I’ve noticed that Music is a big trigger for me.

I absolutely love music, love bands, gigs, festivals and I love to dance! In the last couple of months sober I have noticed that music automatically makes me think of drinking. It’s not so much that I’m craving alcohol while listening to the funky soul sounds of James Brown. It’s more a like fond memory of being drunk and enjoying myself to that particular song.

The two memories are so entwined it’s exceedingly difficult to differentiate one from the other.

I listen to music frequently, I listen to it when I run, when I work and when I’m in the car. This means I am being bombarded ever so subtly by ‘happy’ drunk party memories on a daily basis.

Warning signs are going up for me considering I have been very prone to relapsing in the past. If I am to make this a lasting change I need to find a way to reverse these thoughts or reframe them in a new way.

‘This Naked Mind’ by Annie Grace and Allan Car’s the Easyway to control alcohol have provided me with a method I base my recovery on.

The premise for these books is that there is no true pleasure inherent in the consumption of alcohol. The ‘perceived’ pleasure is a combination of a couple of things:

  1. The dopamine lie – Dopamine is released in the brain promising something amazing is on the way and makes you excited to get it.
  2. The relief you feel when you allow yourself to do something you’ve been denying yourself.
  3. The relief of the physical alcohol withdrawal if you’ve reached that point down the rabbit hole.
  4. The social situation you find yourself in when alcohol in being consumed that is truly pleasurable in and of itself, being at a concert with friends, camping at a music festival, dancing and partying the night away with your mates.

Reframing the memories and remembering the event or song itself rather that the drunkenness, perhaps trying to  remebering the outcome of the night which was inevitably chaotic, or recalling the black outs.

I don’t want to unneccesarily obsess and demonise the memories so much that it becomes a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ moral thing in my head because I know for a fact that this leads to relapse for me. My ‘willpower’ eventually runs out and doing the ‘right’ thing very quickly becomes ‘Fuck It!’

Maybe its more about making new memories and having those on tap too.

In the words of Jame Brown:  “Get up offa that thing, and dance ’till you feel better!”


9 thoughts on “Music

  1. Yes, absolutely, this is the same for me. I love music, it brings back memories. Unfortunately so many of these memories involve alcohol. Even new music that I have never drank while listening to can remind me of drinking, its more the type of song than the actual song itself. Hopefully one day the association will lessen or go away completely, lets hope!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For me new memories help a lot. I am coming up on a year and I am not associating so many things with drinking. I now like going out socially and it bothers me so much less that others are drinking. I can now have fun, relax and not worry about it.
    For the old memories, which music can bring back, I think about that time of my life and what was great about it. I also think about what was not. I am happier today and more centered so even though I was able to drink then I wasn’t really happier.

    I love your blog too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and yes I can relate very much to what you are saying. The memories have a rosy glow but when I delve a bit deeper I also remember the desperate state I was in. Sober rocks way more! xxx


  3. Recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly. This post especially resonates with me because I’ve always had music on while I’m making dinner with a glass of wine (or two!). Now that I no longer want to drink wine, it’s been difficult to listen to music while cooking, etc. It’s been almost four years since you’ve written this post. Does it get easier? Any suggestions that worked for you to get through this without having to give up the music? Thanks for any wisdom.


    • It gets so much easier! Don’t worry. Maybe try listening to new music that you don’t associate with good times or alcohol to begin with. Once you are a bit more settled start introducing your favourites. I can sometimes still get carried away with specific tunes that I have vivid memories of and find myself craving a cigarette more than a drink! Music and dancing is such an important part of life, booze cannot take that too. Nice to meet you, keep going, it does get easier I promise. Xx


      • Thanks so much for getting back to me. I’m enjoying your blog, reading it post by post and adding it to my sober tool kit. Thanks again for your helpful blog and your response. Onward!

        Liked by 1 person

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