Thursday, 30 April 2015

Touching the surface

I wrote a blog post the other day, but then deleted it. I felt that I had revealed too much about myself and felt that I might come across as whinging or feeling sorry for myself. And I've realised that I really only just touch the surface when I write in my blog. That I censor what I write. I don't really write about my true self and what is happening in my life. I can't even open up honestly in my own blog. So what's the point? Is there any point to having this blog? I don't know. I think it does help. I like having this place to come to.

Should I write more about myself? Or should I just stick to whether or not I'm drinking. I think a part of me worries that my husband might read this, so I don't want to say too much. Despite our problems, I do love my husband. I just wish things were different.

Last night we went over to my husbands parents house for dinner. It was my brother-in-laws birthday so they had a get-together with the whole family. I was offered champagne to have a toast and wine with dinner. No one said anything but I could tell they were surprised because I usually down several wines and would never turn down a toast! I didn't miss it at all and had a great time!

Mum is coming over today to look after the little guy whilst we stay at the hotel tomorrow night. She'll be glad to see me not drinking. When we went up to the country to stay with her for a week last school holidays, I drank whine nearly every night and I know she wasn't happy about it. I got annoyed with her because when my brothers came up a few days after we arrived, she was talking about buying beers for them. One of my brothers is an alcoholic so this really bugged me. So what if I was having a few wines? I'm not like my brother who starts drinking when he gets up in the morning and misses more days of work than he attends. And he looks terrible, it's obvious to everyone. I have a few wines in the evening, what's wrong with that? The night before they arrived mum was going to bed (it was about 11.30pm) and I poured myself another one and mum looked at me as if to say 'gosh, another one?' I was so annoyed! I know she just worries about me, but I get frustrated that she treats me differently than my brothers.  The thing is, I WAS drinking too much. I knew that and that's why I got defensive. But I'm an adult, surely I can make my own decisions, whether good or bad?

I don't know. Why does life have to be so complicated?

On a brighter note, I took the little guy to see The Lion King yesterday. It was the 4th time I've seen it, I just love it so much!! It was so special to see it through his eyes and to see the wonder and joy on his face as he watched it. Such a lovely experience for us to have together.

Day 24 today.

A x

Friday, 24 April 2015

All over the place

Day 19 today. Slowly plodding along. I'm trying not to think too much because when I do, I just get depressed about it all. I'm reading all these wonderful blog posts and wondering why I can't be like that. I know this is hard for everyone, but how do you get to that point of acceptance? I seem to be constantly struggling with it.

We went out for dinner last night with another two couples and their kids. It was a lovely evening. I just had a diet coke and that was fine. One of the other girls just had water because she is on a health kick (she isn't a big drinker anyway) My other friend C had a few red wines. She asked me at the start of the night if I was having a wine and I said no and added something about wanting to lose weight, and that was that. I didn't even think about having one. And yet, whilst I was fine not drinking last night, I couldn't help thinking 'but do I have to do this forever?'

I listen to the Bubble Hour every day. I read tons of sober blogs. I have sober memoirs on my bookshelf and am half way through another one. I log onto the Soberistas and Hello Sunday Morning websites and read about people's personal stories and more blogs. And yet I still struggle. I'm trying to concentrate on just 'today' and that seems to be working, but when I think of the future I just can't picture myself being sober forever.

It's my 11th wedding anniversary today and I am planning not to drink. We are celebrating next weekend instead by staying at the hotel where we had our reception (I mentioned this in my previous post) and this is the night I'm really worried about. Can I do this sober?

I am getting sick of myself. I am like a stuck record and I just don't know how to get it going again. Is this what people call a 'dry drunk'? I don't want to be a miserable person. I want to be happy. I yearn to be happy.

There is so much shit going on in my life that I don't talk about on here. Sometimes I wish I could just write about everything and get it off my chest. To unburden myself. There is not a single person who I can talk to about this stuff. It's getting harder and harder and it's beginning to take its toll. How much longer can I go on like this?

Sorry, I'm all over the place today.

A x

Monday, 20 April 2015

The forever word

Day 15. I have made it to two weeks...again! In previous attempts I've done Dry July, Ocsober and Febfast, so two weeks felt like a half way point. There was an end in sight. This time, I don't have that buffer, which is tricky because it means that I've been thinking of the 'forever' word a lot more and it's a word that has always frightened me. I've been told time and again not to think about it and to just concentrate on 'today', but I find it hard. And this is what has derailed me every time. That and all the special occasions that have occurred and I haven't been strong enough to abstain.

It's my wedding anniversary on Friday. 11 years! Where has the time gone?!! Anyway, each year on our anniversary we get a complimentary night at the hotel where we had our wedding reception. It was part of our wedding package and it's great! Each year we've gone there and had a lovely stay. Usually we get a taxi into the city and have dinner at a fancy restaurant followed by several drinks back at the hotel. We even went there when the little guy was a baby and had room service. We're too scared to miss out on a year in case they decide to stop our visits (they don't have that offer any more. When we got married they had a new function room and were only just starting to do weddings so were obviously offering a great incentive to have your reception there). So, that time of year is rolling around again. Due to other family commitments we can't get there until the first weekend in May, which is only a couple of weeks away. And I'm scared. How am I going to do this and not have any wine or champagne?! It really won't be the same. I know, I know, I shouldn't be thinking like this but I can't help it. I'm really struggling with it and a part of me wishes we didn't have to go. But I don't want to not go either so what do I do? I'm really struggling with the concept of all the future occasions that I'm going to have to endure without alcohol. It's bloody scary!

The thing is, I know it can be done. There are so many people who are living rich, fulfilled lives without alcohol. They go to all sorts of special occasions and enjoy them without wine or champagne or whatever there alcohol of choice was. Why can't I get to that place? Will I ever? There is even a little voice in my head that asks do I even need to?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just tired. Physically tired and mentally tired. This is hard work. I go days where everything is fine and relatively easy, then I get to one of these days and it all seems too hard.

I am not going to drink today. That I do know.

A x

Thursday, 16 April 2015

An achievement

Another beautiful Autumn evening and another bbq at the park. Yesterday hubby rang me during the day asking me if I wanted to ask our friends along. I hesitated because this is my friend who likes to drink and I thought it might be putting too much pressure on myself. But then I thought no, I can do this. So I rang my friend (who I will call C) and she said they'd love to join us. But I made a point of telling her that I wouldn't be drinking but I didn't mind if she did. I just told her that I was having a break and it was no big deal. So, we met them at the park and it was such a beautiful evening. I didn't mind when C poured herself a glass of wine and the boys had their beer. But I have to be honest and admit that I was sad about it. I thought, I can do this today. I have committed myself to having a break. But can I do this forever? There will be many occasions just like this one and it's going to be bloody hard! I can't just stay home and never go anywhere. And it's just the park, it's hardly a restaurant where there are heaps of people drinking. Do I really need to do this forever? What if I just drink on special occasions? All the usual questions we ask ourselves when we try and bargain with ourselves. But I didn't drink last night and I'm not going to drink today. I'm not going to worry about forever just now because that's what's derailed me in the past. It was a lovely evening and I whilst I felt a bit left out I didn't let it spoil my night. And our friends didn't make a big deal about me not drinking, so I know when we go out with them again it won't be a problem. So, an achievement I think.

Something I need to start doing is going to bed early! I read all these lovely blogs where people go to bed early with a book and are getting lots of lovely, restorative sleep. Self care I believe it's called. I really need to start doing this. I get so frustrated in the evenings because we have been struggling to get the little guy to bed on time. And by the time he goes to sleep it's late and then I want to sit up and catch up on my shows. So of course that means it's late when I get to bed and I feel tired all the time. It was one thing when I was drinking because there was a reason for feeling tired all the time, but I was hoping that I would start to feel better once I stopped. But I have to remind myself that the effects from years of drinking isn't going to go away overnight. It will take time.

I was sad to see that one of the blogs I've been following has been shut down. I've seen this happen to a few blogs since I started on this journey and it saddens me. I wonder how these women are going now? Are they happy? Did they succeed or are they still struggling with their sobriety? It's such a personal journey and yet when we blog we open ourselves up and let people into our lives. And we get to know each other a little bit. So, when someone disappears it feels like you've lost a friend in a way. I just hope that they are ok and hope they know that we are always here if they need our support.

A x

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The small things

In my last post I mentioned how we sometimes go on bbq picnics for dinner and how lovely they are. Well, Monday just gone was a beautiful Autumn evening so hubby suggested that we have one for dinner. As I also mentioned, a bottle of alcohol would always accompany these occasions. Not this time!! I did however buy a bottle of sparkling grape juice. I'm not sure why. I didn't intend to. I was just in the supermarket walking down the soft drink aisle and saw it on the shelf so thought why not?
And it was ok. It didn't make me think I was drinking a different version of wine and it didn't make me want to drink the real stuff (well, maybe it did just for a second!) It was just nice to have something special occasion'y to drink, instead of my usual Af choice of diet coke or water. I know there are mixed thoughts on AF wines and beers, but I think every now and then they are ok. But it's early days and  I am hardly the voice of experience! It was funny though, I had no interest in finishing the whole bottle. That was certainly a novelty! And I had a lovely time. It was in now way less fun or special because I wasn't drinking wine. Hubby had his 3 beers and that was fine. Then I got to drive home and not have to worry about whether or not we had more wine at home. And I woke up the next day without a hangover which was lovely.

So, today is day 10. Funny how normally 10 days would go by and I wouldn't think anything of it. But 10 days is great! I feel like I'm getting somewhere. Now I will concentrate on doing another 10 days, and then another and another.... and maybe one day I can stop counting. But for now,  it's ok. Small things are important because at the end of the day, they are not small things at all. They are life changing things and they are making me (hopefully) into a better person. They are hopefully bringing me closer to the happy and contented life that I yearn for. So bring on the small things. I want to embrace them all!

A x

Monday, 13 April 2015

Day 8 and feeling good

Day 8 and feeling good today.

I worked last night and it wasn't as busy as last time so that was good. Hubby picked me up from work and on the way home he asked me if I'd like him to get some wine. I told him no, I didn't think so. He then asked me if I'd drunk the night before (you'd think he would know! But anyway..) and when I told him no I hadn't he said 'well done'. This annoyed me for a moment because I never say that to him when he has an af night. But then I thought about it some more. I don't ask him because he doesn't have a problem. Sure, some nights he could drink just as much as me, but it was different for him. He has the 'off' switch that I don't have and it makes all the difference. So when he says 'well done' it's not a bad thing. He's acknowledging that I've done well not to have a drink and I guess that means he is being supportive. I think deep down I would love for him to say that I don't have a problem therefore allowing me to drink. But that wouldn't be helpful. And I would be lying to myself as well as to him. It is what it is. I just have to accept it.

I logged onto Facebook this morning and up popped a photo from '3 years ago today'. It seems to be Facebook's new thing. Anyway, this particular photo was taken at a lovely picnic area that we used to frequent in the warmer months. We'd often go there and have a bbq for dinner and it allowed the little guy to run around in the park and we could all enjoy the great outdoors. Of course, alcohol would be had and that made it even more special. So in this photo the picnic table is set up with a table cloth, plates and cutlery and a lovely fresh salad in the middle. And of course, the obligatory plastic glasses of wine. In fact, I would often put photos from such occasions on FB so people could see how much fun we have as a family. Lovely evenings enjoying a picnic dinner. Look at us, we aren't stuck at home drinking in front of the tv. No, we are outside in the fresh air having a lovely time. And I would get lots of comments of course, because they were lovely photos. We still do have those picnics but not as much as we used to. And we've been a few times when I've not been drinking and it's been fine. But this morning, looking at the scene, with the wine glasses on the table, it made me sad to think I couldn't have that any more. But why? Why does having a glass of wine make that experience better? Isn't it supposed to be the people and the place and the experience? It's not the booze. And of course it wouldn't be just that anyway. Afterwards,we would go home and I would drink well into the evening and the next day I would feel rotten and suddenly it wouldn't matter how lovely it was to have a few drinks at the park. If I could have left it at that maybe it would have been fine. But I never did. And that was the problem. So I am going to look forward to our next picnic. I'm going to enjoy the company of my hubby and our little guy and appreciate the lovely park and make the most of the experience without the booze. Because I don't need it to have a good time.

So, a week sober. It feels good. And I realised this morning that this time I am doing it soley for me. This time I haven't signed up to a cause as an excuse to not drink for a month or two. This time it's just for me. And it feels good.

A x

Saturday, 11 April 2015

A drinking dream and friends

I had a drinking dream last night. We were invited around to my oldest friends house for dinner. In real life, we don't see each other very often but when we do, we enjoy a few glasses (a lot!) of wine and have wonderful conversations. I haven't seen her for about a year but am hoping to catch up sometime in the near future. Anyway, in my dream, we got to her house and she had lovely nibbles set out and glasses of bubbly already poured sitting on the table. It was such a dilemma! I could feel my resolve slipping and thinking I couldn't waste it now that it was poured and it looked so lovely that I should just drink it. But at the same time, I was thinking if I do, what's the point? I'll never stop and I'll be back where I started. I think I was going to tell my friend that I wouldn't drink it and why but then I woke up. But it felt so real. I know I will be faced with this dilemma in real life sooner or later. I just hope I'll be strong enough by then to say no.

The movies and seeing my other friends yesterday was great. And interestingly, my friend who likes to drink told me that she had cut down drastically on her alcohol intake as she is on a health kick. She told me that she'd had a few nights off and then had a few the previous night and how awful she felt in the morning. So I told her that I was cutting down too and how much better it is to wake up in the morning without that awful hangover feeling. So, next time we go out to dinner she will understand why I'm not having a drink. And it may even encourage her to have a night out without booze herself.

So, it's the weekend. So far, I've had no cravings and I'm hoping that that will continue throughout the weekend. Yesterday though, as the little guy and I were walking through the carpark to the cinema I was thinking about how I'm not drinking and wondering, will I EVER stop thinking about it?! It's always there in my mind. All day, every day. It's not bad as such but it's just always there. And I thought to myself, there must be millions of people in the world who go about their day not even thinking once about alcohol. Will I ever be one of those people? I remember, even when I got to 42 days, it was still on my mind a lot. Sometimes it's exhausting and you just want it to go away!

This afternoon I'm taking the little guy to the theatre to see The 26 Storey Treehouse play. It is based on an Australian childrens book and my son loved it. So we are looking forward to that. A trip into the city on the train, it will be a lovely treat.

Have a great weekend :)

A x

Friday, 10 April 2015

Day 5

I slept a bit better last night so feel marginally better today. It's good knowing that if I stay strong and push through I will start to feel better. I'm really looking forward to that.

I had a waxing appointment at 7.30 last night. It felt really strange going out at that time, especially now that daylight savings is over and it gets dark early. I never go anywhere in the evening unless it's out for dinner and drinks, so it felt really strange. I was amazed how many people, children included, are out and about at the shops of an evening! I know it was late night shopping but I just never do that. Occasionally we will go to a food court at a shopping centre for a lazy dinner but I would always come home and drink. It may be a small thing but it felt good.

I've been reading some great blogs. One in particular talked about acceptance. I know in my heart this is something I am going to have to master. Accepting that I have a problem that can't be fixed or ignored. Until I do this, I know I will never succeed. I think I've been fighting it, not wanting to face the truth. Knowing it but not wanting to know it. Does that make sense? It's something that I'm going to work on. Because I don't want to live like I have been for the rest of my life. And that means forever. That dreaded word. Maybe it's not such a bad thought after all? Something to think about that's for sure.

We are off to the movies this afternoon with a couple of friends. One of these friends is the one who likes to drink (I have talked about her before)  I've only known her for a few years since the boys started school, but we get along well and have shared a few drinks together. Today isn't going to be an issue but I am going to have to tell her at some stage that I'm not drinking. She knows that I've had breaks before and has admired me (ha ha! If only she knew!) but I've always gone back to it. Not sure if the dynamic will change now, but I'm hoping not too much. I really like her. She's talked of cutting down before but I don't think she would stop. Anyway, I will enjoy the movies and company today and worry about future evening events another time. It's only early days and I don't want to stress about the future. I just want to concentrate on today.

A x

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Tired but sober

Gosh I am tired! I just wish I could sleep! I know from my last sober attempts that it takes me a while to start sleeping better. That for the first week I have very interrupted sleep and waking up exhausted. I tried to nap this morning but my mind seemed to be going a million miles an hour and it was impossible. Having the little guy home didn't help either because without the remnants of alcohol on board I felt guilty not being up for him. I have wasted so much time drinking and being too hungover the next day to not do anything constructive. My poor son. He has missed out on so much :(

So I've been awake since 7am and have yet to do anything other than browse facebook and sober blogs. I have managed to get a couple of loads of washing done so at least that's something. But I just don't have the energy for much else. I'm hoping that once I start sleeping better I will be able to get more done around the house and start doing some exercise. I need to start feeling useful. I only work part-time and am starting to feel guilty now that little guy is in grade 3 and I didn't have my much yearned for second baby to keep me busy.

Anyway, my thoughts are all over the place today. I want to start blogging more because I think that would help but I just can't concentrate today. So, I'm off to finish the washing and at least try and get something useful done!

A x

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Here again

Here I am again. After feeling so dreadful on Easter Sunday I told myself that I can't go on like this. So, today is day 3. Feeling very tired as I didn't sleep much last night. Why do I keep putting myself through this? Knowing that the first few days are difficult but knowing they will pass. And yet I still go back. It's so frustrating.

I have just finished 6 weeks of long service leave. Aside from the drinking, it was lovely. I really needed a break from work. It's a hard job, nursing. And it's starting to take it's toll on me. I work on a very busy and heavy ward and the older I get the harder it is. My first shift back yesterday was particularly busy and I left work late and feeling miserable. I was so close to buying a bottle of wine on the way home. I struggled back and forth in my mind. I told myself that drinking a bottle of wine at 10 o'clock at night would not make me feel better. It would only make me feel like shit in the morning and I would hate myself for giving in. The first glass may have taken the edge off my stress but that would be it. It would have been downhill from there. But then I thought, so what? I'll just start again tomorrow. It doesn't matter. Back and forth, back and forth. I ended up driving past the late night bottle shop, then considered going back around the block and getting one after all. But I didn't. And I'm so glad today. I can cope with being tired. It's so much easier without having a bottle of wine in my system. And I'm another day alcohol free and that makes me feel good.

I know being alcohol free suits me better than drinking. I remember how good it feels to have several weeks alcohol free under my belt. Why then can't I keep going? The most I've lasted was 42 days. It felt wonderful and I was so proud of myself. Then I gave in. Even knowing how shit I would eventually feel again, I still gave in. Why does the allure of alcohol get me every time? It's so exhausting and I'm just so sick of it.

A x

Sunday, 5 April 2015

A dismal Easter

So, I have the first Easter off work for years and instead of looking at the excitement on my sons face when he opened his Easter present and doing the egg hunt, I was in bed with a raging hangover. This is not how it's supposed to be. I feel so ashamed.
I've been drinking since the end of February. I did febfast and lasted 23 days but when we got to Queensland the temptation was too strong and I started drinking again. I think I had already talked myself believing that I couldn't possibly NOT drink whilst on holiday, therefore giving myself permission to drink. Which I did, every night for the two weeks we were away. Nothing disastrous happened. I woke with a sore head a couple of times but otherwise I was fine. And yet I wasn't. I wasn't at my best and I was disappointed that I couldn't at least finish febfast. It was only 5 more days.
So, back from my holiday and I tried to moderate, not drinking during the week. Which worked for a couple of weeks. Then my son and I drove up to visit mum in the country for a week and I've been drinking every night. Because I'm on holidays and I deserve it.  Then my brothers  and my husband arrived yesterday and they were drinking so I did too, even more than the previous nights. Hence my raging hangover today. I feel so sick and ashamed. I so hate this. All because I can't handle the thought of having to stop forever.  Because I can't deal with forever I am living  this awful existence and I'm sick of it. And yet I know that the day will pass and I will start to feel better and then I'll drink again tonight. How much longer can I keep doing this?