A Waitrose Strop.

Had a real strop yesterday as I wandered the isles in Waitrose. I love going to Waitrose, even more so during covid – it’s an EVENT in these relentless lockdown days.

I go there when I need a little holiday from Lidl or Aldi. I drag out the experience- admiring the many shades of tomato, browsing the posh condiments and picking up the ‘weekend’ paper on my way out fantasising about the great chef I will never become.

Waitrose is bouji me, suddenly I’m sipping a glass of white, toasting a c list celeb on Saturday kitchen and wondering why my tiger bread tastes of, erm, nothing.

I got to a point last time I went sober where the thought of the taste of any wine just didn’t appeal. I’m not there yet. I wish I’d made more detailed notes! when will I not feel like it anymore? When will I get the smug greatness back? Maybe I’ve been humbled and the smug won’t return this time? Who knows.

I’m running more and that’s helping with my strong emotions, particularly feelings of overwhelm. I couldn’t set of on a jog round the Waitrose wine aisle as I stropped, but I did when I got in. A long run on a Saturday afternoon and like magic the feelings are gone. Reading and bath tubs help too as before.

I don’t wait to avoid Waitrose, I want to enjoy it despite the plethora of wine on offer. I don’t want to avoid life! I want to love it despite my abstinence. I’ve always been impatient – the peace will come again I’m sure.


A house move, a relapse & happy new year.

It’s been almost a year since i’ve written. I stopped blogging because I was getting busy w some great work projects and exploration, and really just finding sobriety easy and wonderful…

Q relapse June 16th. The day before we moved the neighbours threw us a party and pulled out the magnum of champagne – I was too polite/weak, to decline – ‘we were celebrating weren’t we?!’. I had 4/5 glasses with some cigarettes.. (I don’t smoke anymore, but always fancy one with a drink). We had fun and i felt quite level about it, ran it off in the morning, moved house and cracked on with our new life. However now with our new garden, the pull of long hot summer evenings and rose’s crips pink icy antidote, i decided a few on the weekends would be fine. It was really, I can’t say i didn’t enjoy it. Partner and I went to Rome for the weekend in August when lockdown was ended & UK at it’s most liberal again, and the wine – isn’t it mandatory in Rome?!

The drinking continued like this until late winter – moderate and absolutely within what the NHS recommend, then Party season hit. After 2 months of heavy work load & then a 2 week burn out phase (not an excuse, just how the events happened) I was drinking a glass most nights in November, looking forward to it, hanging my day upon it. Plus I’d made a deal with myself to quit again in jan, so why not hey?

The problem for me is that over time as i drank last year, the need for it and the anxiety after it grew. What started as a few drinks in June became a daily thing by November and I was less stable, my inner dialogue was less calm and kind (I’m quite the unpleasant bitch to myself when i want to be!) I got less done, which is a big one for me. I lose time to it, all the long baths and books I’d been enjoying, there wasn’t as much time, or quality time. Drinking is like pressing pause on your reality and when you wake you’ve literally lost life.

I haven’t drunk since Jan 1st. It’s easier this time, I’ve practised this before, I know what to expect and how to handle it. 2 weeks in and my brain was sharp again! I’ve missed that so much. I don’t crave at all yet, but I dread the summer without it.

This lockdown means there’s no weekends with friends & family to be had. I’m sorry to say I drink in both situations due to ease the anxiety, not for any worthy reason like the fun of it. When it comes to a close will i drink again? You’d think from a post like this I’d be answering my own question but i’m not sure. Wine in Rome, a glass of red in the pub w Sunday lunch, they are the joys of life? Maybe I’ll be seasonal, a summer drinker, but life was getting to sweet up until the point i quit last time, i’d like to see beyond 5 & 1/2 months – I hope I have the strength.

I’ll be blogging about it if i relapse again, I think it will help me with accountability. Maybe that’s the real reason I didn’t return. But i’m here now, tail between legs and sharper brained.

88 days sober.

the last 88 days have been the most productive, most clear, most important of my life. And that’s with a global health crisis going on! So before thoughts on Covid life, a little catch up:

Here’s some examples of glorious magical happenings since last post…

  • asked bf to marry me. He said yes!
  • sold our house
  • almost bought 2 separate houses but lost them both and didn’t lose my shit over either of them….. no drink… no tears..just some quiet time and gentle reminders to self that i have a roof i have food, i have health all the rest is bonus ( still awaiting sale of this house right to complete, watch this space)
  • shifted career paths and have made some great progress along the new path, with no regrets so far
  • said no to many things i haven’t wanted to do – i’d have almost certainly said yes prior, out of insecurity.
  • bought a new car! A task on the list for years just never got round to it

I’ve had small yearnings don’t get me wrong. BF wanted to make a seafood dish with white wine in it & although i didn’t refuse – i was hoping he wouldn’t include it, I’m afraid it’d open a can of worms that im having a great time forgetting about. Luckily he didn’t – crisis averted, for now.

When lockdown began i had a day or 2 where a thought circled, ‘what if i just started drinking again – all the rules have gone to pot anyway’ but it lingered for all of a second and was gone.

We don’t keep wine in the house – wine is my poison! Sooner or later i’ll have to deal with that- i’ve my becks blues, and now some impressive seedlip gins to sustain me. I’m not sure how well this would be without them though. Wine in the house is the next hurdle.

BF asks occasionally if i’ll go back to drinking a glass or 2 anytime, and i say ‘maybe’. This is the short answer. The long one goes like this, ‘Im afraid i will, but I don’t want to. I like wine too much. I’ve lost many evenings to it, many good moods & productive hours. It’s cost me so much, emotionally. I’d have to pretend all over again that i wasn’t secretly thinking about when would be an appropriate time to open a bottle. Then feel guilty about having it outside of those times. I’d be giving up all this amazing internal discovery – and for what?’ 1 drink really does nothing anyway. I don’t think i’ll tell him that for a while. I know he’s seeing the positive change in me, so maybe he’ll stop asking?

My only thing, and it’s happened twice since jan, when the partner gets proper bladdered, i can’t bear it. He slurs, he stumbles, lies about how drunk he is and i get irritated and mad. Then we argue, which as we all know is the WORST when one has had a drink. Why am i finding it so hard to accept? why don’t i find it cute?! I’ve been brought up with this type A, heavily work based attitude, and i’ve always felt drinking was for the weak & sad (me, like 6 months ago). Although this is partially true, there are those humans (like partner) who drink because its fun, its sociable, and ya know..,. ITS FUN. It could be funny if he comes home leathered – i’m going to have a long hard talk to myself next time he’s drunk and really channel my inner emphatic self and get on board with the lols of drunkeness. Open to ideas and comments from people on this – does anyone have solutions or explanation for my reation?

As far as coronavirus sober life, the day we went on lockdown i set myself some daily work (it’s very creative in nature so allows for some proper time ‘in flow’ to forget the outside world). If i do my tasks, call my family and stick to a daily structure, i forget the fear, the news the scrolling through my phone and the possibility of succumbing to a drink. If i don’t do the task, i feel fear, i scroll, i entertain sadness and drinking. It’s a good excercise in thought control.

Sometimes i think if i was dying with days left, would I have been wasting my last days doing these work tasks/cuddling my dog/calling family and hanging with my partner? Nah. It’s simple but that’s what i enjoy doing the most, my creative work, cuddling my dog, my partner my family.

Life after Dry January

On the penultimate night in January I had a vivid nightmare in which I went on a night out with my best girlfriends. At first it felt dangerous and exciting – like nights in london often do. But as the nightmare progressed things got more seedy and eventually we were at some random guys house in the early hours. The lights were low and there were drugs going – I now had a puppy with me though. The dream then cut to me drunk, on a night bus home with puppy curled up beside me, trying to protect him. Then I looked down and he’d been taken. I searched the streets – heartbroken I’d managed to lose him in my drunk state. Then I’m stranded in the worst estate near my south east london home. Out of the darkness someone pulls a gun on me. I wake up. I’m sweating- there’s a large weight on my legs. It’s my own dog- sprawled and snoring. Thank god he’s here.

I have nightmares about once a month – and tonight was no surprise as BF was away on work and I’m jumpier in the house alone. My neighbourhood is all the best things about london – culturally varied, full of kids who are full of life – but there’s often gang crime on our doorstep and worse, there’s a thriving drug trade and desperate addicts. Break ins are common and I’m anxious at bedtime. Aside from that though the dream seemed to be about my anxiety surrounding drinking and former irresponsibility. It was no fun re-visiting wilder times via my dream which felt like a stark warning or reminder from my subconscious to keep dry if u want to protect your current state of happiness.

I’m not intending to drink anytime soon- but I’ve been hiding in work and avoiding social situations because I’m quite the happy hermit. Plus it’s easier not to drink if you avoid alcohol right? If anything not drinking has been a great excuse to not go out!

The day after my dream I was going to a gig with one of the girls featured in it. I was stressed all day about various things (one thing being wether I’d drink that night) and I knew wine would’ve fixed it shorterm but sober, I’d have to work hard to enjoy the gig and her company without my lubrication.

That’s the thing – I’m protected at home-physically and mentally. Sobriety is easy there. But ‘out’ it’s still work right now to not buy a drink. I suspect now I’ve never really enjoyed going out – just the drinking part made it bearable.

I enjoyed the gig, I enjoyed her, although I did tire as she got more drunk. I left straight after the music and I’m ok with that. I was relieved to be home. I always am. Sometimes the world feels big & scary. I’m a tiny bit concerned I have agoraphobic tendencies? I force myself to do these things, but I just want to be home or at yoga instead Is this ok? Am I building a fortress? Is that dangerous? It’s feels safe to me but is it actually cowardly? Not drinking is one thing but loneliness is another.

As the days get longer & we emerge from hibernation my mates will want to go drinking and I’ll be declining not because I’m not drinking but because I don’t enjoy going out eek. I’m going to try and hang out with more sober people- but who are they? what do sober evening dates even look like? It’s sad to lose people but I feel like it’s inevitable.

Dry Jan is a gimic – but now I’m just sober for real. Im so into it – but those around me aren’t. I’ve never worked hard for a social life – but maybe now as mine dwindles, it’s a good time to design a new drier one?

Day 26, i’m too sexy for a drink.

Increased Libido! Who’s with me?! So this is new in the last 26 days. But I’m up for it like ALL THE TIME. wtf? Bf is thrilled! Me too because I’ve always just glumly accepted that I ‘have a low sex drive’. I hate to admit it but I’ve been a once-a-week-at-best kinda gal for a few years now. I’ve always been jealous of those women (seemingly everyone else..) who find sex easy to get into. Previously I’ve had to carve out time – have all the jobs done – be showered and clean … (super sexy I know) etc etc etc…It now feels way easier to be in the zone, & forget small details and prioritize sex because, you know, it’s one of the best most fun things in life. I mean the thoughts come involuntarily atm! I keep going to yoga and coming out fully fired up for some fun – I’m a total hussie sober!

I’ve made some huge career decisions in the last 2 weeks which may have something to do with More Sexy Me. I’ve been disciplined and mapped out next steps which has fired me up and eased my anxiety about the future all at once. 2 weeks ago I wrote a post about my transitional period stupor but I really went through that (as opposed to over it via wine) and I know it sounds dramatic but i swear I wouldn’t have been able to be this clear & rational in my life before this point. Even the fact that i’ve followed through with the not drinking has boosted my confidence in my abilities therefore making other small wins seem easier. I’m making better daily choices, even if it’s down to choosing a positive documentary to watch over brain numbing tv in my down time. The minute wine gets to my lips I’m fucking useless I swear. These tiny wins are adding up to an overall better me for sure, I’ve got more control – and that feels like some sort of freedom.

So dry Jan is soon over and I feel in full rhythm of no drinking with no intention of stopping. This is in no way smug – but it does feel easy still. I’ve always found it excruciatingly hard to not think about drink- I never thought this would be me so right now I’m absolutely riding this wave. I use to read blogs like this and think ‘yeah but I couldn’t do that’ or I’d stop drinking for a day or 2 but cave when I saw a friend. I had to get to this point though, all other times I’ve abstained (and failed) it’s felt a lot less natural somehow. My advice right now would be you have to be incredibly well practiced at failure and expect and few hiccups before you find your sober-flow. I’ve never been more 2 weeks sober before now but all I can say is life only seems to be getting better with each sober day. There are NO DOWNSIDES thus far, besides the mental discipline which we all know feels kinda great anyway.

I pray tho, I pray HARD that they NEVER STOP MAKING BECKS BLUE, the fizz as that cap opens is totally delicious.

2 weeks. The Honeymoon’s over.

Might be time to invest in Becks Blue guys. Serious increased sales going on there right now! On my 3rd of the evening. Oh yeah. Things have gotten shitty the past few days.

My twin sister tells me it’s the full moon. I’m also on day 2 of the monthly female bloodfest including all the emotional ups & downs that come with, and I can’t take a holiday from my negativity with my best friend Wine, i just have to take it like a little bitch. It’s relentless.

Today was one of those shitty bitty nothing goes right days. Boring life shit, car breaks, all pans for day go out window as heavily reliant on travel day. Let various people down with changed plans (including both sisters!) Spend hours on the internet for ‘work research’ but instead end up comparing myself to others, feeling like a failure and losing any bit of will power I had. I thought about wine, I thought about eating a shit load of food and throwing it up. Just so I could ease the feelings a little, a distraction or release. I didn’t do wither which i’m incredibly proud of. I guess that’s an achievement for today if nothing else. I marie-condo’d some drawers and had a bath. My partner returned from work and I feel much calmer now.

The thing is I’m in a transitional period. I purposefully got myself here to press pause and make some decisions about where I want my life to go next. I have a specific and rare skillset so If i’m clever and get my shit together I could get onto something great. The next few weeks are about playing with ideas, formulating plans and goals – sounds so fun doesn’t it?! Today it felt over whelming and like i didn’t deserve to be ‘off work’. I was in my pity hole of asking – why, poor me, i’m so shit and rubbish- what’s the point of it all?! (answers on a postcard pls…). I can’t stand that my head goes there. Im trying to train it out of there, but my pathways know that place exists and now they go there by default and I gotta learn how re wire the fucker!

I did have a text from a boozy friend who’d also given up on the 1st and he’d not touched a drink yet, i’m so happy for him. I can smell an addictive personality a mile off and he’s the best kind of trouble. Proud of him for getting this far. Proud of me. Patience eh? Patience with myself. All is as it should be……And I’m on my god dam fucking period ok?!

1 WEEK – little shifts

Now I’m not sure wether these things are real or it’s just some crazy cognitive dissonance mind fuck that’s reinforcing my beliefs that sobriety is good for me, BUT either way I’m pretty thrilled;

  • sleeping more deeply
  • moods less variable
  • laughing more with BF
  • Quicker at waking up
  • disliking the smell of wine (!!!!!)
  • Overall confidence has faltered less
  • Sense of smell more acute
  • ED not on my mind

…Roll on week 2! Should be easier as almost no social engagements planned. 1st 2020 Therapy with my guy tomorrow- can’t wait to report the findings. Not sure he was onboard with all out abstinence, maybe something to do with my type 1 character control thing?

I’m suddenly (and sadly) aware of all of the quality time I’ve missed, and for what? Why? Why has it always felt so crucial to drink? Why was I so afraid not drink? I suppose those answers might follow this heavenly honeymoon period.

Day 6

Wedding last night felt surprisingly easy – had a pang as I walked in, a very boozie bestie was pushing ALL the free wine on us (free wine= harder to resist! The Scot in me😂) but was fleeting and when it was gone I had not one thought about it. AND, ok I did enjoy myself ish. I especially enjoyed driving home from central London in 40mins instead of navigating tube systems late at night in double the time. Woke up with that amazing clarity again, fuck me that’s an amazing motivator! Still feel relief overall – ‘oh! I don’t HAVE to drink! – I can enjoy occasions without it?!’

My boy goes back to work tomorrow, that’s the final end to this holiday. I’ve prepped the fridge with healthy food and a selection of alcohol free beverages to compare and contrast.

Tonight’s challenge (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I NEED A NIGHT IN) is pizza out with a close friend. Usually we’d at least halve a bottle here. Hopefully my little saviour Becks Blue will be on offer. The last 5 years eating out is actually just me wondering when the wine is coming- I literally get HUNGRY and destructed for it and consequently I’m not sure I’ve been the best friend to many for a good while. I’ve not been sleeping with other people’s men or causing drunk dramas etc but if I’m honest I haven’t been LISTENING. It might date back to the days of starving myself, then necking wine to quash hunger & anxiety then eating little when the wine calories kicked in and my mind seemed to quiet down. Problem was that always seemed to awaken the wild in me. Maybe ended late in a tragic club, me becoming obnoxious/bitchy/flakey (all at once maybe!), or throwing up my secret home binge in a toilet. The last was the most upsetting and made me desperately sad and shameful. I think shame is a bit of a fucktard in terms of the internal damage it’s done me. It’s like rotting from the inside out, like day by day I could feel my heart getting darker, each of the 4 rooms slowly closing up shop.

Day 4

Birthday Party went well this eve- didn’t cave not even slightly. Imagining this honeymoon phase to last at least a week 😂

Being at a party sober Is something I’ll have to practice because I didn’t really enjoy myself, just felt odd and wished I was home with a book. However I went to be there with my partner so I’m sure he appreciated it and that good deed is worthwhile.

I’ll get another crack at dry partying tomorrow, it’s a wedding tho. Then nothing super social for a while. I think for now whilst I get the hang of this, just plain avoiding party’s will work a treat.

Day 3. Hurdle Ahead

1st major hurdle coming up okaaaaay.

Some incredibly selfish friends decided to a) get born on the 4th of Jan and b) get married on the 5th of Jan. I have to go celebrate both. Sober Woe is me!

Old me at joyous social occasion;

Feel nervous all day,

choose outfit, with a couple glasses of wine

feel like I look like shit (amongst other small pointless party related worries)

row with partner when he doesn’t tell me I look anything but sensational,

travel to party anxious,

arrive with fake scary smile plastered on face,

race to bar and buy a massive round to make everyone believe I am not in a grump, or emotionally unstable,

drink 1st drink quickly whilst pretending to listen to someone but really thinking of next drink,

make up with partner when see loved-up -relaxed-couple and the way I’d like to be rather than anxious stressed bitch (must be like dating a yo-yo)

he buys me a drink,

repeat repeat repeat,

he wants to stay I want to leave,

more drinks, having a good old booozey time now,

feels excellent!

have a few cigarettes cos everyone else does, and I’ve lost all resistance

more alcohol because now dread going home,

fight with partner over something v silly,

book cab for extortionate price cos missed last train,

eat a shit load & drink a few glasses alone when I get home cos I starved myself before party

Watch a true crime doc or flight disaster doc or something equally macabre, alone, just to finish me off

go to bed feeling sad, drunk and smelling like cigarettes,

wake up feeling depressed, rotten and empty,

apologise to partner, he is confused by the whole ordeal

Beat myself up for 2 days,

Drink congratulatory wine on the 3rd day when I’ve made up with myself because hey I’m actually a great person…?!

Until I’m not.

I’m exhausted even typing that shit, am I really as neurotic as I sound?! Eeeek Tomorrow I’m putting together a New Me Party Plan to ensure I don’t crutch on alcohol when the party-going gets tough. Don’t think I’ll cave but a little action plan never hurt anyone. We’ll see