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