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.


  1. Wow Daisy they are breathalyzing people first thing in the morning while doing winter checks? My old self would have gone as white as a ghost and sh*t a brick!! You're doing brilliantly and now the weight is starting to come off too :) Enjoy your evening with your fella xx

    1. I think its a part of the campaign Lucy. I asked he just smiled and said we're just randomly checking folks, to reinforce it all. Dont' fret. Fella - jet lag - sober bed hog! Lovely to see him though x

  2. Hi Daisy, just checking in and I see you’re zipping along in your sober car at day 52, that is just fantastic. Loved your post, that paragraph describing your old life really hit home with me; getting away with getting by for so long. You’re inspiring me in many ways as I chug along, thank you. Enjoy your night, I imagine he’ll be super-proud of how well you’ve done.
    Rose x

    1. Rose it could have been so different. I'm glad you're here. Thank you for posting, you're helping me hugely, have I ever said that. Just knowing folks care. x

  3. ouch. sure I was over the limit most mornings too.! keep up the good work, things are still fragile, take it easy.
    hugs from nz

    1. Lisa me too. Fragile central here. Look after yourself too.

      Hugs to you from Scotland, dreich, miserable, dark and wet, but cosy indoors! x

  4. I love that your boot was full of stuff. I admit I have been the same way. Many years of half assed picking up, projects started but not finished. Leaving it for "later".
    Earlier this year I felt overwhelmed,by the mountain of work I had. It took,a long time to make. It will take time to fix.
    So instead I try not to freak out over things that don't Impact regular life.
    When I get a burst of energy I do a small job that I can finish.
    I have,not rearranged the entire house. Maybe in year 2.

    I love that you passed the breathalyzer. I would have benne pretty worried many a morning as well!


    1. Thanks Anne small steps isn't it.

      Overwhelm, I'm learning is not my friend.

      Avoid at all costs.

      I am also the queen of half arsed projects.

      One day, I tell myself, I'll get there.

      For now, selotape and glitter hold it together.