Saturday, 19 January 2019

13 Days - Weekend No.2

This weekend I have stocked up on alcohol free beer.  Yum!  It tastes the same, and I am loving the alcohol free strawberry and Lime cider, and the alcohol free gin, which tastes just like gin!!!!  Who knew you could have drinks without getting drunk.  Huge plus in my books. 

The last few days have been a bit trying, and I have had the demon on my shoulder whispering sweet nothings about taking the edge off, after a stressful day just have the one and imagine how good it will feel.  Now these thoughts are not always there, but they pop up at the most random times and almost take my breath away sometimes when they are overwhelming. 
Earlier I opened the kitchen draw and saw the scissors and that led me to think about cutting.  I haven't had a thought like that in ages.  I was looking for a torch! 

My anxiety has been really high the last few days with a bit of stress thrown in for fun too.  ~But I am proud to say I have stood firm and not given in to the demon on my shoulder.  I am not necessarily enjoying waking up in the morning, after all it is winter, and it's dark and cold outside {I have never really been a morning person}, but my insomnia has been better, I am sleeping more than 4 hours a night which is amazing, I wake up with energy instead of feeling foggy and nauseous, and I am not shouting at my son first thing in the morning, well just not every morning maybe!  

I have been on a medication that has the side effects of causing your feet to swell.  My feet were so swollen I had to go out and buy bigger shoes, I blamed the medication for months.  Since I stopped drinking they have slowly gone down and are almost back to normal.  So it was the alcohol causing my edema, and not the medication.  I am looking forward to discovering more benefits while I am on this journey.  

All in all a few wobbly days, but I am holding out and trying to beat that demon on my shoulder!  

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What to name my demon?

A lot of different people recommend naming your inner demon, you know the one that encourages you to drink, and happily pushes an agenda when you try and be good.  The one that says tonight will be different, we really will only have one drink, and you have great intentions to only have the one.  Once you become addicted though, that one is never enough.  

I remember talking recently with a friend and I was amazed at how she can go out and have a couple of drinks and then stop, she was equally amazed when I admitted that I struggle to stop, no matter how drunk I get.  There is the inner demon saying go on, just one more won't matter.  

The alcohol demon sits on your shoulder and begs you to give in, not every day, but often enough.  It is particularly vocal when you are anxious, having a bad day, or have had a busy today.  Tonight is one of those nights.  It wasn't the best day, my anxiety is really high and I would like nothing more than a glass of wine/prosecco to dampen the anxiety down.  It would never be just the one glass though, I would land up buying two bottles just in case, and would probably drink both if not 1 and a half bottles.  

So tonight I am going to say screw you, and I am going to take my medication as prescribed, and I am going to shower and go to bed after a non alcoholic beer or two.  

I still don't have a name yet, will have to think up one overnight! 

Buying Non-Alcoholic Beverages

So my mind has been on what to have instead of the usual drinks in the evening.  I have sparkling water most nights, but I have been wandering what to have in place of drinks especially at the weekend, a treat!  I could do mocktails, but that involves buying lots of ingredients, and who has time to make them.  

So I have found a non-alcoholic gin, and there are a few non-alcoholic beers on the market, so I am going to try them and see what I like.  The big question is, is it right to have a non-alcoholic version, or just stick with the plain things like sparkling water, will the non-alcoholic beverages tempt me further to go back to drinking.  

I like to think they won't, it's nice having grown up time without getting wasted on alcohol, so we will see what the next week holds.  

I haven't been overly tempted or overly stressed as yet, and I don't miss the hangovers, or the fuzzy feeling in the mornings.  I am not exactly waking up fresh as ever yet, am still struggling with fatigue, and not  the best sleeps at night.  Hopefully these will begin to improve.  

Some of the benefits so far, well as I said no hangovers, or fuzzy feelings.  I have also reduced the swelling I had in my ankles by a significant amount, so my old shoes are starting to fit me again.  I never put down the swollen ankles to alcohol, I blamed one of the medications I was on, but I think now it was the combination of the two.  I am finding it a lot easier to fall asleep at night. Through reading the sober mummy blog and doing a bit of research it's amazing how many areas of your life are affected by alcohol.  

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Day 9 - I'm Tired

Alcohol is an addictive depressant drug, it just doesn’t say it on the tin.

Why do we drink when it is so bad for us?  Why do we continue to use unhealthy coping mechanisms?  I realise that sometimes we use unhealthy ones because we are not aware, or choose to keep the blinds down so we don’t dwell on how unhealthy a habit or coping mechanism can be. 

For as long as I can remember I have been self harming, not just physically hurting myself by cutting or scratching or hitting something, but drinking, smoking, taking painkillers.  All of which I have become horribly dependant on.  I need to find someone to talk to about all this because it is wrecking my head.  After a boozy Christmas and New Year I have decided to not drink for 100 days, no self harming, no cigarettes, and using my medication appropriately as the doctor prescribed.  I sometimes forget to take it, and then double the dose to catch up. 

Even though I am prepared for the change, it is pretty confronting and terrifying writing this all in a blog, even if it is anonymous, being honest with myself is hard.  But I want to be able to practice healthy habits, and self compassion, and self care, and to do these things I have to be honest, brutally honest. 

According to my watch last night was the best nights sleep I have had last year, but I feel so tired.  My body is exhausted.  I am trying to be kind to myself and not stress that I am not getting much done.  Hopefully when the fatigue passes I will be more inclined to get stuck into the house.  

Today is day 9 – in some ways it has gone by really quick, KJ was back to school last week,  my husband went back to work, and me – well I have assignments for college so that’s keeping me busy, and this blog! 
I landed up getting a few non alcoholic beers yesterday, haven’t had one yet, but bought a few to try.  I was a bit wobbly yesterday.  I went to the shop, and on my way up the stairs my addictive side wanted to get a bottle of something, just one, but I soon forgot about it thanks to my son chatting away to me.  I did however subconsciously not go anywhere near the aisle with the alcohol.  I felt great when I got home, my willpower won out this time!  One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, but I am still determined.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Getting There, Wherever that is!

Since coming out of hospital there have been lots of good days, lots of bad days, and lots of days that were just OK.  Thankfully the bad days are a lot less now.  I am still on a fair bit of medication, but my psychiatrist is confident this will be for the short term, and not forever, but we will see what happens.  

While I was in hospital, not long before I was fully discharged I went to the police to report one of my childhood abusers.  He was a relative, but it was tricky because he lives in a different country to me.  
Reporting it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  It took a total of 6 hours, and honestly any woman or man that reports sexual abuse of any kind to the authorities is my absolute hero.  It was so much harder than I thought it would be.  

I went in the morning, and they have to be as thorough as possible so there were so many awkward questions.  The Garda {police} were as kind as they could be, but from there perspective they have to get all the facts.  When I left I was a shaking ball of anxiety.  I felt awful.  I phoned a good friend as I didn't want to go home for my son to see me in this state, and she very kindly had a glass of wine waiting for me.  Now the wine was not the best idea, but up until recently I have been using alcohol to take the edge off, dull the senses.  I had no idea that while it did take the edge off, the next day my anxiety was worse, and this was most definitely down to the alcohol interacting badly with my tablets.  I had carried on drinking when I got home.  

The next couple of weeks were really hard as I waited for news.  They had to send the report to the country where my abuser lives and wait to hear back from them.  Now, the country I come from is not known for efficiency, so I knew it would be a long wait.  

At the end of November I got word from the police here in Ireland that the police where not going to do anything about my claims.  Apparently where I come from there is a clause in the constitution that crimes over 20 years can't be prosecuted through criminal law, but the police did recommend civil proceedings as I have an email where my abuser apologizes for his behaviour.  

I was devastated, I really didn't think I would be so hopeful of something happening, but I had been, and hearing the news really rocked me.  Of course I turned to alcohol again, and I kept drinking every night through December.

I shelved all decision making about what to do next until the New Year!  Now here I am in the New Year not having a clue what to do about it.  I guess I have to make some calls to lawyers and go from there.  
I am however in a much better place.  No drinking for just over a week.  All still brand new but I am trying.  I am tired, today I was very anxious, but I am sticking to my guns at the moment to go alcohol free for 100 days.  

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Day 6

My first weekend without drinking.  Friday night was ok, I was busy trying to finish off my assignment for college so I was busy.  Last night after college was a bit hard, all I wanted to do was come home, put my feet up and have a drink!  My usual routine.  But instead I took my son shopping.  I was going to buy some alcohol free beer, but in talking with my son and walking round the shops I forgot all about it.  Driving home I realised the only days I would be driving around so late (7pm) before would have been because we had no wine at home, and I had to go out and buy some.  Now I could drive around because I am alcohol free.  It was quite liberating really to not have to worry about making sure we had wine at home!    

I am trying really hard not to give myself a get out of jail free card, what's the point if I do that.  Then I have given myself licence to fail.  So no, I am not going to drink for 100 days.  

I am sitting here on Sunday it's nearly 4 pm and I was just wishing for a drink.  Instead I have sat down with some chocolate.  I should be trying to cut down on the amount of rubbish that I eat, but I am not going to be hard on myself today.  I have given up drinking and smoking, so for now the chocolate has to stay.