Checking in!

Hello lovely people,

How are you all doing? I hope you’re well and enjoying your sober days ( if it’s the first or the 1000th).

I am heading into my first full year sober. Can’t fucking believe it. 10 plus years of trying to have a day or two sober and I finally make a year. I know I will make a year with just 3 weeks to go, the competitive side of me will see to that. I’m not too sure about after that though- my mind thinks a lot these days like this “people with a problem cannot go an entire year without booze, people without a problem can’t even do that. I have proved to everyone I know- Husband, family and friends that I can control myself on alcohol so I must be cured and I’m sure I can have a glass of wine at a summers BBQ.” Hmmm… DANGER, DANGER!!

What I’ve learned the most in the past year is how alcohol completely screwed up my health. Even when I felt OK, I was overweight, lethargic and depressed. I’ve lost 2 stone in the past year, got fit, have a lot more energy and have really addressed my anxiety.

Without a doubt, giving up alcohol has been the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. Surely now I’m fixed I can start enjoying a glass of wine every now and then?

The problem is, I can already play it through in my head. I have a glass of wine after work on a Friday night. I drink it quickly because it feels so good. Before I know it the whole bottle is gone. Saturday morning I’m tired and dehydrated and decide to lie in bed rather than go out running. I spend the day wondering when I  can drink again. I start to make Saturday social plans earlier and earlier in the day- a nice dinner out with friends, then a boozy lunch and finally a champagne breakfast. As soon as I start drinking on Saturday, I don’t stop until I pass out. But I work hard all week, I’m entitled to ‘relax’ at the weekend right? Sunday morning I wake up feeling shit and hating myself. My husband pops out to do some jobs and I notice he fell asleep the night before with a full glass of whiskey. I clear it away, straight down my throat- it feels amazing because it’s like the medicine that has stopped me feeling sick. But it doesn’t last long, so before he’s back i fix another strong drink- then persuade him to go out for lunch so I can secure the next one before the horrible feelings set in and I have gut wrenching anxiety. 

That’s how the hamster wheel of my life gathers momentum- all because I fancied a glass of wine on a Friday night.

It’s probably time to start getting the thought of being a normal drinker out of my head. It’s not going to end well otherwise.

Would love to hear from anyone else that’s feeling the same as me about this or has been in this place before. I’m feeling really sad about it.

Much love people. Stay strong xxx

Checking in!

Time to get moving again

Today, I took the day off work sick which I haven’t done for a long time, and a really really long time for something other than a massive hangover or for an alcohol induced anxiety health day. I couldn’t even decide if I was really sick, so it took me a good hour of snoozing and actually starting to get ready to go in before I agreed with myself I was sick.

All day I have felt awful so glad I made the decision to stay home but it’s been a strangely reflective day. Remembering waking up with all those awful hangovers. The ones I struggled through, because I knew I’d done it to myself and life had to go on and then those that were too crippling for me to even get out of bed. I was actually rarely sick so spending a day in bed was always more down to the alcohol induced depression and feelings of wanting to die. On those days I had little problem taking the day off because, well I wanted to die so didn’t really care about my job.

Towards the end of my drinking I would lie in bed and  drink whatever was around that day. Help ease the anxiety and the added guilt for taking time off. Then panic about the little pains I was starting to feel all over my body.

I actually realized being sick today was a natural way for my body to tell me I’m over doing it. It also gave me the chance to do some thinking and start understanding why I am feeling do bleurgh right now. I may be overdoing it but im frustrated I feel like I’m treading water, not getting anywhere and that’s because I’m focusing all my energy in the wrong places. Getting sober is amazing because a lot of things in your life are suddenly better. For me, I lost weight, I’m getting fit, I feel good, my work has improved and relationships have improved. My social life has become amazing now that I am no longer isolating myself and heading home early to drink the amount I like to drink alone. Someone even said to me the other day, that I go out for a lot of drinks for someone that doesn’t drink.

So this is the thing, a lot of that happened relatively easily and automatically when I stopped drinking. They were all things I tried to do but alcohol made it tough. I always planned to get up early on a Saturday morning and go for a run but was usually hungover so it didn’t happen. Now its pretty easy to do. I loved making plans with people, but often cancelled because I felt rough. You get the idea.

But now it’s time to up my game a little. Step out of my comfort zone and do some things to make bigger improvements in life.

I didn’t realize how scary all this is without my old friend booze.

Hope you’re all doing well out there sober family. Would love to hear if any of you have had this plateau feeling after your initial days of sobriety. Like life needs an injection. Would great to have some inspiration.

235 days today. Wow.

Much Love xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Time to get moving again

So far this has not happened

I have not woken up with a bitch of a hangover wondering what I did last night or why I am sleeping in the spare room.

I have not had a bottle of champagne with my breakfast and then a cocktail.

I have not cried for no reason.

I have not struggled to cook a turkey whilst sneaking in as much alcohol as possible while remaining conscious.

I have not made lots of drunk phone calls.

What I have done has been simple but really lovely. A morning run. Pancakes for breakfast with fresh home made fruit juice. A nice cup of coffee over a book and a dip in the pool.

Its been the best Christmas morning so far! I can’t believe I’m going to be with it and present for the whole day today.

Merry Christmas sober family Xxx

So far this has not happened

Let’s do this!

The most alcoholic time of the year is in full swing. Even people that don’t drink, are more likely to indulge in a glass or two at Christmas than at any other time of the year.

What does that mean for us? People that are battling against the devil liquid every day of the year? When this time of year comes around we are reminded CONSTANTLY how wonderful alcohol is! How free and fun it makes you. Any other day of the year, turning up to work hungover is not acceptable but at christmas- well, it just means you know how to have a good time! Danced on the table at the office party and flashed your boobs at your boss? Hurrah! You really are the life and soul!

What does it mean for me? Well I’ve decided it will mean what I want it to. I’m going to enjoy this week and be grateful for every sober second. I’ve attended the Christmas drinks with mocktail in hand. I’ve cringed a little as people have slurred at me and looked like shit the next morning. That has been me (and worse) for so many years. Tomorrow morning, Christmas morning, I’m going to get up early and go for a run before my husband wakes. I’m going to enjoy my first Christmas morning in 18 years without a hangover by being out on my own. Breathing.

It will be different for sure. A whole day around other people guzzling champagne ALL day. I used to love that about christmas- no judgement if I remained sloshed for an entire week.

Instead, I’ll be trying my best to make the most of being present and enjoying all the things I couldn’t when I was wasted.

Good luck everyone! Hope you all have a beautiful, sober Christmas and share with me some of the nice things you’re doing instead of drinking this year xxx

Let’s do this!

Still here, still strong

I haven’t written for a while- mainly because my phone app is being a real pain so it hasn’t been easy to write how I like to on the move.

 

But I’ve been reading and following, willing you all on and thinking about posting again.

 

Tomorrow I will be four months sober. Writing that surprises me. I never thought that would be. I used to cry at breaking after every 3 days. I’d almost resigned myself to the fact I was going to be stuck in the alcohol cycle and I was going to spend the rest of my life hating myself.

Well guess what. I am not sober and miserable. I am making a new sober life which is really quite beautiful. I do things like get up early on a Saturday morning and run while the sun is rising. Hmmm funny really- that feels like a wonderful change from waking up feeling nauseous wondering when I can start drinking just so I can feel normal again. I feel normal all the time.

I go to the gym every night. I look forward to a hard workout and don’t have to drag myself to break a mediocre sweat. I can eat at restaurants without pangs of jealousy for the people around me enjoying wine.

I see a few long time sober people here have reset. Tried moderation and are trying to find their way back. Well I’m here to remind you how glorious it is. Its hard to remember but days are soaked in goodness when you are kind to your body and stop numbing it with poison.

I think I’ll have my day again. When I try to see if I can be normal and of course it wont work out, because people like us, well we’re just not normal are we? When I fuck up- I hope you’ll be there to remind me how good it is. To be right in your own mind, to wake up and live a day that isn’t full of anxiety and deep regret.

I don’t take this feeling for granted. My god I am grateful that I am coasting and I live in fear that one of these days, any day now I’m going to struggle. But for now I’m going to enjoy what’s left of my Sunday night with a cup of tea and book.

Still here, still strong

Anniversaries of normal stuff

Everytime I approach an annual event I wonder how I will manage it sober for the first time ever. Christmas is coming and my birthday follows. I haven’t had a sober one of either of those since I was 13.

I’ve had other days though that are marked as annual events.

Today was one of those days. An annual charity event we’re a part of helping at.

The funny thing is, I worry in advance about how it will be without alcohol but during the day itself its brilliant to think about the exact same experience the year before and what it was actually like with alcohol then compare it with the exact time now. I romanticize these days and forget how they have been close to ruin because of alcohol or even if they held the potential of great memories I have no idea what they are because I can’t remember.

Take Christmas for example. Last year we had it with the in laws which I love because my MIL drinks wine like me so I don’t get judged (like I do by my own mother). I remember it as a really nice day, good food and plenty of drink. The truth is everyone had too much to drink and the night ended in an argument. Although I wasn’t involved, my husband and I both felt like we could have helped diffuse the situation.

I’m sure the food was good but I was more concerned about having my wine glass constantly filled up.

Today at the charity event I have been thinking back a lot about last year. I remember being annoyed there was no alcohol at lunch. I thought that was weird. I remember we were the only people that brought beer and everyone that we offered one too accepted so we only had one can each. As soon as I had that I couldn’t stop thinking about where the next one would come from. In the evening, some people drank but not much and went home. I think my husband got annoyed at me for ordering another jug of beer when no one else was drinking it. On top of this I’d already spent the whole morning atrociously hungover even though I knew I should have taken it easier the night before and once again I just couldn’t control myself.

Today, I really enjoyed getting up early and watching the sun rise. I felt a moment of complete peace and happiness. I was active during the charity event, playing more than the part I needed to play. I felt fresh and present. A very small group of men were having a beer when we arrived at 10am and I felt sorry for them- they were really nice and offered one to us but they also seemed lacking in energy and a bit lifeless.

Now I’m at home shattered. A really good tired where I feel I’ve user my sober hours wisely. I’m going to have a nap and then persuade my husband to take me out somewhere I can wear nice shoes.

Now, ok strangely looking forward to a sober Christmas and what a nice day it can be 🙂

Anniversaries of normal stuff

Rocking a sober life. For now

It’s been a while since I spent some time writing a blog post and I’ve had LOADS of thoughts and feelings to share. So here goes, here are my crazy ramblings as I embark on Day 82 of my sober life. Day 82!!

1. Life is fuller, longer and more enjoyable.

When you become sober two extraordinary things happen. You stop spending half of your waking time drunk and you stop spending the other half of it hungover, waiting for the chance to be drunk again. When this happens you suddenly have hours in your day. Hours to do enjoyable things with. I’m using my hours to get fit, try new things, read, watch films and anything else I feel like doing.
I have always tried to be active, eat well and exercise but the truth is I wasn’t very good at it when I was either drunk or hangover. Now, I’m buzzing from classes at the gym and I’ve even joined a sports club.
Yesterday, at work, I thought to myself “I can’t wait to go home tonight, eat a nice dinner and read my book”. I used to think, “I can’t wait to finish this work so I can go and buy a couple of bottles of wine and go home and chill with a dinner and a film”. I never remember much of that film I watched and would then wake up feeling full of anxiety and regret at 3am.
Which leads me to point 2…
2. I can’t get enough of lovely heavenly sleep
For some people, sleep is still a problem when they first become sober.
For me, from my second night sober, I have beautiful, restful sleep EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. And I love it! It’s like my body is finally getting the rest it’s been craving for years and it is so happy with me. It also makes me feel great that my body is reparing itself during those sleeping hours.
Actually, last night for the first time in a long time, I woke up at 3am. I thought to myself how that used to happen all the time and how it doesn’t happen at all anymore. That was the last thought I had before falling back into a lovely cosy lumber 🙂
3. My problems were real but I can fix them
I’ll make an assumption here, but I think we all drink because we have problems and we struggle to deal with life, so we numb ourselves because it basically feels a lot better than feeling constant pain. Some of us have problems more severe than others and some have pain that hurts more than others.
I was constantly depressed with my working situation. My boss was a bitch to me, she abused me mentally and took advantage of my hard work ethic to the point where I reached 20 hour working days and was still made to feel worthless. I was exhausted and feeling defeated.
Once I got sober I realised this was a real problem and had nothing to do with me drinking. I was just drinking to cope.
So, I did something about it. I don’t need to share the details here but the outcome is that I start a new, better job, at the same company I love and no where near the bitch. It was a good experience for me and my confidence as I realised she was just being completely evil and I am really highly thought of by other people that matter.
Another couple of problems I’ve been successfully dealing with are my weight issue and self-confidence.
Dealing with problems has completely changed my attitude to life and feelings about myself. More on that later.
3. You forget how painful it was
Yep, I constantly wonder if it was that bad. Did hangovers really feel like hell? Was I really that drained from lack of good, quality sleep? Did I really look like shit as I slowly poisoned myself to death?
Well, yes. It was all real but feeling it as intensely as it felt at the time is hard to remember. I suppose it’s the same when we are drinking when 7pm comes around and we forget how bad 7am was and so we crack another bottle open with the promise to deal with it again tomorrow.
It’s one of the reasons I keep myself so firmly attached to this blog world. I’m sorry, but every time I see a post from someone embarking on their day one I think to myself- “That right there. That is why you can not go back”. It is hell to be stuck there at day one, time and time again. Then I share words of hope for getting through the early days and hope they stick.
4. I feel happy. Life is good and I think I’m an OK person
On Sunday, I caught a glimpse of myself in a window reflection. I was in the kitchen preparing dinner, I’d put on some music and was dancing around singing to myself. I saw my smile. A massive grin, even though there was no one else to see.
I realised that for the first time in such a long time, I am genuinely happy. Life feels so good- every moment of it. I love those extra hours that I have to enjoy. I am making good decisions for myself and those I care about. I am responsible for minimizing the pain in my life.
I’m also starting to like myself. I’ve realised I shouldn’t hate myself. I always think about others and I never intend any harm to anyone or anything. I see the best in people and I look after everyone I love. At work, people come to me for advice and tell me secrets. That makes me realise I must have some good qualities and yet I’ve spent so many years hating myself for no real apparent reason.
5. I still think about drinking a lot
But I am not fighting the demon yet. I haven’t felt an over-powering need to drink right now but I still wonder if I can drink in the future.
Yes, I still wonder if there will be a time in my life where I can have a glass of wine with a Saturday night dinner, maybe two and not feel compelled to down the whole bottle, crack open the second and then move onto a whiskey. I wonder if I will ever be able to go to a Wedding and toast with a glass of champagne, or enjoy a glass of pimms on a summers day with friends.
I went to a club with some friends a couple of weeks ago and someone handed me a G&T instead of my water. I took a big mouthful and stood there with fear not knowing what to do. What would happen if I swallowed it? Would a mouthful cause me to head back onto my downward spiral? I discreetly spat it out then headed to the bathroom where I rinsed out my mouth with water again and again. Was that extreme? I don’t know but my first thought was complete fear- I had to get that alcohol out of my body.
6. Everything else carries on. Guess what? Other people still drink too.
Life goes on for everyone else. No one else knows what is going on inside my head or that I’m an alcoholic in recovery. That’s a good thing of course but sometimes I want to tell people – “Do you know how awesome I am? I’m xx days sober!”
My husband is drinking around me again. That’s what I wanted. Sometimes that’s hard and sometimes it’s fine but I need it to happen so that normal could return. It seems he was only ever a big drinker with me and now he’s happy with a beer at dinner or a whiskey on a Saturday night.
I’ve just booked up a meal for me and my husband for Christmas. I’ve ordered the free-flow alcohol option for him and free-flow soft drinks for me. Yay! A never ending supply of orange juice and water! Excuse my sarcasm. When I booked it the thought actually crossed my mind that I could change my option nearer the time if I wanted.
I watch other people in restaurants. Did you know loads of people go out for dinner and do not drink at all?! A lot of people do drink of course, but only have 1 or 2 (I know because I count the drinks of everyone around me). I see the problem drinkers too – I see all the little tricks they pull to get more share to the alcohol. I also see their suffering- the battle they’re facing to appear normal.
So, to sum up where I am right now. Life is good. It is REALLY good sober. I am LIVING at last. But, alcohol is never far from my thoughts. All I do know is that I do not want to drink today and I would go as far as to say I know I will not drink tomorrow or the next day either. And for now, that is good enough for me.
Rocking a sober life. For now