05/05/2020

Reflecting on my routines

Now I have done 125 days sober,  I have been re examining what I do every day. The things I did in the first couple of months  now, perhaps, need re visiting to see if they still work for me.

Obviously the very first and most important thing I do every day is, I don't drink!

Despite Lockdown and the risks from COVID-19, and the disruption to my work, my home life and all normal routines, I'm still sober, which is a huge thing and something I am very proud of.

I also find that having structure to my day helps me to stay calm and cope with the difficult family situation I now find myself in.

One habit I have kept up is that  I still write every day in my journal, I have come to really value the reflection and clarity of thought it gives me. I also have found it very interesting to read back  what I was writing four months ago about how I felt.

I still start the day with a podcast  from Belle and I still write my daily affirmation as the first entry every day in my journal, I have refined what I say though, to reflect what has become "my message" i.e. the set of words that work for me.

"I won't drink today, it makes me feel ill just like gluten and dairy do. I don't eat them, and I don't drink alcohol, either. Alcohol makes me depressed and unhappy. I don't do things that make me depressed and unhappy. I choose to do things that make me happy and healthy and bring me joy."

I take my vitamins every morning when I wake up.  I do my Headspace meditation first thing in the morning and last thing at night. During the day I also do some EFT/Tapping.

I make a point of going for a walk in the fresh air for at least 30 mins and I also make a point of sitting down and reading or listening to music or a craft or just relaxing for a couple of sessions of 10 mins every single day.

None of this takes up a lot of time or takes me away from essential work. All of it is essential for *me*, to keep me calm and settled and sober. All of it keeps me focused on feeling loved (by me), rather than thinking I'm broken and rubbish because once I start to feel rubbish then Wolfie and his "drink now" voice might start to get louder, again.

Last thing at night, before I settle to sleep I relax and concentrate on my breathing and think of three positive things about my day. Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes it's very hard but there are always three things I can think of, even if one of them is "no hangover", another is "a nice cup of coffee today" and the third is "I'm healthy today" . Usually there are better and more interesting things to be pleased about!

So, not much has altered since I started being sober - I guess I am working on the basis that "if it ain't broke don't fix it!"

I hope this has been helpful, it's what works for me anyway :)

19/04/2020

Day 110, and a touch of post goal wobbles.


I had a significant wobble yesterday, it was my DH's birthday and #1 Son (who has returned to live with us due to lockdown, a whole source of stress in itself) had bought him a bottle of wine as a present.

DH hasn't had any wine since Christmas, he isn't a huge drinker anyway, has the odd beer now and then and tbh most of his drinking in the past was instigated by me and my desire to drink.

Anyway, Son kept on at him to open the bottle with dinner, so DH opened the wine and he and Son had one glass, with dinner. And oh, how I wanted some! It was a bottle of wine that previously was my favourite, an Australian strong, full bodied Shiraz.

I felt like having a full blown it's-not-fair-I-want-some-too toddler tantrum, rolling around in the floor, drumming my heels and wailing.

It was such a strong feeling. I really felt very sad and low at the thought that I couldn't have any, ever again.

And there were other strands to my feelings as well as just being pissed off that I couldn't have some wine. Which are probably the real reasons why I felt so very irked.

I'm pissed off that adult Son *knows* I've given up drinking, knows some of the struggles I've had with alcohol in the past yet still chose to gift his father a bottle of MY favourite wine (not  his father's favourite drink, as that would have been a bottle of single malt!)

I'm pissed off that we have one of our adult children living in our house, which we did not expect to have ever again, who is behaving like a lazy teen, and refusing to do anything to help us. This has caused tension, he could have stayed in his own flat in the city, but came to stay here, unannounced, the day before lockdown, without asking us first. Obviously, if he'd asked, we would have said yes, but he should have asked us, first. And he's not helping in any way unless we ask, and then he makes a scene about it and does things as sloppily as he can get away with. And I'm now trying to eek out our supplies between three of us, rather than the two people I calculated the food stocks for.

I'm pissed off that DH didn't just put the bottle away (I recognise this one is irrational!)

I'm pissed off that there is now an opened bottle of wine in the cupboard which I now am giving headspace to, and having to expend energy thinking about not drinking it.

I'm just pissed off at everything, tbh.

Day 110 today.

09/04/2020

100 days 😊


🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

I am so happy today ( despite recovering from a vile chest infection that's been making me feel really unwell, not sure if it was COVID-19 or not, but have been self isolating  in my room just in case)

I've been trying to put together a solid block of sober time for several years now, but as you know, if you have read this blog, I have struggled with dealing with both past and current problems.

I could put together 30, 60 days sober and then more stress would come along and I would lapse, again. I nearly always jumped back straight onto sobriety but doing another day 1 was so demoralising.

Then came the horrors of 2019 and everything got a lot worse, in every way.

So I decided, enough was enough. I couldn't live like that any more. I had a simple choice, I had to stop drinking.

This time round, with Belle's 100 day challenge and Sober Jumpstart course, with Jackie Elliott's 100 days to your Fabulous Sober Life course, with Annie Grace's 30 day The Alcohol Experiment, with Club Soda the Month off Booze, with Kate Bee's The Sober School Getting Unstuck six week course, and with other help and support from books, online, my counsellor and my husband,

I've done it.✨ 100 days sober today. ✨

I have learnt to be kinder to myself, to treat myself for each sober day that passed, to just not drink and have faith that each day I would feel better, or at least no worse!

To believe that I deserve to be happy and healthy and feel mentally and physically well.

I've saved SO much money, despite spending lots of it on meaningful, memorable treats and rewards (and a lot of coffee and chocolate!)

My skin and hair and nails look great, and I've coincidentally lost a bit of weight, although I'm not worrying about that at the moment.

With each sober day that passed I have felt a little bit better, a little bit stronger, a little bit more like the old me, before alcohol began to rob all the joy out of my life.

And now, I feel SO MUCH BETTER!

Here's to the next 💯 days :)

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

30/03/2020

Day 90, more new territory!


I am on Day 90 which is my longest continuous totally sober period for many many years. I started this blog in 2016 and have managed to drink a lot less since then,  with long periods of sobriety but I kept on lapsing, and in 2019 I drank nearly every single day. 

Maybe only a glass or two but still, enough to set off the nagging voice in my head again.

In the early days of trying to stop I listened to Andrew Johnson stop drinking app several times a day and still listen to it sometimes. There are lots of different ones, some are free, some a small charge.

I still do daily sober homework - I listen to the Belle podcast for the day and  I'm today doing  Day 90 of the Sober Sassy Playbook 100 Days to your Fabulous Sober Life daily emails. 

 I also re read  at least one entry per day from the one of these courses I followed earlier on : Annie Grace 30 day The Alcohol Experiment, Kate Bee The Sober School 6 week Getting Unstuck course and Club Soda Month Off Booze. 

 I have signed up to all these over the last four years and every time I lapsed and restarted, I re did them all, adding in the latest course as an extra tool to help me. 

This really helps me remember to self care and reflect on how I feel and my progress. 

When I wake up ( hangover free!) I start my day with my Headspace meditation, read my affirmations for the day (along the lines of don't drink, keep the sober momentum going, have sober treats, love myself, I am not broken, remember to leave other people to sort out their own shit unless asked to get involved and even then think several times if I want to get involved) and write in my journal - this takes me 20 mins before I get up - so while my tea is cooling enough to drink I do this. I still write in my journal how I feel, write down all the good things about sobriety, every single day, morning and evening. Sometimes I write during the day as well.

I am finishing offJackie Elliott's Fabulous Sober Life 100 day challenge at the moment so I still have a daily sober podcast and journal entry to listen to, to do and to enjoy. 


I listen to Belle's podcast of the day in the evening, so if I feel a wobble I can use it then. Also there are free one minute messages and a motivational email a day from Belle which are wonderful - . If you pay, you get extra support from Belle but there is a lot free - I actually went to a meet up with her and other sober friends in London in 2016,  which was excellent smile 

I also have a blog which I don't update as much as I should smile But I'm now trying to blog more often. 

This may sound a lot of work but I know from previous experience that if I let the sober treats and self care and meditation and reading and thinking about why and what I am doing drop off then I start to drift into pre-lapse, then I risk lapsing. I don't want to do that, ever again. And staying sober is worth the time invested. 

I also remind myself that if I lapse I have to do Day 1 etc all over again (shudders) AND what ever it is that is making me want to drink would be so much worse if I were drunk or hungover, as well.


I have been through huge stress  in the last four years and the last year I basically drank my way through a lot of it. 


I have faced the worst three months of my adult life in the last three months and now with  the situation with COVID-19 worldwide and at home, I have still not drunk alcohol, not have I wanted to.

I honestly believe it is because of the work I have put in to staying sober, all those lapses have taught me something ! 

20/03/2020

I've never been here before


Day 80, and I've never been here before ( to paraphrase Belle)

My previous longest time sober, apart from pregnancies and breast feeding, was 76 days back at the end of 2016, which was also when I first started blogging here.

If you've looked at the entries on here you will see I've tried a few times to put a significant chunk of sober time together, aided by various online sober coaches and their courses.

I bought so many of these resources over the last four years, trying and succeeding with each one to stay sober, for sometimes a week, two weeks, or even a month or two at a time. 76 days was my best ever achievement of consecutive sober time, back in Autumn 2016. I felt so good while I was doing that three months sober!

But each time, something happened, I drifted away from my sober support network and went back to drinking.

The reasons why I lapsed are something I've been examining closely and with the aid of my fabulous counsellor I've worked out at least some of the reasons why I did that. Same reasons and patterns of behaviour, every time!

So now I know what to watch out for. Forewarned is forarmed.

29/02/2020

Leap day musings - Things I no longer put up with/ Good things


I don't let other people do or say shit stuff to me. "No" is a complete sentence.

I experience my feelings rather than just numbing them with alcohol.

I might act on my feelings but I do this in a positive manner, not going off on a rant or picking a fight or sulking.

I recognize chaotic situations and I get away from them asap.

I now know *I* am in charge of my happiness. no one else.

I now look and feel much less bloated.

My skin is smooth and unblemished.

My sleep is improving - still find it difficult to fall asleep but the quality is good.

I am much more productive and clear headed.

I am much more tolerant of other people's moods and dramas, but I won't deal with their shit. I now have the view - "not my circus, not my monkeys"

19/02/2020

Fifty days of Sober treats

I have been rereading round sober blogs again, to celebrate my 50 days of sobriety :)

And I came across a post on Belle's blog about someone who was resisting the idea of sober treats as rewards.

This sounds exactly like the sort of thinking I used to do. When I kept trying, and failing, to stay sober.

Even though I had lots of other sober tools in my toolbox and used them, I didn’t think the sober treat idea was worth trying, actually tbh I rejected it out of hand at first (because I told myself I could buy stuff when I wanted etc)

 Also, in my mind was the thought that it was a crap idea and what kind of useless person needs treats to get them to stop drinking ffs? A broken one who wouldn’t succeed anyway, that’s who.

However, once I embraced the idea of sober treats I stayed sober, for long stretches of time.

It wasn’t the treats, as such, that made the big difference (lovely though they are!) it was changing my mindset to one of “I’m worth it, I deserve treats and self care and self love. And even if other people can stop drinking without sober treats, I can’t. This works for me so I’ll do it”

But even though I was using the whole reward/treat idea, I didn't really deep down believe I was worthy of treats. I still thought, in my heart of hearts, that I was damaged, and broken and not worthy of such things. So having them made me feel a fraud.

After several years of fabulous counselling, I finally (finally!) have begun to believe I AM worthy of treats and rewards and for nice things to happen. I do not deserve to have a shitty life, I did not deserve any of the bad things that were done to me by others and I do not deserve to feel dreadful all the time.

So Fuck You Wolfie, I’m on Day 50 now thanks to Belle, and Jackie, and Annie, and Kate and Holly and Lisa and all the books and other online support, oh and LOTS and LOTS of sober treats!

 So, there you have it - this sums up why this time around things are feeling different. Sober treats and lots of them - but it's not the actual treats it's the change in my mind set that I am worth treating. I am not broken, I am not damaged, I am worthy of love, both self love and love from those around me. And why would I want to poison myself, when I love myself?

I get lots of love from my DH, and my friends but I have always, deep down, felt unworthy of it (probably due to my damaged childhood and the abuse I endured as a teen and young adult)

Well, no longer. I am beginning to feel worthy of love and it starts with loving myself :)