Sunday, 27 December 2015

Summer triggers

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

Saturday, 26 December 2015

A sober Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

Day 34.

A x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas everyone!

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

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

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

A x

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dinner and the theatre

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

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

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

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

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

A x

Friday, 18 December 2015

Feeling stressed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 26.

A x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Dinner with friends and hope for a sober Christmas

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

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

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

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

Day 25 today.

A x

Monday, 14 December 2015

First Christmas challenge completed

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

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

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

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

A x

Friday, 11 December 2015

Day 19

Day 19

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

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

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

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

A x

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Challenges ahead

Day 18

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

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

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

A x

Monday, 7 December 2015

Christmas triggers

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

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

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

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

A x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

I did it!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Help please!!

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

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

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

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

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


A x