Making choices, choosing again

The night before last, I had a drinking dream. I dreamt it was the morning after, and I found an almost empty bottle of some weird kind of wine. I was hungover, and couldn’t get on with my day because I felt ill. As usual, I was so relieved it was a dream when I woke up.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying enough attention yesterday, and I had a waking slip up. I hadn’t been paying attention, because I’ve been thinking about other things. On Wednesday, I will have the surgery to remove my fallopian tubes and hopefully the fibroid. It feels a lot different than when my previous surgery was imminent. Firstly, I am well. I’m not desperate to get into theatre and have cysts removed, which had become extremely uncomfortable, and very painful a week or two before the operation. Secondly, I, essentially, am choosing to do this. I’m choosing to have the surgery with all that entails, for example the recovery, time off work etc. And lastly, like every phase of this journey, there will be an outcome, of sorts, which could be good news, might be something bad. For example, there could be another cyst, I don’t know, anything. I’m trying not to think too much about that aspect of it.

So here I was, with all of that on my mind. My husband had told me the other day about one of the Ice Road Truckers who had died at 53. My husband is 53. He said it had made him think briefly about age and mortality, but that he decided he had too many model boats to build and too much travelling to do before his time is up. As usual, I started thinking about his seeming lack of interest in talking about our fertility treatment as if it could actually be a success; about his preoccupation with his own dreams. I wondered if this is all just me on my own, I wonder if I can cope with doing this without his support. Although now I do admit that I was being a tiny bit melodramatic.

At work yesterday everyone was wishing me good luck – I won’t see them again until afterwards because its’ now half term. After work, I had my second pre-op assessment, because the first was back in April. When that was over, my husband and I drove round looking for somewhere to have a meal out. We must have gone to about four pubs, which were all heaving – car parks full etc – before we ended up at The Beehive not far from home. On the journey I had been thinking about having a glass of wine – see, not paying attention to sobriety allows these thoughts in. I didn’t even remember my dream from the night before!

I even ordered a soda water at the bar and we went to sit down. I had already discussed with Mr W in the car that I wanted to feel he is supporting me in our goal to have a baby. I asked him not to talk so much about his dreams exclusively, as it makes me feel as though we want totally different things. Which isn’t true – he does want this, he’s just afraid all the treatments will lead to nothing.

Anyway, we got to the table and looked the menu. He asked me if he could go to some sort of model exhibition in Germany in 2019 as a retirement present. I immediately said yes. I don’t mind him doing that. But then I started to think about everything I’d explained above, and I just thought ‘why is he doing this again? why is he asking me stuff like this when I have other things to be worrying about’. I needed support from him – a lot of it – for the coming week. Why, again, do I have to think about our future in terms of him sat in his shed building model boats, and planning where we’re going on our next round the world trip? I don’t want to go round the world, I want to finish working on our home and enjoy my life here!!

So the waitress came to take our order and I asked for a large Sauvignon Blanc. I had already been talking about having wine and Mr W had already said one glass wont hurt. At this point I was just annoyed and wanted to act out. So I had the wine. Mr W apologised and said he hadn’t wanted to upset me.

I realise now that my husband isn’t ignoring the issue. He’s just dealing with it in his own way. He does talk about what we’re going though with other people (sometimes with his customers, and I joke that the world and his dog will know our story soon!). I think that’s his way of dealing with it. Maybe he doesn’t know what to say to me as he can’t tell me that we will be successful, because no one knows that.

As for my slip with the wine… I didn’t enjoy it very much. I felt woozy afterwards, and would much rather have gone to be stone cold sober to be honest. I felt like there wasn’t much point to it. And the worst thing, if I was in a different state of mind, it would probably pave the way for more drinking, say, tonight, as it’s Saturday.

But I’m not going to let any of it bother me. I don’t feel guilty. I just made a wrong decision yesterday, and I can choose again today. I have mentally connected sobriety to my health during this stretch of 40 days, and it doesn’t feel as though one glass of wine makes me a failure. I’m not going to reset my day counter. I will just add a ‘-1’ to the total. That might seem wrong to some people, but I feel that re-setting and starting with day 1 would be more difficult, make me feel more guilty, and make me more likely to lapse again. And I can’t get into any of that when I have surgery less than a week away.



5 weeks, a return to love

I’ve had a cold this week and I felt terrible weds to sat, it really drained me. My mood was affected and I felt a lack of support from my husband. You know, just with domestic stuff. I feel as usual, like he never helps me with anything. On Friday I got sick of the feeling of banging my head against the wall. I go through cycles of being pissed off with him, then ultimately deciding that I like the house to be a certain level of cleanliness and I tell myself I do it for me, kind of like a part of my self care. Which is fine until time or energy levels change and I start feeling resentful again. Hang on a minute, I hear you cry, aren’t you the one that wants a baby? Have you no idea the work that involves, and here you are complaining when it’s only the two of you? Yes I know
On Friday like I said, I started thinking that I need to know how to get myself out of this cycle. And other patterns of negativity too. I’m fed up of being so negative, so fearful.

Saturday morning I lay in bed trying to gather myself together for the weekly shop, still feeling rubbish with the cold. A thought came into my head; ‘I want to be close to God’. Now, I have been asking recently, to be shown the way. To be shown how to live my life, because frankly, I don’t think I’m doing the best job. Not that I feel I’m ‘failing’, just that there has to be more to life that this. I’ve felt a bit spiritually empty. But I hadn’t actually thought of the g – word.  I was brought up a christian, but somewhere along the way I began to relate more to the idea of ‘the universe’ as God felt too much like a person. But here I was, lying in bed and it just popped into my mind.

I looked at some stuff from Holly Whitaker at hip sobriety, and started to think that it might be an idea to put into practice some of her tips. After all, if you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always been getting, right? Time to do some things differently. 

When I woke up this morning, I realised that I will never be able to change my husbands behaviour. I can only change my attitude and my behaviour. And I want a more harmonious home, I want us to be concerned with bigger things than my petty ‘who does what’ thinking. I want more love in our lives, more happiness. So I decided to start very small. I wrote a little list of intentions for the day. I played meditation music whilst making myself a healthy breakfast. I did some jobs around the house. And a book dropped through the letterbox. On a Sunday?! I opened the parcel, and it was ‘a return to love’ by Marianne Williamson that I ordered only a couple of days ago. I don’t do amazon prime or anything, so I thought it would be a week of so before I got it, but here it is! So I started reading this morning and I love it so far. I also looked at a couple of articles on Mastin Kipp’s site, which I found the link to on hip sobriety. It was about rituals, specifically night time rituals. Tonight I got everything sorted ready for tomorrow, so hopefully I can give myself a bit of time to think about my intention for the day. I’ve stuck a few quotes on my mirror and I’m going to read a little more of the book now, even though it’s late.

Even if I forget to say affirmations that I’ve found, or don’t meditate every day, I don’t think I’ll forget what I thought about yesterday morning: ‘I want to be close to God’. I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but I really feel it.

Counting…up and down

I need to set up my day counter app. No! not because I’ve had a drink, but because I’m on day 30 and I didn’t set it up this time. Working out what day I’m on is starting to get a bit long-winded.

This weekend I had a few cravings for wine. I think the 2-4 week period -at weekends – is definitely a tough one for me. And feeling ‘up’ is a bit of a trigger, on the weekends. For example, when I drive home from the gym singing along to Bon Jovi at full blast on a Friday afternoon, I think ‘what do I do with this high feeling?’ and I just want some wine to sort of celebrate or something. But I didn’t have any. Whilst driving around and enjoying myself just as much the next morning, I was very glad I hadn’t, as I wouldn’t have been so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

Last week I did have ups and downs, but it is all a learning curve. I’m getting quite into the insight timer app, (where would I be without apps…) and in particular the ‘change is the only constant’ guided meditation. It talks about the serenity prayer and I’ve found that after listening, I do tend to remember throughout the day, that circumstances, thoughts and even feelings are always changing constantly. The bad feelings pass, the good moments are to be savoured.

Tonight I’m feeling happy, and I’m savouring being alone. I’ve got a burning sore throat which I hope doesn’t develop into a cold, so I’m not doing anything much. Watching Nashville, got a couple of candles lit and wrapped up warm on the sofa. Two weeks till my op, counting down!


I can stop holding my breath

Thank you for the  comments on my last post, I really do appreciate all of your support🙂

I have good news. I spoke to our friend’s partner this morning – he was on his way back to the hospital. Thankfully, it looks as though she is going to be OK. She was out of bed and walking a little this morning, and they’re just waiting for a bed to become available on the ward so that she can be moved from intensive care. They’ll be doing an assessment next week to determine what treatment she’ll need. I’m so relieved… It must have been terrifying for her family.

I also have more good news…at work on Friday I did my normal routine of taking my phone out of my bag and taking it off silent, putting it in my pocket. I was doing this partly so that I would be immediately aware of any updates on our friend, but also because it has become my little ritual, hoping for a phone call about my surgery. Well, what do you know, it actually rang! The words ‘private number’ made my heart race a little bit, and I recognised the voice of the lady from the booking department straight away, as I’ve rung up about three times during this almost six month wait. She said she had two dates available – the first was a very last minute 3rd October! Monday! I said I would love to have that one but it’s not really fair to my work colleague, to drop everything at such short notice, and so I’ve got 26th October. I’VE GOT A DATE!!! AT LAST!!! It arrived in writing this morning🙂

I’m feeling motivated to improve my health before surgery. This time I have a huge advantage in that I’m not ill like I was last time, prior to the operation. I’m well, and I want to do all I can to be ready. I can now see what is hopefully the ‘beginning’ of the process, and it feels a lot more tangible compared to the aimless waiting. There are a few things like yoga and meditation that I’ve been wanting to try, so this will be the incentive I’ve been lacking. I am (but trying not to be) a little bit excited!

Oh yes and it’s day 20 today🙂







Day 18

I had a tough day today. The pressure of waiting for surgery is getting to me. I got myself together again and then I had a phone call this morning from my husband to say that one of our friends has taken an overdose. We haven’t heard anything since and don’t know how she is.

I know this is an anonymous blog but I still don’t want to say too much. I am so upset. I love the couple so much, I know it’s not good to have favourites, but they are my favourites, out of all the fire crew at my husband’s station. It’s the guy that’s the firefighter, and unfortunately we don’t see much of his partner, and now all sorts of things are going round in my head, telling me I should have paid more attention, stuck my nose in a bit more, let them – her especially – know I care. Well, I do care, and I’m saying a prayer for her now.

I’ve been thinking about how awful it is to be in so much pain. I know a bit about depression and it’s thought patterns, how hopeless life can feel, how worthless a person can feel. It’s bad enough feeling that way yourself, but to think that someone else has been going through that, is heartbreaking. I wish I could take her pain away.

I understand that life does involve pain, but again I’m struck by the feeling I had when I’d finished reading the book, Never Let Me Go, which was that I feel I’ve wasted some time, but more importantly, I shouldn’t waste any more. Life is so precious, so fragile, and so finite, that every second counts.

I don’t really know how all this fits together, or what to do with it. I desperately want our friend to be alright. And I don’t want anyone to be in pain. Somehow, I am angry. I want to scream at the top of my lungs, it’s not fair. Why do people I care about (and I) have to go through all of this stuff. I’m sick of the pretense kept up by a lot of the rest of the world that everything in their lives is perfect. Life isn’t perfect, it’s full of ups and downs, and sometimes people need help through the downs. But they’re afraid to ask because they feel others might judge them for being a failure….

I’m sorry, I’m not very coherent, I know. I want to help someone but I’m not sure how. I want there to be less pain. I don’t know what else to say.

This too shall pass

I’m so tired today. I can’t believe how relentless it has been at work the last few weeks. I mean, I don’t work crazy hours or anything – I’m so grateful for that – but the pace is just ridiculous. Two weeks into the new term was all it took for me to feel behind with everything, and there’s just no catching up.

So last night I didn’t do much of anything. This morning it took me ages to get going, and husband and I went to pick up my new (used) car this afternoon. Rushed into town to get a birthday card, and then had a coffee before coming home. I sometimes feel like the only time we talk to each other properly is when we’re out having food or coffee or something. I was telling Mr W how the waiting for surgery has been getting me down again the last few days. I said I feel as though I might just want to give up on fertility treatment at this rate. He was great, he listened and said some nice things. When I finally do have my surgery though, I might feel a bit more energised in terms of being ready for IVF. It’s this suspended animation that’s killing me.

Getting the new car was weird. It was actually a bit upsetting to say goodbye to the old one, which I hadn’t expected. It will take some getting used to the new one, but I’m happy we’ve been able to afford it, it’s a great car. I went to see my sister when I got back, and my husband has gone to a 50th birthday party. I’m so glad he agreed to go without me because I just didn’t feel like facing a drinking event on day 13 sober.

However, the combination of feeling so tired and a bit down, but wanting to celebrate the new car, really made me want to go and get a bottle of wine and spend the evening drinking with my sister. It took ages to shake off that feeling. And even getting home to an empty house feels weird now. There’s stuff everywhere, like new car paperwork, laundry and general end-of-week stuff that hasn’t been sorted yet, and I feel a bit lost to be honest. I have no energy to organise myself. I won’t drink though. I’m going to have a bath, finish reading my book, and then maybe watch some TV. I don’t want to be starting at day one again, no matter how out of sorts I feel. It will pass, I’ll feel better tomorrow.

We’re planning to go to the beach and see Anthony Gormley’s men in the sand at Crosby tomorrow, a road trip in the new car. It’s my life, and it’s happening now!🙂

Hope everyone out there is having a good weekend, whatever your personal battles. Keep fighting the good fight🙂 x

Compared to….?


It turns out that deleting my Facebook account wasn’t quite the be-all and end-all in terms of kicking the comparing myself to others habit. It was a great start, but over the weekend, a chance passing of some people we know set me off again.

If anyone has read this blog from the beginning (and if you can remember!), I have mentioned the couple in question several times before. I don’t know what lesson it is that I have to learn from them – other than to stop comparing myself – and I don’t know how I should best proceed. I’ve tried attempting to convince myself rationally that I shouldn’t feel less than them but it doesn’t work. In their company I feel a bit inadequate and insignificant. Oh and then I had arranged to meet with L when I was recovering from my surgery in January, as she had offered, and I was trying to get out of my comfort zone, trying to make something work between us. But she never finalised the plans, just left my text unanswered for a week or more. I saw her in the supermarket and I was nervous, but I’d had enough by that point. I declined an offer to meet up. She sent me a text by way of an apology, but she doesn’t understand the pain of infertility, she is a mum and a step mum, and a success in general.

Oh that turned into a bit of a rant, I’m sorry.. I think it’s still raw, even though it was quite a few months ago now…I just have now idea how to relate to her.

As far as comparing myself to people like this, well, I was a bit stunned as to how it affected me so much over the weekend. I mean, all I did was pass them in the car. And yet it  really threw me off kilter. I googled ‘how stop comparing myself with others’ and I found a couple of interesting things. This one, on Tiny Buddha suggests redirecting the comparison inwards, to consider our own progress in, say, the last year. A Helpful  Probably the best one I found is the accurately titled ‘A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others’, on Becoming Minimalist. He discusses the issue – and ideas for combating it – from various angles.

So to combat the comparisons, I am now trying to remind myself often that my life is about me, and it is about now. The only person I can control is myself. The only time I can do that is now. Anything else is a waste if time, and a waste of energy. A waste of an opportunity to be happy. Which, I am realising, is part of the purpose of life. I read ‘Happiness by Design’ By Paul Dolan. It was a great book, I recommend it, and one of the ideas that made a lasting impression on me was: Don’t postpone happiness now in the mistaken belief that you will experience greater happiness later. You won’t, you’ll just have missed the opportunity to be happy now, regardless of later.

I’m also reading ‘Never let me go’ by Kazuo Ishiguro. It has made me think about my past, about how I might have wasted so much time. Putting off really living because I constantly think I am waiting for the next milestone to happen. Waiting to move out of my parents home, get a better job, own my own home, find the right man, get engaged, get married, still wait to get a better job, waiting until the house is renovated, waiting to start fertility treatment, waiting to have more surgery, waiting to begin IVF.

Life is now. I am now. I’m not really sure how to put this into words myself but I have this copied from an article (which I’ve lost the reference to. I will find it and add it in here!)

‘…If we view today as less than tomorrow, we choose to live in the imagined picture of a story that hasn’t happened, sacrificing joy and adventure that could be ours in the present. We get caught in the idea that this is just the green room, and if we plan well and press on, we’ll eventually walk out on the other side and a great narrative will unfold.

   Perhaps without meaning to, we tell ourselves, the world around us and even God that this isn’t enough. It’s as if we took a look around and said’ “no thanks, I’ll pass and wait to see what comes up down the road.”‘

So in comparing myself to other people, I am missing out on the chance to be happy now, to appreciate my life, as it is, now. I am working on this. I’m still not there yet with facing the people I compare myself with, and I’m not sure if that will ever happen. But as long as I’m working on it, I think that’s good enough for now.

Day 9 and enjoying my sober bubble🙂