Sunday, 27 December 2015

Summer triggers

I have had a lovely day with all my family. Spent a few hours down at the public pool. Now we are back home and of course it's the perfect time for a wine. It's funny, when I was drinking I wouldn't have one until at least 6pm or until we had dinner. Now suddenly, there are so many triggers. So many imagined perfect times to have a wine. And I have these thoughts of why not? No one would care. But I guess I would. I've come this far, it would be silly to spoil my efforts now. So please remind me of why I am doing this!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

A sober Christmas

It's now Boxing Day and I am still sober!

Yesterday was lovely. I felt all warm and fuzzy being with all my family. Sharing a beautiful meal and giving and receiving presents. Watching the joy on the children's faces. Spending the rest of the day relaxing and chatting, our bellies full and content. But there were moments of longing for wine. Moments when I thought 'stuff this. It's Christmas after all'. No one would question it. But I had told my family I'm off the grog for a bit so I would have to explain myself if I did. So I had a few moments of sulking to myself. I said to my younger brother (the sensible one) that I felt like one and he said no one would care if I did. I said it to my husband too. And he said I would feel shit in the morning and it wasn't worth it. I felt a bit of resentment towards him for not saying 'go on then, it's Christmas!' So I carried on with my caffeine free diet coke and somehow it was all ok.

It was a beautiful evening. Clear skies and a bright, full moon. We were sitting outside in our paddock next door and it was the perfect night for a glass of wine (or 4!) But I didn't drink. I thought not today. It was still a beautiful evening with clear skies and a bright full moon even though I wasn't drinking. And somehow it was all ok.

So yes, today is Boxing Day and I woke up without a hangover. I feel so good about that.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are having a lovely Boxing Day too.

Day 34.

A x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Eve!! I can't quite believe it! We arrived at mum's place yesterday and will be here for 8 days. It is so good to be here. All my 3 brothers will be here with their families, so the kids are going to have a ball too! I am looking forward to a happy and sober week, sharing good times with my family.

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and safe New Year! I will be a bit quiet over the coming week but I will try and log in from time to time. I will be thinking of you all and look forward to getting back into blogging after the New Year (if I don't get a chance to blog before then).

Today is day 32 and a sober Christmas is within my reach!

A x

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dinner and the theatre

What a day yesterday!! Braved the shops again and got a bit more Christmas shopping done. Had the little guy with me again. I have to say, he was very well behaved. And I had a waxing appointment that took over half an hour and he waited for me patiently (having my iphone helped!) And it was 40 degrees (104 F) !! The heat makes you so hot and bothered. I found myself yelling at my poor son and I hated myself. I kept thinking 'why am I like this? I wasn't even this bad when I was drinking!' I really wasn't liking myself yesterday. But the heat gets to all of us. Today is the same but I am determined to be in a better mood today.

Last night C and I went to the first performance of CATS in Melbourne! It was FANTASTIC!! I even got a photo with Delta Goodrem who is playing Grizabella. She was brilliant! Not sure if she is known overseas, but she is a wonderful Australian singer. I loved her!

Before the show though, we went out to dinner. C booked the venue. It's a flashy restaurant that has a theatre menue - 2 courses and a glass of wine for $40. Now, I didn't like what was on the menu, so I didn't choose the theatre one. I just chose something of the regular menu. And had water and a diet coke. C had a glass of bubbly and a red wine. I did feel a bit deprived I have to admit. I even said to her how nice a glass would be. So of course she said 'well have just one glass' Well, we know that's not possible so I just said no, I'd better not. How nice would it be to just have one glass? But the thing is, it's not appealing to me at all! I would much rather have two. And then at the theatre I would have to have one going in and then one at intermission. Getting home at nearly midnight would not have stopped me having more at home either, and then I'd be up till all hours and be feeling shit today. So no, one glass wouldn't have been nice. Because it would never be one glass.

I just love the theatre. When I left school I auditioned for a drama and dance school. It was a one year course, and I got accepted !! I also applied to nursing school and got into that too. I was so torn. Which to choose?! Mum and my careers advisor at school said I should do the nursing and I could always go back and do the drama/dance later. So that's what I did. Only I never did go back and do my first love. I met a guy (totally unsuitable of course) and was with him for 12 years!!! I moved to the city for a short time and tried to get into dance schools but it was too late by then and my BF wanted me to move back to the country and be with him, I so regret my choices back then. I often wonder how my life would have turned out if I'd done that course. Maybe it would have been me on that stage last night?! It was my dream. I have always resented mum a little bit for making me choose that path. I know it's not really her fault, but I can't help it. So many regrets in my life .....

Anyway, another sober morning! No hangover and a day closer to a sober Christmas. I'm getting excited now! I love Christmas. And this one will be even more special because I'm going to be totally present for the whole day! Only 6 sleeps to go!

A x

Friday, 18 December 2015

Feeling stressed!

So, after writing my post yesterday, the little guy and I went to the shops to do some Christmas shopping. First of all, it was an extremely hot day so when we got in the car it was like a sauna and I immediately started to feel irritable.

Thankfully, we found a park straight away (which usually never happens at this time of year!) And the shopping centre is air conditioned so that was nice. But it went downhill from there.

There were people everywhere! And one of the things I hate about busy shopping centres is how slowly people walk. And they take up the whole corridor so you can't walk around them. Or they just stop in front of you. It drives me crazy! So I walk really quickly and scoot in and around people when I can.

Add a 9 year old into the mix doesn't help. So what did I do? I did what works best. I bribed him! "I'll buy you some popcorn if you are patient and let me look at a few shops and get what I need to get" He was happy with that. And it worked for a while. But he soon finished it and then the whinging started. By this time I was getting very frustrated because I had only bought one thing and as I didn't have any lists with me, I had no idea what to get anyone.  The little guy was very good considering. It IS tiring walking around shopping centres, from shop to shop, so I don't blame him for wanting to go home.

By the time we left, we were both irritable and just wanting to get home and relax.

Of course, in the past that would have meant having wine. I would wait until dinner, and then I would have my 'reward'. I would certainly deserve it after such a stressful day! But as I was driving home yesterday I thought what would that achieve? I would enjoy the first one or two, but then I would continue to have more until the whole bottle would be gone. And then I would have woken up this morning feeling awful and regretful And because it's another really hot day and we have to go to the shops AGAIN, it would have been 10 times worse!!!

So, I am so glad I didn't drink last night. I am so relieved that I don't have a hangover. I will no doubt feel stressed and irritable again when we go to the shops, but I will get over it. And I will do it all without wine.

Day 26.

A x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dinner with friends and hope for a sober Christmas

It's school holidays, yay!! The little guy now has 6 weeks off school. I love it!. I enjoy having him around and it's a nice break from the daily school drop offs. I'll never understand parents who dread school holidays!

We went out to dinner last night with a group of friends from school. And hardly anyone drank! My friend C had a couple of sparkling wines, our hubby's had a couple of beers and that was it. I'm sure if I was drinking C and I would have shared a bottle or two of sparkling but she only had a couple. I didn't miss it at all (well, maybe a little bit) and was happy to have my diet cokes. We all had a lovely evening and it was a nice way to finish off the school year. I'm beginning to think that a sober Christmas is not out of my reach after all.

I haven't told my family yet that I won't be drinking over the holidays. We are all going up to mum's place in the country next Wednesday/Thursday and staying for about a week. I don't want to make a big announcement. I might just casually mention it when I'm up there. I don't know, maybe I should make a big thing of it. What do you think? I might just play it by ear. I'm still not ready to say I've given up drinking forever. I still struggle with that concept. So I am just taking it one day at a time for now.

I was watching the children at the restaurant last night. At their sheer delight in seeing each other (even though they'd only seen each other a few hours before at school!) and the joy on their faces was priceless. They take delight in the moment and have so much fun, all without a foreign substance running through their bodies. When did it become essential for adults to stop being able to have fun without alcohol? I'm going to try and enjoy my Christmas and holidays like a child. I'm going to take delight in giving presents and playing with the children. I'm going to try and live in the moment and let the holiday flow (thanks for that list SM!) And I believe I can do all that without having any wine.

Day 25 today.

A x

Monday, 14 December 2015

First Christmas challenge completed

I made it through my first big Christmas challenge. We went to our local carols in the park on Saturday night and I didn't drink!! And I am so proud of myself. If I'm honest with myself, I was a bit worried about it. I was scared I wouldn't be strong enough and that I would say stuff it and give in. But i didn't!

The night started with a bbq with our friends C and her hubby D, and their son, before we headed over to the carols. I had already told them that I wouldn't be drinking, and thankfully, they didn't offer me a drink once. Maybe they are finally getting it?! I did look at C's glass of sparkling longingly a couple of times but I just had to remind myself that I wouldn't be able to  'enjoy' just a few glasses of bubbly. The first few would have been enjoyable but then I would have to have more. And the sparkling wouldn't have been enough. I would then have had wine throughout the night. I would have drunkenly thought what a lovely evening we were having and think it was because of the alcohol and not all the things that actually made it a good night. Things like the company, the beautiful evening, the sheer fun the kids were having running around together. And not to forget the choir and the brass band and the festive spirit. They were really lovely.  I had my diet coke and got to appreciate the actual night for what it was. And I'm so glad I did. I woke up yesterday tired but so glad not to have a hangover. I went to work and was able to function at normal capacity and be there for my patients and my colleagues. So much better than the alternative.

When I got home last night the little guy was sick. He was complaining of a sore tummy and couldn't get to sleep.  Then he had the hugest vomit I have ever seen!! It was all over his bed, the carpet, his books on the floor... everywhere! Now, being a nurse, I am used to cleaning up bodily functions and I have a strong stomach, so it doesn't normally bother me. But I was overwhelmed bythe sheer amount and was wondering how the hell I was going to clean it all up! And all I can say is that I am glad I hadn't been drinking. I got stuck into the cleaning and it wasn't fun but it had to be done. Then the poor little guy finally went to sleep and had a couple of more vomits (smaller thank goodness!) during the night. He had a very restless night but I was able to be fully present for him. I am tired today but I am fine. And just so relieved he is ok today. We don't get gastro in our household to which I am extremely grateful! (touch wood!!) so I feel sorry for those people that do. Hoping it was just a virus which I'm pretty sure it was as he is much better today. Thank goodness!

So I got through a challenging weekend. I'm beginning to think I can do this. That I can get through Christmas sober. I just hope that I can stay strong and think of how good I will feel afterwards. I am going to apply the 5 points that SoberMummy mentioned on her blog. This is going to be the best Christmas ever!

A x

Friday, 11 December 2015

Day 19

Day 19

The little guy and I went to the supermarket after dinner yesterday and we bumped into my friend C and her husband D. We were saying how we are looking forward to the carols in the park tomorrow night. Then D asks me if I'm going to be drinking, to which I said no. Then C asked me how long for this time (she knew I did the 100 days. Her and her hubby were there when I had my first drink afterwards and D made it a bit of a ceremony. I felt a lot of pressure that night!) I just told her I didn't know. That I'm having an operation in January and I'm trying to lose some weight and feel healthier. What bugs me though, is why I felt that I had to come up with a reason. I could have just said I'm having a break again, or that I'm trying to give up. But I felt like I had to have a really good 'excuse'. When I quit smoking 10 years ago not one person said 'how long for?' or gave me a hard time. Everyone said how wonderful it was. Why is drinking so different? It is just as bad on your health as smoking is. It really annoys me!!

Not long ago I was having a text conversation with my older brother. We were chatting about our younger brother who is an alcoholic and how worried we were about him. And I was telling him I was thinking of giving up again. He is on the same page as me. He hasn't stopped yet but is trying to be mindful of his drinking. He won't drink in front of his boys and is trying to break the cycle of alcoholism. Anyway, he was saying how it annoys him that people refer to substance abuse as 'drugs and alcohol'. That is should all be called drugs because alcohol is a drug too. How right he is I thought. Because alcohol is a 'legal' substance it is not looked down upon as much. Unless of course you are homeless and drinking out of a brown paper bag. Then you are to be pitying and looked down on. Society needs to change how it views alcohol because more and more people are becoming addicted. But because they haven't had a 'low bottom' like the homeless man under the bridge no one knows about it. And they live in misery until they can get help and quit.

I can't see it changing any time soon. Not here anyway. People should be congratulated when they quit drinking, not made to feel uncomfortable and as though they are boring and no fun anymore.

I know my friends struggle a bit with my breaks from alcohol. I suppose it makes them look at their own alcohol use. And I know some people might say not to socialise with them anymore, but they are my friends. I'm just going to have to stay strong. And who knows, they might see that living without alcohol it possible.

A x

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Challenges ahead

Day 18

I had a really bad day at work on Tuesday afternoon. The shift itself wasn't too bad but it all went to shit at the very end as we were about to walk out the door. So we didn't leave till late and we were all a bit stressed. In the past, it would have been the perfect excuse to buy a bottle of wine on the way home and drink the whole thing. I would have 'deserved' it after such a stressful shift. But it didn't really help. All it did was make me stay up late and feel miserable the next morning. This time, the thought of getting wine did pop into my head. But I didn't listen to it. I thought, drinking a bottle of wine wouldn't help. It wouldn't change anything and I would just feel shit the next day. So, instead I went home and had a bit of a whinge to hubby and then I felt better. Yeah, the situation had sucked, but it was over. So I chose to let it go. And it was so nice to wake up the next morning without a hangover!

Last night we thought of going out for dinner at a local pub. They have $12 steaks on a Wednesday night and we've often gone in the past with my friend C, her hubby and their little guy. It's always a good night, and it's involved me not drinking when I was doing the 100 day challenge earlier in the year, and me drinking quite a bit when I wasn't. I knew I could have gone there last night with our friends and not had a drink, but I just didn't feel like having to go through the whole 'I'm not drinking at the moment' talk and to be honest, I was worried that I might not be strong enough and just say 'stuff it, it's nearly Christmas so I can have a drink'. So we didn't go and I had a lovely sober evening instead.

This coming Saturday we are going to Christmas carols in one of our local parks. We usually go with our neighbours but they moved last year, so we went with a group of friends from school instead and it was a great night. We had a bbq first and then headed to the park with our picnic rugs and our wine.  We all had a lot of fun and the kids had a ball, running around in the fresh air and doing crafty Christmas things. This year will be different. I will not be drinking. I'm hoping that I can stay strong and not drink. That's what I intend to do. I know some people might suggest to not go this year, but I want to go. I just have to be firm with myself and my friends. There will be lots of challenges over the coming weeks. If I can get through each one I will be very proud of myself. If I can get through this period,  I will be able to get through anything!

A x

Monday, 7 December 2015

Christmas triggers

So, we put the Christmas tree up on Friday night. A bit later than I'd have liked but it's up. Yay! But it was hard. Every other year when we have put the tree up it involves drinking wine. It's a bit of a tradition almost. I really noticed not having the wine. And then of course the wine witch was on my back and I was questioning my decision to stop now, at this time of year. There are so many triggers associated with Christmas, it's crazy!!  Maybe I should not worry about it. I'm being silly doing this now, it would be so nice to have a relaxing glass of wine blah blah blah! It's relentless. And it's only going to get worse as we get closer to Christmas day.

Today is day 15. I'm slowly getting some momentum. But it feels fragile. I have to really concentrate to hang onto it. It feels like it could slip away at any moment. How do you gain true acceptance? I don't think I'm there yet. I know I'm not there yet. What can I do? I want this so badly but this little voice of doubt is always there in the background. Go away!!!

Christmas can be a stressful time of year. I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet and I am feeling really stressed about that. I have no idea what to get anyone. It doesn't help that no one has given me any ideas or lists. I wish it was like the old days when you just chose a gift and everyone was happy with what they'd been given. Now people have so much already that it makes gift buying so hard. It shouldn't be like this.  I have to try and stay strong during this stressful period, but I'm nervous. I'm scared I can't do it.

We babysat my nephew/God son yesterday. His big sister had a dance concert (why it was at 10.30 on a Sunday morning I'll never know!!) and when my brother asked me if we could look after him I had a brief moment of resentment. Sunday is the only day of the week that I get a sleep in. Hubby gets up with the little guy and I get to sleep in before going to work in the afternoon. Of course, in the past I have been drinking wine (a lot of wine) the night before so a sleep in is very welcome. But then I thought, I won't have a hangover so it doesn't matter if I have to get up earlier. This time however, I was still tired (it seems to be a permanent state of affairs these days) but it was so much better than being hungover and irritable. And he is a little darling. I love him so much. So I was glad I could do this for my brother. And the resentment wasn't there at all. What a difference being sober makes!

A x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

I did it!!

Thank you SO much everyone for your support yesterday. It really helped me. It was so lovely knowing that you were all out there thinking of me and cheering me on. I held you all close to my chest and felt cocooned and safe. That evil voice didn't stand a chance!

I ended up sending a text to my friend C telling her that I was on my way but not to pour me a drink as I was on the AF stuff that night. When I got to her place she had the bottle of bubbly on the table with a few glasses and I wondered if she'd gotten my text. No, she hadn't seen it yet. So of course when I said I wasn't having any she was all 'no way! Really?!' But she didn't push it, for which I was grateful. Another girl had half a glass and they were the only ones drinking. I could see C wanted someone to drink with, but this time it was not going to be me!

At the restaurant, I ordered a diet coke and water. C had bought along another bottle of bubbly. She asked me if I was sure I wouldn't like one, then proceeded to ask the others if they would have one with her. I felt a bit sorry for her, because I could see she was desperate to share it and not be the only one drinking it. But that wasn't my problem. I really like her and we are becoming close friends, but I will not be coerced into drinking. I will have to have a chat to her soon and tell her a bit more because I don't want to go through that every time we catch up.

It's going to be hard, because I LOVE bubbly, sparkling, champagne - whatever you want to call it. But I can never have just one glass. Two of the ladies at dinner last night had one glass of shiraz with their steak. Just one!! Who does that?! So as much as I love bubbly, it's not for me anymore.

I feel tired still but so glad I didn't wake up with a hangover. The little guy is off school today (teachers are doing reports or something) so it's lovely to be fully here with him. Not hungover and miserable and everything being too hard. So we are going to go on the bus and the train into the city and look at all the Christmas windows in the shops and have McDonald's for lunch, a bit of an adventure. Last year I planned to do the same thing but I woke up so hungover that I couldn't get out of bed till late morning, told the little guy that I was sick and we spent the whole day at home. Not this year!!

I am quite stressed about Christmas. I find it all overwhelming. The cleaning of the house to put up the tree, putting up the tree, all the Christmas shopping when funds are tight, figuring out what to get everyone etc. But I hope looking at all the Christmas decorations and things in the city will help me to get into the spirit. Christmas is a magical time and I want to be happy! Which I will be, soon.

So my friends, I'm feeling positive. I CAN do this. It might be the most festive time of year, but if I can get through this period wine free I can do anything!!

A x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Help please!!

Ok, I need some help. Today is day 10 and I'm still not drinking. And I'm not planning to. BUT... the Wine Witch has been bugging me all morning. I was driving the little guy to school and I suddenly started thinking that I'm mad to stop drinking at this time of the year. There is only a few weeks left till Christmas, why don't I just wait until the New Year and start again then. What the hell??? I've been telling that voice to p!ss off and leave me alone but I'm scared the seed has been planted.

I really want to do this. I don't want to have to go back to day 1 again. I don't want to go through these early days again. I have made a promise to myself, and to Belle, that I won't drink for 100 days. I need to be committed to this.

I don't want to wake up hungover ever again. I don't want to be filled with shame and remorse for drinking a bottle and a half of wine the night before. I want to be present for my son and husband and to be the best person I can be. I want to find out who I am. I want to discover what stillness and peace and true happiness feels like. I want to feel confident and work on building up my self esteem which has been non-existent my entire life. I want to be sober. None of this will happen if I drink again.

I am going out to dinner tonight with some mums from school. My friend C is having pre-dinner drinks at her house. I'm planning on driving there myself (instead of being picked up) and taking a bottle of AF sparkling. I can do this. I just have to tell that stupid voice to leave me alone.

I need to know that you guys are out there egging me on. I don't want the wine witch to win.


A x

Monday, 30 November 2015

Overwhelmed with life

I find life overwhelming sometimes. I think about everything that I need to do and I can't deal with it. So I don't do anything. And then I feel worse. It's a vicious cycle. I don't think this necessarily has anything to do with my drinking. Or maybe it does, I don't know. I just know that sometimes, often, life seems too hard. I think ahead and it stretches before me, more of the same and sometimes I just want to run away. From life. Of course I wouldn't. I keep getting up each day and living my life. But I wonder, there has to be more to life than this?

I think back to when I was in the latter stages of my last 100 day challenge and I was so flat, depressed almost. I thought it might be PAWS. But then I started drinking again and it lifted. I don't feel that bad again but it's just always there, in the background.

When the Paris tragedy happened, I couldn't help but feel there is no hope for the future. It is only going to get worse. What if I'm at work one day and my hospital is targeted. It's possible. These evil people aren't going to go away, there will always be more. I fear for the future, for my son. What is the world coming to? Is it really worth living?

I am ok. But sometimes I wonder if I really am?

I'm not sure where this post has come from. I sat down to write and the words just came.

I have been looking at the lost of meetings in my area. When I read books about recovery, people seem to be able to find a meeting at a moments notice, at any time of the day. They are not that frequent where I live. They have them in the evenings, but the ones in the day are harder to come by and not in my suburb. I don't want to go to one in the evening. I just want to keep it to myself for now. Hopefully I will get to one soon.

Day 8 today. I can't believe it. A part of me feels like I'm not ready, that I should have waited a bit longer. But that's silly. There is never a good time. Or maybe the opposite is true? Whatever the case, I'm glad I did it. I've found that each time I go back to drinking, the harder it is to get back to day 1. I don't want to have to do these early days again!

A x

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Day 6

About 18 months ago I started a hand written diary. I had been reading sober blogs for about 6 months at that point and was beginning to realise that I needed to do something about my drinking. So I dug out this hard covered notebook I'd had for ages and gave it the title 'My alcohol free day journal'. The first month was May and I wrote out the calendar month and circled the alcohol free days in red pen. I didn't do too badly. I managed 3 days the first time, then drank for 4 then another few off and so it went. June wasn't great with only a couple of red circles. Then I did Dry July and that was wonderful with a red circle around EVERY day!! By then I had started writing this blog, but I kept up the hand written journal and faithfully circled the AF days.

Yesterday I printed off my pledge to not drink for 100 days, cut it to size and using my sons glue stick, pasted it into my journal. This is the 2nd time I've done this and I found my thinking... if something ever happened to me, someone will find this journal and think 'what the hell?!' And I felt silly. In this modern day of electronics and blogs, why continue with my little book? Because it somehow works. When I printed out the pledge and stuck it into that book, no one else but me knows it is there. But 'I' know it is there and I made a promise to myself. And circling each day in red pen somehow helps me. I hated not having any red circles for the last couple of months. And now I have 5! I don't know how long I will continue doing this, but for now, it works. So no matter how silly it may seem I will keep doing it.

So today is day 6. Last Saturday I was getting ready to go a fancy ball that had been in the planning since we went to it the year before. And in my heart, if I'm really honest with myself, I knew I couldn't do it alcohol free. Even though I signed up to Belle's 100 day challenge and planned to not drink, in my heart I knew it wasn't going to be forever because we had the ball in November. But I kept saying to myself, after the ball I will quit again. So in a way I set myself up for failure. Why? Why couldn't I imagine going to that ball sober? By then I would have had 8 months sober if I'd continued on from the 100 day challenge, so surely I would have been able to manage it. I don't know. I am just realising (I'm a bit slow I know!) that there is always going to be a fancy ball around the corner to test me, and if I want this sober lifestyle, I am going to have to work really really hard to not give in to these temptations. To learn to navigate life without booze.

I have a hard time with the concept of 'recovery', and that you have to be in 'recovery' forever. I have a hard time applying it to myself. But whatever the case, what I was doing before wasn't working so I am going to have to do things differently this time. So I need to be open to new ideas, and to allow myself to try different approaches. Like meetings. I'd really like to give meetings a go. But I don't want to tell my husband just yet. He knows I'm having a 'break' but I want to keep the meeting idea private for now. So my aim is to try and get to a meeting one day next week.

We went out for dinner last night with my oldest friend from primary school and her husband. We hadn't seen them for over a year but it didn't matter. We just picked up from where we left off. They had a couple of drinks and I stuck to my diet coke. The good thing was that they didn't make a big thing about it. I just explained to my friend that I'd been drinking every night and that I needed a break and she was fine with that. It was good actually, because in the past when we have caught up, lots of alcohol was always involved. It's good to know that I don't need to drink around these people to have a good time. I won't lie though, I did fleetingly think how nice a glass of wine would be but that was it. I know it wouldn't have been one glass. It would have been 2 or 3 and then more at home, and then I'd be feeling awful this morning. So happy not to have a hangover!

Anyway, I am kind of waffling on and jumping from one point to another, so I might leave it there for now.

I am really tired, but I am sober!

Have a great weekend everyone.

A x

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Fighting my way back

It's been a long time between posts. You can guess why.

After 102 days alcohol free I decided that I could drink again. I could go on about how I thought I could moderate after having some sober time under my belt and knowing how good it felt to be hangover free, about how I thought I could manage just one or two drinks instead of the usual bottle, how I might suddenly have an off switch after decades of not having one, but what would be the point? In the end, I succumbed to the wine witch. I guess a part of me doesn't want to admit that, because hey, I'm not an alcoholic right? I just drink too much.  Lots of people do. But it's time to face facts and be really honest. Labels don't matter. I just know that I can't go on like this. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I've just had enough. Normal people don't drink a bottle of wine a night. They just don't. They don't feel hungover every morning and live unproductive lives. They don't complain about their lives because they are miserable and it being not fair and yet not doing anything about it. Only I can change my destiny and the first way of doing that is to put down the wine glass.

I know I've been here before. When you feel this miserable it's easy to feel motivated and determined and even to get a month or so of sober time under your belt. It's the staying stopped that I have trouble with. The forever bit. But this time I'm not going to dwell on that. I can't. I just know that I need to stop. Otherwise nothing is going to change and I'm going to be miserable for the rest of my life.

So I've signed up to do Belle's 100 day challenge again. Today is day 4 and I am really tired because I haven't been sleeping well without the wine, but I don't care. I just want to get through these first few difficult days and weeks and start to feel better again. I felt so good last time I did the challenge. So stupid to start drinking again.

It's going to be harder this time with Christmas and New Year's around the corner, not to mention the celebrations leading up to it. But I have to be strong. I need to do this.

After finishing my 100 day challenge last time, I managed 102 days. But my mistake was not signing up to more days. So as I said before, I really thought I might be able to moderate this time. And I started off ok. I drank for a few days then had 3 alcohol free days and managed this routine for two weeks. But that's all. I have been drinking EVERY SINGLE DAY since early September. So, if I am ever stupid enough to think I can moderate again I just have to remind myself of this. I cannot moderate. It's just not possible.

I told my husband that I was thinking of doing 100 days again. And I even warned my friend C who likes to drink too. We went to a fancy ball last week and I not so jokingly said to her beforehand that I might have to detox after it was all over. Just so she won't be too surprised when I tell her that I'm doing this again.

I'm back reading my sober memoirs. I recently finished 'Blackout' by Sarah Hepola which was excellent. And I'm currently reading 'Bottled: A mom's guide to early recovery' by Dana Bowman which I'm really enjoying. I have been reading all your blogs too btw way and I'm sorry I haven't been commenting, but I just felt too ashamed. But not anymore. It's time to be really honest with myself. I want to try and get to a meeting one of these days.

So, here I am on day 4. And so relieved to be here. I just hope I can keep going.

A x

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

100 days

Today finds me at 100 days sober. I can't believe how quickly the time went. Life carries on just the same (only better of course) when you aren't drinking alcohol. It really is possible. You can go out to dinner, attend social functions and get through birthdays without wine. Who knew?!

I'm sorry I haven't blogged over the last few weeks. I've been in a real slump. I don't know if it's related to not drinking, ie PAWS, or if it's related to the stress in my life (which is a whole other story for another day) but whatever is causing it, I just can't seem to snap out of it. I've even been considering seeing a doctor and asking for medication. I just don't want to feel like this anymore. It's unbearable. It's like I have a dead weight sitting on my chest and I just feel sad all the time. It's awful!

I have signed into my blog countless times to write but the words just don't come. I just don't have the energy. Which is a shame, because I'd like to have had a record of the whole 100 days.

So where do I go from here? I don't know really. I've been grappling with forever all along and I'm still struggling with it. I do know however, that I don't want to go back to how I was before. Even though I am feeling down I'd rather feel down and not drinking every day than to feeling down plus being hungover and living with shame.

I guess I am all over the place really. I just wanted to let you know that I've managed to not drink for 100 days and I can't quite believe it! 100 days seems endless when you start out on this journey, but it really isn't that long. It's just the blink of an eye really.

My son has been sick the last couple of days with a UTI and he was up to the toilet every hour overnight. And I am so thankful that I wasn't drinking. I have been tired but it's manageable, and I've been able to be fully present for my son in his time of need. I dread to think how it would have been had I been drinking every night, hungover and miserable and resentful no doubt.

Like all problem drinkers, I have many unpleasant drinking stories that have occurred as a result of my drinking. I don't ever want to forget these stories. I want to remember them as a reminder of what I never want to go back to.

I want to keep blogging. Whatever happens over the coming weeks, I want to have this place to can come back to.

A x

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Day 80

Wow! Who would have thought? Certainly not me. 80 days ago I signed up to the 100 day challenge, not really believing in my heart that I could do it. But I wanted to give it a good go. I knew I could do 20 - 30 days. Even 42 at a stretch. But it was getting harder and harder. And I could never keep going. So I thought I'd try 100 days. A good long stretch. But I really wasn't sure if I could do it. No matter I thought, I will give it a try. And here I am, on day 80.

It really does make a difference; being AF for such a lot of days. 30 days isn't long enough to get a real idea of the benefits of not drinking. I am so glad I am doing this, have nearly done it.

But I have to confess, the thought of drinking at the end of my 100 days does pop into my mind from time to time. But I just push them away for now. Crazy I know.

In terms of my sadness (I wrote depression but then deleted it, not sure why?) I am feeling a little better. I still have tearful moments throughout the day, but it's not as bad. It sits in the background, hovering, but I am able to move past it for a while. So hopefully I am getting better. I try not to think about the surgery and what I am going to do. Procrastination is my best friend. Head in the sand, that's me. Dealing with painful emotions is hard, so I try to push them down. I've done it all my life. One day I will explode I'm sure.

Off to dinner with our friends tonight. My friend C has been good about my not drinking, I think she has gotten used to it. We were at her house last weekend for a baby shower and I even told another friend that I wasn't drinking for 100 days. People are a lot more accepting than I thought they'd be. They don't really care actually. I guess it's because they are normal drinkers themselves and have no idea what it's like for problem drinkers.

I'm still waiting for the weight loss to happen. That's the really annoying thing. All those calories from wine not being consumed and I haven't lost any weight. So FRUSTRATING!! I don't get it. I know I'm eating more chocolate, but surely that's not nearly as much calories as a bottle of wine every night? I just don't get it! (It doesn't help that hubby keeps buying chocolate. If it's in the house, I will eat it!)

So that's me. 80 days. Maybe I should get myself a treat?

A x

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


I haven't blogged for a while. I've wanted to but the words wouldn't come. A lot of what I need to say isn't sobriety related so I wondered if I should write it. But I need to get it out, so here I am.

I have been really really down the last week or so and I am struggling to lift myself back up. It started when I had an appointment with a gynecologist for my endometriosis and he told me that I would need another operation (I had one in 2012) and that he also wants to put in an IUD. Now logically, I know the chances of me having another baby are impossible but a part of me always held out hope. I thought there may be a miracle and I would get my much wanted second child. After all, it does happen doesn't it? I have read about it. Women who think they are in menopause but find themselves to be pregnant, a lovely surprise late in life. But deep down I know this won't happen, especially given my medical problems. But by putting in the IUD, it takes my chances away for good, it is so final. And this fills me with a deep sadness. It's all I've been thinking about and I am just so depressed and tearful all the time. It is all consuming. And I don't know what to do.

I am struggling with getting older. I am not ready. I feel like I have wasted half my life and I won't ever get that time back. I am filled with so much regret about the choices I have made in my life. I know I can't change anything and that I am wasting so much energy thinking like this but I can't help it. If only if only if only....things could have been so different.

I know I need to see someone about this. I'm not sure I can deal with this on my own. I haven't spoken to my husband, because I am so used to bottling everything up, but I'm really struggling this time.

I am not drinking. Today I am on day 72. I can't quite believe it! But I've hardly been thinking about not drinking. From time to time I think about drinking when the 100 days are over, but I just put the thoughts aside for now because I still have 28 days left to not drink.

On a positive note, I told my friend C that I'm not drinking for 100 days. We met for coffee after school last Friday and she was asking me if I was still not drinking. So I told her how good I felt, how I am doing this to see if my health improves and if I lose weight, which is all true. And I told her that I'm doing this for 100 days. She thinks I am doing really well. I'm glad I told her, it makes it so much easier.

So that is where I'm at. Not in a good place. But I hope I will feel better soon. I don't want to feel like this anymore.

A x

Friday, 17 July 2015

My almost meeting

So yesterday I was going to go to my first AA meeting. I had it all worked out. I found a meeting in the city at 12.30pm. A bit of a pain to have to go on the train into the city, but at least I won't know anyone there and I can do some window shopping. Before I had the little guy I used to love shopping in the city.

So I drive to the train station, park my car and head up to the platform. I had my met card ready and I could here the train coming. I was on time for once and not having to rush!

But then I realised that I had left something at home (medication for my endo) What to do?! So I considered not worrying about it and still going. After all, I had gotten this far I should keep going. But no, I turned around and went home to get the meds I'd left behind. And of course I now wouldn't make it in time so I had to give it a miss.

And now I'll never know if I would have gone to the meeting if I'd gotten on that train.

I am disappointed in myself. I'm not sure if I used an excuse not to go or if I really would have gone. Guess I'll never know. But I WILL go one day, soon.

Mum is coming to today to stay for a few days. This always stresses me out. But I suspect it is because I am usually drinking wine every night and trying not to notice mums disapproving eye. Plus, hangovers always make me short tempered and impatient, so that's probably another reason. This time, I won't be drinking so it will be interesting to see if I get less stressed. I'm pretty sure it's a given! But sometimes mum just rubs me up the wrong way, so we'll see what happens. I will let you know! I probably won't get the chance to come on here much but I'll do my best to pop in and read my favourite blogs.

We went late night shopping last night and had a bite to eat at the same time. Usually I would be impatient to get home so I can open the wine and get stuck into it. No such problems last night! At one point, hubby took the little guy to the toilet so I sat down to rest my feet and wait for them. To pass the time I hopped on my phone to see if there were any new blog posts to read and came across SoberMummy's. When I read about Jane Green's new book being about a woman who has a drinking problem I was so excited. I love Jane Green and have most of her books. So I went to Big W and looked for it but it didn't look like they had it. But then I saw it in the new release section. And it had a bonus second book so I got them both for $16. I was rapt! I would often get 2 bottles of wine for that price, so it was a good feeling knowing that I would have something to show for my money. I started reading it last night and am enjoying it already. It's a nice change from the more serious sober memoirs I've been reading of late.

Anyway, I'd better go and straighten up a bit. Mum should be here soon and I have to at least make the beds!

A x

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Thinking of going to a meeting

Today is day 60. I can't quite believe it! I think I will get myself something special to mark the occasion.

I have been thinking of going to an AA meeting. But I'm a little afraid. A part of me wants to get a chip to mark my 60 days but I feel guilty going just for that. But I'd also like to see what they are all about. I want to go somewhere where I will be anonymous and where there will be now chance anyone will know me, which means going to one outside my suburb. I'm thinking of going today. We will see. I have the address of a meeting in the city for 12.30pm. I will let you know what happens.

I feel like I should have lots to say but my mind has gone blank. Maybe I'm just tired.

I bought the book 'Blackout - Remembering the things I drank to forget' by Sarah Hepola. I've only just started reading it but it's good so far. I have ordered another book called 'Best Kept Secret' by Amy Hatvany (thanks SM for the recommendation) so I'm looking forward to reading that. I also have 'How to lead a happier, healthier, and alcohol-free life' by Lucy Rocca to read. I love getting new books to put on my shelf. I have quite a selection now! I am still reading 'Dry' by Ann Dowsett Johnston, but I put it down a while ago and got side tracked. I will finish it one day. Oh, and I also have 'Glass Half Full' also by Lucy Rocca so looking forward to that one as well. So I have plenty of books to keep me going for a while!

Mum is in town and is coming to stay with us for a few days. I think she is coming on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if she makes any comments about my not drinking. She thinks I'm doing an unofficial Dry July. I'm not sure if I'll tell her otherwise. I think I will wait and see and play it by ear. I have always been close to mum but lately I have felt a divide. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's just me getting older. I don't know. I hope we have some quality time together this visit.

One of my favourite Australian tv shows resumed this week. There is a character who nearly died after rescuing a woman from a fire, and it looks like he is developing a drinking problem. It will be interesting to see how they deal with the story line. I hope they do it justice. But being a tv show, I wouldn't be surprised if they get it wrong!

Anyway, I'd better get going. I'm going to head into the city and try and get the courage to go to a meeting.

A x

Saturday, 11 July 2015

What was I thinking?

Last night, before we went out to dinner, my husband told me that he wasn't going to drink. I said to him "go on, you can have a drink. I'm driving" Then he told me that he hadn't had a drink all week and that he might not drink for a month. And do you know what I said? "Why? You don't drink that much. You're ok" or something like that. And the funny thing was, instead of feeling proud of him for considering it, I felt funny about it. And I'm not sure why. It's like not drinking is MY thing. It's MY special thing. If he does it too, it might make it less so. I don't know what's wrong with me! I should be really happy he wants to do this. I will have to have a think about this, work out why my reaction was the way it was. And if he brings it up again, I am going to support him. I mean, what the hell?!! What was I thinking?!

Anyway, he ended up having a couple of beers. One of them got knocked over and he said it was a sign that he wasn't supposed to drink that night!

I made sure I had a diet coke on the table before my friend C arrived, just so she could see that I wasn't having wine. She asked me if I was still not drinking and I said yes, and that was that. I think she realises that I'm serious about it. At one point she was admiring my ring and I told her that I treated myself, that it was a gift to myself for being AF for 30 days. She said that was great. And then I told her that I'm not drinking because my endometriosis is bad again and alcohol is a no no. And that is actually true. I hadn't thought of that before. It's true, and it's a perfectly valid reason to be not drinking. She had a few sparkling wines and it didn't matter that I wasn't drinking. We had a great night, great conversation and I didn't feel like I was missing out at all.

Have a great weekend.

A x

Friday, 10 July 2015

Day 54

I'm back home after a lovely week in the country with my family. I'm sorry I haven't responded to the comments on my last post. It was hard to blog in a household full of people!

It was frustrating having mum refer to my not drinking as 'doing my no wine thing' and 'Dry Julying'. But in fairness to her, she doesn't know the real story. She doesn't know because I haven't told her. She knows I drank too much, and wanted me to cut down. But I didn't come out and give a big announcement. I didn't want any fuss, and I guess I don't want people to know how bad it was. How bad I was. I still can't admit it to myself half the time. So, in the end it doesn't matter that mum didn't give me credit for not drinking. The main thing is that I'm not drinking. 

I was really pleased to see my brother cutting down on his alcohol intake. I didn't get a chance to have a good chat with him about it, but I did tell him that I'm not drinking for 100 days. I was hoping I might inspire him. But I wish I had had a chance to talk to him some more. To find out what he is thinking. It was just hard with 14 people in the house! He really needs help to stop drinking as he is physically dependent. He would need a medically supervised detox. But at least he is thinking about his drinking. That's a start.

I thought I might have some cravings whilst away but I didn't. I won't lie though, I did think a couple of times that it would be nice to have a glass of wine around the camp fire. But then I told myself that it wouldn't have been one glass and I would have felt dreadful in the morning. So they were just fleeting thoughts really, not cravings as such.

It feels good to know I can go on a holiday and not drink. Okay, so it wasn't a beach holiday in the summer but it was still a holiday. I usually drink heaps when I'm at mums and last visit I even hid bottles of wine under the bed. So to know I don't need to drink whist up there feels good.

Tonight we are going out to dinner with my friend C and her hubby and son. I enjoy going out with them. I am going to have to be firm though and tell her that I am not drinking for an extended period. Hopefully she will get it and not pressure me to drink.

Today is day 54. Can you believe it?!! I can't. I never thought I would get this far. It feels so good.

A x

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A bit frustrated

So, I was helping mum with the roast dinner last night when she asks me 'are you doing your no wine thing?' To which I muttered something like 'yes, I'm having a bit of a break'. But I honestly can't remember what I said (and it was only last night!!) It just threw me I guess. The casual way she said it, like it was no big deal, like it was a bit of fad,  not to be taken too seriously, really annoyed me. On the one hand, I don't want to make a big deal about it. I don't want to come out and say 'mum, I have a drinking problem and am trying to stop' because that would be admitting to her that I have a problem. But at the same time, some recognition would be good. Mum gave me such a hard time last time I was here and drinking a bottle of wine every night, you'd think she would at least say 'that's great Angela, well done'. And when I think how much I have agonised over the last couple of years about cutting down and then stopping drinking, about how exhausting it is to be constantly thinking about drinking; the planning, the hangovers and all consuming nature of a drinking problem, to have it reduced to 'a wine thing' just really really annoyed me.

I know this is my problem, not my mums. She just made an innocent comment. And I am contradicting myself by saying I don't want to make a big deal about it but at the same time I want some recognition. I'm probably not even making any sense here. But I need to get it off my chest so here I am.

I've spoken about my brother before, the one with the serious drinking problem. We all worry about him. Anyway, he seems to be really trying to cut down and is even talking about doing an unofficial Dry July, which is fantastic! Mum keeps saying how well he is doing, which is great too. But I feel like stomping my foot and saying 'what about me?!' I guess it's my fault because I haven't made an announcement. I haven't come out and said 'hey everyone, I'm giving up drinking'. I feel like a petulant 15 year old who has the sulks. What's wrong with me?!

This is a big deal to me. It is constantly on my mind. But I have to remind myself that other people aren't mind readers and unless I tell them, they can't possibly know what I am going through.

It's funny how different a relationship mothers have with their sons than their daughters. I know I get treated differently than my 3 brothers. It can be a good thing, but also a bad thing. I feel like she makes allowances for my brothers whereas she is harder on me. I don't know, maybe I'm imagining it.

Anyway, I could go on and on all day. God forbid I delve too deeply into my emotions, I might have to actually deal with them! Something I DO need to do, but not today. Not here.

It's freezing here today and it's raining. So an inside day in front of the fire. Lovely.

Day 46.

A x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

In the country

Sorry, I have been a bit absent this week. I'm in the country at mums and don't get much chance to sit and read blogs in peace.

So, day 3 here and feeling great. Mum hasn't said a thing about me not drinking. A part of me is annoyed but I'm also glad because I don't want to make a big deal out of it and have to explain myself. My brother is not drinking much which is great. He says he is going to try and not drink in July. We will see. I'm just glad he is doing something. He didn't drink much last night and seemed ok. I told him I am doing Dry July but not officially. I will try and talk to him about it more if I get a chance. It's difficult with so many of us in the house.

It feels wonderful to be here and not drinking. To be waking up hangover free. I've had sleep-ins, which are lovely (thanks mum!) and the days still seem longer. I am just so much more present. And not cranky and impatient like I am when I am drinking. So much better all round.

I was reading SoberMummy's blog about how drinking borrows tomorrows happiness. It's so true. I too came across this expression a while back and was going to blog about it (great minds think alike!) I have a slip of paper in my wallet that says 'Drinking steals happiness from tomorrow'. I get it out and read it to remind myself why drinking isn't a good idea. Whenever I think how nice a glass of wine would be I think of this expression and it really helps. Drinking steals so much from you.

Anyway, I'd better be off. I don't want my family to ask me what I am writing!!

Day 45.

A x

Saturday, 27 June 2015

A night out

I went out to dinner followed by a movie with a few girlfriends last night. I was looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

You see, one of the girls is my friend C who kept offering me a drink at her son's birthday a few weeks ago, and I was dreading having her trying to get me to drink with her. But I was worrying for nothing. When I said I wasn't drinking she just said 'Oh, aren't you?!' but left it at that. My other friend, bless her, asked me if I was pregnant!! (I would love to be, but at my age it's not going to happen!) Isn't it funny there has to be a reason for not drinking. You can't just say I don't feel like it. I just laughed and said no, I'm not pregnant, and my not drinking wasn't mentioned again. Phew!!

The restaurant we went to was BYO so C bought a bottle of white with her. Our other friend G offered to buy another bottle as we passed a bottle shop. That's when I said I wouldn't be drinking so don't worry about me. (G is a 'normie' and enjoys a glass or two, how nice would that be?!) Anyway, she ended up buying another bottle but they only drank the one during dinner. Now, if I had been drinking it would have been a different story! I know C would have had more and would be really getting into it. She tones it right down when I'm not drinking. I was watching her and wondering if she wanted to have more, but I couldn't tell.  

I have to admit though, my friends drinking did make me wish I could drink too. Drink responsibly that is. I did for a second think, I don't have to do this, no one is making me. Stuff it! But I didn't. I want to do my 100 days.

And the problem of course, isn't having one or two drinks with dinner. It would wondering how many more I could have without it being obvious. It would be having more during the movie (it was one of those lovely old cinemas that allows alcohol) and one not being enough. So I would be edgy, wanting the movie to hurry up and end so I could go home and drink more. I wouldn't be fully present to enjoy the movie.

So as nice as having a few wines in the evening with my friends sounded, it wouldn't end there. And that's the problem. I have to play the tape to the end and remind myself how it ends.

Have a great weekend everyone.

A x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A weighty issue

I have been unhappy with my weight for a long time now. After the birth of my son nearly 8 and a half years ago, I naturally carried extra weight. But I really struggled to lose it. I hated being bigger. I would look in the mirror and not recognise myself. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. And I started to feel that once I lost the weight, everything would be alright. I would be happy and all my problems would go away, and if they didn't, I would at least look better. I felt like this for a long time. It was awful.

Then, a few years ago, I joined Weight Watchers Online. I started counting points and eating less, and I finally started to lose weight. It was actually pretty easy. I ate lots of salads, started exercising a little and it felt great. The thing was though, I was still drinking my nightly wine. And I still lost weight. I lost around 8kg and got down to 60kg. I still wanted to lose more, but it was a great start. And it wasn't even that hard. I was rapt!

Then I got a little slack and didn't count points anymore. I ate less salads, maybe I was drinking a little more, I can't really remember. But the weight gradually started to come back on and now, a couple of years later, I am even heavier than I was before I started counting points and trying to lose weight.

I haven't had a drink for 39 days, and I haven't lost any weight!!! This is so frustrating! To give you an example of the point system, I was allowed 29 points a day. I could eat whatever I wanted to, as long as I stuck to 29 points. You also get 49 bonus points a week, which I would go way over all the time. Now, a whole bottle of wine was around 20 points. So you can see why drinking makes you put on weight! But what I don't get is how I lost the weight in the beginning even though I was drinking? And now that I'm not drinking, why isn't the weight falling off me?!

I know I eat too much chocolate, but not a whole bottle of wine's worth a day! Is it because I'm getting older? Has my metabolism gone awol? Why why why?!

I know it's silly, but I hate being overweight. I'm not huge, but I'd love to lose 15kg. Even 10 I'd be happy with for now. I don't like myself like this. I'm not happy.

Does anyone else have this problem? Not losing weight even though you are no longer drinking? Does it just take time?

I have drunk less this year than I have for years and years, I just don't understand why I'm not losing weight. It is so damned frustrating.

Sorry for the rant. Just had to get it off my chest!

A x

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Small changes

Sorry I've been a bit slack with my blog. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing interesting to say, so I don't say anything. But I don't want to get out of the habit of blogging so must make an effort. I think not blogging has been a part of my downfall in the past.

Day 37. Who would have thought?! When I got to day 42 last time, I'm pretty sure I was thinking about drinking again by this stage. Not this time though! The great thing about Belle's 100 day challenge is that it is a good long stretch, but it is not forever (which I have trouble getting my head around, even now). It is long enough to hopefully retrain my brain about how I think about drinking, and maybe, just maybe, long enough to make me WANT to stop drinking forever. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy not drinking today and not think too far ahead. I just know that I am not going to drink for 100 days. And that is enough for now.

I have never been a morning person. I have been a troubled sleeper all my life, so I have always loved sleeping in. When the little guy came along however, sleep-ins became a thing of the past. Unfortunately, my drinking became worse, which meant more hangovers, being even more tired and feeling like hell a lot of the time. When school started, I got into the habit of dropping little guy off at school then coming home and going back to bed and sleeping for a few hours. Of course, I felt really embarrassed and ashamed that I did this, but it was necessary if I wanted to feel half normal for the rest of the day.

I thought when I stopped drinking all this would change. I thought I would wake up feeling refreshed and with oodles of energy, but this hasn't happened! I still wake up tired, with no energy, and I just want to go back to sleep! But something has changed though. I still wake up tired, get the little guy ready for school, drop him off and come home with the intention of having a little nap. But I don't! By the time I get home, I think to myself 'I'm awake now, I may as well stay up and start the day'. So I make myself some toast, bring the laptop into the lounge room, put the tv on to the morning shows, and read all my sober blogs. It has become my little ritual, and I love it! I have to work this afternoon and woke up feeling really tired this morning. I thought I should go back to bed because it's a long day (I start work at 1pm and work through till 9.30pm and usually don't get home till 10 or so) but even today, I chose to stay up and do my little ritual. It's become more important to me than sleep. Who would have thought?!

So, small changes. But changes nonetheless. I guess it's a slow process. But I have to remember that years and years of drinking can't be undone overnight. It will take time. But it will be worth it. I know it will. A wise woman (you know who you are) once said to me 'wait for the magic to happen' and that is what I am doing. I am waiting for the magic to happen. I just have to be patient.

Have a great day my friends.

A x

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The holidays

The school holidays start on 29th June. Two weeks with no school. Yay! I love school holidays. Not having to do the school run in the mornings, relaxed mornings with the little guy, going to the movies. Usually I have to work on my regular days, but this time the inlaws (who usually babysit) are overseas, so I've managed to get the first week off. We are heading up to the country to stay with mum for a week. Two of my three brothers will be up there with their kids too, so we will all have a great time. This visit though, will be a lot different from our last visit.

Last time it was just the little guy and I up there with mum for the first 5 days and I wasn't going to drink. But by the second day I just decided that I'd like to have some wine, so I bought a couple of bottles. Following that, I drank every night. I managed to ignore mum's disapproving looks and found myself drinking in my bedroom so mum wouldn't see and hiding bottles under the bed.  I was so relieved when hubby and my brothers arrived at the end of the week so I would have some company and I would no longer have to drink on my own. I felt awful after that week. I was angry with mum for giving me a hard time, but she was right. It's easy to get defensive when you know what you are doing is wrong but don't want to admit it.

This time will be much different!!

I haven't told mum yet that I am not drinking. I thought about it so she wouldn't buy any wine, but then thought I won't yet. Mum likes to have a glass occasionally so I don't want her to give that up. And I don't want to make a big deal about it. I will just say that I am having a break. She will be very pleased!

My two brothers who will be visiting will be proud of me too. My older brother is cutting down and in the past when I've done Dry July etc he has even been a bit envious. He watches what he drinks and seems to have it under control. My next brother on the other hand, is definitely an alcoholic and my heart breaks for him. I think he knows he has a problem but he is powerless to stop. I will try and talk to him if the opportunity arises. He desperately needs help. If he were to stop, he would need rehab and a supervised detox. He's pretty bad.

My youngest brother seems to have skipped all the crap and dysfunction that has affected me and our other 2 brothers. Perhaps because he was only a toddler when we left dad and moved to the country and doesn't remember the awful things that happened. Whatever the reason, I'm glad he gets to be normal (whatever that is!) and have a stable, happy life with his lovely wife and 3 kids.

So, we leave for the country in 11 days. Just the little guy and I. Hubby might come up later in the week. I'm really looking forward to it. Mum gets up early so that means I get to sleep in. Although, now that I'm not drinking, I won't have to sleep off hangovers every morning! It might be a completely different holiday this time!

Day 32 today.

A x

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Day 30

Day 30 today. It feels good. I've been here before, 3 times in fact. But it didn't last. When I looked back at my blog posts, I realised that I didn't blog very often. I stopped after a week or so. And I think that made a difference. Blogging and the support it offers has helped me so much this time. When I did 42 days back in October/November last year, I only posted in my blog 3 times!! I did keep a hand written journal in a book by Lucy Rocca, so I was jotting down my thoughts. But it was a very private thing, with no support from anyone else. And I think that's why I didn't last. I'm learning that you can't do this on your own.

I haven't gone to AA but I know that they give you chips on the milestone days. I guess I would be getting one today! I like that idea. It's something to strive for. An acknowledgement of the hard work and effort you have put in. Giving up alcohol can be such a thankless task. People think you are giving up something, that you are living a lesser life. But I'm learning that you actually GAIN something when you stop drinking. And although you feel like you are giving up something and missing out in the beginning, a bit further down the track you start to gain so much more. I have read so many blogs now and read several books, and I can't wait for the magic to happen. To be on the other side, in that special place that people who have long term sobriety behind them talk about. Being on day 30 gives me hope that I will one day get there.

I'm still undecided about Dry July. I hate asking people for money. Last July I raised $201 for cancer patients, which was great! My family and friends were so proud of me for giving up drinking for a whole month and raising money for charity at the same time. By the time I did Ocsober, only my mum and aunty donated again. Whilst people knew I was doing Ocsober, I didn't want to make a big fuss about it, so I didn't press people to donate. It made me feel uncomfortable. And then earlier this year I did Febfast (and only lasted 23 days) and I got no donations. I wanted to give up drinking, so I used the guise of a well known charity event and hid behind that. I think I was going the wrong way about it. But I didn't know what else to do. I was wanting help but not knowing where to ask. I didn't want to come out and say 'I have a drinking problem', so doing these sobriety challenges for charity was a cover of sorts, without having to confess my problem. But good intentions rarely work, especially if they are for the wrong reasons. So I am thinking I won't do Dry July.... or maybe I will. I don't know!! Maybe now that I'm further down the track and will have 40 odd days behind me when I start, it will be for the right reasons this time. Guess I have more thinking to do!

I am working this afternoon, and I think I am in charge. I hate being in charge. It means you are responsible for the whole ward and I don't feel comfortable in this role. I long for the days when I can leave this job and do something less stressful.

Have a great day everyone. I am so lucky to have all your support. It helps me so much and I really appreciate it. I couldn't have gotten to 30 days without you guys :)

A x

Monday, 15 June 2015

A challenge... but it's not for not drinking!!

Another Monday, another new week.  Can't believe it's half way through June already. It's scary how fast the year is going. Will it ever slow down?!

Well, I made it through the birthday party on Saturday. And the evening too. In fact, I had no problem saying no thanks, but it took quite a bit for my friends to accept my answer!!

So, we arrive at the party, which was held at a park with bbq facilities, and the first thing I notice is the ice buckets with bottles of bubbly and stubbies of beer. No problem I thought, as I put my 2 small bottles of diet coke in the ice (and hoping no one else takes them!) My friend then tells me Don't worry, I remembered the diet coke and sure enough, there was a 2 litre bottle in the tub. Phew!

So I'm thinking this is going to be easy. I'll just drink my diet coke and everyone will be happy. Wrong! My friend C proceeds to line up several plastic champagne glasses and I just KNOW one of them is for me. So I quickly grab mine and fill it with diet coke. C gets distracted doing something else for a moment, but then turns back and notices my glass. That was for the sparkling!! she tells me. No that's ok I say, I'm just having diet coke today. Come on, have a glass with me! she says. No really I say, I'm fine. Just one she then says and I'm beginning to get annoyed. Then her husband comes over and joins in. Come on Ange he says, have one with C. No thanks I persist, I'm having a break. If I have one now I'll just want to keep drinking at home later. Then just have one now and none at home later he says. WHAT?! Did you not hear what I just said?!! So I tell them that I am doing a personal challenge and that if I drink now I will be very disappointed in myself. So the moment finally passes. But bloody hell! And the annoying thing is, they were not trying to ply alcohol on other friends. Although one other girl said no thanks as well and ended up with a glass of sparkling in her hand, but that's all she had and they didn't pressure her to have more. And through out the day I was asked was I sure I didn't want one??

I love my friends, but it was so frustrating. In their defense I didn't come out and say I have quit drinking, but should I have to? Shouldn't saying 'no thanks' be enough? I know in the past I've shared lots of drinks with them, but surely they can see that I'm not drinking at the moment. They have even said they are cutting down to lose weight, so I thought they would be more understanding.

And, being a glutton for punishment, I accepted their invite back to their house after the party but I made sure to tell them that I was driving and enlisted hubby's help as well. I told him I really didn't want to drink and asked him to back me up, just in case they were persistent. And of course they offered me a glass. But I just no thanks again and continued with my diet coke (which was flat by now from sitting in a tub all day with melted ice, but I didn't care!!) I think C didn't drink nearly as much as she would have had I been drinking too, but she still had a few. Her husband on the other hand got very drunk with one of his mates. My hubby was pretty drunk too, but not as bad.

I really didn't care that they were drinking. In fact, it made me glad that I wasn't (although, if I am honest with myself, I did have that thought when I first arrived 'what a beautiful day for a bbq and a cold glass of wine' and to be honest, if I wasn't doing the 100 day challenge, I'm not sure I would have been able to resist. But I am doing the challenge so whist I acknowledged the perfect day, I didn't consider having a glass) I know that if I had been drinking, I would have had quite a few and continued into the evening. And then I would have felt crap the next day and quite possibly I wouldn't have made it to work, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon!!

So yes, so relieved that I wasn't drinking. Because no matter how perfect the day, it would have ended up messy. The first couple might be nice but it would just go down hill from there. I was tired yesterday because we had a late night, but I got to work and was so glad I wasn't hungover.

I don't want to not go out with our friends. I enjoy their company and I don't think I need to be drinking with them for us all to have a good time. I don't want them to think I'm boring because I'm not drinking. I want them to see that you can enjoy these occasions without alcohol, that it's not a necessity. I know when I was drinking I would love having a drinking buddy, but if that person wasn't drinking, I would get over it. I would still drink and everyone would be happy. Hopefully they will get the message soon. And I KNOW, you don't have to tell me, I am going to have to tell them about the 100 day challenge. If I don't, they will just keep offering me drinks!!

Day 29.

A x

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Alcohol and the theatre

I went to the theatre the other night (to see The Lion King - for the 5th time! Yes, I really love that show!!) It is playing at a beautiful old theatre in Melbourne and the atmosphere just screams out for having a glass of something in the beautiful old foyer. I didn't have any. I acknowledged the temptation but thought, I don't need alcohol to make this occasion better. It will just make me want more and then I'll be impatient for intermission and then I will have to line up and drink an unsatisfactory small glass of wine in a plastic cup and then be craving more after the show. I wouldn't be fully present to enjoy a show that I dearly love.

So I drank my water and ate my Maltesers and savoured the atmosphere. There were a couple of girls sitting in front of me drinking wine out of plastic cups and the smell was so strong!! It made me wonder why we drink that shit! And the guy next to me was drinking beer. It took him the whole first half of the show to drink it and it stunk! Also, he must have been quietly burping as he drank because all I could smell was something revolting and couldn't think what else it could be. He proceeded to drink another beer during the second half of the show with the same result. Yuck! It's amazing how awful alcohol smells when you aren't drinking!. It's the same with smoking. When I used to smoke, I didn't notice the smell of smoke on myself or my clothes, but when I stopped, the smell was so strong! Glad I don't do that anymore.

So, I had a lovely evening. I've been playing the soundtrack at home and it fills me with so much joy. I'm taking the little guy to see it again in September because he loved it too when he saw it and I want him to experience that joy again too.

Saturday today. The little guy and I are going to his best friends birthday party which is at a park. His mum (my friend C) and dad enjoy a drink, so it will be interesting to see if they have alcohol there. I am looking forward to saying 'no thanks' and enjoying the day sober.

Day 27 today. The days are going so fast. I'm sleeping a bit better now that I'm taking magnesium but I'm still tired. Think it must have to do with my low iron. Hope the iron tablets kick in soon!

Anyway, I'd better go and wash my hair. I can't possibly go another day without doing it! (it's such a chore! and I am NOT a hair person!)

Have a great weekend everyone!

A x

Thursday, 11 June 2015

A break through

So, I had a break through last night.

We were having dinner and chatting when I casually mentioned to hubby that I was considering doing Dry July again but that I wasn't sure. I said I wouldn't be drinking anyway, but that I wasn't sure whether to do it or not. Hubby then suggests that I do it unofficially, that I just do my own challenge. So I told him that, actually, I was already doing my own challenge, 100 days in fact. And I mentioned 'some girl on the internet' was running it (sorry Belle, you are much more than some girl on the internet! I just wanted to keep it low key) What day are you up to? asks hubby. And I say 24. So there you have it. It's out in the open, albeit not in great depth but it's still out there.

Also, I decided to go to Kmart last night because the little guy needed a costume for his excursion today and I wanted to see if they had what I needed. So I say to hubby "it's good not drinking because you can drive to the shops at night". To which he replied something about that being what normal people do. I was a bit pissed off for a second but then I thought, no, you're right. So I said as much. Because it's true. It is what normal people do. And as much as I tried to talk myself into the fact that a lot of people drink a bottle of wine a night, they just don't. News flash - normal people don't drink a bottle of wine every night! Which of course, deep down I knew. I just didn't want to admit it. There's no hiding anymore.

I had the little guy home sick again yesterday and I was reading all my sober blogs plus new ones that aren't on my blog list. One of them had the word 'alcoholic' in big letters in the title. Well, little guy saw it and was trying to read it. 'Catholic?' he asked me. What are you reading about 'Catholics' for mum? It's not Catholic I say it's.... and I changed the subject. Because I wasn't sure if I wanted to explain what an alcoholic is. I have casually mentioned before that if you have too many beers or wines it can change your behaviour, but I haven't gone into it further. My brother who drinks way too much looks terrible most of the time. I asked the little guy once if he noticed anything different about his uncle, but he hasn't. He just said he smokes too much. So I left it at that. But if I want him to grow up aware that drinking too much is bad for you, should I explain to him what an alcoholic is? Is he too young (8 and a half) to know? I don't know. Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.

So, day 25 today. Feeling pretty good. Still tired but not as bad. I think I have been sleeping better since I started taking magnesium so that's a good thing. I'm still waiting for my pink cloud though, hopefully that will come!

Have a great day everyone :)

A x

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Day 23

I just want to thank everyone for their comments and advice on my post yesterday about whether or not I should do Dry July. I am still undecided, so I think I will sit on in for a few days. I have the rest of June to decide, so I will let you know when I make up my mind.

I am home from work today because the little guy is sick. I hate seeing him unwell, he is just not himself. But he is a good sport and is not a complainer. Hopefully he won't grow up to develop man flu syndrome!

I have to say, it is so much easier looking after a sick child when you don't have to contend with a hangover. I have more patience, am not irritable, have more empathy and am just generally a nicer, more caring person when I'm not hungover. It's sad to think of the person I used to be. I can't believe I was that person. But I can't change what I did, I can only control the present and be responsible for my future. So that's what I'm going to do. Try and be a better person, and make my life count.

I was reading SoberMummy's blog about introspection and what people would say about her if she got hit by a bus tomorrow. I've wondered the same thing myself. I wonder who would come to my funeral. Obviously my family would, and the good friends I've made over the last few years. But who else? And would they have good things to say about me?

My dad died last year. He was all alone. He hadn't seen his family for a long time. He was an alcoholic who never conquered demons and it came at a hefty price. The only people at his funeral were 3 of his 4 children (actually, he has another daughter, my half-sister, but she hadn't seen him for years either and lives in Norway) and his ex-wife (mum). It was so sad. Even though I hadn't seen him for over 25 years, I still mourned him. For the man he used to be, and for the man he never was. For all the things he missed out on over the years because of his drinking. I pride myself for never being as bad as he was, but does that matter? Does it matter if you are just a little bit of an alcoholic as opposed to a really down and out bad one? I'm just so relieved that I'm trying to stop my drinking now, before it gets worse. Who knows what would happen to me if I kept drinking.

I want my son to grow up with two grounded parents. My husband and I are not perfect. We have our issues. But my giving up drinking is a huge start. I don't want our son to grow up with our issues. So it starts now. Our little guy is going to grow up knowing that you don't have to drink alcohol to have a good time. That it can be destructive if not taken responsibly. I hope he forgets as he grows older how much I used to drink. I'd hate for him to remember me like that.

A x

Monday, 8 June 2015

Dry July?

I was at work yesterday and saw a flyer for Dry July in the tea room. I can't believe it's nearly a year since I first saw that flyer and thought maybe, just maybe, I could do that. I had been trying to cut down on my alcohol intake for a couple of months and when I saw it, it was like it called out to me, like it was a sign. I know how silly that sounds, but it's how I felt.

So, when I got home, I secretly signed up. I didn't tell hubby and I'm not sure why. I think I wasn't ready to put a voice to how I was feeling. That I needed a break from drinking. I guess I didn't want to have to admit that I had a problem.

In the end, I had to tell him of course. I can't remember exactly what I said. Something about having a break and raising money for charity at the same time. We were at mums in the country with 2 of my 3 brothers and their kids, and they were all so proud of me for doing it. Especially mum. She knew I drank too much and she welcomed the fact I wouldn't be drinking for a month.

I LOVED doing Dry July! I've spoken about it before in my blog, but it's so true. It gave me permission to not drink and the relief was HUGE! I didn't have to explain to people why I wasn't drinking. I didn't have to go into any in depth reason and no one questioned it. Not a single person. Well, that's not really true. My friend C asked me why I was doing it, but in a curious way more than anything. So I just told her that I drank too much sometimes. That sometimes, before I knew it, I had had the whole bottle ha ha! But only occasionally of course, not everyday. I couldn't tell her that. And she told me how she too sometimes could finish a whole bottle. And I got the feeling that maybe she too drank more than she should. She thought it was great that I was doing Dry July.

It's funny now many people admired me for doing it. One day a group of us were out at a Lego expedition and we were planning to go out to lunch afterwards. One of the girls turned to her husband and told him I wasn't drinking because I was doing Dry July and he more or less said well done but that he couldn't do it. In fact, that's pretty much what everyone said. They said it was admirable that I was doing it but that they couldn't do it themselves. They had such and such to go to that weekend so there was no way they could do it. But I suspect that these people don't have a problem with alcohol. Not like I do. So they might not want to give it up for a month, but they don't drink every day so they don't need to give it up for a month.

So anyway, Dry July was a turning point for me. It gave me my first taste of alcohol free life and I loved it. If only that feeling had lasted. Unfortunately, not long before the month ended, I started to get those thoughts, you know the ones, the 'I'm not that bad' ones, the 'I can't be an alcoholic if I can stop so easily for a month' ones. And the hangovers had faded and besides, I was sure I could drink sensibly now that I knew how good being sober felt. And we all know how the rest went.

I drank for two weeks then found myself longing for those sober days back. So I stopped again for 31 days and then felt 'ok' again. And so it went. That was the beginning of my trying to give up drinking.

So when I saw that flyer at work yesterday, I wondered should I sign up? How nice would it be to have a whole month of not having to explain myself. To have people admire what I'm doing. But I would only be putting off having to tell people. Putting off the inevitable. So I'm not sure. What do you think? Should I do Dry July again? Or should July just be a regular July, just another month in which I don't drink? Not a 'special' month or a 'different' month. Just a new normal month.

Day 22.

A x

Friday, 5 June 2015

My family's alcoholism stops with me

I was watching one of the morning shows on tv this today and there is a guy on one of them who gave up drinking a year ago. His father was the lead singer of a very well known Australian rock band who was renowned for his hard drinking and partying ways. So this guy, David, was on holiday with his wife and son and on the last day of their holiday he woke up with a bad hangover. His 3 and half year old son turned to his mum and said 'daddy isn't well'. This was a big wake up call for David so he decided to stop drinking. He said "My family's alcoholism stops with me". He said he couldn't stand by and watch alcohol and hangovers be normalised for the next generation. He also said "Was I an alcoholic? No. Did I have the propensity to become one? Yes, very much so." He went on to say that there is addiction on both sides of his family and that he was standing at the doorway of a very dark room.

This is how I feel. My father was an alcoholic and was never able to conquer his demons. He passed away all alone last year at the age of 69. My father-in-law was also an alcoholic and has been in recovery for over 30 years. One of my brothers is an alcoholic and really needs intervention if he is ever to have a normal life. I have my own problems with alcohol and my husband has issues of his own (not alcohol), so I worry that my son doesn't stand a chance. I want to be able to say that my family's alcoholism stops with me. I don't want my son to grow up thinking that it's normal to drink alcohol every night and that wine is a regular drink like water or diet coke. He already associates wine and champagne with me and I hate that. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the new generation grew up thinking that it's ok to not drink alcohol? That it's an absolutely acceptable way to live and that in fact, it is those that drink that are the exception, not the ones who don't. God, how I would love this.

Getting back to David, I look at him and wonder about him. I wonder if he struggled with his decision? If he has a demon on his shoulder whispering in his ear and telling him that it's ok to have just one or two. Or has it been easy? He looks so fit and healthy, has lost weight (not that he was big before) He just looks so well. I would love to be able to ask him how he is going. But he is a celebrity, and I haven't heard him mention it again. Maybe it wasn't a big deal to him. Maybe he just made a decision and that was it. I don't know.

Anyway, today is day 19. I'm still feeling really tired, but suspect my low iron has something to do with that. I was looking at the Living Sober website yesterday and must have left it open because hubby was looking at it and he asked me how many days it's been since I had a drink. I told him and he said "well done". I thought of going into it a bit more but it didn't feel like the right time. I will soon though.

We have been invited over to dinner at my youngest brother and his wife's place for dinner tomorrow night. I haven't decided what I will tell them yet. Maybe just that I'm having a break for now. I'll just play it by ear I think. I know my brother was very proud of me when I did Dry July and Ocsober last year (I haven't told him about my other sober stints though) Guess I will have to say something soon. We'll see.

I'm off to the shops soon. I've decided to treat myself to a manicure. As a little reward. Why not?

A x

Thursday, 4 June 2015

28 days

I watched the movie '28 Days' the other day. Now, I watched this movie a year or so ago when I was still drinking and I scoffed at it a bit. I didn't think it was a realistic portrayal of an alcoholic and that it just skimmed the surface of recovery. But I got curious and decided to watch it again and I really enjoyed it this time. Now that I'm not drinking I watched it with a completely different perspective. I could relate to the main character Gwen (played by Sandra Bullock) and thought it was quite well done. Some of the other characters were a bit eccentric, but that added a touch of humour  to an otherwise serious storyline. And of course I now realise that no two alcoholics are exactly the same and that we are all different. I thought it was a good movie.

I remember too when I watched it last time that I would imagine myself going to rehab. I would picture myself stepping out of my regular life for a month and coming home a new person. All fixed. Of course it's nothing like that and I realise now that it's something that you have to work at for a lot longer than spending a month in rehab! But when I was drinking, I was desperate for something to change. I didn't really know how to go about it but I just knew that I didn't want to live like that any more. I may not have drunk in the morning like Gwen did in the movie, I didn't crash my car or have to go to court, but my drinking was making my life unmanageable. I was miserable. I find it almost funny now that had I known by just stopping drinking, things would start to get remarkably better. It seems so obvious now but back then it seemed impossible.  So out of reach. If only I had realised this sooner my life could have been so much different. But I can't change the past. Like I mentioned in yesterdays post "our history will stay the same no matter what we do - but our present, we have control over".

A stint in rehab does sound appealing though. Having someone professional to talk to everyday and meetings at the ready would be very beneficial. You could concentrate on recovery without the stresses of everyday life getting in the way. But who gets to go to rehab? Whenever I think of rehab, I think of people like my brother, who is physically dependent on alcohol and who would need a medically supervised detoxification. Someone who can't just stop with the support of online friends and blogs. Or that person who lives under a bridge drinking out of a bottle in a brown paper bag. Or that person who spends the night in jail after a DUI and is sent to rehab with a court order. I should be thankful that I don't need rehab. That I can do this with all your help and support. Who knows, if I had kept drinking I may have ended up getting worse and doing something really stupid. It is a progressive disease after all. I just hope I never get back on that train to nowhere again.

On a lighter note, day 18 today! Nearly 3 weeks. My last drink is becoming further and further away, and that feels really good. I hope and pray that I can keep going.

Have a great day everyone.

A x

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Day 17

I've been thinking a bit more about my friend and her reaction to my not drinking the other night. I came across this post by the founder of the website Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) and found it to be really helpful. You can read it here if you are interested (hope the link works, I've only just learnt how to do that!) This particular paragraph really resonated with me "The important thing here is your sense of identity in you and your choices. In this equation, your sense of self and identity as a drinker is really the only variable you can change. Our history will stay the same no matter what we do - but our present, we have control over. The value other people place on alcohol will be what they place on it - this is not our job to change it. What is most important is our own choice and choices" How true is this?!! I'm going to try and remember this if I ever feel pressured to drink again. And it's so true that we can't change our history. I have so much regret about my past, and so many 'what ifs' in my life, but at the end of the day I can't change anything. But I can have control over the here and now, the present. So that's what I'm going to try and do.

Getting back to my friend, why is it so important to me what she thinks anyway? I have spent my whole life worrying what other people think of me and I'm just so sick of it!! I've never been good enough in my eyes. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not clever enough, not young enough, not rich enough, wrong clothes, wrong house, wrong job and the list goes on and on. I have read interviews of famous women who celebrate being in their 40's, saying that they are finally comfortable in their own skin, that they are wiser and no longer give a sh!t what other people think of them. And I've been waiting patiently for this to happen to me... and I'm still waiting. I still feel like an insecure 20 year old who craves approval. Is this to do with my drinking? Or is it to do with my childhood and the disfunction that resulted from having an alcoholic father. I have had self esteem issues since I was a young girl, and I just want to be normal. I long for happiness and inner peace. Maybe giving up drinking will give me some of that? I don't know, but I really hope so.

Day 17

Monday, 1 June 2015

An interesting night!

Hi everyone. Well, I thought you might be interested in what happened to me on Saturday night.

So, the little guy and I go to the movies with our friends. It was a great movie and we were all looking forward to extending the good vibe and meeting our hubby's for dinner at the pub across the road. We arrive, the boys race off to the play centre (how clever are they by the way?! Giving the adults alone time to continue drinking or throw money down the drain on the pokies!!) and I have to go to the ladies room. And whilst I'm in there I have a bit of a panic because I just KNEW that C would go to the bar and order drinks for us and I hadn't yet told her that I wouldn't be drinking. So, I hurry back and sure enough, she is at the bar. So I tell her not to get me anything because I'm not drinking and she looks quite taken aback. So she decides to wait for our hubby's to arrive and we sit down. I tell her that she should order something because I know she was hanging out for a drink. Anyway, in the end she can't wait so goes back to the bar, and whilst she is there, our hubby's arrive. Then she comes back, with a BOTTLE of sparkling wine!! She told me that she got it because I might change my mind and she even poured me a small glass! I was quite shocked and thinking that I wasn't going to be able get out of this and would have to drink. And all the while, all I could think of was my broken days, my blog and all of you guys. And I really didn't want to break my momentum. But I didn't know what to say to her! My hubby actually said to her not to pressure me because I was trying to stop, but I'm not sure if she heard him. Anyway, I just ended up leaving the glass in front of me and drank my diet coke. Hubby then poured some more bubbly into my glass and ended up having it himself and we all had a toast (me with my diet coke) and crisis averted. But bloody hell, I couldn't quite believe my friend. She has actually cut down her drinking during the week so I thought she would be more understanding, but she was quite insistent! I guess cutting down is not the same as stopping. In the end, we all had a great night and I didn't miss drinking at all. I was able to drive home knowing that I was safe to do so and I didn't feel deprived at all. What I leaned from this is to be up front at the start. Be clear so there are no awkward moments. I don't want this to affect our friendship. I know we used to enjoy a drink together but I really like her and feel that this doesn't have to get in the way.

So, there you have it. I just can't believe how important it is for other people to have you drinking with them!! I want to be able to show people that the person who used to love drinking to excess can have a good time without booze. I want people to see that I have changed and that it's for the better. And maybe I can inspire others to follow suit. But even if they don't, I don't mind. I am doing this for me.

We are having them over for dinner one night in the next week or so, and I've decided to get a bottle of Edenvale. I do get sick of drinking diet coke and I don't mind the sparkling grape juice. And I will tell my friend in advance that I won't be drinking alcohol so that she is prepared!

Have a great day everyone!

Day 15.

A x