Sober and Strong – Day 445

The warmer weather has arrived. This time last year I was about 80 days sober and had not long come back from my first successful sober summer holiday. I remember struggling with the whole warm weather/holiday/beer garden cravings and I had to exercise some serious sober muscles at the time to stay sober. I drank loads of AF beer, blogged and ate lots of chocolate to cope at the time.

This year by comparison, is sooooo much easier. I don’t miss it. I’m not worried I might drink on holiday, I’m not worried about being tempted by alcohol on a hot summers day.  I think this is partly due to being further away from day 1 and partly because I’ve been through that experience sober already. The sober firsts are definitely hard but honestly the next time is way easier. Hungover on a hot day sucks too!

Today has been a good day. I volunteered to help out at a work event this morning. I usually hate this sort of thing because I hate the unknown.  It will bring my anxiety on and I would spend the weeks leading up to the day trying to come up with excuses to get out of it. This time I felt stronger, still anxious but stronger. Several times leading up to the event, I would feel paniced, what is the venue like? who will I be working with? what will my role be??!?! Each time this happened, I kept telling myself it would be okay. Lots of people repeatedly volunteer to do this so it cannot be that bad and more importantly you know you will feel like shit if you don’t turn up.

I decided not turning up just wasnt an option.  I made a plan and felt calmer. My plan was, if it was shit, I would make an excuse and leave but I had to go first and try. Well, I went and it was fine, great in fact. I am so pleased i didnt shy off , I’m so proud of myself today.  This first time was hard. Battling against my  fear of the unknown, wanting to help but worried what it was going to be like. However, I now know next time will be way easier. My confidence has had a major boost.

I can honestly say that if I was still drinking I would not have turned up. After drinking to cope with the ‘stress’, my anxiety would have won; I would have made a last-minute excuse; dropped people in it, resulting in feeling guilty and totally disappointed in myself; which would have made me drink more. Im pleased im off that crazy train.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back on Track – Day 413

Things have settled down again, phew. The ‘what if’s’ and ‘fuck it’s’ I had been feeling over the last few weeks have gone. I have the odd thought of “mmmm that looks nice” when I see someone on telly having a drink but I just laugh at myself. No lingering thoughts or cravings in any way.

Why was I romancing the alcohol the past few weeks? I don’t know. Analyzing it now, I guess I had a bad cough (which is unlike me) I had dropped a few exercise classes (my instructor moved to New Zealand) and I was generally feeling unhealthy. Could that have been it?? Was it PAWS or the fact that I reached my year milestone and needed another goal??? was it all of the above?

Well, what I do know is that my cough is largely gone, I have started a new Pilates class and I am curbing the amount of junk food I am eating and I feel rather healthy now. What I do know is that these feelings do pass and I need to remind myself of this in the moment. Which is easier said than done.

The Party Girl inside me was saited after a great afternoon, climbing through the tree tops the other weekend. Me and Mr Mac had a great time and it was such an adrenaline rush. Later that day we enjoyed an evening together (without the kids) I bought some AF wine, which is not like me but I think it was a way of coping with the real cravings I was experiencing back then.  The AF wine was okay but not great.  (I threw half of it away) It didn’t make me want the real thing, thank god.  I was happier with a juice.

Later, we went out for a meal. Hubby had a few beers but it didn’t bother me. I thought it might, considering how I was feeling but it didnt. I’m used to Mr Mac having a couple, he only ever has one or two, he says he just cannot drink anymore than that. (how strange  lol.)

Once we were in the cosy pub/restaurant, enjoying a nice meal, after our adrenaline fueled afternoon, it was the food and the company I was enjoying. Alcohol would have ruined it. We heading back to where we were staying and stayed up late drinking coffee, eating chocolate and watching a movie together. That night while I was snuggled up with Mr Mac, in food coma, I realised that I was happy and made peace again with my sobriety.

Use your sober Tools Day-394

I’ve been meaning to post for a few weeks now but haven’t. Im not sure why because at the moment I keep thinking about drinking, so this is the perfect time to blog. Maybe its my booze brain conspiring against me.

Im not seriously going to drink but I definately am romanticing the idea more than usual. If I sit with the thought, i quickly come to the conclusion that it is a bad idea. I don’t want to go back to day1, i don’t want to risk going back to being that person who hides bottles around the house.  However, the idea of drinking keeps popping back into my head – like it wouldnt be that bad. What’s going on?

How can I know I don’t want a drink yet keep thinking about drinking? Maybe not now/today but some point in the furture. I don’t get it. I cannot even think of a time when i would have a drink. I dont get cravings anymore, there is no more wine o’clock or must have beer in the sun. I’m happy with my AF beer and soft drinks. So why am I keep fantisising about drinking in the future?

I know it should be one day at a time and each day I wake up and think, not today. Maybe that is enough. However, relapse happens in the head waaaaaay before it happens for real. So I guess I’m just telling on myself here and hopefully my drinking fantisies will go away because thats what it is, a fantasy.

I think I will go and re examine my sober tools. I’ve dropped an exercise class lately and I am eating way too much chocolate at the mo, which doesnt help. My mother in law has become seriously ill which is hard for us all but mostly for my husband. Work is fine but the novelty of going back to work has worn off a bit now.

At least I’ve blogged today. X

 

 

Amazing Hubby – Day 367


Never got a chance to mention this on my sober anniversary but Mr Mac surprised me with a lovely card and bar of chocolate, to just say how proud of me his is. I could have cried (I just about did). 

I’ve  previously mentioned that it was a year on 1st April but never made a big deal of it. I’m not entirely sure he truly understands how bad my drinking got – there are parts of it I have never admitted too, especially the hiding of vodka bottles  though I’m sure he has his suspicions.

However, regardless of whether he knew how bad my drinking was or not it’s lovely to know he is proud of what I have achieved and has never faulted with his support and understanding. I am very grateful to have him in my life. It should be him who gets the card and chocolate X

A Whole Year Tomorrow – Day 364

I’m on the eve of my SoberAnniversary.

How do I feel about this? My honest reply would be proud and grateful. I feel really proud of myself that I have stayed sober for 364 days and counting.

I am proud that I have conquered all my sober firsts; parties, holidays, birthdays, christmas and arguments.

I am proud I was brave and went to AA, even if I do not attend regularly.

I am proud that I overcame my anxiety and went back to work because so far, it’s working out.

I am proud that I have been motivated to start exercising again, even if some days I don’t feel like it.

I am also grateful for being sober, I am grateful for the new way of living my life even if it is hard some times, it will never be as hard as when I was drinking.

I am grateful that sobriety has helped me be more present for my children as they grow up into young adults

I am grateful that sobriety has given me a deeper connection with my husband.

I am grateful that being sober has helped my anxiety and depression.

I am grateful that not drinking has given me more time. Time to explore new ways of dealing with a spectrum of emotions I previously drank over.

I am grateful for you guys and the soberverse, blogs, podcasts, books, websites and AA which together have educated me on how to live my life and be the best me.  

I am so grateful and proud that I am sober so I could have all this. I am proud of what I have achieved this year and grateful for all the help and support I have found along the way. I hope to keep learning and keep blogging.

There are many things I’d still like to conquer and to learn more of. More work needs to be done on my anxiety. Mainly on feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I have also found that I can get extremely frustrated and angry sometimes. Its does pass and quickly at that. However, in the moment i need to remember that it does pass quickly haha.

I want to focus more on mindfulness and positivity as this makes me feel happy and content.

I would like to make new ‘real’ friends and continue to nurture the ones I still have left.  I want to ‘do’ more this year. Last year I kept things very simple. My priority was looking after me and my sobriety. I only added things into my life when I was ready and that worked amazing for me. I want to continue adding more fun things this year, like…… more nights out, holidays, sky diving, Disneyland!!!!!  ‘cos i know doing it sober rocks!

If anyone is thinking about giving up the booze, I don’t have a miracle cure or earth shattering advise but if you manage it, it’s the best thing you could ever do for yourself.

11 Months today!!

Just checking in really. Still sober and cannot believe it is 11 months today. My year is so close. Like a lot of you, I feel like I want to do something or treat myself to something. I think I need to give this some serious thought over the next 4 weeks. I have had a few moments of “is this forever????” I think this is because my year is so close, not because I actually want a drink. I think it is the wine witch giving it one last push to trick me into having a drink. Achieving a year of sobriety is not a reason to pick up the drink again. I’m not ‘cured’ I’ve been down that path before and I’m not going there again. 

It’s okay to have these fleeting thoughts. It’s not a craving. I’m so passed actually wanting a drink. I cannot help what pops into my brain sometimes. I just need to see it for what it is. My kids would call it a “brain fart”😂😂😂

I read a lovely post by hurrahforcoffee the other day, I’m sure you all have too. She was so positive in her reasons for not drinking.  Living life in technicolor! Not numbing out! Being conscious for this one precious life we have. It was amazing to read and really captured (for me) all the good reasons for not picking up that first drink.

Here is the link. If it works I’ll be amazed as I’m doing this all on my phone whilst trying to put my kids to bed and cook dinner for MrMac lol

https://hurrahforcoffeeblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/why-should-you-quit-drinking-for-good-high-bottom-girls-make-the-world-go-round/

Day 315 – AA or Not

I have been going to AA every week for the past 2 months (since 10th December). At the beginning it was twice a week but once I started work last month it had to be once a week. Once i got over my initial nerves I have always enjoyed the meetings. The one I go to is quite small anything from 5 to 10 people go, so it has been easier to get to know people than the larger groups.

I decided to go to AA because I am always curious of what other help is out there and because i was feeling rather lonely at the time and felt I needed some real life people that I could talk to, who got it (like you lot). I have been honest about my drinking, contributing to the meetings and I have been encouraged to read Chapter 5 and the Promises in the meetings too, which i have started to do.

So whats the problem? Well, im not sure, but I dont think it is for me. I have definately enjoyed the experience and I’m very proud that I found the courage to go in the first place. It has definately paved the way for me trying other recovery gps if i wanted to in the future. Plus, I would have always wondered, “what if” otherwise. The people I have met have always been kind and open. I love to hear people share their story and even though their story is different than mine I can always find the similarities. However, the one thing they all have in common is their NEED for AA. They couldn’t be sober without it. Where as I came to AA 8 months sober, kind of looking for friends. I dont feel I want or need a sponsor, I dont want or need to go to more meetings than I do ( I have been encouraged to go to at least 3 a week)  I don’t really want to work the 12 steps, mainly because I don’t believe in a higher power. I believe I got myself sober and I want the credit for that haha.   I do believe I am an alcoholic and there is nothing I can do about that. I have accepted this. I love the concept of ‘one day at a time’ and ‘Dont have the first drink’. There are many many positives to AA and it is literally a life saver for many of its members but I just don’t feel I need, need it. Do you get me?

I’m not saying I’m never going to AA again because I love listening to peoples shares. If im having a triggery day, sharing that here in the blogosphere or in a meeting helps. However, i am stopping the religious weekly meetings, i definately don’t want the pressure of that and that’s what it has started to feel like, pressure. Since going back to work, continuing my exercise, making a conscious effort to see my friends and make time for me and Mr Mac.  I really feel I have a wonderful and fulfilling life. Im continuously learning about myself and how to live my best life. I am grateful for the AA experience. It is one more thing I can use in my sober tool box. It just doesnt have to be the biggest thing in there! Xxx

Doing it Sober is WAY Easier – Day 298

Well I have returned to work. The early morning’s are not as bad as I thought, in fact I’m quite enjoying sneaking out the house before everyone is up. The drive is peaceful and a good time to prepare myself for the day ahead.

Im conscious of staying positive and not letting myself get overwhelmed. I am taking the training and help on offer at work (something I wouldn’t have done in the past because Id tell myself i should be able to handle everything) its all going surprisingly well. I feel calm and proud of myself.

I know I will get bad days but I honestly believe doing this sober is WAY easier than drunk/hungover. I was worried my old anxiety/depression would return but it hasn’t. It just goes to show that my anxiety/depression was all to do with the massive amount I was drinking, not work.

I also worried work might be a trigger. Returning to that old routine which i used to drink in. That “ahhhh” moment at the end of work, driving home thinking of a bottle of wine or 2 in the fridge. Just waiting to ‘check out’. Well it hasn’t happend yet, so I dont think it will. I dont think about drink anymore at the end of the day. That awful cocktail hour that lasted from 3pm to 8pm haha where I had to drink, couldnt stop thinking about a drink, has gone. It’s been gone for a while now but I couldn’t say when it left me.

I want to keep my calm feeling; I want to enjoy the challenges work presents; I want to continue to be compassionate and thoughtful.  I want to live my life properly and I can only do that sober.

x

Back to Work-Day 288

Everything is going well. I’m happy and enjoying my sober life. I havent had any cravings and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. However, I know this can change so will never get complacent but I’m enjoying this happy, calm feeling.

Last January when I was still  drinking, I took a year’s career break from my job. I wasn’t coping very well at work, i was stressed and anxious all the time. I thought that if I could only just leave work then my life (and my drinking) would be better. Work knew nothing of my drink problem or any problem for that matter and they agreed to keep my job open until i returned. I thought this was the answer to all my problems. Boy was I wrong. My drinking escelated! I was drinking more and more wine and vodka, starting earlier and earlier. I was more sneaky and hid my drinks and the empties. I was depressed, just as anxious, i felt guilty all the time and was truly ashamed of my behaviour.

It took until April before i finally managed to stop. I honestly think I scared myself into stopping. I remember crying in the bathroom asking myself, who drinks like this everyday? Even when they don’t want too? Who hides their empties, sneaks drinks, keeps a vodka bottle in the boot of their car so she can sneakily top up the bottle in the house? Then it hit me. An Alcoholic does that! I realised then that all my previous attempts at stopping in the past only led me to drink more. Eventhough I didn’t want to, I realised the only thing I could do was to stop drinking permanantly or eventually i’d lose everything, my job, my husband, my children, my own life.

Anyhoo, through blogging, reading/commenting on other peoples blogs, reading books, listening to podcasts, eating way too much chocolate and more recently going to AA meetings, I have maintained my sobriety thus far. My life is 110%  better now.

And now it is time to go back to work. My year is up next week. I wasn’t sure i would ever go back, there were times earlier in my sobriety I couldn’t even consider it an option. However, i feel stronger now. It just shows that we should never force our journey and things will happen naturally. I have reduced my hours at work to hopefully find a better balance. And im looking forward to socialising with colleagues  (not for drinks lol) I know I will find work challenging at times and it may even be triggery. I’m viewing it like one of my final ‘sober firsts’. It my be hard at first but I know myself better now, i have tools to help me cope. I have my family and you guys and AA.  I have many  different ways to handle stuff life throws at me and drinking is definately NOT one of them.

So wish me luck for next week as I return to work with nervous anticipation. X

The Lull -Day 273

There is always this lull between Christmas and New Year that I have never enjoyed. Where the excitment of Christmas has passed but the preperations for New Years Eve are yet to begin.

Christmas day was great. Everyone came to mine and I cooked for 12 of us. It made being sober actually easier than expected because I was so busy. I was very conscious of my sobriety because it was on Christmas Day night last year where I broke 6 weeks of sobriety with a bottle of red wine. I thought after 6 weeks I was okay to have a drink. I deserved it, id done the whole of christmas day sober and a few glasses wouldn’t hurt. Well that started a 4 month relapes of drinking every day, earlier and earlier. Hiding more and more bottles from my husband, drinking vodka over wine. The speed at which my drinking escalated was scary and i thought id be okay to drink pah!

Well this year Chritmas was spent sober. It didnt bother me and it was lovely to have all my family around me. However, boxing day was another matter. Someone kindly (or not) left nearly a full bottle of wine in my fridge! I just kept staring at it. I started having thoughts again of, I’m not that bad. One drink won’t hurt! I tell you it was horrible, and the pull to have a drink was so strong. I felt stuck. On one hand I wanted to drink but on the other hand I couldn’t face going back to day one. For 2 days this kept up. In the end my wonderful husband asked if he could pour it down the sink and instantly all the feelings went away. Why didnt i just throw it away, why didnt I blog about it or ring someone from my AA meetings (Which are going okay so far) I think I am not in charge of the alcoholic side of my brain at all.  Im grateful I didnt drink and grateful for my husband getting rid of it.  I have had a very big wake up call of just how easy we can fall back into the trap.

UNLESS CLAIMED AND TAKEN AWAY, ALL ALCOHOL LEFT IN MY FRIDGE WILL BE DISPOSED OF.