Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Twenty Something

More than 3 weeks, closing in on 4, and at that happy point where without counting I can't tell you exactly how many days it is. I've not really had any serious cravings or second thoughts, until last night; I had a really stressful day at work (things are not going entirely brilliantly financially) and wanted to just fall face down into a bucket of gin when I got home. But I'm pleased to say I gave myself a pep talk - the Gin Goblin might help me to escape from my worries for an evening but it would also stop me from taking action to actually change the situation. So I stayed sober and worked through the evening instead, which was clearly more productive.

I'm feeling quite sorry for myself at the moment. I fell over on Friday (yeah, sober, what are the odds?) and hurt myself quite badly although nothing broken. Lost the weekend to mild concussion and I still ache all over which is stopping me from sleeping too well. Right now I'm working, but in my pyjamas, and vaguely contemplating how nice it would be to go back to bed. I think tonight I'm gone at 8pm with a good book - just need to keep going until then. Moan moan moan.

I'm not especially noting any huge benefits of sobriety this time around - but perhaps that's because I've been too focused on my recent one woman pity party. I'm getting things done, I guess, but I'm still waking up headachey and fuzzy. Who knew - you can get the effects of alcohol without actually spending money on it!

The next big test for me will be Friday - a night alone in a hotel in a strange city. I'm taking my camera and hoping to get some good architectural shots, and I'll be checking out the local sushi bars. Then I'll get some sleep like the sensible thing I am!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017


It's funny how the first few days seem to go so slowly, but here I am now closing in rapidly on 3 weeks of sobriety. I know it's hardly any time at all, but suddenly goals like a month don't seem so very hard at all. There's definitely something about that first week - and especially Day 3 - which is uniquely tough.

My mood has stabilised somewhat since Monday. I'm still a bit up and down, but also a bit more rational and a bit less tearful. We had an even worse morning with Ellie yesterday but I stayed calm and in control of it, even though we ended up being an hour late in to school. I definitely coped much better.

I was working overnight in London last night and found myself half an hour before closing in a pub which is basically my idea of heaven - former CAMRA pub of the year, and 20 real ales behind the bar. I had a diet coke, and only wanted beer a tiny bit. Not so much that I even for a moment contemplated actually ordering one; so that was a victory. And good to know I don't have to miss out on sitting in pubs reading books, which I do think is one of life's pleasures!

I'm absolutely shattered today, lack of sleep, probably got 5 hours in a very uncomfortable bed. My neck and shoulders have been hurting as I think I've been hunching up from all the stresses of the last few weeks. And I have to be on the road at 6am tomorrow for another insanely long day. I've managed to get a good bit of work done today but it's busy, and so I feel like I'm falling behind (I am!). It's a juggling act at the moment to meet deadlines and set reasonable expectations - there's nothing I can't finish, but finishing things by Friday when I won't get back to the office until Monday afternoon is looking sort of impossible.

Keep breathing.

Monday, 20 February 2017


I'm assuming it's good that I'm not as reliant on my blog as my sobriety outlet this time around...right? There's something comforting about having done this before - I know I can, at least for 6 months - but there's something scary about what comes after that. Can I keep it up this time? Forever is a scary thing.

Survived the trip home. E was a bit of a pain, wouldn't really go out or do anything and we had a few meltdowns to contend with. On the plus side, I had a day out walking on the coast while mum looked after her (thanks mum!) and I chugged multiple Nanny States each evening and avoided the lovely village local and its lovely, lovely beer.

I feel as though I've been very bad tempered and impatient with E, her quirks and features (I don't want to say her 'disability' but it does seem like the right word to use sometimes) make everything seem like a battle, a struggle, sometimes. I was in tears this morning trying to get her ready for school on time despite us having been up for 2 hours. I don't know if this is just part of withdrawal, or me just not coping with life generally. I feel quite selfish, there are things I want to do! I want a normal life with a child who does what they are told and takes less than an hour to put a sock on! Bwaaaaah!

As a woman who has to have a plan, I have a plan. I'm going to try to be calmer, and if I still feel like this next time I see the GP it might be time to finally change my medication (been on the same ones for 14 years now).

I'm not going to drink gin, however much I desperately want to. I'm definitely guilty of self-medicating in the past but I can't blame my drinking issues on family life - they have been there all along. There always seems to be something that needs to be dulled.

Clients at work are being pushy and impatient too. I feel like bursting into tears and telling them I AM doing my work, but I'm only one person, and would they just BACK THE FUCK OFF.

Perhaps I AM a little out of whack at the moment!! ;)

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Day 11. Cravings and weirdness

Day 11. More cravings today. Not so much that I'll give in, but I have been thinking about alcohol a lot more today and feeling quite anxious about never drinking again. This will pass, I know. I'm telling myself that it's a choice - that I can choose to drink if I want to - but that the sensible part of me knows that would be a bad choice. Nobody is saying 'no', what is actually happening is me saying 'No, thanks, not today'.

My brain is waking up a lot, but my motivation is lagging behind - if I was in a mood to write, to work, I could absolutely kill it. But my focus is on my hobby (photography) rather than my job at the moment and I'm having to try to rein it in and actually get some paying work out of the door.

Off to Cornwall to see my mum tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to. I've not been home since last summer and I could do with a dose of sea air. Going to stock up on Nanny State and pretend I never liked the local beers anyway!

Nothing much else to report. Better sleep last night. I do have one weird physical thing going on at the moment but I can't imagine how it can possibly be linked to alcohol, unless that in turn can do something wacky to your hormones? Hopefully a few days of R&R will see me come back to real life next week with a bit more enthusiasm for everything...

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Day 9 - The Storm

Day 9 already. This time around, I seem to have arrived here entirely without drama, without needing to really reach out or hold myself back. It's a little too easy - but I know that Gin Goblin all too well so I mustn't become complacent.

I'm going to visit my mum later in the week, so will go through several of my drinking triggers there - both socially and emotionally. Mum's on board with supporting me though, she won't offer me a drink! Thinking back, though, last time I was sober I remember having a sip of the sherry I poured her and then deciding I didn't want any, anyway.

The storm isn't an emotional one, it's the actual weather. We were promised heavy snow starting 10pm last night and lasting 24 hours. There's no snow - what we have instead is 60mph winds which haven't let up all night. The letterbox and the cat flap banging are driving the dog mad, and I've had about 5 hours' sleep. Hubs is sleeping soundly upstairs (it's his turn to sleep in), and I'm downstairs with E trying to get off the sofa.

I'm still lacking motivation in a big way. I have things I need to do this weekend, things I have been putting off for ages. I could easily keep myself busy today with little jobs around the house before we even start thinking about the work things that are piling up too! Being up early means I could get so much done, so why am I under a blanket on the sofa, waiting for hubs to get up so that I can sneak back to bed for an hour?

This all sounds really negative - actually I'm...well, I'm not full of the joys, but I'm feeling pretty neutral. Everything is 'ok'. I have a day off work tomorrow for my photography class, so need to spend some time today getting my most recent work together for review, and I'll be spending tomorrow with friends. Focus on the positive...one of those friends is Sober R who has been great, checking in on me daily and sympathising with the rough parts. I think having seen what he has achieved has helped to motivate me to do this again.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Day 6

Hello, world.

I don't really know what I want to write about today, I suppose I'm just checking in. It'll be a week tomorrow which feels both like a big milestone, and a small one - but mainly I'm focusing on just doing this one day at a time.

My brain is definitely starting to wake up again. I managed to figure something out in Photoshop last night which has eluded me for the past 12 months, and I'm about to launch into some fairly technical stuff at work which isn't too daunting. I'm lacking a bit of mojo for work at the moment but I've been like that all year if the truth be told. Hoping that will come back, as I start to come back too.

Sleep is still an issue. I'm tending to drop off around 1am, and I have to be up at 6.30 to get E ready for school (you have never seen anyone move as slowly in the morning as her!). Definitely feeling like I'm crawling towards Saturday and the promise of no alarm clock...I have been going to bed around 10pm and reading for a bit but sleep eludes me even when I do everything 'right'.

Yesterday evening I had to battle some pretty big cravings. I think I was as close to cracking as I have come so far. Not really sure what triggered it other than that I was tired, running my bath, and thought how nice it would be to soak and drink. Sober Friend R has recommended Eisberg as being a reasonably acceptable alternative but I do remember trying it last time around and loathing it. I think perhaps a year of sobriety has made him forget what wine actually tastes like ;)

Anyway, I decided there wasn't anything in the house that I liked well enough to break my streak for - there is gin, but happily I'm not dreadfully keen on it, some sort of strange yellowish 'bathtub' gin. I tried to distract myself on r/stopdrinking but reading about other people's benders just made me want what they had been drinking! In the end I just went to bed with a book, and that did the trick.

I have a meeting / cake session at 3pm today with a client, so it's a short day at least. Best get on with it!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Day 4

Day 4. Insomnia struck last night, and the night before, so I took a ZzzQuil at 1 am each time. Today I slept until 11am and am still walking around the office like a zombie (luckily, I'm the boss, so I can get away with it!). Entertained to note that I took one a couple of weeks back and felt it did nothing - I guess that's another sign of how booze was affecting my brain.

I feel like a bit of an observer at the moment rather than actually living in my body. It's not unpleasant, just different. I'm cutting myself a lot of slack and trying to be kind and positive in my inner monologue. Things like tidying the house, weeding the garden - they aren't the most important things and I refuse to beat myself up about them, for now. I'm promising that in a few weeks time, when the weather improves and so do I, I'll have tons of energy to tackle all of those jobs I have avoided for the past 12 months.

I feel much more confident and comfortable at this point than I did last time - perhaps because I know I can do it, and because I know what to expect? Perhaps because, having failed once before, I now accept that I'm an all or nothing person and just shouldn't drink? Perhaps because I've seen my friend ace it for a year now and can see the real difference it has made to him.

I also don't have to do quite as much soul searching. I know what my triggers for drinking are (stress and boredom) and when my danger points are (evenings, weekend afternoons), and I've got my strategies in place (Nanny State n/a beers and early nights). It's just a case of ticking off the days until I don't feel I have to tick them off any more.

The big change since last time around is that we now understand that our daughter has Asperger syndrome; that's why her behaviour was starting to get so difficult around the time I was going sober last time. I don't for a second blame that for me starting to drink again - but I know I'll probably be better equipped to help her if I'm fully present. I'm going to need energy to fight for her, calm her, support her, and fill in the endless forms. It's an added incentive!

Right. I guess I should do some work!