Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Day 109 - turning things upside down

Our SMART meeting today had a few more bodies attending and it made for a lively discussion. Being the mid-end of January its possibly not unexpected that 'motivation' was the topic for discussion. And we looked at goals for this week, this year and longer term. It was an interesting exercise. As I am struggling for motivation to even get up at the moment, it was a good subject for me. My goals for this week were 'find passport' yes its here somewhere and we leave for a holiday in France on Saturday. My other goal was catch up with family. My son is coming with us next week, so I can tick that one beautifully if I get myself to the airport (passport in hand). I also saw my daughter today. She's not coming on holiday with us for one reason or another, her classes don't break at the same time as my sons and for a while our relationship has been in a bit of a reboot phase. So taking time today to catch up over a cup of tea, was January's mission for us. Big tick on that front. So its just the passport, hiding in its safe place is what I have to achieve this week.

Its interesting at these meetings how much I seem to purport self-care, self love and kindness to yourself. All lessons I know I need to hear and apply to myself. Especially the kindness bit. Be nice to yourself I hear myself saying to a lady in my group, treat yourself kindly, like your best friend. If only I'd listen and take heed myself. A bit like on this holiday coming up. I'm stressed when I should be excited. There are five of us leaving on Saturday for the Alps. I'm dreading it if I'm honest. I had a wee talk to myself today in the car. Yes I do this a lot. Its perfect me on me time. So I asked myself why I was so stressed.

1 First sober holiday.
2 A group of five, wondering how the dynamics of that will work.
3 My boozer chum is coming, go me on the planning front, if ONLY I'd realised two years ago that I wouldn't see this as a great idea once I'd thought about being sober. I didn't know about sober.
4 I'm a worrier, I worry about limbs breaking, passports being lost (ironic I know), everything, I worry about everything.
5 Alone time, will I get any.
6 Booze. See point one and three above.

As I chatted to myself like a lunatic in the car, I thought if this was my best friend what would I tell her. I turned a few things on their head, upside down and thought about it from me, my new best friends perspective.

1 - First sober holiday, big deal in some ways, small deal in others. Lets think, before 109 days ago you did nothing sober, you're sober now, that stays the same, its just the geography which is about to change. So its a sober first, yes that's important, but remember, there was a time there when I'd never had a sober week, never mind a holiday. Its merely a week, in a different location. Its just geography. I don't drink, therefore geography shouldn't change that. Its not like I'm only sober in the UK.  We arrive on Saturday night late (so that's both Saturday's taken care of), leave the following Saturday late then I'm driving. So Sunday-Friday my sober geography will just change. The days of the week are the same, my husband still doesn't drink, my kid will be there with his chum.  So my geography is changing for a week, my commitment to sober isn't. It's just geography. A different sober view.

2 - I can't control the dynamics of other people. People might make me or each other crazy, it might work amazingly well. For once maybe I should think glass (of water) half full, rather than half empty looking for problems which aren't there. We're all quite even tempered, we're all adults, we all love being outdoors in the snow, it should make for a great time.

3 - My friend. She's a boozer, I'm not, now, I was but I'm not now, now I'm sober. Yes this will be tricky but she's unlikely to turn me upside down and force wine into my chops now is she? For one, I could so take her in a fight. So she can't exactly force me can she? I did say to my husband, I don't want to drink on holiday, remind me if I get a bit tempted. His answer? You're a big girl responsible for yourself, you need to do this for yourself, no one else. Whilst his logic is grand, I'd expected a different answer I have to say it did floor me a bit, but he said it so kindly and with such love, I kind of get it. He's taking the rebelling bit of my nature and turning it on myself. If he told me not to drink under any circumstances, my wolfie would probably bite his head off and I'd pour booze on my head like a rebellious teenager. Well played Sir, well played. He knows me better than I know myself.

4 - Worrying is something I can't really change but I can limit my worrying to myself and let the other adults look after themselves. I need to give myself permission to enjoy myself. Daisy, I hereby give you permission to enjoy yourself.

5 - Skiing is done on two legs, a safe distance from people. Sure we'll be together for some of the time, but equally I need to make sure I take time to be alone if I need to. Perhaps whilst they're all in the Ski Pub having a post skiing drink, I need to get myself up to the apartment and grab a cosy bath. One thing I know for sure is that unless I make time for me, its not going to happen. Sober time is important, its just a change of geography, so I need to take sober time with me. I'm downloading my podcasts to my phone/ipad and I'm taking a few books. Must remember my headphones. And keep the sober treats up. French sober treats, how exotic.

6 - I'm not big on day time drinking so a holiday doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment for me and daytime drinking. Yes there will be booze in our resort, it will stay in the pub. I'm asking if we can have a booze free chalet. In previous years the only person who's ever brought booze into our apartment is me. ONLY ME. If people drink at all its normally in the pub, or at dinner. Yes I've liked a wee drink after skiing, usually a vin chaude (mulled wine). So I'm packing my cordial in my suitcase in a plastic bottle, the kind that tastes like mulled wine and taking it with me. I know the pub does hot water if you ask for it, so why not. I don't normally drink at dinner, only in the apartment, so if we can keep it booze free, I'm hoping it will be OK. I don't drink at home anymore, so I don't think starting that again in a different country, in a different house, is a good idea. After all, I'm sober, its just my geography which is changing.

So I have given myself a stern but friendly talking too. I'm trying to take the stress out of my thoughts before they change into large boozy monsters and wolfie starts waving his passport and telling me we're on holiday so we can drink.

Erm, no Wolfie we can't. Even a wee voice is telling us (me) that one drink in the pub won't hurt. Of course it will. I listened to a random podcast of Belle's the other day in the bath. It was about arrogance. How we think that we'll be different from all other people because of course we can have one wee drink and it will be OK. Despite the hoards of others who tell you losing sober momentum isn't a good idea. How one always leads to two etc.

A timely podcast. So yes I'm off next week to the Alps. That's just geography, I tell myself, this journey needs to keep on going. After all, now I'm a sober girl, wife and mum.  And whilst I might be arrogant enough to think one drink after skiing isn't a big deal, for me it is. I'm sober, being on a pair of ski's doesn't change that. Sober skiing holiday. That's going to be fun, and probably more fun sober and less guilt ridden. I might actually be able to focus on my skiing for once, not my hangover. Focus for once.

And, apart from anything else I don't want to end up like this. So maybe a clear head and less worrying for me!
Time to find my passport I think! I'll worry about myself this holiday and leave the others to do the same. And, I'll keep reminding myself that I'm sober, its only my geography that's changing for a week. Sober is worth taking on holiday and looking after.  I might try and leave Wolfie behind, house sitting in my absence. Worth a try?

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. There's a very good Bubble Hour podcast - from a while back - about sober trips/holidays. I seem to remember one of the guests describing this beautiful sober kit which she took with her: special pjs, bath oil, a candle, that sort of thing. How about making yourself something similar? And I need to do the same for my holiday! Your stern talk to yourself is just what I need too. Love Annie x

  2. I think you are ready Daisy. Great planning. I had a beach vacation Thanksgiving week and I was the only one who did not drink. I had a similar lists of concerns and positive actions to take. It worked! You can do this, and when it is over you will be so in love with yourself:). KT

  3. Dear Daisy,
    You made a great case for having a wonderful time.
    You are more than a drink!
    You will be so happy with yourself!
    Peace and Hugs!

  4. I second Annie - do you have time to pack a sober first aid kit a la Living Sober? I love the idea of wolfie housesitting - maybe he'll have given up by the time you get back ;) xx

  5. Did you follow me the last few weeks? Just did what u about to do.....


  7. Daisy - you do the BEST illustrated posts :). You can totally do this and have a wonderful time. Do be sure to leave Wolfie housesitting, maybe tied up in the basement or garage. Also I am sending you my magic wand to wave over your friend or stuff up her nose, as appropriate.



  8. Sorry, I am laughing at your big talk to yourself. You are so entertaining even when it is SERIOUS, I know, this is a SERIOUS topic. I do hope you have a marvellous time - just think of poor us in the colonies, a trip to the Alps darling, would take a life time's savings (well, for me anyway) Chalet OMG, JEALOUS. We do have lovely mountains.... one day....
    You will find some you time, & great planning!!!
    PS I am now worried about the bloody passport. Tell us when found. Maybe on LS. XXXXX