monkey off my back

One guy's experiences as he quits drinking

Mad Man

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I’m approaching 4 weeks sober and I’m traveling well.

Mad Men fell off my TV viewing for the last couple of years so I’ve been catching up on Seasons 5 to 7. Please note: I haven’t finished watching Season 7 yet – so no spoilers please.


It’s been odd watching Mad Men while I’m sober again. Don has been slowly descending into an alcoholic haze which is affecting his marriage, relationships, job and self-image.

He’s a train wreck happening in slow motion – his life is spiraling, he’s making stupid and reckless decisions, he’s unable to connect to people around him, he’s either emotionally numb or frustrated and angry at everyone and everything around him.

There have been a few scenes when you think Don is about to turn things around – but an episode later he’s as drunk as ever.

I’m watching it as a detached viewer but completely identifying with him (although I’m probably not as suave). I see Don have an argument, go into someone’s office, secretly tuck a bottle of spirits under his jacket and then swig it in his private room a couple of minutes later. I sit on the couch watching and thinking “No. Stop it. What are you doing?”.

I remember doing much the same thing a few weeks ago. On some days I would arrive home feeling stressed out – and I’d have to find some ways to smuggle bottles from our dining room liquor cabinet to a more private area. Or I’d find a reason to quickly go to the shops “Oh – I’ll just duck up to the shops and buy some alcohol, ummm… I mean cat food”.

I find it amazing how powerless I felt to stop in the midst of the chaos. But now (just like previous sober periods) it feels like a spell has lifted. When I watch Man Men the last thing it makes me want to do is drink.

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