If you own the story, you get to write the ending.

And so life begins… apparently.. forty in all its glory and supposed fabulousness. Underwhelmed, might be a more accurate statement.  I have a sense of anti climax, of not quite being where I want to be and a crushing sense of shame that for some reason I can’t seem to get there.

Its been nearly two months since I last wrote and it doesn’t take a genius to work out whats been going on in that time.   I had 100 days within touching distance, but I got complacent, believed I could handle the ‘occasional’ drink – a birthday celebration – a meal out with friends – a stressful day – and slowly, but surely everything unravelled.

So here I am again.  Day one.  My tolerance back up at two bottles an evening.  Hating myself, hating what I represent, how I must look/sound/smell to the kids and my husband.  Weak. Selfish. Stupid. Frustrated.

And perhaps the craziest part – a whole bunch of my closest believe I no longer drink – they have accepted this fact unquestioningly and with a degree of admiration.  I have let everyone down, including myself, fallen down a giant rabbit hole of secrecy, shame and self loathing.

So I’m picking myself up, dusting myself off and starting again.  Sunday is Mothers day.  I want to be a good mother, a present mother and most importantly break the cycle that teaches my kids that drinking is a good coping mechanism for the crap life throws at you.  I can’t seem to do it for me, but perhaps I can do it for them.. at least initially until I figure out a way of seeing myself as a person who is deserving something better.

I’m back.

Mental Movement

Goodbye January and good riddance, I won’t miss you.  Despite all my excitement of having a socially acceptable ‘dry’ month with cosy evenings reading, watching movies and catching up on household admin, it was a total let down.   I work with lots of clients who are afraid of ‘negative’ feelings – anger, envy, sadness, fear – but indifference is the real killer.  That numb, can’t be arsed, whats the point, kind of nothing feeling that suffocates out everything else and sort of swallows you into a black hole.  Its like sinking into quick sand and you can see where you are headed, but it feels like there is nothing you can do but let it happen.  That’s been my January.  Its been like my brain has recreated a drunken/numb state and just left me to marinate in it for 30 days.   Its not like I’ve been tempted to drink – I’ve simply not been tempted to do anything!!

February is new clean shiny month, yup, its peeing with rain outside and decidedly grey looking but new shoots are poking through in the garden and the evenings are beginning to feel a little lighter.   Despite having a garden the size of a postage stamp, I love gardening.  Spring for me is about new growth, the gentle nurturing of delicate new plants and buds, the maintenance of more established ones and the sowing of seeds that will give pleasure later on in the year.

So I’m going to think of myself as a garden.  Last November I planted some bulbs of sobriety, after a winters hibernation  little green shoots are getting ready to appear and I want to be kind to them. There is weeding to be done (my blasted to do list!!) and perhaps a bit of shelter required to protect them from external elements (friends expectations, social events, criticism)  I will fertilise with a large dollop of self care to make the most of what I already have, (namely my neglected exercise and relaxation routines) and have a good think about what belongs on the compost heap as  recycling and decluttering will make space for my shoots to flourish and grow strong.  Finally I’m going to sow some more seeds – some things to look forward to and give pleasure later in the year.

It may be muddy out there, the weeds are tall and some are prickly,  but the frost has lifted.  Time to pull on my gloves and get to work!!

Still here, still inert!! 

Two weeks have drifted past and I’ve had the motivation of a giant sea slug.. it feels like I’m in standby mode, a functional hibernation.  By my calculations today is day 77 but I can’t summon the energy to feel excited or proud.  I’m not feeling anything about anything really.  

Today I have the day off, I thought I’d treat myself to some retail therapy, but I’m wandering round the shops like a zombie. I tried something on just now and saw this podgy, spotty, middle aged woman staring back at me from the changing room, it made me think ‘what the hell is the point?’  

So I’m eating a lemon slice with a giant latte to console myself… argh!!!  I sound both boring and depressing.. this is another reason for not checking in much recently. I don’t know if this is PAWS, SAD, a mid life crisis or something else but I feel like I need a massive kick up the bum!!!  I don’t need wine though.. that’s the LAST thing I need. Roll on 100 days and springtime! xx

Inertia

The new year is running away from me slightly and I’m grateful my sobriety commitment is  greater than my blogging commitment as otherwise I’d be in dire trouble!! I began the year with a sense of optimism and excitement, there was a sense of possibility in the air, doors to be opened and opportunities to be grabbed.   And yet…

I have become the most dreadful procrastinator.  My to do list gets longer each day and until something has red flashing lights and a blaring siren associated with it  (figuratively of course) I tend to ignore it and potter about filling up my hour with non-essential chores.  I’ve spent pretty much the entire weekend in this vein and its left me feeling frustrated, annoyed with myself and (most scarily) gagging for a glass/bottle/Vat of wine.  I’ve read procrastinators have perfectionist tendencies and often get overwhelmed with fear of failure.  Whilst I can partly identify with that mentality I think there is something else also.    I’m not sure whats driving this inertia, but it feels heavy and debilitating. I simply cannot be arsed, getting on with life feels like wading through treacle.

Its literally just occurred to me (oh the wondrous benefits of self reflection!!) that perhaps PAWS is at play.  On one hand I find that thought quite exciting.. I don’t think I’ve ever made it to PAWS territory before, on the other hand it feels deeply annoying as I want to be in pink cloud land where I’m clear skinned, a stone lighter and full of energy and motivation.

The reassuring thing is whilst a little voice is telling me to have a glass of wine and drown out my crappy weekend, my inner self knows this is just a thought and I have no compulsion to act upon it.  (Inertia at its best!!)  I’m going to be kind to myself tonight, eat some nice food, rest.   The beauty of the combined wisdom of so many wonderful bloggers is I know that PAWS won’t last, tomorrow is a new day.  (My to do list is another matter, but I’ll address that tomorrow!!)

New year, new me

Thankfully the dreaded lurgy is beginning to depart our household and focus has turned to multiple Lego/Meccano/K’nex sets that all seemed a good idea when Christmas shopping but fail to mention you need a physics degree to read the instructions!  

New Years Eve was a quiet affair involving Robbie Williams and fireworks on the telly.  I have 3 bottles of sparkling N/A fizz untouched because when it came to it I fancied a cup of tea! 

I have a sense of relief that the intensity of alcohol advertising will shortly be replaced with diet/healthy life style mantras and can’t help but feel a little smug that I have a 51 day head start on dryathon. 

It’s hard to predict what the new year might hold but I’m looking forward to it with a quiet optimism and a sense of adventure. It’s time to rediscover myself once more. 

Happy New Year.  xxx

Bleugh !!

Sober Christmas Eve rocked, the vomit virus that plagued our house from 23rd Dec onward definitely didn’t. One by one we fell like dominoes.  Scraping sick off bedding and carpets grew old really quickly. The smell was in the house anything but festive. 

BUT (and it’s a big but) it was a heck of a lot easier sober.  As a family we pulled through and perhaps in a weird kind of way it brought us closer. No resentments, fighting, bitterness or shame.  

Today is day 50 (OMIGOD!!) and It feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel.  We are beginning to feel stronger and the cheese might finally get eaten!!!  The silver lining is Ive lost 3kg!! (whoop whoop!) Its not been my greatest Christmas but I feel like I’m starting 2017 in a really strong place. 

I’m so glad I finally did this. 

Sober Christmas Eve rocks!

The last few days have not been without their stresses and strains. Family tensions, long journeys, last minute Christmas preparations and a nasty vomiting bug.. but I’m still here and still sober.  The best Christmas present I can give myself and my family. 

Festive thoughts and peaceful wishes to everyone. You are all amazing. xxx

Sober Christmas Eve rocks!

The last few days have not been without their stresses and strains. Family tensions, long journeys, last minute Christmas preparations and a nasty vomiting bug.. but I’m still here and still sober.  The best Christmas present I can give myself and my family. 

Festive thoughts and peaceful wishes to everyone. You are all amazing. xxx

I am someone who matters (and so are you!)

I am snatching two minutes between family activities to say THANK YOU for all the kind words and support.  I don’t always get to reply to every comment in a timely fashion and I am hopeless at posting on other people’s blogs, but the kindness and support received via sobersphere is incredible.  You all matter to me so much.. you are all amazing people and I wouldn’t have gotten to 41 days without you.  Big hugs. xxxx

I am someone who matters 

It’s been a long shitty day. I was up at the crack of dawn to jump on a train (one of three) with kids to travel to the depths of Wales to visit my family. This journey takes around 7 hours door to door and in the ten years I’ve had kids has been reciprocated exactly four times. 

Now the kids are older I don’t mind doing the travelling – we head to the beach in the summer months and had booked a pantomime for this visit.  On previous visits my mum has booked dental and routine medical appointments to coincide with our visit.  Tonight she suggested my sister attend the panto in place of her. I find this deeply hurtful and bordering on insulting (which I didn’t do a great job of hiding.  

Historically I have glossed over these feelings (or drowned them) but this time it’s really gotten to me. Mum makes a great fuss of my baby nephew (age one) caring for him a couple of days a week and often having him overnight. I don’t begrudge my sister this, she is working hard and lives locally.  But surely for four short days she could share her atttention with me and my kids? 

I’m crying so hard I can bearly see to type, yet ironically it feels good to acknowledge and release it.  I spend so much time looking out for and caring for others.. I am someone who matters too.. I think I’d forgotten that.