Tuesday 21 March 2017

Day 84. Really want wine.

Up until yesterday I have been pootling along nicely. The weekends come and go and I rarely think about wine (well, I mean properly think about it, in a longing way). 

Yesterday was Saturday and all day I couldnt shake the urge to get some wine. My brain is telling me "you've made your point, you're clearly not addicted to booze, just go and get some" and "who cares, this is a self imposed ban, no one said you cant have any stop being a drama queen". 

I drove past my local garage earlier and the urge to pull off and grab a bottle of red was frighteningly vivid. I didn't obviously. Because I know I do not want to drink. 

I let myself think about it, about what it would feel like to get that bottle of red home. And I had a vivid thought of getting one of my lovely big dome glasses out (the sort that handles half a bottle easy) and this is the crux...........of gulping it. So its not the pleasant treat feeling. I want to gulp a bottle of red = I want to get buzzed. So I am not fixed. So I hit the thought away with disgust. 

I think I know where it came from. I have been so busy with work. I mean, I have 2 kids and I travel with work so I am always busy. But this week I was especially challenged with new work, with a crushing deadline, and I nailed it. I wanted a treat. I had loads of energy come saturday,. So here I am still feeling like I want to smash down those positive feelings with wine. Fucking hell, I don't think about drinking when something goes wrong?!! Its always a celebration. A treat. 

Obviously I didn't drink and made a nice dinner instead. I was up early for a run today ( Sunday) and ran non stop for a distance I was thrilled with. So as usual the benefits of sobriety are pretty immediate. Well, the next morning. I am proud of it, but concerned.............Up until now the thought of wine has made my stomoch turn. Whatever it is I have made my brain do has been effective. I do not physically want a glass of wine. And then saturday happened. Gutted. 

Thursday 2 March 2017

Wine. Red. Right here. Urgh.

I'm not really counting days but I know I am heading into my third month of no booze. 3 months!?? A whole quarter of a year!!! (Ok, ok approx 70 days)

I recognise I have been fortunate enough to not to have any real physical cravings (I don't think). Also, the timing of my choice to quit, means I started over the darkest, Wintery UK months. You know the time of year, where nothing really happens, everyone is on a diet, so I haven't felt I have had to turn down any special occasions to protect my sober plans. 

I have definitely taken myself out of harms way a few times, I've turned down a few social occasions but nothing that would draw attention. Last week, I went to dinner in a swanky restaurant with 2 heavy drinking mates (and broke the news to them - went down great!) and ordered a lovely mocktail. They churned their way through red wine and cocktails (my two fav poisons) but I was ok. I did find myself glancing at trays of drinks going past the table, sneaking a peak at peoples glasses and wondering how much they were drinking, and what they were drinking, but honestly these thoughts really were no more than fleeting. The company was great and as I drove home I was really proud of myself of jumping the first big social hurdle and convinced myself that being around alcohol is no biggie. 

My husband has a few beers in the fridge. I notice them when I reach for the milk, But no biggie. 

I have walked the wine isle in the supermarket for a present and to collect some asian lager for my hubby so he can have it with his curry - no biggie. 

Look at me!!?? It's like alcohol never even existed!!? How awesome and strong minded am I? I may start doing talks or something................

........last night. After being away from home for 3 nights with work. I was so pleased to be home, I hugged the kids, excitedly told hubby about how work is going, we talked about dinner plans after kids went down, I walk in the kitchen AND THERE IS A FUCKING BOTTLE OF RED FUCKING WINE ON THE BASTARD COUNTER. 

Why? The only person who drinks that is me? My old friend that caused all this trouble. Why is it there? In my space?  Like a stark island. Like a twatting illuminated picture in a dark museum. I snapped at hubby and demanded an explanation. He said he was given it by a colleague and just popped it on the counter and didnt give it another thought. I asked him to get rid of it and he put it in the cupboard. Still visable. Still there. So I moved it into the garage the next day. 

I didnt want to tell the poor bloke off, as I have probably given the easy breasy vibe that being around alcohol is no biggie (see above examples of my coolness).  But I felt I had to bring it up today, to explain in no uncertain terms that I would have expected him to be more considerate. I know this will never happen again as he is a kind man who listens to his wife BUT I could tell he was thinking I was making a mountain out of a molehill. He even said "I dont care if you pour it down the sink" which is sort of missing the point. 

I'm sure my reaction to it's presence is a reflection of my previous drinking rules. I always had control in public, at parties, at dinner, its at home where I really let rip with the red winage. I recognise that my "its no biggie" is a tad fraudulent. 

Was I over reacting yelling at him indoors? Am I giving mixed messages? Have you done the same? 

Are you ok to be around booze at your stage? 

I would love to have your opinion. 

Saturday 25 February 2017

Is Something Missing? Day 62

Day 62.
So day 60 came and went. I'd set an alarm as seemingly this was my original target. My phone bleeped, I mentioned it to my husband and he said "oh". In a gentle, that's nice dear way.
I think this damp squib set the tone for the next few days. I was on a nice family half term holiday (Butlins. Which previously I've chosen as it's set up is around acceptable drinking around your kids), I was disappointed to find I was......not missing as such.......but definitely feeling the space that was previously occupied by alcohol.
So. I find myself on a Friday night at home. The holiday washing is sorted. The kids are in bed early. I have the place to myself and I'm feeling very very flat. Not sad. Not tired. Not feeling any stress. Just flat.

Now this!!!! **This** is the space occupied by wine. I don't think I used it to suppress any thing, but add a bit of something to the daily dull hum of life. 

That sounds so ungrateful doesn't it? 

Nice warm house. Beautiful kids tucked up in bed after a lovely family holiday. And still I need more. I'm always looking for a bit more of everything.
A bit more.
I'm always the last one to bed. I'll always fit in another slice of pizza. I'll always want to open another bottle......
I dunno what any of this means at the moment. But I'm sure I'll find out in the future. I have to learn to just be 'still' and ordinary. Life is just vanilla sometimes.
Oh, and that Friday night? I ended up doing my memory jar, which was hugely over due. And then my monthly expenses. Boring? Yes. Did I feel good at end of night to have walked out those feelings? Fuck yeah.
Up Saturday morning for park run and a fun day with the kids. The vanilla night before allowed this. Maybe I'll get a taste for vanilla. Everything doesn't have to be mega double fudge cherry ripple explosion flavour, every night.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Things I think, Things I know - day 40

Yay. Well done me. Day 40. I'm obviously serious about this.......

My thoughts in my head (well they wouldnt be anywhere else would they?) are still not linear. I can think differently about an alcohol issue differently from one day to the next, i.e. "it is probably better to mentally never shut the door on drinking, that would be too much" and the next day "I should draw a line in the sand and admit I am NEVER drinking again to truly be free"

One thing is different this week. I have decided to tell people I have given up for a year. I started to not trust myself, and I know if I have a target I will stick to it. Also, it helps shut questions down from well meaning interested folks (f@cking eye roll)

So to help with these jumbled thoughts at day 40 (seriously, 40 days) I thought I would take some suppositions and guesswork out of my head and write down some facts. 

Things I Know
  • I Feel better
  • I have more money (£175 in 40 days!?)
  • I know I want to be a better mother
  • I know I want to have more energy
  • I know I don't want to waste any more time. 
  • I know I am exercising more and losing weight. 
  • I know I look better (bloaty face has gone)
  • I know that I love how I feel in the morning. Every morning. 
  • I know I am proud of myself for making such big changes. 

Things I Think
  • Alcohol doesn't add anything ( I know this should be in the 'know' section but it is early days for me and I still have wistful thoughts of 'what, never'?)
  • Not as easy as it was in beginning as I've left Gates open with "I'm just doing a year" maybe I shouldn't have done this? I wonder if this has turned me into an 'alcohol moderator' and not a non drinker.......which is what I feel like (latter)
  • I think I am strong enough for this. 
  • I have some reservations about upcoming functions - nothing challenging has happened so far. I have a work thing to attend over a weekend next month and it will be a HEAVY drinking trip. I have turned it into a positive by ducking out of the saturday night. My work commitments will be done, the rest will be boring and I can drive the 110 miles home to my bed and not be trapped due to alcohol. 
  • I still have some wistful thoughts about alcohol, whereas the first 2 weeks was just pure relief to not be drinking. I think I had some great times. I have read this is normal so I am not too worried. 
Just writing this down has helped massively. The facts are undeniable. Sober wins. BOOM!!!!!! 

Thursday 19 January 2017

Day 26 - Nothing Special. (Just good)

Almost a month in.

I wanted to jot a line or two down quickly this morning just to record how good I am feeling.

I think it is difficult to qualify just how tired and barely functioning I have been since April 2016. I am working away at mo, and I always take my running kit with me, it always stays in the car. I don't need it in my bed, or the bar or the restaurant (after I have finished work 'course)

Last night - again - instead of heading to the bar I headed for the hotel gym. Just a few miles on the treadmill. I would never have the energy last month.

Driving to site this morning I thought "I will just record how I feel today, how bright I feel" It is a grainy, dull January morning and I still had a spring in my step walking towards my car. I reckon all happiness must come from energy mustn't it? Even the happiest of occasions can have a gauze cloth hanging in front of the scene - making you feel distant - when you feel terrible.

I have been so tired for so long, and treating myself with liquid that just makes me more tired and makes me make wrong (not terrible, just not good) lifestyle choices, that I forgot I am capable of feeling this bright and alert.

That is worth recording isn't it? I feeeeeeeeeel good xxxxxxxx

21 days. Realisation.

OK, so far this has been a doddle.

Like, surprisingly plain sailing.

Since I decided to not drink again on Xmas day, 22 days ago, I have not had one genuine pang of longing for alcohol........sort of............

On last Saturday night I did do something I wouldn't normally do. I went to the cinema alone. It was nice. I saw a film I really wanted to see and ate a huge pile of nachos. This was first time I was conscious I was filling in space that is usually occupied by wine. We'd had a lovely full day with the kids, I'd got up early for park run (still slow. Still overweight) usually I look forward to my bottle of wine in the night and create situations that will allow me to do it. - cooking an elaborate meal so I can drink what I want unseen in the kitchen, or sitting down to watch a Shit reality show making out its some kind of 'event' TV so drinking in the house, often alone, seems less odd.
I have genuinely not had one thought about *wanting* alcohol. But I've had spaces that have been conspicuously empty. If that makes sense. I don't want it, I can see the benefits. I can see the lie. But Im aware of the space.

On Friday I had some Shit, disappointing news. I think I'm quite a tough cookie but it caused me to cry for an hour and I just couldn't shake the feeling all day. I got it in the morning via email just as I was skipping around the house just packing car to leave for a weekend break with the boys.
I was aware how useful alcohol is in situations like this. I'd be lying if I didn't. I'm proud to say I genuinely thought "imagine how Shit this weekend would be if I had to deal with a hangover as well as feeling a professional failure". I'd drink to excess as its my right. My husband would quietly pick up the extra duties. I'd pootle through the weekend but wine evenings would be my priority.
But not this time. Blah blah, I can take another exam. No one died. I was a decent wife and parent and had no guilt to deal with.

So so far.
1. One strangely conspicuous Saturday night, but very enjoyable.
2. Been properly tested, and won.
3. Been sad and perhaps uncharacteristically taking things to heart too much.
4. Have some pangs about the future, like "what? Never?"

That's not bad at all is it? It helps to see it written down like that.
Stopping drinking really is the best thing I've ever done. I'm into my 4th week now, so we're not messing around anymore. Maccas is quitting.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

My Last Drink

I almost feel a fraud writing this title as it feels so dramatic. MY LAST DRINK. Like I am a proper rock bottom, scruffy alchie.

There was no drama. There is no tale of struggle. But I want to record it anyway.

Xmas Eve 2016, we as a family look forward to a late afternoon meal in the pheasant. Our local pub is fab, we love it, we settled the kids and husband says "what do you want to drink?"

My favourite 6 words.

And I knew, just knew that I didn't want any. Why? I am tired........but its more than that......I know that we will drink red wine, my poison of choice, and I am sick of it. I am scared of it. I knew I had to drink so I told my confused husband "I'll have a beer, with a lemonade top". What the fuck drink is that? Well to me, and the way I organise the drinking rules in my head, a lager top is not really drinking is it?

So I had two of those, got the taste for alcohol and asked Mr T to buy me two glasses of white (still not as bad as red. Rules see?) So by now I had had 2 pints of strong lager (3 units each) and 2/3 bottle of Pinot Grigio (6 units). As is the nature of the lovely booze merry-go-round I jumped on the prosecco in the house and had half a bottle of that too (4 units). Mr T had stopped drinking when we got in the house. He always does this now. It used to bother me but now I don't care, especially as he never seems to mind leaving me on the sofa to carry on with the wine.

So that was it. My final drink. A raging hangover the next day as I was drinking when I was feeling tired and unwell (post viral fatigue) its like I tricked my body into drinking, by forcing easy drinking liquids in first. I have done this many times. Vodka and cranberry is a great one to start on if you have a raging hangover and can't face booze. A couple of those and BOOM your body is back in drinking mode. You tricked it! You won!

I know all the tricks. I am an expert drinker.