This photo was taken at the end of my run last night. One of the best things about sobriety is the extra time you get. This month I’ve rediscovered my love for running.
I used to always run and have done half marathons, 10kms etc.
When I got pregnant, it was discovered I had an underlying heart condition which knocked me for six. Gone was the active pregnancy I’d envisioned. It was replaced with days on the sofa too scared to go outside incase I collapsed (this happened several times and I was rushed to hospital).
BB was delivered at 36 weeks and then I struggled for 9 months, drinking too much, being too scared to exercise and eating my feelings.
After a heart procedure and quitting alcohol, I feel so much better. I’ve ran 4 times a week over fields by us and done yoga daily.
I believe the key to all this is quitting alcohol. It’s given me my umph back. Its helped me rediscover who I am.
So I got a month ahead of myself yesterday. Turns out I’m 8 months sober today not 9 months. I thought it had gone a little bit fast. Treated myself to some beauty pie perfume and a mascara because I’m worth it.
I was surprised by my SD before school with a lovely mothers day card. I was really touched as I’ve never been lucky enough to receive one off her before. Normally every school effort goes (annoyingly, but quite rightly so) to her mums. So this was a lovely surprise and I was incredibly touched.
I just have to remember these small moments when she’s talking in an annoying baby voice or causing chaos at home.
So it’s been a happy Friday here. Treated BB and I to the park. Watched her face light up on the big slide (whilst my stomach dropped with worry, I was scared for her). Having homemade curry for tea, with zero percent beers.
Today my little munchable BB woke us all up at 5am. The whole house.
So my hubster and I tagged teamed getting the children up and had our showers. By this point it was 6am.
Between 6am and 8am before my step daughter left for school, I’d made a pasta bake for BBs lunch and homemade cheese and broccoli scones. My step daughter was delighted to take them to school for her snack and I felt proud and happy too.
A year a go a morning like this would’ve killed me. My husband and I would’ve argued, resented each other and been snappy with the kids.
Nothing has changed apart from the fact I’m sober. Instead of it being a rubbish, tiring morning, I felt accomplished, proud to be sending my SD off with something I baked and full of love towards the hubby.
On his way home from the school run my hubby picked up some tulips to surprise me with. He never would’ve done that a year ago either. He said he just wanted to do something nice for the effort I’d put in.
I’m not saying going sober is all sunshine and tulips. It’s not. It’s bloody hard work. Some days you want to curl up in a ball and cry.
But 9 months after quitting (well 9 months tomorrow) it’s definitely worth it. It seems going sober had changed the tinsy wincy things. Like my mood when I wake up, my organisation skills, good feelings towards myself. All these little things have snowballed into big changes.
So if you’re struggling or curious I’d definitely stick with it and give it a try. I definitely look back and thing how far in 9 short months I’ve come. What’s the worst that could happen?
The idea for this post came from a discussion on Collette’s blog, (Wine to Water) about Gabor Mate’s view that addiction is always rooted in childhood trauma (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction). My friend did not see herself as having been traumatised as a child so this idea didn’t work for her. I’ve not yet read the book but I will. Whilst I happen to think a lot of mental health difficulties including addiction are rooted in childhood experiences I also think it can be reductionist and unhelpful to have linear cause and effect models for complex processes. The important thing about however you conceptualise a human problem is that it makes sense and is useful to the person with the problem. So this is an attempt to show the complexity of addiction using myself as a case study. These…
Day 239 and I wanted to take a little moment to appreciate my beautiful baby (BB) on international womens day.
She is my reason for getting sober and working on self improvement so she can grow up being proud of her strong mother.
My friend who was furious I’d given up drinking is pregnant and we went for a walk recently. We were discussing motherhood and I said it felt like an evolution.
The silently to myself, I thought, I wish I’d been sober for the first 9 months of her life. I feel like so much time was wasted. I was a shell of a mother, focused on wine o’clock, me time, pouring myself my poison.
The conversation had moved on and my friend was talking about baby slings. She asked if I had one. I answered I did but for hiking and asked why. She stated she was buying on so she could take her baby to bars over the summer and sit outside with the baby in the sling drinking wine. I asked about breastfeeding (with no judgement, I didnt breastfeed BB) and she replied she wasnt planning to so she could drink.
I remember having the exact same thoughts and being completely embarrassed by them. However, my friend was happily discussing how would it be possible to have a glass of fizz at her shower.
It got me thinking, isn’t it mad? That alcohol is so entwined in our culture we would rather drink poison then provide our own special nourishment to our babies (I know this isnt in every case, I’m talking in regards to my friend and I). That we would happily take a baby out to a bar at their nap time for a few drinks one evening. That we would put poison in our bodies whilst carrying our children. This includes myself. This was me.
I’m really horrified by our culture, I feel like the rose tinted glasses are off and I can see it for what it is. I also know there’s no explaining it, it wouldn’t have worked with me. In fact I would have politely commented and inwardly sneered at the “goody two shoes” advising me.
So when mentioning women for IWD, my mention is my daughter. Thank you for providing the light, for saving me, educating me, being my purpose.
And thank you too, to all the lovely, supportive, non judgemental women out there on this blog. You all inspire, lift me up, encourage and are awesome. I am forever grateful.
4 days after the cravings striked, they are slowly starting to dissipate and it’s such a relief.
And whilst everything looks the same on my normal day to day mum life, it feels sort of different.
I now know I’ve got the strength not to crumble and when there’s rough cravey times in my future what I really need is a bath, book and chocolate/ice cream/cheesecake/all of it.
I feel a strange sense of (maybe) pride, self worth, I don’t know? I normally would’ve given up by now. Admitted defeat and crawled under a blanket with a bottle of fizz.
I think I actually like the new me. The person I’m becoming.
In other news, I’ve booked my open water swimming for the summer at Compton Verney. I’ve managed to talk a friend into coming for a session and I’m so ridiculously excited. I can’t wait to submerge in the cold water and watch the sunrise whilst I swim.
My husband thinks I’m nuts, but I cant think of a better way to start a sunday morning and it costs less than a bottle of wine a week. I’m normally back just as the gang start breakfast, happy and content.
I’m also doing a pre-pgce course before starting in September and actually loving it. It’s around 3 hours per session and there’s 4 sessions. I’m completing it along side the maths work, in BBs nap times. Need to start learning history and English too. I feel all enthused and fired up about learning again. Yesterday we had to write our teaching philosophy. I loved reflecting on what sort of teacher I’d be and drawing on personal experience on the teachers that really meant something to me.
So it all in all it feels like a positive Tuesday. I’ve done yoga. I’ve walked with BB. I’ve met my god mum for a socially distanced chat. I’m running this evening. My skin care routine is continuing.
Woke up on day 230 still craving. It wasn’t an every minute thing, like it used to be at the start. But it was there, whispering away to me.
I confessed to my long suffering husband. Who was brilliant. He got me outside for a big walk with BB. We all went to the ducks and swings. Then he encouraged me to get out again and walk with a friend.
So that’s what I did. I walked for 2 hours with a girl mate. We chatted about life, work, the kids and how both of us wanted to move house soon. We walked through woods and round some lakes.
It was beautiful and the fresh air made me feel alive. It was one of those fresh, sunny spring days, where you dont need a coat and the sun warms your body.
The voice was still whispering tho. Encouraging me to drink. It’s so frustrating.
When I got home, I was in tears to my husband. Why do I feel like this? Will it ever go?
We had cheesecake and home made curry for tea. With fake fizz. It was perfect. I got my fizzy hit and a sugar rush too. The voice has quietened for now.
In other news, in 24 hours I’ve been complimented about my skin twice. One friend said it was actually glowing and another friend said I looked fresh and asked about my skincare. So sobriety is working in small ways.
Happy sober Saturday. Fingers crossed the cravings lessen tomorrow
I’m suffering from big, fat, mouth watering cravings tonight.
I know what’s causing it. I’ve had a rubbish week, banging head ache for 2 days, rushed yoga practice, little time to myself and my step daughter really grating.
This evening, I ran (read waddled) with my lovely mummy friend. We went around a local village where she lives. The air was fresh, it had that spring feel to it. The sun seemed to be setting on one side and the full moon on the other. Lots of people were out walking too.
The route took us through the centre of the village with lots of little bars, cafes and a pub (all shut).
There was something about the vibe, the lighter, warmer night that made me reminisce about other spring nights. Wandering to the pub pre children, celebrating the end of a working week, relaxing, having a few too many drinks and wandering back with beer coats on.
The strongest craving since sober time began hit me. We finished at my friends house and I drove home.
I could feel the feeling in my mouth, the twisty gut, the pure focus. All I want is fizz. A nice clean crisp glass of fizz.
I got home. Discussed with the husband. He’s been lovely and supportive as usual.
I had a big mouthful of nutella and now we’ve ordered pizza.
I think the trigger came from one the spring nights and two the fact I was starving, I hadnt eaten since noon and it was now 7pm.
I feel ok about ordering pizza. It’s the lesser of 2 evils. One pizza isn’t going to start a massive binge. It isn’t going to open a bottle and lead me down the rabbit hole.
So I’ve decided to do a little bit of something each day to gain a sense of achievement in these groundhog day times.
It could be house and garden related or myself, as long as I ticked a small task off each day. After deciding this, I suddenly felt full of energy and good intentions.
Yesterday after posting I went in the garden and weeded and pruned for an hour. I enjoyed the wind and rain on my face and I was surprised how much satisfaction I got from clearing a small plot. When coming back into the house I stomped my muddy boots on the mat and my hubby teased me that I had bright pink cheeks and shiny eyes.
I then enjoyed a bubble bath when BB was in bed using a birthday bath bomb.
Today I’ve sorted out the porch and moved BBs buggy to another spot. I enjoyed getting creative with the small space and playing with different set ups. Now it feels like I’ve finally reclaimed it as a grown up spot, fighting the ever consuming battle of plastic toys and chalks.
I’ve also completed the “horse walk” with my step daughter and for self care I’ve dyed my greying eyebrows and tried to perm my lashes for the first time (surprisingly ok).
I’ve also got some rather lovely news. You know how the universe works in strange ways. Well on Wenesday during our weekly walk my neighbour who I’m close to confided they were looking at adopting a cat to join their family.
Today my sister text saying her girlfriends grandfather had passed away and they were looking at finding a family to adopt his cat “Penguin”. I put her in with my neighbour and Penguin is joining their new family tomorrow lunch time. My neighbours boys are so excited, they’ve wrote a list and she’s currently at the pet shop buying new toys to settle Penguin in.
So that’s my sober rainy Saturday. How are you all?
I’m writing this in the inky blues of the first morning light of the day. I’m sat on my yoga mat, having just done my yoga practice for the day.
Yesterday I had the bestest birthday in my whole 37 years.
We literally just took BB to the park (my hubby booked the day off work). Wandered round getting some fresh and then came home and were all together.
Without being able to buy me drink, my friends were so kind and brought thoughtful little gifts. I had a pair of cute yoga socks, skincare products, and one friend really touched me. She knows my husband’s friends have quit their jobs (just as covid started unfortunately) to start an online gift company. They’ve been really struggling to get it off the ground. So she brought a gift box off them, including beautiful stationary for when I start my course. I thought it was lovely one friend was helping another friend when they’ve only met once at our wedding (the company is ooogifts if anyone is interested)
My hubby is always thoughtful with gifts, but he too really touched me. I was incredibly close to my Grandad as a child and he used to read us stories of Brer Rabbit on his old favourite rocking chair whilst secretly slipping us mints. We currently have the rocking chair at ours and a few weeks ago whilst reading BB the gruffalo on it, I told him about the stories.
He was surprised, he also remembered them from his childhood and reminded me of the baddy brer wolf. We laughed together and tried to recall some of the stories.
Well… he only brought the book with all the tales in. I was so flabbergasted and touched.
We spent some time in the afternoon with BB on the same rocking chair reading her the stories and reminiscing together. I’ll treasure this memory forever.
Last year, I literally got gin and wine off everyone. As well as cards about drinking, infact nearly every card had a reference. And whilst it was very nice wine and gin, I much prefer sober birthdays (although a year ago I’d have shuddered about spending a day like this).
One last thing that made it such a lovely day. Years ago at university I lived with a girl. We were tight for 2 years and then suddenly she just seemed disappeared.
We would invite her out and she’d never come. One night I’d travelled back to my university town to spend time with her and a mutual friend. I called her and text her on arrival and she never responded.
I was gutted and felt so rejected. I went out drinking with my other friend and remember sending a nasty message ending the friendship. I felt justified, angry and hurt. The next day I was still hurt but felt sad I’d lost my friend.
Anyway yesterday on my birthday she reached out. Sent me a lovely message after finding me on facebook. Apologised and explained she was in a domestic abuse relationship which took 5 years to escape.
I immediately responded and apologised too. Said I was too fiery back then, I never even realised and drank too much. That I was sorry for not realising or being a better friend to her. We chatted over messages over the day and we’re meeting up as soon as lockdown’s over.
It’s true. With each day that comes without alcohol, my world gets a little bit bigger.
Thanks for reading have a lovely friday.
Ps checkout the wishful quitter (I think that’s the right blog name) she’s just started her journey too and is lovely.