Day 239 – Happy International Women’s day

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.

Love

JS

Day 233 – Same but different

Compton Verney lake (borrowed from their Instagram page)

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.

Hope everyone else is ok?

Lots of Love

JS x

Day 230 – Cravings be craving

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

Love

JS x

Day 229 – Big Fat Cravings

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 that’s where I am today.

Hope everyone else is having a lovely Friday

Lots of Love

JS xx

Day 223 – A little bit

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?

Love

JS x

Day 222 – Early Mornings and birthdays

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.

Love

JS

Ps checkout the wishful quitter (I think that’s the right blog name) she’s just started her journey too and is lovely.

Day 220 – More reflections

This week is my birthday week and I feel really weird about it. Every 3 to 4 years I get in a funk about my birthday and this year seems to be one of them. (Once I ripped down all the banners over my desk at work, then was absolutely mortified the next day bout my outburst and spent week apologising to my colleagues).

I’m never really sure where this funk comes from. Is it because my dad walked out on my birthday? Is it the fear of getting older? Or the disappointment of not being exactly where I thought I’d be? Is it I prefer others birthdays to my own?

I’ve been doing quite a bit of navel gazing about it.

I don’t think it’s what happened with my father, it was 27 years ago. I feel I worked through this about 7 years ago and it felt like a great weight had been lifted.

I don’t think it’s the disappointment of not being where I thought I’d be either. After a long time coming, I’m content.

I always pictured living in a big, old, stylish Victorian revamped house with cool old tiles in the hall way and stained glass windows. That I’d come home from my Director position and kiss my adorable children on their little heads.

Whilst it was a lovely dream to have and it’s scary restarting a career at 37 (gulp), I’m actually pretty excited about the whole thing. I’ve been doing a ton of pre course reading, practicing maths and looking at career plans.

So I’m thinking it’s the fear of getting old. Or more to the point my body changes linked to the passing of time. I look at myself in the mirror and don’t recognise myself from the girl I was about 3 years ago.

I ask the mirror can my boobs get any lower? Will I ever see my feet again? Will my hair ever be blonde again? What’s with all this grey? Where the hell have my cheek bones disappeared to? What are these wrinkles around my eyes? Where is the girl who laughed freely in Vietnam 3 years ago? Who travelled fearlessly, making friends easily whilst discovering new places?

I read somewhere that getting old is a gift, which some aren’t lucky enough to experience. And I agree with this sentiment completely. I’m lucky to reach this birthday, to have my beautiful daughter, my lovely husband and our little home. But even though I know this, it doesn’t stop the funk about the body changes.

I’m practicing accepting this with yoga, my skin care routine and trying to drink a ton of water. I’m lightly exercising and hope to build on this.

On another note I was thinking about my birthday last year. BB was 4 months old. My husband wanted to take me out got a nice meal and all I wanted to do was go and get black out drunk without any childcare responsibilities.

So that’s what I did. I went a friends, drank until 3am, passed out, vomited and wondered why I felt so rubbish for days after. I felt mentally checked out of motherhood and marriage for at least a week.

This year we’re spending the day together, eating good food, going the park for BB to play on the swings and curling up together during her nap time. The me last year would have sneered at this. It would’ve been my worst nightmare.

Now there’s no where else I’d rather be.

Happy Wednesday everyone. Sorry for all the waffle today

Love

JS x

Day 217 – Sunny Sober Saturday Mornings at 7 months

Saturday is my lie in day and I look forward to it all week. This Saturday was no different.

Bb slept in and we all awoke together at 7am (most recently we’ve been lucky to sleep in until 530am). The hubster got her up, brought me a mint tea in bed and I sat contemplating watching the wintery blue skies.

The sky this morning looked absolutely gorgeous, pink hues, beautiful blues and I just sat there sipping my tea feeling so lucky. It felt so good not waking up without a hangover. I think this feeling alone is enough to make me never pick up the bottle again.

I was warm and snuggly and could hear BB running around downstairs playing with her dad. This is the life I dreamed of having 5 years ago and when that thought hit me it was like I was dumbfounded.

My sister then text me saying we made 7 months and I hadn’t even realised. It’s strange, I used to count the minutes and hours in the first few weeks. Now time is flying by.

Today has mainly been about photos. I lost my phone a few days ago and really panicked. It’s got all my photos on of BB since her birth. My husband and I decided to upload them to a hard drive so if we ever lost our phones we would still have a copy.

This process took hours, I didnt realise how many we had. My phone didn’t want to play ball and the laptop was old and juddery.

But on the flipside, part of the magic of this was being able to see old photos, like the one from a few weeks ago on the top of this post. I scrolled back and saw our summer holidays to Devon, Xmas with the girls in matching pjs, a meal out when we could eat out.

Also on there were the photos from that day on the farm. My rock bottom. Where I’d drank so much the afternoon before I felt lightheaded and ridiculously sick. I was a mess and responsible for 2 children.

I’d taken 3 selfies of myself that day, to remind myself how bad I felt. How I nearly threw up in the bins by the cows. How my head pounded and I just wanted to roll over and die.

Looking at the photos now I seem and feel like a different person. I was so bloated, my skin was dull but most of all my eyes are awful. They’re blood shot, hollow and haunted. They look pleadingly at the camera.

I don’t ever want to go back to that point. The desperation, the guilt I’m a rubbish mama and partner, alcohol being the only thing on the pedestal, feeling horrendous but craving another drink.

So if you’re starting out, it is absolutely worth it. Time does speed up again, yet it slows to notice the little things. You have a new appreciation for life and the cravings and habits slowly melt away.

Keep trying 🙂

Hope everyone’s having a lovely Saturday

Love

JS xx

Day 213 – Home Schooling trouble

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m over home schooling. I have everything crossed for 8th March the kids going back to school and BB and I having our lovely days back together.

My SD has told her mum it appears that I don’t sit with her during her school work. That she struggles so she watches the ipad instead.

How do I know this? Well my SD told me, mummy said I had to sit with her and help her with her maths and english today as they were really hard. When she said this I was confused. I normally go through the work with her whilst juggling a toddler, then depending on comprehension, I either continue to sit with her or set her off on the task. When she does work by herself, I check back regularly say every 5 minutes and she constantly comes to me every minute if she doesn’t get it.

I say to her I find this surprising since we always work on her work together. She said she knows but mummy gets confused. Oh and she might have told mummy she goes on the iPad (which is news to us). I’m so cross it’s unreal. I literally couldn’t try any harder.

I also feel pulled apart as when I sit with her my own child runs feral around rooms as she’s not getting any attention.

On a positive note our gorgeous rescue cat is currently being such a cuddle bear. Enjoying cuddles with him most evenings.

And breathe.

Still doing yoga, eaten healthy the last few days and walking daily.

How is everyone else?

Love

JS xx

Day 210 – Lazy Sunday afternoons

I’ve just woken up from an awesome 2 hour afternoon nap and thought I havent updated this blog for ages.

So on this lazy Sunday afternoon here we go.

I’m still sober (yay) and still working on 2021’s word replenish.

I’ve done yoga every day now since 1st feb and have noticed the change in my body. Parts not covered in flab are becoming more defined, I’m stronger and finally touching my toes in a downward fold.

I tried to do 100 miles in February, but by day 5 my foot was sore and my calf super tight. I realised I was putting my body through too much and it was having the opposite effect to replenish. So although I’m still going for daily walks with BB, I’m not trying to do over 3 miles a day.

The ex wife seems to be blaming me for our families stance on my SDs private school. She is rude to me by ignoring me on hand overs or just grunting when I make a point of using her name when asking her a question. I’m treating her professionally, it’s her issue not mine. The more I do this the ruder she gets. She appears to have forgiven my husband and is now being nice to him.

One upside is she doesn’t text me every other day any more about pointless things about my SD. It’s bliss not hearing from her and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I’ve binged every weekend but been successful in not binging during the week. This is progress.

My danger zone used to be (and still is) my daughters nap time. I’ve noticed since I’ve started doing an hour of maths practice since January this has taken my mind off it. I’m petrified of maths tests and know I’ll have one when I start teacher training. So I’m practicing Monday to friday for an hour a day. I’ve found weirdly I’m now enjoying the practice. I’m no where near test ready, but I can see progress. I can now answer every question of a 10 minute test, but go 2 minutes over. The 1st Jan, I couldn’t answer over half of the questions.

Beautiful Baby (BB) is treating the furniture like a personal assault course. She’s coming along so much and I’m treasuring this extra year at home with her. My SD is also being sweet and we’ve bumbled along quite well so far in this lock down.

We have introduced “games night”, finding second hand games on Facebook people are getting rid of. We only started this, this weekend. Already it’s been a success. We played Minion monopoly Friday night and my SD won much to her glee. Next Friday we’re playing boggle.

I’ve managed to see a few friends for 121 walks and really enjoyed catching up. We’ve also been making tentative plans for a trip to Devon this summer which I’m already looking forward to.

A friend said to me people in lock down are either thriving or just surviving. I think in reflection I’m thriving. I love not having to rush anywhere, people please or deal with toxic family situations.

It’s made me appreciate that everything I need is at home and appreciate the friendships that are being nurtured during this period.

So that’s the update. I’ll try not to leave it so long next time.

Happy sober Sunday. I hope you are all well and thriving?

Love

JS xx