Reflection – Day 590

Things are good here. Around this time last year I had just attended my first AA meeting. I am glad I tried AA.  I was already 7 months sober when I decided to go. At the time I was stuck in a rut and feeling a bit lonely in my sobriety and I am a big believer that you need to try new things/add things when you are feeling vulnerable.

I found listening to people share their stories really helpful and I went to AA religiously for about 2 months leading up to Christmas. It made me feel less alone and stronger. After a while though, it turned out it wasn’t for me. I realised I didn’t want to work the steps or have a higher power. The best thing about AA is, you can just take the bits you like. I can still pop in anytime I want to listen to people share. I am lucky that there is a large woman’s meeting on a Monday, where I can easily sit in the back and just listen if I want too. The thing is, I find I need to less and less but I always know it is there.

I am so pleased I tried AA last year as it will forever be in my tool box. So why am I talking about it now?  I guess I’m just reflecting on how far I have come, how different this November is compared to how I was feeling last November. I feel so much more settled in my sobriety and I have done so for a while now but this is because I try to do different things and add things when I need it. If you have been considering something new, be it AA, SMART recovery, cooking, walking or taking up abseiling – give it a go!  I find trying new things immensely helpful and can only view it as a positive experience, even if I don’t stick at it. . It doesn’t have to be anything big. Small changes are the best in my opinion. I hope you are all well.

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Getting Out Of My Own Head – Day 542 

Today I needed to get out of my own head so I decided to write this at work.  I wasn’t going to publish it but it was how I was feeling at the time. Sometimes I just have dark days and writing helps, so why not publish it. I feel better even if I haven’t figured anything out. 

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Sometimes I do wonder how long I can stare at my monitors at work before someone will notice I am not actually working. There has to be more to my time on earth than this. I seem trapped by my own fear of change. I seek to have a straight forward life but then, when I have it in my grasps, I realise I am bored. How can someone be trapped between trying desperately not to get overwhelmed and wanting more? Is it just me? Has something gone wrong in my brain, did all my years of drinking stop me from evolving and figuring out what I want out of life?

I often wonder what my purpose is. I’m sure lots of people do. I am a mother and wife first (my family are the most important thing to me, period) I’m an employee, a sister, a daughter…. But these are all things that I am to someone else. What am I to me…… talk about co dependant…. I left home to move in with my then boyfriend, now husband. I adopted all his friends and have work at the same job for 20 years now. I have no identity of my own other than being a mother. I sew, but that was born from trying to leave my job not because I am passionate about sewing. I run, but this is mainly because I know exercise and being outdoors is good for my mental health and I can eat cake, but I have no aspirations to run a marathon. I read, this is my way to escape, especially since getting sober – sometimes some stories make me feel lacking in my own life, again this feeling of ‘what is my purpose’, ‘is this it?’ I really should stop reading trashy fantasy novels.

I think people view me as a strong, intelligent, good looking lady. However, my anxiety tells me I am not strong. I don’t think I am that smart, average maybe. The thing is, I’m good at saying or doing the right thing. I can act the part. Its just a front. Good manners and being nicely spoken makes people believe you are smart. I do believe I am good looking with a bit of makeup but that shouldn’t define me. So, what does a smart looking, nicely spoken, good mannered, averagely intelligent, nervous, fearful of change but wanting adventure, woman knocking 40 do?

 I know there is more, I can almost see it, but it seems just out of reach,  but I know it is there. I cannot go crazy and travel the world because of my kids. God if I could take Mr Mac and the kids and travel the world I’d be in heaven. Adventure but no responsibilities, perfect! I don’t want to feel like my life is standing still while the kids grow up but sometimes it feels like that. I want to find my purpose beyond being a mother because my biggest fear is that once they do fly the nest I’ll be more lost than ever. I’ll have no excuses. I’d be totally free to do what I like and absolutely no idea what to do. Will I ever work out what I want to do with my life?

I need routine – Day 518

Wow, we are coming to the end of the kids 6 weeks holidays here. It has been great, lots of family time, walking, camping and picnic’s etc… However, as much as I’ve loved our time off,  I have been feeling low recently, ‘can’t be bothered’ lethargic I guess. If i get out for a walk or into the fresh air with the kids I feel better. I couldnt work out why I was feeling like this especially when im on holiday, but then it hit me a few days ago…… I’m bored.

Im bored of looking after the kids, im bored of cleaning and cooking, packing picnics and thinking of days out to keep everyone happy. I feel like im doing everything for everyone else but nothing for me. This feeling reminds me of why I drank. I drank for some excitment in my life, I drank to escape the boring humdrum of raising kids, cooking dinners and generally picking up after everyone. I love my family and kids, I really do and I wouldn’t actually change a thing but sometime I feel like I lose a bit of who I am along the way.

I lost a lot of my own identity when I became a mum, being a mum consumed me, took up all my time and energy and it still does. I am a mum before anything else. My children are my world but sometimes I wonder who I am.. I honestly believe I drank to escape, it was my time out from being a mum. Drinking was my fun time, until it wasn’t fun anymore. So I am now wondering who am I… I feel like I have been on a life time out for the past 10 years. I need to start figuring out what I want to do, not just hang around waiting for what the kids need from me next. The biggest problem I have is that I havent the foggiest what I want.

That said, I know I will feel better when the kids go back to school and I return to work. Work isnt my favourite place. I kind of fell into my job and now I stick at it because it allows me to be part time and have the same holidays as the kids. But I will have more of an identity then, not just being a mum. There will be structure and routine to my day.

I will then count the weeks until we are on holiday again hahaha but somewhere in between I will think of what I want….

Update – I have just read my last post which was at the beginning of the holidays where I talked about the need for routines and some me time 😂😂😂😂 I’ve obviously not followed my own advice. I knew at week 1 I needed to plan some me time to survive these holidays and I did in week 1 – 3 Cinema night, day out with my girlfriends, camping trip.  However, by week 5/6 I have well and truly forgot to follow my own advice!!! 

Xxx

Summer Holiday Chaos- Day 483

Well week one of the kids summer holidays is nearly over. Good part is no work or school for 6 whole weeks, downside is how much I love my routines… which are non existent at the moment. I looked back at my blog posts from this time last year. I was just over 100 days and was struggling with my lack of routine then and I posted about the need for me to just go with the flow! 

I usually have a good life balance that works well for me. However, when the kids break up for the holidays, my balance is turned into chaos!  I do recognise that my kids can be a trigger for me (wow that sounds shitty) I think it’s because I forget my own self care when I’m with them 24/7 during the hols. I become chief carer, cook, cleaner, entertainer, referee… the list goes on. I’m planning on adding some me time into these holidays to restore the balance.

 I’m chilling on the sofa writing this on my phone while the kids are upstairs watching a movie. It just gives me some quiet in my head.  I’ve also have an afternoon catching up with friends tomorrow while Mr Mac watches the kids. I will be planning another catch up with friends later in the holidays for my sanity!

 I have also started joggging with my Son. We’re doing the Couch to 5k fitness app together. It’s great doing this with him. As a mum of a Tween, it’s nice to see him out his bedroom! 

We also had a family night at the cinema last night which was fun for all of us, the kids felt very grown up. We need to do more of this. It’s too easy to be stuck in the house on an evening. I need to add in a few date nights with Mr Mac and the balance will/can be restored!!! 

So Day 483, in short I’m feeling a bit out of sorts with my lack of routine but I recognise this and I’m putting things in place for a sober, happy summer holidays. Being sober has enabled me to understanding myself better and it has let me figure out what I need to do to be happy and a better me for everyone! X

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/