Day 67 – White lies

I normally update later in the day, but I was so excited I’ve come on early.

Yesterday we went for our anniversary meal and….. they had 2 glasses of chilled prosecco on our table waiting for us. I didn’t even think twice, I wasn’t even tempted, I sent them back.

I wasnt confident enough to say I was alcohol free, recovering from dependency. So I said I was in the early stages of pregnancy and enjoyed the fuss everyone made getting us mocktails to celebrate our anniversary and fib. I didn’t feel bad telling a white lie, but I do wonder when I’ll feel confident telling everyone.

How did you handle being loud and proud, owning your sobriety? Or are you like me and still not entirely comfortable telling people?

Love

JS x

Day 66 -Outings

Today me and BB went to her baby class and she loved it. Afterwards 2 mums and I went and sat on the grass with our babies and chatted. It was lovely.

I’m super excited tonight, as it’s our anniversary meal out. We’re going to a super tasty independent that we love and I’m excited to actually go out with out nappies in my hand bag 😂.

One downer is the silky dungarees I brought 4 weeks ago to wear, are now too baggy. But as I’m desperately trying to lose weight for the operation in October, this is a good downer, right?!

I’m so glad that’s the only downer. I’m genuinely not bothered about drinking tonight. I don’t feel I’m missing out. Just excited to try some gorgeous food and enjoy the night with my husband. One thing I know for sure, after swimming 100 lengths this morning I’m definitely having dessert.

I hope everyone had a good week so far and is staying safe?

Love

JS x

Day 65 – Park Picnics

Yesterday I was so tired, I some how time travelled back to day 54. It was actually day 64, those 10 days make all the difference.

Today BB and I have met another lovely mum and baby for a socially distanced park picnic.

At first I was a little nervous due to the restrictions, however, we set up our picnic blankets 2 metres apart and chatted easily whilst the babies played with their toys. I had a lovely time and was so happy when she texted asking to do it again (weather permitting) in 2 weeks time. I’m hoping I’m starting to crack the mum friendship thing.

In other news, there’s a guy I sort of struck up an acquaintance with about 4 years ago. I’d always see him out walking his dog when running and some how over head nods, we started stopping and having a quick catch up, whilst I stroked his gorgeous dog. About 2 years ago we started following each other on instagram and apart from a month ago when I bumped into him over the fields I hadn’t really seen him. I presumed it was because I was running less, or exercising at different times. But to be honest I hadn’t really given it any thought.

Yesterday he posted on instagram to say he was 8 months sober. He detailed his journey to this point, a spiralled down fall and hospital stay, the previous attempts to quit and his secret sober recovery account. I had no idea he was struggling with addiction, he always seemed so upbeat and well… sober when walking the dog. 8 months is the longest he’d ever done.

I emailed him to say congratulations, but everything I wrote to him seems so inadequate.

It got me thinking how lucky I am. My downfall wasn’t as bad and I was fortunate to catch it just as the wine witch was scratching the surface. He emailed back thanking me for reaching out. He looks amazing now, fresh faced, twinkly eyes, glowing skin so I shared the compliment and told him I’d recently gone sober too.

Later on I shared the news with my hubster (who unfortunately gets to hear every little part of my day). He turned to me and said, that’s what I was trying to tell you on Sunday. You seem more alive, you have your sparkle back.

So I’m thinking, sober sparkle is definitely a thing. Eyes that twinkle in a face that’s alive.

Love

JS x

Day 54 – A bite

I haven’t got much to say today. Apart from during a walk over the fields this evening. I was unfortunate to get bitten by a horse fly on my neck.

This of course stung, then smarted and it then grew, getting more and more itchy on my neck. By the time I got home I just wanted to scratch so bad to give temporary relief.

This got me thinking. The horse fly bite is rather like giving up alcohol. The first day it hurts, my god it hurts. Then smarts as you remember arguments, embarrassment, loss of self respect. As you with draw your skin crawls (or that’s what it felt like for me) and then there was the practice of not giving in and scratching that itch with a drink.

So tonight I have covered the area in tiger balm as a golf ball sized bite forms on my neck, happy and sober, determined not to scratch the itch.

Love

JS x

Day 63 – Swims and Walks

After falling over the stair gate last night and sporting bruises that made me look like I’d been in a fight, I got up and reluctantly went swimming this morning.

To be honest, I really didnt want to go. My body was sore and bruised and my bed was warm and comfy. It was the hubster that pushed me out of bed and towards the pile of awaiting swim clothes this morning.

But my gosh, when I pulled off the motorway and drove through the windy roads, with the fields harvested and the sun peeking up over the sky line, I was glad I did.

The water was a cold (read freezing) 16c and I instantly regretted my pledge to myself last week that I was going to swim some of it with my head in. I normally do a leisurely breast stroke admiring the countryside. Nevertheless, I stuck my head and confirmed it was as cold as I thought. After two long laps, I got out and treated myself to courgette cake (one of my five a day) and a cuppa before heading home.

At home BB was already on her first nap of the day so I had a hot shower and my new favourite porridge. Hubster and I had agreed to take her to the park for a walk. We’re trying to be good and start the restrictions early to minimise contact. So are avoiding friends and family today.

The park was lovely, there were loads of little birthday parties with balloons under the trees and children playing. BB was in her sling and was doing her funny leg dance pretending she was walking. The hubster and I chatted about the new restrictions, how they limited parents and old people.

He’s angry as he feels for people struggling to make ends meet, who’s only way to see family in the winter is to go to a pub/restaurant or freeze outdoors. He has also suffered from debilitating depression before and hes concerned about not only his mental health but others as the rules keep changing and we’re stuck inside more, cut off from social contacts.

I shared my worries about my nan and how BB loved playing with her a few times a week. I dont want them to lose that bond. We turn a corner and if by perfect timing we see this sign

We both love it and stop to take a snap.

More positive we start to talk about coping strategies and ideas on how we can still see people but stay in the guidelines.

As we leave the park he studies my face. Subconsciously I touch my face worried there’s left over icing from the cake on it. He tells me I look more like “me” than I have in a long time, that I’m taking more pride in my appearance, wearing nicer clothes, doing my make up and hair. As BB kicks off about going in her car seat, he stresses he loves me however I have my hair/what I wear etc. It’s just nice to see me so alive and happy.

I think it’s quitting drinking you know. Since I’ve watched my sugar (apart from the cake), I’ve definitely lost the bloat and my face is no longer resembling a spotty adolescent. I’m so happy the positives are still coming. The project’s only meant to be 100 days, but I think I’m definitely going to do another 100 days straight after.

Anyway I’m waffling. How’s everyone elses Sunday?

Love

JS x

Day 62- Girls Day

Today me and BB had a girls day as Daddy went to play golf. We danced to Estelle “American Boy”, ate home made falafel together and sang a million nursery rhymes. We popped into my elderly 90 year old nana back garden so she could see BB before the local lockdown commences on Tuesday.

Whilst I fully support the new measures we have to take I’m so sad for people like my nan stuck at home, not well enough to venture more than a few steps into her garden. I’m sad for BB not being able to interact and play with other babies. I have mum guilt that maybe I got it wrong. That maybe I should’ve sent her to nursery instead of keeping her at home so she’d have children her own age.

One thing is for certain though. I feel a lot stronger going into these restrictions with a sober head. When lock down first started, I saw it as an excuse to drink to excess. Every morning waking up with a pounding head and blood shot eyes. Day 62 everyone. A lot calmer and enjoyable than the day before.

Love

JS x

Day 61 – Afternoon Tea

Today I went for afternoon tea. But not any old afternoon tea, oh no, afternoon tea with my husbands ex wife. (Yes you read it right).

To celebrate my step daughter donating her hair for charity, her mum booked this as a lovely surprise for her to say well done. Then kindly invited me to it.

Beforehand I was incredibly nervous. Like how weird is it to go for afternoon tea with your husbands ex? Every fiber of my body was telling me very. The only reason telling me to do it was for my SD, to show a united front and build relationships. Show that mummy and I got on.

I surprised her in the car park and her face was worth the 500 outfit changes and extra 10 minutes of make up. I was greeted with a big hug from my SD and her mum gave me a big smile too.

We went through into the hotel and the afternoon tea was incredible. My SD behaviour unfortunately wasn’t so incredible, but it was reassuring to see that she used the same behaviour she uses on me, on her mum too. It was also interesting to see her response which was to ignore it as it escalated and escalated. It ended in my SD running round the (empty) restaurant bare foot and I kid you not eating with her foot on the table and her pants on show. I bit my tongue as she was on her mums watch, but when she pretended to be a dog under the table and started licking my legs I told her it was a good thing her daddy wasn’t here in a light hearted way and she stopped.

The ex obviously looked super slim and stylish and was lovely an pleasant to me. She opened up about why the marriage in her eyes broke down (his mother, who is to be honest absolutely vile) and why she had the affair.

I left feeling like I had been in some sort of twilight zone. Where had the last 90 minutes gone. What the hell had happened to me. It’s weird because I actually quite like his ex. I don’t entirely trust her, I feel like I maybe being used as a pawn in a higher level game. But I’m glad I went and it was nice to connect with her.

My poor hubby is completely suspicious of every move she makes which I completely understand. I think if you’ve been burned by someone you loved so much you will always be ultra cautious. I know shes wriggled out of financial and childcare stuff (attempting to get out of both at times) in the past so I think he’s right to.

So this is my blended family. I’m so pleased I’ve given up, normally faced with something/one over whelming I’d have had a few drinks before hand to settle my nerves. It felt good to go in with a clear head. It felt even better to go and treat myself (well BB) to a new dress for her birthday.

love

JS x

Day 60 – Alcohol, the abusive partner

Today BB woke up in a grumpy mood. Possibly getting over a little bug they’ve had or teething or probably both.

I had 3 hours to entertain them inbetween nap times and after playing with all their toys, lunch and an outfit change after a little accident we still had 2 hours to go. I really had to wrack my brains for the next activity.

All our friends and BBs little friends were busy. It was a grey day and we have done the park to death. So I try to think of a creative sensory activity for them.

I come up with an aquatics shop just outside the city centre and off we go. It’s free to get in and has lots of dark rooms with fish that glow in the dark and fluorescent lights. It also has lots of outdoor water features which BB loved the most.

And you know what, I’m so proud of myself for thinking if it and for actually going. I think alcohol made me really lazy and with a hangover I would’ve just sat in stupor next to BB not engaging today. Instead we both got out, they saw fish for the first time and then napped really well. It also got us both out of our grouch.

It makes me think, I feel like (for me at least) giving up alcohol is like breaking up with an abusive partner. It’s one that brings me down emotionally, financially and mentally controls me, strips me of my confidence and self worth, deprives me of quality time with my loved ones.

I feel thats when you escape its power for maybe a day, a week, a month… it’s like a manipulative psychopath, whispering seductively into your ear and before you know it, you only remember the good times. The ones with the rosy glow. Not the hangovers, the embarrassment when you’ve been an idiot under the influence, the sick, lost property, lost self respect.

I feel when I gave up it was like a sliding doors moment and my path forked (or f*cked) off in a different direction. Just even in this little activity today I can feel that. It’s one I need to remember when the whisper comes to seduce me again.

Love

Js xx

Day 59 – New Friends

Today we (and when I say we I mean me and BB), went to our first baby class since lock down. I’ve been so excited about getting out again and mixing with other mummys and babies.

We get there in plenty of time and settle in on our mat next to (well 2 meters away) from another mum. She’s so lovely and smiley that we spark up a conversation whilst our babies wave at each other.

At the end we stand on the car park chatting about how hard it’s been being a new mum, how your identity changes and how lockdown has magnified all of this. I ask if she fancies a coffee. She says she would love one and off we go to the local cafe and chat over cups of tea. It’s what I’ve always dreamt of as a new mum, but it’s one of the first time it’s happened. After we swap numbers and agree to meet for a picnic on Monday.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I’m so excited I’ve made a potential new mum friend. It feels almost like dating, trying to find another mum you connect with. It’s been really hard and quite isolating during lock down and all my nct friends are returning to work in the next few weeks.

I also excited as because it’s a mum friend the friendship with revolve around BB and not going out and wine which is the sort of friendship I need right now. I’ve got 2 meals coming up with friends (if we dont go into local lockdown) and I’ve been really fretting over being out around alcohol. I find seeing my old drinking friends or/and going out to restaurants really triggering although I know I need to stand strong and face up to these triggers.

So that’s me today. How’s everyones Tuesdays going?

Love

JS x

Day 58 – Blah

I’ve been really lucky today as my husband gave up his run so I could swim. I’m really enjoying being in the water, getting lost in my thoughts as my body finds its rhythm. It’s definitely me time and I’m going to miss it when I’m at home recovering from the operation next month.

In all honesty today has been a blah day. BB is teething and miserable. I popped to my nans to see my mum and nan and had to bite my tongue repeatedly as mum tried to undermine my parenting again and again. I then of course snap and feel immediately guilty.

I was booked to do 2 hours work which got cut to 30 mins so was annoyed about the loss of revenue.

I’m stressed about Christmas, my family will ignore the covid warnings and all congregate at my aunts house (16 people all in doors). BB, hubby and I will be expected to go and will be cold shouldered for a few months before and after Christmas if we don’t go. My aunt also has naughty dogs who are quite bitey and there’s the worry about putting BB on the floor anywhere near them.

So that’s what’s in my head today. I know I’m really lucky to have a supportive husband, a beautiful baby, food in our fridge, a bed to sleep in, lovely friends and family so feel really ungrateful saying all this. But my god it feels better writing it all down. Any how its 7:30… nearly time for bed 😂

Hope you’re all having less blah days?

Love

JS xx