Day 18 – Nourish

So I’ve finally graduated from Jason Vale and now reading Catherine Greys book called the unexpected joy of being sober. I’m only a little way in but so far enjoying the different writing style.

One comment from the book has stopped me in my tracks this afternoon “The thing that you think is your crutch is actually a shackle”.

Isn’t that just so true with alcohol?

For over 20 years, I’ve used alcohol as a crutch in social situations. Hiding behind fake confidence to appear witty, fun loving and happy go lucky. I’ve used it as a crutch in winter months when solo living, as company, a boredom distraction, relaxation. I remember buying my first house and being ridiculously strict with my food budget as I’d stretched myself too far with the mortgage. However, I always made sure I had spends for a bottle of wine. “I deserve it”, I would tell myself or “I need it to unwind”. I’d also have a “going out budget” which was bigger than my food budget. I couldn’t fathom going to the same nights out and not drinking. That would seem boring, I’d see alcohol as a key component to socialise.

Looking back to 5 years ago, my “drink/going out budget” was at least 2x my budget for food. I can’t believe I chose to spend more of my money on something so toxic instead of food to nourish my body. What a shackle.

Another crutch I would use alcohol for is dating. I’d always have a bag of “hilarious” stories from terrible dates. I thought the only way to get through these was to drink and at times I truly believe I only went out on some of these dates because I was so lost, lonely and it was someone to drink with. Instead of finding fulfilling hobbies to fill my time it was just me, wine and tinder or me, wine and friends.

My first date with my husband was meant to be a quick coffee but ended with an afternoon to evening bender. Luckily our next date was a big hike, sober, where we really connected over our love for the outdoors. I’m lucky I didn’t blow the first date as he is the most wonderful, supportive man a girl could ask for.

I feel every day there’s a new revelation. Like an old banister in a 100 year old home, the layers of paint are slowly coming off, one by one revealing a person hiding beneath. I hope like the Russian dolls, I’m at least a bit slimmer by the end.

Another very good point from the book, I’m holding close to my heart is “treat yourself like you would a toddler”. Make sure you eat, get enough sleep, take care of yourself like you are your own nourishing parent. Whatever that looks like to you.

So this afternoon, instead of going wild swimming whilst beautiful baby napped I wrapped myself in a blanket and had a hot chocolate. The weather this morning had been horrendous and I’d got soaked running round the lake, then after breakfast doing a small hike to a ghyll to show bb the waterfalls.

I’d promised myself I’d swimming again, but I already felt frozen to the bone. It played on my mind as I hummed and ahhed over it, until I decided to treat myself like a toddler. If a toddler was frozen, you wouldn’t submerge them in cold water, you’d wrap them in a blanket and give them a cuddle. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. Keeping nourishing yourselves, whatever that looks like to you


JS x

Published by lifesippingaway

36 years old, wife, stay at home mum, outdoors lover, wild swimmer, starting the journey to an AF life

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