Long thin blue ones

If you are tired of reading about finger nails stop right now, if however you are intrigued by my overenthusiastic reaction then read on…

Stopping alcohol has opened up a brand new world for me. Anxiety and stress dropped away. There was no more wondering am I drinking too much, if I have another one will anyone notice? Or I’ll stock up on wine this week because it’s on special knowing full well that the stock wouldn’t last the weekend. There is none of this thought to clutter the mind today. All that tiring thinking about the next drink, the next happy hour, the next occasion, is all gone. It is not missed at all. And I worried that it really would have been. How wrong I was.

I no longer spend all this time thinking about alcohol and then next glass. I no longer spend my money on this obsession. I no longer spend money on the food and transportation that goes with said drinks. Because there is no remorse on what was said the night before, there is no hangover, there is no forgotten gap in the previous evening. All is remembered. There is no worry about how am I getting home, I can drive myself. The anxiety and stress has been fleeing my body and the upside is enormous.

The upside of sober life is long nails. Here she goes again. I know. And I don’t apologise for it either. Long nails for me represents lost anxiety, hidden self confidence that has finally reared its head. Long nails are a symbol of strength for me. Now if you are imagining those nails which are inches and inches long that is not me or what I am talking about. If you imagined bitten nails, erase that and bite and chew more off and the surrounding skin. Gross. Embarrassing. That was me. I was carrying around with me the visable armour of the defeated, the downtrodden. I hid my hands whenever possible. I would always ball my hands into a fist so my nails were hidden. I couldn’t partake in conversations because I wasn’t privy to the ins and outs of the nail world. I was stuck behind anxiety and low self esteem. Now my nails are not the inches and inches long that you imagined, but they are an ordinary length. They blend in with the crowd now. For that I grateful. I am part of the painted nails brigade and I like it. I have missed out on this frivolousness until now and I intend to make up for lost time and have fun with it. I really do. I don’t even know how to file my nails properly. Youtube will be handy. I have ordered nail paraphernalia to look after them well.

Each time I change my nail colour, file, buff, paint or moisturise my nails I will be practising gratitude for the courage that I had to stop drinking. For others it may not be much at all, but for me it is huge. A leap in the right direction. Life is made up of little moments and now I will be spending my time thinking of what shade next.

This follows along with my theme for this year: Care. Part of my routine now involves the care of my finger and toe nails. Oh what fun we will have!

Today’s sober treat: a long hot soak in the bath tub with Epsom salts and a book.

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Day 51

Being sober is the easy part. The decision to become sober was difficult. Finding what to do next and how to do it is the struggle. More the “how” really.

I am sober but the habits that surrounded the alcohol are still with me. Tidying and cleaning, basically housework in general is not something I excel at. Our home looks lived in. It is not a show home. It has books and comfortable couches and day beds. It has things scattered on the floor. It is not ready for visitors or guests. That’s okay for now.

I used to strive for perfection. Then I realised that it was ridiculous. I still try but not to the extent I used to do. I overdo things and need a gentle nudge to stop trying to do everything at once. I am finding more peace with dropping perfection, guilt, paranoia and regret. These things I dropped before becoming sober. Anxiety is still with me but in a much weaker form. Depression is with me too but I recognise it, accept it and have learnt to live with it better. Fear is still with me. Fear is holding me back. I know this. I recognise this. I aim to challenge myself and make the fear smaller or contained. First though comes care. I need better care before I can face fear.

The past two years I chose to face things. Facing something is scary. It is easier to postpone, to look elsewhere. It is difficult to face something but once faced it removes a brick in the wall that surrounds yourself. It allows you to find lightness, makes it easier to breathe.

Facing something allows you to move on.

Insomnia is taking a hint and edging towards her packed bags at the door. I am managing to get to sleep by about 2am. Huge improvements for me. I took a bath with Epsom salts, 2 cups worth and soaked while reading a book with tea and a nice candle. It was relaxing. I had forgotten the magnesium in Epsom salts. Magnesium sulphate, of course. One source of increasing my magnesium.

Accidentally kicked my Epsom salts glass jar in the bathroom a few weeks ago. Sober. Glass and salt everywhere. Yikes. That stopped my habit dead. I want a replacement jar for it but something unbreakable. Zip lock bag will have to suffice for now. The jar was in the corner out of the way I thought but my foot found it regardless. Clumsiness is still with me.

I made it to the gym once this week. I did mini habits twice. I am eating better. I am enjoying homemade toasted muesli and adding more fruit and vegetables to my life. My weight is going down. The scales are showing me numbers that I haven’t seen in months. A healthier me is beginning to show.

Reading is my rock. Non fiction, fiction, doesn’t really matter. My list of books to read is getting longer and my tangents are dividing as I explore further. Learning and leisure is for everyone.

Progress made. Half way through this week I got lost but I found my way back again. Onwards.