What Next? – Day 91

I had my last drink on March 31st 2016 so by the end of today I will be 3 months sober.  Even though 3 months isn’t a massive amount of time in the grand scheme of things. I do feel like I have come a long way since my Day 1. I’m starting to get to know myself better. Through all my sober firsts, I’m learning to live my life properly and deal with occasions and situations sober. It isn’t always easy but the more i do it the better equipped I feel the next time.

Like cravings, they still come (though not as regularly) but I can sit with them, acknowledge them and then dismiss them. It is hard sometimes. I will even revert back to eating chocolate and going to bed early, if it gets too much. However, I will not drink no matter how hard it gets because I know once I get through it I will feel more empowered.

The thing I probably struggle with now is a loss of fun/excitement…..something…. I know drinking wasn’t exciting.  You can hardly call downing a bottle of wine and vodka every night on my own exciting. So I don’t mean I ‘lost’ excitement from my life when I quit drinking. I think I have just sobered up and realised my life isn’t that exciting and there’s room for more. Don’t get me wrong my life is great, it truly is. I love my family dearly, financially we’re okay, hubby is super busy with work, which he enjoys. The kids are happy and both thriving at school. I work part time from home so I can be there for everyone, so what is it? What’s missing? I feel like there is now room in my life to do more, be more. I feel like I’ve got all this new time and energy and I’m going to burst if I don’t do something with it,  I just don’t know what. Certainly not drinking!!

I don’t really know what i’m trying to say. I’ve just had a great weekend with the family, funfair with the kids, rare meal and cinema night with hubby and it was all exciting and fun and sober and I loved it. Maybe I just need to do more of this… maybe i had a glimpse at what life is turning into and I want more, now! (stamps foot like a spoilt child) Maybe the pink cloud moment i was having at the weekend has burst and i should quit feeling blah and have courage and just do more, do something instead of just whinging about it or maybe i should chill out and see where my new sober life takes me…..

Regardless of how I’m feeling right now, I’ve never been more happy  and proud to be 3 months sober x

AF Beer – Day 82

There’s not a lot happening in my world at the moment, I’m just happily plodding along. I’m sober and i’m happy.

One observation though. While doing the food shop this morning, I bypassed the wine aisle (no cravings) but I felt weird going up the beer aisle for some AF beer. I felt guilty like I was doing something wrong, like someone was going to jump out and shout ‘caught you!’ You may remember that until I went on holiday a few weeks ago I hadn’t had any AF beer. I was worried it would make me triggery. I can report that the few times I have had AF beer, (holiday, sisters party and one last friday night)  I have absolutely not craved the real thing. I have 1 or 2 then move on to my fizzy water.

I only bought them in case hubby and I fancied one this weekend as the grandparents are taking the kids for a rare overnight stay at their house. I’m rather paranoid about getting the absolute zero stuff too, as I’ve seen a few sneaky bottles on the shelf that has as much as 1% in them.  

Why have I just felt the need to justify buying AF beer to you guys, Jeez it’s not alcohol. Why did I feel like I was doing something wrong buying AF beer this morning?  I don’t feel like having a real beer, it’s just a different drink to have on a weekend or when out. Weirdly, it feels like cheating but I know it’s not. It should be part of my Sober Toolkit. Is this feeling a different triggery feeling or should I give myself a break? After all, I’m not drinking alcohol and that’s the single goal here……

Mmmm, After writing all this down I believe I’m overthinking things. Maybe I just needed some blog therapy. I must sound pretty pathetic to anyone struggling giving up the real thing!  Im off, Hugs x

Party Girl – Day 75

Last weekend was my Sister’s, ‘80’s themed’  40th Birthday party.  Me, hubby and the kids got dressed up, 80’s style and drove over to her house. I was prepared. I was armed with AF beer for me and Hubby (hubby just didn’t fancy a drink that night) We brought the car, so I had an escape plan and i’d pre-warned hubby that we would not stay late.

It was a blast. There were lots of family and friends I’d not seen in years. The kids played so well with their cousin’s and the time just flew by that we didnt get home til midnight!

I realised that night, that i’d had fun, real fun. I was confident, had a great catch up with friends and family, I was there for the kids when they couldn’t work out the Xbox (im no expert) or reach the cheese puff balls on the buffet table. I didnt feel like I missed out in any way at all for not drinking. Yes, those who were drinking started slurring and repeating themselves toward the end but it was time to go anyway. I’d chatted to everyone, my feet hurt and the little ones were shattered. As I flopped into bed shattered myself, I realised that the party was good because of the people who were there, the silly games we played and the fab 80’s music that was playing. Alcohol would not have made the night any better.  Alcohol would = not remembering the night properly or the catching up id done, possible embarrassing falling over at some point, a horrendous hangover to deal with and the poor kids fending for themselves and seeing mummy drunk.

Alcohol has been intrinsic to every social event since I was 16. One of the hardest parts of giving up alcohol for me is learning how to be social without the liquid courage. I also didnt really believe I could have fun without alcohol, I thought i’d always be missing out somehow, poor me having to live like this, while everyone else is having fun.

I’m realising that that is utter Bull$hit. Some nights are fun and some nights are not. That is nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with what kind of night out it is, the people we are socializing with and the mood we are in. So if I have a crap night out in the future, I will not blame my sobriety, it was just a crap night. I will look forward to and remember all the fun, happy nights out I’ve had sober and all the ones yet to come.

Reflection – Day 70

The days are passing very quickly now, It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was painstakingly counting my early days of sobriety, wishing them to go faster, so I could get more alcohol free days under my belt. I also used to clock watch continuously, especially during ‘Wine O’ Clock’. In the first month of sobriety I must have been obsessed with time.

I have now entered into my 3rd month (2 months and 10 days) of sobriety and I can see that I don’t obsess over time as much or continuously keep track of what Day I am on (though I do still like to check).

In the early days (I do realise I am still very much in the early days myself but in this post I mean the very very early days, 1 to 15) When people used to blog saying that it will get better/easier, I sure hoped so but I still didn’t quite believe them.

Well, I believe you all now. It kind of sneaks up on you. You don’t suddenly wake up one day and say “wow, this is easier!” It happens gradually. On reflection, I realise I don’t have cravings everyday anymore. I don’t clock watch between 5pm and 8pm. I’m not sure when I stopped my obsession with time, I guess I just don’t think about it so much anymore.

I still get cravings and bad days, but not so often. I usually get them when I’m in new situations (like my first holiday) but I can see them for what they are and work through them, so next time it will be easier.

So for anyone who is in their very early days or only just thinking about giving up, have hope that it does get easier. For everyone else – don’t forget how hard you fought in your early days and how much you have achieved. Our journeys are just that ‘journeys’. They are not instant but gradual.  Don’t forget to take stock and reflect on how far you have come, wheather it be 30 days or 3000 days, you might just surprise yourself. I sure have xxx

Home – Day 64

I am back in England after having a wonderful family holiday in the sun. Did I drink? No! Was I tempted? Yes, at the beginning. Holidays and sunshine are definitely my biggest triggers. From walking through duty-free at the airport, the couple infront of me on the flight downing their G&T’s, to the complimentary bottle of red wine in our villa, it was just right in my face from the get go.

However, did it ruin my holiday? No. Did I get cravings? Yes.  It usually started out with me feeling like I was missing out somehow, like not being able to drink meant I wasn’t having as good a time as I could be having or worse, I’d regret not drinking when i got home. Interestingly, these weird thoughts only popped into my head between 5pm and 7.30pm which, was my old wine o’clock time.

It struck me on day 3 of my holiday that the reason i was getting my old cravings back at wine o’clock was because this is a new sober first. Once i saw this for what it was it got easier. I used my tool box as well, I  would go and make myself a lemon and soda drink and head out for some early evening sun, id read a chapter of my book. I’d visualise  what would happen if i did have a drink or 10, the disappointment , the hangover, the starting from day 1 again (if I could),  I even indulged in some AF beer.

You may remember that I’ve always been a bit wary of AF beer in case it made me triggery and how some are not totally AF. Some simply say less than 1%. Well that’s not AF! Anyway, around day 3/4 I found some San Miguel Zero totally alcohol free and enjoyed one or two over the holiday. It felt like cheating a bit really but I’d rather drink an AF beer any day than ruin my sobriety. It’s not something I’d buy at home and I still prefer my lime and soda or cranberry but it was good to have it on holiday.

I am so pleased I did not drink. I do not regret not drinking. I do not feel like I have missed out, like my silly craving/ Wine Witch suggested. My holiday was great. It was fun and easy going. We did so much and I feel like I have had quality family time especially with my kids as they grow up so fast. Alcohol would not have made my holiday better, it absolutely would have made it worse.