Day 89 – Babysitting

Tonight I’m being babysat by my mother which is enough to drive anyone to drink.

Whilst I’m feeling betterish and venturing out of bed, I can’t lift anything including BB for a week and the hubster is out tonight for a curry with friends (I’ve urged him to go).

My mum and I have an odd relationship. When I was younger she was extremely controlling and then in my 20s she had a stroke. It was then my turn to move home and look after her. She hated it, which I think is understandable.

In my 30s I’ve moved back out again and established clear boundaries which she constantly ridicules and tries to breach. I’ll then cut her off for a while, soften and let her back in for the cycle to continue. I’ve been receiving counselling for this over the past 5 years on and off.

When we won our wedding last year in the beautiful lake district and my mum refused to go. She believed it was “tacky” because we won it and was angered the date of the wedding was 9 weeks after my nephew was born to the favoured sister. She knew we had been given the date of the wedding, it wasnt our personal choice.

When I told her we were continuing with the wedding and we understood her wishes and if she didn’t want to come she sulked for 3 months and wouldn’t speak to me. It was only at the intervention of my lovely God mum that she came (my godparents said they wouldnt speak to her again if she didn’t come).

She thinks me not drinking is absolutely ridiculous (a direct quote) and uses it to ridicule as well as the comments about my weight. When ever I call her out on her comments, she plays victim or tells me I’m being over sensitive or overly dramatic. Or just denies the situations have happened. Even if its on text.

At first I believed it was my perception or it was something I’d done wrong. But with help of a therapist and my husband seeing it with his own eyes (he calls it unbelievable), I now see it for what it is. Toxicity.

I’m determined BB never grows up in that environment and due to the way she’s behaved on the 5 times she’s had her the last year (taking her out in December with no socks or coat, forgetting to feed her for 2 hours past her feed time because in her mind routines are ridiculous- BB was having a meltdown or the last time when she woke up at night feeding her biscuits- we don’t give BB refined sugar), she’s not trusted to have her.

So that’s my Friday night. Wish me luck. I didnt even mean to write all this but started writing and out came the word vomit sorry.

Hows everyone spending theirs?

Love

JS x

Day 88 – two fat ladies

So if you weren’t aware (and sorry if you are and I’m teaching you to suck eggs), the term “two fat ladies” comes from bingo halls in the UK. It might also be in other countries, but I’ve not played bingo since being a kid in a social club with my Irish Nana.

The term has always made me smile and brings back fond memories so I feel it is fitting for todays day 88. It goes hand in hand with memories of smokey social clubs, with a packet of crisps and a panda pop from my childhood with my dads side of the family. My nana used to sit looking over her over sized glasses, blouse with a collar and cardigan, sipping her shandy taking the whole thing very seriously.

I’m also…. and this won’t come as a shock to any of you… still a little bit fat. Now I know I’ve just had an operation, but I feel so excited to be able to do things again. I’ve been too nervous to run alone, take part in races due to this heart. I’ve also hidden behind it, using it as an excuse not to push myself.

Well today I feel slightly sore, but thrilled and exhilarated. I’m so excited to get back out there and run, especially the rainy wintery runs I love so much. It’s also made me think lots about heart health in general and whilst on bed rest I’ve been googling healthy heart food and planning wholesome food for us all. I’m hoping exercise combined with this will reduce my viscal fat and help my body be as healthy as it can be. Not being a drinker will also help that.

My friend who lives in the country text today saying I bet you’re relieved you can drink fizz again and it’s made me realise how far I’ve become. I’m not in the slightest interested in having a drink. Im more excited about the massive toblerone and this amazingly cheesy hallmark series I’ve found.

So although I’m coming to the end of the 100 days (less than 2 weeks away), I’ve still got so much work to do and life to live. I cant tell even begin to tell you how excited I am and how grateful for everyone who’s taken the time to comment and support.

I hope you’re all well and healthy. If anyones got any healthy recipe ideas let me know.

Love

JS x

Ps-I know toblerone isnt healthy heart food, but its food good for the soul after an operation ♡

Day 87 – I survived

I survived!!!! My dodgy internal psychic was wrong again.

I’m so so relieved to wake up. And they managed to zap the extra circuit so I’ve got a 95% chance of success.

My dr was absolutely lovely (read gorgeous) and although I was awake for most of the procedure and could feel the burning and pulling it didn’t hurt. Also I’ve learnt my heart is a funny shape with an extra ridge or something and could’ve raced at any time as was super sensitive. So as I’ve always thought, I’m a sensitive soul with a sensitive heart.

Feel so ecstatic and happy right now. Could dance all the way home (probably the drugs). Also they said when gassing me with oxygen and administering the sedation that it would feel like I’d had too many drinks.

Oh I don’t drink, I replied.

So I’m alive and now going to try and live life to the fullest. Just waiting for the hubster to pick me up so I can wrap my arms round him and BB. Then settle down with a herbal tea and Dexter.

How are you all?

Love

JS x

Day 86 – Tomorrow

I’m in a really bad head space about tomorrow and I just can’t seem to shake the foreboding feeling that’s going with it.

For those of you that don’t know, when pregnant with BB, it was picked up I had a heart condition which was previously undetected. I’m lucky, it’s not massively serious (SVT) but it made carrying a baby extremely exhausting. I unfortunately kept collapsing and being admitted into hospital which was super stressful. Then a weekly scan showed BB had stopped growing so at 36 weeks she came early. She is perfect.

I’ve been on heart drugs since finding this out and on a whole they control the condition rather well. However, my heart can still go whilst out walking or when alone with BB. When it happens, I cant do anything and I’m exhausted after an attack. So it was felt it would be best to have this procedure done and its happening tomorrow.

From what I’ve read survival rates are extremely good, the risks are low. But I cant get my head around someone doing key hole on my heart. Like if it was my knee, I’ve got another one. I’ve only got one heart and I need it.

I’ve got it in my head I’m going to die and my biggest worry is leaving BB motherless. We are so close and it breaks my heart to think of her without me. I know statistically I’m going to be fine, my friends and husband are telling me it will be ok, but I just cant shake it.

So I’m hoping tomorrow when I update we can have a big giggle about my dramatic post, but until then keep your fingers crossed for me.

Love

JS x

Day 85 -Bittersweet

Day 85 –

I think one of the interesting and slightly bittersweet areas of sobriety is finding out who your friends are.

I blogged previously about telling one of my binge drinking buddies about my sobriety. I wasn’t sure whether she’d still come over for a cuppa when we were due to meet. I was delighted when she did.

Since then she has declined every invitation to go out for dinner (I’ve asked 3 or so times) citing the virus as an excuse. I completely get the virus as a reason and have never pushed it, respecting her boundaries. Which is why I was upset when speaking to a mutual friend that she was out drinking the last 2 weekends in bars. Especially one which is tiny with no hope of social distancing.

Over the weeks when we’ve chatted over whatsap she hasnt mentioned this.

This Friday, I’ve pushed my hubster to go out for a curry as he’s isolated with me and has literally been a saint.

Unfortunately I can’t lift BB for a week after my operation so I’d arranged for this friend to come over for a girls night in. I thought it would be a nice way to spend time together and it would count as child care under the covid rules.

Today she has text to cancel stating she’s too concerned about the virus. That she wants to travel to Ireland to stay with some family the end of October so is trying to limit as much contact as possible. I’m so disappointed. This sounds horrible I know deep down if there was fizz on offer she’d be there.

Part of me wants to call her out on it. I’ve already queried whether staying in another house when a resident of a lock down area is against the law (never mind travelling to Ireland which is on the brink of a full scale lock down). But part of me is like meh, I get to some I’m not “as fun” to some people and I’m comfortable with that. Maybe this is the measure of our friendship or we’re on different levels. As I know water always finds its level.

What’s your thoughts?

Love

JS x

Day 84 – well hellloooo hair

Day 84

I’ve always had thin and let’s face it rather lank hair but lots of it. Over the years this has made it hard to grow and prone to splitting. I always thought the poor growth was due to gene’s and the fact I bleached it with highlights every 6 to 8 weeks which made my hair so dry and brittle at the ends.

However, when walking with my mum last week she commented how thick and healthy my hair looked. Which frankly shocked me as a) my mum never compliments ever and b) it’s never looked thick. I’d also noticed it felt thicker but didn’t know if that was just wishful thinking.

Between day 20 and day 50 a ton of hair fell out, which I put down to a change of hormones since having BB. I’d also lowered my heart meds and thought that might have contributed. I’m now of course wondering was it due to abstaining from alcohol?

After turning to trusty google, I’ve come across a blog “waking up the ghost” who states alcohol raises estrogen levels which if elevated can cause hair loss. Drinking alcohol also lowers your zinc and folic acid as well as depleting vitamins B and C all which are essential for healthy hair. I also recall the wonderful Claire Pooley writing about this phenomenon in her blog.

Further googling brings me to the alcohol guide which also points out that high alcohol assumption also often results in poor food choices (hello dominos or a trusty kebab), which have a knock on affect in skin and hair health.

So I think (well hope) maybe that’s why I’ve suddenly got thick swishing locks? Either way I’m not complaining, I’m ecstatic.

Have any of you noticed this?

Love

JS x

Day 83 – Moderation

Day 83

I’ve been thinking a lot today about moderation. It all started when a new dress arrived and discussing the next girls meal. Everyone was moaning about the grey day (I actually love grey days) and someone chipped in, was it too early to start on the wine. The response from the rest of the group was it was never too early and the discussion then led to where we would go out next.

The general consensus was a lovely independent cheese and wine bar which I’ve wrote about before on this blog. The one where the owner didn’t know my name, but knew what I drank.

My mind started to wander during this discussion. was this it? No more cocktails with the girls? What if I only drank when going out with the girls? Or on special occasions like Christmas? It wouldn’t be “that bad”. I’d still be cutting down and I could “handle it”. Just a glass of wine now or then or an espresso martini.

The thing is, what I’m learning during this process, is that unfortunately I’m an all or nothing person. The word moderation, literally does not process in my brain.

Last night I was feeling stressed so I decided to break my no sugar and dairy and have “a bit” of chocolate. We know how this ended…. a pack of biscuits, a bar of Cadburys later and I was hunting around the treat cupboard like something demented trying to find another bar of chocolate.

I remember the days before I stopped drinking. I would literally think of any excuse to drink nearly every night. I’ve had a bad day, the kids were hard work, I deserve one, I’ve submitted my work, there’s a Y in the day. Everyone else is drinking, how could I celebrate without a drink.

Before I stopped drinking, when making cocktails for the hubby and I, I was taking secret sips (well actually gulps) in the kitchen whilst mixing. My SD knew how to mix my favourite g&t and we would have g&t Sundays. I would competitively look at the glasses poured and always hope I’d get the biggest glass. I would make arrangements to meet friends without children, just so I could drink. My first night away from my daughter, I arranged a sleep over at a friends and we drank so much we were sick at 3am in the morning. And I felt relief and even more exhausted. I’d get the feeling inside me that I needed a bender to escape. I look at it now and think escape from what.

I’m actually petrified to return to how I was. The feeling of being out of control and something controlling me. So much so, I don’t want to risk “just one drink”. I look at what I’ve gained in just over 80 days and it’s not worth it.

Love

JS x

Day 82 – Day 2 of Isolation

Day 2 of isolation. I’ve eaten all the chocolate in the house. We have walked in the rain, I have crawled on my hands and knees pretending to be a dog and chasing BB. I have cleaned out our bathroom cupboard and found loads of hotel bath bottles so I can have a spa night. I’ve not drank.

I have however become addicted to watching an adventure race on Amazon. I’m really enjoying watching the teams, facing their fears, over coming struggles and pushing their bodies to extreme. It’s made me think…. could I do an adventure race?

Before my heart started playing up I used to run half marathons and really enjoyed them. I also enjoy swimming. Would it be possible to fit in training around having BB, a SD and everything else. I know my husband would support me, he’s wonderful like that. I’ve decided it’s something I’m going to look into and I’ll keep you updated. I’m excited just thinking about it.

I always thought people who gave up drinking, were giving up something precious. What I’ve noticed is since “giving up” drinking, I’ve gained so much more. The zest, the regained sense of fun and playfulness, the sense of adventure. It’s opened up my eyes to so many more opportunities and I feel so lucky.

I’m also loving following different blogs and doing lots more reading on peoples journeys through this. Everyones aha moments, the sense of community. I’d love to follow more so if you could point me in the right direction of any more blogs I’d be really grateful.

So happy friday, no wine o’clock for me. Homemade meatballs, pasta and garlic bread. What does your Friday look like?

Oh if anyone does know any good adventure races for beginners let me know

Love

JS x

Day 81 – Day 1 of isolation

I started my isolation for my op today and the most tiring thing is trying to tire out a nearly 1 year old. BB is desperate to walk (but can’t), lies face down and screams when you leave the room and has an attention span of dory the fish.

We’re currently on the second nap and then have the hours between nap time and bed time to fill. Normally we go out and explore more and I feel so sorry for her to be stuck in.

Dexter has finally settled and is so cuddly its unreal. I’m so glad we got to the bottom of it and he’s becoming a confident, cheeky member of the family.

I’ve been reflecting on why I’m in such a funk and there’s one little thing niggling away at me. It’s going to sound really silly, but have you ever felt at home somewhere which isn’t actually your home?

My friends moved into a beautiful tudor cottage out shropshire way almost 7 years ago and I’ve always loved visiting there. When I moved into my first home and I was too poor to feed myself (always had money for wine though 🤦‍♀️) they’d invite me down every other weekend and look after me. When they’d go on holiday, I’d house sit, curling up infront of the real fire with their dog or sitting in the window seat quietly reading my book. I always felt safe, nurtured there and loved how the house was steeped in history. I knew the regulars at the local pub, the fields and walks like the back of my hand. It was a dream of mine to move out there. One I’d discussed with my hubster (we can’t due to my SD so we’re tied to the midlands).

They’ve recently moved out to a new area and due to covid I’m yet to visit. I’m sure the new home is absolutely beautiful, they have the talent of taking wrecks and turning them into something really special. I’m just so sad I wont ever visit that beautiful cottage again and sit on that window seat watching the village wake up as I read my book. I almost feel like I’m mourning the loss of a comforter or a friend, I know that sounds so silly. I’m aware I’m so lucky to have lovely friends and a lot of the time it’s the people that make it. But this home really got under my skin.

Has anyone else felt like this before? It was the first night last night I thought oh a chilled glass of white would be nice, but I managed to push that thought away.

So that’s todays ramble. Hope you’re all ok?

Love

JS x

Day 80 – Can you believe it

I can’t believe I’m at day 80 already. It only feels like yesterday I was trying not to puke, with a hangover down a childrens farm. Cursing myself for feeling so poorly and trying to blot out the whole experience from my mind as I went through the mummy motions.

I’m so proud that I’ve got to 80 days and cant believe how much has happened already. As the happiness project says “the days are long but the years are short”. I feel already this is true with sobriety.

If I hadn’t decided to go sober in my friends lovely countryside garden 80 days ago, I’d have never got into swimming again. I’d have never experienced the cold water rush of an early morning sunday, or the buzz of swimming 100 lengths by 7am on a Wednesday morning.

I’d have never swam last night.

Last night was one of the most amazing experiences of this year (I mean there wasn’t much competition with covid). I drove over the country roads, chasing the full moon until I got to the lake. I met my sister there (we decided to go in separate cars due to the virus).

We walked up a path lit by fairy lights and to the lakefront. We were given 4 glow sticks and a group of around 25 were safety briefed before we got in the water 1 by 1.

The water was freezing, but refreshing and exhilarating. It felt like all the anxiety of the last few weeks were being washed away and I swam in the light of the moon, admiring the inky blues of the sky and water. Everyone was lit up by the glow sticks and it was slightly surreal seeing it all.

My sister (who is on day 79 today) chatted about sobriety and in more detail about her relationship and her job. It was lovely nattering with her, we never get to spend any 1 on 1 time together and I cherished it.

I drove home, mouthful of cake, so thankful to be alive, really alive, not just going through the motions. I crept into a quiet, sleeping house. Checked on BB and after a hot shower, snuggled in to bed with Dexter and the husband. I felt so lucky.

Today marks the first day of isolation. It’s also the first day BB has started really clapping her hands. Every time she hears a song she claps delightedly and its adorable. I’ve cooked and prepped for tomorrow and wracking my brains on how to entertain BB whilst staying inside with rubbish weather. Any ideas welcome.

Roll on day 81.

Love

JS x