Sunday, 18 January 2015

My sober week

An old place always explored.
This is the time I like to look over the week in my life and be grateful for being sober. Last weeks post is here, this week has been quite different. I like to look and reflect on what's been happening and where I am. I like doing this it helps me to appreciate the calm days like the one above. How beautiful a day was this? Still and sunny, snow on the hills, a wonderful walk with my husband in my favourite place. My grandfather had a boat here a long time ago, we came most weekends and 'plowtered' about on his wee fishing boat. Its a time of my life I'll always be grateful for.
A new place to explore in the city.
So on Sunday I met a bunch of lovely lovely friends for a birthday lunch. Only see them now and again, you know how it gets. So much chatter the waiter/waitress had to come over several times before we could order.......And then a walk. Its lovely to be with friends that just get you, love you and respect you. No pressures and no hassles. No drinking, and on day 99, last Sunday I emailed the lovely Belle and joined the 180 day challenge and shut up Wolfie for a while which was good as he'd been very loud. I smothered him in sober love. And, moved forward.
Its been a week of celebration, getting to day 100 on Monday. A reflective time, my daughter travelling back to the UK from her fathers, always makes me edgy. I know this and I prepare for it, lots of self care, my real sober 101.  Its the only thing that's kept me from my downward spiral of drinking. 
Therapy on Tuesday, no tears this time just some revelations and some time to acknowledge a few things to myself. 
I'm a fretter, I'm anxious, these emotions have always been smothered in booze so they feel raw-er (real word) and I know to prepare for them.  But the storms of emotion always come.  I'm learning to prepare for them. A bit like a real life storm, preparing for bad weather, or bad moods, or just bad seems to help.  A bit like chopping logs, you do it when its calm, to prepare for the stormier times when you need them.
And we've had some storms this week. And, I've not been as prepared as I'd like. We talked a fair bit at my group meeting (SMART) on Wednesday about triggers and the positives and negatives of drinking. Hardly surprising perhaps that all the 'positives' about drinking were about short term gain. Whilst all the positives of not drinker were about long term gain. An interesting meeting, one new person to the group was having one, two then no three day sober. 
 At our meeting, its usually set by how our 'check ins' have been, and with someone new in the group we worked on triggers and how to over come them, how to delay. They said to me, I'd so like to get where you are. I looked around. ME? ME? Oh lord I'm so new at this I thought. Be like me? EEK. Get support I said, I'm so glad you're here I said. Load up on extra help I said. Trying harder didn't get me here (so new on my journey, I feel I have only a newbies voice) I so know day 1, day 2, drink day 3 its been my pattern for years, I said, trying different and loading up on so many 'sober tools' did help me to break the cycle a bit more often than not.  So I know it works for me. As always after the meeting if I can I go for a walk, this one, two days sober then third day drink is a pattern I have long been stuck in, I thought about that a lot on my walk. And I'm so glad I found you all.
Here I am. The one advantage of having a chum to stay is that they take your photo. Glamourous as always, stomping on a beach near home, this is me. The first evening my friend arrived there was a huge amount of weather disrupted travel in the north of the UK and I ended up stranded on a train, meeting my friend earlier and quite growly (grumpy) that my couple of hours I had planned after work alone had been destroyed. No ones fault but it left me more than a little touchy. I need my alone time. I need time to brace myself for people in my space. I started into the evening grouchy and as you'll no doubt be aware, it almost ended in disaster with me drinking. How I didn't drink I do not know. I'm grateful I didn't drink.  I don't feel strong. I feel pissed off. I feel sometimes like I don't get heard in my real life. Maybe my anger at her is really for my own situation. We drank in a pretty similar way and she's the same. Maybe I'm angry at me. 

I want to thank all of you over in sober lands who've touched base with me and checked I'm OK. I really can't thank you enough. And, whilst I feel unheard in this old friendship, I know you hear me and I'm so grateful for you all.
Having weathered the storm on Thursday night, space invaded, drink brought to my house when I asked for it not to be, I arranged that we'd attend a local 'Burns Supper' together. You could take wine if you wanted, but I forgot (oh dear) to tell my friend this. And so we drank water. And it was fun and fine. I certainly didn't miss it I don't know if she did, I didn't give her the option.

Saturday was for more walking, I feel sometimes that my space is invaded by people I love. I don't mind so much, but I'm beginning to realise a lot of these plans were for enabling my drinking. So maybe its not surprising that now, I'm finding them hard. Part of me wonders if its always been this hard for my husband. They all arrive clutching their bottles, and I run and hug and join them, with mine. For a non-drinker partner, can this be much fun. Probably not. So on Saturday we walked with the last of the visitors. We had breakfast out, (no hangover), we talked about the Burns supper (guilt free, no paranoia) and we had a lovely sunny walk. In my favourite place. I don't mind sharing it sometimes.
What I did do however, was remove myself from the company of my husbands Mum. I'd expected him to take her home and he'd muted he'd like her to stay longer. I smiled and asked if it was OK to take myself off to the woodshed for a wee while, if he was OK keeping his Mum company. Now, normally I'd find that too rude, but unhungover and free of guilt I thought to myself. I've done my bit for this weekend. I need some time to go and be alone. To reflect and to take out some of my anger on my wood pile. 

I'm very angry. I think perhaps I've always been pretty angry. I grew up in a very angry and quite violent household. My innermost core reaction has always been anger and lashing out, as I got older I lashed out with my tongue not my fists, when I learned that actually, people don't hit other people.  Its funny what you learn at home, its only when you leave you realise that perhaps not everyone acts like this. So I know I have a lot of anger inside me. Its often near the surface. Don't get me wrong I've never been a violent parent, heaven forbid any child had an upbringing like mine. But I do have anger, I was angry on Thursday when I found drink in my friends bag. Anger seems to be a trigger for drinking for me. I don't know why, maybe its how I suppress it. I think I'm angry at her because we drank the same, which isn't very kind now is it. But, I know I'm angry at me.

So off I took myself yesterday to my wood shed, out with the axes and the splitting tools. Yes I realise I sound a little demented and that I might not be a nice person, but I'm generally outwardly calm, and this is what I do to find my calm. I go vent and bash things with hammers and axes. So I spent a couple of hours splitting wood until my arms ached and then digging the garden until my other muscles ached and I took turns in doing both. I took them both on until my anger went, spent.
And I wore my best boiler suit and my best boots. Because, you know, I'm worth it. After all, I'm all about the glamour too.

So that was my sober week, a high five for 100 and then some tough times. And, a fair bit of wood chopping. How was yours?

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. Or email me direct on I'd be delighted to hear from you.

PS I've been having some technical issues with blog comments and posts so please bear with me until I fathom out what's going on! Thank you sober lands. xx


  1. Amazing congrats on your 100 days (and getting through that week). You have survived and handled an increasing number of challenges which should boost your confidence in remaining sober.
    I need my 'me time' too. Alone. x

  2. Hi Daisy. Great job getting through a really tough week! It sounds hard, being put upon by people in your space, even people you love. But I really wanted to say good for you for talking about the anger. When I quit drinking, I was really surprised to see how filled with rage I was. Filled! And no one seemed to ever talk about it. Anyway, I noticed it and talked about it and--as I don't have an axe or a woodpile--I walked and rode my bike and cried a lot. Reading about your week today and the other day, I see that's the kind of thing that would send me off for sure. I've come to think anger is a healthy response to a bad situation, though. To me, it means I'm alive and I'm feeling something, which is better than numb and beaten down. Anyway, I'm not trying to make this comment about me, except to say (with some detail!) I hear you on the anger and it's tough and I think you're doing great with all this! xo

  3. As always I love your Sunday updates, and though you've had a trying week I'm happy you made it to 100 days and going for 180! Take that, wolf! I felt a lot of anger, too, when I was drinking, it can be toxic. How wonderful that the newbie in your meeting wants to get where you are....again, take THAT, wolf! Keep your chin up ;) Lori K xx

  4. Your pictures are always great but this weeks are just amazing! I want to visit!!!

  5. Daisy - as Thirsty Still said anger is a normal human reaction to difficulty and yet it has been pathologised into something more. I'm glad you're expressing your anger rather than turning it in on yourself - more self-care in action and congrats on joining Team 180 and showing the newb's how it's done ;) Big hug xx

  6. Im angry a lot of the time too. Take care my friend

  7. There are a lot of things that being sober from alcohol can clear out. Just the general haze in both vision and priorities, making you see the composites that make them blur. Those could either be experiences or mere images, but it pays to get a grasp of the larger picture, in all the ways that you can do so. Anyway, I'm glad that you're well on your way to sobriety. Keep it up! I wish you all the best!

    Donnie Benson @ Midwest Institute for Addiction

  8. Congratulations for successfully surviving all those challenges, Daisy! I love how you dealt with your anger by expressing it, rather than keeping it to yourself. Also, it’s really hard to quit drinking alcohol, but if you are well-educated about the matter, you can surely control yourself. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! More power to you!

    Johnnie Smith @ Ranch Creek Recovery