Tuesday, 22 November 2016

One year

This day one year ago I decided yet again to give up alcohol. I had had countless day one's but I couldn't think about that. I had to try again. This time, I decided not to think about forever. Or my next birthday, or Christmas, or this event or that event. I just decided to give up for today. Just for today. One day at a time.

And here I am, one whole year on. Who knew I could do it?! I certainly didn't. I just knew that I had to keep trying, because I couldn't continue to live the way I was. Which was miserable. With a hole eating away at my soul.

I remember Anne from Ainsobriety telling me to 'wait for the magic to happen'. I so so wanted that to happen. So I waited, one day at a time. And slowly, it did.

Externally, I look just the same (although I have finally lost a few kilos!) but it's on the inside where all the change has happened. I feel like a different person. And it's still just the beginning really. I know there is more magic to come. And I can't wait!

I am sorry I have been absent from my blog. Often, I would think about writing a post, but time would get away, or the words wouldn't come. So I would just leave it for another day. And before I knew it, a week or a month had passed.

So what have I been doing?

I have been going to several meetings a week. Some weeks it's 3 or 4. Others it might just be 1 or 2. I find them really helpful. Listening to other people's stories makes me feel connected and not so alone. I am still really shy and don't speak to a lot of people, but it doesn't matter. In time, I know I will make friends. Just having an 'in real life' connection to people helps enormously.

We went on our annual 2 week holiday to a sunny resort. The same time last year I had nearly a month sober time, but as soon as we arrived, I made the decision to drink. And I did, every single night of the holiday. This time, I knew I wouldn't drink. It was still a wonderful holiday. I have to be honest and admit I did miss it a bit in the evenings, but I would just play the tape forward and that would be enough to put me off. I didn't want to go back there.

We went to our fancy ball again this year. And I had a fantastic time!! I was so nervous that the night would be boring, that I would struggle and feel left out. But I didn't! There was free flowing alcohol all around me and I just drank my diet coke and water and I was fine. I even danced! And when the music stopped at the end of the night, I thought it was only about 10.30 but it was well after midnight! That was a wonderful night and I feel like I passed a major milestone.

My son turned 10 the other day! I can't believe 10 years have gone by so quickly. It makes me sad to think I didn't quit drinking sooner. That I will never get that time back. But I have to accept that and move on and live for today. Not dwell on the past, which I can't change.

I am going to buy myself something special for my 1 year soberversary. Some jewellery I think. A part of me would love to get a tattoo, but then I think I'm being silly! Maybe one day.

So, I am finally starting to get to know myself. And even like myself. This is a major breakthrough! It's only taken me 48 years! But better late than never I guess.

I feel so much happier. I finally realised that I am responsible for my own happiness. It's not up to my husband, or my son, or the things around me. It's not money, or a new car (still haven't got one!) or the weight I want to lose. It's ME. I am the only one who can make me happy. And working on myself from the inside is helping me to do that. It's not a quick process for me, but the fact that it is finally happening fills me with so much joy.

So yes, I am still here! One year on. I will try and blog more often. But if I don't, I will still be here.

Thank you my wonderful sober (or not quite sober yet) blogging friends and my facebook group. I couldn't have done this without you all.

A x

Monday, 22 August 2016

9 months

Today I am 9 months sober! I still can't believe it sometimes. Who knew I could do it?!

My life has improved so much in these last 9 months. From the outside, everything looks exactly the same. The biggest improvement is internal. It's how I feel inside. Everything is so much better! I'm finally believing that all the wonderful things that long term sober people describe happening, is finally coming true for me.

My son had his First Holy Communion last Saturday evening. The church service was lovely and I was so proud of my little guy. He carried the candle up the aisle and the look of concentration on his face was priceless. He looked like a little angel.

We couldn't afford to have all the family at a restaurant, so decided to have them back at our place. We live in a 2 bedroom town house so we don't have a lot of room, but we've had the little guys birthdays here several times and it's been okay, so we knew we could do it.

Of course though, it involved a lot of stress!! The big guy doesn't handle stress very well so I was dreading it! But it all worked out in the end. Mum and I made a couple of salads, a few desserts and I made the Communion cake. I have never made a fancy occasion cake like this before so I was scared it would be a disaster, but it worked! I was so proud of myself. I really think I couldn't have pulled everything off if I was still drinking. Or maybe I could have, but I would have been a hundred times more stressed!!

It was a really lovely evening and everyone had a great time. There were 22 of us in our little house and it worked out fine. We could have used some more chairs but we all managed. And all our mad tidying paid off as our place looked great (although there is still papers and a heap of 'stuff' crammed in cupboards that I will have to go through, but oh well!)

I'm going to a meeting tonight to get my 9 month chip. I would really love to stay in as it's a feral day, but I will make an effort and go. I am always glad when I am there.

I just want to say to anyone who is hovering around the 100 day mark and are toying with whether to drink again or not, I highly recommend not to! Everything gets so much better once if you just keep going. Life really does get better. I think by finally surrendering to a life of not drinking, I am finally learning true happiness. I still have a way to go, but life is already so much better.

A x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


I haven't posted for a while. I'm getting slack! But I wanted to share something that happened yesterday.

I asked my little guy, who is 9 and 3/4, if he remembered how I used to drink wine. He said no. So I prompted him a little, saying yes you do, you know that yellow drink I used to drink in the evening? In the special wine glass? But no, he said he doesn't remember. Then I asked him if I've changed in the last few months, and he said yes. He said I don't get as cross, that I laugh at his silly voices instead of getting annoyed. I asked him if he notices that I'm happier these days, and he said he does.

This fills me with so much joy. That my son notices that I am a happier, more centered person.

I know a lot of this has to do with me taking the anti-anxiety meds. They have changed my life for the better which is such a relief. I was so fearful about taking them, but I needn't have worried. Who knew this is how people feel all the time?!

I feel so much happier. Things still aren't perfect. There are still issues with my husband. I would still love to leave my job and go somewhere else. I would still love to lose 15kg. I still have hip pain and my feet are awful. I still get impatient with my mum sometimes. But overall, I am so much happier and I take things in my stride.  I am trying to become a better person and learning to like myself, and I'm getting there, a little bit at a time. I have hope that the wonderful life that people in long term sobriety talk about is a possibility for me. That the magic will happen for me too.

Last Friday night we went out for dinner with my oldest friend and her husband. We don't see them very often, but when we do we just pick up where we left off and we can chat for hours. In the past, this would involve lots of wine. When we caught up with them before Christmas I had not long stopped drinking. I told her I was having a break and she didn't question it. She knew my father when we were kids and knows my family history, so she understood why I was questioning my drinking. This time, she didn't say anything at all. She had several wines with dinner and then a bottle back at our place. She was a little glassy eyed by the end but she seemed ok. I'm just glad I don't do that anymore. The following day, we were texting each other when she said she noticed that I wasn't drinking and if I had given it up completely. And I have to be honest, I hesitated when answering. I contemplated saying yes, but adding 'for now'. I was a little nervous saying 'yes for good' because that would make it official somehow. But then I thought, why am I hesitating? I HAVE given up completely. So I typed back yes and that I feel so much better for it. She was so positive about it. She even said she had thought about it but as she doesn't drink during the week so decided against it. It felt being honest about it.

We celebrated my older brother's 50th birthday on Sunday. It was a great day. We had lunch at a restaurant then spent a couple of hours at a nearby beach. It was a beautiful sunny, winters day and the kids rolled their pants up and had a ball in the shallows. My heart was filled with so much love for my family. I was just so happy, and I know a lot of that has to do with being sober. Had I still been drinking, I would have had several wines with lunch, then not had as much fun at the beach because I'd be wanting to get home and drink more. Being sober is so much better.

I feel so much more positivity in my life. Even work has been better lately. And it's all to do with my attitude. I think because I am feeling happier, it shines through in everything I do. I would still love to leave and work somewhere else, but in the meantime, it is a bit more bearable.

So my friends, life continues to get better. It takes time, but it is happening. Today I am 268 days sober. And I am just so grateful.

A x

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Out of my comfort zone

I went to a 50th birthday party last Saturday night. It was the first proper, grown up party I've been to since I got sober. I went there knowing I wouldn't drink. Thinking 'I've got this'. And I did. But it was a challenge.

We got there at 8pm and as soon as we walked in the door we were faced with cocktails! I just said no thanks and had a diet coke. There were a few people there already. Thankfully, there was a couple we knew who we hadn't see for a few years so we chatted to them for a while. I told them I don't drink anymore and they just accepted it, no questions asked, so that was a relief! I had my stash of diet coke caffeine free cans so I was all set.

Mr A was great. He kept my glass full and stayed with me. But he was drinking and as the night wore on, he started to mingle, which was fine. I didn't expect to stay glued to my side ALL night. I met a lovely lady who didn't know that many people either, so we chatted for a while. Then it was time for the speeches and we got separated, so I stood next to Mr A. I was feeling good and thinking this wasn't that hard after all! I can do this.

After the speeches, Mr A got into a discussion with a guy about football. By now he was getting quite tipsy! I was standing next to him awkwardly and felt a bit lost. I desperately looked around for someone to talk to but everyone was chatting to someone else. I didn't feel confident enough to walk up to them and join in the conversation, so I just stood there, feeling more uncomfortable by the minute.

Then a couple of girls I had been talking to earlier tried to drag me onto the dance floor. And I mean they actually grabbed my arm and physically tried to drag me onto the dance floor! But I resisted. I just couldn't do it. Something in me froze and I just couldn't dance.

I love dancing. I used to dance whenever I went out on the town. But that was a long time ago. And it was when I was drinking and had a lot of Dutch courage flowing through my veins. I felt sad the other night. I stood there in a panic, not knowing what to do with myself. I wanted to let my guard down and get out there on the dance floor and just have fun, but I couldn't do it. Maybe if I'd known the people better I could have done it. I don't know. I just know that by now I was feeling really anxious and I just had to get out of there. So I told Mr A that I wanted to leave and he understood. So I said a few goodbyes and he walked me out to the car. It was 11.35pm.

So I drove home, put on my pyjamas, and curled up on the couch with the computer and read my favourite blogs.

I felt disappointed that I didn't last longer at the party. But I'm glad I went and experienced it sober. I know I panicked but before that happened, I was having a good time. I think if I'd known more people it would have been better, maybe I might have even danced. Guess I'll never know!

Mr A got home at 3am and felt pretty miserable on Sunday. All I felt was relief that it wasn't me feeling like that!

So, the next time we go to a big fancy party, I am going to try and relax a bit more. Pretend no one is watching and have a dance. I have to remind myself that it's still early days. 8 months might feel like a long time, but in the big scheme of things, it's not long at all. So I'm not going to be too hard on myself.

A x

Friday, 29 July 2016

I am enough

I sent my little guy off to school today with green hair (It was crazy hair and casual dress day with a gold coin donation to raise money for the school fete). We were running a bit late so the school bell had already rung and we didn't see any other school kids. My son made me ask the lollipop lady at the school crossing if other kids had crazy hair too. Of course they did! But I understood where my son was coming from. He had a moment of insecurity that we got the day wrong and he would be the only one turning up with crazy hair and casual clothes.

I remember that feeling so well. I remember when I was about 10 or 11 and desperately wanting to be like everyone else. That fear of being different. Wanting approval so badly. Always feeling not good enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough (yes, even at such a young age!), not anything enough. Just always 'less than'. And it stayed with me all my life.

Since I've been going to AA meetings, it's a theme I've heard over and over again.  That feeling of being different to everyone else. I used to think it was just me. That there was something wrong with ME.  And it is such a relief to know that I am not the only one who feels like this.

Now that I have found sobriety, I have started to work on this. I tell myself that I am enough. That I AM good enough. That even if I am different, it doesn't matter, that it's okay. I am trying to be kind to myself and to like myself, and tell myself that I am loved. I tell myself that it doesn't matter what other people think of me, that not everyone will like me, but that's okay too. It's not always easy. But I have to remind myself that I can't change a life time of feelings in a few days or months, so I am trying to be patient with myself.

I guess it's about self-care. It's something that I have ignored all my drinking life, so I really need to do this for myself now in order to heal. It's going to take time, but I am determined! I am going to see a therapist (I just have to build up the courage to make the appointment!) so hopefully that will help. I am taking the medication and that is helping with my anxiety, which I lived with for years.

I hope the insecurity my son felt this morning is fleeting. That it won't become crippling like it was for me. I hope he grows up to be a well adjusted, confident and happy young man.

I am getting there, slowly. Baby steps.

A x

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

8 months

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. It's been a busy couple of weeks so I had a break from the blogging world.

Last week I had mum staying with me, which made blogging hard and going to meetings impossible. I was okay though. Since I started taking the anti-depressants I have been a lot calmer and able to handle situations that used to fill me with anxiety a lot easier. I love having mum to stay but after a week I start to get a little impatient with her, and although that still happened, it wasn't nearly as bad. It's wonderful not having the anxiety that used to made my heart clench and my stomach in knots. I wish I'd started taking them earlier!

I reached 8 months of sobriety the other day. I was getting frustrated that mum still hadn't said anything to me about not drinking, but I was determined not to bring it up first. But she finally acknowledged it! We were talking about my brother B who has a drinking problem and I was showing her some information on the computer about the effects long term alcohol abuse has on the body and how they apply to B, when she said that I was doing really well. I told her it had been 8 months since I my last drink and she said she was really proud of me. FINALLY! She mentioned that my older brother R had spoken to her about taking B to a meeting and I told her that I had been to a few. So we spoke about that for a bit. I didn't go into great depth about how bad I was but it was just good finally talking to her about it. And now, when she comes to stay, I can go to a meeting without having to hide it from her.  It's all such a relief to finally have it out in the open!

I had a super busy day at work on Sunday. But I was able to deal with it. Yes, it was still stressful but I handled it so much better that I would have when I was still drinking. I got through it and had no thoughts of buying alcohol on the way home because 'I deserved it' after such a busy and stressful day. The change is enormous and it feels so good not wanting to drink over it.

The little guy is much better. It's such a relief that he's on the mend. I hope we never have to go through something like that again! Staying sober through his illness was the best gift I could ever give him. I hate to think what it would have been like if he'd been sick last year when I was still drinking.

I can't believe that I am 8 months sober! When I first did Belle's 100 day challenge I got to the end and really struggled. The thought of never drinking again filled me with fear and I just couldn't handle it, so I started drinking again. I think I needed to go through that process to get to where I am today. I finally realised that I couldn't drink, ever. And when it all got a bit overwhelming I just took it one day at a time. I came to a level of acceptance that alcohol isn't for me, that it made me miserable and just wasn't worth it. It took me a long time to get here, but it feels so good to finally be here. For anyone still struggling, stick with it. It gets so much better! Life is not perfect, but it so much better. And I know it's only going to keep getting better. I can't wait!

We had my cousin's daughter visiting from Norway last week. She was travelling with a friend and they both stayed with my youngest brother and his wife and kids. It was so lovely to meet her. I haven't seen my Norwegian relatives since we left Norway when I was 6 (we lived there for 3 years as my father was Norwegian). Meeting her filled me with a yearning to travel to Norway and see all my relatives again. Hopefully one day! I will have to make a vision board and put that on there. Some people swear by them.

Anyway, there's not much else to say. I am off to work this afternoon and I hope it's a better shift today!!

A x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Back from holidays

I'm back after two weeks in the country. The little guy went back to school today and now I can get back into my routine again. I'm off to a meeting today, which I am looking forward to.

So, as predicted the start of the holiday started off with drama!

Mr A was very anxious and when he's like that he lashes out at me and the little guy. I actually told him that I know he was stressed but he can't be talking to us like that. He apologised later, but gosh it's hard to live with someone like that! It's like walking on egg shells!

It wasn't until we were 2 1/2 hours into the 5 hour trip that the little guy realised we were driving to grandma's house and not the beach house like he had thought. He was SO excited!! it was definitely worth surprising him! And mum and my brothers and their boys were really happy to see us too. It was wonderful!

Unfortunately, the little guys medical condition got worse despite the antibiotics, and we had to take him to the local hospital on the Tuesday night. There wasn't anything they could do though, as there was only a GP on call (it's a very small country town) so we drove down to a bigger hospital the next day an hour and half away. After a long wait we were seen by the paediatric surgeon and she diagnosed a medical condition called BXO (Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans) and he had to have an emergency operation. Thankfully, the surgery went well and we were able to drive back to mum's house again that night, so we were able to finish our two week holiday. We had thought we would have to drive back to Melbourne and go the the Royal Children's Hospital and have a heap of investigations! So we lucked out on seeing the paediatric surgeon, she was wonderful.

So, a dramatic start to the holiday! But it ended well, and we had a lovely time relaxing with my family. Because the little guy had to take it easy and could not run around, it was a good excuse to relax and do nothing!!

I started taking the anti-depressants on that first Monday. Thankfully I haven't had any side effects, other than tiredness, and I think they are starting to work a little bit. I will have to make an appointment to see the therapist soon. I am pretty nervous about it though!

Brother # 2, the one with the drinking problem, did pretty well that first week. He didn't drink for the first 4 days which really surprised me. I didn't get a chance to talk to him like I'd have liked, but I was proud of him for not drinking those few days. Unfortunately, it didn't last and he drank a LOT the last few nights he was there. Hopefully he saw me having fun not drinking and realised that it's possible.

One thing I was really annoyed about was the way mum kept going on about how pleased she was that my brother was really trying, yet she didn't make one single comment about me not drinking. I know I haven't made a big announcement or anything, but I thought she might have said something! Especially given how she used to say I that I drank too much and needed to cut down. Oh well, I can't let it get it to me. I am proud of me!

So, it's back to work tomorrow. I have really enjoyed having a break, it was really getting to me. Hopefully I will be going back with a fresh outlook.

Now I'm off to catch up on all my blogs!

A x

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Two weeks annual but not without drama!

I worked this afternoon and now I have two weeks annual leave! I am so excited!!

We are going up to mums in the country for most of the two weeks which we've never done before. Usually we have a week or 8 days, but never this long. It's going to be great!

We are going to surprise mum and 2 of my brothers and their kids who arrived up there today. They think we were coming up in the 2nd week and therefore will miss seeing them. They will be so happy too! And we are surprising the little guy too! He thinks we are going to my in laws beach house an hour and a half away. I wonder how long it will take him to realise we are driving a different way?!

So exciting times ahead!

It's a shame there are a few things that are not going great though.

First of all, I have been feeling down and anxious for a while now. I saw my doctor last week and he organised a care plan for me to see a therapist. I get 6-10 visits, which I am very happy about. I've been wanting to see someone for a long time now, and I'm so glad I finally had the courage to see someone about it.  He also gave me a prescription for anti-depressants. I am very nervous about taking them. After much consideration, I have decided to start taking them on Monday. I will let you know how they go (although apparently it takes a few weeks for them to work)

Secondly, the little guy has a urine infection and has been in tears. He is getting up every hour overnight to go to the toilet and a hundred time during the day. We can't see a doctor until tomorrow to get a prescription for antibiotics. It's going to be another long night. It breaks my heart to see him in pain.

Thirdly, the little guy told me tonight when I got home from work that Mr A has been yelling and swearing about not having any time to himself,  about no one doing anything for him and a bunch of other stuff. I am scared to bring it up with him, because I don't want him yelling at me (not that he does very often)  And I don't want to get the little guy in trouble for telling me. So what do I do?

Also, I know tomorrow is going to start off really bad. We all have to pack and for some reason, this makes both me and Mr A really anxious  and on edge, so there is bound to be an argument. All will be resolved once we hit the road, but I will hang on to the resentment and it will make me even more anxious.

But once we get there, all should be well and it will be great to see the surprise on everyone's face when we arrive!

Hopefully we will have a relaxing couple of weeks in the country side. I am so grateful to be sober so I can really relish the special times we have there.

I might not be on the blogs that much over the coming 2 weeks but I will try and keep up with you all and comment when I can.

It is now 12.30am , so I should go to bed. I'm off to get hot packs because it is 3.9 degrees celcius!! And it's going to be even colder where we are going because it is up in the mountains!!

I'll keep in touch.

A x

Thursday, 23 June 2016

7 months

Can you believe it? I'm 7 months sober today!  I have to pinch myself to see if it's true and not just a dream.

Yes, me! The girl with zero self esteem and who doesn't know who she is yet. She is me. This SOBER girl!

I have a long way to go. I am nowhere near knowing who I am and want I really want in life. But I am on the path. I am on my way. And for that I am so very very grateful.

A funny thing happened today.

My little guy has been bugging me for a fitbit. Yes, you heard that right. A FITBIT!! Kids at school have started wearing them and they are the real deal. The $189 dollar real deal. But I refuse to be drawn in. One of little guys best friend got one for his 10th birthday and I swear he only uses it as a watch. Or maybe he does look at the steps too, I'm not sure but whatever. It's very expensive present for a FAD!

So of course I am mean for not even considering getting one.

When I was in the city last week for my meeting, I went to the Victorian Market and found a kids digital watch for $5, so I bought it. It was black and had a narrow watch face and band and I thought it looked pretty cool (until Mr A told me it was a girls watch!). My little guy happily wore it but was sure to tell me that it was only temporary until he got a proper one. I didn't say anything to that.

Anyway, yesterday my little guy was swinging his arm around in the bathroom and his watch hit the bathroom basin and the screen cracked and you can no longer see the time. So that was very short lived!

The next thing he wants is a Milo Champion wrist band, Apparently it tells the time AND counts steps and all that jazz. 'They sell them at Woolworths mum,' he tells me.  How much? I ask. $40 he says. So I think to myself that that is a lot more reasonable that the Fitbit price so I go looking for one in my local store. And of course they haven't got them any more. They were all sent back to the company when the promotion was over. Great I thought, just my luck!!

So I asked the lady in the supermarket if she could ring another store to see if they had any left, but that was a no go too. So she offered to ring the actual company that makes them to see if they were still available to the public. She took my number and told me she would get back to me.

So I pay for my things and leave the store. I was going to go home but at the last minute decided to go to the shop next door, so parked my car again and went in to have a look.

Not long after, I got a phone call from the lady from the supermarket and she told me that she found one out the back of the shop and it was still sealed in the box and looked undamaged. And the you know what the best part was?! She offered to give it to me for nothing!! She said because they had all been sent back and no longer had a code or something, she wouldn't charge me for it.

I was so excited!! I went back to the supermarket (thank goodness I was only next door!) and sure enough, she had one for me.

So, in the end, I got my son his precious fitness band (which, mind you, is pretty good! The digital time and step counter etc lights up and looks just like the real deal) and I got it for nothing1 Funds are pretty tight at the moment so it was a HUGE relief! I was so thankful to that lady in the store. If I had gotten a different person, it most likely would not have worked out that way.

And in a weird way, I felt like God or my higher power or something, was looking out for me. I know He has much better things to do than find me free fitness bands, but I don't know, I could just feel Him somehow. So I'm going with that.

I know this story is not sobriety related, and that my 7 month post didn't go into my deep and meaningful reasons why I'm grateful to be sober, but I just felt like sharing that story. It made me feel good.

So yes, 7 months!!

A x

Thursday, 16 June 2016

My DUI story

Eighteen years ago, I got a DUI. It is something that I never talk about, because it is something to be ashamed of. I have buried it down deep inside of me and think of it rarely. But lately, as I have been trying to piece together my story, I've been thinking about it. And I thought I would share it here.

It wasn't my fault of course.

Towards the end of my university degree, my then boyfriend and I went to one of his colleagues 40th birthday party. This guy and his wife, whilst they were older than us, were quite good friends of ours. I was 30 years old at the time.

Anyway, over the course of the night, I drank more than half a bottle of bourbon on my own. At the end of the night, my boyfriend and I did the right thing and got a cab home. Unfortunately, on our return home I realised that I had left my handbag, along with the house keys, back at the party. Thankfully the taxi was still there so we got back in and went back and got my handbag.

So we got home and inside, and understandably, my boyfriend was really pissed off with me. He was pretty drunk too. The next thing I know, I'm being pushed into the wall and I hit my head on the corner of the wall and it starts bleeding. (I will point out here that this is not the first time that he had been rough with me)

I started to panic and was too scared to be in the house with him, so what did I do? I got in my car, and I drove to the police station!!

I don't really know what I was thinking. The only thing I think I was thinking, was that once before when my bf had been abusive, I had done the same thing. That time, the police had driven me home and been really sympathetic. They had spoken to my bf and given him a warning. So I think I thought the same thing would happen again. Clearly, my thinking was all over the place.

Anyway, I managed to get there in one piece and not harm anyone else along the way (which to this day I am so thankful for. I hate to think how I could have hurt myself or someone else).

I didn't get a lot of sympathy this time. It was a few years after the first incident so I'm guessing that the policeman on duty had no idea of my previous visit. Anyway, they wanted me to charge my boyfriend, but I got scared. I was too scared of what he would do to me if I did, so I refused to do it. They told me that if I didn't charge him, they would have no choice but to charge me with drunk driving.

By now I was panicking. I couldn't lose my license! I had clinical placements coming up for my uni course and had no way of getting there if I didn't have my license!

I thought of one of my uni friends. Her husband was a policemen, and whilst he didn't work in this town, he would know a lot of the police there. So I rang her (it was the early hours of the morning by this stage) and she kindly came in a couple of hours later. And even though her husband did know some of the people who worked at this particular police station, it didn't make an ounce of difference.

I was going to lose my license.

My friend drove me home. It was so nice of her to drive the 30 minutes from her town to help me, and I was so embarrassed. But I was angry too that the police didn't let me off. How dare they charge me?!

I crept inside and went to sleep in the spare bed. I told my boyfriend later in the day and I was so pissed off with him because it was all his fault. I can't remember what he said but I do know that he wasn't very sympathetic and I don't think I got an apology for the abuse. I think he just thought he was pissed and he shoved me, no big deal.

In the end, I was able to drive for a month before the 12 month loss of license kicked in, so I was able to drive to my placements at one of the local hospitals. Then after that, I would ride my bike to uni and wherever I needed to go. I told my employer that my car had broken down so couldn't drive to work, so a colleague who lived near me would pick me up and take me to and from work. It never occurred to me to drive without a license (I know a lot of people do this).

I had to pay a fine, and lost my license for 12 months. I never told my mum. I drove up to mums a few days after and my brother came with me. I had a bruise above my eye which I covered up with makeup. I think I told my brother but it's something we never talk about, so I can't really remember!! I know I told my older brother because he drove my car a few time for me when he was visiting.

I used to be so resentful of my bf. I used to blame him for it. If he hadn't been violent and pushed me, it would never have happened. Which may be true, but I have learnt over the last few years to look at it properly and to own my part in it. Yeah, he pushed me, but I shouldn't have driven drunk. I could have hurt someone.

So that's my shameful story. You can see why it's something that I never talk about. But it is a part of my story. And it's an important one.

Do you want to know why? Because it changed my life. For the better.

When I finished uni, I had to do a graduate nursing year. We had to pick 4 hospitals and go through the interview process. So I chose 3 country hospital and one the big city, 3 and a half hours away. With public transport being non-existent in the country, I told my boyfriend I would have to go the hospital in the city. There wasn't much he could say as I didn't have a licence and wouldn't be able to get to work if I chose one of the hospitals in the counry.

So I moved to Melbourne, and would visit him when I had a few days off in a row. Towards the end of my 12 months there, I had to go to drink driving school and then go to court to get my license back. For another 12 months (or was it 3 years? I can't remember!!) I had to have zero alcohol in my blood when I drove.

And at the end of my graduate year, I told my bf that I would not be moving back to the country with him. I was going to stay in Melbourne, and we broke up.

So you see, it was the best thing that could have happened to me in a way. If I hadn't lost my license, I would have stayed in the country and would probably still be with him. God knows what my life would be like now.

I still ended up with a drinking problem. But at least I got married and had my beautiful son.

And now I can really start to know myself. Find out who I am. I am on a journey of self discovery and it's the most important journey of all.

A x

Friday, 10 June 2016

Reflections on day 201

I've been thinking about when I went from being a normal drinker to being a problem drinker, and I think it was as far back as my early to mid 20's.

I was living in a large country town an hour and a half away from the small country town where I lived during my high school years and where mum still lived. My boyfriend at the time was a shift worker and was on a rotating roster doing day, afternoon and night shifts.

He would get home after an afternoon shift at about 11.15pm and we would watch a movie, sometimes 2, and drink into the early hours of the morning. When he was on night shift, I would sit up late, drinking by myself, having convinced myself that I needed wine to help me to sleep.

I would buy a 4 litre cask of wine (riesling, can you believe it?!!) and it would last me 3-4 days. I would rotate bottle shops so the person behind the counter wouldn't think I had a problem with drinking. And I had to always have some in the fridge so I wouldn't run out.

My boyfriend drank a lot too. He was quite possessive, so I didn't have any girlfriends. I guess you could say that alcohol was my best friend. Other than working on a casual basis at one of the local hospital as a State Enrolled Nurse, my life didn't have a lot of purpose. I would spend half the day in bed, trying to sleep off the hangovers. On the days that I worked, I usually worked an afternoon shift so I could still sleep in.

I remember one time, mum and I were going down to Melbourne for a short trip (we were probably going to a ballet or something, I can't remember exactly why we went that particular time). We met at the train station at about 11.30 in the morning to catch the train for the 3 and a half hour trip. Sometime during the trip, mum made a comment about being embarrassed to be seen with me because I looked tired and reeked of alcohol, and that she was worried about me. I remember being mortified, but also resentful that she would make such a comment, and I thought "I'll show her!"

So after that trip, I stop drinking during the week and would just drink on the weekends. And I did this for quite a while. I eventually went to university when I was 28 to get my Bachelor of Nursing and I managed to get to uni most days, so I don't think I was drinking every night then. But my memories are hazy so I'm not 100% sure.

I find it sad that I don't remember everything. That my memories are hazy. I just know that I was drinking problematically in my early twenties, years before mum made her comment.

I wasted my 20's drinking too much alcohol and living with a man I wasn't happy with, and I will never get that time back.

I sometimes feel like I blinked and missed my life. How sad is that?

My 30's were a whole new chapter in my life, so I will continue with that story next time.

Am so happy to be 201 days sober today! I wanted to blog yesterday on day 200 but Mr A was home sick so I didn't get the chance. Oh well, blogging on day 201 is pretty awesome too!

A x

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Rock bottom

I never really hit rock bottom. Not like the ones you read about anyway. You know the ones. The ones who lose their jobs, their homes, their family. They live on the streets, sleep on park benches and drink booze out of a brown paper bag. I fear my brother is heading this way, which scares the hell out of me.

But me? Nothing remotely like that.

But then, one persons idea of rock bottom might be completely different to another persons.

I was in a lousy place and whilst I still had a home, a husband and a job, I couldn't keep living the way I was. I was miserable.

Last year, just before I started my first 100 day challenge, I had a version of my own rock bottom.

I had had 3 weeks of sobriety but relapsed the night before. My friend C had me and our other friend G over for a drink and a movie. Mr A had been in a really shitty mood and I was so pissed off with him for it that when the chance to drink arose, I didn't hesitate. I felt justified. So I had a big bitch to my friends and I drank a lot that night.

So, by Saturday night, after another day of Mr A being in a fowl mood, I drank again and the anger in me eventually burst out in a nasty vitriol. I said some things that weren't very nice and because I had been drinking it came out completely different than I really wanted.

Mr A stormed off to bed and I sat up late, stewing. I took a sleeping tablet because I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep (yes really!!) and while I was waiting for that to work, I got all maudlin looking at old photos of the little guy as a baby, and decided to watch a video (dvd) of him that I hadn't watched for years. It was a home video that my brother-in-law had taken at the hospital when he was born. In it Mr A and I are giving him his first bath. It was such a special video and I sat there with tears streaming down my face, taken back to that very special time in my life. I was in quite a state.

I got up the next morning and as would be expected, felt AWFUL!! Not only did I have to do some damage repair with hubby, I had to get ready for work. As I was struggling to get breakfast down, I noticed the case for the dvd I had been watching the night before sitting on the table. It was empty. When Mr A was out of the room, I checked the computer to see if I had left the dvd in there, but it wasn't there. I had a quick look around but couldn't find it. I had to get ready for work so just thought I would find it the next day.

I went off to work and somehow managed to get through the day. And when I got home that night, I drank again. Because even though I had been feeling crap during the day, I had perked up by the time I got home from work.

I didn't go crazy that night, 'just' had a bottle of wine and no dramas this night. But the next day, I couldn't find the dvd anywhere! I searched desperately for it but just couldn't find it. My memory for that night was completely blank. I remember watching the dvd, the tears steaming down my face, but beyond that, nothing. I'm not sure if this was a blackout or because of the sleeping tablet I took, but whatever the case, I just had no memory of where I put the dvd.

That was the day I started my first 100 day challenge.

I never did find the dvd. It fills me with a deep shame to think I am the one who lost it whilst under the influence of alcohol. And to this day, I have never told Mr A about it. It is just too upsetting, and I'm scared he would be angry. Which he would have every right to be.

So, in a way, that was my rock bottom. Unfortunately, I started drinking again on day 102 and it would take me around 2 and a half more months for me to start my 2nd (and final I might add!) 100 day challenge.

Whenever thoughts of drinking again, of thinking I might be able to moderate now pop into my head, I think back to that night. To the loss of that very special video of my darling son. That I will never get back (unless there is a miracle and it turns up someday in some obscure place).

So today I find myself on day 193 - 6 months, 1 week and 4 days sober.

And I never want to go back to my rock bottom again.

A x

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Drama queen

It seems that drama follows me around!

(Warning, not really related to sobriety post ahead)

Last Sunday we went to a friends son's christening. It was at a Greek Orthodox church so the ceremony was in ancient Greek (apparently!) so we couldn't understand a word of it. The poor baby (who was just under 2) cried the whole way through! Afterwards, they had a reception type lunch at a Greek restaurant, which was lovely.

On each table, they had a couple of small olive trees in pots. At the end of the lunch, Mr A was eying one off. Apparently you could take one home if you were quick enough.

Anyway, we thought we would get the one at our end of the table, but when we went to get it it was already accounted for. I wasn't particularly worried as I don't eat olives, but I think Mr A was a bit disappointed.

As we were leaving, I went to say goodbye to a girl (who I will call J) who is good friends with the child's mum L. I used to work with her on my ward but she left about 8 or 9 years ago. We weren't particularly close, in fact we weren't really friends at all. It's funny how she ended up being such good friends with L as they weren't the best of friends either. But somehow, when I was on maternity leave, something happened between a few girls at work and these two ended up being best friends. I secretly called them the odd couple.

Anyway, I felt a bit awkward going up to her, but I thought we are all grown ups and I should let bygones be bygones. Plus she is good friends with L so I should respect that and make an effort.

So I went up to J and said goodbye. We said the obligatory 'we must catch up for coffee' and I noticed that she was quite drunk! Then she asked me if we got an olive tree, to which I told her no, but that was ok. She then proceeded to pick one off the table near us. The one with all the christening presents on it. She was quite insistent so I said thank you, thinking Mr A would be pleased and we left.

As we were walking back to our car (which I would drive. Yay!) Mr A told me that it was probably L's tree as it had been on the table with the presents! But he said don't worry about it and we kept walking. He had had quite a few drinks too and was pleasantly tipsy (Don't you just love that expression?! What can possibly be pleasant about having your mind altered by a poisonous substance?! Anyway, I digress... ),  and he didn't seem to think it was a problem since the tree was given to us, it wasn't like we had just taken it.

But I was worried that L would be upset with us for taking her tree. I sent her a text thanking her for such a great day, hoping to get a vibe on how she felt about the tree but she didn't get back to me.

So all the next day I worried about it. I worried ALL day. I worried that L would be upset because she didn't have her olive tree to plant as a keepsake from her son's baptism. I worried that J would say that she didn't actually give it to us and that we just took it (after all, there was history between us) I agonised over a lost friendship over an olive tree. I contemplated texting her and saying 'I think we have your tree' but I didn't.

So, by the time Mr A got home from work I was beside myself. I snapped at him and the little guy. I was like a mad person!

Mr A asked me what was wrong, so I told him. And you know what? The lovely man said he would take it to L (she only lives 5 minutes from us) He said he would explain what happened and say that I was worried that she didn't get one. He said that he knew I would feel better if we did the right thing.

So he took the offended olive tree and I waited.

I listened to sober podcasts with my headphones on as I tried to calm myself down.

Then, about 20 minutes later, I had a phone call from L. She was so thankful that Mr A dropped the tree around, but she said she would have been quite happy for us to have it. She explained that she and J had organised the trees and were so glad that they all found homes. She wasn't worried at all that we got the one off the table with the christening presents but was pleased that she had one to plant after all. She didn't text me back the night before because she was so exhausted after such a big day, and she was so grateful that we were able to attend her son's special day.

So you see? Such drama!!

I sometimes wonder if I create drama or if it follows me around. I agonise and agonise over things and it's exhausting!!

The wonderful thing though about all this, is that I didn't drink. In the past, this would have been a great excuse to pour a glass of wine at 4 o'clock to calm my nerves. I would have deserved it after all I had been through.

This time though, I listened to my podcasts, apologised to my husband for being so difficult and breathed a huge sigh of relief that the drama was over.

And once again, I had made a mountain out of a molehill!

Now, I'm off to a meeting.

A x

Friday, 27 May 2016

The big disaster

I worked on Tuesday afternoon and evening. It was really, really busy (just for a change!) and as usual I got out of work over half an hour late. All the other staff had already left. I was really pissed off that no one had come to see if I was doing ok or even to say goodbye. So I left work in a really bad mood.

As I was driving home, it occurred to me that this was EXACTLY the sort of night that would have seen me dropping into the bottle shop and buying 2 bottles of wine (I would have to buy 2 in case Mr A wanted some. I had to have a whole bottle for myself)

I think I have written about this in my blog before. I would get home, stay up late drinking. The first glass would go down really well and do it's work; relaxing me a bit and making me feel a bit better and all the while having a huge vent about my shit day to Mr A. I would then sit up drinking until 1-2 in the morning and feel like utter crap the next day.

But since I don't do this anymore, I drove right past the bottle shop and thought about how great it was that I don't drink anymore.

But i was still really pissed off! So naturally I had to vent.

I recently joined a private recovery support group on Facebook which I have found really helpful. So I posted a bit of a speel on there. I wrote how I was pissed off with my colleagues for leaving without seeing if I needed help or even saying goodbye. I went on to say how 6 months ago I would have dropped into the bottle shop and bought 2 bottles of wine (and why I would need 2) and how I am so glad that I don't do that anymore and that I am so grateful to be sober. It felt good to get it off my chest and I was looking forward to getting some supportive comments.

I decided to watch Nashville (I'm up to season 4 and I was devastated to hear that it's been cancelled after this season!!) and kept checking the Facebook page to see if anyone had left a comment. I couldn't see any so I continued to watch my show.

In the meantime, Mr A popped down to the supermarket to get some diet coke cans (it was the last day of the special) so about 15-20 minutes went by. Then I had a sudden thought. Where was my post? I hadn't actually seen it on the private page. And that's when I suddenly felt sick.  Where had I posted it if not on the private page?!

I went back to my regular Facebook page and sure enough, there it was. For EVERYONE to see!! I absolutely panicked and deleted it straight away, but my heart was racing and I felt sick. What had I done?!! What if someone saw it?!!

Before deleting it, I noticed that I had one comment. It was from a guy who used to work on my ward and I still keep in contact with. He just said he was sorry that this had happened. And that was it. He didn't say anything about me being sober or anything.

I can't believe I did that!!!

But the funny thing is, I am more worried about what I said about my work colleagues than I am about outing myself for not drinking anymore. What if someone saw it. It would only take one person to see it and the gossip to start. I am still SO worried about what other people think of me, and I hate it. Why can't I not worry about it anymore? Who cares that work people may have seen I was upset because they were selfish and not helping out a team mate? But I hate the thought that they know what I was thinking and that I vented about it on Facebook.

So you see, it was a BIG disaster!

I am praying that no one saw it (other than that guy, and I emailed him and told him I was so embarrassed by what I did and that I meant to write it somewhere else, He said he thought that must be the case). But I can't change it. It happened and I can't take it back.

You what though? I went to a meeting yesterday and I shared! (yes, at my 4th meeting!) I was VERY nervous, but I did it! I just talked about what happened on Facebook, and I felt like no one was judging me and everyone was very supportive. It was wonderful. So, even though it was a disastrous thing to happen, something good came out of it.

But I still feel sick about going to work tomorrow.

A x

Monday, 23 May 2016

My 1st meeting

I went to my first meeting on Friday. It was in the city so I went in on the train (I could have driven but I hate having to look for a park and the train is just easier). There aren't any other afternoon meetings locally which is why I went to the one in the city. I even told my husband that I was going ( I did think of lying and telling him that I was going shopping instead but then I thought I didn't want to have to make up an excuse every time I go so it would be easier to be honest from the start. Besides, he was off work that day so he drove me the train station).

I know the meetings are confidential but I want to write about my experience in the hope that it will help others who may be thinking of going but aren't sure what to expect. I will not break any confidences (I didn't know anyone there anyway) so I will just be describing what the room was like and the basics of the meeting.

I arrived on time. 5 minutes early actually. So I stood outside and pretended to be looking at my phone whilst checking out the area. I saw a couple of guys enter the meeting with coffees in their hands, so I grabbed myself a can of diet coke so I had something do do with my hands. Not sure why that was important!

There was a sign that said AA meeting with an arrow pointing to the room where it was being held. Everyone walking past could see the sign, which put me off for a second. What if someone saw me go in? The odds of someone I knew being there were low but still... I didn't really want people see me going in. But then I thought, who cares, I came here for a purpose and I am going to go through with it. So I went in.

There were chairs lined up in a row and facing the front of the room. A man sat at a table at the front, and he seemed to be running the meeting. The room was already nearly full so I took an aisle seat half way up the room (maybe subconsciously I did that in case I needed to make a quick get-away!). The girl sitting next to me introduced herself and shook my hand. She was very welcoming and I was put at ease immediately. I relaxed back into my seat, curious to see what would happen next.

The man at the front of the room (I guess you could call him a chair person?) asked if this was anyone's first meeting so I put my hand up. A few others put their hands up too. Everyone were very welcoming and I felt really glad to be there.

The chair person then chose several people to speak. If they didn't want to 'share' they just said hi, my name is such and such and I am alcoholic, and stated how many days/months/years they had and the next person was then chosen.  They stood up the front and spoke about their experiences with alcohol and their recovery.

I felt at home in that room. and as though I had a connection with these people that I had never met before. It was an amazing feeling and it stayed with me all day.

Afterwards, a few women came up to me and introduced themselves to me, and one of them gave me a starter pack. They were really friendly. People were chatting outside, so I stood there for a second but I felt really shy so I left.

I am so glad I went. My only disappointment was that they didn't hand out any chips. I was on day 180 and I really wanted a 6 month chip! Oh well, maybe the next meeting I go to will have them.

I will definitely be going back. Even though it's a bit far away, I liked the lunch time meeting as it means I can go when the little guy is at school. That particular meeting runs everyday (except Sunday and I work on Sundays anyway). I was thinking of going to a different meeting closer by on Saturday afternoon but I didn't get there. So I am planning on going to one tonight.

So that was my first meeting. I loved it. Even though I am 6 months down the track I think meetings will be beneficial. I kind of wish I had gone to them from the start, they would have helped so much. Maybe I would be further along emotionally if I'd gone earlier. Oh well. I'm 6 months sober and that's the main thing. Now I can move onto the next stage of my sobriety and meetings will hopefully help me do that.

If you aren't sure if meetings are for you or not, I highly suggest you go. Just to see what they are about. And if they aren't for you, you don't have to go back. That's just my thought on it anyway.

A x

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

12 months on

Twelve months ago today I started my first 100 day challenge.  At the time, 100 days seemed impossible to me, but I knew I just had to try it. Prior to that, I had tried desperately to stay sober but just couldn't make it stick. In January that same year, I managed 24 days, February 23 days, March a dismal 7 days, April 25 days and by May, I was just sick and tired of going back to drinking each time. So I took the bull by the horns and signed up for Belle's 100 day challenge.

For some reason making that pledge to Belle, and to myself, worked. I didn't drink for 102 days and I loved every minute of it. I'm not saying it was easy, because I certainly had my moments of cravings, but like I said, making that pledge made a huge difference.

I told Mr A a week or so in that I wasn't drinking for 100 days. By then he was used to me stopping and starting so wasn't so surprised and was very supportive. I told a couple of my friends, and they too were supportive. My friend C, who I write about a fair bit, was supportive, but she didn't really get it. She would offer me drinks when we went out, or say, just have one or two. So I had to be firm and stick to my guns, even though I saw the disappointment in her eyes. Now it seems to have sunk in. She has asked me a couple of times if I will ever drink again and I just tell her I'm not sure, but probably not. I'm not sure why I can't be 100% honest with her. Maybe a part of me is scared that she won't want to hang out with me anymore. Silly and juvenile I know, but I can't help it. But I am getting there, and I think she is getting used to it too. We'll go out and she has her wine or champagne and I will have my diet coke. And it's fine. I am sure glad that it's not me the next day with a sore head!!

Last year though, I made the mistake of telling her when the 100 days were going to be up, and I think that was my mistake. She kept asking me what day I was up to and when was my time going to be up. The day after the 100th day our boys had their school disco. So she and her hubby came around prior with a bottle of champagne to celebrate. And what did I do? I celebrated my 102 days of sobriety by drinking champagne!! I don't blame them though. I think in my heart I wanted to try moderating again and really thought I could do it.  We finished off the bottle before we went to the disco, then we came back to our place and polished off a bottle of wine between us. So that was the start of me trying to moderate. A big fat failure!

Following on from that, I only managed a handful of sober days in September, NONE in October and by November I had had enough again.

My last drink was on November 22nd 2016. Today is day 178. Nearly 6 months. And I am in a much better place this time. The thought of never drinking again used to terrify me. I would think of future special occasions and holidays and couldn't imagine them without my beloved wine or champagne. But this time I decided not to think in terms of forever. I decided to take the advice of those who had gone before me and advised to take it 'one day at a time'. It really works. And before you know it, you string enough days together that you don't want to go back to those miserable days of hangovers and shame.

Anything is possible. I never would have imagined it, but it really is. Anne from Ainsobriety told me once to wait for the magic to happen. I never got to that place before, and I am not there 100% yet, but I am getting there. I have come too far now to go back. I want the magic to happen and I am determined to get there.

Friday is day 180 and I am planning on going to my first meeting. It's time I really start working a program and dealing with my past. I am terrified of going but I am going to go. So, wish me luck!

A x

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Day 174

I went out for dinner the last two nights. Thursday night was with my in-laws for my father-in-law's birthday, then last night I went to dinner and the movies with four mum friends from school. It's interesting because over both nights, not one person asked me if I wanted an alcoholic drink or why I wasn't having one. I guess my in-laws are used to me not drinking now and as for my friends, it was a non-issue. It's amazing how little it matters to people who don't have a drinking problem.

My oldest brother R was over tonight with his boys. He drinks too but not nearly as much as my younger brother B (the 'real' alcoholic) Once again we got talking about B and how worried we are about him. I showed R my sobriety counter on my phone, which says 174, and he was so proud of me. He told me I may as well keep going and I told him I intend to. It's funny, even with all our family history, with our dad being an alcoholic and dying as a result, I still hesitate to say I have stopped 'forever'. Why is it so hard? By not admitting it am I giving myself an out in case I drink again in the future? I don't really know why. I did tell him that I intend to go to an AA meeting and he said it's a good idea. I have been thinking of asking B if he will come with me to a city meeting. It would give me a good excuse to go and it might also get B thinking about quitting if he hears other peoples stories. I don't know how he'll take it, but I guess the worst that can happen is that he says no, in which case I will just go by myself.

Like many of you, I have been reading how Annie (A Dappled Path) and SoberMummy (Mummy was a secret drinker) met up the other day and what a good time they had. I am so envious! I so wish I could meet up with some of my sober blogging friends. It seems though, that the bulk of you live either in the UK, the US or Canada, and I feel really lonely. I would so love to have a sober friend in real life. This is partly why I want to go to a meeting, to make a real life connection.

I've been wanting to have a chat with the little guy about how I used to drink and why I stopped. I have so much guilt over the years I drank when he was smaller and I just can't get past it. So today, as we were driving to the movies, I asked him "you know how mummy used to drink wine every night...?" I wanted to ascertain what his thoughts were about it and tell him why I've stopped, and you know what he said? He told me doesn't remember! I said "really?! Are you sure? Remember the glass of yellow liquid mummy used to keep on the floor next to her feet?" And he said no, he doesn't remember. I couldn't believe it! So I just said "well anyway, mummy stopped because it wasn't good for me and she wanted to get healthy". But I couldn't let it go. So later this evening, as we were watching Dr Who, I asked him again. "Are you sure you can't remember when mummy used to drink wine every night?" And again, he said he didn't remember. "It doesn't matter mum" he told me when I pressed him again.

It does matter though. To me it does. I'm glad he doesn't remember and that he isn't scarred from my bad behaviour, but I still feel so guilty. I can still here his little voice "are you getting up now mummy?" as I tried to sleep off yet another hangover. How many times did he ask that question? Far too many. So many years wasted, that I won't get back. Now I just have to figure out how to get past this.

I am trying to make up for it now. I am trying to be really, truly present for my son. To spend as much time with him as possible. To be patient, and not so cross. I still have my moments; I am human after all,  but I am really trying. I tell him all the time that I love him, and that I'm proud of him. And I kiss him, and hug him, and savour this time with him. Because soon he will be older and won't have time for me. He will wipe my kisses off and not look back and wave to me at the school gate. I won't be the main person in his life forever. Which makes me sad. I guess it's just the way it is. But I will always have this time, and I want him to hold a special place in his heart that he keeps just for me.

The big guy is at the footy (football) tonight so we have had a special evening. Pancakes for dinner and an episode of Dr Who, and I let him stay up extra late. Now he is in bed reading, then I will go in and we'll have a chat and a cuddle before he goes to sleep.

I am so lucky to have him. And even though he will never be blessed with a brother or a sister, he will always have me.

Have a great weekend everyone.

A x

Thursday, 12 May 2016

A deep sadness

Last night I was chatting with the little guy as he lay in bed, when he said 'I wished I had a brother or a sister'. When I told him that I was sorry he doesn't have a sibling because mummy couldn't have one, he went on to ask, can't we adopt one? Or buy one. 'Can you buy kids mum?'

This filled me with sadness. One of my biggest heartbreaks is that I wasn't able to have another child. I still get sad when I see women with prams. In fact, I was at the shopping centre just yesterday and I was nearly in tears when I sat down for lunch as it reminded me of when I used to take the little guy shopping with me in the pram at the same shopping centre. I cherish that time, and can't get past the fact that I will never get to experience it again.

How do you explain to a 9 year old why you were unable to have more kids? I tried to tell him that I dad a sore tummy and that was why I couldn't have another baby in there.

I feel sad that I may be partly responsible for my medical condition. Apparently, drinking excessive alcohol may contribute to getting endometriosis. To think I am responsible for my infertility is even more heartbreaking. How do I live with this? How do I move on?

I haven't spoken to anyone about this. How can I? So I just suffer in silence. But I don't know how much longer I will be able to do this. It's eating me up inside.

I have many regrets over the way I have lived my life. But this would have to be my biggest one.

I am sorry this is not a very cheerful post. I just had to get it out.

A x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Saturday mornings

I love Saturday mornings.

Back in 2014, when I did my first sober stretch (Dry July) I wrote my first blog post. It was also my first sober Saturday, and I was so excited to be there. I was on day 5 and it was all so new, and I remember the amazing feeling of experiencing my first sober Saturday since... forever!!

I love waking up without a hangover and having a little sleep-in, and then catching up on all my sober blogs.

It's just so lovely not having to worry about how much I drank the night before. Not having to do any damage control from a drunken argument with my husband the night before.

Saturday mornings are just so much better all round.

I thought I should right this down, because if I ever decide that drinking again on the weekend would be okay, I can refer back to this post and knock some sense back into myself!

I am so tired though! I haven't been sleeping well, and it's catching up with me. I thought by now I would be refreshed and energised but instead, I am constantly tired and it's beginning to show. I look just as bad as I did when I was drinking. It's so not fair!

I had an MRI recently for my hip pain, and it showed that I have two torn tendons in my hip/buttock area. It can be really painful, especially at night, and it's getting me down. I am waiting to get an appointment with an orthopaedic clinic to see what treatment options are available, but until then, I have to put up with the pain. It is so depressing because I want to exercise but I can't.

Despite this though, I am not drinking. In the old days, it would have been a great excuse to feel sorry for myself and to get stuck into the wine every night.  Now, it's not even an option. It would only make me feel worse and I so don't want to go back there.

So, even though I am tired, and I admit, feeling a bit sorry for myself, I am so thankful to be sober on this beautiful Saturday morning.

Day 167.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A quiet day

Having a quiet day today. It's lovely!

We went out to dinner last night with my friend C and her hubby D. As usual they had a few drinks, and ended up having an argument right in front of us! It was funny (well, not really!) I could see that it was the alcohol talking. I know they wouldn't have been arguing if they hadn't been drinking. So glad that is not me anymore!

I slept better last night. No pounding head or racing heart (thank God!). But I did go to bed later so I am still tired. My reasoning for that was so I would be extra tired therefore I would fall asleep quicker. It worked, but it's not ideal. I just wish I could go to bed at a reasonable hour and sleep the whole night through!

I bought a couple of new books recently. 'This Naked Mind' by Annie Grace arrived first, then' Get Sober Get Free' by Veronica Valli. Oh how I love getting parcels in the mail, especially lovely new books! Then, the other day another parcel arrived and I had no idea what it was. It turned out to be another book, this one called 'A sober mom's guide to recovery' by Rosemary O'Connor. I had completely forgotten I ordered it! So a lovely surprise!. I'm still reading Lucy Rocca's book so when I finish that I will read one of my new ones. Am so excited!

Have a great day everyone.

A x

PS I know you probably aren't reading this Anne, but I want you to know that I am thinking of you and your family. It must be a terrifying ordeal to go through and I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. A xx

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A super busy week!

Wow, it's two weeks since I last blogged. Where has the time gone?!

Well, a bit's been going on. 

Last Thursday marked the 20th year anniversary of a tragedy that occurred in my husbands family. I can't really talk about it here, but it was a highly emotional few days for us all.

Then last Friday we took my brother-in-law out to lunch for his birthday. His new girlfriend (he is separated from his wife) was there, plus my mother and father-in-law. It was a lovely lunch, but I found myself having to explain why I wasn't drinking anymore. Firstly, my brother-on-law produced a bottle of wine and said that he knew I wasn't drinking anymore but I was welcome to have a glass if I wanted one. Wtf?! Then I found myself having to explain why I wasn't drinking anymore. I didn't really mind, but I was pretty evasive. I just told them that I felt like a break, want to lose weight and be healthier and that alcohol doesn't agree with my endometriosis, which is all true. Everyone was supportive and proud of me, but I can't help be annoyed that I have to explain it at all. Why can't I just say I don't drink anymore? That I gave it up. Like smoking. I guess it will always be the same. Anyway, the main thing is that I had a lovely lunch with family and I didn't drink.

It was our 12th wedding anniversary last week. Normally that would be celebrated with several glasses of champagne and wine. Every year on our anniversary, we get a complimentary stay at the hotel where we had our wedding reception. It's a fantastic deal and we've gone back every year. Of course, this usually involves lots of alcohol! In fact, last year I broke nearly a month of sobriety on that night. But this year, I didn't! Af all the way. We checked in to the hotel, and instead of wine, we had diet coke. And same with dinner. It's amazing how much money you save when you aren't drinking. $30-$40 saved for a start at dinner. No need for a cab, so another saving there (although we ended up hopping on a tram so we wouldn't have to worry about parking) And the best bit was waking up the following morning without a hangover. Heaven!

Then the next day, we went to my oldest brother's place to celebrate my nephew's 16th birthday. Hubby and 2 of my brothers had a few beers but of course my other brother drank way too much. I was hoping to have a chat with him, just about how good being af feels and that you can still have fun when not drinking, but the chance didn't come up. And by the end of the day, he was very drunk. I'm afraid for him. He's going to hit bottom soon, if he hasn't already.

Then on Sunday we had my husbands nephew's First Holy Communion. Another day where alcohol was served but not for me. This time, not one person asked me why, which was a relief!

I'm hoping that my not drinking will soon be viewed as the norm and I will no longer have to explain myself.

So, it's been a busy week!! Yesterday was supposed to be the little guy's school sports day but it was cancelled due to bad weather. Mum came over anyway and we spent the day together. In all honesty though, I was dying for a quiet day on my own. And today, I'm going to a friends place for lunch. So, I'm looking forward to tomorrow when I can have a day to myself to relax and chill out a bit!

I have been so tired! I haven't been sleeping well, despite taking a sleeping tablet. Last night when I went to bed my heart was racing and my head was pounding, it was really scary! Not sure what that was about. I also had a sense of doom, of everything being hopeless, there being no point to anything and just overwhelmed with life in general. Not sure if this is anxiety or PAWS, but I don't like it. I feel better today, but still so tired. I'm hoping to have a better sleep tonight.

So, here I am, on day 164. Like I said, a lot has been going on but I am still sober!!

A x

Thursday, 21 April 2016

150 days! Can you believe it? Because I can't and yet here I am!!

Day 150 nearly over. I can't quite believe it! Nearly 5 months! I've never been alcohol free for this long before, and now that I'm here, the thought of doing this forever doesn't scare me as much as it used to. I mean, it still does of course, but just not as much. 6 months is within my reach, and after that, I might pledge to a WHOLE YEAR AF!! The thought of being booze free for a whole year used to fill me with fear. I never thought I could do it in a million years. But now the world is my oyster and anything is possible.

I really want to start working on growing as a person now. I have wasted so many years drinking, I don't want to waste anymore. I want to become more spiritually enlightened, and get to know myself. I have absolutely no idea who I am. I'm nearly 50 years old (OMG! I am never saying that again!!) and I don't know who I am. How sad is that?

So I'm going to try some mindfulness meditation. I saw some on you tube, that will do for a start. I would also like to try yoga, Everyone raves about how good it is for you, especially in recovery (still not sure if that word applies to me but I'll practice using it for a bit and see how it rolls off my tongue). I have a yoga for beginners dvd that I may as well give a try. And the last few days I have done a workout at home. Nothing too strenuous as I am quite unfit so just starting slowly, But it's a start. I'm beginning to concentrate on me and what my body needs. It had wine poured into it for so long, it will benefit hugely from some exercise and a better diet (well, I'll try anyway. Daily chocolate still seems to be a thing). Baby steps. You can't undo years of drinking in 5 months, it's going to take time and there is a process involved.

I'm still thinking of going to an AA meeting. I'm longing to meet some sober people in real life (since I can't meet my lovey sober tribe in real life :( ). Just have to find one that is at a suitable time. I've been putting it off for a while now so I should really start looking into it.

I showed my husband the sobriety clock on my iphone this evening -150 - it said. He gave me a hug and said he was proud of me. That made me feel good.

We went out to dinner to celebrate our friend D's birthday tonight. His wife C drank 4 champagnes and then when we went back to there place to do the cake, she and her hubby drank the whole bottle of red wine that we gave him for his birthday. I could see that C was quite tipsy, and all I could think of was how that would have been me 5 months ago.  I would be drinking right along with her and we probably would have even had more! So glad that's not me anymore. I am going to wake up a bit tired tomorrow morning (it's now 12.41 in the morning) but I won't have a hangover, and that is the best feeling in the world!

Our dinner venue was a classic pub, with people playing pool and a beer garden out the back. It had a good atmosphere and took me straight back to the days before we had the little guy and used to go out quite a bit. I must admit, I did feel a little nostalgic for those times, and a little sad because I couldn't have a glass like EVERYONE else in the pub! But it was ok, I sadly accepted that I can't do that anymore no matter how nice those first 2 or 3 glasses feel.

But it was a lovely night out with friends. I can happily come along to events like this and be totally fine drinking my diet coke, whilst everyone else has either a beer or a sparkling wine. That's my life now and it's fine.

So yeah, 150 days. Woo hoo!! (i don't even think it's a milestone day but it feels like one to me!)  

A x

Saturday, 16 April 2016

I am so worried

I've spoken of my brother before, the one with the drinking problem. The alcoholic. It's funny, because I see him clearly as an alcoholic but just can't think of myself like that. I know I have a drinking problem, but I struggle to use that term for me. But it's just semantics really. I have a drinking problem and needed to stop. It doesn't really matter what I call it.

Anyway, by brother B had a hernia operation nearly two weeks ago. He told me he would go back to work after a few days, but I told him he would need longer than that. He said we'll see. I spoke to him last night and he told me he hasn't gone back yet and that work is okay about that. The problem is, I was talking to my oldest brother R recently (he lives close to B and sees him quite a bit) and he told me (in strict confidence, so not to tell B that I know) that he hasn't been to work in weeks. That the day he got out of hospital after his operation (it was a day case so he wasn't in overnight) he went home and started drinking. (R picked him up from the hospital and B went back to his place so he would have someone there if he needed help). Anyway, R told me that the next day B started drinking early in the day and ended up drinking about 15 or more beers!! It's like he hasn't even had an operation and he's continued to drink more than ever. And because he isn't working, he is drinking all day, every day. I was talking to R last night and we are really worried because he is going to lose his job. He is living off credit because he has no sick leave left and things are going to get even worse. R says he has already hit rock bottom but it hasn't stopped him drinking.

I was talking to R last night and I asked him if B knows he is in trouble. R said that he is fully aware but that he just drinks more to hide from the fact. When R tries to talk to him about it he says "what about you and A?" I said I don't know how he can compare himself to us, and R said that he does. That he thinks other people drink more than they do.

We are so, so worried about him. He also chain smokes and doesn't do any exercise. He is going to die young if he doesn't do something soon. He is single and has a 13 year old boy who he has 50/50 custody of, but he is not going to be able to keep that arrangement if he isn't careful. He will lose his flat and his job. He desperately needs help. R said he is going to talk to a guy he knows who is an AA counsellor, so hopefully he will give us some tips on what to do.

In a funny way, I compare myself to B. I think I am (was) not as bad as him. He is the real alcoholic. And I think I drank for longer because of this. But I WAS just as bad. I have a problem with drinking and that's all that matters. Whether you drink two glasses every night or a bottle or more, if you are powerless and it's making you miserable, you have a problem.

I told R last night that I know I drank too much which is why I gave it up nearly 5 months ago. This is the first time that I've told anyone that I've actually given it up, rather than just saying that I haven't had a drink for such and such a time. So in a way, that is progress for me.

I am so worried for my brother. He is killing himself. What can we do?

A x

Friday, 15 April 2016

A big thank you

I just want to thank all my wonderful sober blogging friends for the words of encouragement and support on my last post. Your advice helped me so much and reminded me that I can't go back to the way I was before. Today is day 145 and I never want to go back to the beginning again, which is exactly where I would be if I gave in to the wine witch and her wicked suggestions that it's ok to have a glass or two of wine on those 'perfect' occasions.

When I first started on this journey the thought of not drinking for 31 days (Dry July) seemed like an insurmountable challenge. But I did it! Then Ocsober and other months here and there. But it wasn't enough. So I signed up to do Belle's 100 day challenge, which I thought was the ultimate challenge, and in my heart I didn't think I would be able to do it. But I did that too! But always back to the drinking. Always the promise that having a glass or two was okay, that I would be able to moderate this time. But of course I never could. Now at 145 days, a number that in the early days seemed so far out of reach, I realise that it is still really early days.

I spent years, decades, drinking. I can't I expect to undo all that in a matter of months. I need to be patient, and give in to the process.

I am learning that I can't do this alone.

So, I've been listening to the Home podcasts lately and am finding them really helpful. I ordered the book 'This Naked Mind' and it arrived last week, so I will read that soon. I joined a private sobriety support page on Facebook which is really helpful too. And I have all of my sober blogs of course. All your help and support is invaluable, and I appreciate you all so much.

But I'm not sure if all that is enough. I would love to have some real life support. Be able to meet up with other sober people. I have been contemplating going to a meeting for a long time but am yet to get to one. I might consider it again. Not sure what is holding me back. Fear maybe? Of what?

In my heart, I know what I'm scared of. I'm scared that by going to a meeting, it will make it all official. That there will be no going back. A point of no return. And I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. But will I ever be?

A x

Thursday, 14 April 2016


I had last Sunday off work, so went on a little excursion into the city. It was just hubby, the little guy and me. We packed a lunch, jumped on a train and spent an afternoon being tourists in our own city. It was a lot of fun!

We ended our fun day eating our packed meal by the Yarra river, watching rowers going back and forth and people walking by.

It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon, sunny and warm. I said to hubby, this is the perfect occasion for a glass of wine, and he agreed with me. And it was. I sat there, drinking my diet coke, thinking in the old days, we would be sharing a bottle of wine or champagne and it would have been perfect.

But the reality is, whilst it may have felt perfect at the time, it wouldn't have been really. Because I would have gone home feeling mellow and relaxed from a lovely day out, and spoilt it all by drinking another bottle of wine and waking up the next day feeling hungover and filled with shame and misery.

But I can't shake those feelings of missing out. Of those 'perfect' times for a glass of wine. I feel sad that I can't do that anymore.

And then of course I start to think 'I wasn't that bad really'.  Anyway, I know now what I have to do to not be that bad anymore.  And I know this is all bullshit.

Because I can't go back and have a glass of wine. For me, there is no perfect time. But will these feelings ever go away?

I've been thinking ahead to October when we will be going on our annual holiday to a resort in the sun and already I'm feeling sad that I won't be able to drink. This is ridiculous! It's 6 months away! Why am I worrying about this now?! Besides, I will be almost 1 year into sobriety by then so hopefully it won't be an issue. But I can't shake these feelings.

I am committed to not drinking. I have signed up for 180 days (am on day 144 - I think)  But I'm scared that my resolve is waning. And I'm scared that I'm feeling like this after so long. I feel like I'm in the early days again.


I want to be happy and confident in my sobriety. Not full of doubts. I know this is probably the wine witch talking but I can't help it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

A x

Monday, 4 April 2016

I'm still here

I haven't posted for a while, but I am still here!

My little guy is on school holidays for two weeks (today is the start of the 2nd week) and it feels wonderful to wake up in the mornings with no hangover, and to be fully present for him. I am still far from perfect though. I spend too much time on the computer. I could be spending more time cleaning the house. We could go outside more and go to the park. But I am not complaining. For once, I am just glad that I am sober and no longer stuck in the drinking cycle that kept me prisoner for so long. Day 134 today!

I know I should blog more often. It really helps. I just get out of the momentum and then I struggle with what to write. Today I told myself to write anyway, and see if the words come. So here I am!

We had a bbq dinner at the park on Friday evening. It was the last night of day light savings, so we thought we would make the most of our last evening of light. My friend C had been trying not to drink every night and hadn't had a glass of wine since Monday, so she was hanging out for a glass! She ended up drinking quite a lot and was quite tipsy in the end. She apologised to me the next day because she felt bad for getting so drunk. I didn't say much. I just said that I knew what that felt like which is why I am not drinking now. She even said that she had googled how to not binge drink. Then I began thinking "what if she stumbles across my blog?! What if she finds out I've been writing about her?" But I doubt she will. I don't think it's easy to find.

I wanted to tell her that I have books she is welcome to borrow, but something held me back. I might give it some time and see how she goes. I am sure she will tell me if she is worried about her drinking (although I think she already is a bit) But I know from experience how difficult it is to talk about it.

Her hubby made a comment about being jealous of me not drinking. I was going to talk to him about it more but we got distracted by the kids and the moment was gone. It might come up again another time.

I have this week off work! I know it's only a week but I'm so excited that I get to spend more time with my little guy. There is a Jurassic World exhibition we'd like to go to, plus the movies and we will definitely go to the park a few times. I am going to bake his favourite cookies this afternoon and go the library to borrow the books we have reserved. I want to make the most of this last week of school holidays and really enjoy some quality time with my son.

I had a few drinking thoughts last week. Not that I'm going to follow through on them. Just that it would be nice to have a glass of bubbles now and then. But the thing is, it is never a glass now and then. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Over and over again.

So I'm off to do something productive. I will try and post more often!

A x 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

So grateful

I nearly had a car accident this morning. I was driving the little guy to school and had right of way, when a car went through a stop sign. They did stop, looked the other way but didn't look left and I managed to slam on the brakes and miss them by centimetres. It was frightening! We were shaken up, but thankfully ok, as well as the elderly couple in the other car.

I am so thankful that I wasn't drinking last night. If I had been, I would have been feeling tired and grumpy, frustrated to be running late for school drop off. My reflexes might have been slower, and I might have slammed on the brakes a moment or two later and it might have been a completely different outcome.

I feel very grateful this morning.

I had a crazy, busy shift at work last night and didn't leave till 10pm, half an hour late (and we don;t get paid overtime). I was really frustrated that work continues to be so busy. That there isn't extra staff to lighten the load when we have so many sick patients on the ward.

A few months back, I would have dropped into the late night bottle shop on the way home and bought 2 bottles of wine. And I would have had a whole bottle and maybe opened the 2nd one, and I would have stayed up quite late drinking. This morning I would have been feeling tired and hungover.

I am just so grateful that that isn't me anymore.

It is the last day of school tomorrow before Easter and 2 weeks school holidays. I'm looking forward to it. I will be up every day with the little guy, happy to spend the morning with him. Instead of trying to sleep off a hangover, leaving him to his own devices. I won't have his little voice saying 'are you going to get up now mum?' It breaks my heart that that is how it used to be.

I have to remind myself that that isn't me anymore. And I am so grateful for that.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Ponderings of day 121

I used to be a heavy smoker. I quit 10 and a half years ago. And it was bloody hard!!

I used to smoke a packet (of 25's) a day and sometimes more. I quit once for nearly 2 years but took it up again when I went to university as a mature aged student (at 28) Taking it up again was one of the stupidest things I've ever done. I managed to quit for good the second time and it's one of the best thing I've ever done.

The first time I quit, I had been experiencing tingling in my legs and was terrified that they would have to be amputated! (remember I'm a nurse!) So I had good motivation to stop. But it wasn't easy. I wore nicotine patches for a month, gradually reducing the dose until I didn't need them anymore. It was a long time ago, so my memory is poor, but whilst it was hard, I think it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Trying to quit the 2nd time was harder. I had been smoking for a longer period of time by then and I wanted to stop before falling pregnant. This time, I real Allen Carr's 'Easy way to stop smoking', which totally changed my mindset about smoking, and I quit wearing nicotine patches for only a week this time.

Both times though, it was hard to quit. The passage of time makes me forget exactly how hard it was, but I know it was. It was all I thought about for a long time, but I can't remember how long for.

These days, I don't think about smoking at all. I will walk past someone who blows out a buff of smoke and I will either think 'yuck!' or it may take me back to my smoking days. Other times I don't think about it at all. It's just there.

I don't remember when I stopped thinking about it.

And what I'm wondering is, will it ever be like this with drinking?

Will there come a time when I won't think about it anymore? Or will I always be reading sober blogs and listening to podcasts hosted by people in recovery?

I don't feel like I am in recovery from smoking. But maybe I am? What is different about drinking?

I would love to get to a stage in my life where I don't think about drinking anymore. But I'm not sure if that will happen.

I'm curious to know what other people think about this. What are your thoughts?

A x

Friday, 18 March 2016

Bottling up my feelings

Mum and I were talking about drinking last weekend. It was mainly about my brother; the one with the drinking problem, and how worried we are about him. I was saying that he needs to go to rehab if he were to stop drinking. Mum agreed and said he wouldn't be able to 'just stop like I did'.

Just stop like I did?!! Like I just stopped and that was it?! This statement really bugged me. We all know that that is NOT how it happened. But to be fair to mum, I haven't spoken to her in depth about my drinking problem. But I was still annoyed. Mum knows I drank too much. Heck, she commented about it often enough! Plus she lived with my alcoholic father for a long time, so she knows it's a problem that runs in the family. My father was never able to conquer his drinking demons and he died as a result in 2014.

So to hear mum say that hurt a bit. But did I correct her? No I didn't. And I'm not sure why.

Maybe it's because I'm so used to bottling up my feelings. I've been like this all my life.

God forbid if anyone finds out how much I am hurting inside. How stressed I often am. How depressed I sometimes feel. How at times I feel that life is hopeless and what did I ever do to deserve this? Or that maybe I deserve the shit things in my life because I have a drinking problem.

Mum has no idea what I have gone through because I don't tell her. I don't tell anyone. Which is why I really need to see a councellor or psychologist. I know continued stress isn't good for you. But it's all I know. But I'm sick of it!

But I will be ok. I always am (on the outside anyway!)

Today I am on day 117. Which is pretty bloody good! 

A x

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Day 116

I survived my high school reunion!

It was fun seeing my fellow students again after 30 years! Surprisingly, everyone looked pretty much the same save for a few lines and an extra kilo or two here and there. We started off with a tour of our old school. It felt strange being there again after all these years! It took me straight back to being a teenager again!

Then we headed out to the country races. Of course I agonised over what to wear, in the end opting for pants and a nice top. And of course most of the other girls were wearing dresses and hats or a fascinator so I felt a bit out of place, but I didn't let it get to me. Everyone was really friendly. Even the girls I wasn't particularly friendly with said hello and were quite nice, so I was hugely relieved!

I drank diet coke all day and NOT ONE person asked me why I wasn't drinking! Nearly everyone had a drink or two but it just wasn't about the drinking. It was about catching up with old friends and reminiscing about the old days.

I was surprised to learn that a few of the popular girls who seemed to have it all together struggled at times too. And one girl even thought I was popular and confident back then which couldn't be further from the truth! So we had a bit of a laugh about that and had a really good day. My two good friends were really happy to see me and were glad I went, so that was a confidence booster too.

We then went out to the local pub for dinner and once again, no one asked me why I wasn't drinking. it just wasn't an issue. I was quite surprised!

It was a long day though. By dinner time, I was ready to go home. I waited till after though and when one of my friends told me she was leaving early as she had a big drive the next day I offered to drive her home.  It was good leaving with someone else and not having to stand out by leaving by myself.

All in all, I'm glad I went. It was great to catch up with some of the girls and guys too, but there were some that I probably won't see again. Which is fine, you can't be friends with everybody.

And from now on, when I visit mum, I am going to try and not worry about what anyone thinks of me. because it just doesn't matter. And most of the time, they're probably not thinking about me anyway! I am going to work on building my confidence and self esteem. I am not drinking anymore and that's a wonderful thing! I deserve to be proud of myself.

I have to say though, it was wonderful having my husband by my side the whole time. I couldn't have done it without him. So thank you hubby!

Today is day 116. Nearly 4 months! I still can't believe it sometimes. When I started, 100 days seemed insurmountable. Now I am aiming for 180 days. After that, a year. I really think I can do this!

A x