calm is my favourite

I had a much better day yesterday. In fact even the day before, just after I wrote my last post, I started to feel better. I ate some homemade soup and watched some youtube videos of Brene Brown.

Then yesterday I went to see my counsellor. I told her about the wedding, and I came out feeling really positive. I did exactly what I felt like for the rest of the day – some Netflix (turns out Orphan Black S2 is only available on Amazon, damn my addictive personality!), some reading, a nice dinner (I would call it tea but you might not know what I mean šŸ˜‰ ).

I felt so much calmer, having talked about things with the counsellor. I really love that feeling, and I do seem to feel much more calm than anxious these days. It’s at times like this that I am so sure there is no going back to alcohol. I want sobriety for the rest of my life!

And then… some tiny little thing happens, and I’m anxious again. All that peace just gone!! Another social event is being arranged, and I worry how the dynamic will be again…

But you know, that’s not for several weeks. It doesn’t matter now, right this minute. It wont even matter when it happens, I shouldn’t think. I’ll just go, get on with it, and have a nice time for the most part….

Is it just me, or does anyone else experience this – it feels like very pronounced pendulum swings from up, to down, then back up again. I think my personality has always been like this if I’m honest. But if the last few weeks are anything to go by, I do think that it’s evening out slightly, as I build up more sober time. As I said, more calm than anxious, definitely, than when I was drinking wine all the time.

Being sober is sooooo good. šŸ™‚

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if only sobriety was a magic wand

Yesterday, I went for lunch in the city with my friend who is expecting. We had a lovely time catching up on everything. I’m looking forward to her baby being born, her due date is three weeks away – not long now!

I’m not sure why, but today my mind has been going over and over unkind things people have said to me recently. It has made me feel vulnerable, and it feels like I’ve had to try extra hard to think instead about people who do like me, and have made me feel good about myself. I know I’m really the one who makes me feel good about myself at the end of the day, but sometimes it affects you more than others, doesn’t it, what people say.

Anyway, I also started to feel vulnerable about the infertility. That story about Robbie Williams dancing around whilst his wife was in labour – and posting it on social media – was really starting to get to me. I ended up doing what I haven’t done for quite a while, googling infertility blogs. And now the tears have started, and won’t stop.

I know I will be OK – sobriety has really helped with cushioning the lows. But I sometimes I just wish that sobriety would fix more things. I was doing so well recently, realising that I wanted some sense of clarity about this situation, rather than to feel pressured into trying for a baby just because of my own fears, or searching for worthiness in the wrong places. But it somehow feels as raw as ever right now. I feel crushed by the weight of it all.

If only being sober was a magic wand…For one tiny millisecond there, it felt like wine could have sweetened the bitterness in my mouth. But I know it won’t. And I will not be bitter. Surely that is one thing, at least, that I stand a good chance of being able to control as a result of not drinking.

It will be OK.

Pass!

If the criteria for being sober solely involves not drinking, then day 90 yesterday – which involved me being an all-day wedding guest – was a resounding success!

If, however, I were to grade my performance, I would give myself say, B-.

We arrived just after 1pm, and I drove us home at quarter past midnight. So I managed the whole day, Yay!! Go me!!

The ceremony was lovely, and whilst we were mingling afterwards, I had a cup of earl grey tea. I’d been advised to plan ahead what drinks to have, and wanted to have a nice cup of tea at some point. Chatted to friends of ours (the couple with the new baby – she was pregnant at our wedding, see this post), who were asking how the 100 days were going. They said did I feel like I was drinking too much, and I said well, one person’s version of drinking too much might be different than another’s. They then asked how much I would normally drink, and so I said ‘one or two glasses of wine per night’, and there was a sort of ‘oh yes that’s quite a lot’ feeling coming from them! ooof!

Another of our friends seemed obsessed with the idea that I could just lie about my alcohol consumption to the hundred days person (Belle). I really was stumped at this- all I could say was, ‘well what would be the point of me doing that?’. Bizarre…she and her partner had A LOT to drink!

I found it very hard to relate to the mother of the baby. Any sort of ‘getting along’ that was going on between us just sort of evaporated when I was left alone with her and the baby whilst our husbands wandered off for a bit. She made no real effort to talk to me, and I had no idea what to say, having no experience with babies, and wanting my own, which is only the very slimmest of possibilities currently. When they left she just said ‘see you’, and just about snubbed me when I went to kiss her on the cheek. She is the person who introduced all the cheek-kissing into our group of friends, so I was a bit surprised, but then she kind of turned back and presented her cheek. I really don’t know what to make of it all, and this morning I cried about it. (On the plus side, Mr W thinks their baby is gorgeous and is now the most positive he has been so far, that we should go for his operation and try to have our own).

Another guy, made an effort to come over and speak to me about how the 100 days were going, and how I’d managed not drinking at the wedding. I said I was 10 days off 100 and I felt a lot better…not really decided what to do when I get there. He said his partner (I really love both of them by the way) suggested he should try no alcohol for a week every now and then, as he’s on a health kick for his Fire Service medical. He said he lasted about two days, so he thought what I was doing was impressive. He patted me on the back and said well done and that he was proud of me. I nearly burst into tears right then, it was such a lovely thing to say!

I spent a lot of time chatting to a friend of ours who doesn’t drink much at all. I explained after a while about being sober, and it was really great to talk to someone, and them just ask really reasonable and interested questions. She said that the culture of alcohol consumption that we have in this country is somewhat worrying when you stop to think about it. And there was none of the judging that I felt from the couple earlier on.

Apart from the tea I also had some of those Bottlegreen Pomegranate and Cranberry drinks, or whatever the flavours were. I lifted a glass of Prosecco for various toasts but not a drop passed my lips. And I had a ‘sunrise’ – my husband gets very into the idea of me drinking mocktails, so he bought me one without the tequila. Which was lovely.

I’m tired today – partly from the late night, and being ‘switched on’ all day. But also because of the anxiety – and hurt, I suppose – of feeling snubbed by our friend with the baby. But even then, I don’t think that I’m mulling it over half as much as I would have done, had I been drinking.

And I don’t have to worry about having done anything ridiculous. Any feelings I may have been having – happy or sad – were purely me. Nothing to do with having drunk a vat of wine. I’m glad I’m on the other side of it now. I suppose it’s one of those sober ‘firsts’, I now know what a wedding looks like, sans alcohol šŸ˜€

I’m trying to think of a brilliant treat for 90 days, and the accomplishment of this sober first. But for now, I shall turn my attentions to drinking a vat of tea.

I hope everyone is having a lovely sober Sunday out there.

Love, waking šŸ™‚ x

You may now turn over your exam paper

I won’t know what this feels like until tomorrow, about 1pm. I haven’t really revised very well, I feel I have been complacent with my sobriety. I haven’t done enough work.

And now the exam (wedding).

I am about as anxiety-ridden as it gets, but I can’t really do anything about it now. I just have to try and get a good night’s sleep tonight.

I just read something that said sobriety is pass/fail. This metaphor is actually starting to work in my favour because I used to like exams at school. I like exams, I am (was? am?) good at them. I generally (always, I think) pass. I can pass this one. I WILL pass this exam.

OK, hand me that clear pencil case, I’m going in…. šŸ˜€

crazy 88…what do I tell myself?

I’ve had a crazy day 88. Lots going on at work. Amongst other things, I had a small accident when a boiling tube (large test tube) of boiling ethanol bubbled over, and scalded me on the thumb (ow!) and caught fire on the bench. Oops. Thankfully nothing worse than a blister on my thumb was the result. And, mercifully, nobody was watching. How embarrassing would that have been?!

Is there a message in there somewhere? Alcohol is dangerous and volatile, and you can get your fingers burned if you misuse it…?

Maybe I need to think about that a bit more carefully, because in the last few days, I have really been wanting to drink wine. I know I’m not helping myself because I seem to drift along with no real plan. I mean, I have goals, ideas of what I’d like to achieve, but I’m not good at organising my time, especially in the evenings. And I drift and drift, staying up too late, leaving me with less energy for the next day and so it goes on.

Exactly my behaviour when I was drinking, but thenĀ I slept terribly. At least I sleep well now.

Whether it is the upcoming wedding that’s making me have these thoughts, I’m not sure. My mind seems to conjure up possible scenarios in which a drink would go very nicely. Situations which I think might occur in the future, and I hear myself say ‘Oh it’s OK, you wont miss out, you’ll probably be back on the wine by then’.

There is obviously still a part of my brain that is not convinced of this sober thing. Wolfie still has a voice, sometimes loud and clear. I worry that this is coinciding with the wedding, and I worry that I might not make it to the end of day 90.

Or at the very least, that day 90 will be a huge struggle. But I cannot give up with only ten days to go. ten days is nothing, but one day might cost me everything….

I feel a bit better for having written that. My husband has had a couple of glasses of white wine tonight, and we were both at the computer looking at something. I could smell the wine. If I think about that, and think about how the wine would feel in my mouth (horrible and vinegary), and how my body would feel after a few glasses (fuzzy head, thirsty, drowsy), the appeal does lessen.

Please leave, Wolfie. You’re not welcome here.

I am happy to be sober. Happy to be me. I would not be me if I drank. Wolfie would drown me. I must tell myself, over and over and over.

Sober Introvert

I did buy the ‘I Quit Sugar’ book yesterday. I’ve only flicked through so far because I was finishing off the Jason Vale book. What was I saying about instant vs delayed gratification?!

Jason tells me that I shouldn’t feel like I am missing out on anything at all now that I’ve quit drinking. He says that alcohol is a drug that made false promises, and never helped me to relax, enjoy the company of friends, or celebrate. I do see that alcohol didn’t add anything to my life (only anxiety, lethargy and hangovers), and I have been feeling great about not drinking. I don’t miss it.

I do feel as though I’m letting the side down a bit (as far as Vale’s message goes) because I’m going to a wedding on Saturday – my husband and I are all-day guests – and I’m a bit apprehensive. I should be feeling exhilarated and free from the prison of alcohol, and have more confidence than ever. Erm…

I’m so happy that I won’t be drinking. IĀ used to hate that ‘all day drinking’Ā thing anyway. I never know how to ‘pace’ myself, so the potentialĀ for a ruined day (a ruined me?)Ā is always there. ButĀ I also feel unsure of how I will cope without drinking.Ā Vale thinks I should be more confident than this.Ā But he’s probably an extrovert anyway, if the way he talks about going out and socialising is anything to go by. Whereas I am very much an introvert, so I’m not naturally comfortable around huge crowds of people.

I’m very happy, then, that all the focus will be on the couple themselves, not me! My role I suppose, is to be there and celebrate with them, eatĀ some lovely food, try to look nice, and be as chatty as possible with our friends. Belle advised planning what I will drink beforehand, and possibly leaving early. I might plan a very big treat for the next day, too šŸ™‚

Oh, Sugar!

Recently I have been trying to cut down my sugar intake. I know now, how damaging it can be, and I really would like to feel the benefits of having a lot less of it in my life.

But I find it sooooo hard! the temptation is just so great, and then when I give in, I feel extremely guilty. Sound familiar….?!

I’ve just come in from work and eaten TWO white chocolate chip cookies! Two!! And I’ve got two teaspoons of sugar in this coffee I’m drinking…the shame!

I think I need a bit more information than what I’ve gleaned from a few YouTube videos, and reading around on the internet. A book, maybe. I have ordered ‘Seven Weeks To Sobriety’, which is a nutrition-based approach to quitting alcohol, and does involve cutting out sugar. Feeling has read it, and put it into practice. But books from Amazon seem to take aeons to arrive. Apparently I can expect to receive it between 20th Sept and 20th Oct. Hmm.

Tomorrow will see me venturing over the hills and into town (wedding guest outfit final purchases) where there is a half-decent book shop. More expensive than Amazon, butĀ more instantĀ gratification – which I like šŸ˜€

I think I may have been making progress prior to my two-biscuit binge. I saw my counsellor on Wednesday (the subject of a future post perhaps), and she did say I looked really well – glowing, even!

So I might come back with a copy ofĀ ‘I Quit Sugar’ tomorrow, who knows. Does anyone have any recommendations for my reading list?