Two weeks in the Sober Blogging World

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks (May 15) since I joined other fellow bloggers who are trying to live a sober / alcohol free life! Of course it all started with the inspiration from Belle’s 100 day challenge. I am now wrapping up day 18 sober.

I am amazed at the support and incredibly inspiring blogs I am reading – that resonate with every part of my being – in what I am living, have lived, thought about or wondered about. It’s so refreshing to read that I’m not alone and that while each of our stories are unique, we have a common thread that ties us together – and that’s our drive to stay in the sober car.

I have accessed support via blogs through another website, but the focus was not solely on this task and for me to succeed, I think adding this to my tools is a must! I am so grateful to those who are following – as I then go check out their blogs and the link is made… Simply incredible this power in numbers and knowing that no matter what I might be going through – good or bad day – I can come here to read or chat even and get support.

Today was a good day. I went to work earlier and had the appointment with the psychiatrist for my 12 year old daughter. It was a good session overall and what hit me was when the psychiatrist asked me what I had in place for support through all of this as it has been quite challenging… I told her I did not have family and not many in person friends, but that I found support through my blogging and online support. That it’s a place for me to vent, to let go of my thoughts in a space that is free of judgement and totally supportive. It felt really good for her to say she thought I was doing an incredible job of managing it all – as I explained some of my coping strategies (exercising, eating healthy)… but I did not mention that I had quit the booze too!

I think that my choice to do this challenge at this point in my life is what is keeping me strong – and the support from the sober blogging world – incredible – even in just being able to read so many other stories … learning about the different stages and getting ideas on how to cope and manage in order to stay sober!

I am feeling incredibly grateful as I get ready for bed… at peace and truly happy to be where I am right now. Thank you Belle – the earth angel that is helping so many! And thank you to all other bloggers – I look forward to getting to know you better.

Helene

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Remembering and Forward Thinking…

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I need this reminder every now and again – that every day I’m one step away from where I used to be and for the purposes of this blog – that’s now 17 days sober. I continue to read other blogs and enlightened by the stories and experiences.

I have to say that I do have some ‘fear of failure’ but isn’t that the case with anything we take on in life – and at this point in my journey, at 46 years of age, I plan on starting my 47th year (in September) on the right foot. I have been having a lot of thoughts lately about what I will do after the 100 day challenge. Will I try to go back to ‘moderate’ or just social drinking? Will I be able to handle it? If I can’t – will I be able to jump back in the sober car and do as well as I am now?

Belle and I were exchanging emails and she pointed something out to me – it’s a good thing I was not at a point where I might have trouble quitting because of all the issues I am having to deal with in regards to my 12 year old. It’s like my parenting skills kicked into high gear and my priorities were a no brainer – I HAVE to be sober right now.

With all the appointments and services we’re attending, juggling my full time job, trying to manage financially and also dealing with a 16 year old who has her own issues with depression/anxiety – it’s like I’m pulling double duty – playing mom and dad roles. I normally have a break in the summer when the girls go visit their father but this year, neither of them want to go and so – no break for me (he lives 2 provinces away so I don’t get the every other weekend deal either). It’s all on me … and probably why I turned to drinking alone at home so much. I couldn’t really afford to go out, but doing that didn’t help my outlook on things.

Forward thinking to what happens once I achieve this 100 day challenge. What then? Do I stay sober? Do I attempt social drinking? If I do – how will I feel? (not sure I want to turn back the counter to day 1)

When I read about those who went back to drinking and how they felt shitty about it and are back in the sober car again… it just makes me wonder – should I even be thinking about this shit?!

Instead – I should be focusing on all the great feelings being sober is giving me!! How much more productive I am. How I can remember things more than before. How I can decide to late at night go out for a drive because I am sober. How much more health conscious I am in other areas of my life (what I eat/drink and how I move my body to burn some of that energy).  There are so many GOOD things about being sober and that’s what I am going to focus on going forward… NOT mmm when can I have a drink again… because maybe I may never have one again, I don’t know … and for now I’m going to enjoy this sober moment.

Noticing Changes

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Each day that passes, I notice more clarity and calmness inside of me. Having been sober for 26 days this month (day 17 on the 100 Day Challenge) has a lot to do with that! While I still have moments of self-doubt, wondering if I can really do this 100 day challenge, and I have dreams about failing, day by day, I feel myself getting stronger. I am more determined than I have been about anything to really get through and finish what I started with respect to not letting myself down.

The changes this is bringing about are things like my motivation to do the same in other areas of my life – and it’s feeling pretty darn great!

Honestly, with all that I’m currently dealing with at home, many say it’s a wonder I’m not boozing more to handle it all but I know that would just add to the problems because I would then have guilt or fear that I was not making sound judgement calls with respect to how I handled the crises.

My daughter came home tonight from the crisis unit and is in her bed. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring (it’s a real roller coaster ride these days with moods as she is dealing with her depression/anxiety and some anger too), but I know I can handle it. Despite all the turmoil, I sense a calm inside me because I feel good about my decision to stay sober.

I am also reading other posts about those who tried to join the challenge and are calling it off –  (and by no means do I judge those who slip or decide it’s not for them because that was me before I was ready too)… I truly want to succeed this time. I read about people who gave in and how they felt foggy, or weren’t as productive, etc., I’m liking the new sober me and how I am feeling!

Sure I am tired at times and don’t always push at 100% but I am more productive than I have ever been in ages. These changes are worth noticing and keeping in mind when Wolfie comes out because the feelings of pride, that sense of accomplishment, can’t be beat with caving in to the voices saying ‘just one won’t kill ya – why are you torturing yourself – relax’…

You know what Wolfie?! I am more relaxed, at peace and in CHARGE of my thoughts and my life and I like those changes!!

‘da Drain… ‘da Drink… ‘da Alternatives

Day 16 here and last night I felt ‘da drain… After an emotional night on Sunday and having to admit my daughter to a residential crisis unit and not sleeping much – after work I felt very drained of energy and motivation. My usual witching hour is when I get home from work and my new practice now is to get home and get busy – but it’s hard to do when you’re tired.

So what did I do?! Well I pushed myself to do a workout. I knew that even though I didn’t feel like it, I would feel better for doing it after and I did!! I’ve been for the first time in my life probably following a program faithfully for 6 weeks (well the first couple of weeks weren’t great but I’m going strong now and I attribute it to my sober status).

When we stop drinking, it’s like we have all this time on our hands to do things that we always put off or talked about while drinking. DOING is much better than talking that’s for sure!! Now of course I also have been trying to replace ‘da drink with healthy alternatives and have found a few that I enjoy. I love the Flat Belly Sassy Water recipe. We finally have LaCroix water here in Canada (which is free of any additives – basically just sparkling water with varied natural flavouring). Right now we don’t have all the flavours most have but I love the plain one and I mix it with Crystal Light Strawberry/Lemonade liquid mix – YUMM!! It’s like my pretend cooler. I love my bubbles and really trying to cut down on the diet Pepsi I drink. It was my mix of choice with my Vodka Lime so now I will allow myself a treat every now and again of diet Pepsi with fresh squeezed lime in it but truthfully hope to cut out the soda once and for all one day too (but alas – one vice at a time and the booze was the most important one to kick).

I’m also exploring making healthy drinks – like green smoothies, protein drinks, etc. Kicking this habit has fine tuned my desire to be healthy in every respect – like I want to heal my body so trying to eat foods that are good for me, trying to get away from processed stuff and now with the extra time – exploring making new healthy recipes from scratch more often.

So the alternatives to ‘da Booze are much better for me in so many ways! I think that had I not been sober when this family crisis happened I would have fallen apart – but instead it’s like ‘bring it on’… I’m going to meet and beat these challenges (both the 100 day challenge and my own family trials and tribulations). This too shall pass and I appreciate all the lessons being brought my way … as hard as they may be. I will focus on the GOOD things in my life, count my blessings and smile in the face of adversity (or Wolfie – who even comes to visit in my dreams and makes me think I want a drink lol).

Proud of where I am

 

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I am proudly finishing up my 2nd week sober! Today was a good one too – walked over 6 miles, did some de-cluttering and purging some old stuff and it felt amazing. I have been procrastinating for a long time about going through my stuff – you know the ‘stuff’ you accumulate over the years. When I moved here over 4 years ago – I put a bunch of boxes and papers and junk downstairs and now it’s time to just make space for new things to come in. No more hoarding and holding on to old past memories (well with the exception of certain things of course). 

I am truly very proud to be where I am today. The month of May has been a key turning point for me – it started with an 11 day sober streak from April 29th and then my last weekend of drinking ending on Mother’s Day. Kind of a propos if you will – with the family issues I’m dealing with – that as a mom I have had to make some choices to make some changes. But in all honesty, it’s something I have been talking about for years!! I guess the crisis just pushed me to dive right in and make it happen for real this time – and I’m grateful for that. While times are tough emotionally around here, I know I’m stronger than ever and able to handle it. 

The teen years are tough… and I know they will pass. In the meantime, I will keep working at improving my life because one day my kids will be gone and I want to live a very full and positive life – striving to live my passions … to travel, write more, and perhaps share my life with my soulmate … I am technically still single … I did meet one man and not sure where it will go but taking it one day at a time – like anything else. 

The week ahead closes the month of May where I will have a record number of sober days in a long time… 28 days sober for the month! So yup – I’m giving myself a pat on the back and feeling better every day I ride in the sober car!!

 

Day 13… and it was a bit harder…

I’m wrapping up my 13th day of sobriety (in the 100 day challenge). I have to say the weekends are what I find challenging with more time on my hands – but then again, it means when I’m not drinking more productive things can be done too.

Right now my mind is so full of the emotional stuff in dealing with my daughter and her moods. From one day to the next, I’m being presented with challenges… her defiance, refusal, and well – I broke down a bit today because this is really hard and I thought about having a drink… but then as I thought some more realized it would only make me feel worse … for failing and falling off my streak.

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I keep wondering when this will slow down. The past couple of months dealing with all the issues arising with my kids – it’s not been easy and I guess it’s the reason I also decided to take this challenge. I have to be on the ball and need my mind to be working optimally (with no memory lapses that come when I drink too much).

I know I have to put out a strong front for them because I am all they have – their father is not too involved (lives two provinces away and they usually see him once a year but this summer they both said they didn’t want to go). He doesn’t even call regularly which is really sad and part of the issues too.

Since my divorce, just over 10 years ago, I’ve been doing this on my own. It has not been easy. I went through so much shit! I had a bad experience with one relationship (the first time I opened my heart after the divorce), lost many close people to death (cancer, accidents), lost my house and job at one point (even declared bankruptcy). I moved to where I’m living now 4 years ago and have been rebuilding a life for myself and cutting out the booze it the last BIG piece of the puzzle of my past that I need to leave there.

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I have been broken – a few times over with some real hard situations – but I’m not DONE. I will not give up and I know that I have to keep fighting the good fight …

I am grateful in all of this that I actually met someone back in March. He’s what I call a friend for now but just the outlet I need right now. I’m not sure where it will go but in comparison to all the experiences in dating I’ve had, this by far is unique and there’s potential for something really good. Although I won’t jinx it by overthinking it and going to keep enjoying the moments we have together. He’s been a a great escape for me with all this ‘kid’ stuff and being booze free (and I love that he doesn’t drink). He’s in Italy for a job right now – and I am looking forward to his return around the 30th when we’ll catch up again. He’s some good medicine for me right now. The perfect outlet because it doesn’t involve booze in any way, and it’s a lot of fun 🙂

All in all – a better day than yesterday on the home front. It’s for sure a roller coaster ride, but I’m proudly closing off day 13 Sober!!

Priorities…

It became inherently clear to me today about how important it is for me to be completely booze free for a long while. I have 2 daughters – aged 12 and 16. My 16 year old has been dealing with anxiety/depression for some time and it seems to be more or less under control but the past couple of months, my 12 year old has been showing signs of great sadness and depression, anxiety and even suicidal intentions.

I have been to the emergency department with her (thank God I wasn’t drinking the night this happened and part of the reason I have not drank much this past month) – she was cutting and had a suicide plan. We ended up being referred to a psychiatrist who we’re now seeing weekly.

It has not been easy and today I learned that she was cutting again this week and that she has also developed issues with eating – making herself throw up and giving away her lunches. Today she admitted there were 2 days she did not eat at all.

Needless to say – the whole booze issue in my head and those voices mean NOTHING when I put this into perspective. As a mother – the most important thing to me is the well being of my girls. As a single mother (for the past 10 years plus), it means doing double duty … playing both roles and being there in any way I can.

I feel as if I’ve been pulled lately for attention from both – I have NO TIME to drink honestly. My girls need me and the booze and wolfie can go fuck themselves (pardon the language but it’s been a really TOUGH friggen day!!).

So I got through tonight’s BBQ – even though after that appointment this morning I didn’t really feel like being around people.  I didn’t do great with my eating tonight but right now – that’s not a priority either. The booze was all around me but all I could think of was keeping an eye on my daughter and making sure she was ok. Tonight – we got home and shared with my oldest what had been going on – it’s a hard place to live right now emotionally.

I caught my 12 year old trying to purge after eating at the BBQ and now worried about even going to sleep. I have a lot to learn about dealing with eating disorders and how I’m going to manage this new problem.

I sure feel like I’ve been put through the ringer lately … and yes before I came here – drinks would have been my outlet or release, but tonight I choose blogging – to vent and let some of the thoughts out.

Finishing day 12 of 100 – hoping for a more positive day on the homefront tomorrow. It sure is taking a toll on my – feeling the drain. I need to be here, be present, be SOBER and be strong! That’s my priority… being there as mom ‘on call’ to get through this family crisis of ours.