Day 173 – Happy New Year

I saw this on instagram this morning and thought it was perfect for anyone trying to really do something.

I know I’ve been guilty of this. Starting something and then finding an excuse. Whether it be because I’m scared, nervous, my lack of self belief or a hundred other reasons. The things I’ve really wanted to achieve, I’ve not had an excuse.

We had a quiet one last night. One because we are in tier 4 so options and limited and two because I’ve started to develop symptoms of what could be covid. I basically feel like someone has punched me in the chest, I’m all breathless and sore.

Luckily there were a ton of available slots for testing this morning (9am new years day). So I’ve started my new years off with a covid test. Happy 2021 to me.

When I got home I did my skin care routine, drank some water and whilst playing with BB (Beautiful Baby, who should now actually be Beautiful Toddler). A message popped up from an unknown number wishing me a happy new year.

On closer inspection (squinting at a whatsap pic) it was someone from my past. He broke my heart into pieces in 2013. Literal pieces. And at the time I never thought the pain would go away.

He popped up over the years, a text here or there and I’d find myself caught up in the fantasy again. Maybe he’d changed, maybe he really wanted me this time, that he was ready to commit.

My friends loathed him with good reason and he developed the nickname 4 slice. As once he’d brought me a 4 slice toaster as a moving in present and I must’ve analysed this for at least a whole weekend. 4 slices must mean he was ready to commit right? Otherwise he’d have just brought me a 2 slice toaster. Whilst doing this with a glass of wine in hand of course.

It took me until Winter 2017 to realise the only thing that needed to change was my low self esteem.

Since then he’s text me on 3 occasions and I’ve not replied to a single one. I met my husband Spring 2018.

My husband is a gorgeous man, kind, loving, bit daft and supportive. He cherishes me, helps me stay sober and is supporting a career change.

Amazing how the right person appears when you start to believe a bit in yourself.

4 slices text reminded me how I used to feel. The pent up anxiety, the thrill of the reply, the feelings of inadequacy. I’m glad I dont feel like that, alone in my home anymore. That my home is filled with constant noise, chattering and love.

During this belly gazing moment, I also realised something. Since giving up drink I’ve been a lot more content.

Taking away the first anguished moments of quitting, I actually feel like a nice person, that I’m a good enough mum, wife, step mum and friend. I used to always be looking at what others were doing. Feeling inadequate, jealous even, if I felt their lives were better. Better jobs, cars, homes, even hair, clothes and skin.

I’ve realised for the first time today those bitter feelings are gone. I am content. I’d like to improve, but improve for me. Not to compare myself to someone else.

It feels quite a revelation.

Happy New Year to everyone. Good luck where ever you are on your journey.

Love

JS xx

Day 172 – Replenish

I’ve been thinking a lot about new years, the turn of not only a new year but a new decade. Thinking about resolutions that have come before. Ones that were successful and ones not so much. I’ve read peoples blogs, listened to what friends and family are doing, looked inwards.

There’s 2 that keep coming back to me (3 of you count sobriety, oh and 4 if you count sorting out binge eating). These are a word for the year, which the lovely Anne at ainsobriety has followed and the happiness project picking a new project each month.

I’ve been wondering is there a way of combining the two. If they could compliment each other? I’ve decided to give it ago.

Therefore (imaginary drum roll please), my word of the year is going to be…

REPLENISH

To do this I’m going to pick an activity, goal or project each month to try and enhance my word. If all else fails I think the worst thing that could happen is I’ll have fun trying.

During a walk around a beautiful National Trust property yesterday I began to think of this in earnest. After playing round with different words of the year, replenish kept appearing in my mind.

I’ve drained my body with binges (and purging in the past), poisoned it with toxins drinking way too much alcohol, neglected my skin, dehydrated my body, not exercised, berated myself in my head, ate food full of additives. What would happen if I started replenishing myself?

If I started eating in an orderly fashion, healthy, wholesome foods? If I stayed sober? If I followed a proper skincare routine? Drank enough water? Got enough sleep? Exercised regularly? Tried to banish toxic thoughts and think kindly of myself? What would happen?

I plan to find out with the resolution to replenish my body and mind.

So starting from tomorrow I’m going to start a proper skincare routine (got given the brilliant Caroline Hirons book for Xmas). I plan to do 30 days of yoga. I’m aiming to drink 3ls of water a day. I’ve got my food diary ready for orderly eating (I call my binging disorderly so when I eat normally I call it orderly- I’m not sure if there’s a medical word for it).

So those are my 4 things in Jan

•Skincare

• Drinking Water

• 30 days of Yoga

• Diarising my food, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’d love to hear what your resolutions are or any fun NYE plans. We’re aiming to eat Indian food and have an early one.

Lots of Love and a Happy New Year

JS & BB xxx

Day 169 – Snow

Today there has been a whisper of snow and I’ve enjoyed every part of it.

We went for a stomp, my SD and I over the fields with one of her friends. She wants to know why she’s not allowed her friends in the house and we’ve explained because mummy is breaking the rules.

It’s really hard to find the right words to do this when you want to say “your mother is a selfish XXXXX, who is behaving atrociously”.

My hubby and I are getting on a ton better and are being more loving towards each other. Lots of cuddles in the kitchen and snuggles on the sofa. I love it.

BB is developing her little personality. She seems to have her mothers temper and her fathers stubbornness so far. She is also most definitely a Daddys girl.

I’m really enjoying this slower pace of life. Noticing bird prints in the snow, little glances BB gives us, our little routine.

Looking forward to next year, I’m trying to think of new years resolutions. Staying sober is a given. As is working on my binge eating and starting my course. But I wonder if there’s a fun one in there. I’m thinking and will hopefully have an update closer to new year.

How are you all? Hope you’re all enjoying this bit between xmas and New Year.

Love

JS x

Day 167 – Boxing day

Yesterday for Christmas, we stayed at home the 3 of us. I loved it.

You see normally Christmas involves 16 of us squeezed round a table at my Aunts, whilst the family politics plays out over bottles of wine and food.

My mother being toxic, would make at least 3 maybe 4 digs about my weight, my outfit, make up, my life before we’d started dinner. I would be stressed preparing the starters for everyone, whilst taking into account 1 veggie cousin and 1 which never likes whatever we do so just gets served garlic bread.

We would sit round the table and I’d always feel an anxious knot in my stomach. For years I was single and would be asked over and over again, was there anyone special in my life. To then be told “dont worry when it happens it happens”. Or to be told my biological clock was ticking and to not leave it any later.

My one aunt is as toxic as my mother, you see the same patterns of behaviour play out, they get it from my nan. My other Aunt is lovely, warm and also doesn’t quite fit in like me.

I’d either drink to get through the occasion. Or mainly not drink at all, but get hammered the night before with nerves of the forthcoming meal and then hammered again Christmas day as soon as I got home. I’d always have a stress head ache and feel sick.

Yesterday was perfect. We got up when BB woke up. We slowly opened presents and played with BBs through out the day. We ate at a time to suit BB. We ate our favourite food without judgement.

There was zero stress with cooking since our favourite food is lasagne. We got it ready the night before, set the table ready. After BBs nap we went for a slow stroll and witnessed the most beautiful sunset.

I didn’t miss drink once. I didn’t feel like I “needed it” to escape reality or make xmas good. It just felt so good being away from a toxic Xmas and making new traditions.

My husband proclaimed how much he enjoyed Christmas and we’ve decided to do the same next year. I’m already looking forward to it.

I decided to eat what I wanted on the day and it was almost like giving myself permission stopped binging. I over indulged, ate chocolate and maybe a bit too much cheese. But had no feelings of disgust and guilt. I just felt like I’d enjoyed the day.

Today I’m reading a book I got for Xmas, with a blanket and a cuppa whilst BB naps. We’ve been up since 6 and enjoyed the deserted park for an hour this morning.

Hope everyone’s had a good Christmas. Even with plans changing and the virus, I really hope it was peaceful and joyful.

Love

JS xx

Day 165 – Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas eve. Christmas eve boxes have been opened, stockings hung and my SD has already headed back to her mums house. Bb is napping, hubby is out getting a few last bits (read panic buying) and I’m curled up with my kindle and a cuppa.

In this moment I feel so at peace.

I also feel exhausted as I’m struggling to sleep. I think anxiety is slowly getting the better of me with this virus and all its new strains. Plus my SDs party life style with her mum, feels like such a risk to me and my beautiful little family.

Each night I’m lying awake, eyes squeezed shut whilst thoughts race through my head. I’m tossing and turning, and cant calm down. It’s like as soon as my head hits the pillow its bingo and all these thoughts, worries, exasperation come into focus.

Then in the morning I’m tired, head foggy. I’ve decided I’m just not going to read the news anymore. The husband has been told to let me know if we go into lockdown or my local restrictions change.

I’m going to start up the yoga again and definitely running more. I’m hoping these 2 things will help. I always feel so chilled after yoga and I can feel the nervous energy leave my feet with every step.

So that’s me today. We’ve also worn matching jamas and Ive loved it. The girls have looked adorable and they both seem to have really enjoyed it.

I thought I’d miss my festive baileys but currently it’s not too bad. I havent binged for a few days but definitely over indulged.

How is everyone finding this Christmas? Is it anyones first sober xmas like me?

Love

JS xx

Day 163 – Lucky

Today, I feel really lucky. We heard some bad news about a family friend and my heart went out to them yesterday. It literally knocked us for six and we spent a quiet evening my hubby and I.

After a sleepless night, BB fell over this morning and cut her lip. There was blood everywhere, but thankfully it’s only a tinsy cut.

I feel so lucky to have our health and that BBs ok. I’ve gone up to give her a sleepy cuddle just and read her an extra book.

Still struggling with binging, but still working on it. I think it’s natural to struggle this time of year, especially if you have addiction or other issues. I’m just trying to be kind to myself, treat myself how I would treat others.

Hope you’re all ok.

Love

JS xx

Day 161 – Labels

I’m starting to think more about labels, mainly the labels we put on ourselves.

They can be positive like “clever, happy go lucky, hardworking” or negative “underachiever, overweight, bad friend”. Some of the positives can also become negatives to a person. For example “everyone thinks I’m the weird kid since I’m clever”.

I was sitting there last night watching a Xmas film with Seth Rogan musing. Earlier on in the evening I’d noticed, when taking the never ending washing out of the machine and dividing up the clothes. I grabbed a top and thought in my head “Mummys”.

That’s the first time it’s happened. Normally I just think mine. I’m not sure its because I constantly talk to BB to develop her speech and I’m all mummy this and mummy that. But it felt nice.

You see I’ve always felt a bit detached from others. I love my husband dearly as well as my daughter and step daughter. But I’ve always felt quite contained, whilst part of my family. I’m not sure if it’s down to rejection in childhood or a toxic mother. So it’s become a sort of protection mechanism for my heart.

Part of this journey was to become a better mummy, as quite honestly I didn’t feel like I was one. I felt I was playing a role 9-5 and then disappearing in a bottle of wine when the clock struck 5.

But for the first time since having BB I felt like a mummy, like really really felt it deep inside. Something slotted into place. Connected. It really resonated and it’s a label I’m happy to have.

Another label I’ve been playing around with is the word alcoholic. I never considered myself an alcoholic. More of an over enthusiastic drinker. An over achiever in the bar world.

But things are shifting internally and I’m starting to recognise I just might have been. And do you know what? That’s ok. I’m facing up to what I am. Warts and all.

Having this label, doesnt make me any less of a person. It makes me real, human. It makes me resilient and strong to overcome this addiction.

One day I’ll share this with my daughter and hope she is as proud as I am, that I’m on the journey to over coming this

Happy delightful sober Sunday

Love

JS xx

Day 160 – Baking Cookies

So yesterday we logged on to the class interactive teaching tool to see what lessons were planned for that day.

The teacher had “kindly” said “have fun” and then left a list of fun activities for them to try. I read the list (watch a movie, bake cookies, have a dance party, get outside) and felt my inner voice scream loudly.

At around about the same time, my SDs mum uploaded on her social media, you didnt know the struggle until you home schooled for 2 weeks as a working single mother. It took all my self control not to point out she had done 3.5 days out of the 10.

Anyway, a lovely blogger Ingrid, had uploaded some honey cookies to make. I think they were Slovenian. So I mixed up the dough and let it rest whilst BB and my SD watched the horror that is Arthur Christmas.

We then had fun making shapes in the dough and I loved guiding BB in trying to make shapes. She ate way more but we managed to get a heart shaped cookie out.

As BB napped, I painted my SD nails and we decorated the cookies. She had a festive hot chocolate and snuggled down to watch another xmas film.

A wet dreary home schooling day actually turned out to be rather lovely. When her dad finished work, we played our favourite xmas songs with just the Xmas lights on and danced and laughed.

I read once children don’t remember the presents we brought them, but they remember the traditions, the smells, the lights, their feelings at the time.

I know this is true in my experience and I really hope my SD and BB remember like this too. This week our home has smelt of cookies, we’ve laughed whilst dancing, watching films and baking, snuggled up all cosy in the warm glow of the lights.

We’re not the richest of people, in fact we’ve really saved just to buy the girls gifts this year. But I’m hoping this is actually the gift that they’ll remember in years to come.

Happy sober Saturday

Love

JS xxx

Day 159 -Breaking the cycle

Normally when I start binging on food, that’s it. I’m in a destructive cycle for weeks, with it escalating each day. I end up bloated, with a sugar hangover and feeling utterly rubbish with myself.

I managed to stop binging after 2 days, which is a record for me. I tried to put into practice all the things we’d discussed in my counselling sessions. So food diary, food plan, 2 snacks etc.

I realised my most vulnerable time was BBs nap time so I distracted myself with study for my forthcoming course and asked my husband to hide the chocolate in my SDs room (as she would be so judgemental if I went in and looked for it).

I’ve noticed how rubbish I feel after binging. Not just emotionally, but physically. I have a headache, I feel shaky, I feel tired and irritable. I try and remind myself whilst riding a craving.

I’m not out the woods by any means. I realistically know that with all the tempting foods of Xmas, there will be other times during this period. All I can do is try not to beat myself up too bad and climb back on that horse.

How are you all? Hope you’re all ok? Thanks everyone who reached in my last post.

Love

JS xx

Day 155 – Binge Eating

I’m binge eating again and I feel so ashamed. I’m really struggling with moderation.

I’m not making excuses but I think I’ve got a built in dodgy moderation switch. I’m all or nothing in most things in life, so why would food be any different.

I was definitely all with alcohol and I’m now comfortable with nothing. The thought of never drinking again doesn’t scare me. But what do you do with food? When you need it for nourishment.

I read an article recently with Gary Barlow. He stated it took him 18 months to fall down a rabbit hole of an eating disorder, but 10 years to come out of it. He believes there’s certain foods he can’t now eat as it would set off a binge episode.

I shared this with my counsellor and said I believed this was correct for me. Gary’s foods were chinese and chips whereas my food is sweet indulgences, cake and chocolate.

My counsellor dismissed it and said it was a common misconception, but someone has had to tell themselves that to believe it to be true. Once you’re over the disorder you should be able to enjoy any food as all food has equal value.

I get his sentiment, however, with alcohol there are certain triggers I look out for as I know it could start an episode of me drinking.

I think with binge eating sweet indulgences are my triggers. But then this leaves me wondering how do I overcome this. Do I avoid like I did in November? Or do I try and moderate with my built in dodgy switch.

I noticed in November how much better I felt not binging. I felt anxious around food, but as the month progressed, I felt proud. My self esteem grew. I liked me more.

Now I’m nearly sobbing in an oversized dressing gown as I’ve inhaled a chocolate Santa whilst my husband does the food shop.

I don’t really know the answer. I’m cross at me that I’ve taken a step back. No make that a giant lunge back. I feel disgusted, overweight, repulsed at myself. So here I am. Monday night.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day

JS x