Thursday, 30 April 2015

Shame? Or no Shame? Day 1 again.

So I drank last night.

That's a statement isn't it.

It kinda blindsided me. I think I was compliant and let Wolfie whisper to me and let me think that somehow I was different. This morning I woke up and thought, thank god that was a dream. But, seconds later my brain told me, it wasn't. I drank. There's a wine bottle in my kitchen under a bag waiting for the recycling hidden.

I opened up my email and Lucy's post today on The spiral of Shame, spoke to me so profoundly I've been mulling this all morning. I've also listened to the links she posted  up as I too love Brene Brown. Pop over and watch them, please do make time.

Lucy's post is here

http://ahangoverfreelife.com/2015/04/30/brene-brown-3-things-you-can-do-to-stop-a-shame-spiral/

I can't thank her enough for posting today. I'm not going to disappear in a shame spiral, I'm using this as a learning event and a lesson to myself not to take my sober life so smuggly. Although I don't think I do. I guess I let my guard down and Wolfie went for my throat. Was I complacent? Look at all the crap I've been through this past month and WOOP WOOP no booze. Bugger. That's now not true.

Here's what happened. Yesterday was my birthday. I've been a bit flat with everything that had happened and decided that for my birthday I'd go to my SMART meeting, as I get so much from it and it was a GREAT meeting.  Sadly next week I'll have to share that I had a 'lapse' but I'm telling you all RIGHT NOW that it was just that, a momentary lapse. I've learnt from last night and I'm taking the positives from it.

So I'd had a long day, got home late and had been sharing a lot of the past weeks happenings with a lovely chum. The conversation itself was helpful, the subject a bit triggery. I was aware I was triggersome but not too concerned.

We (husband and I) went out to dinner and I talked a bit more about the hurtful things someone in my life had said about our miscarriages the previous week. So clearly still on my mind. Although none of this is an excuse.

We sat in a lovely vibrant new restaurant and pondered drinks. They do cocktails, no mocktails though and the drinks were a bit dull. (Again no excuse) Out of my mouth came the words, 'I fancy a glass of wine, and it is my birthday. Just one, that won't hurt.' In my head drinking one glass of wine before a meal pondering the menu is one thing I can put my hand on my heart and say I miss.

So I ordered one, and I made it large.

Oddly my husband said nothing at all, except it was nice to see me relaxed enough to have a glass of wine and not worry about it all. Sometimes I think he's kind, sometimes I think I don't share enough, sometimes I don't share enough so he can't get it.

For a while, I don't drink it, then I taste it, its not very nice for a Pinot Gringot and its a bit warm. I slosh some icecubes into it and hope it gets better, it doesn't. In fact, I hardly touched it and thought that odd, normally I'd wolf (excuse the pun) it down. In fact it was almost at the end of the meal when it was only half finished. So I drank a little quicker, telling myself best not waste it and it was probably a bad idea in the first place.

I had no thoughts of drinking more until we decided to get ready to leave.  And, then I think my inner Wolfie was on full blown fire.

Instead of feeling a sense of satisfaction and proud (don't ask me why) for being able to have one glass and being 'special', I knew I needed more.

Immediately as we're in town I say to my husband, I think I'll nip for ice-cream, maybe some alcohol free wine and we can continue our celebrations at home.

All of these were lies. I was going for wine, I didn't want him to see this, as half way through the meal I found myself saying, you know I'd like this, the odd glass of wine when I'm out but not drinking at home, that makes me sad.

The lies began.

I asked him to pay the bill, whilst I nipped to the shop, he could pick me up on the way home, best use of resources.

Now if I hadn't wanted wine we would have walked hand in hand to the car talking, kissing, laughing.

My selfish side was ripped open with avengence.

I bought the strongest wine I could find quickly.  All of my devilish drinking skills maxed out.

Wine in bag, juice for him for good measure so he'd carry his into the house, leaving me time to hide the full-alcohol wine.

And, here's the thing.

We get home and I put the wine in the pantry, so he can't see. More deceit.

I ask him to sort out the living room fire so I can pour and drink the biggest glass before he comes back to settle himself. I want him immediately out of the way. More deceit, more normal drinking behaviour from me.

I try to throw the first glass down my throat, discarding the special glass I use to use for wine which is now my 'juice' glass, my anti-wolf glass. I still want that to be special.

And here's the second thing, its disgusting. Its so bad I resort to old tricks of pouring elderflower cordial in it, to make it go down easier.

Its still disgusting. I honestly struggled to drink the glass full.

My mind is telling me, it will get better, who cares just drink it.

My heart is saying, this isn't right. Its vile, you're not enjoying it, what are you doing. We've come so far. Is this how you want to spend your birthday in deceit.

I finish the glass, my second glass of wine tonight, generous glasses lets call that two 250ml glasses. Half a bottle. One glass out, one in the house. Two glasses.

In 207 days its my only alcohol. I'm proud of that. Something inside me seems to just admit defeat.

This isn't me anymore.

I go to the larder and empty the wine bottle down the sink. Half of me wants to drink its revolting contents. The other half of me is sad that I'm here and sad that I've lost this part of my life. This isn't fun, its not how I remember it. I'm more disappointed that ashamed.

A large glass of water and I return to the sitting room. I'm a bit buzzy from the wine and I don't like it.

I really don't like it. I don't like the stories, the hiding the running away from a lovely meal from my husband to get wine.

I just don't like any of it.

So here I am. Day 1 again. I'm not seeing this as a failure. I'm seeing this as a lesson, as part of my journey. I'm sorry I let my guard down and let wolfie in but I learned so much last night.

This isn't me anymore.
I'm not missing out on anything.

And of course, the biggest lesson, I'm certainly not special. I can't have one glass and it goes nowhere.

All the drinking strategies kick in almost immediately I got to the end of the glass in the restaurant. Wanting more, that hunger. I only bought one bottle of wine in the shop because I knew my husbands wine was in the house and I could drink it afterwards if I wanted to. I had a plan all sorted out in my head about how I was going to stay up all night drinking it all. Savouring it.

But, that's not how it panned out.

So here I am. After reading Lucy's timely email and Brene's kind words. I'm stopping this spiral which could be shame.

So I'm pinching this bit from Lucy from Brene.

And I've told my story. I've told myself it was a slip, and part of my journey. Today I'm being kind to myself. I have the mother of all hangovers too, go figure, how times have changed, it would have taken 2 or 3 bottles to make me feel this crap.

So I'm human, I'm still here and sober again. Lets hope I've learned from myself. I don't like the drinking me, she's selfish and a liar.

From Lucy - The take-aways from this clip on how to stop a shame spiral:
  1. Know your shame triggers and reality check them
  2. Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love
  3. Reach out to someone you trust
  4. Tell your story

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

So I told someone - Just Speak.

So I told someone I love, don't have booze in my house when I come back home from being away. I'm just not strong enough right now. And for once, she didn't. Although I didn't check in her bag (I know, I'm an untrusting bugger!)  And, she went to bed at 9.30 pm, so if she drank in her room, whilst its mildly pissing off, I guess she tried. She has a loud Wolfie. but he can bugger off on my watch.

That was different.

So I told another someone, who asked bluntly last night when staying here for work, why I wasn't drinking? I said I'd given it up for a bit and I was feeling better. Just better. And she just said, I guess that makes sense. End of story. What I didn't add was - I sleep better. I'm better. Life's better. I feel less isolated. Works better. Feelings are raw, but better and more manageable. I didn't add that I thought maybe I drank a bit too much when I was sad, and it didn't help. Sober is better. End of.

That was different too.

It's easier being sober than not sober, if that makes any sense. And, whilst I'm back home from my trip (and yes that was helpful and healing, thank you) life is slowly getting back to normal.

I'm a bit sad and I'm a bit flat, but that's OK. I told my husband, I'm not great. I didn't interalise it. And because I've told him, that seems to be a better way of dealing with things than isolating myself and drinking.

Also different.

Telling folks (some) of how I'm feeling seems to be a way of keeping me sober and slowly coming to terms with things like people bringing booze into my house, which I don't like, more manageable as how can they know if I don't say anything.

I'm still sober, also different.

Speak. Just speak, it helps. Wolfie also hates it when we share and reach out to others.

Sorry Gwen, you're not always right. Lovely song though.


I'm home and getting on with normal life, sober. Its been hard. I've been so indebted and touched by your support and I'll catch up on comments soon. Still baby sober steps here.

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.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

200 days

Healing. Celebrating 200 days sober. Thanks for all your support.
Xxx

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Happy hour

So were away in the snowy/sunny alps. It's refreshing and rejuvenating. Talking about 'apr├Ęs ski' with hubby in the ski lift cabin, he says 'I might have a beer' then he stops and hold my hand and says 'but you don't drink so that's not fair is it?!' It made me smile. He hardly drinks but he's being kind too. 

So we are here with lime and soda and he's got some orange and even though its happy hour our drinks are full price. Only alcoholic drinks are half price.

Small price to pay I think.

Wolfie is loud and there's booze.....Everywhere, to be expected at a French Ski resort but lime and soda it is. 

I'm surprised how hard not drinking is, but 200 calls soon. And I'd really like to snag it.

My husband says that since stopping drinking I talk more. Good or Bad?! I'm not sure but small steps!

Happy Sunday from France.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Away

Getting away for a bit. Off to snowy France. Skis are packed some gentle exercise might do me good. Funny how after one sober holiday it's not something I'm worrying about. Same village as we always go to. It's familiar. We're talking lots, I think we need to.

I haven't packed, I have paid, I haven't engaged with anything but my feet. Hubby has done everything.
I spent yesterday in my garden gently planting and tending life. My 'autopilot' is off for life, I'm just focused on what's in front of my feet and allowing someone else to make all the decisions, sort the bits and steer me. Although I'm assured I have clean knickers. 

For a control freak like me, the odd sense of serenity I have allowing someone else to 'do' and 'care' is quite odd. I guess Houston, we finally have TRUST.

Hugs and sober love to you all thanks for helping me to get  here, sober  must find a new scientist, travelling reading I love

Friday, 17 April 2015

Hemingway and automitons

Didn't get around to writing yesterday. Thank you all for checking in with me, you sober warriors. But also didn't drink. Wanted too, sure, but I feel robbed of the solace it gives me as the voice in my head says, it won't help. Well {f*** u} you silly voice, thanks for spoiling that too. I know it won't help and whilst that's better, I think I preferred oblivion. But, with the oblivion option gone, I'm sober. Its hard.

The quote above sums up how I'm feeling. Its raw and blunt. Exactly like this six word Hemingway story. I can't say I'm a Hemingway fan. The limited work I've heard of his, I actually despise. We didn't buy anything for the baby this time, we've learnt not to tempt fate. So there are no shoes to stow away. So I must admit I'd rather have recorded this particular journey, in a long three part book with several editions.

Instead of losing myself in a bottle or six of wine, I'm reflecting. Looking up quotes, looking to see how I can also support my husband. All of this is new. I'm normally in full wallow by now.

I think the hardest thing about loss and sober is the raw emotions you feel. I guess that means its living isn't it. Life isn't the same The hardest bit for me is that no one knows. Its like a dirty little secret. I know its private and that's our choice, but husbands family are close and no one knows. He's adamant he doesn't' want to share, his family, his choice. I'm not hugely emotionally attached to them, but neither can I be around any of them right now and be 'normal'. I guess it doesn't really matter as my close folks know. But there's no shame in loss is there? 

Husband has the bits and bobs done for our break, we've leaving tomorrow. He's told his mother we have found a bargain and we're off for a week. I'd rather he'd have not shared anything, but that's my idle bitching, he's been a star aside the secrecy stuff. He doesn't share, that's just how he is and I respect that.

Daughter called yesterday and dropped off a sat-nav. Was nice to see her and connect again. The children have been my rocks. I've not overburdened them, but they knew about this pregnancy too and had their fingers crossed. My kids have always been my universe, I'm sorry they don't have a new compatriot to share with them too. I'm so sorry my husband hasn't the same support, outwith me and my children, no one knows his pain. But, I'm sober and I'm here for him.

My mother comes today to take the dogs, I had to tell her what had happened. I'm not much of a sharer with her, but as we needed help, I thought it was too shallow to just announce another 'holiday' and foist my dogs at her. I'd not really known how she'd react. My relationship with my mother is triggery and cold. Her investment in my life is minimal, mines in hers similar. And, yet I desperately wanted to talk to her about the pregnancy and my fears. I'm glad I didn't, I'd only have got an 'I told you so' or so I thought.

Remarkably, she was kind and she listened to my matter of fact account of why I needed to get away {I miscarried again, I'm OK, I'm sore, but I need to get away, can you have the dogs}. We swap news events every year or so on the telephone, like headline news. Short, sharp, minimal dressage, straight to the point. Ours isn't what you'd call a 'warm' relationship. And, yet although I could have put the dogs in kennels, I chose to share with her and get a potential ear bashing. I barely understand myself. Reaching out? Who the F** knows. Like I say, I barely understand myself and my need for connection with this 'automiton' I call my parent. And, yet I call.

She didn't say sorry or express much in the way of emotion, but I'm not sure I'd have let her we don't have that kind of relationship, she thinks having kids is stupid, time wasting folly, I think its awesome, we always agree to disagree on these points. 

She did however say one sentence which I think showed empathy. If not actual love, maybe there's love in there too, maybe I'm too harsh and emotionally cut off from her.

'Sometimes, you have to put yourself first'.

I think from her additional comments, she meant to add, 'and, draw a line under it all'. But she didn't say it.

I'm not sure I wanted to hear it either. But, something in those words keeps resonating around my sober head.

Self care.

{its likely to be a triggery day for me, you might hear from me later. xx}

Sometimes I wondered why I drank. Today I know why. Its easier than life sometimes.

Well it was.

Sober girl, over and out for now. And thank you.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Acceptance

I went to my SMART meeting today. My husband drove me in, which as I'd
been very cagey before about it (I called it an anxiety group) for me was a big deal.
But I'm trying to be a bit more open about my recovery, well sort of. It's still a kind of need to know basis. 

Last night I had that constant I'm going to drink, I'm not, I am, I'm not going on for hours, like day one. All over again. No it won't help but for a few hours numb would be nice. I paced and padded and bathed and paced some more. By ten o clock at night I was sure I'd open his birthday wine, hide it and replace it. But the shame and the guilt and the betrayal of trust kept niggling at me.

I know it would isolate me from my feelings and my partner. Part of me wants that. I want to wallow. I want no one to understand my pain. I want to be selfishly alone. I guess that's Wolfie.
Trying to keep me isolated. Trying to push folks away.

So instead I mentioned the wines sure demise if its left in the pantry. His birthday wine from last July is in there. Two bottles. (Who knew wine kept that long?) And we're not talking screw cap Slug it down. We're talking peel the posh foil carefully, uncork bottle, empty bottle and put foil back on carefully with tonnes of ribena in it so it looks full.  Replace bottle when can drive. Stealth wine sneaking, is my speciality. I've got a badge and everything.

So I've asked him to move it to his man cave/music room today. Kitchen is shared space, man cave is, well, a man cave and I don't go in there. I think for me it needs to move. Ideally further away but a boundary is a boundary.

Funny how last week wine wasn't shouting to me. This week is like fecking mardigraw  ticker tape and neon flashing
Signs shouting drink me, drink me. Alice in wonderland I am not.

So back to this meeting. Today's chat was about acceptance.

Acceptance of self.
Acceptance of others.
Acceptance of life.

I need to accept that I'm hurting and that's ok.

I need to accept others, their support and help. Their attitudes and their concerns. And if they put me on the sofa with a book, I need to stay there. And not
Moan and enjoy the dogs company and a good book.

I need to accept life. Sometimes it's just shite. But it's not personal. It's just life.

We also set some goals. Not like in football.

Today my short term goals are:
Rest
Phone work and explain I'm off for a few weeks. (If they don't understand, tough)
Ask for help with dogs/house when away
Don't drink today.
Don't drink today.
Don't drink today.

Mid term Goals
Abstinent
Work on health
Secure permanent job
Work at relationships
Self acceptance
Seek medical advice regarding recurrent miscarriages

Long Term Goals
Abstinent
Healthy
Happy 
Good relationships
Feel 'better' 
Child (?) perhaps

So it was worth the time to go and accepting help to get there too.

Today's mission is just not to drink.
I'm shocked at how close I came last night. I'm back to pacing. Wine is still my go to for stress when I'm not being careful.

Again thanks for all of your support.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Doing things differently

Thank you all for your kind words and replies yesterday. I really have been so touched by you all.

I tried so hard to fight the sober/drinking urges yesterday and even asked to drink a few times, but faithful husband gave me the look. {you're insane} the eye {not on my watch} and the eyebrow stare with 
Second look {not a chance, it won't make anything better, in fact it's mad}
So we did indeed make it to bed sober. 

So that was different. We also talked. We talked a lot. He's hurting, a lot. The physical effects for me are manageable but his pain seems intense. Would I have noticed if I switched myself into a bottle and shut off? Probably not. My poor me blanket woulda have been over my head and my ears full of Wolfie.

I trawled the Internet for ideas. Something drew me to our winter hideaway. It's the last week of the winter ski season soon. Apartments are cheap and flights pennies. So I planted the seed. Some time away would help to heal us both. 

Today he's booked us a trip away. Just us. We need it. Now I'm not suggesting escaping everyday life is always the answer but right now we two need to escape, try something different.

Whilst I know I'm not up to any real type of activity, but warm Sunshine, good food and just space and time away to reconnect, talk and heal will help. It will help us both. He's recharged by mountains, it will help.

Being sober helps us both too. Doing it differently not shutting off into a bottle of
Merlot.

He's even packed my case. Suddenly we seem like a team again not two separate souls wondering how to deal with our hurt alone. He's sorting maps and bits and bobs, he's distracted for now that's helpful. 

And, for once I'm not half listening topping up my glass feeling like he doesn't understand. For once I'm present. I'm not hiding.

Sober is hard, it's raw, but life is too. Life hurts. Sometimes like stink but then you spy a new flower in the garden and see life beginning again. Just like it always does. Slowly.

Thanks for listening again. I know hormones will drop and blackness might suck me bare but this sober way seems more real. 

Day 192 for me. The loves at living sober and my wee orange box remains my go to and check in too. For all you sober lovelies I do thank you for being there, hands out, in the dark and the light.

Night night lovelies.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Regrets

Asking for help in our normal lives is something I think women in particular can sometimes be very remiss at.

Whilst I'm still quietly sober, I'm staring into the abyss of those tumbled emotions.

I need accountability. I need to stand up and say, I think I'm teetering on a blow out. Epic, wanted, but so unwise. So not the solution. I'm grieving, I'm in pain and I'm empty.

I'd been counting the days down to tell you all we had a happy sober accident, found ourselves miraculously pregnant. So unexpected. My prudent self was quietly ticking off the days until 12 weeks and another healthy scan to confirm this baby was a keeper. We had an early scan and saw a healthy little heart beat and did a wee quiet dance. Prudent mind, early days. We've been here so many times before. Whilst I've live children, my husband has none.

A word hardly whispered in some corners, we, our family have been victims  of miscarriages. A series of cruel, even if a necessary biological event. The first pregnancy with this husband, I didn't stop drinking to try and conceive, so strong was my urge to drink. But around the 5-6 weeks when I found out I was pregnant, each time,  I did stop for a while. They unfortunately didn't make it. I blamed my drinking but it didn't stop me. I didn't get healthier, I just drank more. After the third miscarriage, my drinking was almost crazed, my crutch.
I saw no point in stopping drinking during the 4th or 5th pregnancy event. Although I moderated to one or two drinks a
Day only. Yes that's shocking, but so is that voice who creeps and whispers about how futile this all is, as it will end in disaster. I know now that's Wolfie. Shouting out my failures, kicking around my fears and my heart.

So this time, unexpectedly pregnant, sober, healthy, happy, I hoped for a better outcome. Sadly not. The poor wee
Soul who's heart seemed so strong left us at ten weeks, same as previous attempts.

Having been sober for over
6 months now, I can let go of all the shame of blaming myself. I'm as healthy as I could have been and still the same result.  My fears that my actions lead to this sad path are unfounded. For once
I have taken the very best care of us both.

Wolfie hasn't stopped for a second.
Drink he told me, the baby is dead anyway. He's cruel.

My hand on my heart I ignored Wolfie every single day and his despicable words and taunts. I did my sober best. I stayed strong.  

So here I am. Teetering. When I came home from the hospital yesterday we ritualistically went for after miscarriage 'comfort food' usually that's my excuse to buy booze and drown my sorrows deeply.  But as much as I thought grab the wine, I grabbed the alcohol free version. I have prescribed
Painkillers which ironically I don't like as they make me feel spaced, they'd be much worse with booze.

I don't want to go back there. I'm
Going to try and blog everyday for a while. I'm off work. I'm sore and I'm dark.

Whilst I know it's nothing that could have been prevented, it's for the best for the developing baby, you can imagine what Wolfie is telling me. Although I know it's not my fault.

Whilst motherhood is something that makes me soar like a bird, this side of life breaks my soul. My husbands poor heart is so broken again. We had such hope this time, even if the news of a potential child, was unexpected. We tried to temper our joy with practical thoughts
And assure ourselves
That what would be would be.
 It was so welcomed. That little life. It left just too early.

After getting home from the hospital again today, I immerse in much needed sleep, He immerses in his music.

Not a very positive post from me.
Life sometimes throws rocks at you. But, if I step off into the abyss, I know I'll regret it.

So here I am. Sad and broken. Full of guilt and sadness for my husband, the father for the briefest turn again. Full of sadness for the new family I'd tried not to dare too much for.

Drinking would numb it all for an hour or so. Put me back on that spiral of self loathing and regret.

I don't want to walk that path again. But I'm scared. I can't even remember what sober day I am. I must check. Must focus on sober and healing.

Speak tomorrow my friends. 

I'm sorry for this post I'd hoped never to write it.