The Joy of Waking up Sober

Gayle Macdonald
12 min readFeb 14

A Morning Routine For Sobriety

drinking tea in bed with a book
The joy of waking up sober

It’s 4 am, and I’m awake. My teenage son is coughing in the room next door and my husband has just got up to make tea. Because he can’t tell the time, my dog thinks it is time to begin the day and jumps up and down excitedly on my head.

Despite the early hour, I don’t care because I am waking up sober and it’s lovely. This will be sober morning number 1783 since I quit back in 2018 (I had to check that because I stopped counting days at around day 76 I think) My husband will bring me my tea and so will begin my morning routine which I’m going to share with you because it is the thing that keeps me feeling good on my sober journey, grounded, and on my path.

Lately, my mornings have begun at around 4.30 am or 5 am and before you punch me in the face, you should know that I am in bed by 8 pm most nights. My mornings feel like a spar and I am incredibly grateful to be able to spend those first precious hours of the day as I choose because I know many people don’t have that luxury, although I hope that by reading this you will be inspired to prioritize a little bit of your morning for yourself.

Also, my mornings now are about as far removed from the sickening, shameful, painful, chaotic, and ‘I just want to get it over with so I can go back to bed’ ways I would spend the first part of the day when I was drinking.

With two boys to get up and ready for school, I hated the fact that by 7 am, I was just starting to fall asleep again after the usual 3 am terrors had me sweating with fear and panic, heart hammering as I tried to get as much water and paracetamol into me so I would at least wake up looking and feeling half respectable.

It didn’t always work. Mom guilt was off the scale and I was often grumpy and snappy as I moved through the motions of breakfast, making a snack, and checking they had the proper kit before our walk down to school.

I enjoyed the walk home more than the walk there and an early morning walk has been the only thing I have kept since I stopped drinking and one of the activities I do whatever the weather or time of year.

Gayle Macdonald

Gayle is a tea drinking mum of two, life and sobriety coach. Gayle helps women to quit drinking & feel good..