Today is my day 100!!

Yes, that’s right – me, the girl who loves (loved) her wine! I have successfully reached 100 days sober.

I’m so proud of myself – I set out to do this thing, at a time when I felt shaky and vulnerable. I wanted to stop comparing myself to others and let go of the anxiety that seemingly held me back at every turn. I was also afraid for my marriage, which I was all of about seven weeks into.

And how did I get here? Just by taking it one step at a time. I’ve had highs and lows, times when I’ve felt like a drink because I’m sad, times I’ve felt like drinking because I’m happy. If I’m honest, I don’t think I ever got very far down that thought process though. I was enjoying the process of recognising myself far too much for that. ‘Oh hello, waking, I’ve not seen you properly for years – how are you?’ I’m getting to know the real me.

And there is still so much to know. As I move past day 100 and continue this sober journey, I want to pick up all those threads of my life that I had left behind. Some I can see clearly, others just glimpsed at. I have a feeling that I will be able to twist them all together to create a life with more meaning. Meaningful work, a meaningful contribution, more meaningful relationships. And I can do all that with what I already have inside me – it’s me, just me. I don’t have to try to be something I’m not. What I have to offer the world is worthwhile. I just needed to get sober to realise it 🙂

I’ve found that being sober doesn’t fix everything. Which is a shame, but hey. Maybe I am getting better at fixing stuff. And what I can’t fix? Well I guess there are some mountains you just have to live with 😉 I could stick the serenity prayer in right about now…:)

Speaking of which, I will just add that that prayer reminds me of my late Nanna. She was a truly amazing woman, full of love, and would do anything for anyone. Of course I would say that…but so did many other people, not just family. Everyone knew of her generous, loving nature. Anyway, she always had in the lounge, a little stained glass window ornament – you know the ones, with the hinge so they stand upright – with the serenity prayer written on it in coloured glass. I wasn’t aware of its significance to the recovery movement, until a friend pointed it out. ‘That’s funny’, I said, ‘My Nanna has been a Methodist all her life and has never once touched a drop of alcohol’. A very wise woman! She was 99 when she died. I think she might be proud of me, too. 🙂

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 😉 ).

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. 🙂

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 😀

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 🙂 x