Sun, Sea and No Sangria – Day 54

Two more days until we go on our  family holiday. Our own villa and pool for one whole week in the sun. I cannot wait. However, i’ll be honest, i’m feeling nervous. I keep telling myself that this time away will be great without alcohol! But I’ve never had a holiday in the sun without booze before. I don’t want to drink but i am worried this will be my biggest trigger yet.

Hubby knows I’m not drinking anymore and he even asked if it would bother me if he drank on holiday. He even suggested not drinking himself but i cannot ask him to do that for me. I feel like I need to do this for me and prove to myself that I can do it. Hubby not drinking during the holiday will make it kind of a false experience – does that make sense? Plus, I’d worry he wasn’t having a good time. (Daft I know) I’ve told hubby to drink on holiday  – you have to bare in mind im used to him drinking occasionally in the house and that he would only drink 1 or 2 beers maybe 4 out of the 7 days we are away. He’s a Normie, who to be honest is drinking even less now that I don’t drink.

I don’t want to drink on holiday and I don’t believe I will. I’m too scared to start from Day one again to be honest. However, every now and then I’m catching myself fantasising about a cold beer in the sun. I quickly dismiss this idea, but it still worries me that my thoughts keep drifting in that direction even when it is something I really don’t want….

I thought I’d put my fears into writing. To get it off my chest so to speak, to see if it helps. To be honest, reading it back now, it just sounds so lame. I’m going on holiday for fooks sakes. Sun, sea, sand and no work. Just my wonderful husband and kids chillaxing for a whole week. Why should alcohol even get a look in.

No More Dry Retching For This Girl – Day 50

I wanted to write about whats good at the moment, get some things on paper so to speak so I can look back at my journey and see the good things as well as the struggles.

On Day 24 I wrote a post called ‘Grateful’ and it makes me smile when I read it but there is so much more to be grateful for and many reasons why being sober rules!

From waking up in the morning, I realise I don’t have a pounding head anymore and terrible guilt that I’d drank last night. I dont dry retch into the sink while trying to brush my teeth. I wake my kids up with a smile and we all get ready for work and school. Its all quite uneventful rather than me shouting at them every two minutes.

I don’t have to hide or dispose of any wine or vodka bottles in secret anymore. I used to worry if Hubby needed to borrow my car because I used to stash my ’empties’ in there and he might have found them. Now, mornings are about starting a new day, drinking coffee and getting the family ready.

I’m not embarrassed at the school gates incase anyone notices that I’ve been drinking (or just the general state of me). I used to make a sharp exit, hoping to avoid contact  with the other Mum’s and Dad’s  incase I actually had to speak to someone. Now, I’m present walking to school and I enjoy the morning chatter.

If I have to tell the kids off, I’m not second guessing myself anymore, wondering if I am overreacting because Im hungover or because I’ve had 3 wines already. There is less guilt because if I have to tell my kids off now, I know it is justified.

I have more ‘me’ time. I don’t feel bad about going off to have a bath or asking hubby to  put one of the kids to bed because I know I have been present all day for them. I also dont rush my kids off to bed so I can have more wine. I am more patient and less frustrated.

I support hubby better, my new-found empathy helps me to relate to how his day has gone. We talk and laugh more. I can remember what we watched together on TV and I don’t fall asleep half way through. If we go out together, It’s about ‘us’ time not about how much wine I can drink. I just love driving home again on an evening instead of standing around in the cold, most likely needing a wee,  waiting on a taxi.

I check on my kids before bed now. I remember to switch off their nightlight so they get a better nights sleep. I find it 100 times easier to get up in the night if one of them is ill or has had a bad dream.

I don’t pass out in bed anymore. Me and Hubby fall asleep together now.

There were many things I could do while I was drinking.  I often prided myself on the fact that even though I was drinking wine and vodka every night I was still functional. However, it is only until you get sober and a bit of distance from your drinking that you realise how much you were missing out on.  All the things I have mentioned above I either, didn’t or couldn’t do or simply didnt think to do while drinking. Some days may well be tough but I like who I am becoming and I don’t ever want to go back to living that half-life again.  Hugs x

‘Real’ Sober Friends – Day 47

I love all my soberverse friends out their. Finding people from all over the world going through the same experiences as myself is amazing and having that connection is just what I need. I’m finding myself spending more and more time, submerging myself into this world. Blogging, commenting, reading and listening to the bubble hour. I think i’m spending so much of my spare time in this world because I don’t have any ‘real’ sober friends to talk to. Or perhaps i just don’t feel ready to talk to anyone about my drinking problem who hasn’t got some sort of understanding of what I’m going through.  

I have plenty of friends but it seems all my friends are drinkers. Surprise surprise eh. I guess somewhere over the years I have befriended only the drinking kind. I think it is hard to make new friends as you get older or maybe that is just something I struggle with. However, I would like to connect with a few ‘real’ sober people. Maybe this will just take time. It took years to build up my circle of drinking buddies, maybe I will start to attract a sober circle of friends eventually….  

Please don’t ever think that I do not appreciate my online blogging friends. I do and I depend and rely on you all being here, sharing your thoughts, your own sobriety triumphs and struggles. It is what has got me to day 47 and no doubt will be the biggest influence getting me to day 4447!!
See, just writing this blog has helped xxx

Rantery Rant Rant Rant – Day 43

As we enter into the weekend, I just wanted to get a few things off my chest. Nothing major, quite the opposite.

Do I drink AF beer? Sounds silly. It is alcohol free but for some reason this time round I have avoided buying/drinking AF beer, preferring just to have a juice or my favourite, Cranberry, lime and soda. Why? I don’t know. I’ve never been a beer drinker, I am definitely a wine lover. The AF wine does nothing for me. Mainly because it is too sweet and not like a dry chardonnay at all. However, I do think the AF beer (like Becks Blue) does taste like beer. Now I know I could have it as it doesn’t have any alcohol in it but, I’m a little worried that id be reminding my body/mind (The Drink Demon) what it is like to have alcohol – just without the buzz. Am i over thinking it??

Last weekend, when it was sunny, we had a family BBQ and I really fancied a AF beer in the garden. However, I was worried that I was trying to find something like beer because I actually wanted a real beer. Does that make sense? I was worried that having a AF beer would actually make my cravings worse, so I didn’t buy any. But, what if it is the best thing to squash my cravings with? Arrghhh I don’t know……

I’m also pissed off that after 43 Day’s I’m a spotty mess. Why in my late 30’s am I getting spots for goodness sake? Oh and a spotty nose at that! I was fine in the beginning telling my self that it was because my body was run down and I was eating LOADS of chocolate but not now. When am I going to have that fresh healthy glow people talk about? ALSO – when will I lose weight? I’ve stayed exactly the same weight but I am no longer drinking 1000 calories in booze per day any more. Okay,  So I did eat my way through the first few weeks of sobriety but I was hoping for at least 1lb to have come off..

I know this is all very superficial stuff and I know a lot of you are going through a really hard time at the moment but it’s just pissing me off a bit. I’m so pleased I’m not drinking and I know a few spots and a muffin top isn’t going to make me drink but I guess its just getting me down a bit.

On a more positive note, Hubby went out last night to meet an old friend. He had lots of beers and headed home with a kebab takeaway around midnight. Well, if there was ever an inkling of jealousy on my part that disappeared in a flash when I saw him this morning hungover, stinking of garlic and stale beer. The poor thing had to be up and at ’em to take our eldest to school first thing. I did have a giggle at the plight of him and was VERY grateful that I don’t ever have to feel like that again. x

 

A Stressful Day – Day 40

I’m still here and still sober.

Today has been difficult. I have been very stressed with work today. Instead of downing tools when the kids came home, like I usually do, I got fixated on finishing my job. I don’t know why, It just felt like I had to get it finished before I could relax. So all evening between kids homework, cooking dinner and various bedtime’s, I have been dashing off to do a little bit more work. It was like I couldn’t switch off until I had this job finished. I could have finished it tomorrow but then I knew I would be thinking about it all night. I’m like that sometimes. Once I’ve started a job, I do like to get it finished. In the past, if I could feel myself getting stressed like that, I’d have a drink because then I wouldn’t be able to carry on with the job and I wouldn’t care if the job didn’t get finished after a few wines anyway.

Today, instead of drinking wine, I ran my self ragged trying to get everything done, so I could switch off. The amount of times I told myself just to leave it and I’ll finish it tomorrow but I knew i’d just play the job over and over in my head until it got done. I’m pleased I got the job done and I’m pleased I did not drink but I need to find a way of switching off in future.

People have often said that when you give up alcohol you have to learn to deal with life sober. I thought that was just how to cope with going out with friends and not drinking. Im starting to realise what they mean now.  Here’s a few things so far that I know I need to learn:

  •  I need to learn how to switch off.
  • I need to learn to appreciate whats going on around me more instead of always looking towards what needs to be done next.
  • I need to learn how to cope better with ‘new’ anything. places, people, anything unknown..
  • I need to learn how to carve out some me time.
  • I need to learn how to live my life instead of just going through the motions waiting for stuff to happen.

That is just what I can think of while im sitting here typing, god knows what I’ll find out in the future. However, here are somethings I have learned since being sober:

  • I am more patient and tolerant with my kids (and hubby)
  • I have more empathy for people.
  • I am a better friend ( I actually organise catch ups and coffees now)
  • Sleep helps everything.
  • Alcohol helps nothing.

Well I wasnt sure what I was going to write about tonight apart from have a whine about my day. It seems every time I start writing about one thing I end up learning something about myself.

Well I’m tired but at least i’m calm now. 11.10pm in the UK. Lets see what tomorrow brings.x

 

 

Observations – Day 37

Well I have just arrived home after having a lovely lunch out with the girls for a friend’s birthday. I took the car and was very proud of myself that I managed to park in the centre of town. Definitely a sober perk being able to drive myself everywhere.  I was a little nervous that people would notice that I wasnt drinking and that I would get a barrage of questions. (these girls all like their wine) However, it seemed no one was bothered. Some asked why and I said I was driving and there was no follow-up  question. Others,  just didn’t notice at all……apart from one…there is always one. She asked straight away, ” why aren’t you drinking? well just have one or two if you have the car!”  Later, when I had a fancy Mocktail in my hand, she asked “whats that”? and pulled a face when I explained what I was drinking. No doubt because it didn’t have any vodka in it. It wasn’t just me who faced this. Even birthday girl was questioned why she was only drinking singles and not double vodka & lemonades.

What surprised me the most is that it didn’t really bother me. Out of a big group, there was just one who seemed hung up on my not drinking. I think it probably highlighted her problem with alcohol more than mine. Hubby said, she was probably just rallying people to keep up with her drinking. This is definitely something I have been guilty of in the past ...go on have one more…make that a large one. .. doubles yeah?  Sound familiar? 

Do you know what though, the fact that it was only one person who challenged me restores my faith that not everyone is alcohol mad. That there are people who genuinely arent bothered if they drink or if I drink/don’t drink. I think I just believed people would have a problem with me not drinking because when I used to drink, I could never understand why someone would go to a party or dinner and not drink – what’s the point in that, I’d think!

How immature, short-sighted and selfish I used to be.

I enjoyed this afternoon because it was nice to catch up with friends and to celebrate a birthday. I enjoyed the lovely food we had and my posh mocktail. I definitely had a buzz driving myself home, feeling all grown up,  knowing I hadn’t wasted an afternoon, evening and following morning due to booze.

I had a pink cloud moment.

Secrets – Day 34

I finally got hubby to remove the bottle of prosecco from the house. I was surprised to find it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would, hence taking a few days to get rid of it. I could probably have kept it in the cupboard until I could pass it on to someone else, but lets face it, anything to keep life more simple. I don’t want to tempt fate here. One bad day and that bottle could start talking to me.

Hubby is a moderate drinker, I will never understand his take it or leave it attitude to drink or only wanting/having one beer, but I am thankful he is on board with my sobriety. In fact, it was hubby who first had a word with me about my drinking. I imagine a very hard conversation for him to bring up.  I knew he was right of course, but im ashamed to say that it didn’t stop me, I just hid it from him more. There is nowt worse than telling a drunk not to drink! However, we always promised to never have secrets and here I  was hiding my drinking.

I was so ashamed and guilty that I was hiding this from him. I was also really fearful that he would find out, which is when I think I finally hit my ‘Bottom’ and found the strength to stop. It was a combination of realising ‘normal’ people don’t do this; that I was becoming the person I promised not to be and the guilt and fear that I could destroy my relationship with my husband (who is my life) and ultimately everyone around me, if I continued the way I was going.

There are no secrets now though, which is like a massive weight lifted. I cannot believe I could have destroyed everything good in my life for booze. It just shows how powerful alcohol can be. Hubby understands that I cannot control my drinking and does not blame me for it. In the beginning I was very low key about my giving up. I said it was good to have a break before we go on holiday at the end of May. (something we had talked about doing together anyway) but over the last month I have talked more and more honestly with Hubby about how I cannot go back to drinking. I have explained that I don’t just want one drink, I want the bottle and how I hid a lot of my drinking from him. Plus the frightening truth is, if I start drinking again,  I may not stop next time. Hubby has taken this all in his stride. He tells me how proud he is and that I’m doing great. I think he misses his drinking buddy a bit sometimes (though he has never said) but I guess deep down we both dont want the alternative.

If there is one thing that ive learned, it is that secrets can destroy, well…..everything. As hard as it is sometimes to have that conversation and to be honest, whether it’s with your self or a loved one, it will always be the best thing to do. I believe I’m  very lucky to have found a way to stop drinking before I headed further down the path that I was on. I didn’t have amazing will power to do this, it was Fear and Guilt that made me stop and that is okay with me. I’ll think about the fear and guilt whenever im tempted to drink again.

 

My Private Sobriety – Day 32

Well, yesterday I received a belated birthday present….. a lovely bottle of prosecco. 😮 I honestly didn’t know what to say. I graciously thanked them and put it out of sight. Its made me realise that since beginning this journey of sobriety,  concentrating and obsessing over not drinking, I’ve been doing it very privately.  Only a handful of people know im not drinking and they have only been told that I’m not drinking for now…no real reason has been given , apart from it doesn’t agree with me anymore and I’m sick of dealing with the hangovers. Only hubby knows the real reason. (My complete lack of control and addiction with alcohol and how hard it has been to give up.)

Well I cannot hide it forever. If this is the life change I want it to be, I have to be more honest with myself and the people around me. While I still don’t feel confidant to shout out “I’m an alcoholic”. I do think I have to at least tell people I’m no longer drinking.

For now I think i’ll continue to tell people that drinking just doesn’t agree with me anymore (its kind of true,  me and drink definitely do not agree with each other) I’m hoping that once people realise I’m not drinking for now, it’ll take the pressure off and over time people will just accept that I just don’t drink.

Who knows it might work. What do you lot tell people? I think i will be more honest with close friends and family in time but how do you handle the masses? I definitely think i need to start telling people something rather than receiving bottles of prosecco.

P.S. hubby has been instructed to hide the said bottle until I can pass it onto someone else. I don’t think I would drink it but I’m not going to take the risk.