Life…and NA beer

I haven’t had chance to write here for a while, and I’ve really missed it. A lot of things have happened.

Last Saturday, my Father-in-Law died. It was very sudden. My Husband and I managed to get there when the paramedics were trying to resuscitate him, and Mr W got involved as much as he could, trying to help them out. He is a retained Firefighter, so he acted on instinct, as he would have done for any other incident. At the hospital we were taken straight into the relatives room. I’ve never been in there before. It was all so final. So irreversible. And yet all you want in those moments is for everything to go back to normal, to how it was before.

I really wanted to drink afterwards, but I didn’t. We didn’t go home straight away afterwards – we got some food at a pub on the way back. I had a Bottlegreen fizzy cordial type thing, and I was so grateful not to have to have coke or orange juice or lemonade. I’m considering writing a letter to that company to commend them on their contribution to the soft drinks industry. It’s strange, the weird things you cling to when life becomes so unfamiliar and strange. And the next day I wanted to drink, but didn’t. I’m still resolutely sober. I’m not entirely sure what the reason is, but there seems to be a vague promise of life getting better if I stick with sobriety, so I will keep on doing it.

My friend gave birth on Tuesday morning. I’m very happy for her – they’re now a little family, the three of them, which is what she so desperately deserves. However, it’s just another one of those things I sometimes find it hard to cope with, because it seems to drive a big wedge between me and her, in my mind. I know it’s in my mind, and I shouldn’t hold on to feelings like that because they are not me, and I can let them go if I choose. It’s just that sometimes I don’t feel like there is anyone here with me, helping me to keep the hope alive that I might be a mother myself someday, being gentle with me when it feels hard. Again, the aloneness strikes…

The shame has gone though, which is a relief. I bought a book about shame, but I haven’t got very far yet – I found the language a bit complex. It’s called ‘Healing the Shame that Binds You’ by John Bradshaw. Maybe I didn’t give myself enough time with it, but it’s always there should I need it again.
I had my last appointment with the Counsellor on Wednesday. It was a good session. This was before everything became hard work at the end of the week…! She asked me what had been most helpful to me, and I said the environment that she provided, for me to talk about my feelings without feeling harsh judgements and criticisms. It enabled me to look at what I was feeling and to explore it. Of course, that’s what counselling is for, but she pointed out that I could take that with me – imagine that scenario of talking to her, and give myself a chance to feel what I feel, and then examine what might be accurate or not so much, about what I perceive to be real in a certain situation. Does that make any sense?

On Thursday the whole family went out to celebrate my Mum’s birthday. Beforehand I had tried to get a nap after work, but my Husband came home from work so that went out the window. Then I decided to have a bath and possibly fall asleep in the bath, but MY SISTER ARRIVED! She was trying to sort out the last little bits of the joint Birthday present to Mum, and of course she wanted my advice. She had had the whole day off work, so why she needed to come and ask me about it on the last minute, I have no idea. So I was exhausted. But we had a meal at a lovely little pub – the food was great. I was offered non-alcoholic beer, but went for cranberry and soda instead. The craving for wine had gone by this point.

The next night, Mr W brought some non-alcoholic beer recommended by one of his customers, who has it when he needs to drive. So after a little internal debate, I had a couple. I’m glad I tried it, because it’s not like I ‘broke any rules’ or anything, but I’ve decided I wont be doing it again. I did have another last night too, but I noticed the feeling that went along with it was definitely shifting towards ‘I need a drink’. Weird, I know because it’s NA, but of course it is sort of pretending to be an alcoholic drink, at the end of the day. And for me, that doesn’t feel like the right thing to do. So no more…

Work has also been extremely tough this week, I had a migraine yesterday (still carried on with housework anyway) and then me and Mr W had a huge row which kind of lasted until this morning….In a bizarre way, though I feel as though all the tensions of the week have been blasted away by that argument. Whether or not that’s a healthy way to deal with things I don’t know, but hey, I’m doing the best I can. And that’s not always easy when the one thing that would normally be a reward, a consolation, relaxation, whatever it’s function was (in my head, I realise!!), is no longer available to me because I’m not safe with it.

So yes, I feel that life is hard work. But I’m glad I’m sober. Taking responsibility, even if I don’t get things right sometimes (most of the time?!).

I’ve just realised part of where I’m going wrong…I’ve stopped the sober treats and rewards! I need to start working on those reward pathways in my brain to make sure I’m not still thinking that alcohol is the only way to relax/have fun/reward myself etc. I must think about this and write about it! Soon! xx


4 thoughts on “Life…and NA beer”

  1. Have you read Brene brown? She has a book on shame called I thought it was just me (but it isn’t).
    It is very good. Her other book the gifts of imperfection in amazing and my personal “bible”.

    I think you will find a lot in it too.

    Sorry about your father in law. Mine passed away unexpectedly this summer and it is a big thing. My husband is still dealing with grief.

    Have a good Sunday.



    1. Yes, I’ve got The Gifts of Imperfection and I love it – I Thought it was Just Me sounds helpful for shame in particular so that’s on the ever increasing list!
      I will bear in mind what you said about grieving – thank you.


  2. WOW WOW WOW. go you. I am so proud of you, you have had a heck of a lot to deal with and managed to see the value in sobriety aswell! well done, awesome, bloody fantastic! I may have recommended Healing the Shame that binds you. it is amazing, stick with it, or just take it slowly. sometimes a second read is always good too!
    one of my biggest fears at the moment is dealing with grief when it comes along, so you have been a fantastic role model to me showing me that it is possible. thanks!
    hugs from nz


    1. Lisa, thank you for such a lovely comment!
      Yes it has been a bit up and down, but I’m not drinking, nope!! I know how much I would regret chucking it all away on one Fuck It moment.
      One thing I have definitely learned this week, as I realised in the last paragraph or so (and this applies ESPECIALLY when trying to be there for someone else) is that self compassion, and sober treats and rewards are so important. I MUST make time etc for that again.
      And I will give the book another chance- just need to re-plan time for reading, I’ve been too late to bed recently to manage more than a few pages.
      Hope you’re good 🙂


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