Why I Wrote Mostly Sober: A Love Story and a Road Trip

I Wrote Mostly Sober Because I Had To

Excerpted from July 3, 2024 | By Women Writers Women Books

I was a daily drinker for decades. Not heavy, just a couple glasses of wine in the evening; but we now know that daily drinking is physically, mentally, and emotionally damaging.

Here’s a glimpse at my journey. In January, 2023, my husband, Dan, and I decided to have a dry month. Some nights were a real battle to resist a drink; still, we did it. Well, until the end of the month when we jumped off the wagon. We joked that we should have chosen February with 28 days.

Then, there was a decision.

Would we go back to our previous habits, or would this be a new life for us? We chose the latter. We would not give up drinking but only indulge on “special” occasions. Although in February, there was Valentine’s Day, Dan’s birthday, and a couple of celebrations on the 19th hole. We indulged, and it was fun. We’d both cut down from 60 drinks a month to a few Happy Hours, at 2 drinks max.

How will you define your special occasions? Finally got those Good Will bags out of the garage? Fertilized the house plants? Organized those deductible receipts? You’ve got to decide. Just be careful of “It was such a lousy day….” Or “I need to relax….” Those can be slippery slopes that become all-too-common reasons to return to former drinking habits.

I’m truly happy about my new lifestyle and it can be yours too, if that’s your inclination. Lots of superb help from podcasts, apps, communities, and books are available to help you minimize or even stop drinking. I list all of these in my book’s Resource Section.

What Was the Process of Writing Mostly Sober?

Writing this novel was a real joy. I had a message I was passionate about and wanted it out in the world. The road-trip structure of the story was something I’d been playing around with for some time, but it came into real focus when I understood that the overarching theme of the novel was alcohol minimization. Then, I had a mission, not just a story.

Mostly Sober: A Love Story and a Road Trip is about a woman who must leave her hidden infatuation with alcohol to reach her life goals and marry the man she loves. It is a deeply human narrative centered around the sober-curious movement. I wrote the book to help the huge numbers of Americans loosen alcohol’s seductive grip.

After decades of nightly drinking, I don’t intend to be alcohol free; nor will I allow alcohol back in my life every time the clock strikes five.

The synopsis for Mostly Sober

Annie is 27 years old and has taken a break from medical school to waitress, make money, and pay down her crushing student debt. She is also a drinker. Deeply shaken by what she sees as her many failures, she speaks to her doctor who diagnoses depression and recommends volunteering to get out of her own mind. On a volunteer beach clean-up, she meets Dean, a smart, funny, sexy fireman, whose only noticeable vice is cheesecake.

Dean proposes but Annie asks for more time. He is angry and hurt. She has hidden her affair with alcohol and needs time to reduce her gray-area drinking.

Immediately after his proposal, Annie gets a distressed call from her estranged mother. This phone call launches a grueling, four-day road trip with her mother, her loving but clinically depressed stepfather, and a tranquilized cat. On this arduous journey, Annie begins to understand the family trauma behind her drinking habit. Sober curious, she stumbles on her way to moderation but continues to get up and try again.

Mostly Sober: A Love Story and a Road Trip is now available from my publisher in paperback and as an e-book: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/mostly-sober

Many heartfelt thanks.