Long time no post! 262 days !

The irony of writing a blog about abstaining from alcohol is that the more af days you get,the less need or urge to post.  However it seems to me that this is when I probably should be posting! Not to boast about how well I’m doing….although I seem to be! But because it’s good for newbies to know that life goes on and is so much better than I have ever known. Now I’m saying that laid up in bed with a virus and no voice! 3 weeks before I am supposed to play Katisha in our local am dram production of Hot Mikado! 

So what’s changed?  One of the things I’ve been working on is my mind body and spirit! Without getting too hippy about it all I have joined a 28 day accountability group on Facebook led by a woman called Sally Wilkinson. If you have never heard of her, check her Facebook page which is called Get over yourself get fitter! She is inspirational and hilarious, from the North of England she calls herself the Northern Knobhead.  She is a fitness instructor and is big into mental health and well being. Her video s that she posts are amazing and funny. She does her HIIT training sessions in her kitchen and cries when her back goes which it does from time to time. I was lucky enough to get into her first group of 60 women who all wanted a kick up the backside to exercise and feel good about ourselves. It was very emotional to support and receive support from a group of likeminded people who all ages shapes and sizes pushed themselves to do things they would not have done. Basically there is a list we wrote which included compulsory daily elements and our own personalised goals. We coloured in the list as we did or did not achieve these goals, the aim was progress not perfection. My list included daily meditation, hula hooping, journaling, drinking 2l h2o a day and not interrupting as well as the compulsory goals of HIIT/ planking / tricep dips.  Now any one could write and do a list of these things but being part of a group that had daily 6am live videos to watch Sally make us laugh and give us motivational readings each day was amazing. She is doing another course 6th November which is full and is planning a monthly subscription and website in the new year. So keep your eyes peeled !!

Being sober this year has enabled me to be able to support my adult daughters after events in their lives meant they needed to come home. It’s been a truly wonderful summer having them home and completely unexpected as they left 10 years ago. They will be moving out soon but hopefully not as far away as they had been. I have been able to help them by bein present and at the same time giving them the space the need to work things through

Hubby is AF too and his life has changed even more than mine, he lost over 1 stone and is happiest I’ve known him. So life is good, I’m till an outsider but at least I’m a sober one!!!

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Positive thinking!

I’m reading a book called “positive thinking ” by Gill Hasson. What I like about it is its simplicity and how the exercises in it are straightforward and relevant to everyone’s life! I’ve bought myself a journal A4 in size and a beautifully decorated cover to encourage me to use it. So I’ve set about a few goals I want to achieve, how I’m going to do achieve them, these include eating more healthily, by including more water fruit and veg and cutting back on sugar, eating protein with each meal and really making each meal as attractive to look at as possible, not shovelling it down my gob at a rate of knots but actually taking my time. This is one of 4 goals, the others relate to a specific job I’d like to go for, travel and decorating!!! Quite a range to start with!

Part of the book that I felt has been really useful to me is how to deal with disappointment. For example last year I did a degree course after years of not studying that related to my job. I loved the course and felt I tried really hard. I passed but my grade for my essay was not as good as I had hoped and it made me feel like a failure. I’d wanted to go on to do a masters programme, but because of this I felt I wouldn’t be up to it. One of the things in the book that has helped me change my mind is that, although I’m acknowledging that I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped, I had passed! And rather than deter me it should spur me on. Reflecting on what I could of done better, for example asking for help and not procrastinating and taking the comments from my essay and really examining what I could improve on has made me think…sod it im going to give it a go! 

I also need to examine my motives, for example I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder about being a bit thick, hence all the courses I’ve done to try and disprove this. So I really need to look at what I’m setting out to achieve, who it’s benefitting and if it’s necessary, or I’ll be doing courses till I’m on my deathbed and still feel like I’m thick as a brick. Anyhow I’d recommend this book to anyone like me who likes a no nonsense practical approach to how to put positive thinking into your life. That’s my book review over!

Today it’s midway through the second week of my holiday, and this part is spent at home, I have been really blessed with the good weather and the sun is shining brightly, I’m off for a run , then going to potter about the garden today!! The simple things are sometimes the best!! Day 151 alcohol free!!

Alcohol free holiday!!

So, not only did I have a wonderful week in Cornwall with my family,both hubby and I stayed alcohol free.  We ran every day visited lots of lovely places, went on long coastal walks and spent time with the children , eating out at lovely restaurants and playing daft games. We even went on a ghost walk around st Ives! 

Now this is in complete contrast to our last family holiday when we went to Spain, where hangovers ruled the day and we did diddly squat all day trying to recover to start all over again!

Now I’m not saying we weren’t tempted, but the fact that we have put in place strategies to deal with this after having a few months af , such as alcohol free wine and beer helped, although we didn’t have these a lot, as I don’t think it’s helpful to use these too often, in this case they were useful when others were drinking for example when we went for a meal. However , hubby and I have decided to not waste our money on these but get used to soft drinks or a cup of tea! Both of us are now able to play it forward, where we imagine the consequences of drinking, how it would end. Also I’m 150 days and hubby 90 and the fact that I’m “winning” for change is incentive enough for me!

One year no beer, well, four months no wine

Can’t quite believe it but I’m now 138 days AF, after the many attempts I’m really reaping the benefits. I’m hoping anyone who reads this and struggling can take comfort from the fact that this is the longest I’ve been without alcohol for 16 years despite numerous attempts! My life has changed beyond recognition. 

Apart from the obvious, no hangovers wasted days and paranoia, I’m able to waste days and be paranoid totally sober! The other benefits include being present for my daughter who has been going through a really tough time and has come home to live for a while. Also my husband needed support with a work issue which he was able to deal with with my help. 

My husband, has joined me and we have managed to negotiate a family get together drinking af wine and beer. Think our relatives were amazed and a bit envious !

Don’t get me wrong I still have days when the thought of a bottle wine crosses my mind, but I’m able to fast forward in my mind as to what the consequences would be and how shit I would feel, so so far so good.

I’m off on holiday to Cornwall on Saturday, it will be my first holiday sober for years. I’m posting here because I have had a few moments when I thought I might weaken so I thought this would make me accountable.

Have to thank the increadible folk at one year no beer for the amazing support. If you want free online support please check out their Facebook page!

Commitment 

I may of been quiet on here but it’s not for any sinister reason ! As you know the last few years have seen me gain periods of sobriety and periods when I have drank albeit nowhere near the quantity or regularity that I used to. The story today is that I’m 14 days alcohol free. I’ve committed to at least 90 days with a group called One Year No Beer. The support, practical help and the non judgemental ethos works for me. Using approaches such as Annie Grace s in This Naked Mind, it approaches sobriety from the angle that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain!. Started by Ruari Fairbairns and Andy Ramage it tackles life from all angles, physical psychological and biological.  The support on the Facebook forums and the website is phenomenal. Because we all have something  to contribute regards experiences when drinking and being alcohol free , I actually feel I’m helping others as well as myself, important for recovery. Anyhow if anyone fancies taking a look at the website it’s http://www.oneyearnobeer.com 

In other parts if my life I have began to say no!! This is a biggie for me. I try to be all things to everyone and end up stretching myself like a rubber band till something  snaps . So I’m not doig the latest am dram show, I’ve pulled out of the Manchester marathon although I’m still running but for my own pleasure! I finished and passed my course for work and haven’t volunteered for anything else yet…..

I’m spending more time with hubby and son. Hubby is AF 6 days!! So we are supporting each other however it’s important for us not to rely on each other for our sobriety. 

Hope everyone is ok out there and I’m grateful and happy to be here….

Happy New Year!!

Boy, do I feel good! Not only did I see in the new year with ginger beer and Jamie Oliver’s hot chocolate, I actually had a wonderful evening with my hubby and 2 of my children!! We played Articulate and that daft game where we stick bits of paper on our forehead with names of celebs and try to guess who we are, I was Ken Dodd and unsurprisingly I came last….not a clue…even sober I couldn’t remember the answers to the questions I’d asked at the beginning….or the questions….I’m worried about myself!  Articulate was rather frustrating too as I was paired with hubby who was so drunk he couldn’t really speak… or think!! I had to draw on my powers of tolerance not to get cross as I’m very competitive!! Interspersed with me asking everyone if they were hot too as I’m convinced I’m having hot flushes. They are all so terrified of the thought of me being menopausal after 20 years of PMT they all said yes ..!

One thing that we did last night which was so lovely was to open the memory jar I started last new year. I put a note of all the good things that had happened during the year as they happened, on a square of paper and folded it up. I encouraged visitors to add things too. Reading through the years memories was amazing, the overiding theme was family, achievement in running and and the am dram productions and starting hillwalking!! Its funny how you forget what you did during the yearand this is a wonderful way of reminding ourselves how full a year is!

My mum was a bit of a worry this Christmas, as my sister and I are estranged it’s always difficult for her so this year her and her neighbour went to Blackpool for 5 days. All inclusive for £239…..you couldn’t stay at home for that! It included coach travel! All the waifs and strays of Britain descend on this hotel and according to my mum….who can’t be relied on…the staff were temporary carers for the holiday period. One night a woman from a party from Dundee heckled the frank Sinatra impersonator for Elvis so much he came off the stage and had to be physically restrained from belting her, she then shat on the carpet and the the bar tender had to clear it up!! The hotel offered all these pensioners alcoholic drinks at a pound a time during the day so everyone was drunk morning noon and night. On the return journey the bus had to be stopped as 2 70 year old men stared fighting and had to be separated by the driver who had to stop the bus halfway up the M6! Mums already booked for next year!!
Anyway, today I’m planing a lovely long run then a trip into work to do some coursework then home for Sherlock!

Sober seventeen!!

The year, not my age obviously! ! So this is the opportunity to have a whole year AF. Feel quite inspired by other af ers! ! Specifically from 

http://www.oneyearnobeer.com

 www.club soda 

http://www.soberistas.com 

please take a look at these sites if you want to really get great help and advice. So I’m not planning in drinking this New Year. Getting lovely juices and sparkling water in. Have signed up for an online yoga site called http://www.movementfirmodernlife.com and have been doing daily practises, it’s great coz you can customizer which type of practise you want , how long for etc. Lots of different teachers. I’m a complete beginner but find it helps me as a runner to stretch and to really relax. Just love it.! My darling daughter is home and I’ve been using that as an excuse to drink the last 2 nights, mostly I think as a reaction to the fact that I have 2 assignments due in January for a course I’m on. I just need to stop prevaricating  and get on with it.  Im not doing the next am dram show, this feels like a really important decision for me because as an attention seeker I will be in the position of supporting others to do well as I’m still in the company and on the committee.  Might teach me a lesson in humility!! Instead of it all being me me me. Here are the links …Hopefully! 

Happy new year 

Ruby xx

 movementformodernlife.com

oneyearnobeer.com

soberistas.com

clubsoda.com