Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sober treats and swimming in shark infested custard

I do remember writing about shark infested custard before. Sometimes I think that's what early sober feels like. I'm really selling it to you, yes? I feel bludgeoned by society to drink, its like dodging through the shallows looking for where the next attack might be. Media, music, activities, events, birthdays, christenings, holidays, visitors, catching up, home warming presents. Even going in for a pint of milk offers several hundred bottles of booze dangling there in front of you at 10 am.

Its truly mind boggling how you learn to avoid things, dodge and duck, sometimes I've discovered its easier to hide home and go online shopping, selecting carefully and saying thank you to the man that pops by and delivers it all. A solid alcohol free experience. I heartily recommend it when you first dip into sober land. Much easier not to buy booze if you're not faced with it at times that are around the witching hour. For me, I just don't go near a shop or a supermarket in the evening, its not worth the risk for me this early into sober. So shopping in my pyjama's it is then. Safer by far.

And, as for the 50th birthday week away I've just been invited to that has me all panicking and its in October, I can only hyperventilate when I think about that. We've decided only to go for a weekend, I'm going with the careful hand hold of my husband, now declared teetotaler and at beyond 6 ft and hairy, no one messes when he says he'll have an apple juice please.  I shall hide behind his girth and guard my own loins. We shall arrive late, leave early and whilst be there for my bestbest friend, gird our loins with everything we can think of.

So we're slowly sneaking through sober, quieter than before, I'm spending a lot of time in bed and a lot of time alone, recharging in between the summer visitors, who've mainly respected the sober household. Somehow influenced by my new found love of grocery shopping online, I did take the initiative and finally go and order some books I've been looking for. They didn't have them in my local book shop. Sober treats you say, easier online if you make the effort. A bit of mainlining Dr Brown for me for a while I think. Well, I've never been very good at doing anything by halves. I've always wanted to read these so now I can.

I find it hard to get on my computer every day, so whilst I manage social media for work from my phone, I thought maybe that was a way to try and reach out when I can't blog. More sober tools and if its easier for me, then its a no brainer. So I started a sober face book page. If it doesn't work I can always delete it.

Now for some catching up on my reading. Slowly slowly.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sober Sundays

I've always found it remarkable when managing to be sober how utterly fabulous Sundays are. I don't know especially why they are any different to any other sober day. But, even with the history of daily drinking, sober Sundays seem the best day to me. They have their own vibe.

Maybe its that its another week cracked, or just surviving the ritual of drinking on Saturdays which seem to be more acceptable (than drinking everyday, I mean everyone drinks at the weekend don't they its just NORMAL). So when a lot of the world has a hangover, perhaps their only one of the week, if they only drink on a Saturday, then maybe that's it. Feeling different in a good way.

I'm haivering, that's normal for me. Thank you all for the good wishes and the thoughts for my cousin. And, the virtual sweet peas. Its meant a lot. I've been in a wrapped up fog for the last few weeks, or that's how it feels. I've not fought it either, I've done little. But I'm sober and that's all that really matters to me at the moment.

I read another great blog from Prim today full of thought provoking [ LINK HERE ]- and the last bit of it resonated so much with me too.

Wherever we are on our journey.......very very brilliant advice from the lady herself.

don’t drink. reach out. be very, very kind to yourself.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Day 24 - Choosing life

I'm here and I'm living and I'm trying.
I'm so grateful to be here today. For not losing myself into the oblivion it would be so easy to seek. Sometimes they say, it can take a cataclysmic event to stop drinking even for a day or so. I've had lately, so many shares of my day 1's after days of attempting day 1's for sometimes what seems an eternity. Sometimes its something horrific we do or say that shocks us into the shame that sometimes it takes to stand back and actually stop. Whilst I've had my fair share of these, its amazing what wears off after a day or two and 'just the one' seems to be the most logical thing in the world. Well, it is for me.

We have had a rather tumultuous few weeks, month or so, even. Rather than sink into a bottle yesterday I asked my husband for support, asked for his company, made myself unable, even if I wanted to, buy any alcohol. Whilst my resolve is strong, my go to in any crisis is alcohol, I don't trust myself with any kind of drugs, but ironically, they are easier to avoid. We talked for a long time into the night about my anxiety, how it seems to totally grip and strangle me and often leads to me drinking to quiet the worry. He said he was grateful I was able to trust him.

Yesterday we said goodbye to a close family member, 364 days older than me, I'm 48. They were the subject of a horrific attack, and sadly died afterwards, in hospital, peacefully. Its taken weeks to get to the bottom of what happened, perhaps we never will but someone has been charged with culpable homicide. Another drugs and alcohol related death, was sadly reported, its victim far too young.

Its totally rocked me personally to the core. Selfishly, I also thought, what if that had been me?

My cousin lost his grandparents largely to alcohol, [me too]
his uncles and aunties to alcohol, [me too]
his parents to alcohol. [I've one left]
lost his job to alcohol, [not yet, but if I'm honest, its been close]
lost his core friendships to alcohol, [some, some I need to lose because of alcohol pressure]
lost his access own sweet family to alcohol, [not yet, I hope never]
lost himself to alcohol and latterly, it seems, mixing in circles thick with drugs. [not yet I hope never]

Some of his family and friends stuck by him, checking in when they could, often distancing themselves from harms way and the chaos. But, there for him. I guess I was one of them, but I guess I understand now more than most. I last spoke to him when he'd lost his job and life was on the up as he'd had a month and 5 days sober. Sadly it didn't last. I never heard from him again.

I stood yesterday with Simple Minds 'Don't you forget about me' blasting out of the speakers, saying goodbye, thinking how utterly selfishly grateful I am to be here and be on a sober, if erratic, journey at times.

I need to find this moment for grounding. For when the overwhelming urge to drink is just too much.

I need to remember to choose life. Be tenacious in my choices and choose living.

Maybe this is too much sharing. And, maybe it is. I need to live. Alcohol is claiming too many lives around me. And, yet wine, sometimes, spirits just seems so appealing to quiet those noises in my head. I need to empty this head I think.

I'm good today. Sober, lunch packed and ready to return to work. I had taken some time off, too fragile to deal with anything aside myself and sober living.

I've a plan to be solely with my husband later, to scupper any ability to buy alcohol, just in case.

The voice in my head tells me, when I allow it in, that I'm different and I can control things. I won't die like that. Like any of them, Reality would tell me, I'm not as different special as I might want to convince myself or think I am. Drinking is not a good idea for me, ever. Selfishly I want to live.

Excuse the overtly morbid post, I'm good today, but I need to keep grounded in stark reality for the moment. Day 30 is on its way, I just need to get there.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Day 19 - long time no see.

Hey there, I hope you're good. I can't thank you enough for the comments that pop into the inbox. It really goes a long way. When of course I open my sober emails, which I'm trying to do everyday now and not shy away from them.

Its been a long time since I got this far, I'm normally 3 days - 7 days and then something freaks me out/gets too much and I head straight back to day 1. I'm trying to fathom out why but for now I'm happy at day 19. Tomorrow is day 20. My partner is away and I've invited a doesn't drink chum around for the day, possibly for the night we'll see. I'm liking my own space at the moment.

I'm generally OK, got a good gym routine going for my rehab for my knee, so its a good change to be doing something positive for myself. I'd also managed to get myself in quite a pickle about drinking/not drinking the other night and resorted to cleaning the house instead and that kept me going through the witching hour.

Today we try friends and a promise to go the the gym tomorrow.

I did begin to wonder if vanity can get you sober. My weight was creeping up to 'pregnant with child' previous records, partly booze partly comfort eating with booze in between. So many lost calories, such a messy kitchen in the morning. Sandwiches at midnight again, oh ok.

So something in the logic in my brain said, you know what enough is enough. You can't be trusted (yes Lou was right, I can't trust myself sometimes to make sensible choices for myself), so no more booze. And, that was 19 days ago.

Fitbit fully charged, food monitoring app on the phone, if truth be told if anyone had told me I'd been looking at the witching hour and thinking, you know I just don't have those empty booze calorie choices to make today, I'd have said they are insane. But then again as a functioning kinda gal, I can choose to drink 15+ units and still do the gym the next day, torturing myself, deserving the pain. Well not anymore. As I slide my way to 50, its not down a booze shute. I choose life.

Whilst I'm not dieting, I'm monitoring what I eat and seem to have reduced the 3000+ calories on a 'booze day' down to just under 2000 most days and I'm really getting my steps/gym in too drinking or not I make myself exercise. And, man its a slog with a hangover.

Whatever works I say. I'm looking forward to seeing day 20.

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, 26 May 2016

Day 2 - Trust

I've being doing Belle's mantra of 'don't try harder, do something different' and its made me very ponderish.

I think trust is my biggest issue. Trust.

Five small letter. Which amount to, I don't deserve this. I don't deserve these folks being nice, I don't deserve anything.

Tell no one.

Trust no one.

Or maybe trust some folks. Like Belle and you sober lovely lot, I'm listening to her new book. She's asked me to write a list of some things as an exercise.

Day 1 what to expect when you're newly sober {subtext here for me is that even though you've had about a gazzilions of times, try something new}. I need to remind myself of a few things.

Ten things to write down

1 - They way I drink has affected my
2 - And my
{relationship with my family and friends}
3 - And my
{well being}
4 - The way I drink has caused problems with
{inner self and my happiness}
5 - And with
{my general focus}
6- Its made me feel
7- I nearly had a disaster when
{?mine are too raw and cringeworthy for here}
8 - And this was just about a disaster too
{?see above}
9 - I'm tired of waking up feeling like
{I don't deserve any better}
10 - People who will be relieved when I'm sober
{sober friends}
{anyone else who knows me.........?}

I did however speak to my other half today and say, you know I'd had the occasional glass of wine, well I think its noodling with my head. I'm in a funny place.

{deep sighs and breaths here}

His reply. I had thought it odd you'd even consider the odd glass when it doesn't seem to make you be very nice to yourself. Maybe its time to just leave it.


And we have people for dinner tonight, ironic in the extreme I pick this week to start over. Or not, life goes on. I took advice I'd had previously and messaged ahead to say, no booze here we've only juice - that's all fine with them they said.

A little less to stress about.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A peek over my sober shoulder.

There you are. And, here I am. For the thoughtful words and messages which have laid quietly on the whole until I was ready to venture into sober land again. I thank you all. I really do. Sober community, even if you switch it to 'gentle snooze' for a while is as always consistent and epic reliable and wonderously cosy. Thank you and I really mean that.

Here's where I'm at. I've had about 15 drinking days in the last year. Most of them in the past few months when I worked beyond crazy full time. Never insane, but nevertheless, I couldn't cut it totally sober. 

I've told sober friends, I'm a failure. They've told me I'm not. Frankly 15 days drinking moderately has been far less catastrophic as a blow out or any of my numerous years drinking ever was. So whilst its not a full scale parade, its still better than it was before.  Maybe a mouse-parade?

I stopped writing for a while, in just about every area of my life. It just got too much. Everything just go too much.  I worked too much. I also broke my knee and tore a knee ligament clean off, at Xmas and wrecked it again in late January, and I continued to work. Yes really and I refused to go see a Dr until my busy period was over, I didn't want it to affect my working pay. Its insanity perfectionified isn't it. {real word by the way} And if I'm honest, a broken knee is probably less painful to bear than constant hangovers/paranoia at work, which I must be guilty of for the past god knows how many years. 

I'm self-employed and a stark-I-will-do-everything-by-myself single parent. So when I get offered crazy amounts of work, I take it. Even if it means self care is f*cked. I'm so use to feast or famine when I went back to feast, I hadn't really realised (yes I am this thick) that alcohol in some form or another might rear its 'dodgy-NONcoping-mechanism-head'. And, food, food has been a real substitute for booze and over work. I've put on over a stone in a couple of months. My confidence is down the bog.

The questions just got too much. The justification for NOT drinking got too much.

As I poured a bottle of cheap rose down the sink in my kitchen in December a rather stressful houseful at home, and filled it with diluted berry juice just to 'fit it' and quiet the voices, the irony was not lost on me. Pretending to drink. And pretending to drink something you know no one else would touch with a barge pole. Geniusly f*cked up.

You see its easy to pretend to drink, you're already well skilled at double devious behaviour.

 So sometimes I've fake drunk. Sometimes I've had one glass to shut the idiots in the room up. Overwhelm can be a crazy crazy bitch. At the end of my insane contract period, we took another holiday with some relatives, big wine boozers, but you know kinda snobby with it. So I went all out into buying the cheapest wine possible and making a show of it, so no one would touch it. Its not that I even wanted it. I just wanted to quietly fit in. The rose/juice trick was pulled everyday that holiday and oddly whilst I bought wine everyday I never drank a drop. And, was kind of appalled at our co-hosts drinking. But, like a little lamb, I took to the fold and pretended to join in. I don't really know why. Sometimes being sober isn't easy and when overwhelmed I can't begin to defend my own actions.

I haven't got a lid on that yet. Sometimes I think whilst I know some of the answers, I don't do sober very well. And, those isolating, I'm even a f*ck up at sober words which I know are Wolfie, still hold me hostage and alone. I'm not a good example of a sober girl. I'm just human and I'm learning pretty anxious and pretty vulnerable. I feel unworthy of friendship and I isolate myself very easily. Step aside nothing worth looking at here.

It also seems I don't do drinking very well either and sometimes even fake it. For peace.

But looking over my sober shoulder, sometimes I don't do me very well. But, I am learning. And, I realise none of this makes sense. But, I'm confronting it. Gently.

Works reverted, for a while, to a kind of lovely slow pace. Time to smell sober for a while and work on my coping mechanisms about who I am. And, an ability to open a sober email account and read some mails it would seem is a start.

Thank you for poking and pestering me and throwing me sober blankets and letting me breathe and get here in my own time.

I know I need to find therapy and actively work at things. I mean a bit of drinking is one thing, hard core fake drinking. Seriously, that's insane!? Slowly slowly catchy Wolfie.

Yesterday I had a 'wet the babies head' slurp of wine after work. It was shite. I prefer juice.

Day 1 again. With weaker knees and I know even less about myself. But, I'm here.