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

Day 204 – hello February

New month. I can’t wait.

I already feel tons better than I did end of December. The yoga is becoming a daily habit and my early mornings are starting to feel sacred to my mental wellbeing for the rest of the day.

I’m also learning to adapt. This morning BB woke up at the same time as me, so my toddler had her first yoga practice alongside me. She was a big fan of the forward fold and the downward dog was apparently hilarious.

I’m enjoying the skincare routine, I’ve added a bath to my Friday night routine and I’m also loving it.

The husband also seems happier. He gets a lie in Monday to Friday and if I have time I pop him a coffee up. This small gesture has resulted in him being in a better mood. He now returns the favour on a Saturday morning and Friday he surprised me with a mint tea in the bath.

I’ve baked bread and gotten joy out of the simple kneading action. I’ve baked with my step daughter and delivered cakes to neighbours porches.

January was also stressful, but sobriety helped me through it. Normally old me would have drank through it. Woken up late, been hung over snappy, detached from BB and lost in my hungover thoughts. New me crawls around the floor mooing like a cow or neighing like a horse. I’m walking to the park every day and enjoying the fresh air.

I’ve binged in January, but I haven’t beaten myself up about it. I’ve recognised it is what it is and recovery is a slow process. I think my awareness is helping reduce the binges as well as having an eating schedule. I’m no longer having counselling and stepping out bravely into new eating habits.

So that was Jan. Excited to see what Feb will bring ♡

Love

JS xx

Day 200 – The list

Today mark’s 200 days in my sobriety journey.

To be honest I can’t believe its come round so fast. The first 100 days stretched so long, especially the first 30 to 40 days. Then the last 200 have flown by.

Ive decided to do a list. A 40 things before I’m 40 list, to make the passing of time a little bit more special.

However I’ve not filled it completely yet so any suggestions are welcomed whole heartedly

Here they are:

1) Marathon or Tri sprint or sea swim race
2) Wean off social media
3) Complete my PGCE
4) Pass my NQT year
5) Find our forever home
6) Pay off student loan
7) Successfully break (or be well on the way to breaking) binge eating habits
8) Buy a wet suit and use it regularly
9) Do the Harry Potter tour
10) Visit Eftling with family
11) Have one sunny beach holiday abroad with my family
12) Stay sober
13) Get my 5km race time under 30 minutes
14) Get my 10km race time under 60 minutes
15) Visit a beautiful beach in the UK I’ve not visited before
16) Hike/climb helvellyn via striding edge
17) Hike/climb Snowdon
18) Do something good for someone who doesnt know how I am
19) Volunteer at a soup kitchen
20) Treat myself to an expensive accessory
21) Go coasteering
22) Ride a horse again on a trek like Ludlow, devon, Wales
23) Start riding a bike
24) Plan out our front garden
25) Become more environmentally sustainable
26) Sledging
27) Go camping
28) Canoe down the wye
29) Eat in a Michelin star restaurant
30) Go to the Tower of London
31) Explore Paris
32) Visit Hever castle
33) Visit Kenliworth castle
34) Try fondue
35) Do a swim trip somewhere
36) Learn about Tudor history (maybe short course).

In my heart I’d love to have on the list, move away to the country. It’s been a dream of mind for at least 10 years. Every time I’ve given it some serious consideration something’s happened (I got a promotion, my mother got sick, I met my husband).

Whilst I’d love to add it to the list I know in my heart of hearts it wouldn’t be possible under the current custody agreement with my step daughter. So hopefully it will feature on my before 50 list as she’ll just be going off to university.

Happy sober thursday everyone. Hope you’re all well. I’m currently hiding as my SD builds a bug hotel for school in our living room. Already dreading the cleaning up.

Love

JS x

Day 196- The Golden Hours

Whilst every hour is 60 minutes (unless you’re working a god awful job then every hour feels like a 1,000), there are some hours that are golden.

I was lucky enough to have not one but two today.

My daughter (BB) is 15 months and struggling with her teeth terribly at the moment. When it came to nap time this afternoon she just didnt want to nap and wanted to be held.

This almost never happens. She’s so independent, just getting a cuddle is a struggle. So we settled down on our bed and I told her 2 stories I knew off by heart (gruffalo and gruffalos child).

As I got to the end of the second story I felt her breathing slow and soften. Her body went heavy and we snuggled into the cuddle.

We sat like this for just over 2 hours. I lent back on my bed and just cuddled her. With no phone or book I sat listening to her snuffles, watching her hands move in her dreams.

It was perfect. My mind wandered during these golden hours whilst enjoying the cuddle. I felt so lucky, so aware of this moment but also daydreaming away with the fairies letting my mind wander for the first time in months.

At the end of the nap, she awoke groggy and furious. Pushing herself off me to be independent again. It made me smile as this is her all over. Independent, strong minded, but when it comes to it, needing comfort from her mama.

Happy sober Sunday

Love

JS xx

Day 195 – Snow Fun

Last night after my Friday night bath, I came down to see the front garden covered in snow. It was gorgeous.

We excitedly got my SD out of bed (an echo to my childhood of when it snowed). We bundled her into warm clothes with her pjs underneath and head outside. We sledged, snowball fought and made snow Angel’s it was gorgeous.

If I’d have been drinking we’d have never done it. I’d never have been bothered to get her up. I would be too cocooned in a glass of red, stupified on the sofa. But instead we laughed. Pelleted each other with snowballs. Then made warm drinks when we got in. It was perfect.

Today we got up early and walked over my favourite fields. As I breathed in the fresh air I felt so lucky and alive. I can’t believe I’m coming up to 200 days, what a change its brought. This 100 has gone so much fast than the first 100. So much more enjoyable.

So that’s us today. Destressed, happy and sober.

How are you all?

Love

JS xx

Day 193 – And breathe

I haven’t posted for a few days as I’ve been so stressed over this situation with the ex wife. And whilst round 1 might be over for now, I know there’s another fight looming in our future.

We found out yesterday, after all those threats, the manipulation that we were letting my SD down, the horrible emails and whatsap messages, that after all of that she didn’t pass the exam.

His ex wife informed us at hand over tersely then promptly slammed the door literally in our faces. I was pretty shocked by her behaviour. Although suddenly I can see where my SD gets her terrible bouts of attitude from.

I always try and treat her like I would if she was another professional I work with. Calm, polite and slightly humourous, so it only amplified her behaviour.

I felt awful for my SD, but so relieved it ended the financial discussions for now. I made her a hot chocolate, sat on the sofa and chatted about how she felt whilst looking through some photos we had had printed. She didnt seem disappointed, like the ex muttered at us, actually up beat. It was freeing to see her like this as she’s been rather quiet and withdrawn the last few weeks.

Today on the way home from the park, she told me she only wanted to go because her best friend was going. That mummy had told her she could try again next year if she wanted to be with her. I froze as her childcare agreement states we don’t have to discuss this again until she’s 11. So obviously her mum is deciding to ignore this part of it.

I asked her was her best friend the only reason she wanted to go. She said yes. So I said theres 3 classes in each year group, theres no guarantee that you’ll be with your best friend.

“Oh well I dont want to go, I want to stay at my current school with my friends”. I feel so sorry for her. It’s almost like her mum is pushing her own wishes and dreams for what her childhood was on her.

It’s made me more aware of my own dreams and desires for BB. Mainly I just want her to grow up happy and healthy, a well rounded good person. But deep down I’d love her to love the outdoors like me, like horses, open water swimming and to be curious about the world. I’ll have to ensure I dont push these on her to the point of pushing her away.

During the stressful last week, I’m so glad I’ve not drank. Its kept me even minded, open, fair. Drunk me would’ve responded to some of the stuff sent with bitterness and anger. Instead we have gone back level headed, offering alternative solutions. My husband called me his anchor and I felt so proud I was able to be this. Sobriety has given me this gift and I’m slowly unwrapping the paper.

And whilst I know further thunderstorms are forthcoming, I know sobriety will see me through them.

Love JS xx

Oh and I’m still replenishing, skin good, enjoying baths and yoga

Day 189 – When the sh*t hits

The grenade went off last night when my husband emailed his ex wife regarding the private school she is hell bent on sending my step daughter to.

She is wishing to break the court ordered financial agreement and contribute less towards childcare due to her funding the school. She also by default wants us to pay more in covering the extra weeks holidays my step daughter would have, the increased school uniform costs and any additional school trips etc.

We simply can not afford it. We live modestly on one salary supporting the 4 of us currently. We can afford all our necessities but not any extravagances. But we are happy, we don’t want or wish for more.

The whole point of the financial order was to protect us from her doing this as she’s a lot more affluent and doesnt wish to pay as much.

We have stated my SDs school is currently outstanding, they’ve offered excellent online lessons, she loves her friends and teachers. That she has experienced a ton of upheaval in the last few years and school has been her one constant security blanket. That she loves her childminder, she’s settled and happy. That we’d prefer her not to go.

All of this has fallen on deaf ears and as I’ve said, she is hell bent on sending her.

We had preliminary discussions in July last year at time when I still had a job to go back to. She gave us a scribbled draft of her financial workings out and we went back with what we needed to make it work. Since then both our stances have changed. She is now asking for more, whereas we are asking to stick with the financial agreement and use this money to cover the extra costs of uniform and holiday cover.

This resulted in her creating a whatsap group last night adding us both and then ranting about how we’d changed the goal posts (so had she) and if my SD couldn’t go we would be disappointing her forever. That she felt forced into a corner to continue to pay the financial agreement (like yes it’s a legal enforceable document).

Her message immediately caused all sorts of turmoil. My husband rubbish with conflict, went quiet, brooding and snappy. I was expecting this but was annoyed I’d been added into a whatsap group to discuss it informally.

Then I could feel the anxiety kick in. My heart beat went erratic. My mind was racing with all the potential scenarios. I felt the wine witch give me a wink.

I lit some candles and powered through my yoga, getting lost in the flow. And you know what. It really helped. Like really helped.

I came out of the practice calm, no longer craving (well it had reduced considerably) and was able to be supportive and nurturing towards my husband. I responded to the group thanking her for including me, but stating I’d rather the discussions stayed between the 2 of them for now. I felt proud I’d maintained my boundaries. I then left the group.

This morning after a rubbish nights sleep, I’ve helped my husband devise a response to her email that is calm, unemotive and to the point. Not using the dramatic language and the guilt manipulation she has tried to use.

I dont agree with her approach or demands, however, I do emphasise with her as a mother. She obviously believes it is the best route for her daughter and she’s fighting for us to contribute to her idea. I respect her for doing that, for looking out for her daughter. I only hope she shows some respect and empathy back to our family and financial situation.

So that’s where we are today. It was the strongest urge I’d had in ages, I’m glad I managed to fight it.

How’s everyones Sundays?

Love

JS x