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.

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.


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.


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.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Irrational v Rational Thoughts (AKA bollocks or not bollocks.)

Rational thinking? Image from Calvin and Hobbes.
I've had a meeting day when I get to SMART and actually listen. The meeting in itself was a bit tiresome. Someone kept leaving the meeting and then coming back in. It wasn't a biggie but for once I just thought just sit the f*ck down. My inner rage often bubbles below the surface it would seem. I do not think this was out of line. It was disruptive but I guess they felt they had to do it.

We talked about irrational thoughts (I deserve a drink, only one, no harm there, I can stop after one) compared with rational (evidence based) thoughts (You won't stop at one, you don't 'deserve a drink', you never stop once you get started). Or as I like to think about them.

Bollocks or NOT Bollocks.

{I'm not trying to be offensive, whilst this word is use for male genitalia, here in the UK it is also used as a noun for expressing displeasure link here. But not a word you would use in polite company or when telling your Grannie that the current government aren't up to the job.}

So here's what I've been challenging myself with.

Is what I'm saying or thinking rational or not - no its bollocks. [irrational]

Is what I think based in evidence, if it is its - NOT bollocks. [it is in fact rational]

I have huge issue with these things. And, as part of my sober journey I'm starting to face up to those things that make me feel rubbish and brew irrational thoughts. Its not easy.

Trying to replace them with evidence based thinking (NOT bollocks) is bloody hard when you've spent your life hiding. Living in irrationalville, Bollocks central.

A bit like this morning routine. Getting up at a fixed time seems to make me feel more grounded. Routines do too. And I'm kind enough to know that a bit of slippage is OK as long as it all gets done.

My usual irrational voice would tell me - look at you, I mean, you can't even GET UP like a normal person. When you start the day like that, your brain shuts down to any sort of rational thinking. Well, at least, I'm beginning to know, mines does and then the self flagellation begins and I descend into 'see you, you're rubbish at life'.

Which is, quite frankly bollocks. But when that's what your morning brain tells your heart, [shouting YOU'RE RUBBISH] your self esteem falls into your boots.

Not clever. And, not true either.

So that's been a bit of a lightbulb moment for me.

The evidence would suggest that as I've always really physically struggled with getting up since I was a freshly hatched child, that I am not lazy or stupid or lax. I wake up like I've been drugged, dragging myself out of sleep, none of this fresh as a daisy stuff for me. Always been the same. Its just who I am and how my body works. Who knows it might be something I can fix. And if I can't then its just how I am.

So armed with my giant sober flash cards which challenge me to think are these thoughts rational or irrational. I can stop and really think of what I'm trying to tell myself, and which card to hold up high. Mostly I think it will be this one.

Yes really, you're OK.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Monday Morning

I only woke up once last night. Not that I'm obsessed about sleeping or anything. Some things are afoot at work and I should hear today what will happen. Its a bit unsettling. But, if I end up at home more, I'm not complaining as the autumn sets itself on chilly and throws itself into winter.

Back in the sober routine today again. Weekends seem to have no routine at all having himself home. Spoke to both the kids yesterday which was nice. Its also good being sober as it doesn't matter when that happens. House is also nice and tidy, I took an hour yesterday to straighten it up. Its not perfect but it does help my mental health if its not a complete pig sty.

A bit of the sober morning routine done today - sets me up for the day. So if I can keep doing it, then i'll be a happy bunny.

I guess I need to set up that review appointment - so I've not achieved everything on my list, so what. I'm sober. A wee look at those goals......

I'm happy to share some of my goals for the next three months. (JULY)

1 - Not Drink. 
2 - Be more open with my partner. (GULP)
3 - Keep attending meetings.
4 - Look into other groups if work commitments change my schedule.
5 - More personal time, which I dictate, not others.
6 - Look into counselling which is right for me.
7 - More open with close friends about my recovery.
8 - Cull some of my social group which are dysfunctional/bad for me.
9 - More time with kids.
10 - Be nice to myself (I added here, in sub-text, and not talk to myself like I'm an idiot).

So where did I get (OCT)

1 - YUP no drinking
2 - A bit more open I'm learning to trust him. Not full disclosure though.
3 - Been a bit crap at this with work.
4 - Didn't bother. Whoops.
5 - Better at this but still let my boundaries become second to others needs.
6 - Did this and now on the list for someone who sounds a bit more up my street.
7 - Not done this - but not had much time with friends.
8 - Have let some invites for coffees slip - its a start.
9 - More time with kids when I can. Getting less scared at touching base and saying hey fancy catching up.
10 - Work in Progress.

See I'm only human after all, some done, some not so I'm clearly human......sober but human.

Happy Monday folks.

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.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


Hey its the weekend - a time for routines to get crazy disrupted. I'm OK with that, its my  day time week time life I'm trying to get a bit more structure in so I can free style it more at the weekends and not give myself a hard time.

Friday night came and went without much more than a takeaway and some telly. Early to bed meant I was awake at 1am and slept around three. I'm not liking this disrupted sleep much.

Yesterday was a very odd day - I went to see one of my family who's broken a leg. I wrapped it up in dropping off a few household things her family would find useful. Expecting to be in and out like a veritable emotionally challenged ninja I was floored when after an hour or so of pleasantaries my sister asked if we'd like to go out for some food. I was expecting to leave. We have little communication and little in common. I bailed at 16 years old out of a life that was just too violent and loud for my delicate soul. Being the oldest I guess I had always felt a bit guilty for leaving them there but sometimes in life, every man for herself is all you can do.

We had a nice day - there I said it, it was nice. Odd, a bit emotional but nice. A bit too much connection with my old life emotionally for me it left me very drained. Most of my family's life is the same as the one I bailed out from. Although the familiarity did little to comfort me. Its left me feeling very fractured and guilty for my own choices. Guilty as in could I have done more, but not enough to have actually done anything it would seem. But I'm here now and its a new day.

Very strange being in a pub - I don't go in them. I had a twinge of 'should I drink to keep her company ??????' more out of needing to fit in than not. But, I just had a tonic and that was fine. No judgement.

What was enraging for me (and pretty enlightening) is that my sibling has a broken leg in two places, just had surgery and is now managing alone in a flat two stories up. She lives alone. Her grown up kids are making sure she's OK. Since she hurt herself I've been touching base a bit with her, and finally got up the courage to go and see her. The fact that my mother hadn't bothered to call or pop over at all after my sister had called and told her she'd broken her leg and needed an operation.

Not even called, not once.

Now I can be livid about that even if I don't know how to react to my mothers treatment of me.

Family feels so fractured. That family anyway. My life is now very different and for that I'm truly grateful. Even if I am a little guilty. I've promised myself as part of my new me, new life, new sober life, I'll try and be a better sibling. Might let me heal a bit too.

Friday, 23 October 2015


Crazy crap nights sleep again. Getting to bed early enough but just disturbed sleep. There's a few things going on at home that have been unsettling. Maybe this is just normal stuff going on? I retreated the spare room, leaving my lovely bed and its snoring contents to itself and listened to Belle for a couple of hours.

I did think about Lucy's comment about the SMART groups routine, I've been struggling to go. I really must be more vigilant. And, I'm also at my 3 month review of my 'action plan' part of which was being more open about being sober, disclosing more. I can honestly say I'm not ready to do that yet and I don't know if I will ever be. And, having thought it through I'm OK with that for now.
Just don't call me sisyphus - Image gapingvoid.com/nz

No point in pushing rocks up hill if you don't have to. I'm just not ready. I'm more open with husband but aside that this sober stuff is my business. A tad defensive maybe but its a process right?

I had a look back on this time last year. The weather is changing and the stove in the kitchen flickers away in the mornings. It reminds me of the safety of being newly sober and starting to find the sober community. Interesting looking back on the early days.

This time last year.....HERE

Thursday, 22 October 2015


So we made it through the night, only waking at around 5am, no dreams. 

Interesting. Did I need to blurt to the world my hate of routines and scary reoccurring dreams of being bladdered?

I went to bed in curlers, yes curlers. I have crazy long hair and whilst working through a craving last night I thought - curlers you can't buy wine with curlers in. So there we are. I had my pjs on by 9pm and curlers in by 9.30 - and knowing me as you do, I am mainly a tom-boy so it was very amusing for my husband. Mrs D recently wrote a blog about surfing the urge, so I surfed mine in curlers. Keeping busy and not giving into an urge. Its something we learn at SMART at my meeting so it was nice to hear her perspective on it.  Nice one Mrs D! Link to that post here.

So I breezed into work today looking like some kind of mad crazy woman, curls and all but well rested. More crystal tips then Julia Roberts but you get the idea.
Crystal Tips - I've always wanted purple hair.
I took heart this morning and cut myself some slack. The morning routine was helpful. If I'm honest. Having been raised solely by wolves with a serious lack of parenting when little, living in abject sqallour with my parent in bed drinking coffee, smoking and reading romantic fiction, I'm not sure how routines develop. However having made up most of my parenting (non smoking, non bed-sitting, coffee drinking but actually paying attention to my kids) I figure my routines are all out of sink as I've no one to do them for anymore.

A bit like having no reason to be sober as they've left home [insert miserable empty nest]. However, I now realise being sober for me is the only way forward.

So I'll set the alarm for tomorrow and hope for a better nights sleep again. As for the routine, I can almost find myself talking out of doing it in any order as long as it gets done but there is a logic to it.

Of course I had to look online to see what I'd promised as I'd actually not written it down and being a scatterbrain I didn't expect to remember it all anyway. So instantly I logged into your nice comments. Thank you. I'll try again tomorrow.

Probably no curlers tonight, just in case you were wondering. Best not peak too early. 

Sober girl over and out.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


I've been having the most god awful brain curdling sweaty waking up in the middle of the night dreams about benders. I don't know why. I wake every night, like when I was drinking at around 3-4am in an utter panic, its like living in my own version of a bad B movie. The places change, the faces change but the overriding theme is about drinking, getting drunker than I have ever in my life and then being an utter idiot. Hurting my husband, hurting my family as they all watch and I think they can't see or hear me. Its really got me rattled. Like really fingers in ears frantically reading anything online to get back to sleep rattled. I've even got up and looked for bottles, 'have I hid them well enough', when can I take them away, making all sorts of crazy elaborate plans in my head for making sure that it wasn't this time I was caught.

I'm about demented. I'm NOT drinking, but I'm in a mess. I'm knackered at work, I'm off with my friends and husband and I'm in full 'under a rock mode' nothing to see here, leave me be.

I've also not been writing, not been cleaning, not been really doing anything aside assassinate my character (a job I like to leave for 4am, sweaty and lunatical) and trying to fathom what on earth is going on. I've ditched reading all but one or two blogs.

I'm really not good at routines. Now, I've pondered this at length. And something brought it to light totally non sober related. Totally randomly my dog who's always been OK with feeding on demand had a mini-melt down and advice from those who know was to feed him twice a day at the same time every day. Take the food away after, only leave fresh water. Now that's only TWO things to do. And yet, every single day I've done it but its been a real struggle. I'm just not any good at routines. Even small daily ones. Yes I brush my teeth when I should, but usually enroute to something else, definitely not at the same time everyday and definitely NOT in the same room/doing the same chore, etc.

I just seem to have a 'fuck it' attitude to routines. I don't set an alarm, never have, I'm horrific to wake up so I just go with the 'meh, I'll get up before work when I do, no biggie'.

Recently I tried to do some fly-lady (now don't laugh) she's a house keeping guru from America who has helped lots of folks get rid of the 'chaos' in their homes/minds by small routines which take less than 15 minutes to establish change.  So I started with great gusto as I do, and although I couldn't do everything she suggested I did try and follow it 'MY WAY' - you know as and when I pleased. Which was for me a bit of an eyeopener, a bit like the dog feeding. The one routine she insists on is cleaning your sink every night and putting out a fresh tea towel. Well, I've done that now and again, mostly thinking how crazy it is. But kind of getting it too. I have a demented mind wrestle with myself every evening.

Yes you are still reading a sober blog. Really. And I guess if I'm wrestling about a small routine that isn't drinking, maybe its not that bad.

So to begin with the new shonky do it as you feel like it routines I'd sorted for myself seem to be making a difference but I was still doing them 'FREE STYLE' in my own little ways, as I do. As you can imagine, as time plodded by they've gone to shit as well. I still do some of them but kind of as I please. I do like to rebel.

Until stopping drinking, I'd never really realised how much of my life has no fundamental routine to it. I like to think of myself as free spirited (no pun intended) but in reality I seem to flitter about in my own version of reality doing as I please.

Yes I'll have the good bits please and won't do those tiresome things. THANK YOU. Yup, that's me.

So, the sober stuff has slipped, and whilst I'm still sober - I'm dreaming of that perfect glass of wine before dinner. You know that one that never leads to any more. Doesn't lead to the scenes of the horrific dreams I've been having of major benders in front of the family and the rellies.

I think maybe (and I just get this as I write) my sub-conscious is trying to freak the crap out of me by playing my 'dream bender' over and over again like a warning.

So I'm torn between letting my free spirited self just find her feet or imposing some kind of crazy set an alarm kind of daily routine boot camp. You see the mention of setting a routine and I'm assuming its boot camp. And its not fair and I don't want to do it.

So from tomorrow, and I'm making this up as I type I will set an alarm. I will get up at 7am and I will follow a routine. {I'm already huffing}

7am up
Coffee and Hounds/Chickens 7.15
Dressed 7.30
Internet time - 15 minutes of sober living, blogs, emails/15 minutes of work/15 minutes of leisure
Breakfast 8.15
More internet - as above 8.30 but only half hour (no work) 15/15 leisure/sober
Sort laundry + Do 15 mins of flylady
Walk dogs 9.15
Pack bag for work, gather clobber
Go to work at 9.30

I need to work out a 'get home' routine but I'm too overwhelmed to do that now.

I know perhaps this seems crazy but I need to get this crazy head to stop its crazy stuff. Maybe trying to have a routine will make me start to feel calmer.

Or like a human robot?

You see you get sober and your brain goes bad ass crazy on you pointing out what an utter chaotic soul you really are.

And yes this all really started by trying to clear my sink every night and feed the dog to order, twice a day. And yes despite myself I'm still sober and the house is a bit less chaotic. So something is clearly working, its just not working enough for my brain to switch off at bedtime.

I hereby pledge to do this routine for a week (I'm already groaning) and post everyday.

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, 5 October 2015

Another Monday morning.

Two and a bit weeks ago, perhaps longer, I dropped my phone and it smashed to smithereens.  Ironically it had been on a walk with my husband and I was talking about the phone was really stressing me out and that I wish I didn't have one. The kids are bigger, and largely great alone, if anything its me who likes to get in touch with them, I can do that from home. The universe, it seems, took care of that one for me. Yes I have insurance, no I didn't get it fixed. When I'm at home, it doesn't work. When I'm at work, it doesn't work unless I run up the hill and walk along a bit of a lane and hold it up high. When you're trying to focus and be 'in the moment' at work, its not very useful. However, when I'm driving it sometimes works. And a bit like drinking and driving I always told myself I'd never use my phone when driving. But if that's a time it works, well you can tell how that went. So the feeling of always needing to be connected, ironically was stressing me out completely.

Its like the phone flung itself out of my hands and languished on the tarmac, just to help. If I'm totally honest, I've not missed it. Its driving my husband and my best friend crazy. Kids have adjusted and message me online or phone the land line. Husband is still going crazy. He likes to be in touch at all times, I get that, but I'm not as desk based as he is daily and its a distraction that makes me unfocussed and a bit crazy, you know, just 'checking in'.

The lack of ability to check in on sober lands when working, has been a challenge. And, if I'm totally honest stressful. I know I SHOULD check in daily, I read some sober blogs at breakfast time when munching bran flakes and reading work emails, I do the same at night. If I'm honest at the moment, I've not got much to say, I'm still in 'REBOOT' mode, but I'm imbibing and thinking what others are saying. But, somehow not being connected all day has been crazy stressful for me. So when the phone took my life into its own hands and somersaulted to freedom, I've felt kind of free.

My husband has the work office number if anything really goes wrong.

I've discovered I can check in at lunch for 15 mins on my tablet if I actually take some lunch and sit near the work wifi, which is thankfully not near my own working area. Obsessive compulsive moi, never. And, I don't take my tablet every day, I'm just not that structured.

I've made old fashioned arrangements with folks and said, I'll be there at 1pm, no phone, see you there. And folks have adjusted.

Call the house, I say. I'll be home after 4.30pm. No you can't get me earlier. Or email me.

What I'm beginning to realise is that to be loved, relied on, focussed I don't need to be 'here' for everyone in my life 24hours a day, 7 days a week. That's a biggie for me. Its reducing my stress levels and I'm OK with the quiet. I'm OK with my own company. Sure I love you all, but not being connected endlessly/always is better for me right now. That might change.

I found my diary from a year ago. You see today is my one year and one day minus one day = 366 sober days - minus one glass of wine + a sober day = 365 days. In a year I've not been drunk. I've not spewed nonsense to my husband and family. I've been totally here. Who guessed that could happen.

So a year ago I took to my bed, found sober blogs, moved to the living room sofa bed and just did a 'John and Yoko' and stayed in bed until I could face the world. And I had a few false starts. Story of my life. I started it here, false start and all.

I was tidying up, yes really, the other day and came across a diary from a while back.......here's something from one of my million day ones.............

Why do I do it? Here we are again. Started the day as always by hiding the bottles from under the sofa (classy chick) and putting them in the recycling before my daughter sees. Shit two bottles. And it looks like the kitchen has been invaded or I made some kind of midnight snack, god. Spoke to pal last night, man it was late, must text today to see how much of an idiot I made of myself. Lemsip for breakfast, gets the drugs in quicker and a bottle of high energy drink in the car on the way to work. Made myself shower today and use the really smelly conditioner as I really don't want to reek of wine at work I'm teaching at 9am. Oh god who thought teaching at that time was a good idea. Only have to last until lunchtime, then I have a thesis meeting in the afternoon. Bah. Knew today was a big day. Shit.

More later.......

Meeting sucked. They hated my new structure, teaching was OK, but didn't really enjoy it, too early. Why do I do this, drink on a school night?? Daughter texted to say orchestra is on tonight instead of tomorrow she'll need a lift. Bollocks. I'm so bloody tired. I guess it will help not drinking, I'm trying to cut down. Forgot to send my sons stuff to uni, will do it tomorrow or I'll email it later, he'll understand. Whoops.  I don't have anything sorted for dinner, better go shopping before I get home. Anyway its been a really long shitty day, I guess that if I got some wine, I don't have to drink it all, but I'll only get one bottle. I'll go home and have tea, take her in and wait in office, do more work on thesis and try and catch up before I teach again tonight. At least the journey is worthwhile as we're both out.

And later.....

People always want to stay late at my class, grr. I do like teaching but I've got stuff to do. (wine o clock people) Got really grumpy waiting for daughter after orchestra its supposed to be done at 9pm and it went on til 9.30. Snapped a bit. Why can't she ever be out on time? Home in a total grump.  She went up to bed, I went into wine stealth mode (chardonnay in a pretty cup, isn't really that bad). Several missed calls from other half (left phone in car), who's away for work totally forgot to tell him I was going out and he forgot I was teaching tonight. Bah. Texted him late, was too late to phone and I'd already had wine.

And later.....

Slept on the sofa again. forgot to walk dog. Up to bed at gone 4am. Lights on, telly on, phone on, oh god who did I message? Shit, kitchen is a mess. Tidied it before I went up had pain killers and water. No clothes done for tomorrow, sure it will be OK. What a crap day. I'll set the alarm for an hour later, should still get to work ok. No teaching early. I said I'd help a colleague with something but hey, they'll manage I'm sure. I can help later. We didn't say a time. And, we've got drinks after work, so I'll buy her a glass of wine. Must organise a lift home. Monday's are a killer.

Thankfully I'm not in that life any more. I'm struggling in this one but man, I regret the lack of empathy for my students, my partner and my kids. I've always considered I've done my best and above and beyond for all of us. But, reading back some of my diaries, I just swam through the chaos and poured wine on my head which wasn't coping.

Hugs and sober love.

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, 14 September 2015

Talking violently to yourself.

Hey there. Yes I am alive. And sober. But, locked in a far away land fighting to the death with wolfie who's turned up all 'bad super villain' on my ass. He's quite unwelcome, I have to tell you. I'm wondering sometimes (in a very sorry for myself voice) why this has to be so bloody hard sometimes.

I'm almost at a year minus the day I drank on my birthday.

My internal head is locked in a fierce monologue of how utterly crap I am as a human being.  And, just as I think the voices can't be calmed the lovely Lucy from A Hangover Free Life sends me a link which has tears running down my chops.

Yes I talk to myself very violently, its my internal voice and it really needs to change. I'd stopped all forms of counselling when I started way back last year it just seemed too much. But, now I'm thinking perhaps its time to find some professional help.

I treat myself very violently as my verbal inner voice. Its all I really know. But I'm willing to learn.

After a weekend of crazy family stuff, and feeling yet again invisible in some of the company I was in, rather than do my usual 'zone out' I've given myself a frenzied inner flogging.

You know because its really my fault when people see right through me as if I'm made of tissue paper.  Take this weekend.........

Did you know Miss Daisy did XYZ and she flew in a hercules once - (and some of it is amazing, even if I say so myself) said my partner to some of his family trying to include me in the conversation for the gazzilionth time.

Reply - 'do you think the others are home yet how long have they been driving?' came from his family.

Yes my husband replied directly to me, I am married to the invisible woman.

At least we can laugh about it, for a while until the voices in my head make it all about how awful I am. Which is of course why I am invisible.

I think its about time for some therapy. Cos, I know that you lot think I'm OK and all of you rock.

I guess the moral of the story is, until I can be nice to myself internally, I'm always going to be battling.  Could this be PAWS?

Like I said I think its about time for a stepped up programme of self love.

Wonder if I can buy it in bulk? I think to be safe I need the industrial strength, large bottled version.

Thanks for bearing with me and reaching out to me even when I'm quiet sober warriors.

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.

Friday, 21 August 2015

A Functional Drinker.

Functional drinking is what I do. So a pint would have done nicely.
Its been a funny old week. We've been here and there at all sorts of things. There have been quite a few social things on. You know the kind that involve that alcohol stuff, or bars or both. BBQ's and weddings and friends visiting and tea in other peoples houses with alcohol. And, we've been given alcohol too. You know because giving folks this disgusting stuff is like some kind of weird social convention. Here have some poison. Cheers. Doh.

Anyway, I've learnt something interesting this week. Whilst I'm often a bit muffled about my sober journey, my husband, who rarely drinks now, is like a breath of fresh air. When asked time after time after time after time at the wedding we were at last week, why he didn't drink, his reply was amazing.

He sat and spoke to the minister at length about it all. You see, he told him, I'm a functional drinker, I drink to get DRUNK. End of story. I can drink one drink and then often I have to have 20. I get a thirst for it, he told him. These days I find life is too full and fun to have days of my life obliterated by lack of memories and hangovers. These days my preference is to drive home, for soft drinks and enjoy whatever my evening/day brings me. No planning on who's driving, no squabbles, no forgotten wallets and keys, no midnight kebabs, no rowdy rows just because. I don't function like that anymore. I've done my drinking. Drinking doesn't function for me anymore.

This particular conversation started at the beginning of all the crazy social stuff. And, I watched with interest as he told pretty much the same thing to anyone who asked. There was a lot of raised eyebrows and 'what you don't drink ANYTHING?' several times.

Yup, cheap date me, he winks.

Conversations were at times fleeting, more times, in depth. But, no bolt of lightening struck him down, no floodlight lit up his speeches on his lack of alcohol intake.  A few raised eyebrows that was it.

The phrase 'functional drinker' has gone through my head several times since. Its just the correct phrase for my drinking. I drank to get drunk. I was a functional drinker. No point in a fancy glass of bubbles for me, I wanted a crate. Nothing elegant about that.

He also had no shame, nor does he. He's quite proud of his efforts, as a 15-20 pints a night, get up and go to work the next day, he's pretty happy he's not there anymore.

As the social events stacked up, I heard both myself and him tell folks, 'we don't drink thanks'.

Things do change. Its not all scary.

Aside the pasty BBQ sausages and the dodgy wedding tunes, now THEY are scary.

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, 13 August 2015

No sober voice

I don't appear to have much of a voice at the moment. And, not much of a sober one. I feel myself retreating into somewhere and I'm not sure where it is.

I'm not drinking. That much I know. I'm not shirking my sober stance, nor shirking my sober chums, I feel in some ways like I'm in a retreat of my own making.

But, I'm not sure where I am. I seem calmer in some ways. Life somehow seems less dramatic.

It seems more manageable. Strangely it seems far more peaceful.

100 new days sober since my birthday passed without celebration or I have to be honest even my noticing it. I think drinking that wine on my birthday threw me into a kind of no-mans-land.

Don't get me wrong life's still not a bed of roses. But, its OK.

I have had urges, some fleeting, some more scary. But, for once I seem to acknowledge that one won't be enough and then where does that leave me?

Sober it would seem.

Thank you all for asking about the job, I didn't get it. Nor have I been officially told. Yes that sucks, for the crappy communication but as for the job. Somehow I think whilst I would have been nice, its not right yet.

In my surprise, a few days ago at my 'casual' work, I was offered the pick of full time or part-time work, they seem to like my commitment, passion and drive (their words not mine). I'm good with people I was told.


Anyhows I've plumped for a short day which suits me and a 4 day working week. I won't set the world on fire finacially but it means I have enough to get by and I'm close to home. The extra two hours a day I've asked for with my shorter hours seem to be taken up with tackling admin (life) and general day to day stuff. And I now have weekends off. Yay. More home family time.

I was absolute when asked which day off I want. I chose Wednesdays. Its my group day. I've not been for a while and I really miss it. I think that I might find more balance and work towards some of those sober goals if I can prioritise.

So hopefully my new routine which starts this week coming might find me with slightly more stable sober feet.

I'm 'quite reflective this week, perhaps why I've been so quiet. I've talked to the kids a lot, some times at night, late, sometimes in the morning early. Always here, always sober.

Husband is pretty busy with some work stuff, but we're carving out time for each other, even though its brief.  But, there's no distractions of booze to hide from him with.

So apologies if I'm quiet. For now I'm just quietly sober. Fighting my own little corner. I'm hoping I find my voice soon, not like me to be so reflective. But, I'm OK with it for now. Its new. Sometimes my head is actually still, just for the blink of an eye. That's very new.

Hugs and sober love folks.

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, 6 August 2015


Inside I can feel myself drifting from all things sober. I know that I need to work at these things and still I arrange my newly up on my feet days of working around making sure I am efficient and getting plenty done.

I've even started to do some 'fly lady' to get the house in shape. I'm decluttering which is making me feel better but I think I'm trying to do this.

So I opened my sober email today and read the blogs I love so much and thought, hmm don't drift. I think I'm on day 98 or 306 minus one day  depending on where my head is.

My children are both now the other side of the planet. Yes we have skype, yes there's face-time and various internet related communication methods of which I am very glad of. However this doesn't stop their physical presence being near enough to scoop them up in my arms.

Loss, which I think is what I am feeling is blindingly hard. Being a single parent whilst filled which such responsibility and joy at being 'it' is also one of the lonelinest places I've ever been. And, given that we split up when the kids were 2 and 3 I guess I've been holidaying here for a long long time.

Should be use to it by now? It would seem not.

Instead of wallowing, which I assure you I am too, I seem to just be keeping super mega busy. I'm doing 40+ hours at work and whilst normally I'd be outside our wet summer means I'm more indoors.

You'd think I'd learn to read a book or something. I guess I really should actually get some of Brene Browns stuff rather than thinking of it. Although to be fair I did go into the local book shop and they hadn't heard of her.

Its also my mothers birthday. I've been having an on/off dialogue in my head about making an excuse to phone her.

What I really want to say is 'I really miss my kids' - what I probably should say is 'why do I feel like an orphan, mother'.

What I will more likely say if I get up the courage to phone is 'Happy Birthday Mum'.

And talk about nothing until its uncomfortable enough for both of us to just remind each other how busy we are and ring off.

Lots of loss today and this week in my head. I guess I'm starting to really deal with these feelings.

Its a bag of shite. If I'm honest.

I'm 47 and saying 'my mother doesn't get me'. It makes me angry that lack of any sort of emotional attachment we have/don't have.

I know that I've changed it for my kids, that's a big amazing bonus, we generally tick along quite nicely. They know they are loved. Even if I'm not sure that I've ever been (by her, not by my friends/life). Its so confusing. I want to be angry but all I feel is that I'm too odd to love or done something appalling.  Did I make it like this?

At least I'm not dulling the loss this year with the kids away and the awkward birthday wishes.

I'm proud I'm not drinking and that is a blessing, like I've said before just makes a bad situation worse.

I'm going to plan to do something nice later. There you are I said it.

Thank you for listening to this whine-a-thon!

Hugs and sober love. Have a great day.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

I found a bottle

So a couple of days ago I found an old stashed bottle, empty of course. What a mixture of emotions came flooding into my body and hit me like a tidal wave. Mostly shock, I was really expecting dust bunnies, not empty Merlot........

Shame, fear, regret, disgust, loathing, shock. What if someone else had found the bottle under the sofa. Of course I could have laughed it off and said wow that must have been there from Xmas or something like that or before. But, mainly all I felt was shame and sadness at my own instant excuses. Everything in my head I blamed on myself. Everything that came out of my mouth I blamed on other people. Was it always like that when I drank?

Was I always the first to point the finger or criticise. Probably if I'm honest it was. Nothing was my fault. I was always a victim.
It took a whole five or ten minutes for the panic to subside and I could actually deal with the in-offensive empty bottle who's only crime was really that it needed recycled.

As I write this the panic I felt finding the bottle, (are there more discarded around the house?) is still with me. Such shame.

Funny how when faced with reminders of who we once were, we only see the bad things. It took me hours to actually think, wait a minute. I don't do that anymore.

Panic over.

I'm still working just a little over full-time, which is only over the 'summer' months, things should settle after. Being self-employed means that sometimes you really do have to make hay whilst the sun shines to fulfill obligations. It really eats at my sober time, and all of my other time. I'm mindful its not the long term solution but for now, I have to let some thing slip. Like dust bunnies.

I still haven't heard from my interview for the scary proper job. B*****ds. But, oddly I'm still OK with that. A friend asked me what makes my heart sing, if its not a scary job but something else, focus on making that happen. I do love my work, although I loathe the unpredictability of self-employment.

I need to learn to relax and/or put in place mechanisms to reassure me that the unpredictability is OK and that I'm working towards an over all plan.

So I did a budget (I know me right?) and I worked out what I 'need' to earn. Yes, its crazy I haven't done this before. I am an intelligent, capable girl, I can even use a calculator. And, yet I hide.

I also have been stressing about the 'paperwork' side of being self employed. Late tax returns, limited paperwork done on my behalf, all feeds my inner 'you're a mess woman' voice and I retreat.

I've slowly identified that its not self-employment I loathe so much, its my own ineptitude at consistently keeping paperwork and records. I think this is another 'life hangover' of drinking. I like the different work challenges, I like the variety, but I do need to be a bit more accountable to myself. And this will help with my confidence.

Previously, I was too self involved to get much 'real life chores' done aside putting a facade on to the real world of how 'OK' I am and then getting through until wine-o-clock to blot out my world.

So, having found the wine bottle I thought to myself, isn't it about time you started to sort out some other bits of life. Like how to settle into working self-employed and actually not crap yourself as you're not keeping proper records.

Amazing within half an hour I'm slowing writing up this years earnings into a very simple and free spreadsheet supplied by a reputable firm and Mr Google.

This year is at least currently up to date. My actual earnings aren't going to set the world on fire but are more than I had thought. I've still the mess of previous years to work on but I'll get there now that I've made a start.

Confessing to ineptitude in the land of your life admin, might not sound like much, but for me its part of the 'you can't even do this properly' song I sing to myself. Well no more will I sing it, I'm singing 'I'm trying, I'm trying'.

Being around drink at the weekend wasn't that easy although my hosts for one night were mindful as they know I've stopped drinking. There was also wine at lunch which was offered by MIL several times to which I poffered my seemingly 'offensive' beetroot juice back.


No takers, funny that. And, every time glasses were topped up and I was offered wine again. I just rattled the carton and asked......


Why do you keep offering that revolting juice? [Says certain members of the family].

I was just wondering the same thing about the wine..............[I thought silently].

Small sober steps. Yes I will now wave my beetroot juice at you if you keep goading me. Deal with it people. And yes I wave my beetroot juice with pride. Its bloody lovely.

My son leaves on Sunday. I'm mindful that I need to up the sober treats for Sunday night/Monday and plan some 'together things' with my very patient husband.

Sober girl, slightly screwed up, signing off. Slow progress but progress all the same.

Have a lovely sober weekend folks.

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.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Sober recharge

After what seems to be the testing-week-from-hell.

I am here and I am sober. 

I interviewed for a 'proper grown up' job today. Whilst I was bumbling, I was clear headed. I'll hear next week. My inner goblins tell me I'm too stupid for it, my inner voice tells them whatever the outcome, I have given it a shot.

Friends for dinner and a long weekend away next.

Sober Recharge much needed.

And sorry if I've been quiet.

Happy weekend folks.

Sunday, 19 July 2015


Been a big weekend in my house. First 'staff' party I've attended at my new sober job and I did it sober. Took out my sober tool Box. All the big guns.

Ate before I went.
Brought a shed load of sober alcohol free beers. 
Arrived late, left early.
Sorted an outfit and looked fab.
Took Care of me.
Told my husband, they don't know I don't drink. He said no sweat, we don't drink, right? And anyway he winked, you're driving remember!?
Sober get out clause.

So that went ok. In fact it went great. No regrets. Happy nice fun BBQ and garden party. No regrets. And as for sober excuses, no one asked - anyway.  No one noticed I didn't drink. No one cared.

And it's my daughters birthday tomorrow. But no real life celebrations here, she is abroad with her father. We arranged to Skype at 11pm
Uk time, 10am NZ time. 

No resentment from me, in fact she called early. All good here. Yes I miss her: lots.

Being a single parent means Xmas, birthday, lots of things are at best shared. In reality mostly I spend them alone, birthday in summer holiday they make for trips to dads. Its just how it is. Honestly it stings a bit, I miss them, but its ok.

Much easier sober. 

Was just loverly to hear her voice, sober. Hearing about her birthday so far away. Sharing photos, so far away.

Single parenting has highs and lows. I use to drink to even that out/

Sometimes drinking just makes a shitty situation shittier. 

Sober means you enjoy the really good bits, the snatches and giggles, so much more.

Happy birthday gorgeous girl. I've been sober almost a whole year given or take a day or so soon.

Small sober steps from your sober mum.

As for the job, always been sober there. Nice to keep it that way. Much simplier.

Friday, 17 July 2015


My son passed his driving test this week. Great excitement here all round. I just realised that I've always been available for this, always been sober to help him drive our car for practice whenever he's asked. No resentment at the time it might take, I'm just here. I'm present and right now this moment that hit me like a tonne of bricks. 

Always here, always present. I'm chuffed about that. Like ALWAYS.

Unfortunately my daughter had a different experience, I was resentful and grumpy when I had to drive and not drink as early as I would have liked, but no more. That was in the past.

We've also been giving the new driver,  the 'Driving Lessons is just the start of your driving' speeches, he's agreed to move from L Plates to P Plates (which in the UK is a new driver).

So much chat of now you've got to work at this. 
You've got to take care.
You've got to really start driving now.
Others might try and sway you, but keep to your driving principles.
Be safe, don't put yourself or others in danger.
Make sure you're not tired/hungry etc when driving.
Take reasonable breaks, look after yourself.
This is just the start of your exciting journey.

Sounds an awful lot like getting sober to me. Whilst I've still got my L Plates on, I'm hoping soon, perhaps I can progress to my P Plates maybe?

Funny how you wake up one morning and realise you're actually doing something positive about those demons, like drinking and its making a difference.

Happy Sober Day folks. Never to early to start on that journey. Or to look back a bit and tell yourself, wow, you're doing great.

Small sober steps.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Sober balance

Just the quickest of quicks from me. I'm working extra these next two months, and have an interview next week. Lots of busy buttons being pushed. But, mindful I need to step back and say - hold on there, sober girl here, needing some space. I'm learning. Man its a slow process. Although I did say to one contract I'm working on, I can't start before 10am and I can't work on Saturdays, so at least I've a while each morning for me and a weekend day (at least one) for family life.

I'm trying to be a bit more open with my husband, so at least I can say I'm sorting one thing out on my sober to do list. And I'm reading lots of sober blogs on my phone, with not a hope of commenting, I found if I download them into email before I leave for work, I can at least read them in situ, which lets me read but not reply. Its a help though.

Finding sober balance isn't easy. My 'wolfie voice' seems now to appear during celebrations, when previous he kept is midderings to sad/angry and lonely times. I guess he's just keeping up with my life momentum. So I'm trying to make sure, when the voice slips in to say, 'wow that's amazing, have a drink, you deserve it', I try to hear instead, 'wow that's amazing why not posion yourself now with some booze'.

I guess that's me trying to reframe the voice in my head.

In the mean while my sober garden is taking lots of my early evening time which was often my 'witching hour'. I'm sitting right beside those bricks I took so long to lay and form my new area, in my sober garden.

And this week I managed to finish painting my fence, bit by bit, even the bits you couldn't see. I don't think its taught me patience, only that a wall, sometime in the future would need less fussing and do the same job. I NEED A WALL!!!!

Looking at bits of life which sap my energy, which aren't really much fun or use and how to make things easier for myself. I guess that's a lot like being sober. Time to start to think about how to make things easier for myself in all sorts of ways.

And, we ate a takeaway mid week amid the chaos, and to my amazement, no one died because I didn't cook everything that day from scratch. I also didn't hoover, again, no deaths here from dust inhalation. The kitchen is messy, the laundry sort of done. And, for now, that's just fine. The dogs have had one walk a day rather than three and their legs don't appear to be any longer either. They seem just fine. Everyone is just fine with average rather than ta-dah, I can do ALL OF THIS, I'm fecking amazing.

I'm learning the world doesn't collapse if I can't make it pretty and perfect. And, I'm still amazing!

Who knew. Certainly not me.

Happy Sober Day folks.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Trap Door

The trap door, lets only the opinions you want in your life, in.
I drank in secret. Mainly I drank after hours, after dark or just 'after'. After the kids went to bed, after work on the way home when I was alone, after hours, after midnight sometimes, just after. Eventually I didn't like others seeing my drinking. On the outside, I guess mostly things looked OK. I could drive and not drink at all on a night out, as long as I had two bottles of wine or so to make sure I drank when home. Sometimes my drinking didn't start until well after midnight. Some days its started earlier, depending on how 'alone' I could be. On occasion my drinking crept in earlier and usually ended up in my coffee cup or my juice glass, but always on the whole it was hidden.

Which I guess mean the hangovers were hidden, or if not hangover, the 'next day shitty feeling of lethargy and oh god another day to get through-ness'. Repeat everyday for several years and repeat often. And, I overcompensated hugely. Cooking from scratch, delivery of children on several billion activities, attempting to hide everything and make life super-de-doopery perfect.

Mostly built on secrecy and lies and shame and drinking. Repeat everyday. Booze was my trap door to escape the hard stuff. Problem is it also let in a pile of other crap. It got so hard to close, eventually I learnt to live with its monsters, which wasn't fun.
Recovery, it seems doesn't work like this. Slowly we have to chip away at what we are, who we were and fathom a new way forward. Without the booze to hide behind.

And, let me tell you, as secret as you try and make your recovery, it seems sooner or later you bite yourself in the ass and realise whilst you don't have to share everything, some sharing is useful.

So like today I went to my group. A great session, fewer folks this week, but helpful. I'd also gone early as I've decided to sign up for a personalised recovery plan. Another sober tool. Essentially its a contract between me and myself, discussed by a sober coach with short, medium and longer term goals. A kind of sober 'to do' list.

I'm happy to share some of my goals for the next three months.

1 - Not Drink.
2 - Be more open with my partner. (GULP)
3 - Keep attending meetings.
4 - Look into other groups if work commitments change my schedule.
5 - More personal time, which I dictate, not others.
6 - Look into counselling which is right for me.
7 - More open with close friends about my recovery.
8 - Cull some of my social group which are dysfunctional/bad for me.
9 - More time with kids.
10 - Be nice to myself (I added here, in sub-text, and not talk to myself like I'm an idiot).

One of the reasons I think I need to work harder on my recovery, (aside from buying booze last week !!) is that I still have a very nice 'trap door' set up slap bang in the middle of my life.

My family and very specifically, my partner doesn't know how hard I'm trying to give up. I've really down played the whole giving up booze thing with the usual excuses. And, he certainly doesn't know the extent of my past drinking nor sometimes the extent of the internal battle I have with myself about drinking. Especially the 'just have one when you're out, its perfectly normal to drink'.

Like I say its like having a trap door, which I can drop through when I fancy. How I'm going to achieve this isn't quite apparent yet. I'm all for honestly, but, lets face it, those layers of why we drink aren't always easy to penetrate. So, as I gently peel away at them, there's a level of vulnerability that is raw and precious, needs protecting. And, I'm not really very happy or ready to lob myself at others mercy in real life. Part of this journey has revealed how much of my inner thinking and actual 'honest' life is closed to other folks, even those I care about. Self defence at its finest. If you can't let them in, no hurting here thank you.

So my first goal is not drinking, my second is to be a bit (and I caveat this with, a bit) more open with my partner. And start to nail my trap door shut, bit by bit. I've started this by telling him I was thinking of signing up for a three month kind of plan with my **coughs** anxiety group (which is what I call my recovery group). In that I told him I was thinking of writing in my 'contract to myself' I won't drink for 3 months, not even a glass. But, you hardly drink he told me, no biggie.

Well, that might be true for now, but lets work on that and keep it that way. Its a start on my road to sober honesty. Sort of, its a start. So, he finally knows that I'm actually working at not drinking for the next three months. No more trap doors.

And, trap doors, or escape hatches which lead to drinking excuses aren't useful. Well mostly.

I remind myself, I have small sober feet, which need to take small sober steps if they are to be sustained.

**Takes out a couple of nails and a hammer and heads towards my trap door**.

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, 6 July 2015

The best thing I did.......

I'm beginning to realise that without you all I'd be goosed and it would be very cooked at that. And, the best thing I did, was to say I bought booze and not hide the fact that I did. I'd be hiding in Shame rather than sharing in Shame Club (thanks Lucy!!)

Hiding stuff isn't helpful.

Who knew.

I'm hardly Einstein really am I.

So I've listened and thought about your comments, thank you for those. I've also upped my sober stuff in real life by signing up for a 'three month' contract with myself offered by my recovery group. So I'll be doing a monthly one to one session with my five year sober mentor, setting myself some goals and really working on finding a bit of an even sober keel.

My world is becoming more and more sober.

I'm proud of this weekend. We've had family birthdays and lots of social stuff. Its all been sober.

Even dinner out, and that's progress. Only a fleeting flutter past the wine pages to the soft drinks.

Got home and even managed a post meal movie. Normally I would have been looking for the next bottle of wine. Not anymore.

I'm proud of that.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Here's where I'm at

So this week, I've had a lot of triggery moments. I'm not sure why. Here's the things I can identify.

Works a bit erratic.
Daughter left for NZ so I'm a bit 'eek its the other side of the planet'.
Son and Husband are both away. So I'm home alone. And I know I was stressing about that.
Went to a good 'fizz' chums for housewarming. Didn't stay, but it was triggery.
Mother-in-law arrived on Friday for tea and stayed until Sunday evening and WRECKED my 'alone time' with my husband.
Went out to a lovely dinner. Wanted wine. Had a mocktail.

I've actually bought booze three times this week.

Three times.

Before we go on, I've not drunk it. But, I've bought it.

I'm posting here for accountability. I'm not sure whats going on with me at the moment.

1 - Bought fizz for a chum in the M&S garage on the way to Glasgow. Bought an extra bottle of wine for me for coming home and getting 'through it' sober. Declined invite to stay even though its a two hour drive. Its just too triggery for me to stay over in Prosseco Central. She's lovely. Really lovely, bought me posh juice. Husband suggested I stay I said its a bit boozy. He said OK, get that, drive safe. Leave with MIL about to go home after spending an improptu night with us out of the blue after tea. In Glasgow, with chums.  Husband called to tell me that his Mum had decided to say an extra day after I left for my evening. He didn't go out as planned and instead of coming home at 1am to us both having some alone time, there's someone snoring in the spare room. Even though I'd arranged with my son that he'd give us some space. I was tempted to stay but went home.

Didn't drink the wine. Listened to Belle's audios. A friend texted (thank you). I almost texted some other sober friends (first time I've actually thought of reaching out when I'm mid-wolfie). Got into bed, slept well. Sent wine home with Mother in Law the next evening.

Believe me I don't know what's going on there.

2 - Bought a can of cocktail on the way to hotel on Monday night. Feeling a bit 'ooh I'm a bit nervous, I'm in a frock'. Husband meets me at hotel, he's off to a work thing abroad early the next day, hotel is a dress up lets have dinner and some us time treat.

Dump can in bin outside hotel, what was I thinking. Had a mocktail. Dodged wine at dinner, up at 4am. Feel very odd about this in the morning.

3 - Bought half a bottle of gin at 9.45pm. I'm home alone, I'd come home from work to an empty house and a f**k-it attitude. I helped a friend renovate her herbaceaous border after work, after a 4am start too, lol. And got home late, stayed in my own garden doing heavy digging all night wrestling with my will I, won't I. And found myself in the supermarket clutching a half bottle of gin on the only night I knew I had a late start the next day. I made dinner at gone 10pm and loaded up on gnocchi and creamy mushroom. Pull the bottle out of the freezer and dump it down the sink.

I don't want to drink. And yet I appear to be self-sabotaging.

So that's where I am today. I'm going to my meeting.

I'm a bit muddlesome about some family things. Work is a bit unsettled on several fronts. My neighbours are a bit in-my-face.

Whilst I'm sort of proud I've not drunk. I'm very nervous at the booze buying.

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.

Friday, 26 June 2015

When did the world get full of booze?

Great quote and a good link to more recovery stuff here.
I don't know about you, but when I'm doing something whether its parenting, walking, being pregnant, buying hats, I notice how many of these similar creatures/habits there are in the world. Maybe its that it gets in our brain? A predisposition to notice the things we're deeply thinking about on one level or another.

So, a decent enough week. There I said it, HA! A decent enough week with no booze. Who'd have thought that I'd confess that. OK, so its been busy but I've ramped a lot of 'doesn't need doing' right back. We have also talked about hiring a cleaner because lets face it, even faced with rain, I was out digging my garden rather than hoover yesterday. So things are settling a bit.

I read this and it made some sense/;

The message is: believe that you can, before believing that you can’t and you may find yourself farther along on your way toward the life you want to lead, rather than someone who focuses on the obstacles, justifying to themselves why they cannot do certain things. Link on the van above.
At our SMART meeting this week, there was a bit of chat about the fact that other drugs aren't on the shelves of the supermarket or featured to heavily in everyday 'normal' life the way booze was. Its everywhere that booze baddie.

I went to a cafe (sober treat) whilst waiting for my son doing his driving theory test a day or so ago and in this quirky little cafe I counted 4 different everyday items (some cakes) and oddly enough a sandwich with booze. It was a BLT, which they'd renamed a BMBLT (Bloody Mary Bacon Lettuce Tomato). I had to read it a few times, seems they roast the tomatoes after they douse them in vodka. OK so this might be a bit of a 'cheffy' thing to do, but really wouldn't olive oil impart a nice flavour too?

So, two vodka baked tomatoes aren't going to throw me off kilter but my point is really that booze shouldn't really be in my sandwich, nor my cake, nor my cheesecake thank you. I had the pate instead and delish it was. Even my local fish and chip shop has wine/beer in the fridge next to the salt and sauce. Seriously, its a chippy, a very nice chippy with sit down tables if you like, but its a chippy, what's with the Pinot? Before I would have lapped with us, literally. Look its OK to have wine with my chips, I mean, they sell it!! Now I just think its sad and sometimes a bit triggery.

Watching TV is a minefield, its all booze on the soaps and a lot of booze in mainstream TV. I mean Penny in Big Bang, whilst I use to love to watch her drinking wine from a gravy boat and think HA I'm not that bad, looking at it now I see one lady with a lot of booze and her friends around her trying to sometimes fit in with her 'normal'. She's a drinker that's for sure.

We eat out a lot in our house, that 'one' glass before dinner is often my downfall and it was on my birthday (THANK YOU WOLFIE YOU B*****RD). The first thing I do now is scan a menu for alcohol free versions or mocktails, nice juices and drinks. I'm often quite disappointed to see limited or no choices. A few places are starting to advertise the fact that with the change in our law they offer alternative drinks, which is heartening.

Whilst I use to immerse myself in the 'everyone drinks' culture of life, when you realise that not everyone drinks, they pop up all over the place, like sober superstars. Its a bit like a sub-culture emerging quietly in the background of life. Has it always been there? Almost certainly, I just had my booze goggles on.

Oh now I was going to tell you about my meeting. We did a fair bit of work on the attitudes of others towards our drinking. (Which can suck, lets be fair, as booze is everywhere and accepted as drug of choice right now). And, how regardless of how we feel, how much we keep things private, we don't make long-term changes in a vacuum. And change, like stopping drinking, can cause anxiety, which is OK, just be aware it might be there rather than surprise when it bites you on the arse to say hello. We also need to be aware that that anxiety can also manefest itself in our friends or family. They might see our choices as a reflection on theirs. A bit like my chum, feeling like I was poking her with a stick when I said no gin in my tonic. I wasn't actually thinking about how she was feeling, just about me and getting through a drink offer. My not drinking isn't a reflection on anyone else, but I am beginning to realise, whilst I'm doing it quietly, this stopping lark, it does quietly affect other parts of my life and sometimes, my friends.

There's a link to a paper here, I'm not sure what I think about it, some bits were useful for me to think about, others I didn't get along with. It talked about 'togetherness' which always reminds me of that silly advert.

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, 23 June 2015

Not (sober) rocket science

Hey there, thank you for all the wonderful comments yesterday, as I came home from work, made the tea, did the driving instruction, emptied the salvaged wood from my car and stacked it, confronted the neighbour about parking at our gate (man that made me squirm), had a mini-row with my husband (about the gate parking and how I don't stand up for myself), dug the garden in a temper (again gate related fury), finished an application form and then ate tea.

Anyway after that madness, your comments were so weclomed. Thank you, like a gazillion.

I've also seriously upped the sober stuff. I really think I need to, the whiny voice in my head is at 'this is hard again', so there's care needed there. Lots of self care, lots of treats.

So I've gone to daily treats again. Not rocket science but it works.
Maybe a bit too much on the sober treat front?
I also bought nice alcohol free beer for later on.

We bought ice-cream when we were out too.

I planned my breakfast and my lunch.

I didn't get to my sober bath but almost.

I reached out to you all, thank you.

I think, if I'm honest the crazy madness in getting a house ready for survey and sale, has pushed buttons with me more than I'd imagined.

Having booze in the house, for the visitors and the kids, has pushed buttons with me. I thought I'd be OK with it and on one level I am. On another, I'm just not. Its not good for me.

The singing-booze-from-the-cupboards thing is still an issue. OK so I've not drunk any of it (go me) but its pushed the wolfie audio up in my head.

I have to keep working hard at sober, some of it is easier, some of it is not so much.

So whilst none of this is rocket science, maybe its sober science.

I'm planning today's treat as I write. Because this stuff is hard sometimes but its better. I also know that whilst I don't like it, I have to start to put up some sober boundaries and maybe be more honest with those around me about the changes I have to make to sustain this.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Fathers Day

Its funny how you can get through a day like yesterday and not be mad with booze. It destroyed my own family as a child and it took my Dad from me. He was 52 when he died, I'm five years away from there. Fathers day to me doesn't mean much. My Dad was a mean drunk to my Mum and drank relentlessly, supported by the culture around him. A squaddie in the army, social club on every base, he played the guitar and sang for his beers. And, let me tell you, he sang a lot.

Its been quite a triggery week here, more than I'd ever have expected. Full on job, full on house renovations, then cleaning like a beast to make it ready for selling. It seems like this past week has been relentless, but quite a 'normal' family one in most houses.

And, let me tell you its been so stressful, going to sleep thinking of how much time there is. Waking up wondering how to fit it all in. Trying to juggle kids, ask for help when we can, sort driving and some normality into all of this.

I've been so tempted by 'switch off juice', so tempted and that's with father who's gone because of it.

Relationships here have been easier than expected but not as great as they once were. I waved my daughter off late last week for 2 months or so, my eyes leaked substantially.  My heart felt like it was breaking again but I got home, had a bath, curled up on the sofa and just wept. My nest is partially empty again, she's home later this year, back to uni. I've had my 11 days for the summer break. Its not much but being a single parent means sharing with a new family. I just hope they appreciate her as much as I do.

My son is still here. That's a happy situation.

We managed to have some quality time, the three of us but its still not right. As much as I hope they never knew about my drinking, sometimes I can' only think, of course they were affected by it.

Who couldn't be.

I've missed my SMART meetings for the past week or is it two? Lifes just been too chaotic, no time. So I MUST attend this week or find time to go to something, I'm sorely missing my sober fixes.

But, the solicitor has been, the surveyor has been and that is moving now.

Time for more sober time. Belle's audio this week was about 'drifting' from sober support. As we slowly get back into more 'normal' life we can sometimes drift back into bad habits, not necessarily drinking initially but we lose the sober treats, we stop touching base, reaching out, we have no sober time, eventually, sometimes we drink.

So no more drift. The audio ran through my head like alarm bells.

Happy Fathers Day Dad, you silly silly bugger, I wish I knew now what I didn't know when I shut out your visits and calls. When I said you couldn't see your grandchildren, not once. I didn't understand about how cruel alcohol can be when you're drowing in it.

I wish I'd thrown you a sober life jacket.

You lost it all.

I can't do that.

And yet when lifes insane and I'm half demented trying to get it all done, I think of drinking wine.

That's the truth, but lets not go there.

And, lets not drift.