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.