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.