Small incentives

I had a craving last night. Mr Red is stressed and under a lot of pressure with work, so he popped out and bought a bottle of red, cracking it open in the kitchen as I was prepping tea with the vague words “you don’t mind do you Honey…?”. Now this wouldn’t usually bother me; over the last few months I’ve discovered that I don’t really like red wine anymore. Strange, after years of drinking it with gusto, but hey. But KAPOWWWW – the sight and smell of it hit me like a truck, and for a second, I really, really wanted a glass. Especially when he offered me a taste and began extolling its delights. Even more so when he nipped upstairs, and I suddenly considered taking a slug from the glass with the thought “well, no- one would know…” marching across my brain.

Strangely though, in those moments, it was as if I was split in two. Part 2 of me said “don’t be daft, you don’t really want it. And once you’ve eaten, the craving will pass”. And also “Yikes,  that’s bloody dangerous thinking!!” about taking the hidden, forbidden sip. So I managed to ride through it fairly easily, recognising it for what it was; my addicty-habit brain falling into old, well-worn patterns.

Once we’d sat down to eat, and talk, sure enough the desire for a drink was gone. And interestingly, Mr Red happily drank his one large glass, and then decided that was enough.

During our meal, we heard the telltale creak of the floor which signals the approach of our little girl. She’s taken to inventing wildly spurious reasons to pop down for one last cuddle, such as “I can’t find PoleyBear, Mummy”, with said stuffed toy clutched firmly under her arm, or “there’s an ANT in my bed!!!” aka a miniscule piece of sock-fluff.

She toddled over and jumped up onto my knee, so, after some cuddles from both me and Daddy,  I carried her back up to bed, and at her request climbed into her little bed with her “for a snuggle”. I lay there for about 15 minutes, whilst she chattered, gave me random kisses (“I kissin all your moles Mummy!”) and she gradually got sleepier, and I almost fell asleep myself. It was lovely – I looked at her beautiful little face, and her huge eyes, and her gorgeous little hand in mine and marvelled at how lucky I am. And I thought about all the times I have been cross and irritable if she wouldn’t settle, desperate to get downstairs for my “me-time”, which meant wine, of course. And then I thought with horror about all the times I’d been inebriated, whilst she and her brothers slept upstairs, and how many times I’d been cross in the night if she’d called out, or more likely not even heard her. And I thought about all the possible consequences of being drunk in charge of small children, of the things that might have happened which I’d have been too pissed to deal with effectively. And then I thought about another mother, from a high-profile case in the UK,  and  I thought about my own mother, who lost a little girl (one whom my own daughter resembles very, very much) at a similarly young age, suddenly, in the middle of the night many years ago. And just for a flash I felt a fraction of how they might feel, day in day out. And I hated myself, was rocked to my core at just how callous and irresponsible I’ve been, and of just how much I’ve taken for granted. I don’t want to feel like that any more. I want to be as proud as I can of my efforts at being their Mummy. And of course, there’s a fairly simple, obvious way I can do that.

Apologies for the overly emotional post today, I needed to write this down so I could hardwire the thoughts and feelings into my memory. Please don’t get me wrong, I was not up for mother of the year award yesterday; in fact I was quite a grumpy bastard at times. This was mostly due to starting my day at 4.30am with a young man who couldn’t sleep due to tonsillitis, whilst I battled my ongoing bloody illnesses. But, I did the best I could  and I had nothing to feel ashamed of.  It’s day 7, I’m pleased with that, and I’m not drinking today.

Red xx

 

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38 thoughts on “Small incentives”

  1. Wow. That post just hit me in my gut somewhere, I’m so glad you shared it. What strikes me is how easily your night could have gone in a different direction. A stolen sip of wine, your own ‘what the hell’ glass, Mr Red getting sent off to put your daughter to bed.. But you stayed strong and something beautiful happened. Happy day 7.. You rock!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think those deep moments of realization and connection and love are important.
    It’s not what you haven’t done. It’s what you might miss if you continue to drink.
    So many lovely little moments.

    Of course, there are lots of hard moment too. Unfortunately we still have to be human, even if we are sober. I keep trying to overcome that, but I’m not having any luck.

    But when you know you are trying your best it’s so much easier to forgive yourself.

    💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s it exactly Anne – I can try my best now, and if it falls short, I can at least feel I’m giving it the best, unaltered, unimpeded shot I can. I’ve still got a lot of work to do on some of my grottier personality traits, all in good time tho 😉 Red xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s moments like those that really helped me get through those early days. And now, it’s all the little moments that I actually notice that make me so thankful to be here now.

    Stolen sips got nothing on blissful moments of clarity.

    You’re doing great. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely reflection from you Red and with so much past pain but also hope and realisation. Sober moms also rush bedtime stories or skip a bath night just to be able to sit down and have mummy time whether that is with wine or tea. Emotions are running high the first few weeks and you have this off the back of being poorly, cut yourself some slack. Belle did a 24 hour anonymous ‘forgive yourself for……’ And some of them are heartbreaking. Even more so are all the people supporting with really great comments. Be strong my friend we are all behind you cheering you on. Thanks for sharing the above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger 🙂 I agree, I’m still desperate for Mummy time, but my patience is generally loads better. Which is a huge relief, my irritability with the kids when hungover is its own special cycle of hell 😉 Red xx

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  5. What a beautiful, warm, fuzzy post 😊 You nearly just had me in tears! Our little people are so special aren’t they. My kids are my main motivation for trying to be sober. Well done for 7 days xxx

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  6. Things I’ve done drunk Red, the things I’ve done. Can’t put them right and nobody died but there has been some collateral damage along the way that makes it hard for me to live with me sometimes. Much better sober really. Heartfelt post and I don’t think it hurts ti dwell on these things now and again.

    Justonemore

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The past is a crappy place sometimes. I hardly dare take the lid off that can of worms… and it is good to remember/reflect as it’ll hopefully keep us on the straight & narrow. But lets not dwell too long eh. We’re doing our best to be our most excellent selves now. Red xx

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  7. Beautiful post Red. I can so relate. I lie in bed at night chatting to my little guy and I am filled such sadness and regret for the times I was so irritable and impatient that I cut short that special time to get to my wine glass. Now I try and savour that special time and not rush it. Of course, I am still human and there are times when I get frustrated when he just won’t go to sleep and I need some me time. But at least it’s not for a glass of wine now. You are doing great Red. A x

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  8. Great job Red. Those “punch in the gut” moments of recall never go away (at least not yet). But instead of making me physically flinch, these days, drunken memories are followed quickly by doubling down in my resolve to live life better. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jackie. I think the “punch in the gut” moments are a good reminder not to pick up a bottle of the bad stuff, so they have their uses! It’s good to know we’re doing our best. Btw – I seem to have lost your blog from my reader, and whatever I do it won’t come back! Has something changed? Probably me being a numpty 😉 Red xx

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  9. Hi Red!
    I am so sorry I haven’t been able to read your blog for awhile.
    But I am back now, for a long time!
    It sounds like you are seeing things with clear eyes.
    I am so happy about that!
    You are choosing the happiness of your little girl, instead of the wine.
    It’s a good trade!
    Happy Day 7 plus!!!
    xo
    Wendy

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  10. Hey Justonemore – how are you? Still sugar-free, exercising like a demon?? Yes I’m back, after a minor bit of technological idiocy which might have resulted in my blogging ID being revealed to an old school chum. Panicked and closed the blog for a bit! Red xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I read a comment you left on Mark Goodson’s site and you sounded so different from your normal comment ‘voice’. More philosophical or serious than before. It sounded very, I can’t find the right word but scolarly. Not jokey like on my comments (which is fine) just different, like you wanted to be taken seriously. You need to start blogging again dude, tell us anything. Go DEEP if needed as obviously you are a very intelligent lady. Anyway your grown up comment stopped me from commenting “Mark you are a hottie, *schwing* !!!” Ha ha
    I think about you and always hope you are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s just given me a laugh, I so wish you’d just gone ahead and posted that 😉 I guess I’m feeling reflective at the moment, and also I don’t know Mark, whereas I can act the fool with you as I feel you’re a friend! Anyway, I’m a typical Gemini (not that I believe that nonsense). Class clown one minute, over-analysing the next… hope you’re feeling lighter today my friend xxx

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      1. No, just self-pity and cumulative failures of my own making. Doing a job I don’t really want to do and failing to get jobs that I also don’t really want to do but you can’t live on daydreams. So, nothing that isn’t capable of being sorted. How are you and the rest of the Red tribe? Enjoying the summer? Been anywhere nice? You haven’t blogged for ages and I for one miss your writing.

        Justonemore

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      2. NoooOo – don’t go for jobs you dont want but think you ought to have. I have repeatedly made that error over the years. Got me nothing more than a shed load of stress, anxiety, and an exacerbated drinking problem. Mind you, I’ve just foolishly watched a Richard Curtis movie (un-numbed by alcohol), and then spent 15 minutes blubbing over the washing-up afterwards about Bill Nighy. I’m in no position to talk sense of any sort. Red xx

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  12. One good thing (and oddly a small drawback) is that no booze, few carbs and a lot more exercise means I have rediscovered my arse cheeks, hidden under diminishing layers of fat – the downside is that driving for 4 hours at a stretch (which I do twice a week) is now less comfortable but I’ll accept the discomfort for fitting into jeans again. Teehee! Blog soon, broken record or not!!

    justonemore

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  13. Hey Red just checking in to say I am thinking about you and hoping you are ok. Sending you big hugs and happy thoughts. Ginger.

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