I’ve been aware that I’ve been silent for a few weeks now and have been struggling to find the time to update! But things are good! Which silence usually indicates, as when it’s good, I don’t need to come and have these long chats with myself here!!

I’ll try to rewind to two weekends ago, I cant quite remember what happened and it doesn’t matter too much now to dwell on the details – but ah yes it was mothers day weekend… I had told myself or given myself permission to drink at some point that weekend, it must have been the Friday and I bought a special ‘big treat’ bottle of posh vodka in the supermarket. The kind that you wouldn’t guzzle. The kind you savour and drink socially. I decided that as I had arranged the day before to have a top up hypnotherapy session I could – she had offered me an appointment on the Friday evening, but my head said – go for the following week then you can have one last blow out. So yes I did exactly that!

Well there wasn’t any horrendous moments to be honest, I didn’t fall down or shout of cry, but I felt guilty the whole time, knowing I was been sneaky, knowing I was doing something that wasn’t good for me or my family. I drank the Friday night, the Saturday night and the Sunday from noon…Drinking in secret, holding my can of pop constantly so no one else picked it up by mistake and took a sip and learnt my secret. I did reach out to a friend and we went for a walk about 9pm on the Sunday as I was sobering up and I just knew this had to be it – I wasn’t having any pleasure from this at all, it was something else driving me to drink, the addiction and “I” felt like “I” was being forced and had no control over this.

My hypnotherapy session went great- the woman is a genius! We talked things out for about 45 minutes, and she helped me realise that when I drink (or starve) I am (in my own head) taking away my responsibilities – it makes me feel like I don’t have to be in charge – how can I be, Im drunk / sick / hungover / starved etc…and this state of me needing to be looked after is something that has been a common theme in my life. Anorexia, self harm, half-arsed suicide attempts – all just a cry for “please help me, look after me, let me rest…”. It’s exhausting.

I realised I have to take ownership of this, no one else. If I want to feel like a strong independent woman then I need to stop stripping myself of power as I have been, stay in control of myself. Stay focused, stay healthy.

So last weekend and this weekend have been plain sailing again since the top up. I think if I don’t focus too much on ‘not drinking’ that also helps. Just to not think about ‘drink’ or ‘not drinking’ at all. Close the dialogue and the door in my head. There is no option.

Next Saturday is my 36th birthday – as we can have 6 in a garden there will be a little get together between 5 of us girls ‘yummy mummies’ at my friends garden. This is some of the friends I usually drink a lot with. I feel strong, I know I don’t want to drink alcohol. They will be supportive. I have developed such an intolerance to alcohol that it is not worth me even having one, this is my truth going forward. It’s true though, one leads to more and then Im ill, mostly mentally as well as the morning after. I don’t feel like I ever need to drink again, and that’s great, because this time last year I wanted to give up for 6 months, or 100 days….and now I did that, and now I just know… not saying it will be easy from now, but I have shifted into another gear which Im mega happy about 🙂

Mad March

I haven’t drank since the last time…well that is always the case I suppose – even if I just drank 5 minutes ago, that statement would still be true – what I mean is I’ve not drank since the hellish hangover almost 2 weeks ago. A nice sober weekend last weekend, I did think about having a drink. I did, but I quickly dismissed it.

I read a blog post and it really resonated with me – ‘Whats your addiction recipe?’

Hitting home

So I am going to consider my recipe….

I also start with the poor genetics on my maternal side – I think there is alot of mental health unaddressed issue there – clinical depression of my great Aunt, My grandma must have OCD, same as my mum, although neither has been diagnosed…thank god my dads side of the family were ‘stabe’

There lots of trauma I suppose – the parental break up and horrible fall out that was played out in front of us, my mum often in hospital for long periods of time with a physical illness, the sexual abuse from my stepdad over 10 years and then dealing with that and the court case etc…

The culture side of things is massive here – drinking is ‘normal’ those that don’t drink or try to stop are NOT normal and have PROBLEMs.

I don’t know my personality is just highly addictive to negative responses to things…I do get excited and do positive things like, running but I never quite take them to the extremes that I go to with alcohol/ food/ drugs….being good just isn’t as exciting, is it?

Maybe I am rotten from the inside – and only feel whole when I am lying or committing some kind of attack on myself…I’ve been feeling very unsettled these last few days since coming back to work part time – maybe just ab shock to the system but I just feel worthless , unneeded here, like my job is meaningless.. .I’m rubbish at it, my boss has to hire other people to do the things I should be doing (I work for family). I feel like I cant grow at this job anymore – I suck at it – I’m jack of all trades and master of none….and here I am blogging instead of working….ffs is it any wonder I feel crap about my work ethic at the moment, I can’t seem to find it or my motivation. This is making me feel like I need to get drunk, fuck it, I already feel crap anyway so why not be able to forget about it for one night? Or I could starve…I was happier when I was hungry, it just takes a while to ‘get into the zone’ before the ‘buzz’ kicks in…and my children are getting to that age now where they watch everything and It just seems too risky. I’m definitely triggered – My friend who I’ve mentioned in previous posts who’s family is struggling – her daughter is not eating and is very thin…I think I’m jealous, of a 13 year old. Also, concerned, want to help but can’t interfere anymore – the last time I did interfere it wasn’t a good outcome.

Ok I need to try and re-focus for the day and do something that makes me feel good/ like I have achieved something in this office today…wish me luck!

The child and the Sage

The definition of insanity

Well, after my boastful post last week after drinking at the weekend before -things went as one would expect, but would have hoped not. I planned to give the rest of the bottle to a friend like I’d said, which didn’t happen. As Friday night went “ok” with the drink and I felt good still on Saturday morning I kept it and decided to drink again on Sunday. I started early, I drank a lot and tipped the rest down the sink. My partner knew I was drinking, so the cat was out the bag.

Was an ok evening and felt fine again on Monday morning.

So this Friday comes and in the shop I thought I’d buy a “one portion” bottle of wine to “treat myself”. Why🤦🏼‍♀️?

Had the wine at 4, drank it very quickly and made up some excuse to pop to the corner shop and bought a £9 bottle of vodka, which was a total of 13 units. I wasn’t going to drink it all of course!

But he’ll you know what happened? I drank the whole fucking lot. The wine and the vodka, so 16 units. I just couldn’t stop. I just had to drink it, it was a compulsion I couldn’t stop.

By 9pm I was a sobbing crying mess, I was texting my sister and best friend and talking shit and ended up crying my eyes out about life in general but the relationship mainly…

Ashley told me to get to bed and I did sleep till 6am, when I woke up still a bit drunk and the toilet roulette began. My stomach has had enough of vodka, I spent the next 2-3 hours sitting on the loo, sitting and shitting ugh! I had to send the kids to the in laws and lie down for an hour …starting to regain my brain by lunch time and got on with the day, obviously full of regret!

So…the moral of the story is just don’t fucking drink Lou! Just dont fucking drink, that’s it…not hard, not asking you to climb a mountain in flip flops or anything, just don’t drink!

It’s a new month, I have learnt from this and I have no desire to drink vodka ever again! No desire to be drunk ever again. Just no.

I came across this article today and it resonates with me-

The Child and The Sage

Our existence is marred by constant ambivalence. We swing back and forth between the impulses that we want to act on and what our sense of responsibility tells us to do.

On one hand, there is the promise of a better future, a tranquil mind and deep satisfaction within ourselves, on the other, instant gratification, fleeting pleasure, followed by bitter regret.

Inside each of us, two beings vie for our mind and dictate our actions: A spoiled child, unable to resist any indulgences. And a wise, thoughtful, and rational sage, wishing what is best for our future, who rewards us for work done well, promising big incentives to the little one if it follows his advice.

When a desire arises within us, it takes us by surprise and we run towards its accomplishment. Then, without even realizing what happens, we leave all theories of free will behind and remain in a sleepy state of automatic action… a voice from the core of our being tries to interrupt, but we easily suffocate it because we are so absorbed and caught up in what we are doing or saying. 

Painful regret begins to accumulate, haunting us in our thoughts throughout the day, and finally, we decide to get down to do the work. We start only when the pressure has become too much to bear, or when our future and career are at risk. We employ titanic efforts to finish up on time. When we make it, we tell ourselves that it’s in our nature to leave things to the last moment and that it’s meant to happen like this anyway, priding ourselves as original and rebellious. If we don’t make it, we see the mistake and promise ourselves to change.

The daily face-off

The child manages to create the most outlandish excuses, presenting them to you as the most intelligent of reasons. It’s a cunning, irrational being that mostly responds to instant gratification. It leads you to ignore the sage who has been trying to convince you from the beginning. 

The sage agrees to be punctual, to do the work on time, to put aside instant, easy pleasures in favor of lasting rewards, leading us from our daily comforts to an experience of true sensual pleasure we can only feel after passing a difficult trial. The wise man represents your willpower, the child your frantic impulses.

Recent research conducted by Roy Baumeister at the University of Florida found that our will power can be compared to a muscle. Like a muscle, it atrophies if it’s not put to the test often, for example if we fall prey to a routine of comfort and idleness. Like a muscle, you will lose its strength if you don’t call on it frequently. 

Other studies have shown that even simple physical exercises, which require discipline and willpower, lead people to reduce their consumption of tobacco, caffeine, and impulsive spending. 

It’s up to you to choose the character you give in to more often: The spoiled child or the thoughtful sage? Making this simple choice helps your favored character gain the upper hand, making it the one that dominates your personality

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”)