sassy Pie said,

    Oh my dear lord… I found your blog on a post of Aunt Becky's from Mommy Wants Vodka. You. Are. Goddamn. Hilarious. Consider your ass followed. πŸ™‚ If you'd like, I've got a fledgling (more like still in an egg) blog. I do occasionally have to worry about shithead pre-pubescent boys snatching me from my nest and squashing my dreams, but one day (after eating all my worms like a good bird) I will grow big and strong and peck their fuckin' eyes out. Check me out if you like, I'll be following you either way. πŸ˜€

    | August 13, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  42. Anonymous said,

    Okay, so I have never read a blog before (working mom of two and if you think toddlers take time, wait until they're teens, running my own biz in the current fun economy…), but you have quite possibly gotten me hooked.

    | August 15, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

  43. Anonymous said,

    Just read your story in NYT and found your blog. Am struggling, again, with sobriety (with alcohol and lack thereof). Thanks for sharing.

    | August 16, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  44. Caroline said,

    It gets easier.

    | August 17, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

  45. Anonymous said,

    Sobriety rocks. welcome. on tattoos – i think sobriety actually pushes you closer. in a year or so, you could be contemplating a goth-script tat on your left forearm reminding you to "surrender!"

    | August 17, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  46. Anonymous said,

    ODAT doll πŸ™‚

    Keep coming back…it works if you work it…and the other room may help with the people who get on
    your nerves.

    My motivation for not drinking anymore : I am able to be a loveing avaliable mother ALL day from 8 am to 9pm..no more hangovers!!

    Erlinda Denise

    | August 17, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

  47. wheelsonthebus said,

    I have a post up for you and Becky.

    | August 17, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  48. Glass Houses said,

    I would just like to go on the record and say that when I was drinking, I could walk, skip and run in high heels.

    Also, none of my tattoos are drinking related and Denny's at 2am is still awesome.

    And I still post blogs I regret the next day. I just blame them on hormones now.

    | August 18, 2009 @ 11:08 pm

  49. Anonymous said,

    I just want to say that seeing someone admitting that sobriety is hard, who is discussing that there are downsides is very helpful. Sometimes I feel surrounded by people who say "so I just decided to stop and never had one since" in the same tone of voice as "I made the bed this morning," no big deal.

    I think you should try harder at the cursing, though.

    | August 23, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

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