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…

Sober

This song by Pink came up on my playlist today – I haven’t heard it for so long, but remember how I used to listen to it and relate so much, not in this last year, since being a teenager. That’s sad isn’t it – have a listen hear to the lyrics – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ3ZM8FDBlg

When I hear this song I also think of my brother, who most likely died from alcohol and drug use/ possible overdose…who knows, as we are sure we were given a false autopsy…. It was my brother that introduced me to drugs, we were two kindred spirits. If he were still here I think I may have continued use and things could have been a lot different.

Oh the Thinks You Can Think!

Today has actually been better – I’ve felt calm (I think because I knew I was going for a 10k run later in the day). I realise if I want to run I do need to put the protein in, and have been having protein shakes and extra dinner tonight….and I feel ok about it, Im trying to at least get back to where I was before Christmas, when I was ok with my body and exercising, without counting any calories etc. I can get there again. He weighed me today and I told him how un-helpful it is, turns out the scale had gone up and he said I looked better already and he can see a change in me this last week – as I have been trying to eat at meal times and whenever I wanted. Anyway – I’m not brushing this all under the carpet or burying my head in the sand but for now I feel like being ,mindful and taking one day at a time with this can prevent me going into full relapse.

I had to ask myself – Is being thin more important to me than my family? What is it that is imbedded in me to make me so certain that being thin is what we should strive for? What is it that pushes me to do things to my body in order to control my size…control…maybe it’s a lot more about control than I’ve ever thought. ‘Control’ is often thrown around as a reason for ED’s – I’ve always thought it rather simplistic…but now I’m beginning to think that it probably is something that simple- I’ve looked at all the more ‘complex’ reasons it could be with no real joy…

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 – my friend said it’s like Im taking back the control myself…when she said that it really rang home that perhaps that’s all it is. I’m back in charge, of myself, because for so long I lived for someone else’s life, not able to be my true self, and from such a young age that I don’t know how to be me truly. So this need for control since being a child has stayed with me throughout my life….30 years of scraping for control over my own life.

And that brings us to now – I still feel like the partner I have chosen is in charge here – he is 13 years older than me, and our therapist at Relate noticed that we follow a parent-child relationship (which made me feel a bit sick)…as in I feel I need to ask permission for things from him, our house, I feel, is his -not mine. We are intrinsically tied together because of many things, mainly the kids, and my job and my main support system being his family. I’ve tried leaving before, I always come back – maybe this toxic relationship is another way of silently punishing myself? I mean that makes it sound like I’m in hell here, and I’m really not right now, but have been at times. I have been very unhappy in this relationship at times, and expressed this to no avail. I have also been very happy in this relationship at times and felt loved and cared for which is a huge thing.

I decided tonight was a good night to open the non-secco, I think there is more enjoyment in the opening of the bottle than the drinking….I enjoyed two glasses , and have no desire to drink any more so have popped a stopper in it. I’ll probably have the rest over the weekend because I guess it will be awful flat? It’s funny how if it was alcoholic I would have been sat here now feeling tired and finishing off the bottle…now I’m curled up with my nearly 3 year old watching Frozen. Lovely.

It’s not you, it’s me…

So, I’ve been talking to a close friend I am able to confide in, and it’s easy to see when I talk out loud that my thoughts aren’t making sense. I think I’m eating enough in one breath, then I say but I’m really not I suppose…..it goes on…the similarities between the things I tell myself now about food and exercise and the things I used to tell myself about drinking are uncanny.

It time to face up to reality – the problem is not the alcohol, or the food, or the exercise, or any other form of self-torture I have inflicted upon myself since before I can remember – it’s me. I feel like I just can’t get over whatever it is that is driving me to do this – is it just habit – something embedded in my genetic makeup which means I will always try to slowly kill myself?

I do know the driving force behind all my endeavors is to lose weight/ stay at x weight.….absolutely everything revolves around that. I’ve addressed the childhood sexual assault, I’ve kind of addressed the adult sexual assault (I will post about this later)….I feel like in therapy I have gone over and over things, there is nothing more I need to say. I met my step-dad face to face and got the chance to tell him how he had hurt me and my family, got the chance to forgive him and say that as a dad I still loved him and missed him. Here is a link to a history to show how much I invested in healing from the abuse – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34571936 I have spoken to friends asking if I’m still in love with him – this is something I need to explore more I think.

Here’s a timeline of the last 36 years…

  • 1985 – born
  • 1999 – bulimia – drive to be thin
  • 2000-2001 – anorexia – drive to be thin, ended up in hospital less than 70lbs
  • 2002 – active recovery
  • 2003 – started taking class A drugs because they gave me energy and I couldn’t eat when I took them / appetite control , a lot of alcohol came along with the drugs
  • 2004 – Anorexia relapse / treatment needed
  • 2005 on wards have gone round in a cycle of heavy drinking/freedom with food to restriction, this has continued to become more severe as the years go on…food and drink in the summer, starve in the winter…
  • 2012 – relapse lead to ED treatment again for about 2 years
  • The binge- stave cycle continues – (when I say binge I guess I mean eating freely but probably binge drinking – not every single day, but enough, you know, enough to know it’s not right).

Throughout all these years I have also abused slimming tablets, laxatives, diuretics, self-harm, a few suicide attempts, anything really to ‘be thin’, my quest for greatness….

Weighing up the issues

Hey, I am so grateful for all the supportive comments on my last blog, Ill try to address some of the questions here and think out loud…

My partner weighing me – this does seem very controlling, but it is something I agreed to in my care plan when I was discharged from the ED team back in 2013 (possibly 2014 I cant remember!). I agreed to ‘spot’ checks if anyone was feeling concerned. But he doesn’t realise that this has now sent me into a world of numbers that I wasn’t even considering before.

I have been in denial – I haven’t been eating enough for a grown woman with the exercise I’ve been doing – but because I wasn’t intentionally ‘dieting’ and have been eating freely whatever and whenever – lots of chocolate – cream in my coffee always – I felt I was ok.

Now the numbers are involved I can see it’s a problem… I could go either way….I started wearing my fitbit again – under the pretence that I will know I need to eat more because it will show me the outgoing energy( or supposed as it is very generous!) but I feel like I may be using it more to ensure that I haven’t over eaten. I still have control of this, (that reminds me of things I would write about controlling alcohol).

So Im a bit stuck I guess. Ive been asked to look at numbers and realsie I wasn’t eating enough which wasn’t a problem in my head – I’ve been the happiest and most content I’ve been for a long time (since stopping drinking mainly)…but now the numbers are back in my head. I know my weight day and night, I count calories in, calories out…

I don’t want this to become an eating disorder blog but yeah. I do want to call the gp and ask for a referral somewhere but the NHS is under so much strain I just feel like it is unnecessary and selfish. I know I shouldn’t feel like this, but I do. What to do….

Im going to start a food journal so I can actually see that I need more, and what of – I basically eat sweets and chocolate and salad/ veg, coffee and cream. Im not supposed to be running/ exercising, but Im still struggling with this…making my runs shorter and workouts less intense to start.

Month 4, day 12

My sober time app tells me I’m on month 4, day 12 , yet I’m starting to feel more and more like day one! I’ve abstained, but I keep finding myself putting the bottle of nonsecco in the fridge to kill the craving, then realising that it won’t actually do anything and I’ll just be drinking bad tasting fizzy calories and I put it back into the cupboard. I suppose it’s a good distraction and makes me think about what I want. I don’t want empty wine calories back on my hips.

Although speaking of hips my partner is getting more concerned about my weight and is now wanting to weigh me and forcing me to gain some weight. It’s hard because I’m not cutting out foods mostly, or I wasn’t till he started weighing me! Now it’s a battle.

He says I look awful, and he won’t have sex with me until I look “better”. I do look thin but I can’t really help it. This week I’ve put cream in my coffee, eaten treats and whatever I’ve wanted, yet not gained weight , he says I have to stop running and exercising, but I love running!!! It keeps me sane. The worst thing was when he said it would be better if I just drank again, because I weighed more and didn’t think about food or exercise. That kind of makes me think why the hell don’t I just drink then!

It’s the lockdown that’s causing it, I was absolutely fine even over Xmas etc until the days became an endless cycle of feeling like swimming in circles, constantly paddling but getting nowhere.