Another Friday

I have really, really felt like a drink at points this afternoon. But I’m all ‘Fuck off, Wolfie’ and have dived back into my blog and reading some old posts has helped my willpower.

I have been doing really well in my mostly sober-ness. Had a few glasses of wine on our camping trip two weeks ago, no plans to drink this weekend or for a while. I have developed a strict rule about not drinking at home which is proving pretty effective, because I barely ever go out! Over the last three months, I have only drank on three occasions and only 2-3 glasses. Prior to that, I religiously drank half a bottle of wine three nights a week, 3/4 of a bottle on both weekend nights and maybe had two nights where I was ‘not drinking’ – with some difficulty.

The problem with not being entirely sober is that it is more difficult, because I do the ‘thinking about drinking’ thing in a way that I probably wouldn’t if I was entirely sober, as it wouldn’t be an option. The door is kept open a crack – Wolfie can slip in more easily. So this blog is a way to try to keep myself accountable and not slip back into my regular drinking ways.

I guess I just want to be one of those people who rarely drinks but enjoys a glass when they do. I’ve literally never been able to understand those people and have always viewed ‘light’ drinkers with a sense of awe and confusion – such restraint! How do they manage? I think the answer is that they just don’t do too much thinking about drinking at all. They can genuinely take it or leave it. Now that’s a goal.

But I’m not sure that is entirely realistic for someone who has spent a lifetime as a massive boozer. But I’m trying and so far it is working.

I bloody love waking up sober. I like trying to find different ways to manage my stress. I like the feeling of overall greater healthiness that being sober brings. I feel good.

Til next time x



Friday night feeling…

If ever there was a night for drinking, Friday is definitely it. There’s something about closing out the working week, winding down with a glass of wine and knowing you don’t have to get up early.

Friday is the hardest day for me not to drink, because I’ve almost always reflexively done so. So there’s an awkwardness to it, an itchy sort of feeling that something isn’t quite right.

That said, you just ride it out. It’s not like my Fridays are riotous bar-hopping party nights anymore anyway, I’m usually just hanging out at home drinking. Now I’m hanging out at home not drinking.

Tonight we had family dinner with the kids, I had a bath and am now tucked up with a book. Once I get past early evening it’s fine. If I can motivate myself I’ll feel plenty well enough for a run and some yoga in the morning and I’m loving my book so that’s good enough for me.

Good mornings….

I like waking up sober, it’s so nice not to have a dusty head. And my sleep is amazingly solid. Have slid back into not drinking this week very easily actually, just not thought about it. A good sign? Planning to stay sober through the parties this weekend. They don’t meet the bar for me to get off the wagon again. Fingers crossed for me!

Back again

So I drank at the weekend. Red wine, gin and champagne. We were away for the weekend and I got pleasantly buzzed, didn’t embarrass myself, went to bed when alcohol was still there and didn’t wake up hungover.

I’m kind of leaning towards this not drinking at home/only drinking exceptionally thing. I really don’t go out much. That said, this weekend there’s a birthday party with a friend who likes to drink and a friend’s 40th. I’m not keen to drink at either so think I’ll drive. I’m worried about backsliding because I basically have very little willpower.

I was Day 28, not sure if I want to bother going back to Day 1. Actually it’s Day 3 now, and I haven’t really thought about drinking. Got home from our amazing weekend away and my sister had left some of a bottle of wine in the fridge. So I just threw it out without thinking about it. I think I’m doing ok.

The problem with not being truly sober is then you’re just trying not to drink. So you don’t fit in with drinkers, but you don’t fit so well with actual sober people either.

Day 25

Still here …. thinking about a glass of bubbles on the weekend for husband’s bday and our romantic once-a-year non-kids getaway. I’m nervous at the idea that I’ll drink and just be thinking about drinking, and then backslide.

I’ve felt comfortable 80% of the time these last few weeks and am once again struck by how obvious my drinking triggers of stress, habit/routine are. At those times when I’ve really wanted a drink. I’ve had a bottle of rose sitting in my cupboard the whole time but have never pulled it out.

I kind of don’t want to blot my copy book. But I kind of what to drink as well and see if I can have a ‘special occasions’ rule. Gah! Now I’m thinking about bloody drinking again – it shouldn’t be this complicated!

Some days are diamonds…

Not the last couple though. My Mum, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, has had pneumonia and is in hospital. Now they’ve found a growth which could be cancerous. We just buried my brother-in-law three weeks ago, he died of cancer. Diagnosis to death took seven weeks.

The day after his funeral was my Day 1. I was drinking every day leading up to that – half a bottle, some days more.

Today I really feel like drinking. But I’m not going to. I could do with less bad news and drama though. Stress is a major trigger factor for my drinking, probably the biggest one. Stress, habit and availability are my three drinking triggers – so I try to reduce them all but stress is always around. Need to fight it in different ways I guess. I’m in bed with a nice heat pack and going to read a book.

I think tomorrow will be better.

Is forever such a bad word?

I’m thinking about a post I saw from the amazing Belle (Tired of thinking about drinking). Love her. She’s like sober Wonder Woman. It asked how we’d describe not drinking again and pondered why the thought of saying forever was so hard. She says framing it as a sober experiment feels easier.

I tend to agree.

I am not an alcoholic but I have a problem with alcohol. You don’t have to be a problem drinker to have a problem with drinking. I hold my hand up to say I can’t stand the thought of never drinking again because it is so intricately woven into the fabric of my life that I fear the strings would shear apart if I tried to remove it. It would rend and tear. That I can’t imagine every party or dinner sober for the rest of my days. That I just *like* the idea of a drink. And I don’t want to drink now. So I’m not. I’m on Day 17 and it’s good so far. But I can’t say never again.

So I don’t know how that works for me. I’m a pretty crap moderator and every time I try I end up in circular situation of not drinking/now only on weekends/not on Mondays/oops now most days/boo – now I’m sad I drink too much. My husband tells me I’m fine. That I’m overly worried because of my alcoholic mother and I don’t drink all that much. Weirdly, he hardly ever drinks, so it isn’t like he’s giving me permission to detract from his own drinking or he wants me to join. He can genuinely take it or leave it. He listens patiently to my worries and always ends up being puzzled – why don’t I hit that point where I just know another drink is trouble and so I just stop it?

It is because I don’t want one drink, I want four. Then more. And the only saving grace is that alcohol makes me very ill. So I spend my life drinking just enough to the point where I can get up and function the next day, which is why my half(ish) bottle of wine habit nearly every night isn’t one or two bottles of wine. It’s lucky I guess – my body trying to save me from destroying it.

About twice a year I get blackout drunk, totally smash myself up and end up in bed for the day, shaking, vomiting, embarrassed. I spent most weekends in my teens and 20s this way but now I have kids and am a sort of grown up, so I restrain myself. Sensible Mummy lush. And whenever this happens, my husband just pats my head, bless him, and says he’s puzzled. Why would I do that to myself? Who the fuck knows? I wouldn’t know – when I get that way I’m not really there.

I like my sober experiment, tipping into my test tube a nip of promise, a dollop of hope, a litre of shiny clear-headed freshness which pretty much cancels out the teaspoon of slightly bitter ‘meh’. I’ll give it a go. I’ve always liked drinking….