Day 1 No snacking – Success

Yesterday I had my first day of no evening snacking. I didn’t have any snacks. I was aiming to go for something healthy but I ended up having nothing, I didn’t miss it. I was engrossed in writing and drawing and the time flew by. Snacking didn’t enter my mind.

Yesterday was a victory.

After many months of being sober I still haven’t got the emotional or boredom or habitual grazing snack habit under control. Twenty one days to create a habit. Let’s see how we go. Dwight from Faded Jeans Living and Functioningguzzler are both on a mission to eat healthier and loose weight. What I read is inspiring.

I don’t believe in dieting, never have. I believe in healthy eating and good eating habits. I’m not into fads. I want this to be long lasting.

I hopped on the scales today and my weight has gone down a little. Progress. I have been making records with my weight since becoming sober. New records of “this is the heaviest I’ve ever been” kind of records. Today I see a turn for the better.

I’m going to write down what weight I want to reach. Here, I will put it out into the universe.

My goal is 75kg. (165.35lbs or 11.8 stone)

Instead of rewarding myself with chocolate and other sweet treats I need to look again and again at my Sober Treats and use the ideas and reward myself better.

Today I had toasted muesli, kiwifruit and yoghurt for brunch. The mornings, the afternoons are easy with regards snacking. I don’t have a problem with that time, the witching hours are after 7pm.

Help me get there. Push me, encourage me. Hold me accountable. Let’s get to where we want to be, healthier. I am joining Dwight of Faded Jeans Living and Functioningguzzler.

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Rising Strong

Rising Strong by Brené Brown is such a good read. I am half way through and I know I should have read Daring Greatly before this but that’s the way the book requests came through, out of order.

Brené Brown is a researcher and delves into emotions such as shame and vulnerability. She focuses her life’s work in areas that most of us would rather not look at. She encourages us to face the uncomfortable and to give it language so we can better deal with our emotions and improve how we act, get up and do it all again.

I have watched many interviews of hers on YouTube, plus her TED Talk and I also read The Gift of Imperfection. As I read her books she narrates in my head. It’s an enjoyable experience. She has a Texan drawl and she tells it like it is. She asks tough questions and interviews countless people to draw conclusions and find answers as to how we think.

A question posed in the chapter I’m reading is:

“Do you think that people are doing the best they can?

What do you think?

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I like to think of myself as hopeful and YES I do believe that people are doing the best they can. Even if the person in the car in front cuts me off, I don’t know what’s going through their mind. They may have just lost their job, they may have had terrible news, they may have run out of milk for their baby? I don’t know what is going through their minds or what is in their life. I may swear under my breathe but I leave it at that. At the time we make the best decision or choice as we are able. On the outside it may appear obviously a wrong choice but that is a judgement without all the facts. When we are strong we are able to make better decisions, when we are hurting or struggling we make the best decisions we can at the time.

Here’s to being hopeful.

Not drinking makes you smarter

Not drinking makes you smarter. Did I really just write that? Who clicked because they believed it, even just for a second?

It ain’t true. Not drinking doesn’t make you smarter. And drinking doesn’t make you smarter either. What makes you smart? If I could answer that there would be no need for this blog for starters. Smartness (look it up, it’s a word) comes from experience, intuition, reading, thinking, observation and I suppose a few genes, not the designer jean variety.

Being sober lifts the fog and allows us to see clearer. What we do with this new sight is up to us. We made the first smart decision: to stop drinking. We can build on this and make more smart decisions. It’s like taking steps. One step after anther. One smart decision after another. Along the way we will sidestep and make dumb decisions. That’s to be expected. That’s what learning is, right?

Last week I made a smart decision. I hit a hurdle in life. I could have coped with it by having a wine or two like I would have in the past. This time, my sober self, said no. Deal with this sober, you are strong. You’ve got this. And I did got this.

Soberness might not give us smart decisions always but it gives us a chance to make more better choices.

Choose to be smart today.

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.

Passed a hurdle

Last week I could have had a drink but I didn’t. It was one of those moments when you know you have Fu*ked up and your head makes the sound of television static like in Poltergeist but without the girl talking through the screen.

I am still recovering from that moment. Depression arrived and is outstaying it’s welcome. Better depression than having a drink. Opting for the lesser of two evils. In the past depression and drink would party together so instead now it is a party for one.

I am sitting this one out and going into softly softly major self care mode. I will ride this one out surrounded by tea, a warm house, binge watching, doodling and cats when they decide to show up. I hate watching comedies when I feel like this. I don’t find them funny. In fact there are a lot of comedies that are so incredibly sad that I wonder the state of the mind of the person/people who wrote them. Off track now. Back to softly softly.

Even tried doing housework to rid myself of depression. Nil affect on depression. Marginal improvement on well being. So that’s a win then.

The difference between before and now, I have a champion in my corner. I have a gentle voice inside my head, offering words of comfort and care. I have not heard her before now. There is an inner strength that was not there before. Things are looking up.

One day shy of 9 months sober

Wow. Time is flying. I thought it was eight months sober but it’s almost nine months now. Still going strong. Still grateful everyday for not drinking. I didn’t expect an easy ride but I thought that instead of drinking that I’d be losing weight. That hasn’t happened. Not too concerned really if I’m honest. Better that than drinking.

On the plus side I have gotten my sleep patterns back to normal. It takes less time to fall asleep than in the first few sober months, and I am making an effort to consistently get to bed before midnight.

Another plus, I have got back my love of drawing again. I am making effort to add this to my life on a daily basis. So good to have this back in my life. My creativity is resurfacing and I am running with it.

Yet another plus, the recycling rubbish and regular rubbish is not mounting up as it did when we were drinking. Not only do we have less rubbish, we buy less junk food, eat out less and so are saving money. What a bonus. Creative pursuits are generally mind work so they don’t require huge sums of money. So I wonder again why I didn’t give up drinking sooner. The stingy side of me is jumping up and down with joy. My sober side is joining in. I am just one big bundle of joy.

Housework has not been a priority. Self care has been. Dust and clutter is around me. I can look at it and not have feelings of shame or guilt. That is a huge step for me. I want to be tidier and have a clean house one day. Sleep and self care have been a priority. Slowly I am adding things to do for routines that hopefully will be automatic in the future.

I have asked for help and am getting the lawns mowed on a regular basis. That has been money well spent. Seems like such a small thing but it makes me feel lighter.

Next in the help pile is to get someone in to help clean on a regular basis. I just need to get over the embarrassment of the state of things now and admit this is where it is and what needs getting done. I have had the name and phone number of someone for four months and had planned on getting the house into a better state before the cleaner came. Stupid I know. Vanity appears in ridiculous moments.

I haven’t been writing much here because I have been finding my feet, and getting on with life. I find myself walking in the right direction.

One thing I find difficult is finding places to go where alcohol is not the main focus. I am trying to find nice places where I can go out and be comfortable and sit and drink tea or coffee and indulge in something sweet. A sober treat outing so to speak. I am a great booth sitter. Nothing like a booth to be comfortable. That is one of my quests this year – to find date spots. Home is the best place to sit and drink tea or coffee, talk, read a good book. I am thinking outside the box and parks and picnics seem like a great idea. Only it’s winter now and and not the greatest plan for wet weather. Again, lighting the fire and enjoying the ambiance is a start, at home.

Staying put without travelling, becoming a better version of myself is just what I need to work on now. Looking forward to having a year under my belt before I breathe a sigh of relief.

My sober treat is a waterproof Kindle. I can now read in the bath without having to worry if I drop the device in the water. I don’t have to read paperbacks carefully without wet hands, the Kindle will be so much easier. We’ll see how we go.

Corkscrews and Bottle Openers

Bottle openers and corkscrews. I have many. Now what to do with them?

I don’t have that many in all honesty but I have more that enough.

My cork collection is still sitting next to the fireplace untouched. Now what to do with them?

Do I throw them away? I still can’t bear to toss them away. I haven’t dealt with this. Have I? All those hours spent drinking them, and the money paid for them. It all seems so silly and wasteful now. Duh. I do have a cork board which I intend to keep. I can look at it and not feel any desire or wistful thoughts of drinking. I am not doing any more DIY projects with corks. If I offer them to someone else for DIY projects am I enabling them to drink?

What did you do with your corks? You threw them away, didn’t you.

My remnants of a wine and spirits collection is in the garage. Now what to do with them?

I will use them in cooking. And if the wine has gone off it will be used as vinegar, again also for cooking.

Watching while under the influence

I stayed up and watched a film last night until the wee hours. I remember the title. I had seen it before because I remembered the title. I pressed play and what followed, I remembered nothing. Not quite true. I remember still shots of certain actors, no story line, otherwise nothing. It was like watching a new film. It was. I watched till the end. It was great by the way. It was past 2am when I turned off the screen.

Over the years I have watched so many shows and films while drunk. And what was the point. I won’t remember any of them. My case in point was last night or technically this morning.

What was the point?

The drinking or the watching? Choose.

I have no answer.

Learning to pace myself

In the past and even now I tend to get enthusiastic about something, I live, breathe and sleep whatever it may be. The enthusiasm lasts for a while, a good while and then fizzles out. Gone.

It’s all about the pace. You cannot sprint a marathon. That’s commonsense. Yet why do I always try to sprint when I should be jogging. These running analogies aren’t working for me. I used to do cross country running. Now I detest anything above a walk. So what else can I use? Jog one lamp post, sprint one lamp post. Stop it.

Okay let’s try music. Tempo. Don’t know the words to describe it but here goes. No. scrap that.

I try to immerse myself in the lust of choice. I suck it dry. I spit it out, I get sick of myself. I walk away. Immersion is a good thing with language learning for example. But not with everything.

Longevity and god pace is what I am trying to add to my kit. Continuity should be there too. They are all linked.

Staying up till 6am engrossed is a wonderful thing. The sun comes up and you are still awake from the day before. Once in a while is fine. But it is unsustainable long term. You cannot tell which way is up. It doesn’t end well.

Pacing myself, being consistent, longevity these things are elusive. These are not linked with addiction, are they? This is a whole new me emerging.

Being sober feels like I am giving myself another chance in life.

I am just a girl standing in front of a mirror, telling myself I love you.

Or should that be “I love me?”

A side note: My recycle bin never gets full now. It is quite shocking how empty it is each week. No more bottles. No cardboard pizza boxes. Only the odd pizza now and then. The absence of bottles is noticeable by the lack of recycling. Calculating the money I am saving and it is breathtaking.

BONUS: Being sober=less recycling bin pushing+saving money

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride Ph.d.

I have been quiet on my sober blog for a couple of months. I have been working on myself. Taking the time to decide to stop drinking has been the best decision ever. Being sober is a choice. I think around the six month sober mark you start to feel cocky and you think it is easy to not drink. The occasional thought creeps in telling you wouldn’t it be nice to have a beer or a wine or … I thought about drinking. No that’s not true. Or is it. I thought about the first sip. I did not partake. I thought how far I’d come and stayed true to myself and remained sober. I am sober.

With a clear head and loads more time on my hands I have been reading and using the Internet to heal and grow. That doesn’t happen overnight. And it’s not a destination either. I will never be done being sober. It is a journey of being sober. What I intend to do while being sober is the hard part as I’ve said in the past.

I am dealing with life. I am dealing with feelings and finding out who I really am. I am questioning everything about myself. Do I like or do something because I like it or because someone else suggested it and so I did it or like it. Everything is being turned upside down. Re-examined. The hard part of feelings has begun to been addressed. Sure there are triggers that appear and without warning the PTSD reaction involuntarily shows itself. I’m working on it. Thanks to Karyl McBride.

This book, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride Ph.d.was recommended on a YouTube channel. I looked it up and borrowed it from the library. What perfect timing for this book to come into my life. Such a helpful book to deal with an important relationship, the mother-daughter bond. Not all relationships are meant to be. Families should not always stay together. In our culture this kind of talk is taboo: Don’t talk ill of families or familial relationships. Because of that taboo and the reluctance to talk or discuss this many people feel that they are broken or that there is something wrong with them for not being able to have that ‘good’ close relationship. Chosen families are that because of understanding, commitment, love and other good stuff. Without it they are bound to fail. Your chosen family doesn’t have to be the family you grew up with, it doesn’t have to be the family that gave birth to you. You decide who you want to spend your time with.

Time is precious. Spend it with the ones who deserve your love.