Saturday, 31 January 2015

A blip in the road

So, I got to 24 days AF and then it was my birthday. I was looking forward to having my first sober birthday since I was about, I don't know, maybe 18 or 19? I honestly can't remember. I may have had sober birthdays before but just can't remember. So many years have passed and my memory isn't that great.

Anyway, we went out for dinner with our friends (a couple we have gotten close to and really enjoy their company and Mr 8 is good friends with their son) I was planning on not drinking and I knew our  friends would understand as when I did dry July and Ocsober last year they were really supportive. But suddenly, I just felt like having a drink on my birthday, so just like that I ordered a sparkling wine. And I enjoyed it. Our friends then arrived and we had a few drinks together. I didn't go crazy, enjoyed about 4 glasses (not large glasses) and thought, maybe I can do this, just have a few one night and then be sober for the rest of the week. After we left OH asked me if I wanted to get some wine on the way home and I said no!! I went home and drank water and felt fine the next day. But then the next night, I shared a bottle of bubbly with OH and then 3/4 a bottle of wine and woke up feeling quite ordinary yesterday morning. Which reminded me once again why I had given up drinking in the first place. But then I had a bottle of bubbly again last night because we couldn't let the strawberries go to waste now could we?! And I finished the rest of the wine. Today I feel ok. But what will happen tonight, and the next nights? What happened to my thoughts of drinking a few on one night and then not again till the next occasion? I just know I can't do it. I know that before I know it I will be drinking again every night and feeling miserable and struggling to stop again.

When we were having dinner with our friends our hubbies went of to the games room and my friend and I were chatting. I told her I had not had a drink for 24 days and how I had been planning on not drinking that night. She told me how good I was for having a break. We spoke about drinking too much and how we want to lose some weight and I get the feeling that she drinks a bit too much too.  But does that mean she has a problem? I don't know. Some people seem to be able to drink most nights and not have a problem. Or maybe they do but just don't speak about it?

I have decided to sign up for Febfast. I find it easier when I am doing it publicly and then no one questions why I'm doing it. Then I know I can't drink for x amount of days and will hopefully continue once the challenge is over. The longest I've managed before is 42 days.

So will I drink tonight? Probably. But Febfast starts tomorrow - so a fresh start.

A x

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Challenges ahead

I found out yesterday that the 5 weeks long service leave I put in for in for has been approved. I am so excited! I have a whopping 17 weeks owing but in my industry it's not always easy to get leave when you want it, so 5 weeks is awesome!! OH has this time off also so we are going to go to Queensland for a couple of weeks. Ordinarily we go in October but we didn't get there last year as mum had had her operation and we were helping her with her recovery instead. So it's a long overdue holiday and we are really looking forward to it!

I'm a bit nervous though. How will I go not drinking? In years past OH would make a trip to a bottle shop and stock up on copious amounts of wine and champagne and beer and we would drink EVERY single night! It was ok though because we were on holidays! We would take it in turns sleeping in and on my morning of getting up early with Mr 8 I would get him his breakfast and then try and snooze on the couch for a few hours while he played. Then we would start our day at around lunch time.

I know it was way too much wine and incredibly unhealthy, but a part of me can't imagine having our bbq's by the pool of an evening without a few glasses of bubbly followed by wine in our hotel apartment late into the evening. I am going to have to be really strong and work on keeping sober in the lead up to this. I really really hope I can stay strong.

It's Australia Day on Monday so a long weekend. We are heading down to the beach to my inlaws beach house today after OH finishes work. Normally we would come back on Saturday night because I have to work on Sunday but I'm thinking of having a 'rest' day so we can stay a couple of more days. I've been down there before when I haven't been drinking. I think it was in October when I was doing Ocsober and went 6 weeks AF. So I know I can do it. It's summer now though so it might be a bit more of a challenge. So I am going to have to arm myself with some sober tools. I am reading a book called 'Why You Drink and How to Stop - Journey to Freedom' by Veronica Valli. It's really good, so I will take that with me and hopefully finish that. I have The Bubble Hour podcasts to listen too. And also Lucy Rocca's memoir to read. So hopefully I will be ok.

So, some good times ahead! But temptation as well. I hope I can stay strong and not give in to the evil voice in my head.

A x

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Two weeks

Day 14 today. I'm feeling pretty good. No desire to drink so far. I even forgot what day I was up to yesterday. Is that a good thing? I haven't been putting any work into it though. I've been reading sober blogs but that's all. I haven't been logging onto to the Living Sober website or trying to better myself, despite how I feel about myself and expressed in my last post. I need to start working on that. It's just that at the moment I feel ok with not drinking and that feels enough. My son is home on school holidays and it's easier to just 'be'. To concentrate on him and not myself. I guess I will see how I feel in the next week or so.

Yesterday we went to an adventure park with tree climbing and tube slides, it was great fun. On the way home my friend said to me 'a cold glass of champagne or chardonnay sounds good. What do you feel like?' I just evaded the question. Either sounded pretty good to me but I just thought to myself 'I'm not drinking now so I won't be having either'. I didn't tell her I wasn't drinking (and why did I almost type 'at the moment'?!)  I will have to tell her at some stage as we are likely to go out to dinner before the boys go back to school and she and her husband like a drink.

There's not much point to this post I guess. I just wanted to acknowledge that I'm 2 weeks AF and that I feel good about it. I'm sure this will change at some stage, but for now, I'm going to enjoy not feeling bad or depressed or flat. I am just going to enjoy not having the obsession of drinking or not drinking taking over my every waking moment.

A x

Monday, 12 January 2015

Self esteem issues

I have always had self esteem issues. I always thought it was just me, that's just how I am. I had a rocky childhood and thought it just stemmed from that. Over the years, I've read about all sorts of reasons for low self esteem. One of them was from your childhood. If your mother had issues with self esteem then there's a good chance you will too. And my mum, who is 74, still has major self esteem issues. Mum has said to me time and again "but you have know reason to feel this way, you are beautiful and lovely" (as mothers always tell their daughters!) But for whatever reason, I do feel this way.

As far back as primary school, being only around 11 or 12, I remember having feelings of inadequacy and not being good enough, and desperately wanting to be one of the popular crowd. I so wanted to be liked. I had a small group of friends but I always felt like I was putting on a role, trying to be better so they would like me. This continued through to high school. It was particularly difficult though as we moved from the city up to a small country town (to get away from my father) so I started high school not knowing anyone at all. Once again, I made a few friends, but I always wanted to be one of the 'cool' girls. And high school can be tough. Girls can be mean and they were to me. As I grew into my own and lost some of my geekiness, the boys started liking me and girls started to dislike me even more. Thankfully I was a good girl and didn't get up to anything with the boys (I was trying too hard to be liked by the girls, I didn't care what the boys felt!) This was the way it was all through high school. It was exhausting!

And here I am, at 46 years old, and I still feel insecure about myself. I go to work and try really hard to be one of the 'gang', to be liked by everyone. It doesn't matter that I am about 20 years older than most of them, I just want to fit in. It's pathetic really. Why haven't I grown up?!

I think I'm just beginning to realise why. Drinking all these years has stunted my emotional growth, and whilst the self esteem issues were always there, I didn't have a chance to get over them because I lost myself a long time ago. I don't know who I am and I don't even like myself half the time. I waste far too much energy on how I look and what other people think of me. I feel like a fraud.

Why can't I be happy with myself? Being who I am. Sure, I need to lose 10kg but that isn't the end of the world. I'm not that bad. I see other people carrying a lot more weight than me and they seem happy and confident. Why can't I feel like that? I am so sick and tired of feeling like this. I want to be happy. Is that too much to ask?

Day 9 today.

A x

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Day 7 and so happy to be here

Day 7 today and I'm so happy to be here. It is such a relief not to have to worry about wine. It feels wonderful going to bed at night knowing that I am not going to have a hangover in the morning. And the actual waking up with no hangover and not having any shame or guilt from the night before... it feels absolutely wonderful!

On Thursday I looked after my 7 year old niece and 5 year old nephew. When my brother asked me if I could look after them I was a bit apprehensive. It would be for the whole day and they would get dropped off early in the morning. But I needn't have worried., it was fine.  On the other hand, had I been drinking I would have been very resentful. I would have done it but I would have been really pissed off that I would not get my morning nap in. I would have been hungover and grumpy and not happy at all. I would be impatient with the kids and struggled through the day, counting down the hours till my sister-in-law arrived to pick them up. Instead, whilst I was tired from a poor sleep, I was otherwise fine and able to be really present for my niece and nephew. My son had a great time with his cousins and we all had a great day. Being sober makes such a difference and I am so glad to be here!

My friend and I took our boys to a play centre yesterday. She suggested it last week as we knew the weather wasn't going to be great and she offered to pick me up. When she said 10.30am I almost hesitated, but then remembered that I wasn't drinking anymore so it would be no problem getting up and ready and out the door at that time of the morning. When I was drinking I dreaded morning activities because I knew I would be hungover and tired and it was such hard work. I would do it for my son but I was resentful and seething inside that I couldn't sleep and hang out at home in my pjs until I was ready to face the day, usually at lunch time.

Being sober opens up a whole new world. And it's only early days! Imagine how wonderful it's going to be when I am further down the track and have more motivation and zest for life. It can only get better and I am so looking forward to that.

Have a great weekend everyone.

A x

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A new year... Day 4

A new year, a new start. Well, almost. I wanted day 1 to be on New Years Day but it didn't happen. But I was thinking about it and whilst I didn't quite get there, I had my last drink on January 3rd. Which makes today day 4. It feels good to be back here. But I'm cautious because I have been here before. I really want to make it different this time. But even as I say that, the thought of not drinking ever again scares the shit out of me. So, I'm going to try and take on board the advice that I've been given by others who have traveled this road before me - I am not going to think about forever and concentrate only on today. Besides, if I keep drinking the way I have been, there will be no forever to begin with and I really want to have a future. A happy and healthy one.

Last year may have been filled with failed attempts, but I have to look at the positives. It's the first year that I've really looked hard at my drinking and tried to stop. In May I started to keep a hand written journal and started to have alcohol free nights. I managed 2, 3 and sometimes even 4 nights in a row with no wine and that was huge for me. I jotted down some of my thoughts and it felt good to be finally doing something about my drinking. June wasn't great with only a handful of AF nights but it was then that I decided to do Dry July. I managed to complete the whole month with an extra day AF and I was so proud of myself. In fact, everyone was proud of me and it felt great. Then I started drinking again though. I felt so much better not drinking but thought I might be ok then. That I could drink sensibly. Which of course I couldn't. So after 10 days of drinking again I signed up for Hello Sunday Morning and vowed to not drink for 3 months. I managed 31 days before giving in again. I felt like such a failure. I drank for 2 weeks then got back into it and managed 42 days AF. 6 whole weeks!!! It was wonderful! But then I had a fancy ball to attend and I gave myself permission to drink again because you just can't go to such an event and not drink the French champagne that is flowing in abundance. And of course there were catch ups with friends in the lead up to Christmas and then the day itself, followed by New Years Eve. I just couldn't imagine not drinking at any of these occasions. So I gave myself permission to drink. So of course I ended up back where I was in the beginning. Except now I knew how good it felt to have periods of sobriety. So it wasn't all bad even though I failed each time. I managed to have some good breaks from alcohol and it felt great.

But I need to try something new. Because whilst my breaks from alcohol were great, they didn't last. I have to stop thinking I am having a 'break' from wine and think more long term. Which is where I get into trouble because the forever thing gets me every time.

Wish me luck!

A x