Friday, 29 May 2015

I need some motivation please!

Day 12 today and still feeling tired. I keep getting told that it will take a while for this tiredness to go away, but I'm becoming impatient! I wonder how much of my tiredness is to do with my low iron levels and how much of it is related to giving up alcohol. Who knows, I just hope I feel better soon.

Tomorrow little guy and I are going to the movies with our friends, then we are having dinner together. I'm not worried as I have been out to dinner a lot whilst not drinking, but my friend C likes a drink so will be interesting to see what she says when she sees me not drinking. I haven't told anyone that I'm doing the 100 day challenge. I'm not sure why, it's just a personal thing I guess. I will have to say something eventually but for now, I think I will just say I'm having a break because I want to lose weight, which is true in a way. I DO want to lose weight, desperately! In fact, it's so frustrating that I haven't lost any weight yet. Maybe it's too soon? Anyway, C has been cutting down on alcohol lately and not drinking during the week (or so she says) because she is on a health kick, so I'm sure she won't think too much of me not drinking.  I'll let you know how it goes.

One of the things I really hated when I was drinking was that I had zero motivation to do anything. Our house needs a major decluttering but I just never had the energy to do anything. So of course it is hard to keep tidy which meant I never invited people over because I was too embarrassed. Now that I'm not drinking I really want to get stuck into it, but I still don't have the energy! It's just so frustrating!! I want to have a lovely home that I am not embarrassed about. I want to be able to have people over at a moments notice without having to worry that the house is a mess. So that's my new goal. To get stuck into some decluttering and organising our home. It looks lovely when it's tidy, it's just that we have so much STUFF! It doesn't help that hubby is a bit of a hoarder and doesn't like to get rid of anything. Maybe if I do it on the sly he won't notice?!

When I was drinking a bottle of wine a night, hubby would often drink just as much as me. But now that I'm not drinking, he doesn't drink wine at all. But he will have beer. Usually just one or two of an evening and that's it. I've never been a beer drinker, but I'm certain that if I did drink it I wouldn't be able to stop at one or two! I guess that makes him a 'normie'. It's funny though, I don't mind him drinking, it doesn't make me want one at all. I do sometimes wish that I was a normie, but it's no use wasting energy on something that isn't going to happen.

Anyway, I'd better go and get organised. I am determined to start operation declutter TODAY and I'm not going to put it off any longer!!

A x

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The most important cause of all

Day 10 today. Back to double figures! It feels good. I am slowly getting further and further away from that last drink and it is such a relief.

I first started thinking about the possibility of life without wine sometime towards the end of 2013. I remember I was at work and feeling tired and hungover, and I was just so sick of feeling that way. So I found a discreet computer and googled something like 'how to live without wine' and I came across Mrs D's blog. It blew me away!! I had no idea there were other women who were like me and drank too much wine. I had felt so alone and ashamed, and as though I was the only one with this dirty little secret. When I got home I devoured 'Mrs D is going without' and also discovered other blogs from her bloglist. I became obsessed! I bookmarked my favourite blogs on my iphone and eagerly awaited new blog entries. (I hid the blog titles under false names in case hubby came across them by accident. One time he was looking at something on my phone and came across all these open blog pages that I didn't realise were open!! I just muttered something about reading online blogs and he didn't think anything of it, thank goodness! Not sure why all the secrecy, but I still hide them from him. I will talk to him about them one day, but for now, they are my little secret. They help me, so not telling him can't be a bad thing can it?)

I didn't stop drinking at this point, but I was becoming aware that life without wine was possible. I kept reading my secret blogs and learning more and more about sober life. Sometime in early 2014 I bought my first sober memoir. It was called 'Unwasted, My Lush Sobiety' by Sacha Z Scoblic. I loved it. Once again, I was blown away by the fact that there were other women out there who had the same problem as me. Following on from that I read 'Drinking, A love story' by Caroline Knapp. I loved this book too, even more I think. I remember; hubby, little guy and I would go on bbq picnics on warm summer evenings and I would be drinking wine and reading my sober books (hidden so hubby couldn't see the title!) So, even though I was still drinking, I was yearning to stop. To know that it was possible to live without wine, which had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

I read several more books and in May last year, I started a handwritten journal. I wrote out the calendar months and circled each alcohol free day in a red pen. That first month, there were about 3 red circles a week. This was huge for me! I had drunk wine every night for as long as I could remember. By the end of May, I had 11 AF days and that felt really good. June on the other hand, wasn't so great. I only had a handful of AF days, and by the end of June, I had had enough. So I signed up for Dry July. We were staying at my mums in the country so I had to tell her that I was doing it. Two of my 3 brothers were there as well, so nearly the whole family knew about it. They were all really supportive and thought it was great that I was doing it (mum was especially happy because she knew I had been drinking too much) And I have to say that doing Dry July was the best thing I ever did. It was such a relief to finally not have to drink! It was like I had been given permission to stop drinking and I didn't have to explain myself to anyone. 'Oh, I can't drink because I am doing Dry July' and no questioned it. I can't describe the relief! And I raised $201 for cancer patients for the hospital I work at. I was so proud of myself.

Unfortunately, it didn't last. I did all of July plus one extra day. During this time my father died and I managed to remain AF during this difficult period. But after July was over, I felt so much better and of course fell into the trap of  'well, I feel better now, so I'm sure I will be fine if I drink and I'm sure I can moderate now anyway'.

Of course I couldn't though. And before long I was yearning for that good feeling I had when I was AF. So in early August, I signed up for Hello Sunday Morning, a 3 month program here in Australia. I really wanted to do this, and I managed 31 days AF. But then I drank for 2 weeks, and I was so disappointed in myself. So I got back on the wagon and managed another 42 days AF. And thus started my quest for ongoing sobriety. I would manage a month here and there, but at the end of each of each month, the wine witch would get the better of me. Sobriety remained an elusive dream. But each time I had a taste of it, I wanted more.

I am learning that I think I do want to do this forever. That thought has scared me for so long, but each time I fail and get back on the wagon. the thought doesn't seem so bad anymore. Perhaps it IS possible? Maybe this wonderful sober life that I've read about IS possible for me? If I stick at this long enough, perhaps I too will find my pink cloud. How I yearn for that.

My life is filled with so much shame and regret. It can be all consuming. And sometimes it just all seems too hard. But this is my life, my only one. I may have wasted too many years pouring wine down my throat but it can stop NOW. I can make the rest of my life count. I need to forgive myself and move on. Is it possible?

100 days. I am going to do this 100 days. I have made a pledge and I am going to stick to it. I may not be raising money for cancer patients, or youth addiction or some other cause that I have signed up for in the past. But this is a cause nonetheless. This cause is for me. This cause is saving my life, and is perhaps the most important cause of all.

I can do this!

A x


Friday, 22 May 2015

Day 5

I sometimes struggle to write in my blog. I read so many interesting and well written blogs, and find them so helpful, but when it comes to my own, I struggle. Should I write something just for the sake of it or just leave it for another day? Should I delve into my past and try to resolve issues that have been festering for years? Should I write about what I did yesterday even if it wasn't anything exciting? I don't know. Sometimes words just escape me.

Maybe it's just because I'm tired. I'm still struggling with broken sleep and waking up really tired. I know this will eventually improve, but in the meantime I just feel shattered. I know going to bed earlier would help. It's just that the evenings go so quickly. By the time the little guy goes to sleep and hubby and I watch something on tv it's nearly midnight. What do other people with kids do?

We went out for dinner the other night. I had a diet coke and then a water. I've always loved going out for dinner. But the treaty part of it was always the wine. It's funny, because I drank wine every night at home, but it was somehow more special drinking when dining out at a restaurant. Now my perception is changing and I'm beginning to see that it's the going out for dinner that is the treaty part of it and not the drink. And it's the company you keep, and the conversation. So, that's nice. These occasions aren't boring without wine after all!

I ordered Ann Dowsett-Johnston's book and it finally arrived yesterday. I've only read a few pages, but it's interesting so far. I was thinking I might go back and read some of my other sober memoirs. I read quite a few of them last year when I was thinking about giving up alcohol, and may even been a bit drunk when I read some of them, so it would probably be helpful to go back and read them again from a different prospective. I feel like I've come a long way since last year and slowly but surely my mind set is changing. 'Forever' still scares me but not as much as it used to.

My sister-in-law was recently talking about the new Taylor Swift song that her daughter loves, and I realise that I've never heard it! I used to listen to the radio in the car all the time so would here all the new songs by popular artists. Now though, I listen to the Bubble Hour whenever I get in the car. I love it! It's my little secret routine and I find it really helpful. The girls and the guest speakers on the Bubble Hour are awesome!

Well, I've managed to waffle on about nothing really! Not sure if there is much point to it, but I guess it's good to keep blogging. I know in the past I've let my blog lapse when I think I am doing alright, and each time, I eventually started drinking again. So, this time, I'm trying everything I can not to do that.

Have a great Friday everyone!

A x

Wednesday, 20 May 2015


Well, I guess you can gather that I succumbed to the wine witch. I am not proud of myself. But it happened, and I can't change it. I drank for 3 nights and felt lousy all weekend.

Not to go into all the gory details, but basically what happened is my friend C invited me and another friend G to her house for a girls night in. G has been really busy lately and C felt like she could do with a night out. So she asked us over for a night with Christian Grey (50 shades movie) and a glass or two of wine. Initially, I thought 'I can do this', and I had planned on getting a bottle of Edenvale sparkling grape juice. But then hubby got home from work in a foul mood and just like that I thought 'stuff it' and bought some 'real' bubbly. It's not hubby's fault. I think I was just looking for an excuse. The wine witch had been toying with me for several days and I let her reel me in.

So today, I am back on day 3. And I have signed up for Belle's 100 day challenge. It's a bit scary. What if I can't do it? I will feel like such a failure now that I have made a pledge. But I am determined to try. I need to do this. For me. I feel so much better when I'm not drinking. Alcohol is evil and is no good for me. This has been proven time and time again. I wish I had the courage to write up a list of the bad effects alcohol has had on me, but I'm afraid I'm too ashamed. Let's just say that there is a lot of shame and guilt over it, and it makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

I went to the doctor the other day and got my blood results back. Other than low iron and haemoglobin they were all fine. Thyroid was within normal limits, which is good, but I had convinced myself that it was under-active and that I would be given tablets to make me all better. So still in the dark as to what is causing all these symptoms. After doing some research, I think it might be adrenal fatigue. So I went to a health food shop and got some herbal tablets. Who knows if it will help, but it's worth a try. I also had hip x-rays done because I've had painful hips. They were fine too. The doctor said it could be ligament problems and that I should see a physiotherapist or osteopath. I'm relieved it's not arthritis and that it's hopefully fixable. I'm just so sick of feeling unwell all the time. I feel like such an old woman sometimes!

Anyway, that's where I'm at. Day 3 of 100. Wish me luck!!

A x

Thursday, 14 May 2015

An unwelcome visitor

I had a visit from the wine witch yesterday. She snuck in, tapped me on the shoulder and suggested something. And I have to confess, that what she suggested sounded appealing.

I was reading a fabulous blog called Viatoday and she was saying how she was glad her weekly 'anniversary' falls on a Monday because as "the Mondays multiply, at least I always have this to feel good about on Mondays – I made it through the weekend without drinking and added another 7 days to my total!"

Now, my weekly anniversary is a Friday. I didn't plan it that way, it just happened. And it hasn't been a problem. Until yesterday. You see, after I read this about Mondays, the wine witch pointed out to me that Fridays aren't a very good day to have as your weekly anniversary. It means that you will always have the weekend to follow and that this could possibly be a challenge. She suggested that perhaps I should start again, this time on a Monday. And it would mean I could drink again for a little while.

Well, I have to admit that this took me by surprise!! I've been doing really well, or so I had thought. And all it took was one small thought to let the wicked wine witch back in. I am not, by the way, going to to give in to her offer, but I have to be honest and admit that I did consider it for a second. But now I am worried that the seed has been planted, and that in weaker moments I might give in. Mondays do sound more appealing. In my previous attempts, Mondays and Tuesdays have been my day 1's. Perhaps Fridays aren't that great.

See?!!! This is the twisted thinking that has started now that the stupid wine witch has made her visit. And I can't seem to make her go away. ARGGHH!!

Some advice right now would be greatly appreciated. I am going to go and have a shower and try and think about something else. Will check in later.

A x

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Blood tests

I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago to order some blood tests. Just the usual ones they recommend when you get to a certain age (God, I feel so old sometimes!!) I had them done this morning and am glad to have them out of the way.

Last year, I had the same blood tests done. I asked my doctor if I could get my thyroid checked because surely there was a reason why I was putting on weight and not being able to lose it even when I was watching what I ate. I was tired all the time and seemed to have all the classic symptoms of an under-active thyroid. To my horror, when I left the clinic and looked at the blood slip, liver function tests were on there as well. I was drinking daily at this stage, so I was absolutely terrified of the results. So I put off having that blood test for months. I convinced myself that I had cirrhosis of the liver and having a blood test would just confirm that. I agonised over it for a long time. And kept putting it off. I don't know what I expected to happen. If there was a problem, I told myself, surely it's better to know about it so you can then start treating it? But in my usual fashion, I buried my head in the sand and just put it off.

I eventually gained the courage to have the tests done. I had done Dry July by then or was in the middle of it, I can't remember now, but in the end, I just decided to face my fears, whatever the outcome might be. I didn't hear back from the doctor so I thought that must be a good sign. I thought of ringing the clinic to get the results, but a part of me was scared to do that in case the results were in fact bad, and they had just forgotten to let me know. A couple of months went by and I ended up going back to the doctor for something else, and I casually asked her about my results. All fine she said. Everything was perfect. Can you imagine my relief?!! All that agonising, for nothing! So, my liver was fine after all the abuse I had put it through. I admit a part of me thought 'great! I can drink now knowing that I haven't done any damage'. But it is always in the back of my mind. I know you can have normal liver function test results even if your liver is damaged. It can take a long time for damage to show up on a blood test. So I continued with my quest for an alcohol free life.

This time round I didn't have that fear of having the tests done. I am more curious about my thyroid function results because I am convinced that it is under-active. Hopefully my liver function is normal though. It is always in the back of my mind that it must be damaged after all these years of drinking. But I am not going to agonise over the results. What will be will be.

So, today brings me to day 6. I'm tired because I am not sleeping the best, but I can handle that. Being not hungover is a joy. Knowing I am going to wake up in the morning with a clear head is wonderful.

Have a great day everyone.

A x

Monday, 11 May 2015

Beer o'clock

So yesterday was Sunday. I work every Sunday afternoon and I didn't get the day off even though it was Mother's Day. Still, I had a lovely morning. I was spoilt with breakfast in bed and I got a lovely present from my son that he chose from the stall at school. To see the delight on his face when he gave it to me was so special. Mother's Day may celebrates what mothers do, but I think being a mother is the celebration (if that makes sense/!) I feel priveleged to be a mother and I am the one who should be celebrating.

Anyway, I got to work yesterday afternoon and had handover from the morning staff, and as usual, it was really busy. Also, I had to be in charge for the afternoon which I hate! As the morning girls were getting ready to leave, I heard them them talking about going for a drink. Beer o'clock is what they call it and it's a way to debrief and unwind after a particularly busy shift. I on the other hand, don't need beer o'clock. I am quite a bit older than most of my colleagues so would feel out of place if I went along to the pub. So what would I do? I would go home and because I only work afternoon shifts, it would be 10 o'clock at night and I'd crack open the wine and sit up till late and drink the whole bottle. Often I would have to drop into the late night bottle shop on the way home and I would always have to buy two bottles in case hubby wanted a glass too.

And this was supposed to make me feel better?! Help me to relax and unwind after a busy day? All it would do is make me tired and hungover the next day. But it was what I did for years. A busy day at work? No worries, have a wine when you get home and that will make you feel better. Perhaps the first glass did, but that's all. Or did it? Maybe I just told myself that to make it ok. To make me feel justified in drinking a whole bottle of wine at 10 o'clock at night. I deserved it after a busy day, my job is a very stressful and thankless one, blah blah blah...!

And you know what? Yesterday was shit. I was in charge of the ward and there was a situation that took up about 2 hours of my time that shouldn't have, and for a second I thought to myself, I need a wine after this. But then I thought, what would having a glass of wine achieve? It wouldn't change anything. By the time I get home, the shift will be over, I'll be able to put it behind me and relax and I DON"T need a glass of wine to do that. So I didn't. And I am so glad today. I have managed to get a cold (either off my son or from the flu injection I had at work yesterday) so imagine how much worse I would be feeling if I had had several drinks (because it would never be just one!)

So I guess it's a matter of changing your mindset. Telling yourself that having a drink isn't going to make things better or change anything. You will just feel worse in the end. But when I heard one of the girls, who was only about 21 or 22, say 'it's wine time', I actually felt sorry for her. That she feels like that already. Maybe she will stay a 'normie' and having one or two after a hard day at work will not progress into a problem but maybe it will? I hope not for here sake. But boy was I glad to be able to say to myself that I don't have to do that anymore.

A x

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Feeling positive

Day 2. It feels good to have day 1 over and done with. Sometimes that's the hardest day. Now I feel like I can get into the business of being sober and each day takes me further away from that last drink.

I am feeling positive about this. It feels different somehow, and I hope this feeling is here to stay.

You may have noticed I changed my blog template. I thought I would try something different. A new beginning. Not sure if I will keep it, but I'll give it a go for a while.

So, Saturday today. Having a lazy morning so far. It's hubby's day for a sleep-in, so I feel that I can write on here in peace. He doesn't know about my blog, and I'm not sure if I want him finding out. He knows I want to cut down on drinking and supports me when I have had my periods of sobriety. But he doesn't think I have an alcohol problem. And I have let him believe that. I have spoken about how I can drink too much sometimes, but because I can stop for weeks at a time, he doesn't think I have a problem. I know I need to change this. But not yet. I will just tell him that I want to challenge myself to quit drinking for 100 days and see what he says. I know I should be honest about this, but I'm not ready.

My son is in the background and has been asking me what I am doing. What are you writing about mum? I find myself getting irritated with him, for interrupting me, for intruding into this special place I have created just for me. But he doesn't know, it's not his fault. He is just curious as to what I am doing. I need to have more patience. Something I need to work on.

So, here I am. Day 2. And so glad to be here.

A x

Friday, 8 May 2015

Day 1...again

So, back to day 1. I know I have had quite a few. But I can't worry about that right now. I just know that I have to start again and that means being back at day 1.

It's amazing how you can get to 25 days without alcohol and then undo it all in just a few days. It is so easy to get into the mindset of 'oh bugger it! I've stuffed up now, so may as well keep going'. But I'm not going to do that. Those 25 days without alcohol were awesome. It was 25 days that I didn't pour poison down my throat or have hangovers or shame or guilt. Sure, I may have stuffed up, but I have learnt from that. So here I am again.

I went out for dinner last night with some of the mums from school. There were six of us. Three of us had 2 glasses of wine and the other three just had water. No one questioned it. No one had to explain themselves. Well, one of them is pregnant so that's an obvious reason, but the other two just didn't drink. I did think of just having water too, but unfortunately I didn't. It was a lovely evening though, and thankfully, having wine didn't spoil anything.

But then I came home and had a few more glasses. And I decided that I'd had enough. I don't want to do this anymore. So I tipped the rest of the bottle down the sink (there was a little less than half a bottle left) I woke up tired and a bit seedy this morning. Little guy has been sick with a cold so I kept him home again today and we are having a quiet day. I don't want to feel like this again. Thankfully I haven't got a raging hangover, but I do have that tired feeling that only happens when you've had alcohol the night before. That not quite right feeling that is like no other. But NO MORE! I don't want to feel like this ever again!

I'm even thinking about signing up for the 100 day challenge. The thought of 100 days scared me but I think I need to do this.

A x

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A post I didn't want to have to write

I don't want to write this post. In fact, I thought about not writing it and instead carrying on as if nothing had happened. But of course I couldn't do that. I wouldn't only be lying to you guys, my wonderful support team, but I'd be lying to myself too. And that wouldn't be helpful at all.

So, you have probably guessed by now that I drank. I am so disappointed in myself. But in a sad way, I think I knew I would. My husband and I were celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. (I mentioned in an earlier post how every year we get a complimentary stay at the hotel where we had our wedding reception) We get to check in early in the afternoon and if it's a nice day we usually get a bottle of sparkling wine and some biscuits and cheese and dips and have it by the lake which across the road from where we stay. My husband asked me what we should get to drink and even said if I didn't want to drink, he would go AF too. So I had the perfect excuse not to. But what did I do?! I told him no, I think I would drink. It was a beautiful, sunny Autumn day and perfect for a champagne by the lake. And it was a celebration after all. Blah blah blah. I had been agonising about it for days beforehand, and yet I gave in just like that.

And it was a lovely day. We had a few drinks by the lake and then some more at dinner, and it was fine. I didn't disgrace myself. I didn't have a hangover the next day. But as I was sipping my drink and getting a warm buzz, I felt disappointed that I wasn't strong enough to abstain and enjoy the moment without alcohol. I had a few wines over the next few nights as well because why not? I had fallen off the wagon anyway, I may as well make the most of it. So, 25 days booze free and feeling really good about myself, and now back to square one. I didn't drink last night but I am going out to dinner tomorrow night with some girlfriends and I'm already thinking I will have a couple.

So, now I'm back to that mindset of trying to moderate. I don't have to give up forever. Why should I? I might drink a bit too much sometimes but doesn't everyone? I'm not an alcoholic. I don't need to be in recovery because I don't have a disease. I don't even thinking of my drinking again as being a  relapse. All this sobriety terminology doesn't apply to me. I'm making too big a deal about this having to quit thing. I'll just drink for a while and then have a break again. I have done it before so I know I can do it.

I'm sorry I've disappointed everyone. And thank you for your comments on my last post. I'm sorry I didn't reply to them, but I didn't want to have to admit that I'd had a drink.

Is it possible to have time out from sobriety? It just all seems too hard sometimes. I know I am a weak person for thinking this way. I should be stronger and trying to work harder on my emotional growth. I must be lazy because I don't think  I have the energy to keep trying. Not today anyway.

I was reading Mrs D's fabulous new post and she is so inspiring. I even made a comment that I should print it out and put it up somewhere to remind myself that living sober doesn't mean you have to be miserable and boring. Yet I'm still doubting myself. That I can do it for the long term.

I sometimes feel like I'm going around in circles. Like I'm on a constant merry-go-round. Will I ever be able to get off it?

A x