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….?

Hello 🙂

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 🙂


Day Four

Oh my gosh, I typed day 5 as the title by accident at first! Perhaps because I’ve been thinking it’s Friday all day. I’ve been busy, in a good way.

I’ve been feeling a lot better since I deleted my Facebook account, too. It has really helped me to stop comparing myself and my life to everything that I see on there.

Last night, we went to see Sue Perkins (co-presenter of the Great British Bake Off), live at the Opera House near us. We went for pizza beforehand and I had the lemon San Pellegrino. I was quiet, waiting for my ‘agoraphobia’ (not actual agoraphobia but I don’t think social anxiety is a thing when you’re only out with your husband!) to dissipate. I enjoyed  the show – it was funny, and despite my anxiety it was good to get out and see something different.

Today I watched one of the Recovery 2.0 interviews, the one with Holly Whittaker, who I adore. I am an email subscriber to Hip Sobriety and I love what she writes. Her message is basically that sober life is so much more, so much richer than just not drinking. If you do the work that is. I might even re-watch it now, it was so great to hear her talking about her experience and her ideas on sobriety. I highly recommend it. It also makes me think I should be getting out there and finding a yoga class to go to.

Lots of good things to think about! Plus tomorrow IS actually Friday 🙂



I’ve missed this

Hi. I’m here again. I miss being sober. I’ve missed you.

As you have probably guessed, I haven’t been sober this summer. There are a lot of ‘reasons’ why that happened, but I suppose its basically because I chose to drink. It was that whole ‘well I’m probably going to drink on holiday so I might as well drink now’ thing.

When I came back from holiday, I went to a wedding, then stopped drinking again for a few days. It was so hard to come back to real life, with nothing having changed, still waiting, waiting, waiting, for a date for surgery. I was very depressed, and unprepared for it. The counsellor was on holiday too, and I didn’t even consider the possibility of getting any (prescribed) medication because of course, I want to start fertility treatments at some point, so what would be the point of starting any antidepressants only to stop them again in a couple of months.

I know, I thought, I’ll have some more wine. Genius. The thing is, there is something about drinking. I suppose it’s why normies do drink when they do. Its celebratory. And it can console, too. I needed consoling, badly. But alcohol, as we know, leaves so much destruction in its wake…

Was I pushing myself to the edge of the cliff? Carrying on until it got so bad I’d have to try being sober again? I’m not really sure. All I know is, I’ve tried using the booze (again) to help me deal with the pain I feel, and all I have to report is that it doesn’t work. I believe I did actually know this already, but somehow felt the need to demonstrate it all over again….

Sometimes it feels like there is no point to life, specifically my life, but thankfully the balance of those feelings compared to slightly less desperate feelings is shifting, in a healthy direction. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I feel I’ve ‘woken up’ and I’m concentrating quite hard on getting my bearings, rather than just walking through my life in a kind of catatonic state waiting for it to be over. Progress.

I’m on day 2 and feeling quite pleased with myself. Also progress 🙂

trouble (not me) on day 9 (me)

It’s 11pm on day 9. I’m sober! I’ve eaten SO MUCH today! Mainly sugary things. sigh. Oh well, it has helped me get past the wine cravings. I’m half watching a film, husband has gone out. He was going into town to meet up with a friend’s stag party…they had been to the races this afternoon but unfortunately the stag got arrested!! No doubt I’ll find out the full story when Mr W comes home, but I gather it has something to do with not paying the bar bill. So alcohol consumption was involved somewhere along the line. The person texting my husband earlier was obviously under orders not to let anyone facebook this turn of events, but a ‘subtle’ comment had already made its way on there. I don’t know the stag but I’m really glad Mr W wasn’t with them. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare. He’s just gone into the village with another friend instead.

So yes, I was thinking about wine earlier, but I’m so glad I didn’t cave in. I have been irritable the last few days, but when I do feel that way I have been trying to calm down and let it go. I feel so much better than I did last weekend. Not much about my situation has changed, but I think I’m a bit more able to deal with it.

I’m also trying to deal with things one day at a time. We go on holiday to Turkey on 1st August for 10 days, and I’m a bit apprehensive about the temptations to drink. But I’m not thinking about it too much (too involved with work at the moment to think about much else during the week anyway), and hoping that by that point I’ll have got the hang of being sober and the cravings will have decreased a lot.

Oh, there’s a night out for work next Friday which might cause me some anxiety. I can drive there though, which will be good. And its basically a meal in a French restaurant, so I could quite acceptably leave after the meal – I wouldn’t need to go to a pub with them afterwards. One day, I will get the hang of social occasions and learn to enjoy them. I don’t think drinking would reduce the anxiety in some cases anyway, so I might as well be sober and not have the next morning ruined as well as feel anxious. And its more or less a dead cert that I wont get arrested!

Sweet dreams x


Day 5 sober. The dark clouds are clearing a bit. I feel emotional in general, rather than just depressed. I got out of the car at work this morning and a colleague asked if I was OK. I couldn’t speak and she hugged me whilst I cried a little bit. But I got it together again.

Later, I was distracted by my little campaign to be put on the correct pay grade for my job role. Or should I say, get my job title amended to reflect the nature of the work I do. Perhaps my husband was right, I need to think about other things. Darn it, I hate it when he’s more sensible than I am!

But back to yesterday…I got all worked up in the morning because of the unanswered questions I have about what needs to happen before IVF treatment. I had emailed the fertility clinic with the details for the consultant at hospital, but heard nothing back (it had only been two days). I had a pain by my hip, exactly where the whole thing started off, last November, with the diagnosis of ovarian cysts (endometriomas). I have waves of anxiety when I get these pains, as I think the cysts are developing once again. The panic became too much, and luckily N and I were the only two people in the prep room, so I got my phone out and made an appointment to see the GP. I picked one of the lovely ones, a woman, so inevitably I have to wait a couple of weeks. But I decided I would rather see someone who I know will respond to me, not bat away my concerns. I’m hoping I might be able to get a referral to hospital, as I would like the fibroid removed. After making the appointment, I had one of my moments where everything comes tumbling out and N, patient and considerate person that she is, listens until I’ve finished. I felt so much better.

This morning (after making my mascara run before even setting foot in the building!) I looked at my phone and there was an email with an attachment from the fertility clinic. The attachment was the letter they have faxed to the consultant regarding what to do about that fibroid. I purposely didn’t read it until later when I’d got home. When I read it, the straightforward, businesslike tone instantly calmed me. Just one doctor to another, asking for a professional opinion. No nonsense. I still feel a lot calmer, but I do just wonder, even if the feeling is to leave it be, should I ask for it to be removed anyway? It may help alleviate the anaemia and the pain every month. Quality of life. A phrase that someone told me you should always use in the GPs office – apparently it’s one of those trigger phrases that necessitate action.

Another thing that has (oddly) kept me feeling a bit lighter…I have black hands where I accidentally stained them with silver nitrate (oops). Every time I look at my hands they’re all…well, black. I wonder how long it will last…Did I mention I want my job title re-evaluated to ‘senior’ technician?! Note to self, always wear gloves around silver nitrate – even when not opening the bottles – they may be leaking!

I promise I will think of a name for a new blog, I am on day 5 sober but rambling about other things… 🙂


clinging on

Thanks for the comments yesterday, I really appreciate your kind words. Sometimes sobriety seems a flimsy branch to cling to when I’m being swept away and its hard to stick at it. But you’ll be pleased to know I made it to day 3. 

I’m aware that’s a Good Thing, and I am in some way proud of myself. But I can’t see just at the moment, that being sober is going to help that much. That’s the funny thing about sobriety, it doesn’t fix everything else. I have to do that. And currently, it’s the cycles of falling into despair and depression, and having to pick myself up again, that are just so exhausting. I don’t feel as though I ever get anywhere with fixing my life, other than right back to where I started.

Had a big talk with my husband last night. It was a real effort to get him to say anything other than the usual ‘there’s nothing we can do but wait’, and ‘you’re your own worst enemy, you should look at all the things you’ve got going for you’. It makes me angry just typing that! He thinks that because there’s nothing we can do, we should just forget it and wait. I pointed out that I’m still no clearer about the fibroid. The secretary won’t let me have an appointment with my consultant (!!!) So I’ve had to send the office fax number to my doctor at the private fertility clinic so that she can ask him. This small aspect of the whole problem is, in itself, playing on my mind hugely. I think Mr did finally begin to see that I need a bit more love and support. I hope he remembers.

Another thing is that every twinge of pain (I get them a lot now) reminds me that the endometriosis could be messing up my insides again. I had a day off sick a couple of weeks ago because the pain was so bad. It wasn’t even that time of the month. 

So, I’m sober, and husband and I are now talking, but life still feels empty.