Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Hunger

It's still there like a sallow wolf, circling my existence. And, with it, the hunger. I'd hoped its clawing tones might leave my ears soon, but its still here. The hunger. I rest, nestled in the safety of the car, speeding through the dark autumnal night air. The trees becoming bare, stark whispers of winter's coming, whilst all around, in this darkness, the hunger surrounds me. 

Where can we buy it? 
When can we drink it? 
When will we be free to envelope ourselves in its liquid release?
Have some at the party? No? Have some ready for private, as a prize for staying sober all night.

The hunger is still here, prickling in my mind, drizzling, cold, full of dread. I'm trying not to listen. But, its here.

And, no more so than this weekend, we're heading to a party, I'm unconfident, I'm out of my comfort zone. My thoughts are preoccupied with the selfish calls of my wine wolf. I'm not sure why. I'm within the safety of my husbands reach, aside the nip of the night air, I'm warm and yet it doesn't stop. This hunger, so seeping, it feels like its dragging my feet downwards into the mist. A few days have passed without the cruel call of this beast. Not tonight. Tonight, I feel its breath on my naked neck. I pull my scarf tighter.

We arrive at the party laden with food and drinks, kisses for the hosts, invited into their home. A little late, but no shame in that. Our plate put on the already laden table. I bring homemade sushi, keeping my fingers and my mind busy earlier. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. The tinkle of glasses, the long elegant stems of sparkling bubbles whisper my name. The wolf is near here, I settle myself at the furthest corner of his den. I find my own corner.

I eat well, I refill my plate and my glass myself. I'm mindful of the chatter around me and engage in conversations as the wolf circles round the room, then back to his layer. Our eyes meet. He's clever this one, but I'm ready. I keep my guard, recharge my glass myself. I eat some more. The hunger abates for a while.

He's clever this one, a malt whisky is let out of its cage. The honey coloured liquid dancing in the crystal glasses, the vapour sneaks around the room like a cheeky imp, smokey and heathery. An old friend, glinting in the half light. The wolf comes to me, calling my name he seeps from the glass, 'You're hungry' he whispers. I know. I'm busy. I need to escape.

I walk through to the kitchen, brandishing a cloth I polish the plates. Wiping each dripping plate until its clean and dry. Over and over, I ignore the wolf.  The laughter gets louder, the music thumping. Its a quarter to ten. Fifteen more minutes. until its safe. Finally time to go.

We leave early, hearty goodbyes, we leave the party in full throws. Wolfie in full voice. Tired we slip through misty streets, all the shops closed. The Wolf's work is done for the day out here. He's locked in houses throughout the lands, keeping his lair warm for those who don't know of his cruel ways.

I relax in the car. The wolf behind me, shops closed, nowhere left to buy wine on the way home. I patiently bide my time.  The hunger is still with me, sadly. This hunger for wine, for drinking, for booze is still here. Some days it shouts more than it should a fierce wolf. Some day's its quieter, more like a mouse. I don't miss hearing it, I hate its clawing calls, I just wish it would abate, for now.

So the hunger is still so fierce. I'm glad its not here howling, the whole time, but he's near and he's watching for me to be weak.

I pull my scarf tighter, I hold my husbands hand. I'm still sober. The hunger didn't get me tonight. I'm using skills learned from you all to feed myself, distract myself, distance myself, keep busy. Arrive late, and leave early. My first proper social gathering of friends, a house party. I still (stupidly) have this hunger for alcohol. I'm thankful of the skills I've newly learnt to sidestep the wolf and the hunger.

I awake today, reflective. I'm not paranoid, wondering how much I drank or what I said. I'm just reflective that after this short time, I'm able to hide from my wolf. My old familiar.

This is new. Its hard, but its new. 57 days, newly sober. I'm alive. And I'm watchful of the wolf I know circling around, watching from afar, waiting for me to stumble.

For your help, your strategies, your advice. 
I thank you. 
I'm grateful I'm not alone with him. 
Or with the hunger.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Day 56 - My Sober Week

Loch Leven at dusk.
Eight weeks today I gave up the booze (again after so so so so so many day 1's) and this time, touch wood, I've got to 56 whole days today. Whoop whooop. I'm trying to learn to see my life a bit differently by taking a photo or two each day to look back on and remind myself of the small things I can/should be grateful for. So this is my sober week. 

So it started lunch out and dusky walks by loch sides, nattering with chums started my week. That was nice. I'm new to this area so more exploring required. Its been a funny week of bursts of activities with far away friends when they're free and lots of down time, due to bad weather, an unenthusiastic heart and tired bones. I started therapy this week, its knocked me for six. All those kind words of perhaps too much too soon, I think you might be right. 
Beautiful sparkly trees.
A trip to the city in the late afternoon, the sun goes down and the city lights up. Whilst I have to admit I really wasn't looking forward to spending time, a/in the city and b/with a chum I find tricky, it was a nice day. What's the phrase you folks have been using? I leant into it. 
The capital gearing up for Xmas, for every one fun stand, a booze stand keeps it company.
Sometimes a change of scene helps put other things into perspective. Normally by this time I'd have been drinking, cosy in my little drinking nest. I'm noticing I'm getting out more, (grumpily) but I am, and often in the early evening when I'd refuse to normally.
A harbour where I use to play as a kid on boats.
My husband returns and we stroll hand in hand along the beach. This is a special place for me. My haven, my port in so many storms. I always come here when I need to think, to grieve, to express joy. So many summers spent here, on boats, on beaches with my grandparents. Its the one consistent place from my childhood in a life with lots of moving. My grandparents, sadly now gone, my rocks, always here. I use my grandma's name for this journey. I know she'd never mind me hiding behind her skirts, peeking out, safe from the world.
My companion walking along the wall towards me, joining me on my journey.
I remind myself its a long road, but there are friends guiding me. OK so this friend is furry, likes bones and doesn't really mind if I'm grumpy, sleepy, sad, dozy, He's always glad to just see me and keep me company on my journey. So many friends I feel I've made so far on this journey out in sober lands (thank you all). So many people who understand. So, whilst I'm alone here, I know I'm not alone on my sober journey. That's so helpful, so encouraging, knowing you're we're all out there. Thank you.
Calm seas, birds calling, a few walkers on the beach, a good place to think.
The week of beaches continue, although the storms start late in the week. One day calm, the next rolling, grey, dark, moody. Less than 24 hours between these photos. Churned up rolling seas after calm. 
Rolling waves, crashing seas, quite a different view from the day before.
Not unlike this journey. Full of ups and downs, surprises and challenges. I found my number yesterday on the beach. I've lived here for 5 months now and never seen this graffiti although its probably been there for weeks, maybe years. Yesterday I saw my number, 55 days sober. So I stopped to admire it, what a bonnie number.
My number on the beach, this made me giggle.
I'd say its a sign, but you know, I'm not sure I believe in that stuff. A good week, hard in places, therapy left me feeling ripped open.  I've slunk into self-preservaton mode a bit the end of this week. I'm back in bed after my husband leaves. Although I eat a hearty breakfast that's for sure. I'm reading, I'm reading more. Finding more sober blogs, looking after myself. Trying new things to see what works. Being easy on myself as I don't know what else to do. 
New to breakfast, I'm concocting various things to go on breakfast bagels!
 My biggest challenge this week is avoiding the rain, not letting the grey dreich weather and landscape ooze into my bones and leave me feeling emotionally emptier than I do already.  But, I tell myself, empty is better than defeated. Surely you can't start to build a proper new life, without clearing out all the crap that sank you before? Some days a walk with the dogs, an appointment out for an hour is all I can do.

So I fill up the fuel tanks of my physical body, I rest it and I care for it. (Did I mention I'm very shiny and clean from all those baths?) Its all I can do, I know I'm not alone. I feel drained and empty but there's not a hangover in there too. That's a good thing.

Not a bad week, therapy knocked me for six, perhaps ramping that down a bit might be the kindest thing to do. I'm OK if the journey is slow, really I am. Its just backwards I'm trying to avoid.

I hope your week was good! I find looking back over pictures on my wee phone and thinking about my week helps me to focus on the small things, which I really should be grateful for along this journey. Like beaches and bagels and happy hounds who keep me company, not minding if we walk or sleep.

Have a great weekend and week ahead, I hope you find lots to make you smile this week and to be grateful for, in the small stuff. Why not take some photos to remind yourself of your journey? xx

Friday, 28 November 2014

Day 55 - Vulnerability and the wholehearted

Hope you're well today? Well, I was at a local 'writing group' last night, free class, lots of aspiring writers and little old me. Lots of angst when I go to these as I don't really feel like I belong. I write, sure, but normally its non-fiction. So I'm always a little out of my comfort zone.  Its all 'premises and adjectives'. Fuck knows what they mean. Personally I just write 'stuff'. Its all stuff. I don't really care how it tumbles out, as long as it gets out of my brain. My reward for going use to be a big fat bottle of wine right after the class finished. Not last night.

I like going as these are people I'd normally have nothing in common with. Its a bit out of my comfort zone, so that's good for me I think. Its free, free is good. But, I feel quite vulnerable when I'm there. I'm dyslexic, diagnosed late, I struggle to read out loud and sentence structure is to me, something that tumbles out like a drunken spider. But, I do OK. Thus far, I've managed. So the idea of me at a writing group makes me somehow smile, its a bit ironic. I struggle so with words. It makes me feel very vulnerable. We agree though, we all like words. They  like their words to be well thought and meaningful. I'm just fucking grateful mine end up on a page. Its why I blog, no angst here about how the words/thoughts are, they just need out of my head. And, I'm so grateful that you'll let me write them. 

I've been on a bit of a vulnerable journey this week, therapy, addicts group session, sharing time with some folks I don't' know so well, sharing time with folks which I know well but are changing, talking more with my husband. Its been quite a vulnerable week, all in all.

Folks at my addict group session were talking beforehand, as I snuck in, car keys in hand, sober treats in the car in a recycled bag, just blown in from Sainsbury's.  I feel as if I get a few 'what are YOU doing here looks'. I'm sure I don't but I don't yet feel very connected in my group and for a rule I always feel like an outsider, so that's me not them. I guess that the 'connections' here, will come in time, I'm new to this and need to give it a chance. But I'm asked to read the opening statement. Now, I really don't read well out loud, like really, I always have. Don't get me wrong, I read ferociously, but that's half the issue my eyes are furlongs away from my mouth when I'm reading. I stumble, I retrace, I fall, I try again. Words dance about the pages and I stumble and falter but eventually sounding like a slow five year old standing in front of the teacher I get there. Eventually. Someone meets my eyes and smiles in a kind of well done kind of way. Well they know that secret now, they know that shame, how much worse can the rest of it be? I relax. Its a good meeting.

Today a friend sent me a link about a TED talk she'd heard recently by Brene Brown (link below). I think its worth a share here. It certainly made me think. She also recommended her book, (photo at top.)

She (Ms Brown) talks about worth v. worthiness, she talks about shame, of being loved and of fear and unconnection.

She studied the difference between those who feel connection and love and tried to understand what lead to their sense of worthiness. The key to this seems to be the sense that its OK to be vulnerable, in fact without vulnerability we may struggle to find true happiness/love/worthiness.

Self love, self worth, whole-heartedness. I'm not sure I have any of that. I'm not sure I want vulnerable, but it seems that without it real connections can't really be made. Compassion to ourselves before others, help, I'm scared.

Vulnerability = beautiful according to Brene. Scares the shit out of me being vulnerable. No siree no vulnerability for me.

But, she suggests we don't generally embrace vulnerability as a society, generally we numb it.

we numb vulnerability

The minute the word NUMB was mentioned alarm bells started in my head. Oh NUMB, I like NUMB, it makes me feel safer, I hide. No feelings please. Much safer, nothing to see here.

But the numbing agents (credit, addictions, food, medication) bite back. 

No feelings means no feelings, no joy, no happiness, no scardeycatpants, no pain, short term fixes leading largely to nothing except shame. And, shame keeps us isolated.

We all know how Wolfie likes shame and isolation.

So that's where I'm at today. Thinking that the very act of saying, I think I have an alcohol problem. Of reaching out, of speaking of connecting, I'm putting my vulnerability on a platter with a side of hope.

With small changes like that, there's always hope.

And with connections there's always friendship and experience.

A sense of belonging.

And gratitude.

And love.

The first steps I guess are showing vulnerability, asking for help, hearing a fellow voice, knowing we're not alone.

For that, I thank you all. And, if you're reading this, feeling alone. Please know that you're not. Reach out.

Words make me feel vulnerable, but without them, scattered over a page, reaching out, spidery sentences, shit grammar and no care for the structure, without them, no one would read. Better that they're out and published, than in and fraughtly stuck in eternal 'edit'. So forgive my tumbled words, like me they're clumsy, but they mean well.

I'll leave you with that TED talk. If you can watch, please try. Maybe its the researcher in her that I like. My inner pragmatist wants everything fixed, a bit like Ms Brown.

BrenĂ© Brown: The power of vulnerability (20 mins, make a cuppa and watch)

BrenĂ© Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

Sober views tomorrow, a week in pics, I'm quite excited about that. Have a great day.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Day 54 - Bloody sober treats

Big fluffy sober treats.
So I'm taking the good wonderful sober advice out there and upping the tools of my sober self to include sober treats, often and liberally applying them. Recondition the brain from seeing wine as a reward, to treating myself nicely, getting a small reward/boost for my sober days. Sounds like a sensible enough plan.

Or I'm trying to.

I'm new to this treats malarkey, whilst its fun and novel and I think it helps, I seem, as always to have taken the thing way seriously.

I'm 'sober-treating' with gusto. Nothing too fancy, but I think about what I'd like to have as a treat for not drinking and I go and make it happen. This is new for me, whilst I'm very likely to find you 'just the thing I know you'd love', I'm not so good at this myself.

I'd rather decided today I was taking it all a bit too seriously when I'd been in the SIXTH shop trying to find an avocado. I was getting overwhelmed about a bloody giant green fruit (not a vegetable) and its technically a berry not a pear, but beleive me on that one. I can argue for hours on what's a fruit and whats not. It sends kids screaming for cover in all directions. I wanted a juicy, large green fruity-not-a-vegetable berry which is great with a dash of Worscester sauce and a dollop of tabasco, apply teaspoon. YUM.

I wanted an avocado, just one, that's all I wanted. We're both clear on this now, right? I thought to myself, no one else likes them. I'll get one, maybe two for me. They're yummy. But, its my treat.

When you start 'internet trawling' to find out which store might have them you know you've kind of hit ridiculus. Bloody sober treats, do they need to be THIS hard.

My angst was getting the better of me. It was like an avocado induced frenzy in the end. I still haven't managed to find one. NOT EVEN ONE.  Maybe avocados are now extinct? I guess I missed that on the local news? Maybe its just in Scotland. Oh crap.

So I returned home today with a big fluffy towel. Not a fruit, not a vegetable, not anything else edible. A towel. My brain confuses even me. How did I get from avocado to towel.

My thoughts were..... 

Well if I can't have a goddam avocado, I'll have a big pink (who knows why) fluffy towel, my sober towel. I'm in the bath a lot early evening and have my podcast, my bubbles and my bath like a super-sober-regime. So a big fluffy new towel sounded like a cool plan. Why pink, I've no idea I'm not a girly girl by any stretch of the imagination. But I wanted pink. So I step into the rainbow towel aisle of my local big superstore.

So which was the ONLY colour on the shelf they didn't have, pink. So I face a choice, think up ANOTHER sober treat or buy a towel of a different colour. 

I'm not the most patient shopper, so a steely granite grey towel of epic fluffy magnitude was thrust forthright at the unmanned till. No where near PINK, very elegant grey. Just like the one at the top, its beautiful.

A perfect sober treat.

Muttering to myself (It's not an avocado, but it will do, its lovely, purr purr, its so soft) I learnt two things about myself today. I'm quite strict with my interpretation of tasks when set by other folks. Or even by myself. I need to lighten up more and go with the flow. Avocado, towel, book, candle, fruit, fluffy whatever. Sober treats are treats. You can allow yourself to be flexible with the idea of them. Unlike last week when I threw a strop with myself because I couldn't find exactly the colour/species of lily I wanted to have. Seriously does it matter? A bit but not enough to not do it. Less control required. Will anyone die if the treats are not 'just so'. NO. Is it better to treat yourself than go without cos you can't find exactly what you want. YES. 

[As I type this my inner control freak is certainly not pleased with that outcome. Neither I suspect is Wolfie who loves it when we just don't/can't take care of ourselves. AKA 'if that's the not the treat you want then that sucks big time, stupid idea treats, get something else get something you'd like. We know you like wine, get some wine.'] Is Wolfie trying to steal my treats and my sober?

Secondly, I'm not seeing wine as a treat. SHHHH. I'm just whispering it. I'll say it quietly. I'm not seeing wine as a treat. Not today.

Like not really at all. Not wine, wine is not a treat. For now, its to be treated (pardon the pun) like plutonium or kryptonite. I don't trust the stuff. Whatever you do, don't tell Wolfie. Infact I've started calling it - 'head-fuck-juice'. Add a skull and crossbones logo, and we're done with that for now. Toxic stuff. Handle with care, infact, just don't handle. Not today. 

Much safer with a wrong colour (yet epically fluffy) towel, that should have been an overly ripe perfect for eating, avocado. Treats is treats, I remind myself. Apply often, apply frequently, go with the flow, as long as you get one.

Much safer, neither of them can be poured on my head, neither of them make me feel like shit.

Now, if I'd found an avocado towel, like this one. Well that would have been super cool.  Still no need for a spoon though huh?

I guess I should write a sober treats list and just pick them off one by one, as and when they appear, rather than hunting them into extinction. Until then, you might find me under a mountain of big fluffy towels. Just don't tell Wolfie. Shh.

Lighten up on what the treats are though sober lady!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Day 53 - Unsettled, snake head lady.

Now, I use to wonder why I drink. Happy life at home, wonderful kids, nice man (finally) in my life now is good. Beforehand not so much on the happy front, but hey, you get on with it don't you along that rocky road to happiness. Divorce, single parent of two toddlers, somehow you get through it all. Yes its lonely, yest its hard, often there's little support. But always there's wine. Magical switch off juice, get through the day juice. But we know that. We know we use it to cope.

And yet I sat there in the local addictions office, on the first visit saying, I've no idea why I drink, I have a happy life, I should be happy. Like REALLY happy, which I have bursts of, don't get me wrong but inside, am I happy, erm no. I'm the anti-of-happy.

Now that's not fair, I think I'm 'fake-happy' which is kind of like a fake tan done well, if you do it well, sometimes you can't tell the difference between them. I get plenty of 'I wish I had your life' comments from friends. And, its true, I have two cracking kids, I have a man who (for some reason unknown to me) loves me and all my wee faults, we've just moved into our 'forever home' after years of living apart and renting. From the outside, my life looks pretty good. I've been given as long as I need to find work, settle in and just be.

And, there in lies the problem, just 'be'. Just 'being' gives time for my head monsters to wake up. I prefer busy. Like really busy, burn out busy, can't stop to take your breath busy. My friends joke I have no off switch (how ironic, if only they knew) I'm up and go, fall into bed sleep, repeat. I don't do chilling, I don't do meditation, I just cant. I have ants-in-my-pants epic gigantic, can't-stop-syndrome.

So as I sat in my first proper 'therapy' session yesterday, I guess the minute we start talking about those relationships around us, to an outsider, and (doh) to me it becomes apparent, lifes not quite the roses round the door it looks like, even to me. Yes its hard sometimes, yes its difficult juggling but now is good. Tricky but good. The yesterdays, the long agos, the path to here not so much.

Infact, the yesterdays were generally a pile of crap. I'm not really sure I want to dig all this stuff up again.  Like really, I left the session in absolute bits. I don't do 'bits', I don't normally cry, I'm just not like that. But no, not yesterday. It was like someone had opened a can of hissing snakes and told me, times up, see you next time. I get there's limited time for these sessions, I do. But, wholly crap, if ever there was a day I felt like saying FUCK IT and get a bottle, no make that two bottles of wine, it was yesterday. I've never felt so exposed in my life yet there I was telling a stranger, nope its not all roses. I gave freely but the snake pit in my head is now open.

I know it was shite, my life before I became me, this me, this grown up me. I know that. I see the evidence all around me. Mostly I hide from it. I hide in wine, I smile all day long, I do the stuff I think a normal family does, then I hide in wine.

But, my grandad use to say, can you mend the rotting walls without taking the roof off? To be honest I find selotape and patching works just fine. Cue smiling at the outside world and hiding with wine.

So I tottle off home, with a car full of snakes tumbling out of my head.

I stop and buy food, I don't I notice stop at the supermarket, I stop at a a wee farm shop with no licence. I buy meat, I buy a really expensive cordial. I get dog bones, I buy chocolate.

I put the stove on in the kitchen, tell myself through teary eyes I need to eat. My mind fleetingly mentions the cider and wine in the shed up the back of the garden on a high shelf. Oh, I'm good, it needs a ladder, there are no lights, so daylight is the only safe time to retrieve it. However, I remind myself this is his special birthday wine and its not mine, its expensive and right now, it can stay there.

I pour some water and eat some fruit. Later I tell the Wolf, if I want wine I can have some later.

My husband arrives home, aware of my red rimmed eyes and nervy manner. Not quite the homecoming he'd hoped for I'm sure. But we hug and natter about his trip. Hot drinks, I find myself saying 'we've run out of blah blah blah'. I might nip to the supermarket. (Alarm bells are deafening the snakes in my head) He wants to come, he's jetlagged and tired, almost spaced, but he comes all the same. 

Lingering in the wine aisle, why am I here? Thirsty snakes. That's why I'm here. Thirsty thirsty snakes rioting in my head.

Later, I tell myself he'll be out of it early, come back later if you want wine. Get him settled.

Early supper, bed by 7pm, my husband snores like a beast in my new, comfy, sober bed. An interloper in my sober space. I'm wondering why I didn't persuade him to sleep in our main bedroom.

(its not like its his house or anything!)

A voice in my head tells me, my sober space is ruined. Which is bollocks, there's a lovely, knackered man in there. Yes he's snoring like a train, but he's allowed.

The urge to get wine is compelling. Too dark to go to the shed, I could go to the shops. 

Later says the kinder voice in my head. Go later. Have a bath.

So, the sober routine starts. I get the bath ready, full of bubbles. I get my phone out, I put Belle's voice on ready to hop in. Sober bath, podcast (audible above the snoring but only just), someone in my head feeds the snakes, they settle for now.

Towel dry in front of the fire. PJ's and quick call to a friend, then a bit of a book for now.  I'm looking at the time. Its nearly 8.30pm. I have a choice here. Belle's invited some of us for a group call. It starts at 9pm, I call or I drink. Its that simple in my head. The shops close at 10pm. Its been a while since the 10pm thing really got to me watching the minutes go by until its 'safe' and I can't drink.

Yes there's wine in the shed, but its dark, I'd break my neck.

Call or drink. 

Belle won.


Scary, calling into a group with someone who's voice is so familiar, but it was just the ticket. She asked if the sober podcasts help. There was a bit of chat, I couldn't really find my voice. What I think I wanted to say was. They do and here's why. 

No one understands, unless you've had that voice, these thoughts, those compulsions, no one else gets it. Just open a bottle, just have a glass. Do they say to cocaine users, just have a small bit, you'll be OK? Erm no. SO when someone like Lucy Belle or MrsD, Un-Pickled or any of the other fabulous (and you all are, sorry if I didn't put you in those links!) sober bloggers tells you how stupid the idea of drinking really is, of giving up your sober momentum, you know they're speaking the language you understand. They get it. And, that's why podcasts help. That's why sober treats help, that's why each day makes you stronger. Its why you need sober-first-aid whilst the rest of the world looks on thinking EH?

Clearly I need a sober first aid kit for right after the therapy sessions. I know the walls need mended, I know somehow I need to take the lid off of whatever it is that makes me crazy and want to drink. But, wholly fuck, someone please quieten the snakes down until we can rehome them.

And if I've not implemented something for myself by next Monday in time for Tuesday, do me a favour and slap me hard with a very spiky wet fish. Like honestly knock me out.

I get that I need to somehow work on the 'not' drinking bit. I thought, I think, if I'm honest, therapy might help, its early days. Wasn't ready for the snakes though. Fuckers.

They nearly stole my sober.

This sober suit I talk about, my sober outfit. One day I'll post up a diagram. But, for now. I think I need to add 'NET' to it. Bastard head snakes.

Now, I'm not critisizing the therapist, we have limited time, she doesn't know me. But, maybe I shared just too much, enough to let those snakes out before I had a way of dealing with them.

Or did I? That tiny voice in my head tells me. But, you didn't drink. Snakes and all. Tears, snot and all. Not bonnie but you didn't slurp back the magic red juice. You didn't pour wine on your head.

All I know is that right now, I'm shovelling all the more sober tools on myself, into my kit bag. Without them, the limited ones I've gained so far, yesterday I would have been fucked.

For that I thank you all, for the tools I've got so far. More to come.

PS I signed up for Lucy's great looking online course for $10 (£6.57, the cost of not even a very posh bottle of wine) which is on offer  until Friday here.Special rate until the 29th Nov.

DO IT! x

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Day 52 - My sober car

Avoid overload.
So yesterday I got stopped by the police doing  winter checks and reminding folks about our change in drink driving laws. From the 5th December in Scotland our limits are reduced down to 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml blood, more about that here. I was also asked if I'd been drinking the night before and asked if I minded to do a breathiliser test. It was negative. 53 days ago, I don't quite know that might have turned out if tested in the morning. A stark reminder of a different life. OK so I'm in very early shoogly peg (wobbly) recovery, but I'm grateful I'm here. And, as it turns out aside a slightly worn back tyre, my car is road worthy for winter. 

It got me thinking though about being sober right now and how it changes things. And, it got me thinking about drinking and how that went too.  My little car was on the road like any other when I was drinking. Aside from it looking like it needs a wash (still does) no one could tell how it was on the inside. Just like me. It functioned quite well, but don't look too closely and see the chaos. It got me to work, the kids to lessons, functions, events, it picked up the shopping, it went to walk the dogs. It functioned. And quite well at that. It held down two jobs, it studied and it also made a mean organic dinner, often grown from scratch. It was an all singing, all dancing, don't look too close or you might see the sellotape holding it altogether kinda life. 

The inside of my car was and still is a mess. There's paperwork in pockets and underseats. Things I've not dealt with. I hide things rather than deal with them. Which, having read Prim's post yesterday here, I realised you have to work at these things to make them slowly go down. I'm a head in the sand kind of girl, I need to slowly start working on that as it does overwhelm me. Anyway back to this car. So its a little dusty and untidy. There are shopping bags in the boot half full of random stuff from the last time it was hastily tidied out. Some days its like carnage in there, chaos. Other days if I take some time its tidier and I find things I thought I'd lost (or hidden) like my tax return. Unposted. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. 

I remind myself gently that yes, I'm an idiot, but I'm changing slowly. I also remind myself entropy is the second law of thermodymamics, everything reverts to its natural chaotic state. That's surely true of my car. But, its functional, it works, it  gets me from place to place. But only just, its badly needing some love.

My sober car is alot like myself, a person who drank to much. You (generally) turn up just in the nick of time, often under-prepared (or just done enough), on the surface you're clean and tidy, the kids are fed and watered, school work is done, life happens. You do walks, and cook tea and bath them, nag them about their homework, Your hair is brushed hasitly, earrings are in. ON the surface, you look largely like everyone else in the supermarket/office/life. But, underneath it all is the daily struggle to just live, the chaos of a late night drinking or an early morning trying to get rid of the evidence. Sleeping badly, waking with a headache, just getting through until you can open the wine again and it all starts again the next day, you get up, get the kids sorted, you go to work often really hungover, you make it through each day holding on with your fingernails. A bit like Lucy's post suggests here.

Chaos abounds in my life, but its comfortably hidden under 'coping'. Its only now, a month in from taking multi-vitamins, a month in from eating proper breakfast, a month in from picking my sober self off the sofa bed where I'd been hiding all day in bed, reading sober stuff. A month of actually caring about myself and not just functioning. I see the cut corners, the chaos, the list of endless things started and not quite finished because I'd opened some wine.

Let me tell you 52 days into being sober, I've only had the urge to clean ONCE, my house is not clean, in fact its tidy but needs a good go over with the hoover. Hey ho, I guess a sort out is long over due. Not just in my car but in my life. Rather than just functioning, I think its time to start working on finishinig those million wee things I've started. But, slowly. Overwhelm is not my friend right now.

I think to be fair, having had the shame of the boot being opened and a myriad of 'stuff and clutter' shoved in the boot rootled through to get to my spare tyre. Yes officer can you hold, one dozen egg boxes (given to me in July), a pair of wellies, sorry two pairs, yes they are sandy aren't they, a garden fork, axe, gloves, 10 lumps of drift wood, a muddly jumper, a sandy towel, an umbrella and a not quite black yet banana, yes I think you'll find my spare car tyre under that lot. No kitchen sink today, but just about everything else and quite a lot of stuff I'd lost. 

'You might want to think about sorting this lot out, what if you get a puncture late at night' says the friendly cop. I don't get a ticket, just told about the new driving limits from 5th Dec, which I'm proud to say I knew already. 

I drive off in my slightly shabby, needing a wash car, just like everyone else. Its functional, but I think its about time I gave it a bit of a sort out and some TLC. A bit like me. Slowly does it eh. Avoiding overload at all costs.

Oh and I must get some multivitamins, for me, not the car silly.

Day 52 and the man I share my life with also returns tonight.

Sober wife, didn't go on a bender whilst he was away. She's lost 3 lbs.
Sober mum, touching base anytime they wish (or not!).
Sober girl, enjoyed some city time with her pal yesterday, out of her sober nest. And, that was OK.

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.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Day 51 - Snapshots

I wonder how much of our lives we actually share with other people. I wonder if the snapshot they see of us is anything like the way we see ourselves. I also wonder, like yesterday when I spent the day with two of my favourite people, if I see what they think I see.

Nonsensical - probably but I'll explain. I see a happy couple very much in love, great friends, confidants and a pair who live life to the max.  We usually get together and have boozy weekends. How we laugh. These two don't have a drinking problem like I did. They just have fun.  They don't worry. They don't booze.

My friend is currently making a cartwheeling round Scotland calender for her mothers next birthday. My friends passion for life is infectious, but even on this one I had to say, erm, what? What are you doing you insane girl?

'Well you see, she can't cartwheel anymore and she doesn't get about much, so I thought what a great idea'.

Great idea indeed. The abundance with which some folks live their lives is mind blowing and infectious. We meet up for lunch, we walk (we cartwheel (?)) and we chat and chat and chat. The kind of 'how are you's' that are really asking rather than 'air kissing'.  We exchange news good and bad. We swap photos. Its six months since we've sat in the flesh together.  They invited me for a weekend to stay, a wee while back. In my new sober life, I declined nicely, I didn't think I could stay and be sober.

We walk more, 6 miles in total. The light is going we retreat for a cuppa and cake before we part.

We talk merrily for hours laughing like beasts. I don't share my sober stuff. No one really knows I drank, well that's my opinion anyway although we've spent some seriously boozy weekends together. But, this lass knows that I'm easily pulled out of a hedge when falling into it drunk, she recused me one xmas on the way home from the works party. We've been firm friends ever since. Although to be fair we bonded way before the hedge incident.

The chat turns to Xmas plans as it inevitably does at this time of year. We're all at home, we make plans for a walk between the holidays.

'Now you mind out for hedges this Xmas' she says grinning 'You know how they like to attack you!!'. 

The perfect opportunity presents itself in safe surroundings, to mumble.

'Ha bloody ha, well, dearie I've not had any wine for weeks and weeks and weeks, I'll have you know'.

It turns out, you know what, neither had they. SHOCKER.

'HA! US TOO! We didn't want you to think we'd got boring. Why do you think I'm so skinny, we gave up 6 months ago! Drinking far too much, got far too boozy for far too long, got a bit worried. Life's too short to feel rotten and guess what, I've lost my wine belly!'. she retorts.

Not the cartwheeling it seems, this svelte new figure. Although we both agree cartwheeling with a hangover, isn't fun.

This pair could never be boring. Not in a million years. Sober or otherwise. But I'd never had them down as boozers.

That was a shock. Age, me dear gives those of us with a taste for wine to develop nasty headaches and hangovers. It puts the beef on us too. We worry about our health. All good reasons to give up we agree.

We carry on drinking tea. Like always. Laughing. Sober. I'm relieved in an odd way, and they say come and stay for supper next week. Stay over, we'll walk the next day.

You know what I think I will.

As we part, she laughs and says, 'Erm we'd brought this for you' - hand offers a bottle of red with a bow on it. 'Don't supposed you want it either?' - NO THANKS!

We laugh and she says she'll pop it into her neighbours, as they don't want it in their house either. Changed days.

So my small sober stuff is out there, in a small way. In real life, opportunities to share, or not share, present themselves. Making one step towards my first 100 days a bit easier.

Of course they don't know the extent of my drinking, I had no clue about theirs really. How could we, we don't have X-ray vision. We usually wore our wine-goggles.

They're doing it together. That made me think. My husband know's I've given up for a bit but not the extent of my own story. How can I ever say, you know these 12 years you've known me. Well I've been utterly minced for most of the nights. Like rat-arsed. Yes really. Did he know, I don't think so. 

Only last night when I said, no wine this weekend, he told me, I don't think you have to stop forever you know, a glass of wine to relax is OK you know but if you're feeling better for it then great. Its not like your wine is like my crisps (they sing to him from the cupboards, sound familiar?). I say nothing, or make a joke about sometimes the wine sings but its a lousy tune.

Goes off to ponder that one. Can you really recover in private, knowing that you might take a drink and launch yourself down a rollercoaster of despair. If your loved one doesn't know to say 'Please don't' or in Bea's case today 'NO!' how can they properly support you? When you feel weak.  

So it got me thinking again and again. Can you truly celebrate sobriety privately from those closest to you?

I don't know. Not long term I guess, in the short term, you just do what you can to get by each day. That's all I have.

All I know is that the lies and the hiding what I was drinking, for now, is behind me. Oh the lies. EPIC lies. But they're not in my life any more.

Sober for now and still bending the truth about that one to most folks, including my husband, is probably where I am about that. It maybe aint right, but that's the snapshot, for now.

Small steps forward, that's all I can do. And, open up about it all when I feel safe enough to. One day people, one day.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

50 things that are better when you don't drink

So I thought none of these were true, turns out when you stop drinking for a while, most of them come true. When you stop drinking -

1 - You have a magical free hand. Yes your magnetic wine-glass-hand-attachment disorder which usually starts at 5pm most evenings, heals itself. You can carry on and use two hands all evening.
2 - Your pee doesn't smell of wine/beer/booze. You know it did.
3 - You develop life skills that you had forgotten, such as eating breakfast. In the morning. This was a shock to me. I thought it was only a legend I'd read in books.
4 - You can drive anytime day or night. Getting midnight icecream is now much much easier, safer and legal.
5- You spend less on painkillers. More money to spend on flowers, candles and chocolate.
6- You don't hate yourself quite as much as you thought. Yes really, its true.
7- Your recycling bin never seems to fill up as quick. And those late night recycling trips, walking the dog, hiding the bottles, they're no more. (expect the dog to sulk)
8 - That voice in your head is nicer to you. And, quieter. Its KIND. Really kind.
9- Opening your phone/email/fb account doesn't fill you with dread every morning. Although your boss might miss the 'I love you/I hate you' mixed messages you normally send.
10- You go to bed instead of slumping on the sofa. Every night. I know, crazy eh?
11- You don't say so many things in anger, or because your 'sensitive button' is switched to 'who gives a shit, get me more wine'. You're kinder.
12-Your legs work at bed time. Who knew that was even an option. I always thought my legs stopped working about 6 glasses in.
13- Your wallet isn't so empty. And, if it is, its because of sober treats. That's really cool.
14- You follow through more. Its confidence building.
15- You can rely on yourself. Really rely on yourself.
16-You realise you're not alone. There's a whole sober world, with facts, help and love out there.
17- You find out that Wolfie, that wine guzzling voice in your head isn't just heard by you. And let me tell you that voice is a real tosser.
18- You take time to look after yourself. When did you last do that?
19- You find your patience. Under the sofa, behind the sock, telephone, covered in fluff, there it is.
20-You listen better. Without a mega phone pointed at you.
21- That paranoia, that's plagued you for years, slowly dissipates. Its a nice feeling.
22- You find sober friends and know you're not alone. Like really NOT ALONE. And who your real friends are.
23- You realise that your bathroom is really a secret haven. Like your bedroom, its there to give you calm space, time to think and relax. It helps you to switch off.
24- You sweat less, like really. Enough said about that one.
25- You discover CHOCOLATE. It loves you too.
26- You LIE less. Even just to yourself.
27- You don't spend your morning apologising to friends for your drunken calls/texts/behaviour.
28- You discover SLEEP. Its like the best thing ever.
29- Your confidence increases. Slowly but it comes.
30- You discover hangovers aren't normal. Who knew that?
31 -Your more thoughtful to yourself and others around you. Instead of thinking about drinking, all the bloody time.
32- You discover you have boundaries, instead of pushing everyone elses you also respect them too.
33- You learn you just aren't a superhuman, you can't do everything and that's OK. PS other people aren't super human either. Who knew?
34- You don't die if you don't drink even just for today. The alternative isn't worth thinking about.
35- You smile, and mean it. Not just at cute pictures of cats on facebook, but in real life too.
36- You appreciate other people more. Not just when they turn up with two bottles instead of one.
37- You don't have so many last minute dashes to the shops for wine emergencies. (See no 13)
38- You see a whole movie. Who knew these things weren't serials, which we never ever see the end of.
39- Your ability to bullshit decreases. And, your ability to listen to it when someone's been drinking also decreases See no 40.
40- You talk less shite. Or at least its more articulate shite now you're sober.
41- You enjoy food rather than using it to settle your stomach. Food is good not just a hangover cure.
42- You learn what pride is. Not just for a group of lions.
43-You know you can reach out and people will hear you. And support you.
44- You understand that the cycle alcohol misuse isn't easy to break. But, it can be done. With help and sober tools.
45- You learn about true real friendship and support. Its a beautiful thing.
46- You discover you can read at night time without the words going all squirly. Its true.
47- You no longer have to go to various 'shops' to buy wine so no one suspects you've got an issue.
48- You don't wake up at 4am paranoid and sweating, needing a drink and painkillers. I never knew sleep went on til day light.
49- You learn about the sober world, sober tools and its epic. Who knew it was there? Hello Sober World. Hello sober love.
50- You find out there are a billion things better than drinking. A cool list to a gazillion of them here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a whole list of things to do rather than drink. Like stamp on grapes in the bath, wear a tiara, knit with spaghetti. Scratch your arse, Anything is better than drinking.

All better than when you're drinking.

Thank you all for your support on my 50 days.

New eyes, new ears, still cautious and scared, but happy to be sober.

Night night sober world.

Day 50 - Keep calm and abandon ship.

Now, hoping you're well today. Almost 12 hours between posts, you'd almost think I was obsessive or something. My sober diary here is helping me enormously so I'm glad I started it. So, its DAY 50, can you hear the pride? Its making me all warm and fuzzy inside. Like really. I'd never thought I'd be so proud, I've been rolling around in 'meh-ness' in my head. Telling myself not-drinking didn't deserve praise or joy (for me, not any of you lovely folks out there being sober) Right now I'm wondering if that was the sneak of the week Wolfie? Has he been telling me that its no biggie not to drink? Has he been the one lolling on the chair like a sulky teenager saying 'so what, so what, so what....?' is 'normal people don't make a fuss of this, they don't think not drinking is a good idea'. Well Wolfie if that was you, now I'm officially angry. This feeling that this is a big deal has been creeping up on me for a day or so now.

Happy [insert your number here] Day to you!! Happy 50th Day to me, hooray there I said it. [Happy 50th to AEG too, my sober twin!!]

So for my big 5-0 I'd decided that there was an Abba tribute band locally and my treat was to get a ticket to see it. OK so I don't know many folks around and those I did know were busy so I thought sod it, I'm going.  And, in the back of my head I had the voice saying, 'you can always leave, that's OK'.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Not the night I'd planned at all.

Well I got into an almost empty hall, at 8pm (thinking it started at 8pm that's what the ticket said). Fizzy wine at the door, side stepped that, I'm driving so that's not a big deal. When I'm rational, I don't drink and drive. Lets just leave it there. And plonked myself down at a large table, in a cavernous hall, with a huge 'kitty' (big pot of drinks money) getting assembled at the table next to me. 'Is £30 enough?' 'That'll do the now' There were 6 of them, so that's (using fingers and toes here) £180 quid in a pint glass on the table. Now I'm not being judgmental here, at all but in the 3/4 of an hour whilst I sat sipping my juice, they got 3 rounds in. A round every 15 minutes. Wowser. Would I have been the same, probably.

Am I super sensitive to alcohol now, no I don't think so. But, it seemed a lot so maybe I am. All of a sudden the hall filled a bit more with quite loud folks. I'm guessing a few beers, that's OK, they're on the other side of the room. 

And then a group of gals plonked themselves by me 'nelly-no-mates' and said hello. They were a bit wobbly, a bit merry and quite chatty.  I can do chit chat, I don't find it comfy but I can do it. I had this strange notion that the place would be smaller, cosy and I'd stand at the back watching the band feeling the love and singing along. It wasn't really like that. But, maybe that was sober me just feeling a bit out of sorts being out on my own. 

The band started, great vocals and banter. And then the dragging up started. Now, I'm OK with limited audience participation, as long as its not too near me. I'm not a 'part-ic-patory' kind of a gal. One of the singers got some of the louder lasses up, much bouncing and dancing, quite sweet really.

Then the dragging up into a big circle began. Then the hand holding began. Drunken hand holding.

Now I'm really not very good with drunk folks. I can hear the irony here. But, I'm not a touchy, feely, handy-holdy kinda gal. In fact I hate it unless its with folks I know and trust and like.

I'm all for enjoying myself but strangers wrenching my arms into the air and trying to hug me, not so good at. The band were good, but not great and the 'audience part-ic-ipatory' stuff seemed to be part of the act.

Brain saying 'abandon ship, abandon ship' - small voice saying 'aw man this is our 50 day treat'. The voices were'nt wrong, neither of them. But, hey you can't win them all. Going to a band for a treat, was a great idea, this WASN'T with bells on.

Jacket, retreat, home via shop, I bought almonds and yoghurt and noodles. Don't ask me why. Is this rescue food?  All I know is that its 9.49 and normally I'd be running at breakneck speed towards the wine aisle before it shut. Not today.

HOME! Home is safe and cosy and people don't want to hold your hand. EUW. I know I'm being a bit silly here but I tried, it didn't work. At least I tried. And, I knew when to leave, still not good with drunk folks, and hand holding with strangers. Never have been, probably never will be. And, man do they talk shite over and over again.  I probably use to too.

So on with the fire at 10pm, hot chocolate almonds in a pretty bowl, 'Mamma Mia' on DVD.  Safe, cosy Abba fix. Fab. No hand holding. Phew.

Happy 50th to me. What a waste of a ticket, but at least I tried eh? I'm not sure I'll do that again!

You live and learn. And, its OK. Its OK to just leave. Go. Vamoose. Skidaddle. Drive off at speed (under the speed limit obviously) and go home.  Abandon ship. Its your sober get of of jail free card.

That's OK. Belle said a while back, can't remember which podcast, that its OK to leave when you're out and other folks aren't sober and you just want to go home. And, it is.

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.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Day 49 - My sober week

Seven weeks sober. Day 49. Wowser.
Each Saturday another week rocks up, thankfully, sober. I like using this post once a week to look at my week and think about the small stuff and the bigger stuff. To show myself, quite frankly, that life isn't shit. Its beautiful and bonnie and to be enjoyed, not wasted away by drinking, feeling shit, drinking some more, feeling 'shitter'. I like to see my number (like I do when I log into Living Sober!), so I wrote it today on the beach a few miles from where I live. I'm so lucky, we're in an area with abundant beaches. Seven weeks ago, 49 days ago, I just couldn't see the point, or the joy in any of this. So I had to change. 
Sober treats
One thing I've noticed on this 49 day journey is that sleep, is very important. I've improved my sleeping space dramatically. For the first month of being sober, we literally slept in the living room, cosy in front of the tv on a sofa bed. Now, I've created a wee sober haven in the spare room. I think it looks quite bonnie. The words on the wall are a quote from a song I love. 'If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world.
Walking, walking and more walking.
This week I've started to up my exercise again. My jeans don't fit. Like REALLY don't fit. My appetite is much healthier now that I've stopped the wine, so I need to start a bit of gentle exercise. But, I'm not rushing into it, I'm sort of allergic. I have a very lazy gene.
I've also been doing a lot of gardening. Its one thing that I'd really let slip over the months with drinking. So now I'm up and out when I get some free time. This week I allowed myself a whole day to myself. Some of it I spent in the garden working on my veg patch. Some I spent walking. I gave myself permission to just enjoy it and not fret. For once, it seemed to work.
Walking at the beach gives me a chance to clean my welly's. Well that's what I tell myself.

The light is going so quickly at the moment, I can't stand it if I'm honest, so I've tried to shake myself up into a routine where I tidy (a bit) and do chores (even less) in the early evening when the wine bells start clanging. I'm also not managing to sleep early so if I'm restless, I do a bit more. Or I read, or I watch some TV. Listen to the Bubble Hour, listen to Belle. Anything to keep me busy.
Sober treats, apply liberally and often. Bunch of flowers, less than a bottle of wine. NO empty calories, unlike the wine.
I also met my therapist this week, and I went to a group session for SMART recovery. I keep loading up the sober tool box, it doesn't seem to be full yet. So I'm just adding bits where I can without feeling too overwhelmed. So far, so good. I enjoyed the session with the group folks, although the dynamic this week was different there seemed to be a bit of an atmosphere. One person was very loud, dominating the discussion, I guess they needed to be and to share like that, are you allowed to say that? I was glad of a walk afterwards to clear my head and think of the work we did today.
If you were to name your top five important things in your life what would it be? This is interesting.

Almost ten folks in the room, all named the usual 'family, kids, job, work, holiday, pets, etc'. Not one of us named our 'substance of choice there in our top five most important things for our lives' and yet my wine often came above all of those five important things. And my boozing could have made me lose all five of my most important things.  If my wine isn't important to my core happiness, why have I let it dominate my happy things. That was something to think about. 

I found NO on the beach. Just in the nick of time.
I thought about moderation this week and wondered if it could work for me. As I walked on the beach (and I swear this is true) I found a bit of washed up pottery telling me not to be so stupid. Moderation and I are not friends. I still feel very odd thinking about 'never' drinking again. It funckles up my brain cogs. [Funckles is a new word, do you like it?] 
Keeping busy during the wine hours, I chop wood and to reward myself after a lovely sober bath, I lounge in warmth.
I'm still home alone, my partner is still away for work. I thought about the fact that I'd planned an epic bender for this week when he was away. One week has turned to two and now to three. A small part of my brain is telling me I'm an idiot for not using this time, this guilt free time, to drink. I refer the small idiotic voice to the pottery (up there). 
Fierce looking dog capable of seeing off Wolfie. Honest. 
 Truth be told I'm more than a bit scared as to how that might have turned out. 2-3weeks uncontrolled drinking. No rules, no job, no boundaries. Yes the voice of unreason in my head, that Wolfie voice, is saying, it would have been epic. Just drink, he's still not home. Why not.
Its still a moron as you can hear. I refer it to the pottery in the kitchen 'NO'. And tell it I'll set the dogs on him.  Or maybe I'll just let him eat the sheep in the sink. 
Our resident sheep needed a wash. Yes I know I need help. Who knew I had a sense of humour.
So week seven, day 49. Sunshine and showers. Beaches and gardens. The voice is still here. That's for sure, but I'm using the wise words from Belle of 'oh just piss right the fuck off'. In what universe Wolfie would this scene here, at the beach, be better with a fucking hangover???? Go away.
He only understand swearing, I'm sure of it.
The sober garden.
And, I've been busy. Man have I been busy. Rather than see the weeks with my partner away as time to drink. I've used it as time to think. I've also used it to get on with my veg patch. I've hauled sleepers, I've lifted turf, I've laid matting and sworn when the gales took it off up the garden. I laid it again. I swore more when I realised I didn't like where the main path was, and moved it a foot the other way. I've dug beds, cut down trees (chainsaw yay!!), chopped wood, hacked shrubs. Its been fun.  I have learned a few things doing this, sober, no hangover. 

I'm stronger than I thought.
I'm OK on my own.
I appreciate the beauty around me.
Its also OK to enjoy spending time alone. 
Others peoples agenda's aren't the same as mine.
I don't like to ask for help, but I'll take it now and again. (But not in my garden.)
If its not right, don't put up with it, change things.
Sober treats are good.
Not drinking is hard, but I'm not dead yet.
Drinking right now, not a good idea for me.
I don't want to drink today.
Dogs don't like gardening, except digging.
I'm losing some friends, they don't get this me. I don't either but I'm going to take a chance on her.
I miss my kids, but that's normal. Drinking a gallon of wine every night, because I miss them, unhelpful.

So that's my seven sober days. I really hope yours were good, hopeful, warm, friendly, supported, sleepy and full of love.

PS, I'm starting to be proud of that number and not just see it as something 'normal' people do, not drink. I started resenting that I couldn't drink normally. Now, I'm proud that I've managed for these days. Actually proud. That's a huge change in me.

For that and your ongoing love and support, I thank you. xx

PS and in a small voice, I have a 'just for fun' facebook page. I've had it for yonks. If you do want to link up please have a peek. No pressure. I don't share my name on there just crazy pics of gardens and beaches. Oh and chickens. My friends and some folks interested in random stuff use it, they don't know I'm getting sober, so I trust you'll be kind if you stop by. I guess more sober life in virtual lands can't be a bad thing?