A Birthday Gift

Hello! I’ve been quiet recently. A little bit due to recurring-bloody-illnesses, and massively due to the guilt I’m feeling about drinking again, and about wimping out on friends who are doing the 100 day challenge. Oh, yes, I folded, faster than a shitty cheap deckchair.  As I predicted, once I’d recovered from my last bout of illness, I started to feel better, and decided that it’d be completely impossible to enjoy an evening of friends staying chez-Red without drinking beer.

Then I became ill, yet again, with a bad cold. So I stopped drinking, got a bit better, and then it was my birthday, FFS, how can I possibly enjoy a birthday sober? So I had a large glass of wine with my birthday tea, and once the resolve was utterly shattered, shared a bottle with Mr Red in the garden.  By this point, however, my tonsils had freakishly started swelling up again, almost as if I’ve become allergic to the damned stuff. So at 11pm, on my birthday night, I decided to give myself a gift. I would not drink again, one day at a time.

Giant proclamations about giving up forever, or for 100 days, don’t seem to be working, in fact they seem to send me very quickly running to the bottle. So I’m going to try taking it day by day. See if that sticks a bit longer. I’ve written a list, actually physically written it into a journal. It’s a list of how I feel, and how shambolic my life is, when I’m drinking. If I get the urge to drink, my plan is to look at it, and ask myself if anything has changed/improved. If nothing has got any better, if life’s still constant chaos, and I’m permanently ill, and feeling overwhelmed, then I can drink again if I want to. I know lists are only any good if you remember to read them at the crucial moment. And I’m obviously banking on the fact that my life will improve here. Bit of a gamble, but from my research, the odds are stacked in my favour.

Another surprise birthday boost I received from my eldest son was a display of his maths prowess: “Mummy. Mummy. In eight years, I’ll be twelve!”(pause, for some frantic calculation…) “And that means, in eight years… you’ll be FIFTY!!!!”.

Thanks son. Yes indeed, in 2024, I’ll be 50, with a 12 year old and twin- 10 year olds. Jeeeezus. I’d best stop drinking now, so I can be a fit, strong, healthy, glowing, Elle MacPherson “oh-my-God, she’s-not-really-fifty??”. And not be the tired, overweight, irritable, slightly crazed, embarrassment of a mother that I am now.

Today’s day 4, and despite the fact it’s the first England match of Euro 2016 tonight, I ain’t drinking today.

Love, Red xx



28 thoughts on “A Birthday Gift”

  1. Today is what counts Red my friend. Go for it. And if we can handle an English street party (in celebration of the Queen’s bday), followed by England’s first match sober – there’s surely nothing we can’t accomplish! I’ll be thinking of you! x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Red, just thinking how sensible you are for taking it one day at a time! I too will be 5-0hhh in 2024. But, I will have 13 and 17 year old girls!! How scary!! Anyway it’s nice to think that we will tackle the dramas our kids bring us in their teens with clear booze-free heads! After months of avoiding drinking and avoiding boozy football games I sat down last night and watched the French play with my OH. It was actually OK and I learnt a few of the French players names! The middle bit got a bit boring so I pulled out my book and started reading Moby’s new biography!! Keep up the great work and go easy on yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there bfgabi – yeah, being “together” and sober in our kids teenage years will be a huge bonus, methinks! Good to have a big birthday buddy 🙂 thank goodness 2024 still sounds quite a long way off.. yeah I’m not sure if the footy will be boring without beer, but I’m sure I’ll be able to follow it a bit better. What’s Moby’s biography like?? Blast from my past ; -) Red xx


  3. Where is my comment? Stupid internet connection. Just did a massive comment and it’s gone. Basically I am happy that you are back posting as you have been missed. Thank you for getting me started on the 100 day challenge, I wouldn’t have done it without you encouragement and I genuinely feel that it is one of the major factors on keeping me moving forward. I will be eternally grateful to you for that. Like you the one day at a time mantra has worked better for me than anything prior to this as forever is just too long.
    Lastly I am horrified that you are still so ill, you poor thing, that is months now and you must be worn out. I hope you will turn a corner now and start to improve and keep remembering to check in with your list and see how you are doing. Good luck Red, always here if you need a chat.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ginger – I’ve been willing you on my friend. Am only 17 days behind you now 😉 you’re the one who made me consider the “one day at a time”approach! Yes, still ill. Think I might go to the doctors Monday, as it’s just getting silly. I’m planning on writing a “positives” list out, in a pretty fashion, and sticking it up in the kitchen where I can see it. More chance of working its magic then 🙂 I will email you when the kids give me a chance. Love, Red xx


  4. I think your body is trying to tell you something red.. Perhaps in a weird kind of way you are becoming allergic to alcohol?! In the last 6 months wine has made me throw up with increasing frequency – perhaps our subconscious realises we can no longer tolerate toxins? Good to have you back though and the journal is a great idea.. I love lists! Off to a BBQ tonight.. Got 6 becks blue, sparking NA wine and raspberry/lime spritzer so well prepared!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really do wonder the same re the illness SWMum! Good luck with the BBQ tonight, you sound well prepared. Would love to hear about your Iceland trip sometime too. Love love love that place!!! Red xx


      1. It was actually really easy. I had enough alternatives and drank n/a out of a champagne flute. No one person queried it and at one point I felt positively giddy!!


  6. Hi Red. In 2019 I will be 50 and my adult children will probably still be living here gaming and smoking pot. So I’m not really sure who has it worse. But ANYWAY, yes, I believe your body has spoken and is telling you NO MORE. Your journal is a very good idea, there are differences that YOU will notice day to day that your little addict lizard brain is going to gloss over when it wants you to drink and now you will have a record. Every start and stop brings you right back to here. Every one. Because you’ve already identified alcohol as a prob for yourself, and now you can’t “unsee” it. So as we all do, drinking will always be over-drinking, and that will always make us unhappy because we KNOW there’s another way.
    So happy you keep coming back!! I believe in you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – yes I reckon my kids will be living with me into my 70’s – if I make it that far ;-). My body has indeed spoken. It says no booze please, and definitely more chocolate/PB input. Thanks for your patience and faith in me. Means a lot! Red xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy birthday Red! Congrats on 4 days. That’s awesome. Yes, I still think of one day at a time. I just concentrate on not drinking today. I’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

    I tell myself that they may find a cure for alcoholism tomorrow. Until then I won’t drink today.

    You can do this. I’m sure your health will improve massively now you are in recovery. Good luck. Noddy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I like that thinking Noddy – that’s a great take on one day at a time. Yes, I’ve a feeling my health will surely improve, and that’s got to be a big old kick in the butt to my booze issues. Hope you’re doing ok? Red xx


      1. Glad you’re good Noddy – was wondering after your last blog, and then things had been quiet. . I’ll try to check in/blog daily. I do find the support hugely motivating.
        Anne – yes I see what you mean – the clarity is a precious thing 🙂 Red xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Fuck it, I’ll be 62 in 8 years time, beyond that thought I can’t think of much else. I can’t even remember what I was doing in 2008, drunk probably!! Still, I was sober for my Birthday this year. I hope you feel better soon, hopefully England will soon get knocked out of the football so we can concentrate on Europe or Tim Peake retuning to Earth.

    Be good.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, looks like after last night that we’ll be able to stop worrying about winning the footy fairly sharpish this time. Which suits me, I was bored shitless. I always subconsciously knew that watching World Cups and Euros was just an excuse to drink for me.

      Re: age, I’ve no worries about actually being 50. It’s the thought my kids will still be so young. When my parents were 50, I was 28 and financially independent with my own home. My folks were footloose and fancy free, with plenty of disposable income. Guess I’m just jealous!!!
      I will be good.
      Red xx


  9. Happy birthday Red! And congrats on day 4! You’ve been so unlucky with your run of illnesses, I hope you are feeling better now. One day at a time worked really well for me this time. If I thought too far ahead, I would panic. One day at a time is much more manageable. I’ll be 50 in 2018 and will have an 11 year old! It freaks me out! But it’s better than the alternative so I just have to get used to it! A x


    1. Thanks Angie – yep that’s about it, when I look ahead, I freeze in panic and think of all the reasons & occasions where I’ll find it hard not to drink. But just thinking about today is so much more manageable! Hope you’re having a good Sunday. Red xx


  10. Happy Birthday Red, and thanks for making us all do the same Math…..in 2018 I’ll be 50, and although my kids and grandkids are not biologically mine (and therefore not my fault, although that doesn’t affect the impact in the slightest…love ’em even when they are assholes) they will still be like boomerangs….we always have one coming back…Listen to your body, it’s telling you something important.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jackie! Yep am finally listening to my body. I imagine my kids will be here way past any future retirement age for me. That’s if I can afford to retire. I just like to think I’ll have the energy to devote to them through to their late teens. There’s only one way that’ll happen really. Red xx


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