210. Self-respect

I’m thinking.

When someone over-drinks time and time and time again… and regrets it…. but goes back for more because they are too weak to actually do anything about it (read: me, Barbara)... then it is a sign that their self-respect is low to nil.

(I am not talking about the person who drinks, maybe too much, has a fun time, and has not an ounce of regret… no misgivings…. no sorrow at a hangover.)

When someone faces up to the over-drinking, little or lots, and says NO MORE and goes through the hard task of dealing with it head on… their self-respect returns and that accounts for the feeling of well-being that accompanies doing something difficult but something that is deeply good for you long term.

The reasons we over-drink are complex and layered.  But deep down there is a root of lack of respect and love for oneself.   Kick the booze and then you are standing up and doing something that is absolutely they best for your long-term well-being, and therefore a sign of love and respect of your person.

It is SO SO odd being the other side and not being ”allowed” your point of view without the other party feeling judged or condemned…. yet drinkers can have thirty views on those who don’t drink and they are not questioned…. Anyway, that is life and part and parcel of our learning curve.

The main thing is that I can live with myself as a sober person much more easily than I could as a drinking person.  Even though, and I repeat this, I did not drink everyday, nor on my own.  But the BIG BLOW OUTS that occurred often enough, would be draining and damaging shredding self-respect to ribbons.  It is hard at times but really worth it… Priceless in fact.

Love to y’all xxx

 

 

208. Something fun – just an aside xx

From the facebook page.

Sometimes I read something on my facebook group that I have to share!  So true…. Thanks Caroline Harrison Broadley 😉

Ok , so I dont post often but remember those 2 words Dry January? I did it and I still have not touched a drop , I dont know how many days it’s been but this is what i have learned so far .
. Weekends are much better without alcohol👌
. I remember conversations I have had at parties
. I have got to parties because I can drive on ginger beer 🚗🚙
. I have met some lovely new friends at parties who also didn’t drink .. but we all ate cake ffs ! 🎂
. I am calmer
. My skin and hair is better
. I no longer have acid reflux
. I no longer stay in bed on a Saturday eating Mc Donald’s waiting for the fog to clear🍔🍟🥤
. I can drive on a Saturday morning
. I’m really quite a cool person even though I’m about to turn 50
. I may now see 60 as I’m not behaving like I’m 20 every Friday night
. I am becoming obsessed with age
. I have more energy
. Water is not just for showering it actually quenches your thirst (who knew!)🚿
. I quit smoking 🚬
. I quit my shit relationship
. I can tolerate my family ( in small doses )
. I am thankful for the M25 …. it keeps family at arms length
. I can smile and laugh and I know it’s real from the belly .😂
. I no longer have a booze belly
. I am no longer bloated and I have cheek bones !
. I may loose sight of my cheek bones if I dont stop eating chocolate! 🍩🍬🍫🍰
. As much as I try I cant seem to get pulled over to be breathalysed , they must know ! ………🚔🚓

But above all I like me now, I know me alcohol free and I am going to continue to be nice to me .
Have a lovely week 🙂🤗

This is so true.  I’m on day 208 and can say YES to lots of those …. love it xxx

 

207. Hello Sunday morning

Utter contentment

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Not sure if it is because I am around people who still drink, but I am STILL even after 207 days, grateful every single morning, that I am clear headed.  I do hope that this carries on.  Last night I went for the rugby to a bar in town.  There were lots of friends there and the jugs of beer were flowing and so on…  The sight of the beer in jugs made my insides jangle slightly.  I would be wondering if there was enough!  Wondering if we would get the bus home… Wondering if I would feel jaded and pie eyed when we got home and had to finish cooking… But none of that for me now!  It is sheer bliss.

Even though at times I feel on the edge of things slightly, socially just a little bit outside of the inner goings on…..that slight discomfort soon fades.  Especially in the mornings when things are new and fresh and I can go downstairs and make my delicious coffee and see my dog and feel bright.  I can get up and say yes to so many things.  It is hard to underestimate the lethargy that comes from a hangover.  Even a small one.  I really have wasted so many many days just a little bit meeuh… not feeling the love.  Not wanting to be bothered.  It is different now.

Back in the summer I was making brownies for this little shop in my village.  It extended to cookies too… Then it went quiet in the inter season and now it is back with a vengeance.  She has asked for carrot cake too, and yesterday a cheesecake.  Now those of you who know me know that carrot cake and cheesecake are my absolute favourites… So I’m making those too.  And she texts often enough and says… ooh Barbara can you bring another carrot cake and so on.  And I have heaps of energy to be reliable and creative.

I skiied this morning with my daughter – home from uni… Bliss.  How many many weekend mornings have I woken up knackered and jaded.  When going skiing just seemed like such a huge effort.  I came to it late, so it is always a tiny bit scary for me… a little mental challenge.  With a hangover it was not a challenge I was up to.  I would go – if I HAD to …. but I’d rather be napping.   Not anymore.  The change is huge and yet tiny.   This is difficult to explain.  Such a small switch in what you do or don’t put into your body can have such a large ripple effect.

Hope the week goes well for you xxxx

205. Blissful future relief.

 

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The thing is…. I have lots going on… lots of winter small work.  Changeovers for friends, and for myself.  Baking to do, KidsClubs to organise.  I do not have a ”proper” job, but I do various things to keep myself busy.  All of which at the moment require early mornings, organisation, planning ahead….  And the tension I would be feeling if I was thinking about managing my drinking ALSO would be awful.

I would be worrying that I would have a hangover, be jaded, tired, low energy.  I would probably have low self-esteem associated with regular over drinking…. I would probably feel overwhelmed and that feeling usually stops me in my tracks.  If I feel overwhelmed I start procrastinating and time wasting and generally kicking around doing less than nothing….

BUT INSTEAD….. I don’t drink.  So the following are removed:

  • Future worry about feeling crap.
  •  About feeling unable to cope.
  •  About feeling low in energy.
  •  About feeling low esteem.
  •  About feeling jaded…

All are removed.  And I can get the stuff done that I need to do knowing that I will wake up with a little bit of a bound!!!  Bounding up rather than pulling the pillow over my head and blearily thinking ”OMG I AM DEFINITELY STOPPING DRINKING”… FOR THE 1000th time that I had thought that in my little life.

So voila.  A weekend approaches.  A busy one.  And I can face it head on with energy and confidence that all will be well.

Byeeeee

203 days by midnight.

Just intriguing how similar we all are….

I am just sharing this from a penpal of Belle – I could have written it too once upon a time. Or anytime really…. You have to see it through for more than 100 days.  Otherwise that voice will convince you.

Badass (penpal #2781): “These past few days have shown me that I really don’t want to be a non-drinker – I do however want to be a “normal/weekend only” drinker – so I am going to try the moderation thing again – but this time with 100% willpower – I know this is a tough route to take, but it’s one I’m going to have to give another go as cutting things out of my life that I enjoy is just not an option for me.”

me: hi you, if we could be normal drinkers, we’d be doing it already. that we’re online looking for help to quit drinking is the truth. the rest is wolfie and I’ll agree, the addictive voice is very convincing. but it is lying to you 😦 and I think you know it, which is why you email to share with me. you know what I’ll say – I’ll say *not a good idea, try being sober for 100 days first and then decide.* hugs from me

Badass: “I know what you’re saying. The issue I have is this – I tried not drinking for 90 days and ended up a binge drinking mess the following 3 months – having tried the sober thing – I know it’s not for me. I also know I can’t continue drinking at the same rate and quantity as I have been doing. I am going to have to make willpower/controlled drinking work somehow… one thing I am sticking to right now is not drinking Sunday through Thursday – I’ll start there and see what happens.”

… a few days later…..

Badass: “My determined resolve to remain sober Sunday through Thursday … of course a couple turned into nearly a bottle and waking up with 3am fear – nightmares and feeling like my head is full of frogs today. I’m SO ANGRY – I don’t know what to do with myself.  I feel like crawling under my duvet but I have SO MUCH to do today and I knew that last night – I’m such a mess – why do I keep self sabotaging. I can’t be sober forever – not realistic – and I know you’ll say “it’s not forever, it’s just for now” but we both really know it’s meant to be a forever commitment eventually.  Uggghhhhhhhh – sorry for the rant. Every time I relapse I feel like a naughty school girl coming back to you for forgiveness and a part of me thinks – I don’t need sober support – I stopped drinking for two months on my own last time and found you in my third month – so I’m confused as to whether I do better stopping on my own or with extra help. I feel more empowered when I stop on my own – but not sure it works for long periods. Sorry for the rant – you are awesome – I’m just in bad place today. Sick of thinking about it ALL the time.”

 

202. Energy ball

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I am writing more often, as I see there are more subscribers 😉  The posts are not possibly very interesting.  It would help to read from the beginning to get the gist – if you can be bothered…

Which brings me to being bothered.  One of the side effects of not drinking (and there are many many many small side effects… ) is that when you are bothered and upset by things, it is easier now to stand back, look at where you might be oversensitive, at fault, silly, feeding your sorrow and so on.  Before, the default position for me was to feel hurt, sorrowful, and then tell myself that I was miserable and then act miserable.  Like as if my thoughts were reality.  Being without the (not everyday) fug of alcohol smudging things there is much more mental energy available to me to sort out my head.  Instead of it being TOO HARD to sort out I can reflect.  Instead of thinking I am naturally at fault cos I overdrank, I can feel guilt free and take a realistic reality check on situations.

I am finding it difficult to see the youth whom I love,  embarking with glee on their drinking careers.  They are by no means the same as me, and by no means will they turn out to have this love hate relationship with alcohol that I do… I can remember that.  I would do well to remember that.  It helps me not to feel dismal.  I think that they think (already on dangerous territory here) that they are inwardly rolling their eyes with a ”mother just does not get it” kind of thought.  I think that they think that I am now boring.    Instead of believing these thoughts – or assumptions – of mine are true, I can look with clarity on and say HANG ON A MINUTE…. For a start you don’t really know what anyone thinks…..  You don’t know how people are going to turn out….. You have to let them make their own way…. You have to stop worrying about other people and take care of yourself.

Much healthier in the head.  I need my sober supports (podcasts, emails, friends in the same position and treats) to keep reminding me that what I am doing is THE HARDEST THING socially and emotionally.  But it is far and away the BEST thing for myself and for my close community – no matter what they think.

Man up (woman up) and face the toxic thoughts with reality and kill them before they start taking root and spoiling your day.  With no booze there is an energy ball to do that…..

Have a great Monday xx

 

201. Who would have thought?

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Quick check in.

Spent a lovely weekend up in Scotland with family.  At a wonderful hotel called the Open Arms Hotel, Dirleton.  We came downstairs the first evening and in the drinks menu was a selection of non-alcholic drinks including a Seedlip and FeverTree tonic of ones choice. I was very cheered with this.  It is odd to go somewhere with people with whom you have always had drinks.  My in-laws, husband, and his step brother and wife.  Very lovely people… all.  This time, all the kids were drinking too as they are al(most)l 18 and above.  So I was the only non drinker, again.  There was one youngster who hardly drank, but other than that it was just me.  So seeing the gorgeous selection of NA drinks in the menu made me feel someone cared.  I was very happy.  It was a lovely night and I know that if I had been drinking I would not have had the same type of weekend.  Drinking tends to stimulate my personality, whipping me up into an excited mood.  I would have smoked with my niece who rolls her own and would have generally felt a little jaded and odd and skulky all weekend.

This is the right thing for me.  It feels like I am doing something that is going to make a difference in the young people around me…. Especially my children.  I think that they can see that we can still have fun and not drink.

Im off out in Newcastle now, to a bar, and then to the Holy Hobo for dinner with my kids.  Me not boozing.  Happy.