Day 193 – And breathe

I haven’t posted for a few days as I’ve been so stressed over this situation with the ex wife. And whilst round 1 might be over for now, I know there’s another fight looming in our future.

We found out yesterday, after all those threats, the manipulation that we were letting my SD down, the horrible emails and whatsap messages, that after all of that she didn’t pass the exam.

His ex wife informed us at hand over tersely then promptly slammed the door literally in our faces. I was pretty shocked by her behaviour. Although suddenly I can see where my SD gets her terrible bouts of attitude from.

I always try and treat her like I would if she was another professional I work with. Calm, polite and slightly humourous, so it only amplified her behaviour.

I felt awful for my SD, but so relieved it ended the financial discussions for now. I made her a hot chocolate, sat on the sofa and chatted about how she felt whilst looking through some photos we had had printed. She didnt seem disappointed, like the ex muttered at us, actually up beat. It was freeing to see her like this as she’s been rather quiet and withdrawn the last few weeks.

Today on the way home from the park, she told me she only wanted to go because her best friend was going. That mummy had told her she could try again next year if she wanted to be with her. I froze as her childcare agreement states we don’t have to discuss this again until she’s 11. So obviously her mum is deciding to ignore this part of it.

I asked her was her best friend the only reason she wanted to go. She said yes. So I said theres 3 classes in each year group, theres no guarantee that you’ll be with your best friend.

“Oh well I dont want to go, I want to stay at my current school with my friends”. I feel so sorry for her. It’s almost like her mum is pushing her own wishes and dreams for what her childhood was on her.

It’s made me more aware of my own dreams and desires for BB. Mainly I just want her to grow up happy and healthy, a well rounded good person. But deep down I’d love her to love the outdoors like me, like horses, open water swimming and to be curious about the world. I’ll have to ensure I dont push these on her to the point of pushing her away.

During the stressful last week, I’m so glad I’ve not drank. Its kept me even minded, open, fair. Drunk me would’ve responded to some of the stuff sent with bitterness and anger. Instead we have gone back level headed, offering alternative solutions. My husband called me his anchor and I felt so proud I was able to be this. Sobriety has given me this gift and I’m slowly unwrapping the paper.

And whilst I know further thunderstorms are forthcoming, I know sobriety will see me through them.

Love JS xx

Oh and I’m still replenishing, skin good, enjoying baths and yoga

Day 189 – When the sh*t hits

The grenade went off last night when my husband emailed his ex wife regarding the private school she is hell bent on sending my step daughter to.

She is wishing to break the court ordered financial agreement and contribute less towards childcare due to her funding the school. She also by default wants us to pay more in covering the extra weeks holidays my step daughter would have, the increased school uniform costs and any additional school trips etc.

We simply can not afford it. We live modestly on one salary supporting the 4 of us currently. We can afford all our necessities but not any extravagances. But we are happy, we don’t want or wish for more.

The whole point of the financial order was to protect us from her doing this as she’s a lot more affluent and doesnt wish to pay as much.

We have stated my SDs school is currently outstanding, they’ve offered excellent online lessons, she loves her friends and teachers. That she has experienced a ton of upheaval in the last few years and school has been her one constant security blanket. That she loves her childminder, she’s settled and happy. That we’d prefer her not to go.

All of this has fallen on deaf ears and as I’ve said, she is hell bent on sending her.

We had preliminary discussions in July last year at time when I still had a job to go back to. She gave us a scribbled draft of her financial workings out and we went back with what we needed to make it work. Since then both our stances have changed. She is now asking for more, whereas we are asking to stick with the financial agreement and use this money to cover the extra costs of uniform and holiday cover.

This resulted in her creating a whatsap group last night adding us both and then ranting about how we’d changed the goal posts (so had she) and if my SD couldn’t go we would be disappointing her forever. That she felt forced into a corner to continue to pay the financial agreement (like yes it’s a legal enforceable document).

Her message immediately caused all sorts of turmoil. My husband rubbish with conflict, went quiet, brooding and snappy. I was expecting this but was annoyed I’d been added into a whatsap group to discuss it informally.

Then I could feel the anxiety kick in. My heart beat went erratic. My mind was racing with all the potential scenarios. I felt the wine witch give me a wink.

I lit some candles and powered through my yoga, getting lost in the flow. And you know what. It really helped. Like really helped.

I came out of the practice calm, no longer craving (well it had reduced considerably) and was able to be supportive and nurturing towards my husband. I responded to the group thanking her for including me, but stating I’d rather the discussions stayed between the 2 of them for now. I felt proud I’d maintained my boundaries. I then left the group.

This morning after a rubbish nights sleep, I’ve helped my husband devise a response to her email that is calm, unemotive and to the point. Not using the dramatic language and the guilt manipulation she has tried to use.

I dont agree with her approach or demands, however, I do emphasise with her as a mother. She obviously believes it is the best route for her daughter and she’s fighting for us to contribute to her idea. I respect her for doing that, for looking out for her daughter. I only hope she shows some respect and empathy back to our family and financial situation.

So that’s where we are today. It was the strongest urge I’d had in ages, I’m glad I managed to fight it.

How’s everyones Sundays?

Love

JS x

Day 188 – Alcohol Nightmares

I’ve just woken up all clammy with my heart racing. Last night in my dream I drank.

I was sitting in a made up city bar by a window with a collection of people. I was dressed up, confident, glass of crisp, cool, white wine in hand.

I remember taking a sip and then thinking oh crap, I’ve ruined my streak, I’ve got to do day one again. Then just deciding not to do day 1 again, just to “moderate”.

In my dream my mind flashes forward as I manage to moderate for a week, maybe 2. Then I’m having sneaky sips in the kitchen again. I’m choosing to go to a friends to get black out drunk, instead of spending time with BB. I’m hurrying friends with drinking, always watching my glass anticipating the next pour.

I feel out of control, but worse than before. I’m hiding bottles and BB doesn’t want to bring friends home from school incase I embarrass her.

I woke up in a state of panic. I’ve being contemplating recently about if I’d drink again. One of my friends said “oh you will have a glass of champagne at my wedding won’t you to celebrate” and another asked if we should bring wine to a canoe trip we’re doing when the virus is over.

All of this made me think maybe I could just drink on special occasions. Not in the house. Not infront of BB. But a conflicting thought was why would I want to put toxins in my body, go back to the hard first few white knuckle riding weeks.

The dream has come just at the right time. I believe it’s my subconscious saying I won’t or more to the point can’t drink ever again. I just can’t moderate it and its dancing with the devil.

That’s something I’m coming to terms with and it feels weirdly ok.

Happy sober saturday

Love

JS x

Day 184 – 6 months sober

For 6 months I’ve lived authentically (or at the very least that’s what its felt like).

I chose not to drink alcohol any more after a terrible trip to a childrens farm with a hangover (think the stench of cows combined with the hangover heaves). However, I still continued to drink for the next 2 nights.

You see I always felt I was “giving up”. That I was robbed of one my favourite pastimes, relaxation activity and social lubricant.

I can now see in 6 months, I have in fact not chosen to give up anything. I have chosen to live in a technicolor of emotion and experience (I know this sounds terribly wanky, but it’s what it feels like). I have chosen to become a better mother, wife, friend.

I have quit my job to follow my heart into teaching and I’m dedicating hours to pre read the course material and practice weak areas. I’ve started the journey on tackling an eating disorder and putting in place positive practices.

I have discovered a love of early morning wild swimming and have signed up for when it opens again in late Spring. I’ve cross stitched 2 childrens advent calendars, taken better care of my body, read books to expand my mind.

I have woken up at 6am to do yoga, taken long walks, danced in the rain under a rainbow with my step daughter and explored beaches in Devon whilst on holiday.

I know to some this is already their life. But for me this is all brand new. I’d have never done this whilst drinking.

I’d have missed out on all these opportunities. Missed the magic in the quiet moments with my daughter. Rushed the bed time routine instead of lingering, giving extra kisses, reading an extra book. Missed getting up early to see the sun rise and break over a gorgeous lake whilst the cool water swirled around my body. Missed early reconciliation after a row with the husband, extending the arguement with alcohol induced self righteousness. Missed the afternoon hike in the lakes up to a tarn whilst my husband and BB slept.

Missed connecting with you. You have all helped so much this last 6 months. Encouraging, offering advice, changing my mindset, recommending books, yoga expanding my mind. Thank you.

I feel like I’ve lived more in these 6 months than I have in 2 to 3 years of drinking. Yet I look and feel younger. Isn’t that crazy?

That’s even taking into account lockdown, the anxiety of a virus, home schooling. In fact the lock down has only made it feel like I’m more cocooned, protected whilst I navigate new waters.

So if you’re starting this journey and asking yourself is it worth it? It is. It really is.

You’re not giving up anything (well apart from toxins and on occasion feeling like utter death). In fact the hole you think alcohol leaves, blows itself wide open and fills up with activities, feelings, love, self awareness and an appreciation for life. It’s not one I’m planning to give up any time soon.

Anyway enough waffling

Happy Tuesday

Love

JS xx

Day 182 – Walks

Today I made time to escape the house and do a big walk with a friend over the fields by us.

The husband is in a mood as he’s currently sword fighting his ex wife over her wishes to send their daughter to private school and the implications and added cost to ourselves (she’ll pay the fees, but there’s an extra 6 weeks holidays to cover and the uniform is £600 p/a. That’s not even considering school trips etc).

He, well we both do, have concerns over the effect on BB having a different education. As well as the pressure to pay for the private school add ons, taking money away from BBs pot. We’ve always said we would treat them as fair as possible, when it comes to money, treats, presents etc so neither child feels left out.

However, it feels like if we don’t consent, it will always be “your dad held you back”, to my step daughter when she’s older. We’ve basically been pushed into a corner.

Understandably he’s become snappy and withdrawn so I was happy to escape for 2 blissful hours with a friend.

The thing I love about this walk is it’s off the beaten track, you hardly see anyone whilst walking it. So in covid staying safe terms it’s great. There’s also tons of beautiful nature to look at. Rabbits, horses, wagtails, robin’s. The air feels fresh and you forget you’re in a city.

I breathed in great big breaths. I listened to the bird call, the snorts of the horses as we wandered past. I heard my shoes crunch the frosty ground, the cold tingling my fingers. I felt alive and well. I felt in the moment.

After the walk had finished, I came home to a warm home. I played with BB as my husband snapped. It was hard not to snap back. I then decided on a little more self care and went to bed with a book in her nap time.

When she woke, my husband came in the room and apologised. I feel so much better for biting my tongue and not giving it back. Acting from compassion and understanding, instead of hurt and well annoyance.

We ate Sunday dinner together, laughed and enjoyed each others company. I know tough times are coming (they haven’t come to an agreement yet and there will be a fall out), but I feel better for weathering this part of the storm.

Being sober definitely makes me less reactive, more compassionate and more self aware. It’s making me a better wife, mother and partner. I couldn’t be more thankful.

Oh replenish update, still doing the skin care routine and loving it. Still doing yoga and trying to get enough sleep. Eating is going better too.

Happy Sunday. Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend

Love

JS xx

Day 180 – Beauty

In these cold, snowy, sober days I’m still managing to find beauty in everything. I’m trying (and sometimes failing) to let go of stress around home schooling my SD, trying to study myself and parent my beautiful baby.

I’ve found being sober, not sobering. I’m still laughing more, getting up early to do my yoga and skin care routine.

I’m getting joy out of online interactions with the sober community, starting to enjoy insta more and trying to pay back and support people like how I was supported.

I’m still feeling strong, happy and beautiful even if I am in jamas, no make up, unbrushed hair at midday (maybe slightly delusional).

I’m trying to be as positive as possible about the situation, enjoy this time, these moments in history.

So far it’s working. I’m replenishing myself, one beautiful moment at a time.

Hope everyone’s staying well and as happy as possible?

Love

JS xx

Trudging Along — One Year Without

Thursday January 7th, 2021 Day 3 So I’m back to day 3 again. I guess the good thing about slipping really early on is that it doesn’t take that long to get back to where you were! After I drank on Day 4 the other day, I figured I might as well throw in the […]

Trudging Along — One Year Without

I’m not sure if anyone is looking for anyone new to follow (or if I’m sharing this correctly), but I’m loving these blogs from this lovely sober blog. I remember these times so vividly, that it would be great if we could support them ♡

Love

JS xx

Day 177 – The comfort zone

Nearly 6 months ago. I gave up drink.

This was throughout my life, my comfort blanket, my warm and fuzzy against the harsh realities of life. This was especially true in lockdown when my drinking escalated to every night, getting earlier and earlier in the evening/late afternoon.

Abstaining from alcohol turns out to be one of the single best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s led me to this blog, tackling a binge eating disorder, changing my career from HR to hopefully teaching and becoming a more present, calm mummy/partner to a beautiful baby, my SD and husband.

So whilst in England, we go back into lockdown life, I’m happy to be going into this experience sober.

Whilst I’m fortunate enough to spend this period of time in a warm home, with food and great company I still aim to continue my journey of self exploration and getting out of my comfort zone.

I’m excited to get up earlier than the rest of the house and do my daily yoga in peace. I’m using the time to walk with BB more pushing myself to do more steps each day. I’m starting to learn some of my course and battle one of my biggest fears (mathematics). Whilst doing this I’m replenishing my mind and body, nurturing what I’ve got whilst pushing myself a little bit more.

It feels really eye opening.

How is everyone else feeling about the lockdown (if you’re in a lockdown area of course)? Has anyone started baking sourdough yet?

Lots of love

JS x

Day 177 – Monday

Last night one of our friends turned 40 and we celebrated with an online murder mystery night. I was dreading it to be honest.

It started after my bed time (9pm) and I was worried everyone would be pissed on camera trying to talk over everyone.

It actually turned out to be one of the funniest nights of the virus so far. Everyone dressed up in ridiculous outfits for their characters (think raiding your kids dressing up box) and put on silly accents. Although it appeared everyone was drinking, I didnt feel left out, nor was I embarrassed when the call ended by anything I’d said and done. We had fun and it was lovely hearing my husband stick on a silly accent and properly laugh.

I also woke up with no hangover, which would have never happened a year previously.

Monday is back and it’s not a blue one over here. BB and I have done the swings in the cold, blown bubbles in the park, I’ve made homemade pesto and have a chicken stew bubbling away.

I know I’m really lucky as I’m not working this year, in fact I feel really grateful. I’m trying to soak it all up as she’s starting full time nursery mid August as I start my PGCE. I predict I’ll be a blubberly mess leading up to it (I may have sobbed slightly when replying with her start date earlier).

In replenish news, I woke up early did yoga and my skin care routine. Still drinking water and will have an early night to night.

So that’s everything over here. How is everyone else? Hope you’re all well and staying safe.

Love

JS x

Day 175 – “Me time”

Firstly, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who reached out after my last post. I really appreciated it, it was so lovely.

Keeping up with the theme replenish, I woke up this morning early and couldn’t get back to sleep (5:30am). It made me smile as in my old days of working that used to be my normal getting up time. And here I was lying in bed horrified that I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I decided to turn the negative into a positive and by 6am I was up, skin routine partly done and on my yoga mat. There’s a lovely little group of us that seem to be following Adrienne’s new 30 day yoga, Breath. It’s really helping motivate me and keeping me on track.

As I was moving through the stretches I decided I’m going to try and get up most mornings now at 6am to ensure I get this me time. Instead of stressing throughout the day when to fit it in.

The song sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann has kept echoing in my head. Notably the lines “sometimes your ahead sometimes your not, in the end the race is only with yourself”. This tied in perfectly when I read the comment of Ainsobriety “comparison is the thief of happiness”, it really struck a chord with me.

I looked up the lyrics to sunscreen and thought I’d share them, in case anyone needed to see this today:

“Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it
A long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
Than my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
Until they’ve faded, but trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back
At photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now
How much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked
You are not as fat as you imagine

Don’t worry about the future
Or worry, but know that worrying
Is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubble gum
The real troubles in your life
Are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you

Saying, don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts
Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours

Floss

Don’t waste your time on jealousy
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Stretch

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life
The most interesting people I know
Didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t
Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees
You’ll miss them when they’re gone

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t
Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Funky Chicken’
On your 75th wedding anniversary
Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much
Or berate yourself either
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room
Read the directions even if you don’t follow them
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past
And the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go
But a precious few, who should hold on

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle
For as the older you get
The more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once but leave before it makes you soft

Travel

Accept certain inalienable truths
Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old
And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young
Prices were reasonable, politicians were noble
And children respected their elders

Respect your elders

Don’t expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse
But you never know when either one might run out

Don’t mess too much with your hair
Or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85

Be careful whose advice you buy but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past
From the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
And recycling it for more than it’s worth

But trust me on the sunscreen

Happy sober sunday

Love

JS

Ps look how pretty the front garden looks in the snow

Pps I’ve created an insta to match this page life_sipping_away ♡ I promise I wont mean girl