Self Care: Menopause & Night sweats

I read that a side effect of taking an SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) was a reduction in frequency of hot flashes, hot flushes or night sweats. For some it completely stops them. It works for some women and not for others. Trial and error. I was having 30 hot moments per day. I was willing to try almost anything.

It worked. At the time I was in peri-menopause. No hot flushes thanks to the SSRI.An entire year has passed since I last had my period so now I am post-menopause. I have noticed a lessening of the desired effect that the SSRI is having.

In the past I was having alcohol, caffeine and an unhealthy diet. Then I had no night sweats or hot flushes. I felt very lucky.

Fast forward to now and sober 11 months. I drink coffee and tea. My diet has improved. The hot flushes are back. Not as bad as before but they are back.

I am doing hot flush tests. Seeing how my body reacts to certain foods.

Not looking good.



Ice cream is safe for now and still on the menu. I am not cutting out all chocolate. Solid chocolate only. If something has some chocolate in it I will still have it. This is not scientific at all. But you knew that.

Cold drinks are better than hot drinks for those who suffer from hot flushes. We’re heading into summer anyway so that it easy to have room temperature or cold tea or water.

I sleep in a cool room. I don’t wear as many layers of clothing as I used to. And don’t need multiple layers of blankets.

I ate my last bag of licorice today. A sad day for me. I have blackadder tea which is the taste of licorice without all the sugar. That is what I will be drinking instead.


Read Toolbox weekly

I give good advice when asked. Great advice. But I am not so good at following said advice. So this is a reminder to myself to read my TOOLBOX weekly.

It’s written down. It’s not just content to bulk up the blog. It’s there for a reason. It’s there to help me and anyone else who is creating their own toolbox. I’m nine months into this sober new world and realise that deciding to become sober was like opening a door. It isn’t the end of a journey, it’s the start. What’s behind that door is what you make of it. Opening that door means facing certain parts of one’s life that haven’t been dealt with. Facing and dealing with it makes one stronger. You decide when you face your issues/fabulousness. It is all in your own time. When you are ready. No one else decides.

Along with my TOOLBOX is my LIBRARY, and man is that list getting longer. The list of books to read. I have another list of books, non alcohol related too. They haven’t made the cut to the blog. Not because they aren’t worthy but they are off topic. I just love reading.

Being sober is all of me now. I feel like I’ve had cataract surgery, or what I imagine it would be like after it. I see clearly now what I couldn’t before. Life is richer. Life is freer. That also means that there are more decisions to be made.

Back to the Toolbox. Read it weekly. Eat less chocolate. Clean the sink.

Digital Detox & Chocolate

In May I attempted a Digital Detox. I tried to be too strict with myself and that backfired. I ended up not bothering in the end. I haven’t given up completely but will try again at a later date.

Does my digital side help with my life? Absolutely.

Do I spend too much time on the Internet? Absolutely.

Could I cut back on my digital side? Absolutely.

I did unsubscribe to many mailing lists. I removed many notifications from my phone. I restricted myself to less digital time. I had planned to use the computer to teach myself new software myself but with all the other restrictions I decided to self sabotage and didn’t bother at all.

A gentler route is in order and I am attempting a Lite Version of Digital Detox. Today I began to learn how to use software better. Progress. I am balancing my Digital with my Paper-based side. I began a Bullet Journal. It’s more of Self Discovery/Sketch Journal.

I seem to have substituted alcohol with copious amounts of chocolate. There is none in the house because I ate it all yesterday. Today I didn’t eat chocolate because it wasn’t handy. I didn’t make a trip to the supermarket and so there is no chocolate in the house. I do know now, correction, I always knew that if I bought a week’s worth of chocolate that it would be gone in two days. The addictive side of me is very methodical. If it’s there, it must be consumed mentality. I had roasted cauliflower for dinner. From one extreme to the other.

Self Care: Homemade Facial Mask and a Bath
Green tea and yoghurt

4pm Uneasiness

Today I feel uneasy. Why? I upset someone with my own stupid words. If I could take it back I would but I can’t. It is too late. The words escaped. They are gone. They are not forgotten.

Perfection is not who I am. I don’t claim to be or aim to be perfect. I would like to feel a little less stupid today. All I can do is forgive myself. Get over it and try to be better next time. Dwelling on it will not improve the situation or my mood. Dwelling on it makes everything worse.

Moving on. I am trying with an uneasiness in my stomach. Or my big toe. Where ever my feelings are supposed to be. I don’t know.

Living sober is a challenge. Today I feel it heavier than other days. I gobbled chocolate yesterday like it was a feast. Did I need so many? Does anyone need chocolate? Of course not. I wanted one, then two then one of each kind, then another. Written down on paper it looks gluttonous. Because it was!

Moderation. Remember. That is why we are writing this. Because I cannot moderate myself. I do not want to substitute chocolate for alcohol. That’s like ripping a bandage off and wrapping a marshmallow over the wound with plastic wrap as a replacement. Not that I’ve ever tried doing that ever.

Being kind to oneself is for everyday not just special occasions. The little things count. A cup of tea. A bath. A book. A film. A time to write thoughts. A log fire. A walk. Time spent with a loved one. Time spent with a pet. A song. A smile. A laugh. A nap. Breathe.

Rainy Sunday afternoon

Went to the supermarket today. Avoided the alcohol aisle. Walked down the confectionery aisle and picked out some chocolate for myself. DH went nuts with chocolate buying. He knows that I no longer steal from his stash of goodies so he feels that he can buy what he likes now.

Alcoholic me would have devoured his chocolate in the wee hours with no regard for the  consequences the following morning. Sorry doesn’t cut it really. I am strong enough to resist the urge to binge on sweet stuff because I am not drinking.

It feels good to be trusted around chocolate again. I’m 50 not 5. Such a silly thing but a big step for me.

I feel good for the money I’m saving by not drinking alcohol. I don’t watch TV so I don’t get bombarded with commercials for various brands and labels so that is a positive thing. I have removed myself from wine clubs. I was a member of two. I no longer take calls from them so I cannot be tempted to buy a case.

I haven’t removed the spirits from the drinks cupboard. I plan to move them to the garage so that they are further from line of sight and of mind. Being a lazy drinker I would not bother to go to the garage to grab a drink, I would rather go without. But best to move them sooner than later.

Insomnia is still with me at Day 16 but I can manage to get to sleep now, which is good progress. Will try to get to bed earlier and read a book before nodding off. Trying to have an internet free bedroom. Phone and computer charging elsewhere. Working on that. Haven’t been successful yet but trying. Habits are so hard to break.

Focusing on self care at the moment. I realise that Sober Day 16 is such a new experience that I should take everything slowly. If all goes well it will be for the rest of my sober life. I have been dry for spurts of months and weeks in the past but never with the sober forever in mind. I was having a break. It was always swayed into going back to the wine or the vodka or the beer. I feel that this time I have the right mindset. I know that I am going sober for me. I know that only I can make that decision.

Once this insomnia is kicked I feel that I can start to get back to being creative. Regardless I am back to exercising next week, walking, weights and Pokemon Go. I mowed the lawns last week. Weeding to do next. I am being kind to myself and if I don’t get it done today it will be tomorrow. And if it isn’t done then it isn’t a big deal. It is not the end of the world. Priority is being sober.

Today’s Sober Treats: Chocolate and Reading

Whittaker’s Hawke’s Bay Braeburn Apple with Vanilla 100g

The Village Effect: How Face-to-face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter by Susan Pinker