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