Word

newyearsphoto

I don’t know what my word needs to be…Initially I thought of the word ‘alignment’ but I think that’s overshooting a bit. I need to learn to walk before I can run. ‘Self-care’ seems like a sensible word to hold as my intention for the year. Learning to care for myself as I care for my children. Sleep when I’m tired, eat when I’m hungry, soothe myself with nurturing rather than self-destructive addictions. This year I intend to learn to care for myself the way a woman who loves herself would.

That is a big deal because it’s so far removed from what I’ve always done. I’ve always pushed myself to the brink with no mercy and no consideration for my body or my emotional well-being. I’ve always ‘punished’ myself into submission. Self-care is a new concept for me but I need to build a healthy platform from which I can handle all the trials and tribulations that will come my way. Getting sober is the first step but it’s not enough. Tragedy will strike, stress will happen and I need to re-parent myself so that I can handle all of that without reaching for a drink.

Happy new year sober peeps! See you on the other side.xxx

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The beginning of the end

I’ve been thinking a lot about last year December. We were in South Africa visiting our  families. The day we landed we went to our high school reunion with old friends. My mom took the kids. It was a wild night of enormous amounts of booze and other things. When I woke up the next morning I heard this voice say. “This is the beginning of the end” I heard it as if it were someone speaking next to my ear as clear as a bell.  Throughout 2015 I heard  that voice say those words many times. It started softly but became louder towards the end. The voice would come when I woke up after a blackout, when I saw bruises I didn’t remember getting and when I did something embarrassing.

When I heard the voice that morning I was shaking. My hands were shaking so much I couldnt hide it anymore! I STRUGGLED to drink my coffee. Every morning I woke up with the shakes. I tried to rationalise it and kept saying to myself, come one you’re on holiday, everyone is drinking! You can’t be shaking because of the booze? I was just mortified, my body didn’t want to cooperate in the farce anymore. It got so bad that I couldn’t drink coffee with my mum one morning for fear of her seeing my hands trembling. I am just astounded that I even continued running in the mornings with these shaky hangovers in the blazing African heat. I almost passed out one day from the exhaustion.

I started my drinking more towards 11 o ‘clock in the mornings that holiday and then napped at 2. Woke up at 4 and got into it again untill I passed out. I wasnt present with my family who I miss so much! I was fucked up all the time and can hardly remember any of it. New years day I had to start drinking at 9 in the morning just to cope. luckily we had a day of outdoor things on where everyone was drinking early.

As I am reading this back I realise how bad it was and how I was holding on to that denial for dear life! I was in a very dark place. I just need to pause and really come to terms with that.

I don’t have any grand plans for 2017. My grandest plan is to stay sober no matter what the hell life throws at me. That’s it. And that is enough for now.

 

Trump supporters, pudding flops and ‘sexy ladies’

So it’s over! I feel a gargantuan sigh of relief that I managed to get through the blessed day with no alcohol and no scenes. We spent the last 3 days at my husband’s family. His aunt (the hostess) gets really nervous and overwhelmed about hosting so many people so I was working in the kitchen most of the time. That’s okay it kept me busy and out of trouble. I went for a cigarette and when I returned her pudding had flopped and she was hysterical,  running around in circles mumbling to herself. Thankfully we managed to sort it out and cooked and prepped as much as we could before Christmas day.

Woke up Christmas morning with a clear head and rushed downstairs with my two little ones to see if Santa has been. They checked the mince-pie and carrots and shrieked with excitement when they saw that they had been eaten. It was brilliant to be hangover free while they ripped open their presents and to see them beaming with joy. Once we had finished the military operation of cooking, warming everything up and getting everything on the table on time we sat down to lunch. Phew!

I was surrounded by people who have radically different political and ideological views to mine. The conversations centered around Trump and how pathetic liberals are for being in such a state after the news that he won. I am a liberal and I am a feminist so it was tough going for me to sit there and say nothing. Usually I would be downing my wine to drown out the words that were hurting my ears. This time I just sat there and I listened. I excused myself from the table when they stated laughing about a certain female politician whom Trump refers to as ‘Pocahontas’ due to her native american heritage.

I am more balanced when I’m sober because I realise they are just normal people with views different to mine. Tolerance is one of my core values after all, I need to live and let live and I need to learn to practice what I preach. So I managed to hold my tongue and let them be without feeling the need to argue my point.

In the car on the way home my son started singing Gam Gam Style and repeated the words ‘sexy ladieeeees’ over and over. His grandfather was in the car and had one massive bushy raised eye brow at the lyrics. I was in absolute stitches and could not stop laughing for love nor money. It was complete hysterical laughter, I think it was a mixture of relief about Christmas being over and just letting go of everything. I needed to let go.

The glorious everyday

Today I went Christmas food shopping with both kids in tow. (Had no choice all delivery slots were booked up by really organised people who probably buy their Christmas presents throughout the year)

I braved the big Tesco Extra with a sunny disposition and mistakenly thought we’d be quick. Naïve, I know. The shoppers were manic, the energy was tense. People were practically elbowing each other to get the best Turkeys. Of course my kids needed to toilet just as we were almost at the till and had finished an entire packet of chocolate brioches so were hyped on sugar. Rookie mistake feeding them sugar but I just grabbed the first thing I could see to feed their little faces. Most people who has or had small children will understand this.

The poor dears were so relieved to get home they escaped into their rooms for a bit while I unpacked the shopping. When they came down we made gingerbread men, while we were making the dough my daughter and I argued about the measurements and my son was being very helpful by mixing the flour and spilling it all over the floor. When we put the first batch into the oven my son kept on asking “is it ready yet” Over and over and over and over and over, for 15 minutes. The sweet relief when the oven bell rang was short lived because the decorating had to happen NOW. I iced some eyes and buttons on and they ate the sprinkles, which were meant for the buttons. They both wolfed down the cookies and gave me a massive hug. “You’re the best mommy ever!” My heart just melted.

I proceed to clear up and unbeknownst to me my son stole the foil from the cupboard. I just overheard my daughter say the words: “Safety first” when I thought I better go and check what they are up to. When I got to the bottom of the stairs I looked up to see my son wearing a foil hat and boots and the whole foil roll rolled down. “Look it’s a slide!” he screamed with excitement. Before I could say “NOOOOOOOO” has was off sliding on the foil all the way down.

He also got hold of the double-sided tape, which he stuck all over to the kitchen floor when I wasn’t looking. As I was scraping the tape of the floor with a knife it occurred to me how different this day would have been if I were still drinking. I would have lost my temper with them completely and I would have missed the absolute glorious chaos that life can be with two small humans in the house.

I’m just so happy I stopped when I did so that I can really be present, through all of it.  The mess, the arguments and the hugs.

Perfectionism

I listened to an episode on the bubble hour about perfectionism. I’ve never really seen myself as a typical perfectionist. I was really surprised to learn that many alcoholics have this trait in common.

I was also flabbergasted to learn that I fit the profile.

A couple of signs that you might be a perfectionist:

1) You’ve always been eager to please.
2) You know your drive to perfection is hurting you, but you consider it the price you pay for success.
3)You’re a big procrastinator. (fear of failure to thank for this one)
4)You’re highly critical of others.
5) You go big or go home.(black and white thinking)
6) You have a hard time opening up to other people.
7) Obsessing over every little mistake you make.
8)You take everything personally.
10)You’re never quite “there yet.”

Perfectionism is often accompanied by depression and eating disorders. I tick both those boxes.

I’ve always felt like everyone else in the world has their shit together and I don’t. I had to try and fake my way into looking like I had my shit together, so the way my life looked on the outside was of utmost importance.

Throughout my addiction my kids were always well turned out, house was for the most part tidy and organised and all was well. Toward the end of my addiction though the chaos started creeping in and I couldn’t maintain my ‘perfect image’ any longer. Things went  downhill fast. I got sloppy. I hate sloppy. This caused more shame and continued the spiral downward so much faster than I was ready for.

Oprah did an interview with Dr Brene Brown about perfectionism and authenticity.

Oprah summarised one of her “a-ha” moments as “Perfectionists are ultimately afraid that the world is going to see them for who they really are and they won’t measure up.”

Dr. Brown agrees. “I call perfectionism ‘the 20-ton shield.’ We carry it around thinking it’s going to protect us from being hurt. But it protects us from being seen.”

I’m so glad listened to that episode because I’ve had my own a-ha moment. Now that I know that this is what is driving me, I can consciously recognise it and try to do something about it.

Hey world, this is me, I might be deeply flawed but for the first time in a really long time what I think, say and do is in alignment and that is such a massive relief!

Link to interview:
http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-sunday/dr-brene-brown-on-faking-it-perfectionism-and-fear

 

Sleep!

Sleep is the magic ingredient. I’ve been running around like a headless chicken, trying to squeeze in full-time hours, children’s school runs and christmas preparations for the in-laws.

I’ve been getting on average 5 hours of sleep a night and yesterday had the first craving in weeks. I heard my husband open a can of coke zero and my brain just went – BEER! Beer will help me! Beer will make me feel better.

Went to bed early. This morning I feel like a new woman!

I need to find a way especially in these early months to avoid ‘overwhelm’ one of the biggest causes of relapse.

That means more sleep and prioritising the $@£^$% out of my to do lists!

 

 

Be a rebel

Had to share this image. One of the things that used to rope me back into drinking was that I’ve always been a rebel. Sex drugs rock and roll was such a big part of my life. I was the girl who could drink most men under the table. Wild at parties, late nights, drinking tequila till dawn. When I became a mom, this persona needed to go undercover. It is generally frowned upon to be seen downing tequilla slammers and dancing on the tables.(Although mom’s on the lash are not far off there)

So my life made way for a more subdued rebellion, the playdates sozzled with wine. The ‘mummy’ friend sessions where everyone is downing Prossecco as fast as they can. I felt like I lost my ‘rock chick’ forever meanwhile she was just drowning in Sauvignon blanc

So my new act of rebellion is being happily sober and proud of it, I think that’s pretty bad-ass.

rebel

Tears, tantrums, Ikea and cigarettes…

Warning: Bah humbug post.

Today consisted of massive marital tension, Mr Hurrah has been a knobhead of note the last few days.

As if that weren’t bad enough we had to go to IKEA (had to buy a loft bed) which exasperated the tension to epic heights. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I realised we have to now build the frikkin flat pack bed we bought for my son.

Building flat pack furniture is enough to send a happy and content couple into rages so you can just imagine how much festive fun we were having!

Anyway to cut a long story short. I was of course gasping for wine. Then I remembered Sober mummy’s quote.

“I truly believe that there is no problem in life that cannot be made worse by alcohol.

When the s**t hits the fan, you need a clear head, not one befuddled by booze, or hijacked by a hangover.”

So yes, clear head but she didnt say anything about clear lungs. Bought cigarettes:( BUT on the plus side bypassed the wine isle!

I’m not promoting smoking by the way but I figured the lesser of two evil will do for tonight. Small victory.

Still sober! Fistbump one and all:)

 

“Life didnt get any easier when I got sober but it got real fucking clear!”

I read a quote on a blog yesterday that perfectly describes early sobriety for me.

“Life didn’t get any easier when I got sober but it got real fucking clear!”

That’s it!

Early sobriety is where you are stuck in purgatory you’re not in heaven yet and you’re not quite in hell anymore. You are in a really weird place in between. All of a sudden it feels like you are waking up to your life & now you have to deal with all of it sober!

Depending on how far down the rabbit hole you’ve gone this can be quite challenging. I was a high functioning ‘alcoholic’ so the life I’m waking up to is more than ok. There by the grace of God go I, right? Thankfully I haven’t lost my house, my job my family. I have a very nice little life, a beautiful family, a career that enables me to work from home and see the children more, a husband whom I adore (even if he drives me nuts)

What I’m waking up to is how ‘small’ I’ve allowed my life to become. Hobbies and creative pursuits were all put on the back burner in favour of drinking. It made me BORING, and made me BORED WITH LIFE. Now all the Dianorphin is leaving my system and my mild depression is kicking in I’m looking around me thinking…”Girl, you gotta get up and go DO something.”(I don’t know why my inner monologue is always a strong southern accent, I’m not even American)

There is a whole world out there, with amazing and interesting things in it. My curiosity hasn’t been truly active since I was a child and I can feel it slowly coming back.

I’m reminded of the poem by By Dr. Seuss

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!