Quick update/victory dance

Yay! Day 102! I’m in The Lakes, at a cottage which has No Mobile Reception or WIFI (well, not on my network anyway) – hence my silence!! Am tapping this out quickly whilst we’re briefly back nearer civilisation to buy food. I shall post a more thoughtful missive when Family Red is back home, but I wanted to thank everyone for all the lovely comments on my last post – I always try to reply individually but just haven’t had chance, plus see above re: technical difficulties, dammit!!

For those wondering, there are two large boxes of Hotel Chocolat choccies waiting for me at home. The weight loss will just have to wait…

Love, Red xx

Approaching the ton!

95 days since I had a drink – I can hardly believe it, I keep having to check my day-counter to be sure.

I’ve not been blogging recently as I’ve just not had the time or motivation really. Or so it feels. I can’t honestly say that I’m out of those doldrums that I posted about in my last entry. I’m decidedly lacking in energy and enthusiasm, but I think this is due to it being the end of a very long, very grey winter. I have just felt like hibernating. Preferably inside a giant muffin, with buttercream. I do feel as though this malaise will lift, and my spirits will begin to rise once spring is here, I’m almost holding my breath waiting for it. I’m like a tightly coiled, but rather tired, non-breathing spring. I’m sure you can picture it..

To assist me in sorting through some of my current brain-jumble, I’m going to list a few thoughts and occurrences. Negatives first, then positives.

  • My initial weight loss has crept back up by a few, annoying pounds. I’d been enjoying feeling svelte, but I need to own this one; I’m not exercising beyond an hour of pilates a week, which I literally have to bully myself into attending. And I’m eating whatever I like. Do the math, Red!
  • I’ve discovered I have a lovely medical problem, connected to having carried twins, which may need surgery to rectify and is limiting me a bit on the exercise front. And in other, very important ways, which I won’t go into here, to save your blushes. I think this is genuinely affecting my mood in the downwards direction.
  • My day counter tells me I should feel loaded, what with not spunking wads of cash each week on booze. In practise,  I’m not feeling any better off, which is pissing me off mightily. I think this is due to the Xmas fallout, and some essential appliance replacement (Damn you, washing machine! Double-damn you, Dyson!!!) However, I am budgeting and watching our finances like a hawk now, so this should pay off soon. It had bloody well better. I need to order a LOT from Hotel Chocolat in a few days time..

Now for some good stuff:

  • I have very few cravings for alcohol now. I even got through a serious tasting event at work without too many pangs. (I used the spittoon, like a true professional!) I did have a major wobble last weekend; the Redlets were having a sleepover due to Mr Red and I being seriously sleep-deprived. So we bought a ton of delicious meats, cheeses, chutneys, breads and set the woodburner going and watched The Lord of The Rings trilogy. I have to say, for about the first two hours after we dropped off the small peeps, I really, really wanted to open and drink lots of wine. It was tied up with the whole hibernating vibe – I just wanted to check out mentally. I wanted to hang out in The Green Dragon, drinking ale and smoking (ahem) pipeweed with a bunch of rowdy hobbits.. However, I resisted alcohol, the cravings went away, and I observed Mr Red’s hangover the next day with utter relief that I’d not cracked.
  • I’m feeling so much more “sorted” and mentally on the ball. I went out with a couple of colleagues for food last night, and told them I was nearing 100 days without alcohol. After initial surprise, one did say she’s noticed that I’m much more relaxed and confident at work. And I feel it – a lot of anxiety has dispersed. I don’t dread work days any more. It pleases me to feel competent.
  • I am SO much more patient with the kids. I feel like I’m being a much kinder, loving and fun parent to them. I very rarely lose my shit now. I watch the Facebook meme /Mum-blog culture around “suffering” days with children and rewarding oneself with wine, with complete derision. This last sober benefit is really the one that’s keeping me on the straight and narrow.

So – I am kind of in a self-imposed holding state. I can’t say I feel happy, but this isn’t down to lack of booze in my life. In most part, it’s down to shit that is within my control to change. So I will start trying to muster the energy to make some positive changes so that I can start to bloom like a daffodil, rather than stagnating like a bit of mouldy pond gunk.

Roll on the 100. Perhaps the resulting chocolate-high will spur me into action..

Red xx

Doldrums

IMG_20170126_122503_973.jpgIt’s day 74 today.. and I’ve been inspired to post today by SWMum,  who’s on day 77 and seems to be in a similar place to me.

For the last week or so, I’ve been feeling inexplicably low, lacking in joy, in fact downright nihilistic. I have a much longed-for week off work, with nothing planned apart from relaxing, however even this has failed to inspire me. If anything, it’s adding to my irritation, as various mildly rubbish events have been steadily encroaching on this time off, so that what should have been nearly a week and a half, has turned into effectively two x 6 hour slots of time off. With a fucking cold, to boot.

The “me” of two weeks ago would have been positive about this, not let it get me down, would have found a bright side somewhere, and enjoyed moments of real happiness. The “me” of now is just plain hacked off, and even sitting with my feet up and a muffin the size of my head is failing to inspire me.

I’ve had a few thoughts of drinking this week too, which have annoyed me. (But,  hey, EVERYTHING is annoying me). This could be because it’s my first bit of proper time off sober – I would usually have made this as an excuse to drink a lot of “treats”. And because Mr Red is also off, we would have planned in time to “escape” to cosy pubs and drink way too much. It’s been preying on my mind, I’m just not having rebellious, let-my-hair-down fun and my brain is trying to tell me it’s because there’s an absence of booze.

So, seasoned sober folk – d’you think this is the dreaded PAWS? Will I feel bouncy ever again? I shall now lie face-down in my Victoria Sponge Muffin, and await your thoughts..

Red xx

 

Two months

I made it to two months sober this week. It feels good. Quietly, solidly, good, like I’m the Cheshire cat, smiling down from my tree branch (don’t knock me off, don’t knock me off!!).

I did have a craving on Friday night. But it was the first one for weeks. I can hardly believe that really. I think I know the reason too…My in-laws know I’m “TT” as they call it. I think they’re quietly impressed, and have been enthusiastically buying me new AF drinks to try. Last night they sent me a bottle of “Fre” de-alcoholised white chardonnay. It was interesting – I used a wine glass, and it was quite convincing. A bit too bloody convincing. I didn’t enjoy that feeling. On the up-side, it prompted a really good chat with Mr Red. And I was able to step outside the situation and analyse it a little. As I explained to him, it didn’t make me fancy a glass of wine. No, for about 20 minutes, I just wanted a whole damn bottle full of obliteration. I think this shocked him a bit. I also told him about the relief I feel now, not subjecting myself to the constant thoughts of drinking.

“Why did I drink so much last night/why do I drink so much/I mustn’t drink tonight/can I drink tonight/I’ll drink tonight but not tomorrow/I’ll have one glass/Fuckitfuckitfuckit”.

And repeat, endlessly. ALL the time. Every day of every week.

Now I have (a little) distance from this cycle of behaviour,  I’ve realised the true extent of my slavery into it. This is why it is SO much easier for me to stop drinking completely. It’s a simple answer to the myriad of questions. And after a short while, the question stops being asked so much, not even daily, and then suddenly you realise you’ve not heard it for a week. Maybe two. And perhaps there will be times when the cravings briefly raise their ugly heads above the parapet again, but this is nothing, NOTHING in comparison to the constant hell of that incessant, pride-destroying chatter.

I had a dream where I’d forgotten that I’d stopped drinking, and gone out with my friend and got royally pissed. I felt disorientated and sick to my stomach, but the worst of it was the crushing disgust and disappointment I felt with myself. I woke up and the relief of reality was huge. I revelled in it.

Being sober is also making me less selfish. I’m much more likely to think about the feelings of others (instead of obsessing over when I can legitimately start drinking). Example: I’m supposed to be having my much-coveted weekly lie-in this morning. I’m having a lie-in of sorts, but on the bottom bunk in my eldest’s room, keeping him company while he watches an *ahem* hilarious Sooty and Sweep dvd. This doesn’t sound like much of a sacrifice, but hungover Red would have likely slept through his little requests for a TV buddy.  We’re faced with a rainy Sunday here up north, and I’ve actually found myself suggesting to the Redlets that we get the paints out. Anyone who knows me will find this hard to believe. Three children under 6 – with paint??? And me?? The threat level to soft furnishings and walls is at about defcon 1. But I can handle it, oh yes – I’m sober, and happy!!

Enjoy your Sundays too, people, whatever you’re up to..

Red xx

 

 

 

 

Time dilation

Quick check in – I’m perched in the bathroom whilst two small boys create tidal waves and general havoc in their evening bath. Fans of Calvin and Hobbes will be able to picture the scene with a degree of accuracy. The downstairs electrics are in danger, but hey, they’re having fun.

I wanted to note something very significant. The periods of time between my cravings for wine are stretching. For me, this is A Very Big Thing. It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve not even thought about drinking for about 7 days.

I NEVER thought this would happen. If you’re in early sobriety, and are (like me) wondering what fresh hell it will be to live the rest of your life thinking about drinking but not being able to, ever again, then please take comfort in this new experience of mine. It may not last, but by the gods, it is progress.

Right – I must go, I’m about to be carried out of the bathroom on a Matey-tsunami… Somebody, please CALL THE COAST GUARD IF I’VE NOT POSTED BY TUESDAY!!!

Red xx

My First Half-Century

50 days today!!! I am very proud of this fact. It’s been a long time coming, for someone like me, who generally has all the willpower of a squirrel sat next to a very large nut . Family Red all got out into this today, and it felt very good:

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I’m planning to spend this evening celebrating the New Year by eating ALL of the calories I missed over the last 36 hours. Even if that means eating two dinners, three desserts, and cheese, I will battle through.

2017 will not be about denial of any sort for me; there will be time to make more positive food choices, it’s already happening naturally now that I don’t crave my own bodyweight in fried food due to a hangover. And not pouring poison down my throat isn’t really denying myself anything, now is it?

I’m struggling to pick a word for the year, but I think I’ll try to focus on kindness to myself and others. And FUN! I want lots of fun, and I finally have the energy and drive to seek that out. That is a momentous thing for me; my alcohol habit was increasingly making me a hermit. I didn’t really want to leave the house. At all. Funny really, given that booze is supposed to make life more amazing, according to the adverts?

If you’re just starting out on Dry January – please keep going – you may feel incredibly tired at the start, just when you think you should, by rights, be feeling full of beans and all renewed and shiny… I found that bit so, so hard. Why was I doing this, if not to feel better? But the extreme tiredness will pass, and you will begin to break the habits. Seriously, just give it a go.

I’m now really looking forward to whatever the next 50 days will bring. I’ve never felt so positive in January in my life before. What a good place to be!

On re-reading this post, I think I may be on that post-vomit-virus high, where just feeling ok and being out of bed is like you’re living in a John Hughes movie.. one with John Candy cooking breakfast in it.  But I reckon it’s My Life Without Booze. Try it.

Red xx

Just. New.

Happy New Year, everyone! A quick post; I want to record the fact that I’m now on day 49, and I had a brilliant New Years Eve!

We had good friends over, the kids were all happily sleeping together upstairs, the adults enjoyed a Thai meal cooked by Mr Red, I was armed with tons of AF drink options, and crucially, I was completely honest with our friends about what I was doing, and why. Note – appreciate this approach wouldn’t work for everyone;  these are extremely good friends who are very understanding about a broad range of things (particularly the importance of good mental health) and I knew I’d get nothing but quiet, fuss-free support from them.

We played a few games, had an absolute riot with Cards Against Humanity, and I found myself laughing, having fun, relaxing, all the emotions and states of mind that we fool ourselves into thinking we need alcohol to achieve.. well bollocks to that, it just isn’t true.

Sadly, after thinking that surely I Am Wonder Woman,  and I’d escaped the illness which afflicted my family over Christmas, just before midnight I succumbed. I rang in the New Year with a delightful toilet interface at 11.50pm, then ran downstairs, shouted a Happy New Year to all, ran back upstairs and was lost, another victim of the dreaded vommitty-bug. I feel pretty rough today, which I’m incredibly annoyed about, given the fact I should have been “jumping out of bed like Mary-bloody Poppins” as Mr Red put it. But I’m peversely happy that none of this can be attributed to booze. Ha!

If you’re thinking of giving up the drink – just do it. The difference I feel in my life is incredible. Really – try it, do it, what do you have to lose? If you want help and support, shout, there is an amazing band of people out here, blogging and helping each other. There’s no way I’d be at 49 days today if it wasn’t for all the support. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and wish you all a peaceful, happy 2017.

Love, Lady Pukebucket  (formerly Red) xx