Overwhelm? Lists.

I had a little cry on my own today at work. The teacher who’s pregnant is really showing now. She was saying that the kids asked her about it today, and people are just generally talking about it more. I’m envious. It’s hard to change the way I feel, so I tried to change my focus instead. We have a plan, my husband I. Some days it feels like a long time until things get properly moving, but realistically, we need to be getting ourselves prepared for this. So I concentrated on thinking about our next steps – what needs to happen for me, now? What action do I need to take? it seemed to work – I have more control over what happens to me at this point, than I ever will over what is happening to someone else.

The thing is, though, I want to strike the right balance between getting things done and avoiding overwhelm. Because I know I’m more likely to drink if I wind myself up too tightly. For example, amongst other things, Husband told me yesterday that we (I) really do need to get a new (used) car. It has been on the cards for a while, and now it’s passed it’s MOT now would be a good time to sell before it loses any more value. So I’ve started down this whole ‘I need to sell all my worldly possessions’ train of thought, to be able to pay for a new car. Or at least put something down as a deposit.

I spoke to my other colleague, N, about some of this and she said, ‘do you make lists?’. I said yes, but I don’t want the to-do list ruling my every waking moment. But she pointed out the benefits of getting everything down on paper to clear the mind. Yes! I need this! I need a clear mind!! I also realised that a list had worked well for me over the holidays – I seemed to be in an optimal frame of mind for tackling it. I have asked Belle about determining this fine line between achieving and obsessing, and I look forward to her take on it as she often talks about overwhelm.

Other news: last night I swapped the winter duvet for the summer one, which made for a MUCH more comfortable night!…Went for another walk – only a short one – this evening. The sun was shining, it was lovely…And I’m looking forward to a good day at work tomorrow – I came across some software on the internet which I’m excited to share with N. I see lots of cataloguing inventory in our future. Mm, lists. That department WILL be organised if it’s the  last thing I do.

It’s day 5 and I’m happy 🙂 I hope you guys are too xx

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Sober plateau?

On Saturday night I went out for a meal with my husband and good friends of ours. Beforehand I was still anxious about not being committed to a ‘challenge’, as I haven’t signed up for 180 days yet. I thought I might have been in danger of drinking.

But it was an unfounded fear, because I didn’t suddenly want wine – even when we went to the pub whilst waiting for our table. What I did find really difficult, as we were standing at the bar, was having to explain myself because I asked for a coke. AGAIN.

It may have been my own fault, for relying too heavily on the ‘100 day challenge’ explanation originally. (What IS that all about? I obviously have great difficulty telling anyone, including myself, that I just don’t drink!!).

It was mainly the woman of the couple we were out with, who was asking me why I wasn’t drinking. And she told me again that she doesn’t drink through the week. We were going over old ground, really.

Much later, after the meal, we went to another pub. Another of our friends saw that I was drinking coke and said ‘so you won’t be falling over tonight then?’ and I said nope, I was on coke, and she said ‘Oh how boring!’. She’d had a few herself, though so I don’t think she was actually trying to tell me I was boring, it was probably just because I clearly wouldn’t be joining in all the drunken fun.

Being out with all those people drinking was strange. Not because I wanted to drink, in the end, but because I didn’t see the appeal of it all. I couldn’t make myself heard over the music, so trying to have a conversation was a bit pointless. I just felt really out on a limb, to be honest.

The next day, I was wiped out. I felt low because it’s the wrong time of the month, which led to me brooding over the previous night. I didn’t feel very much connection – apart from in the restaurant maybe – with anyone. I’m feeling a bit lonely in my sober journey. I want to find my people. I have two, maybe three friends with whom I can talk about this kind of thing completely honestly, but I hardly ever see them. I guess there’s my answer – I need to create more connection with them.

I do feel good sober, but I’m also feeling a bit flat. If I was on a diet, this would be a ‘plateau’!

There are some social situations I don’t really want to be part of anymore, and I want to replace those with ones that resonate more with me. How to do that? This is all new, lonely, and a bit scary…. :/

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

100 days won’t be enough

I’m feeling good about 76 days sober. But I’m nowhere near where I need to be.

Maybe this is just how sober life IS. I bob along fine, until a small ripple catches up with me, and I think ‘oh yea, I never dealt with all that stuff…no wine to cope stuff down feelings….what happens next? Help?!’

Is that just life?

And then suddenly, I feel all calm and relaxed again… That stuff is still there, still needs my attention, but I feel calm. I love being sober. Life feels new but comfortable, yet challenging and rewarding. I want to do my best at everything.

Sometimes I don’t have the energy to do everything I feel I should be doing… and sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day. I haven’t got an Action Plan, like I wanted. The heavy stuff is still heavy. But now I get to put it down and have a rest every now and then.

I want to let the heavy things go. That’s where I want to be.

I want to be my best version of me. I want to be loved, and to love, as that person. Nothing more, nothing less.

It helps immeasurably to know that I’m not alone 🙂