Almost 12 Months – My Toolbox

Yeay! So proud of me! Yes it was me that made the decision and did all the hard work but I had a toolbox that was overflowing to help me to get here.

Podcasts…..I didn’t even know what they were (I was probably too drunk to care) but I have listened to Janey Lee Grace podcast Alcohol Free Life, lots of them, on sobriety and mindful drinking on my way to work every day. Janey Lee Grace is an English singer, author, television presenter and radio DJ. She has now created ‘The Sober Club‘ and is a huge influence in the sobriety movement including doing a wonderful Tedx talk. She is really very interesting.

Audio books – I’ve read all the ‘Quit Lit’ available on audible. It was so good to know other people had the same drink problems and still functioned, they went through quitting booze in the same way and came out all amazing at the other side. They survived! I could relate to each one of them and the books and people’s stories remain in my toolbox for when I may need them.

Friends – This has been one of the best bits. My best friend used to be wine. I had some people friends but didn’t speak to them or see them after 7pm because I was with my actual best friend, wine! Now fast forward almost 12 months and I see my friends, speak to them, hear them and hopefully inspire them as much as they inspire me. I do find myself drawn to interacting with inspiring positive people all of the time now and try to avoid negative situations as much as I possibly can. Now sober though I do have to work on my ‘face’, I’m not very good at being patient and understanding with people who moan constantly. I do need to work on this as not everyone has a positive outlook on life. I must try harder!

Exercise – for those of you who know me I’m slightly obsessed with running, walking, marshaling and yoga. I absolutely love it and everything I get from it. Now I’m hardly a typical sporty person as a curvy size 18. I’m not very fast or very good at exercise and I have literally zero balance. However what I lack in ability I do make up for in passion. I get a lot mentally from exercise. I get clarity, friendship, chatting, laughter, stress relief and it all helps to ‘Calm the Chaos’ in my mind. Seriously…if you can grab your trainers today and move a little, do it.

Alcohol free drinks – Some people stop drinking and don’t have alcohol free drinks, but for me it was what got me through this 12 months. I do like a nice glass, and I like a nice fizz in it. I’ve reduced the amount of this that I drink now but in the early days I drank almost as much as I did proper wine. But I wasn’t concerned. My favourite drinks are Freixenet % and Nosecco. Seriously, I’ve shared these with friends who drink and they like them too. The difference is, you don’t make a dick of yourself! Unless of course, you are a dick! Supermarkets are stocking more alcohol free drinks all of the time, alternatively there is the ‘Wise Bartender

Pete – My partner of 8 years. So the history is, I’ve drank literally the whole time I’ve known him. The whole time. And so did he. Can you imagine one of the first thoughts going sober was…..what if we don’t like each other? What if he doesn’t like me? What if I’m boring? The fact is though, being as bad as I was, we didn’t actually have any quality time anyway. Once my best friend (wine) came out to play…I caused arguments (over bugger all) I fell asleep on the couch after about an hour of opening a bottle, or I’d walk out on him, or go to bed in a huff – I never ever remembered why. I generally was non existent in our relationship. From day one I need not have worried. Pete stopped too which was great, we spoke at length daily about how we were doing with this extreme change. We drove around supermarkets sourcing alcohol free drinks. We’d go out for a drive or long walks so wasn’t sat at home craving wine. Pete has helped me by being my rock every single day. We never ever fall out, we go out for lovely meals, we have more money and more quality time together. Our relationship is amazing and so is he! Why did I even worry?

My boys – So really I don’t like to think of how my drinking has affected my boys who are 19 and 21. And the reason for this is I’m incredibly ashamed. Really fucking ashamed! They saw it every single day. Albeit probably for only a few minutes, they avoided spending time with me (obviously) they would get bugger all sense out of me, I would never remember what they spoke to me about and so really what was the point? We went on holiday’s and parties and their friends, family and girlfriends were around us……around me and the wine. What did the boys think? What did their girlfriends think? What did they say to them to makes excuses for their mum’s behaviour? So now I have a great relationship with them both, we talk every day and I remember it. I’m more patient and speak to them rather than at them. I’m also incredibly proud of them and help them with things including interview prep and Daniels photography work.

To my boys, Daniel and Adam, I’m very sorry for being a really rubbish mum for the last few years! You are in my toolbox as a reminder of what I missed out on.

Writing this blog is actually helping me, for 12 months I have lived by dealing with the practical aspects of not drinking, and keeping myself busy. Now I’m reflecting on my behaviour and being more mindful of how I feel and what I do and say. This is kind of like my therapy. So thank you for listening….

I’ll write again on Sunday when I’m celebrating being 12 months sober. We have a really lovely special day planned and I have some chill time by the sea in mind too 😘 have a great day everyone Xx

2 thoughts on “Almost 12 Months – My Toolbox

  1. I am so proud of you and super pleased I can call you a friend! You’re inspirational! Congrats on the 12 months sober πŸ’ž

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  2. Loved your post. I too wonder what my girls thought of all my drinking. But they were the ones along with my husband who took me to my first AA meeting almost 6 years ago. I knew I had a problem but didn’t know what to do. I had a job, was never arrested, but I was tired of the merry go round of hangovers. I was 58 when I got sober. Never looking back. Love that I found myself and love who I see in the mirror daily. Congratulations on 12 months coming up! It does get better and better! πŸ’ͺπŸ’•πŸ€

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