Less Irritated – Day 1772

After offloading in my last post, I do feel better. My irritation with Mr Mac is more about me than him. There are several things going on I think.

He is closest to me therefore gets the brunt of my irritability. I’m not getting out to see family and friends because of Covid. I’m not exercising or getting enough fresh air. We’re renting while Mr Mac renovates our new house. (which makes me feel in limbo). I haven’t been eating enough lately and I’m lonely.

I believe all these things contribute to how I am feeling. Is it possible to feel bored but at the same time have no interest or motivation to do anything?

Writing all this down does give me a starting point to begin sorting it all out. I have been eating more these past few days. I worry about getting into bad habits and putting weight on but I know I am less irritable because I have eaten more meals.

I have contacted a friend and we are meeting up for a walk tomorrow; come rain or shine. I will turn up and it will be good for me.

Even writing here in my blog again helps immensely. It gives me a place to talk openly and relieve some boredom.

I need structure and I don’t like it when things change or feel out of my control. I have to remember to take small steps towards doing things which are good for me. I need to organise my week so I don’t become lethargic.

I don’t want to be that person who will be happy when…. When the kids go back to school or…. When Lockdown restrictions ease or…. When our new house is renovated.

The unease is within me and I need to deal with that so I can be happen now not ‘when’.

I recognise this feeling but I don’t know what to call it. It comes over me in cycles. One minute life is good. I’m busy writing articles for my Website; I am motivated and get joy out of it. Then, several days or even weeks later I cannot get motivated. It becomes such an effort to write. I’m bored, but I have no motivation to write or seek out anything to do.

All the while I feel guilty for not working or doing more. Then, after a few days or weeks it suddenly passes and I’m motivated once more to work and write and laugh again….. until next time.

I cannot find rhyme or reason for feeling like this and I don’t always know how to fix it then it happens.

I have changed jobs twice over the last few years trying to find peace from my anxiety. I now work for myself and Mr Mac at home. This has eliminated all feelings of overwhelm and massively reduced my anxiety which is great but have I gone too far?

Am I now bored and lonely because of it? It doesn’t help that within weeks of starting to work from home we were thrown into lockdown!

I’ve rambled enough. I will make sense of this. I will find the right balance…. eventually….

Mrs Mac.

Super Irritated – Day 1768

Feeling Meh today and have been for the past several weeks. My usual tools of having an early night or going out for a walk just aren’t helping. I think it is because we are in yet another national lockdown and we cannot visit anyone or go anywhere. The kids are at home doing their best with online school work but to be honest they are a nice distraction to the endless boredom.

Mr Mac is spending his time between working from home and trying to get our new house renovated. I spend my time between working from home, organising the house and helping the kids with their school work. It’s just all a bit…meh.

The biggest problem is I am super irritable with Mr Mac. Though I have no idea why. He’s not done anything wrong or different than normal. I’m not irritable with anyone else, just him.

When he talks about the renovation I couldn’t give a monkeys. He’s looking for a ‘well done’ and someone to talk to but it takes a huge effort for me to sound positive for him.

I’m bored of what he wants to watch on telly and I have no interest in a ‘cuddle.’ I really just want to be left alone – all the time.

I huff and roll my eyes at his little habits which usually don’t bother me and some days I just want to crawl out my own skin.

I cannot talk to him about it as everything I’m feeling is so nasty and hurtful and unwarranted. How can I say to someone I love that they are irritating the shit out of me but through no fault of their own?

We all have crap days when our spouse is irritating us but this has gone on ages.

I’m hoping by writing all this down it will make me feel better and at peace. Maybe when Lockdown ends and we can go somewhere or meet up with friends it will get easier.

Mrs Mac

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Dry January – Day 1735

For many, January is a month of change. After all the excess of Christmas and New Year you may be ready to give up the booze for a while. Dry January is the UK’s 1-month alcohol-free challenge. I have attempted this many times in the past before giving the booze up for good.

I have to tell you I was never very good at Dry January. I would white knuckle it through, constantly looking for an excuse to drink. It was always miserable and I always gave up about two weeks in.

The reason I wasn’t any good at Dry January in the past was because I never planned properly. I had no idea what I was going to do when my resolve started to crumble and a craving hit. I just thought I was weak.

It felt like my body and mind – my whole being – wanted to take a break from alcohol, I just didn’t know how to do it successfully.

I have just finished a quick article on soberthinking.com called Dry January. I give some practical tips and support to anyone thinking about taking a month off the booze. Check it out below.

In the past, I have attempted Dry January many times but only managed to stay the course for about two weeks before I would make up an excuse to drink.

Heard of any of these?

“I’ve got a party to go to next week”

“2 weeks is enough time to detox”

“I’ll have a drink tonight and tag an extra day on at the end of the month”

These are all just excuses.

You can also follow me on Instagram @soberthinking

Mrs Mac x

Lakes, Life and Lockdown – Day 1678

The Lakes

I have arrived home after a wonderful few days away in the Lake District, UK. We stayed in a new glamping cabin (think tiny living) and it was just right for us all. At this time of year, it can be pretty miserable camping but I still enjoy the outdoors, so this was a great upgrade. Heating, a bed and a toilet. What more does a girl need?

Not being able to mix with other households at the moment due to Covid meant we just hung out as a family. We spent a day doing GO APE in the forest. For anyone unsure what this is, it’s a high rope treetop challenge. It definitely tests your nerves and you need a head for heights, but it’s great fun. The kids enjoyed the extra challenge of being responsible for their carabiners and clipping on and off safely to. There are no photos of this as I was too busy holding on for dear life.

On our second day, the weather turned for the worse however that’s the norm in the Lakes. You just have to come prepared. We weren’t deterred, we packed our sandwiches and headed out on our walk regardless.

I love being outdoors, it reduces my anxiety and centres me. There is something about being outdoors that makes all my worries seem small and insignificant. On returning home I always feel worn out and calmer.

I didn’t discover how much I enjoy being outdoors and how much I need it to maintain good mental health until I got sober. It is one of the most effective tools in my sober toolbox now. Being outside gets me out of my own head and helps me focus on what it important in life.

Oh and the views from the top weren’t that bad either.

Life

As for my eating, its going erm… ok… I have continued eating normally. I have not dieted but continue to reduce the amount of sugar (biscuits, sweets, chocolate etc) I eat. This has helped with the diet/binge cycle, albeit not completely.

The first week, I did really well and maintained a normal diet, though the cravings for biscuits and cake were strong. The second week was harder as we were away, so treats were had. I was careful not to binge but on return from our holiday my first thought was to severely restrict my calorie intake to compensate for the treats on holiday.

I have fought with myself over this. Despite knowing that starving myself won’t help anything. It just results in bingeing on cake and then feeling awful, the thought still pops in there.

There is a strong temptation to put some rules into place, like only having sweets on the weekend or restricting my calories 2 days a week etc… However, this sounds a lot like the rules I put in place around my drinking, which never worked.

Lockdown

As the UK heads into its second Lockdown tomorrow, I am so grateful that we have had some family time away. The uncertainty and the restrictions being imposed due to Covid, makes me feel anxious. I like routine and structure and lockdown interrupts this, but most of all I hate being told what to do. It’s just who I am.

During Lockdown 2.0, I will be more vigilant surrounding my mental health and wellbeing. I will continue going outdoors regardless of the weather. My focus will be on what I can do rather than what I can’t do. Planning some healthy meals will help, along with not beating myself up if I have a few treats. I think I will also start implementing some non-food related treats too.

These may be small things but they make the world of difference to me. x

Mrs Mac

Check out my website soberthinking.com for more posts and articles.

Out of Control – Day 1664

The last 2 months have been tough for me. I have got myself into an ugly situation with my eating. Mainly eating anything sweet; chocolate, biscuits, cake etc…

The last time I wrote here was nearly 2 months ago. In that entry I talked about wanting to lose my Lockdown Belly. The kids were going back to school and I was determined to start eating healthy. I was sick of scoffing biscuits and chocolate whenever I fancied. I’d gotten myself into a bad habit over lockdown and I wanted to change.

Well, in true Mrs Mac style I went all in. I’ve always been an all or nothing girl.

First, I created a spreadsheet to track my weight and measurements. Next, I researched some new low calorie meals, then created a meal plan based on consuming only 800 calories a day. Lastly, I set an impossible goal of wanting to be super model thin by Christmas!

Ridiculous I know, but my mindset at the time was, if I was going to do this I was going to go big! (or skinny haha)

Can you guess what happened? You guessed it, I failed miserably. The first few weeks went well and apart from feeling hungry and irritable all the time, I stuck to the punishing diet plan I had created for myself.

Unfortunately by week 3 my enthusiasm and willpower had abated. I blew the whole diet one night in September by consuming my weight in pizza and chocolate!

Instead of taking stock of the situation and re-evaluating my methods, I spiralled into a unhealthy cycle of strict dieting, followed by days of binge eating chocolate and biscuits.

Do you know what the last few weeks have felt like? My old drinking days!

The cycle of strict dieting then binge eating reminds me of the merry-go-round of drinking, not drinking. After consuming a family size bar of Galaxy chocolate I experienced the same feelings of shame that I used to get waking up to the realisation that I’d drank 2 bottles of wine, after promising myself I’d not drink.

I even started to hide the amount of biscuits and chocolate I was eating from my family. I used to sneak off to bed early with a cup of tea, having squirreling away a chocolate bar first without Mr Mac noticing. Most times I wasn’t even hungry; it just felt compulsive.

I may not have suffered the horrendous hangovers or stooped to the levels of deceit I managed in my drinking days but the feelings were so similar.

Somewhere in my subconscious I knew I had to stop but I kept giving myself one last ‘hurrah’ before accepting my fate. Last weekend I disgusted myself by eating non stop, way past feeling full and then some. I ate so much chocolate before bed on Sunday that I felt sick, fat and ugly. All night I lay there with crippling indigestion and heartburn. I knew once Monday came round I’d had enough.

Monday was my first day with no sugar and more importantly no dieting. I read about binge / compulsive eating and realised that my strict dieting (not to mention the addictiveness of sugar) was causing the binging. It sounds so obvious when I say it now. Nevertheless, being stuck in that diet/binge cycle, I just didn’t understand why I couldn’t control my eating.

It’s like giving up alcohol. If you add in exercise and dieting and starting a new job at the same times as giving up alcohol, you will probably fail. You have to work on one thing at a time to succeed.

I just needed to cut back on the biscuits not create a punishing diet, set unrealistic weight goals and unleash my inner calorie counting monster too!

Its Day 3 without sugar today. I have continued to eat normally; no diet. My goal is to do 2 weeks without any added sugar, like cake, biscuits, sweets etc. I thought blogging about it here would help me, just like it did when I first gave up alcohol. Keep me accountable.

I’m getting cravings for something sweet after every meal I eat and on an evening. To help with this I am using some of the tools I learned when I quit alcohol to not cave into these cravings.

I’m sitting with my uncomfortable feelings. I’m checking that I’m not Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT). Plus, I’m distracting myself until the craving passes by reading and writing here.

Writing about my feelings is difficult sometimes and I can be guilty of only writing about them after the fact. Despite this, I always feel less anxious and more focussed once I have wrote down my feelings.

I feel lighter and not trapped in my own head and the cravings have less power over me now.

Mrs Mac x

Check out my website soberthinking.com for more posts and articles.

Photo credit Henley Design Studio on Unsplash.com

Loneliness in Sobriety – Day 1650

It’s officially Autumn here the United Kingdom. The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to change colour.

Although lockdown restrictions are continuing, my kids are back at school. I am pleased about this as it gives my kids routine and a sense of normality. Besides from the obvious academic benefits, I believe it will be good for their mental health and developing social skills too.

I am enjoying my new routine too. The house is definitely quieter with the kids at school and it allows me to concentrate better on my new website. Moreover, I am more patient and present when my kids come home. Bonus.

Unfortunately, we have recently been hit with stricter ‘local’ lockdown measures in my part of the UK. These new local measures restrict us from visiting friends and family at the moment which is disappointing. Nevertheless, I remind myself to focus on what I can control not what I cannot. Which, by the way, is still the single best bit of wisdom I have gained during my sobriety journey!

Luckily, I did have a great night out not long before the restrictions came into effect at an outdoors Bongo’s Bingo event. Despite my initial reservations (will it just be full of drunk people???) it turned out to be a fantastic evening, full of bingo, music and laughs. No alcohol was required.

I wrote about my night out and my attempt to start losing my Lockdown Belly (which is still a working progress) on my website soberthinking.com. I’ve included links below.

I also want to share with you my latest article called Loneliness in Sobriety.  I talk about the dangers of loneliness in early sobriety and ways of combating loneliness, even if you’re not a people person. 

Did you know the emotional feelings of loneliness can benefit you too? I look back on my own experience of feeling lonely and not feeling understood in early sobriety and see it now as a necessary evil.

Without this baseline feeling, I would never have known what I wanted or needed to move forward and evolve. You can read the full article here.

If you want to follow me on soberthinking.com please do. You can sign up to my Newsletter and receive my free Getting Sober Guide here.

I don’t send out newsletters very often so you’ll not get bombarded. It’s just a way of letting you know when I have put out a new article or diary post.

Mrs Mac x

Sobriety While Stuck at Home

I have added a new article to my website soberthinking.com. I wanted to share with people how I have handled my sobriety while stuck at home during Lockdown.

My article is full of top tips on how to do things differently because taking some time out to access how I might do things differently actually adds supports to my sober toolbox.

Check it out HERE

I have also set up an Instagram Account. Not sure what I’m doing with this to be honest. I’m not exactly a social media guru haha but you can check me out at @sober_thinking

Mrs Mac

Time to Share

Hello everyone.

I haven’t been posting on here lately for two reasons.

1. I haven’t felt I needed too.

2. I have been focusing on a project of mine that I’ve always wanted to do called soberthinking.com

Today, I am 1578 days sober. Which is 4 years, 3 months and 25 days. I have loved blogging my way through the ups and downs of my sobriety. Writing has always been and will always be the most effective tool in my sobriety toolbox.

Oh, writing and you lot, my friends in the bloggersphere! You lot understand and accept that we cannot control our drinking and have found a better way instead. Rather than tirelessly controlling our drinking, we have created a better life which does not even involve alcohol at all.

Since stopping drinking on 1 April 2016, I have never felt more awake and in touch with life and the people around me. Yes, it was hard in the beginning but you keep going and you gain some sober momentum and it gets easier and easier. Then comes a time when you suddenly look back and realise you’ve never thought about drinking for months and you realise your living your best life and you don’t miss alcohol at all.

I like the person I am today and I have been spending the last couple of months putting together a website so I can blog there instead. It is also place I can write articles about aspects of sobriety I find interesting.

I’m by no means an expert on sobriety. I only have my personal experience and knowledge acquired through reading. However, if sharing my personal sobriety journey or articles can help just one person struggling with alcohol feel less alone, it will be worth it.

My website is call soberthinking.com It is a working progress but I am happy with what I have achieved so far. Please check it out. I’m happy for you to share this and if you want to get in touch directly, you can do here

Eternally grateful to you all

Mrs Mac x

 

 

Giving Myself Permission – Day 1533

One thing I know I need to work on is giving myself permission to do less or even nothing.

Yesterday, I was busy doing a few jobs around the house and home schooling the children. Oh, and I went for a jog. By 4.30pm I didn’t fancy doing anything else but it also felt wrong to just chill out and do nothing.

I think this stems back to when I used to drink and the kids were little and more demanding. I would always make sure the jobs were done and the kids were settled before I would relax with a drink. I did this for 2 reasons.

  1. Justification. Making sure all the jobs were done first justified checking out with a bottle or two of wine.
  2. Guilt. After my first few glasses of wine I knew I’d be no good for anything else. So attending to everyone else’s needs before I settled into my drinking, made me feel less guilty.

Even though I happily don’t drink anymore, I still retain the mindset that everyone else’s needs must be catered for, before my own. I cannot truly relax because I am constantly on standby. I spend a lot of time in limbo because I wont start a project or even a t.v. series in case someone needs me.

What is so silly about this, is that no one needs me as much as I think they do. My kids aren’t babies anymore. It is also self perpetuating. The more I do for other people, the more people expect of me.

I am learning that I don’t need to justify chilling out. I don’t need to worry about or even control what everyone else is doing before I can relax. If I want to watch that trashy Netflix series then I can at anytime of the day. I give myself permission to relax, guilt free.

So, for anyone out there who, like me, always waits for the perfect time to relax. Stop. Now. Self care should not be the thing which comes after everything else. It should not be the last thing on your ‘to do’ list. I give you permission to relax now. I give you permission to do less. x

Mrs Mac

Check out my website soberthinking.com for more posts and articles.