Things have changed…

Ok, I did drink last night. Im not ashamed, or upset, I’m annoyed at myself for forgetting but feel like this reminder was necessary, and I 100% don’t feel like I have ‘reset’ my clock – more like in 6 months I have drank one evening and that is still a massive achievement. I feel stronger going forward this morning, no more cravings at all, just a renewed sense of staying sober.

Now I know this could be a slippery slope and can’t just become a habit – I am very confident it wont.

This is how the afternoon went down – I did reach out for support, – I absolutely took in what was said, I think I felt like I had already decided. I bought a ‘nice’ bottle of vodka (poison) and steak for me and Mr A as the kids were staying at our support bubble for once. After speaking to some support I decided to wait until after my yoga class – I had told myself the vodka was a present for my sister if I didn’t open it (i’m still actually gonna give her the rest today but obviously not as a gift – more of a ‘get this horrid stuff away from me please!”

The yoga was a bit ‘meh’ – a new class and teacher and it was very slow, I was very keen to finish and crack on (which I recognised as the addiction anxiety trying to get me to drink before I changed my mind. I poured the drink just after 5, into the top of my can, so no one would know I was drinking….what an idiot.

Anyway, top and bottom is – I had about 10-12 units, I was drunk but not noticeably. I hated the taste. I thought I loved it but I hated it. I wasnt fully present for our romantic meal or film which is a big shame since it could have been really special. I didnt do anything I regret howver – no arguments or random texts.

I haven’t slept since waking up two hours after going to sleep, and have just had a very bad stomach! All things I should have reminded myself of. I HATE not sleeping.

So, I don’t feel sad or ashamed which I used to, and I’m not proud but I feel like I’m more on track for the next six months now, so now when asked I will say ‘I have only drank once in the last 6 months / 7 months/ 8 etc and I definitely don’t feel like I’m back at day one.

That Friday Feeling….

Seems my mind is wandering to drink even earlier this week…I’m in a stinking bad mood, and just have that ‘fuck it’ feeling completely. I have to go grocery shopping later this afternoon, so hoping writing this out might set me straight.

Things between me and my partner have continued to be shitty and on the verge of separation but as usual he refuses, we have more sessions with relate scheduled starting next week. I think i feel generally pissed off because nothing is changing in the relationship and it should. As well as that my almost 12 year olds moods are getting so annoying, it’s getting difficult. Also just sick of lockdown, and feeling like I have loads to do but can’t do much at all except sit about.

But mostly Im worried bout my friend, who has been having a horrible time for so long and whose daughter has been abused spookily similarly to me, her daughter is in hospital today and I just feel so sad for them all. A 16 year old in so much pain, so confused, like I was, but she wont accept any help, blames her mother for everything wrong in her life, I guess I just relate so much to her and want to help so badly but she wont accept any help, and now just ignores me if I do send texts or offer to go for a walk etc. Bless her. This makes all the other insignificant things seem…well…insignificant! I’m getting so hung up on minor things it’s frustrating. I don’t need to drink, Ive got 15 days until I hit 6 months and then I am there..wherever that is…

I asked my closed friend yesterday if i should drink again after six months and she said without hesitation ‘NO’. I asked why and she said because it’s ‘all or nothing’ with me, thats how I have always been and always will be…so it is safer to stay dry. I do agree it makes sense. But I’m also very tempted to start planning a little mini celebration weekend…with booze? Would there be much point in that…Im not sure a smoker would celebrate 6 months without boasting about it with a cigarette in hand??? Doesn’t make much sense does it?

More to wonder about..

Reading back on my last post I see that this statement – “Something bad happens, say me and my partner fight, and my reaction is to tell myself something like ‘ well I can skip tea later, that will make it better” and I instantly feel calmer -” – used to be the same as saying ” something bad happens and I tell myself, ‘well I can have a drink later/ soon’ and instantly feel calmer and relaxed.

The alcohol has been a much bigger issue and crutch for me than I even realised. I was hiding behind the alcohol for so long.

Anyway, I have a confession – on Sunday I decided to make a chocolate moose with Irish cream liqueur (Baileys). I ate the pudding, so I am not 100% dry as of then, but I can recognize that having a liqueur chocolate or pudding is not a self-destructive habit forming thing…but it’s weird isn’t it…I can’t say I haven’t touched alcohol for x amount of days now truthfully…although I haven’t ‘drank’. What does everyone else do about these types of desserts? Like if I was avoiding coffee, I don’t think I would avoid a coffee chocolate…but should I be???

Baileys truffles to go with the chocolate mouse recipe (cheap baileys as have no intention of enjoying it as a “drink”)

Saturday Saturday, please f*ck off!

It’s Saturday and I want to buy vodka. Again. The thought was actually contemplated whilst in the supermarket, like it was actually an option? Where is this coming from?

I got home from the supermarket, which I’d walked around thinking about buying something but didn’t. Unfortunately a toy I bought for my daughter was broken when we opened it at home, she wanted to go straight back to the shop to exchange it – and because there’s nothing else to do at the moment I was happy to walk 20 minutes back to the shop.

My mind began to race…

Which drink could I buy, I’ll just have a look at what is available, I’m not an alcoholic, almost 6 months proves that, but its only a few more weeks maybe I should wait and then see how I feel at six months….I’ve already got Pepsi so half way there, I can even be secretive and no one would have to know, I wouldn’t have to tell anyone, I don’t have to blog about it, I don’t have to answer to anyone, people will be supportive I’m sure and I can start again, whats the point in that… I will know I have let myself down.whats the issue anyway, If I fancy a drink why cant i have one (maybe because of these thoughts duh!)

The inner monologue continued until I found the isle I wanted (I had to walk up and down ta few before I found the vodka – it wasn’t easy but I kept trying – God loves a trier!). I stood and studied the bottles and prices….this one is £6 and 7.4 units – I know I could finish that and be ok in the morning…but what if that wasn’t enough and I went out and bought even more then that would be stupid and I would end up buying a bigger bottle while I was pissed, so maybe I should get the bigger bottle now…hmmm this one is £9 and 14 units, thats about what I need….to knock myself out (I’m only small)… Right Lou what is the point of trying to knock yourself out…why do you want to buy this – just wait, put it down…..then my toddler said “mammy what are you doing so long, why are you worried?” to which I came out of my head and put the bottle down and said ” nothing just looking” and also said out loud to myself “put it back lou You don’t need it”.

I knew I had a lot more shops to pass on the way home before I was ‘safe’…. I called my sister and told her how I was feeling, that helped, she doesn’t really drink (strange that?!) and said I would regret it all week and the way Im feeling now it wasn’t a good idea…. she was right…I continued home.

Had to take the dog out one final walk of the day – this was it, I wasn’t going to go back out in the snow again after this…I had to resist…I text my friend who supports me the most about this and she sent a message straight back putting me right! My battery died on my phone which I was pleased about as again now I had no means to pay for anything and knew I would get home alcohol free.

I thought how I would never have been able to do this if the pubs were open. It’s so easy to wander in, smell that smell and order a drink, you can’t then put it back on the shelf if you change your mind……I’ve been lucky in that respect. I should not drink alone, just because it’s Saturday and I’m bored. I was imagining having a drink while cooking…and then remembered how I couldn’t just have one…there is no way I would feel satisfied after one drink, maybe two? noooo lets try three…the bottle is gone and I need more…. It’s inevitable how the scenario would play out. I don’t want to be part of that story anymore…

I’ve just had a cup of tea and chocolate and about to cook the curry now….bath after that….

I’m tired, I’ve started eating better and kind of physically ‘back to normal’ and I think that is what is really bothering me. Funny that – I stopped drinking and had to control food and exercise, I back of that a little and the urge to drink comes and hits me like a bitch. This is the most tempted I have ever been. It seems to be getting stronger – but then I remember with every sober day, so am I.

5th month

I can do the next 28 days, 4 straight weeks, and then if I look back to posts this time last year I think I started drinking again around my birthday beginning of April, as was out of control by May, so there’s a lesson, I should not give myself permission to drink after 6 months. I will give myself permission to continue to look after my health, only put goodness inside and not self harm with alcohol or anything else.

My weight and food is much better, gaining a few pounds so I’m not looking “too thin” just “thin” has helped and that’s because I’m eating a lot more regularly. But my mind isn’t happy when I look in the mirror or feel my stomach, so I’m still being vigilant.

The Little Things

It’s the little things I love about being sober. Being present in conversations, small moments in time when I remember that I could not or would not have felt a certain way had I been drinking, appreciating my health and time with my children, being a better and more consistent parent to my children. There are so many positives I could go on to list.

The things I miss about drinking? I think I need to have a good think about this, as I seem to be getting the pull stronger than ever, so maybe it will help me to establish what exactly I am looking for from an alcoholic drink…

I know a big trigger is boredom, wanting to feel different, feel something different. Also wanting to feel like I belong – Im a social group for example. Yesterday I found my self saying to a ‘new’ friend about her garden ‘oh it will be lovely in the summer we can sit with a bottle of wine’….and this made me question why I felt the need to say that…like I might not get invited around if I wasn’t going to drink…..for all I know she may not want to drink…..but it is so ingrained in us that this is the normal way, this is what adults do, they work in the week then get fucked up at the weekend to start all over again on the Monday morning probably feeling shitter as the weeks go on.

I’m free of that now, so why do I envision future friendships with booze – I think this added to my wanting to drink yesterday, as that’s the second time I’ve mentioned something like this to someone and if I’m thinking of drinking then, why not now too? I’ve got a hold of this now (I feel) and has resigned myself to the fact that I can do 6 months and go from there. There is no point stopping before then. I can reassess.

Whatever rules I put in place for myself if I did start drinking again, I know I would work around in time, and end up right where I am, so I guess that kind of tells me something – I shouldn’t start again!!!

I follow a friend on Facebook that set up a business around supporting people to get sober, Claire ‘the soberholic’ is inspiring so many people – she asked me if I would like to take part in one of her podcasts…which I would love to, but then I thought ‘oh god I can’t drink now then for sure until that’s done!’ So even if that is all that keeps me going through this rocky time at least it does…if that makes sense?!

Here is a link to her website for anyone interested – https://www.thesoberholic.com/

I’m falling…

I feel like those four and a half months will be resetting …actually it’s 4months, 25 days, so almost 5 months, I want to make it to 6 months, I know if I don’t this time I can again ….why do I feel like this

Edit – have come back one hour later to update

I’m still sober. yey! I walked out the house leaving my phone and money (since I can use apple pay almost anywhere these days)…and across to the in-laws (we are in a social bubble thank god!). I’m still here and wont be drinking tonight, thank god. So what was running through my head an hour ago?

It’s the weekend, everyone else drinks, why shouldn’t I? It’s the bloody zoom quiz tonight – again everyone else will be holding a drink, why shouldn’t I? The answer to these is that everyone else doesn’t have a problem with alcohol like me, everyone else could just have their glass of wine, I was planning to get a bottle of vodka and drink it secretly before tea even, that’s not sociable. In my head I walked to the shop, was going to buy the smallest bottle of vodka so I woudln’t be ‘too ill’ in the morning. Take two cans of pepsi max out to pour it into and drink from in secret….then everything would be fine wouldn’t it?

Then I thought more, and realised I would be trying hard all night to not get ‘caught’ and would also miss out out the whole evening with the family. My in laws would be confused as to why I was acting strange, the kids would, they have all seen it before so know the signs by now…

I thought about how I would feel in the morning – like shit no doubt…I thought about the reason I wanted to drink…I couldn’t think why….boredom I think mainly, and dissatisfaction, worry, concern…I guess these are a lot of negative emotions going on that I need to address rather than hiding behind a bottle and a hang over….

I’m proud that I managed to walk away from it though, or made the conscious decision to leave my phone sop I couldn’t buy vodka. I don’t know why these strong urges are coming now, they have never been like this in the last 4 months or so…