62. 1st of October

Sober joys

I have just encountered the beginning of the life change I referred to in the very first stages of this blog.  I knew that I was going to have my daughter leave home.  My son already left last year and yesterday it was time to leave my favourite daughter in the UK. We live in France and we have lived in the same town (village) her whole life.  No traffic lights, some of the same kids in her class since she was three years old.  Very safe and small.  It has been a treasure of a summer (for the most part) knowing that we were having some ”last moment” things and just enjoying having her here (and her brother of course).

If I had been drinking, even a little, this whole experience would be vastly different.  The subtle change is hard to describe.  When I drink I can absolutely have a few and then stop.  Sometimes.  But if there is any hint of emotional unease, needing of tension release etc.  then my drinking goes up and I go over a limit and then I have a SHIT SHIT day the next day.  Certainly being in the UK dropping her off would have fallen into this category.  Our ”last night” curry and drinks in a few bars in Durham would have led to me going (even slightly) overboard.  I know it.  Excuse to have nice nice wine.  Family drinking with me.  Fun fun fun.  And then the whole process would have been tainted with a fuzzy head.  A sense of profound loss, not proud of myself like I am as a ”clear” person, and so on and so forth.

On Friday night when we arrived in UK, I had a grrrr feeling of being left out.   All around us were people laughing and boozing and dressed up.  Then as the night wore on people our age and older – really dolled up – were lolling around pissed, not walking straight and generally looking shabby and mutton dressed up as lamb and grotty.  The next day – after a ginger ale and soda to drink on Friday night – my daughter and I got up really early and walked watching the pink sunrise.  We walked all around Durham, looking at the cathedral and the beautiful tiny city waking up.  Fresh.  No ”hat of heaviness” on my head.  Clear as a crystal.  Irreplaceable memories and times of togetherness.  Why would I give that up for a few spontaneous numbing boozy drinks the night before?  Never.

I am on day 62.  The grrr feelings are less and less.  I am so used to it now.  Thanks to the busy social life that goes on around me.  Everyone who I see knows and last night my friends gave me a lovely tonic with ice, lime and pomegranate seeds!  What a treat.  I watched them all supping Chardonnay and Malbec and all my favourite wines, without a hint of jealousy.  I was comfortable and calm and peaceful about my decision.  I joined in fully and had a lovely night!  The tiny spin offs are so important. I won’t go into detail right now, but there are lots and lots of them.

I would not be feeling this calm and non-anxious about empty nesting with the addition of hangover, fuzzy heads and the general way over drinking made me feel.  Slightly ashamed in a nebulous way.  Not comfortable in my own skin.  Not a person of full integrity and so on.  Instead I feel just smooth and calm.  It is priceless.  I love it.  Phew.

I am not losing major weight which is a little disappointing but not unexpected.  But my face is less puffy and much brighter.  A small side benefit.

Hope you are okay my very small crowd!!!

Love to you

Byeeeee

 

58. Is anyone still out there?

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So far so good.

I am just streaming along at the moment.  Very very content to be off the booze wagon.  The thing which I guess is most obvious at the moment is that feeling of being able to look myself in the eye.  To be proud of myself and not skulking ashamedly inside about x or y thing that happened.  TBH I have not done anything outrageous for a good while.  I had been roughly okay drinking wise.  But still if I had gone even a little overboard, I would wake up in the middle of the night with a nagging horrible feeling of being in a crevasse of self dislike.   Why some people can have a boozy night and then brush it off as all good fun, and others are plagued with a sense of grottiness is beyond me.  I wonder it the day will come when I decide I have had enough of this gorgeous feeling of being just undiluted me, and then going on a alcohol experiment and seeing if I can feel okay after a boozy night… The following post encourages me not to…. From Club Soda.

I thought long and hard about whether to post this. I know that when you are at the beginning of your journey, long term sobriety may seem to be an impossible dream. It’s easy to believe that it is something that other people can do, but maybe they don’t have the stress and strain that you have in your life. Maybe they are those amazing people with willpower, who just set their mind to do something and they do it. Well that’s not me.

I am an overweight 47 year old who has no willpower. I loved wine. I would drink it every day. If I was stressed it calmed me, if I was happy it helped me to celebrate, if I was sad it comforted me and if I was hurting it numbed me. I could not imagine a life that didn’t have alcohol in it. I was the party girl. First on the dance floor and the last one to leave.

Then that changed. I’d had enough of feeling rubbish and lethargic. I’d had enough of waking up with shame and regret about the night before, but I often couldn’t remember why. I’d had enough of making a show of myself when I went out, because I just didn’t know when I had had enough. I changed my mindset and I changed my life.

I am so grateful to the many friends that I have met in Club Soda along the way. You helped me to change my life. I still have heartache and personal issues. In fact at the moment I am going through tough times…..but I treasure my sobriety. It gives me strength, it gives me hope and it gives me freedom.

Today could be the day that you say….enough. Do it….you’ll never regret it….I promise x

I feel like she could be describing me.  And she is on day 1000 which is 2 Years, 8 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days.  Can I do that?  Not sure…. but why would I leave this sacred space?

If you are out there give me a nudge…

Byeeeee

 

54. Tick.

Checking in.

I am here and so so so so happy to be here!  I have more than survived so many social occasions now.  The bar in which I drink most often has the most amazing gingerbeer which I have with soda to lessen the sweetness.  My friend the bar maid knows now that I am not drinking and she pops the drink into a huge bowl of a wineglass with lots of lime wedges and it is totally and utterly fine.

I read this from Belle the babe:

You might feel like you’re the sort of person
who has to experience something for yourself
before you believe it,
before you know it’s true for you.

You might say:
“I’d would like to be sober for 100 days
but then I’m going to experiment with moderation
because even though you tell me it doesn’t work,
I need to find out for myself.
I need to experience it.”

And I’ll say
we’re all a bit like this,
wanting to see for ourselves.

But the truth is
there are other things
that we don’t play with:
— Heroin
— LSD.
I just wouldn’t do them, even if offered.
I don’t need to see for myself

I don’t have to find out what third-degree burns are like either.

And booze is the same thing.

I don’t know anyone who feels great after a relapse.
Those stories just don’t exist.
And if you have a brain that thinks:
“Well, maybe…”
that’s an indication of Wolfie in there talking nonsense.

Imagine he was saying:
“Well, maybe we can have just one glass of gasoline.”

You’d be like: 
“No, none.
I don’t need to know what happens if I have one.
I can live without that knowledge.”

It is a tough one. Nearly everyone is saying well just 46 more days then…. And I am going to be on a long haul flight around day 100.  With free Champagne and gorgeous wine on offer.  Flying to two of my best friends for a little reunion.  How about the irony of that?  I can’t moderate.  Not this year.  And maybe not next year.  And maybe never.  Thing is I am not even going to try it out.  Thank you I have won these 54 days hard.  I am going nowhere.

Hope you are all well.  What are your thoughts?

Byeeee

 

50. Freaking fifty.

I am Mrs. Happy

It is with no surprise to myself that I am here.  I pledged not to drink for 100 days and nothing will make me do it.  So I was determined.  But really the big thing is getting that distance from day 1.   The longer away you get, the less you are itching for a drink.  I am not itching whatsoever.  I will surely itch again but I know what to do about those itches!!!

You see one of the benefits for me is this…. I often had a nagging feeling that I was wasting my time, talents and life.  Whenever we had a whole weekend of boozing, day and night I would curl up inside a little and think…. 1) our kids are watching and this is how they are going to think normal socialising is done.  Around a drink – only.  No other options.  2) I am wasting precious time.  I could be doing something else with my life.

Now it is not so much that ALL my time was spent wastefully drinking … not at all.  I obviously have done other stuff and achieved other things.  But the drinking culture which was/is so familiar to me gives a TONE to ones life which is not the tone I want for my life.  Drinking loads robs everyone of good things.  I could have learned another language, instrument, painted 100 pictures, written 40 poems or baked millions of cookies in all the time I have spent drinking and hungover.

This side of the booze door, I have not done anything major, but that feeling of wasted days has gone away.  I’m loving this life.  I am loving this feeling of no guilt re kids, friends, church…. I am eating a bit too much, but hey ho!  It will go!  And I am not afraid of future events…. Woo hoo.

I send love to everyone out there who is reading this and trying to decide to stop.  Try it.  Just for 100 days.  Go back to the beginning of this and read the pledge I made to not drink for those 100 days… It made such a difference that I am accountable to Belle, and to this blog.  It cost me money to go with Belle, and money to start this blog… But so much more money would have been spent on vino.  And I am worth the blog and the coach.  Because the world needs me sober.  And the world needs you sober!!!

Love to y’all

Byeeeee

48. inspiration so needed always

I found this amazingly helpful.

I am following a facebook page called Club Soda.  Alcohol free.  People connect and help each other and encourage each other.  I love it.  I have seen this girl, agonising over a future event.  All along the others on the page have encouraged…. here is her post the day after the ”future event” that she was so afraid of….

So I did it. I had THE most amazing day completely alcohol free as a bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding. I was really apprehensive despite being almost 9 months free about whether I could have a good time and not feel like I was missing out without booze.

Well I can categorically say that I didn’t just have a good time, I had an infinitely better time without it. I felt anxiety free and serene the whole day, I was present and engaged and had lovely heartfelt conversations with wonderful friends I hadn’t seen in ages, I danced all night SOBER, something I thought I would never be able to do let alone enjoy. In fact I was one of the people who was on the dance floor the most! I felt incredibly alive and thankful for being in a room with so many people I love. I woke today hangover free, the absolute best feeling in the world knowing I can do this. No ifs no buts.

So if you have a similar big event coming up know that you can and will have a brilliant time without booze – once you test and prove this it will make you realise that it’s not alcohol creating the buzz and fun – it’s you and the love and friendship around you. As a wise lady said on here yesterday it’s ‘Shampagne’. Never a truer word said.

Thank you to everyone who helped me with my wobble yesterday, you guys are awesome 🌟 x

I was so heartened to read this.  I am so in heaven not drinking.  This is the present and this is where I know I belong and I should stay.  But I do stray into thinking about future events.  And when I get panicky I will come back and read her post.  I was one of the ones encouraging her, saying that it was only one evening.  Yet I know that perhaps when my time comes I will be equally tempted to say fuck it and want to drink.

Hope you are all well, my ghost readers, who possibly are not even there 😉

Byeeeee

47. Hardly counts

That is me, the one who hardly counts!

I have to think about which day I am on.  I know roughly, but if I am going to be exact I have to count.  At first I was counting every day like a crazy thing.  But now I hardly count.  At all.

I had a lovely weekend with friends, family and it was great.  At absolutely no stage over the weekend did I even vaguely want to drink.  I said to my sister… each day I am emerging into wakefulness, with the huge grateful heart that I did not drink. A thankfulness that I am not hung over or even a smidge recriminatory.   Indeed the thought of drinking stresses me out.  I know it would still be an issue.  I would still find it hard to moderate.  So for now, I am going nowhere near a bouteille.  Oddly enough I did not drink every night and was not hung over every day.  I even had plenty of mornings when I did drink that I was not hungover.  But the times when I was really made an indelible impression.  I hated those wake ups so much that I really never want them back.  So I am loving the soft drinks.

Loving all the food, not loving the kilos that I am piling on.  I will get rid of them. Soon!!!

I am not sure that this is a very exciting blog.  I am going to try to liven it up with pictures etc.  Not sure who even reads it…. Hey there if you are reading it.  And hey there even more if you are trying to give ”not drinking” a try.  It is SO good.  You will not believe yourself.

Love to you

Byeeee

 

 

 

Day 43. No inspiration….

Sometimes you need to use others’ ideas!

I am using a comment from the website that I follow…I think it absolutely identically sums up how I feel …

pippa: “just want to say thank you for your emails. They make me feel like I’m in a posse of people who are doing this amazing thing. When I feel on the periphery of the world — cos it looks like everyone else is merrily drinking (even though I know logically this is not the case) — knowing that there are other women [and men] who have made the same excuses, wondered if they were making a mistake going AF (because, you know, I’m not THAT bad), and who go from feeling on top of the world about their decision to feeling shit and weird — makes the difference. Something has shifted for me fundamentally so I’m 10% conflicted but 90% happy and that part of me keeps getting bigger and more certain.  It used to be the other way round. I feel like I’m in a cool gang now.”

I do feel

  1. that everyone else seems to be merrily drinking – including my nearest and dearest children and husband… yet I know logically that not EVERYONE is….
  2. glad that there are other people who have made the same excuses as I have, who wondered if they were making a mistake going AF – because they are not THAT bad..
  3. pleased that someone can articulate how I feel from going on top of the world about my decision to feeling shit and weird….  
  4. relieved to realise that I am 10% conflicted and 90% happy and that the happy is getting bigger and bigger ….

All the above serve to remind me that I am not alone in my quest.  And that the niggles (and that is all they are in the grand scheme) would be doubled in importance and difficulty was I drinking.  Was I numbing the good and the bad…. was I getting that feeling of being victimised, ridiculed and so on that can come with a few drinks and feeling low ….

So thank the universe that I am where I am tonight.  In bed and nearly finished day 43….And in the cool gang now.

Hope you are all doing well 😉

Byeeeee