Adios 2019

No shoulds or musts this Christmas just past. No presents exchanged. No dessert. Lunch at 4pm. Breakfast in pyjamas. It was just right. Spending time leisurely and watching the Christmas tree lights twinkling, getting Alexa to play Christmas music. No obligations. None. No travelling. None.

Second Christmas sober, yet it feels like my first. Newly sober only a month last year and it felt all so new and weird. It felt more like a sacrifice or a token gesture to myself, a temporary measure. Second Christmas in and I’m loving it sober.

When I watch a movie or a series I no longer get envious of the wine or spirits being consumed. I don’t go down the alcohol aisle at the supermarket. I no longer exchange rewards for alcohol. I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not drinking. I’m letting go of the crutch.

I no longer need actual crutches too. My fibula bone is mending well. The muscles around the bone are getting a workout. I can walk up steps easily but still working on coming down. Physiotherapy continues. Progress is being made.

Appreciation of small things is what I have learnt. Here are a few:

I can place bread in the toaster without needing to remove my crutch.

I can fetch someone else a cup of tea and something sweet.

Having a bath is wonderful.

Listen to your body. When it needs sleep: sleep.

I no longer need to put on a moon boot and gather crutches to get from bed to the loo. Accidents did happen.

Loading a dishwasher is a job of satisfaction now not a chore.

Walking barefoot on the sand at the beach is precious. And then when the water washes over your feet it’s a rush of joy.

I can now sew back on all the buttons that came off the duvet bottom. Each time I fluffed up the duvet the buttons got caught in my crutch, and off they flew. I have collected them in a jar. Time for a repair job.

Learning to be a better passenger in the car. Holding my tongue. Then enjoying being driven. Letting the driver drive without ‘helpful’ comments from the backseat driver sitting in front seat, without the wheel.

Housework is no longer loathsome. It’s growing on me.

I no longer take my body for granted.

Six weeks in bed was actually enjoyable. I had one really grumpy day but otherwise I made the most of it. Reading, writing, drawing, thinking, watching films and documentaries, drinking lots of water. I didn’t have to look after anyone but myself. DH looked after me, fed me and amused me.

Knee scooters are awesome. Mobility increases 10 fold.

Get lessons on how to hold crutches properly. I was holding mine backwards. Yes it is possible but very unstable. Now I am a pro.

Patience is a virtue.

Spending time with yourself is enjoyable.

A tray turned upside down makes a great table in bed.

All the best for 2020!

Inner Strength

Finding this inner strength that I have isn’t easy. I have thrown rocks in my own path, stacked it at the back of a storage shed behind the towering boxes, I have left it alone amongst the cobwebs and dust. I did it to myself. I buried it instead of using it.

One year sober. Who would have thought it? I wasn’t certain I would get this far. I added one day to the next and here we are with days sewn into weeks, patched into months and I’ve gone and made an annual quilt of hand stitched threads of soberness.

It feels good. This strength that I have found is saying I can handle it. Whatever it may be I can handle it.

I’m re-reading Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, by Susan Jeffers. It’s a different read than when I read it years ago. That’s a good thing. I’m learning something new about myself.

Being curious, reading, seeking and trying are traits that never get old. It makes me a perpetual student. I won’t stop.

Today my plan for the afternoon is reading on the couch with the Christmas tree lights on and the doors wide open. I’m resting my ankle again but wiggling my toes. It’s a sunny day. The cicadas are singing. It’s a good day.

Sober as. A piece of string.

On the way

Progress is being made. I am learning to walk again. Today is the first day in a long while I haven’t felt exhausted.

Simple things you take for granted being able to do become a huge effort when you have a broken bone.

Can’t believe I’m writing this because it is so not me, but here goes, I’m grateful I was able to do washing today. Said it. I am one who detests housework. Yet today it was satisfying to be able to get some clean laundry done by myself.

Admittedly it was just pushing buttons. There was sorting and loading. There was adding the laundry detergent. There was the decision as to which type of load. Then the wait. Then once the washing machine had completed its magic the load was then transferred to the dryer. The lint holder cleaned and again a couple of buttons pushed and then another waiting game.

It was a bit like Frere Jacques except with laundry. Once the first load made it to the dryer, a second load began in the washing machine. The swirling of water and the rotating drums in their own rhythms. Followed by hauling warm clean laundry to the bedroom to fold. One by one, each placed into their sameness piles, undies on top of undies, t-shirts on top of t-shirts, socks paired then bundled together then piled into a mound.

The mountain in the wash house is getting smaller. The clean piles are put away and I am feeling satisfaction.

Today was a good day. Told you I liked Mondays.

Five days away from being one year sober. Feeling pretty amazed that I have got this far.

2 months on

Fed up. Writing out my feelings. Don’t for God sakes feel sorry for me or give me sympathy. I’m grumpy. It won’t be received graciously.

I managed to get outside into the garden. I was wallowing in bed feeling so low. My hair hasn’t been brushed in God knows how long. I brushed my teeth for the first time in three days. I am well overdue for a bath. I am two months into recovery from my broken ankle.

Last night I was teary eyed. Netflix couldn’t cure my depression. It didn’t lift me at all. YouTube did nothing. I was restless and barely made my daily sketch. I didn’t want to sleep. Or was it I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know. It was after 2 and I was wide awake.

I looked at the depression, self compassion modules. I read the notes and it said to read them in order. I couldn’t even bring myself to open the module. When you can barely get out of bed, with poor self hygiene then reading something to improve or elevate yourself just is so far out of reach and requiring too much energy.

As I said I made it out to the garden and sat in the sun. I threw on a dress, a baggy summer dress. Turns out it was back to front. Oh well. It matched my mood. I thought it was better to be ‘dressed’ in my own backyard than ‘running about’ in a T-shirt and underpants. I say running about with loaded sarcasm. I am still on crutches with a moon boot. My moon boot stands at attention waiting for me to jump into it when I am in bed.

My knee scooter has been banned by my physiotherapist. She said she doesn’t want to see it. She wants me to use crutches placing some weight on my right leg. So I have designed a cheat method of getting into the moon boot. The three leg Velcro straps are done up loosely, I can slide my foot into the boot, and do them up quicker. Then there are two more straps on the foot. It saves seconds. When going to the loo these seconds are precious.

I must be the most hydrated person on the planet just now. The boredom of a broken ankle makes me drink more water. What comes in must come out. Duh.

Oh and by the way I broke my fibula not the tibia, like I thought. The fibula is apparently not a weight bearing bone yet I have been off the weight on my right leg for six weeks! That will teach me for going the non-surgery route.

The colour is coming back to my right foot. From a reddy pink shade moving back to a pasty white. It is not there yet but much improved. Wrinkles have come back. Note that is a good thing. It means that the circulation is working. The swelling is gone. There is tenderness around the ankle. That’s to be expected. There is stiffness and pins and needles. This is normal because the foot hasn’t been used for a while. Weight is slowly going onto various parts. The muscles are being stretched and pulled. The toes scrunched to pick up objects. Progress is being made.

Coming up to my one year sober mark at the end of the month. Thought I would be feeling better about it but the broken ankle is getting in the way. No matter how low I feel I don’t want to drink again. But I need to develop better habits of celebration.

I am learning how to treat myself. Here she goes again with bloody ice cream. Passionfruit ice blocks with white chocolate. The most expensive ice cream I have even bought. Three blocks to a pack. I slammed aside my frugal self and let the self indulgent me free reign in the frozen aisle. I also tried a new brand of AF ginger beer. Delicious. Gingery and dry. Low sugar by the taste. I have found my summer drink.

That’s enough waffling. Wrote away the grumpiness. Feeling much better. If you comment, I promise not to bite your head off.

Weight for me

I am so so sick of thinking, breathing, writing and talking about WEIGHT.

Being sober is a choice and yay I am glad I did it. I decided 11 months ago that enough was enough. With food you can’t say enough I am done with eating and stop completely. Simply you would die. Obesity and weight isn’t about food anyway. That is the tip of the iceberg and all that you can see. The mind games and the rest is invisible on the surface but oh so very present, day in day out.

Enough!

Instead my solution is to hang a lovely item of clothing that I aim to wear in my eye line.

Ahhh. And a photo too of the lovely item of clothing so even if I am in another room or out and have a decision to make I can look at it and make the right decision. A photo of a swatch of the fabric is all I need. Note that the swatch of fabric isn’t black. We all know which is the right decision anyway. Fu*k it food is off the menu.

(I know this strategy probably won’t work on a low day. The item of clothing will make me laugh. But not in a good way. A sarcastic laugh. Unbecoming. )

It is a positive incentive strategy. There is no NO. There is no limitation on what I can or cannot eat. There is only a choice. With each choice about what I eat, hopefully I will be making more and more better choices. This is for me. A healthier me.

So next time I decide to have a second ice cream for the day I won’t just hesitate. I will politely decline to the child inside of me who is jumping up and down at my side pulling the bottom of my T-shirt and whining, pleeeasseee. Enough. My choice is to say no thank you. That’s it. No whining. No performing. Just no thank you. I can picture my lovely item of clothing.

Yesterday we sat outside and ate dinner. It’s the first time since the bone break that I have sat in the garden, weeded the raised garden beds or eaten outside. Yay for knee scooters! The spring weather is here. There was no wind. I turned on the outside heater so we could be outside in T-shirts and enjoy the moment. My substitute for a candle! Hygge!

One better decision at a time.

Ch ch change

Change is made when small actions are repeated until it becomes a habit.

Change doesn’t happen over night. Change doesn’t happen when you do a new thing once. Actions must be repeated again and again consistently in order for change to occur.

I am writing this for myself as a reminder that change just doesn’t happen by itself. As obvious as it sounds I keep forgetting this and stumble when change doesn’t materialise immediately.

Change requires patience, consistency and repeated behaviour.

I decided while having a cast on my broken ankle that now would be a good time to lose weight. Not so. To heal a broken bone it requires nutrition and possibly more food than normal. I ignored this fact and installed my “new found knowledge” and had just fruit for breakfast, toast for lunch and you can guess what happened…

Low blood sugar reared its head again. Bananas are food from the Gods. Bananas are my go to food if I need instant energy. So I recovered from my moment slowly.

Throbbing headache, feeling nauseous, shaky, sweaty, chills, thirsty, elevated temperature. Why do I do this to myself? Far from clever.

Sweet tea, banana, water, sleep. Followed by dinner a couple of hours later. Followed by more sleep.

Moral of the story is heal the bone first and then deal with the weight.

It may seem obvious to observers but when you are in the thick of it and with time on your hands stupid ideas can appear sensible and efficient. Well stupid ideas are stupid, before conception, during execution and when they have failed.

Lesson learnt this time.

At no time have I felt like having a drink. Except when I heard good new music and thought that this would go well with a glass of red wine. I then rebuked myself and squashed that thought.

Sober and I know it, clap your hands.