Thursday, 4 August 2016

Day 24 - Choosing life

I'm here and I'm living and I'm trying.
I'm so grateful to be here today. For not losing myself into the oblivion it would be so easy to seek. Sometimes they say, it can take a cataclysmic event to stop drinking even for a day or so. I've had lately, so many shares of my day 1's after days of attempting day 1's for sometimes what seems an eternity. Sometimes its something horrific we do or say that shocks us into the shame that sometimes it takes to stand back and actually stop. Whilst I've had my fair share of these, its amazing what wears off after a day or two and 'just the one' seems to be the most logical thing in the world. Well, it is for me.

We have had a rather tumultuous few weeks, month or so, even. Rather than sink into a bottle yesterday I asked my husband for support, asked for his company, made myself unable, even if I wanted to, buy any alcohol. Whilst my resolve is strong, my go to in any crisis is alcohol, I don't trust myself with any kind of drugs, but ironically, they are easier to avoid. We talked for a long time into the night about my anxiety, how it seems to totally grip and strangle me and often leads to me drinking to quiet the worry. He said he was grateful I was able to trust him.

Yesterday we said goodbye to a close family member, 364 days older than me, I'm 48. They were the subject of a horrific attack, and sadly died afterwards, in hospital, peacefully. Its taken weeks to get to the bottom of what happened, perhaps we never will but someone has been charged with culpable homicide. Another drugs and alcohol related death, was sadly reported, its victim far too young.

Its totally rocked me personally to the core. Selfishly, I also thought, what if that had been me?

My cousin lost his grandparents largely to alcohol, [me too]
his uncles and aunties to alcohol, [me too]
his parents to alcohol. [I've one left]
lost his job to alcohol, [not yet, but if I'm honest, its been close]
lost his core friendships to alcohol, [some, some I need to lose because of alcohol pressure]
lost his access own sweet family to alcohol, [not yet, I hope never]
lost himself to alcohol and latterly, it seems, mixing in circles thick with drugs. [not yet I hope never]

Some of his family and friends stuck by him, checking in when they could, often distancing themselves from harms way and the chaos. But, there for him. I guess I was one of them, but I guess I understand now more than most. I last spoke to him when he'd lost his job and life was on the up as he'd had a month and 5 days sober. Sadly it didn't last. I never heard from him again.

I stood yesterday with Simple Minds 'Don't you forget about me' blasting out of the speakers, saying goodbye, thinking how utterly selfishly grateful I am to be here and be on a sober, if erratic, journey at times.

I need to find this moment for grounding. For when the overwhelming urge to drink is just too much.

I need to remember to choose life. Be tenacious in my choices and choose living.

Maybe this is too much sharing. And, maybe it is. I need to live. Alcohol is claiming too many lives around me. And, yet wine, sometimes, spirits just seems so appealing to quiet those noises in my head. I need to empty this head I think.

I'm good today. Sober, lunch packed and ready to return to work. I had taken some time off, too fragile to deal with anything aside myself and sober living.

I've a plan to be solely with my husband later, to scupper any ability to buy alcohol, just in case.

The voice in my head tells me, when I allow it in, that I'm different and I can control things. I won't die like that. Like any of them, Reality would tell me, I'm not as different special as I might want to convince myself or think I am. Drinking is not a good idea for me, ever. Selfishly I want to live.

Excuse the overtly morbid post, I'm good today, but I need to keep grounded in stark reality for the moment. Day 30 is on its way, I just need to get there.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Day 19 - long time no see.

Hey there, I hope you're good. I can't thank you enough for the comments that pop into the inbox. It really goes a long way. When of course I open my sober emails, which I'm trying to do everyday now and not shy away from them.

Its been a long time since I got this far, I'm normally 3 days - 7 days and then something freaks me out/gets too much and I head straight back to day 1. I'm trying to fathom out why but for now I'm happy at day 19. Tomorrow is day 20. My partner is away and I've invited a doesn't drink chum around for the day, possibly for the night we'll see. I'm liking my own space at the moment.

I'm generally OK, got a good gym routine going for my rehab for my knee, so its a good change to be doing something positive for myself. I'd also managed to get myself in quite a pickle about drinking/not drinking the other night and resorted to cleaning the house instead and that kept me going through the witching hour.

Today we try friends and a promise to go the the gym tomorrow.

I did begin to wonder if vanity can get you sober. My weight was creeping up to 'pregnant with child' previous records, partly booze partly comfort eating with booze in between. So many lost calories, such a messy kitchen in the morning. Sandwiches at midnight again, oh ok.

So something in the logic in my brain said, you know what enough is enough. You can't be trusted (yes Lou was right, I can't trust myself sometimes to make sensible choices for myself), so no more booze. And, that was 19 days ago.

Fitbit fully charged, food monitoring app on the phone, if truth be told if anyone had told me I'd been looking at the witching hour and thinking, you know I just don't have those empty booze calorie choices to make today, I'd have said they are insane. But then again as a functioning kinda gal, I can choose to drink 15+ units and still do the gym the next day, torturing myself, deserving the pain. Well not anymore. As I slide my way to 50, its not down a booze shute. I choose life.

Whilst I'm not dieting, I'm monitoring what I eat and seem to have reduced the 3000+ calories on a 'booze day' down to just under 2000 most days and I'm really getting my steps/gym in too drinking or not I make myself exercise. And, man its a slog with a hangover.

Whatever works I say. I'm looking forward to seeing day 20.

I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Day 2 - Trust

I've being doing Belle's mantra of 'don't try harder, do something different' and its made me very ponderish.

I think trust is my biggest issue. Trust.

Five small letter. Which amount to, I don't deserve this. I don't deserve these folks being nice, I don't deserve anything.

Tell no one.

Trust no one.

Or maybe trust some folks. Like Belle and you sober lovely lot, I'm listening to her new book. She's asked me to write a list of some things as an exercise.

Day 1 what to expect when you're newly sober {subtext here for me is that even though you've had about a gazzilions of times, try something new}. I need to remind myself of a few things.

Ten things to write down

1 - They way I drink has affected my
{motivation}
2 - And my
{relationship with my family and friends}
3 - And my
{well being}
4 - The way I drink has caused problems with
{inner self and my happiness}
5 - And with
{my general focus}
6- Its made me feel
{lonely}
{unworthy}
7- I nearly had a disaster when
{?mine are too raw and cringeworthy for here}
8 - And this was just about a disaster too
{?see above}
9 - I'm tired of waking up feeling like
{I don't deserve any better}
10 - People who will be relieved when I'm sober
{me}
{family}
{sober friends}
{anyone else who knows me.........?}

I did however speak to my other half today and say, you know I'd had the occasional glass of wine, well I think its noodling with my head. I'm in a funny place.

{deep sighs and breaths here}

His reply. I had thought it odd you'd even consider the odd glass when it doesn't seem to make you be very nice to yourself. Maybe its time to just leave it.

Trust.

And we have people for dinner tonight, ironic in the extreme I pick this week to start over. Or not, life goes on. I took advice I'd had previously and messaged ahead to say, no booze here we've only juice - that's all fine with them they said.

A little less to stress about.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A peek over my sober shoulder.

There you are. And, here I am. For the thoughtful words and messages which have laid quietly on the whole until I was ready to venture into sober land again. I thank you all. I really do. Sober community, even if you switch it to 'gentle snooze' for a while is as always consistent and epic reliable and wonderously cosy. Thank you and I really mean that.

Here's where I'm at. I've had about 15 drinking days in the last year. Most of them in the past few months when I worked beyond crazy full time. Never insane, but nevertheless, I couldn't cut it totally sober. 

I've told sober friends, I'm a failure. They've told me I'm not. Frankly 15 days drinking moderately has been far less catastrophic as a blow out or any of my numerous years drinking ever was. So whilst its not a full scale parade, its still better than it was before.  Maybe a mouse-parade?

I stopped writing for a while, in just about every area of my life. It just got too much. Everything just go too much.  I worked too much. I also broke my knee and tore a knee ligament clean off, at Xmas and wrecked it again in late January, and I continued to work. Yes really and I refused to go see a Dr until my busy period was over, I didn't want it to affect my working pay. Its insanity perfectionified isn't it. {real word by the way} And if I'm honest, a broken knee is probably less painful to bear than constant hangovers/paranoia at work, which I must be guilty of for the past god knows how many years. 

I'm self-employed and a stark-I-will-do-everything-by-myself single parent. So when I get offered crazy amounts of work, I take it. Even if it means self care is f*cked. I'm so use to feast or famine when I went back to feast, I hadn't really realised (yes I am this thick) that alcohol in some form or another might rear its 'dodgy-NONcoping-mechanism-head'. And, food, food has been a real substitute for booze and over work. I've put on over a stone in a couple of months. My confidence is down the bog.

The questions just got too much. The justification for NOT drinking got too much.

As I poured a bottle of cheap rose down the sink in my kitchen in December a rather stressful houseful at home, and filled it with diluted berry juice just to 'fit it' and quiet the voices, the irony was not lost on me. Pretending to drink. And pretending to drink something you know no one else would touch with a barge pole. Geniusly f*cked up.

You see its easy to pretend to drink, you're already well skilled at double devious behaviour.

 So sometimes I've fake drunk. Sometimes I've had one glass to shut the idiots in the room up. Overwhelm can be a crazy crazy bitch. At the end of my insane contract period, we took another holiday with some relatives, big wine boozers, but you know kinda snobby with it. So I went all out into buying the cheapest wine possible and making a show of it, so no one would touch it. Its not that I even wanted it. I just wanted to quietly fit in. The rose/juice trick was pulled everyday that holiday and oddly whilst I bought wine everyday I never drank a drop. And, was kind of appalled at our co-hosts drinking. But, like a little lamb, I took to the fold and pretended to join in. I don't really know why. Sometimes being sober isn't easy and when overwhelmed I can't begin to defend my own actions.

I haven't got a lid on that yet. Sometimes I think whilst I know some of the answers, I don't do sober very well. And, those isolating, I'm even a f*ck up at sober words which I know are Wolfie, still hold me hostage and alone. I'm not a good example of a sober girl. I'm just human and I'm learning pretty anxious and pretty vulnerable. I feel unworthy of friendship and I isolate myself very easily. Step aside nothing worth looking at here.

It also seems I don't do drinking very well either and sometimes even fake it. For peace.

But looking over my sober shoulder, sometimes I don't do me very well. But, I am learning. And, I realise none of this makes sense. But, I'm confronting it. Gently.

Works reverted, for a while, to a kind of lovely slow pace. Time to smell sober for a while and work on my coping mechanisms about who I am. And, an ability to open a sober email account and read some mails it would seem is a start.

Thank you for poking and pestering me and throwing me sober blankets and letting me breathe and get here in my own time.

I know I need to find therapy and actively work at things. I mean a bit of drinking is one thing, hard core fake drinking. Seriously, that's insane!? Slowly slowly catchy Wolfie.

Yesterday I had a 'wet the babies head' slurp of wine after work. It was shite. I prefer juice.

Day 1 again. With weaker knees and I know even less about myself. But, I'm here.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Sober escapes

I know I'm bad a month with no posts. Bad Daisy. I hope you're well? Hope you enjoy the holidays.

If I'm totally honest I hate this time of year. Dark nights miserable weather. I'm very grinch like. My children, largely due to logistics and bad ex husband geography spend the larger holidays at their fathers with their extensive family and siblings. And, despite the logic here and skype and everything it sucks rocks. As we lead upto it I try to be jolly and brave, we have fake Xmas and hugs. It still sucks.

It's life. They fill their time with adventures as it should be. I know I'm lucky to have such lovely kids. Sharing them is hard but worthwhile.

Blotting out my own pain well that was much easier with booze. Bit like sweeping your emotions under a giant dysfunctional rug that sits in the middle of your life, festering.

So, second sober Xmas. We were going to be a home, no real plans. But, I started to get panicky. Wolfie (booze voice) started niggling. So I thought to myself how can we turn a bit of negative situation into a more positive one? Something we learn at SMART and something I'm
Learning without booze. What are the positives I can take out of this?

Being alone (without kids) at Xmas means you can do what you want to do right? So I looked in my 'booze account' the money I save by not drinking. Each Day as a pledge to me being sober I put £5 or whatever I feel like into my 'sober savings'. Or I try to. I'm not perfect. It's my ex wine money. It's for treats, for me.

So I looked at that. Just over £150, not drinking certainly adds up, but I've been sucky at treats lately.  Anyway long story short is that I said to my hubby, found an uber cheap trip away for Xmas, no kids, how about we grab it and go? Offering to pay half of my share and abstaining from presents.

So we did!! Booked on Wednesday, left on Friday and here we are, away from everything. Yes I know it's not always advisable to just run away. But I'm telling myself, firstly it's a treat. I couldn't afford to so this if I were drinking. Secondly erm why not, we work hard, kids are sorted and we love adventures.

And I've done lots of sober planning.

Firstly I use to drink alone, so now I have my hubby with me 24/7 - accountability, he knows I don't want to drink, potentially ever. He's got my back.

We are in a hotel (very last minute crazy deal!) with bar and 'credit'. He's been given the 'you're in charge of this' cap to wear. Previously I would have taken that responsibity and gorged myself. I'm allowing someone to look after me. And as we sat in the bar before dinner, I opened the drinks page to see a selection of juices, mock tails and alcohol free beer. Yay!  Although I must say I did open it to scoff and say look, sober people are not catered for! How wrong was I? One virgin mojhito ease monseuir bar tender.

We are on a very active holiday. I can hardly keep my eyes open after 8pm and we are out all day. Also planned, keeping busy is good.

I can't say I've not been tempted for 'just one drink'  but I know it won't stop at that and I don't want any of the crap that goes with it.

And if my head ever waivered I know my hubby is braced for a 'really, second Xmas with no drinking, you really want a drink now?'  Reply.

I've finally given him permission to challenge me, I trust him to look out for me and my sober.

Small steps. So here we are, exhausted, happy and sober Xmas number two underway.  No boozy visitors, no wishing I was joining them. Just some sober recharge time.

I hope you a have a super sober holiday. Celebrating those small sober steps that lead to a happier us.
At home or away look after yourselves.

Xxxxxx
I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Changes and teaspoons.

Its funny when I think about it. Being sober won't change me I thought to myself I'm only losing the booze. Hmm. A bit like a new parent who's life will NEVER change after having a baby, things are very different.

I think for a while now whilst I've been in what feels like 'serious reboot' I've known something is afoot. However I didn't expect that things were really changing. But they seem to be.

Yes still sober. I've had opportunities thrust upon me to drink lately and somehow remarkably sidestepped them.

I've even drunk apple juice from a wine glass and pretended. Yes that's sad. I know don't judge me I am just not ready to come out to everyone. And certainly not drunken (family) strangers in my own house. Sometimes its easier to lick their teaspoon and smile whilst stirring their tea than actually have a fight about things. Especially booze. My husband knew it was juice too and just went with it.

So I'm sober but seem to be emerging from somewhere old into somewhere new. But, I'm not sure where.

I even had a stand up for myself row with my loved ones about my lack of phone. I listened, heard their points and rather than just feel grumpy and bludgeoned I actually said 'Don't push me on this or I will never have one again. Let me do this in my own time, right now I need to disconnect and reboot'. 

I now have a phone, its in the car, and its not connected to the internet. I use it for travelling at my family's insistence. I can see that point. They're taking on board I don't want to be connected to the universe every single second and they have my office number.

You see whilst I'm quite happy to stand up for myself sometimes, even about the smaller things, often or not I'm more of a 'lick your teaspoon' and smile kind of girl. But that's changing too.

Tea anyone.....I'll get you a clean spoon xx




Thursday, 5 November 2015

Coming at you like a Sober Dodo

How to kill a conversation stone dead. Like dodo dodo dead.

Me - Hey look I treated myself to a fitbit thingmy - trying to get a bit fitter.

Friend - Great - wow its ace how do you use it, why did you get it?

Me - Well guess what its a year and a bit since I stopped drinking and I just thought I deserved a treat. I'm feeling much better and thought I'd keep going.

Silence.

From someone who dissects the minutia of our lives normally, silence was as roaring as a charging bull.

More silence. For once I did not offer excuses or did I retrench, I just lent into the silence, waiting for a response. My time to talk and explain, share, confess and really be honest.

Nothing.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, a complete change of topic enchewed. I almost checked my watch to make sure I wasn't in some space time anomaly, which you know happens often in the park. However no Tardis in view. Seems time is perfectly fine.



No darling girl, this isn't going away. But, I'll wait and talk about it when you're ready. I'm already here.

Bit of a monumental one for me. Sad about the Tardis but amazed at my small courage.

Happy sober day. New routine seems to be helping. Thanks for all the cheering from the sidelines.