300. At long last.

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I thought this was a lovely image.  I don’t know why, but it kind of made me emotional…

Being sober has gathered all me disparate frantic thoughts and put them under control.  Not completely but in a manageable peaceful way.  I think the picture above symbolises that.

My sister and I are on the same day – 300!  I was saying to her today that people who drink think us (annoying) sober types are just longing to drink with them but we ”CAN’T”.  I realise now, after this time, that I really don’t want to drink at all.  My body has ceased for now, its clamouring for ”something”.  I am utterly content.

I have had nearly a week totally alone at home.  I am almost 4 weeks into daily meditation, something I never thought possible.  This is definitely contributing to my peace.. and have had no sugar either.  The kind of person who would (maybe still) have annoyed me intensely.

I am still imbibing strong coffee, so I am not perfect yet. heheheh.  But honestly, I could not choose a hangover now for all the tea in China.  It is hard won this precious peace and it needs to be nurtured.

Anyone who is reading this and is relapsing… it is only trying different things,  not trying harder, that has worked.  Trying hard is not possible.  Willpower does not work.  It will always let us down.  So just add supports.  Even if you have to pay for them.

Cyber hugs.

 

Barbs

299. For real this time.

Partay!!!!

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I am on the verge of 300 days.  I want to say that I wish I had done this years ago.  Or when I tried years ago I wish I had had the support I have now.  But life is life and my drinking days were not that terrible all the time.  Of course, as I have high bottom, ie no real massive issues due to alcohol, apart from the odd lost phone, dignity, feeling shit, and so on.

What is very different is my head.  Alcohol scrambles my brain.  It starts like feeling like I am young, beautiful, funny, in love with most of those around me and full of potential… I want to chase that feeling… Then I’d say most of the time it can go okay from there, maybe half the time.  The other half of the time I would carry on and on chasing the feeling until it was uuuuurggggh.  And I would wake up and this would be the scenario in my head:-  It was like I was alone on a stage… And somewhere in the dark was a great audience, all of the shaking their heads and pointing and tutting and accusing me of being a let down.  A great big disappointment.

It was in April last year, before I gave up.  That I realised that this is not true.  This audience is just a figment of my imagination.  But even so they stayed with me all day to torment me on a hangover day.  Towards the giving up date (and for a few years before) these voices put me at the bottom of a deep dark crevasse the whole day.   I would pretend I was okay, but some days the voices were so bad that I would have liked to string myself up on a rope.  It sounds melodramatic from this vantage point… And when I realised that these voices were nothing but phantoms of my conjuring up, and that the reality was was that I was a deeply loved child (of God but say of the universe if God is a bit much for you) and the only person in the audience was my biggest fan who I had been ignoring.  The minute I stepped away from the booze trap, I stopped those dark thoughts.  Instantly.  The inside of my head is clear and I know that I am precious and imperfect but deeply loved.  I see the sole person in the audience.  And I know what is true.

It resonates with me, the following article…And the question which follows.  I would not have ever thought that I would give up FOREVER.  I still don’t.  But I can only say, I would not give up for one night of pissed shit, this infinite peace that lives in me.

Heavy!!!  Byeeeee

from my inbox

this is from meadowmuffins (penpal #2604, day 993 today):“I was trapped within myself, within my mind, within the confines of a bottle. The more I drank, the tighter I was bound with bad feelings, negativity, and horrible self worth. I had no confidence, no motivation, and was very low. Every time I would drink these feelings would thunder around in my head and the elevator would go down another floor. Then one day I took the challenge. I pressed *stop* and the elevator stopped. I saw the light. The elevator door opened and I got off. Just like that. I was scared to get off, scared of what lay ahead of me. I took a chance. Once that door was open I left, got off, and I haven’t looked behind me since.”

[from me: when the door opens. step off. the door doesn’t open on every floor.]

question: why is it better to frame quitting drinking as a trial, instead of forever? Here’s what redredwine (penpal #2307) says: “I think saying ‘I won’t drink forever’ creates a panic in my head I can’t cope with, whereas if I say ‘this is an experiment, I’m not drinking today, I can drink tomorrow but today, I’m not drinking’ — that works for me. Then I repeat the next day I’m not drinking today…”

297.9 Partying on down

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Who me??

I have just left a party that I was slightly dreading, not because I didn’t think it would be brilliant, because these people throw a major good party…. I went as Frida Kahlo above… dreading because I was going to be the sober boring one…  It was a younger crowd than normal and I was thinking I was not going to know anyone.  A couple of years ago at their annual bash, I got nice and sozzled, and had a perfect hangover.

Anyway, long story short I was asked to babysit tonight for some people who were going to same party.  I decided that I would show my face and then swap places with the dad, who had work to do… I left at 10… but I was SAD to leave.  I was having a brilliant time, and would have loved to stay until the dancing started and have a massive boogie.  I caught up with people I have not seen in ages, met new people, and generally had a smashing time.  I guess its quite sad that in 10 months I could say it is the first proper do that I have been to… Well here is to many more.

I am so pleased.  I did not feel like a social outcast.  Yippee.

Byee

 

An article to treasure.

I read this and just thought:  WOW.   So much resonated with me and made me happy.

 

295. And 120 bottles not had.

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Stats.

My app says :  I have not consumed 601 drinks and I have saved £2062 and never mind the calories saved… I can’t count those cos I replaced them with biscuits and cheesecake.  I put in two glasses of white wine a day.  Which is not all that accurate as I had nothing a lot of the time and then two bottles plus two or three gin and tonics, plus plus at dinner parties, or some hectic lunches…. So I have tried to give an average… but anyway it is a startling thing imagining 120 bottle lines up empty waiting to go to the recycling.  That is a lot of fecking wine

It is taking time to get my life into the shape in which I want it.   I am being very aware that overwhelm is something to avoid.  But some of the things that have changed…. signed up and been accepted for a Course that I could only have dreamed of doing…. Started another online diploma in coaching and mentoring.  Subjects that I am passionate about.  Lugged logs and soil and started a vegetable garden.  Getting regular at meditating.  Sorting through my issues and difficult patches with clarity and accepting the hard things and the shit feelings without trying to numb them.  I am able to look myself in the eye and feel like a person of integrity.  I am starting to switch over to the thinking that not drinking is a quiet superpower instead of thinking I am missing out on all the fun.  That I am the social pariah.  I feel like I am there and present and will choose how I go to bed and how I wake up.

I woke up today at 545 naturally without the alarm.  That is early even for me.  I saw the pink tips of the mountains outside my window and the three quarter moon suspended in the blue above them.  I am noticing noticing noticing all the beauty and life in the world. I did before, I am a nature lover, but there is no marring of the beauty by a spiky sick hangover.

I am aware that I can not be complacent.  That one day I might think, oh my god, remember when I gave up drinking for a year… who was that person?  That positive calm person of integrity.  I can honestly see myself doing that if I do not keep treating not drinking with a priority number one.   I need to keep the sober tank full.  It is so easy to say of fuck it and have a drink.  So simple to say ok, just a little taste and open the door right back to square one.  

Thats my ramble for the day.  I need to write this blog too.  It was the second thing I decided to do to be accountable.  It is not exciting or fascinating or full of horror stories of not drinking.  But it is my tentative attempt to log these halcyon days xxxx

293. Whoa gone backwards??

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No I have not!!

I made a mistake the other day and mistook 289 for 299.  I got all excited for 300 days and found out that it was wrong!  Never mind, of course I will get there in a week!

The thing is not in the thing.  This is what I was going to talk of cos it is so useful to think about.  You know when you are craving something because it is nostalgic or makes you feel like a child again… Maybe boiled egg on toast or Marmite soldiers with tea?  Egg on toast is my comfort food.  My mom used to make Marmite toast and tea when we were sick in bed and off school.  Those foods can conjure up a feeling of being cared for, of being comforted and some kind of wholesome cosy feeling.  However, the comforting, cared for cosy feeling is not in the food.  

Just like the ”edge off”, the ”celebration”, the ”commiseration”, the ”sunny holiday lets have fun”, the ”cosy winter fireside huddle”,  the ”I deserve a break” and so on and on, is not in a glass.  The reality is, in the glass is a liquid – tasty or not – which is an addictive anaesthetic.  A liquid which when consumed in certain quantities, is treated by your body like a poison.  A liquid which after a certain quantity starts to work its magic.  Robbing you of your clarity, your resolve, your ability to connect.  It invites you to have more.  Indeed it insists that having just one more is a really good idea.

The hours and hours spent when my kids were little, with friends drinking on a sunny afternoon… We used to say to each other… ohhhh look at what fun the kids are having, isn’t it nice to see them playing so well, oooh we should carry on sitting here drinking so they can finish their games… and we would while away a whole afternoon on the rosé wine.  Going home eventually with tired, hungry kids.  We could not concentrate nicely on supper time and bedtime, and getting grouchier and grouchier with kids who would not go to bed so we could have a night cap and relax.  And then to wake up the next day feeling like a piece of cornflake with no energy and needing to fake a cheery attitude at breakfast so that we could see them off with happiness to school and then flop back into bed to groan into the pillow.

The sunny fun holiday feeling afternoon is not found in a glass.  The comfort is not there.  The courage is not there.  The celebration is not there.  The taking the edge off may be there, but that is a downward spiral.  It is a short cut to de-stressing which makes you fat, poisons your liver, dulls your skin and saps your energy.  Sorry to be a killjoy.

Byeeeeee