Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Great Barrier Island

Well who wouldn't enjoy 3 nights off the coast of NZ on a relatively remote island you ask yourself?

No sane person that's for sure however, there is no way that I would classify myself as sane at the moment.

I went with my 23 year old, her boyfriend (both lovely) and my 10 and 11 year old, they were all great - and I for the most part ok.  Going sober to an island rich in all things nature, bush walking etc is wonderful, however everyone drinks A LOT.   

Don't get me wrong, it is not like Fiji or Hawaii, there is only one bar so one would think that drinking is not a major - WRONG.  The 3 shops on the island have more alcohol than anything else for sale, apparently to supply the bored locals, tourists and huge influx of "boaties".  Anyway, it drew my attention to the major amount of alcohol we all drink - and this is going to be hard, this path of sobriety.

The not-drinking part didn't seem to be the problem and I was doing fine (apart from thinking I was boring, thinking I was bored, thinking about what everyone else could do etc etc like an infernal record player stuck in a rut on 33 RPM).  But today (the last day and the inner-boring struggle not enough) I decided that I would cry and feel like an insecure freak all day.  It wasn't until we risked death on the 6-seater plane, that was super fun but as safe as a sardine can tied to an albatros, and flew home that I felt better.

I am turning into an agoraphobic perhaps?  I think that to be a bit dramatic though, it is more likely that this process is making me raw and forcing me to look in the mirror and I really am not loving the reflection.  Think I keep thinking, "why am I partner-less?  Why do all the people have partners" blah blah blah wah wah  all day long.

I was sick of myself by the end of the afternoon way more than anyone else was because, thankfully I kept most of the inner-dialogue to myself.  I did that badly though, but mercifully everyone else was doing what they wanted so I only partially was a giant pain.

Too bad a bit though - this is a bloody process and damn-it, I'm on the train.  I'm not getting off.

M xxx

Friday, 23 December 2016

Princess Diana

When I should have been cleaning for the arrival of my daughter and her boyfriend tomorrow, I stopped and watched an old interview on youtube - Princess Diana, her BBC interview with Martin Bashir.

For many years following the interview she was heavily critised for doing it, called "attention seeking" playing "coy" for the camera and all other kinds of nasty things.  I have never been much of a fan either way, but it must have been hell for her.  She was honest in her answers, even though they did not paint a great picture for her, it was particularly hard to hear about her bulimia.  Her self-harming and which parts of her body she inflicted this on.

All of the media attention was new back then and she was largely unguided and not supported - she had to carve her own path through the royal family's jealously or annoyance that she over-shadowed everyone, instantly.  She spent all that time defining her own role as the Princess of Wales, through depression, a failing marriage, and nobody she could trust.  She learned to survive and the media called her manipulative, she tried to hide and she was called mentally unstable.  What an incredibly difficult life she had from 19 years old.

I like to think this would not happen now, that we have learned more about support.
Merry Christmas Princess Diana. xx


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The 6-week Stumbling Block

stumbling block
                          a circumstance that causes difficulty or hesitation.

obstacle, hurdle, barrier, bar, hindrance, impediment,
 disadvantage, restrictionlimitation
snag, hitch, catchdrawbackdifficulty, problem, issue, 
weakness, defect, pitfall, complication; 
informal fly in the ointment, 
informal spanner in the works; 
informal monkey wrench in the works
"the language problem is a fundamental stumbling block"

OK - I'm going with monkey wrench in the works (probably because it has the word monkey in it.

The shame transformed to delight with hope in where recovery may lead me.  This delight seemed to hit a stumbling block over the past week.

It brought up all kinds of self-comparison and even to the point where I have been looking up other blogs and thinking, others are lucky, others haven't struggled as much, others have a partner etc etc.
I can see this for what it is.  It is a stumbling block, it is a shift.  It is part of the process.

It makes me feel insecure and not worthy, but that is me doing that.  In a week from now I will feel entirely differently.  Knowing that will put this hurdle, obstacle, hitch behind me. xx

As Lotta says - we are raw through this process. xxx Thanks Mrs D xxxx

Sunday, 18 December 2016

It's Christmas!

Right - time to be positive.

1.   My daughter and her boyfriend are arriving on Christmas Eve 

2.  We are spending the night and Christmas all together then               flying to Great Barrier Island for 3 days to go hiking

3.  They leave on the 30th and on the 31st I have a surprise trip          planned for the two younger ones - a train trip to the Waitomo        Glow Worm Caves and staying the night at the Waitomo Cave        Hotel. What a great way to spend a sober new year's eve!

Positive Positive Positive and everything else will follow.

We are still wrapping our presents and have cordoned the area off from our Eat-anything young dog!

Thank you to everyone and their help over this past 6 weeks.  It feels like forever but it is going to get better - I have looked into enough negative issues for a while and it's time to have a break from it and get on with living :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)
Lots of love M xxxxxx

Added 20th December:
I stayed up late last night (after SVU! I admit I am an addict) anyway I stayed up late and thought "get up and delete that horrible message you wrote the night before last, it is negative and my god it's Christmas M".  Well I didn't and I am going to face that this is part of the rambling journey.  I feel like I am making so many lines in the sand of places I no longer want to go and things I no longer want to be.  
If I want to like myself just as I am, then things do have to change.  I don't like the drinking - I don't like the bad attitude.  I have stopped drinking and now I can look at my outlook.  I have to make some fundamental changes to become the person I can start to love and accept.  Does that sound harsh?  I can't just like me as-is.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

In The Mirror

Oh my god.  I am actually going to have to like myself somewhere during this recovery process.
I am 50 in July, and was considered good looking perhaps even beautiful - even did a diet coke commercial in Milan.  That said, I have never thought I was good looking - I have never liked what I looked like, my sister hated me because she considered herself not as pretty in comparison.  She is very open about her jealousy towards me - she says our parents gave me more attention.  My memory has no recollection of this and I left home at 16 anyway.

Apart from the physical appearance, I thought I was stupid.  My sister always said she was the bright one and I was the dumb one.  My parents left it at that.  I am not angry with my parents at all, they are supportive an awesome - now.  Anyway, I went to Uni after my 1st daughter was born in Australia - I was a distance student and did most of an degree in Accountancy, then I stopped and became a Zookeeper and started a science degree.  I am back finishing my Accountancy in NZ and so far averaging A's.  So I can't be too stupid, but clearly I don't know who I am or what I want in life.

What I am looking at now though is a 49 year old woman who never liked herself and still doesn't.  Being a sensitive person as a child - I grew into an adult with no understanding of boundaries.  I have only learned recently what it means to implement boundaries because I worked for Women's Refuge for a stint earlier in the year and met women, very damaged women, who have none.  Finally the penny dropped as before then I could not grasp the concept of a boundary and a person in the one setting.  It was like meaningless words.

I have always been insecure, had many many boyfriends who didn't always treat me the best.  I have been abused physically and mentally but I just put that down to terrible judge of character.  I got pregnant to a boyfriend in Switzerland and didn't find out until I was back in NZ, dad sorted this problem out :( then I met a business man and married him.  He did some terrible things and I left him - I was 21.  I ran to Australia and my life just went from one pro-surfer boyfriend to an ad man to a model to ... who cares who.  I came back to NZ at 33 met my husband (who turned out to be a narcissist (which I had never heard of) and stayed with him for 12 years.  divorced him, then re-married him then we broke up.  I keep a calm relationship with him for our two lovely kids.  There is my life, what a fucking mess.  What a series of shit decisions, crap results (except my babies).  Thank god I have a good work ethic so at least money isn't a drama.  The only reason that is, is because I am too insecure to suck at a job.  I have to be good at it.

I have turned into a prickly angry person over the years, I argue with shop keepers if I feel a situation is unjust.  I argue with someone over prices if I feel ripped off.  I argue with the phone company if I feel unjustly treated.  I just argue.  I have calmed down somewhat over the past couple of years - mainly because I don't trust my judgement anymore due to alcohol and drug consumption.

Now I am going to have to do something about it.  I can't go on hating myself like this.  I can't even imagine anyone being able to look in the mirror and say "Hey I like you"  Do people actually do that?
I am going to die and where is the difference I wanted to make in the world?  I can't even change myself.

Grrr what a rant.  M
sorry about my grammar

Lesson Number 3

I was talking about an invisible firewall a few blogs ago that seem to shield me from having to deal with too much stuff all at once.  Lesson 1 was about past relationships with men, Lesson 2 was about damage that I have inflicted on my family and people close to me.  Today Lesson 3 came into focus.

My Lesson 3 is about what I wasn't doing emotionally when I was drinking.  I thought drinking made me more open and honest.  I actually remember thinking a couple of months back that the reason I shouldn't stop drinking, is because I need alcohol to communicate better with my family here, my daughter away at uni and my parents (the latter two by phone).  During the day, when I wasn't drinking I didn't feel like communicating with anyone.  Yet later in the day, after I started to drink I became chatty and felt confident.  I felt more like talking to everyone so deduced "I am a better mother and daughter by giving myself an alcoholic and drug boost"  This is another one of the reasons I didn't want to stop even when my mind and body were screaming "what the hell are you doing to us!"

I was completely convinced that my character or person I had become required alcohol to function on a better level with those around me.  This is why the going sober experience has taken me by surprise completely. Today, when taking my son to his martial arts class, one of the Thai Chi masters, who talks to me a lot came to say hello.  In the past, I would be filled with instant dread and say something ridiculous and the whole time just hoping the would not think I am a "over protective mother" or a "blond idiot" or anything negative about myself.  I would get entirely nervous and then spend the next three hours thinking about what the heck I was on about and other negative stuff.  Noting that this type of meeting would happen when I was sober as I was a night-time drinker.

Today, when approached, I was open, relaxed, the conversation flowed easily and I could look him in the eye as he was speaking.  I didn't feel like a loser, I felt in control.  I felt happily confident.  I walked away feeling like I had my first meaningful interesting conversation in so long I can't remember (all in 5 mins!)

I am striving to be open in like this 
Alcohol doesn't make you a better communicator, nor does it make you more confident.  Even when you are sober, you are still in the clutches of alcohol so it's not something that I would have learned until I stopped the cycle.  Stopped drinking.

I like this Lesson the best because the results are easy to see and feel instantly.

It is my feeling that not only does alcohol not help you gain confidence, it goes one step further and takes it away.  It makes you feel like a dirt-bag, out of control, like everyone else is better and has more self-discipline than you.  It's a nasty, nasty addiction.  I would like to be more open like this photo, I thought my introverted extroverted conversation style was "quirky" and "cool", some how endearing.  Retrospectively it was just laden with damage and must have made it difficult for other to properly engage with me.

Day 10 - past    Month 1 - past.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

It Wont Help

It won't help, it won't help, it won't help.  If I keep saying this over and over, one half of my brain will win the fight over the other half.

Day 9 Month 1

Life is full of problems with or without alcohol.  I love how Ken from Grey's Recovery (I know I go on about this page) told me this once and it has stuck.  Also all you lovely people say it too and that alcohol won't fix it, it will make it worse.  So you won't just have 1 problem you will have 2.

But let me tell you.... today completely fucking sucked.
I was doing ok this morning, then the boss's wife (who likes me now) wants to fire my friend (who obviously works with me) and who got me the job.  Crap Crap Crap.  I have been doing some of her work for her it is true, and in truth she has problems completing tasks.  I may waiver between assertive and aggressive when confronted (doing some serious work on this which is definitely coming along) but there is nothing as infuriating as the passive-aggressive approach.  My friend does this and it is like looking at a water balloon - overfilled and like it will burst so you are kind of ducking but it never does.  However, the resentment and vengeful-ness sets in and that is somehow worse.   Well, today the boss and the wife did their banana and it wasn't pretty, them yelling and her just squinty-eyed bottling it up.  shit   I feel like a traitor just in being present.

Then the day took a serious turn to the terrible with my eldest 23 yo - because of my feeble ridiculous condition in this recovery process, I am too raw to handle.  So there I was.... the tears, the shaking ... then the dread. The knowing that this is going to make me want to drink.  Badly.  So then the anxiety of dealing with the inevitable and the fight that needs to occur to stop the car pulling into the bottle store whilst driving around crying.

Now the exhaustion from the whole mental fucking exercise, without any healthy exercise, no ability to give anything physical or emotional to the 2 wee kids so it's pizza for us.  Right now they are in my big bed with the TV on and I am going to snuggle up and watch whatever crap they are watching, and that will feel nice for all of us.  We don't have to say anything, just give each other a little bit of ourselves by just being close, right?

Love to everyone M xx
PS I chose this @#$$%$$ picture of hope to remind me of where I want to be, the dumb butterfly free from the dumb jar.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Disease or Addition

None of the views below are meant to cause insult to all those struggling or have struggled with drinking or substance issues - they are more questions than anything. Mxx  This includes an apology for ranting :)

I am doing too much research again... and I still haven't figured out an answer.  I have read that alcoholism is a disease because the cravings, against health and good sense, cause those with the disease to drink.  I find this a bit of nonsense as a definition because people smoke because they are addicted to nicotine and do so against their health and good sense - but that is apparently not a registered disease, it is an addition.

The theory that it is the chemistry in the brain that is affected seems more logical (below)- most large health organisations (see below) recognise the disease theory.  Funnily enough though, doctors themselves do not. (also below)  This could be why there are so many of us in the earlier stages full "recognised" alcoholism = 2 bottles of whisky a day, no family, cirrhosis of the liver etc.  No question I would have ended up there.  The doctors or GP's are on the ground, working with individuals whereas AMA are not treating us directly.  So why don't doctors share this view?  My doctor seems to not care too much - and he's really open to new ideas.

Now with the relatively newly introduced Controlled Drinking - this almost disproves the disease theory apparently:

"Some critics have used evidence of controlled drinking in formerly dependent drinkers to dispute the disease theory of alcoholism"  Wiki

My sources are not very scholarly I'm afraid.  Then there are the reasons some organisations do NOT want alcoholism listed as a disease, such as insurance companies with health claims etc.  There seems to be billions of dollars on the line if it is completely accepted as a disease.  However the research goes on and the the new disease theory (right at the end of this long blog x) now splits this into 3 categories : either or combined:  biological, genetic or psychological (I think translated that is changes to our biology, passed on through family or mental addition).

I personally feel it is a bit deflating saying it is a disease as there would have to be a cure - what would that be?  Abstinence?  that doesn't seem to make sense because the cure is the problem.  Which points to addition not disease.  If it is a disease of the mind, then a medication derived to deal with it but there is no medication that fixes it - only with the withdrawal period..... so is it an incurable disease?
Well that is bloody deflating right there.  A disease with no long-term cure is about the worst news ever - do problem drinkers want that kind of recognition?  Is chronic addition a worse theory or one that gives more hope?
I don't know anything here - except I have to have hope because there is no "cure" I can buy.
M xx
PS - If it is a disease, then why are we spending billions of dollars a year to spread it?


NB:  Things I have read to add to the above:

"The modern disease theory of alcoholism states that problem drinking is sometimes caused by a disease of the brain, characterized by altered brain structure and function. The American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956"

Then there is this:

Is alcoholism a disease or a choice is a good question. It is something many people are interested in. Alcoholics want to know if alcoholism is a disease because they want to explain what is happening, or what happened, to them. Insurance companies want to know so they can determine how to pay for it. Families and spouses want to know about the disease model of addiction for the same reasons drunks do. They want to know what happened to them. How did things get so out of control? More importantly, they want to know what to do now to this drinking problem under control.
Asking “is alcoholism a disease” to most people we bump into on the street will get you an answer of yes. Asking a doctor and many other professionals about the disease concept of addiction will result in something quite different.

Who Says It Is A Disease?

  • Most members of 12 step programs (based on AA) follow the disease model of alcoholism
  • Television, the movies and the news generally agree that alcoholism is a disease.
  • Where TV goes, the American public follows.
This makes it look like no one with credentials follows the disease model. Below are some heavy hitters who do:
  • The American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • American Medical Association both maintain extensive policy regarding alcoholism.
  • The American Psychiatric Association recognizes the existence of “alcoholism” as the equivalent of alcohol dependence.
  • The American Hospital Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • American College of Physicians classify “alcoholism” as a disease
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) It funds approximately 90 percent of all alcoholism related research in the United States.

Who Says Alcoholism Is Not A Disease

A national study of doctors in the United States reported in The Road to Recovery asked them what proportion of alcoholism is a disease and what proportion is a personal weakness. The average proportion thought to be personal weakness was 31 percent. Significantly, only 12 percent of doctors considered alcoholism to be 100 percent a disease.
Another study found that only 25 percent of physicians believed that alcoholism is a disease. The majority believed alcoholism to be a social or psychological problem instead of a disease. (S.I. Mignon. Physicians’ Perceptions of Alcoholics: The Disease Concept Reconsidered. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1996, v. 14, no. 4, pp. 33–45)
A survey of over 88,000 physicians in the U.S. found that “Only 49% of the physicians characterized alcoholism as a disease.” Over 75% believed that the major causes of alcoholism are “personality and emotional problems.  - says:
Many breakthroughs in alcoholism research have stemmed from the original disease theory.
  • Biological Model – Biological studies propose a new biophysical disease theory of alcoholism. This model examines how genes and other biological influences can cause imbalances in certain brain chemicals. Alcohol disrupts normal lipid and enzyme functions in the brain, which may be more prominent in people with certain genetic qualities.
  • Genetic Model – Another genetic model suggests that a person with a family history of alcoholism is more likely to develop alcohol addiction. Recent studies point to the existence of a “tolerance gene,” which may promote alcohol dependence. However, having the gene is by no means an end-all determinant. Environment, education, and personal choices play significant roles in the alcoholism puzzle.
  • Psychological Model – Yet another model focuses on the psychological perspective, specifically that of denial and adaptation. Alcoholics are more likely to deny underlying issues in their lives and attempt to block them out with alcohol. They may not interpret alcoholism itself as a problem and fail to make positive changes.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

About how long does this last?

I have read so much and spent ages researching.  I know there is not definitive answer but I am wondering how long does this last?

For me and, I have read other's experience also, in the early stages I/we:

  • Dread the evening time because it's drink o'clock 
  • Dodge all bottle stores and shop sideways through the supermarket like a crab, avoiding all wine and beer displays and get out as quickly as possible (I used to like shopping)
  • Drink some concoction of sober liquid and say "oooh this isn't bad" but really deep down hate and resent it
  • Hope the night will come to an end quickly
  • Wake up and say YAY no hangover, then by around midday we are back up to point one
This isn't fun living.  Drinking was fun.  (I know it was 10000 x more shit that that but my brain is saying this)

Is this alcoholism?  Is this a diseased mind with all the bounds of quitting?  How can people or some just say that it is a "drinking problem" and not alcoholism.  
I am confused and angry grrrrrrr    I don't want to spend my life yinging and yanging about this.  I would rather be an alcoholic.  
Ok no.  that sounds awful.

Does it kind of stay like this forever?
I gave up smoking years ago and if was hard for about a month (like a record going from 75 RMP "have a cigarette, have a cigarette" to finally 33 "haaaave   a  cigarette..." then "haaave aaaa ciga.." until it stopped).  Forever.
What is the difference?  Or isn't there?  Why is this so hard ?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Day One M2

I love how everyone counts their sober days.  Day 246 or 452 or 4.

Today is Day 1 M2 for me.  It isn't because I don't want to be proud of 32 days without drinking it's just that I am scared.  I am scared of getting up to day 63 and thinking - well, I have abstained so... after 90 days I can have a drink or two.  I am in control.  I am strong, see what I have done? I am cured.

Because (I know you shouldn't start a sentence with because but I don't care - but I do care or I wouldn't say anything).  Yup today I am losing it.

Because that's what I always do, I think  Hey:  

  • I'm all better! so I can stop taking my migraine meds - oh shit (3 weeks later) why have I got a migraine?  
  • I haven't spent much money this week so look how much I have saved!  Then go shopping and spend twice as much under the illusion of having twice as much.
  • I haven't had a hangover for about a week so - I don't get them anymore! I can drink as much as I like and I'll be fine!

That is the sort of crap-talk that I will be doing at day 64 or day 91.  I won't be celebrating how much better my life is getting, I will be being a smart-arse and thinking I am cured.

I will already being doing a reverse countdown - I just know it.
M xx
I had such a crappy day I wanted to buy a wonderful expensive bottle of champagne and drink the whole thing.  I even visulised it and thought that - stuff it what a great idea to end a crap day.  I will not do it.  I will not. So it's Day 1 M2 "remember who you are M, you are an addict"  So I found the grossest picture I could of the reality of what I was doing.  You can dress it up all you like with a lovely empty classy ashtray, a lovely glass of wine (I don't know how you could make the pills look better) but if I finished all the wine I would have a shot or two of the bourbon left over from Christmas or something equally nasty.  Or buy another "just in case".  Yuck.  It was yuck.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

It's all about me!

What started off as all about me turned into an online AA and I never expected this.

I wish this said "support and love"
As it's day 30 for me I just wanted to make a list of some of the people who have inspired me and kept me going.  It's in my head and felt it needed putting all in one place.

Today I wish a massive happy birthday to Anne (think you mentioned it is your actual birthday today) and your 3 year sober one too?  I can't find where I read that but happy birthday either way to someone who bothers to help those early day-ers like myself that couldn't do without this support. (will post this to your page Anne so you actually see it!)   for those that don't know Anne.

Thank you to Wendy  the bravest midnight chip eating mouse in the world! x

Ken Lindgren from Grey's Recovery

The lovely Sally and Linda.  Jaded8.  Jackie (theWB)   Putting Down the Glass.
My fellow country woman Lotta from who gave me the idea that maybe communicating could be a good thing? (congrats on your new book being finished!!)

M xxxx

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Jack Russell and the chicken

A dog very like Womble
I love Jack Russells and I was lucky enough to have one named Womble in my life.

He was such a good boy, never any trouble and the nicest guy to everyone.  Unfortunately one day when I was out (1998 on a farm in Byron Bay, Australia) the chickens got out and he chased them around and ended up killing one.  He had always had fun playing with them, but then this happened.  My old farmer neighbour said "oh well, that's it then.  Once a Jack Russell gets the taste for blood he will always kill the chickens"  I don't know the truth in this but....

That is drinking for me.  My enjoyment of beautiful wines and lovely Bollinger are history.  I have have eaten the chicken - I went too far.  Now I will always have a problem with alcohol, I can never drink again because the relationship has changed.


My Dog Loves Me

Well that could be an overstatement but our relationship is better. (skip to end xx)

It's been a horrible two days - thought as I am not drinking my migraines will miraculously disappear. 

The boring bit - for me too!!!
About 5 years ago I started getting 3-day migraine attacks, 
Day 1:  Wake up 5 am vomiting, headache, wanting to die end up at the doctors with anti-nausea and pethidine injection, sick all day.  Can't eat.
Day 2:  No sleep from the headache pain - sit up and wait til morning - go to work. Can't eat
Day 3:  Headache going away slowly - left tired and so down.  hungry.
Then back to normal, right as rain
Together with my Dr I tried lots of things; beta blockers, anti-convulsion drugs, norpress, cognitive behaviour therapy, migraine diaries tracking food etc. acupuncture, botox in the left side of my head, alternative medicine, diets, even some weirdo new-age stuff (OK my dr wasn't onboard with this one) then he suggested a preventative medication called Sandomigran - makes you grumpy but changed and it has changed my life.  Treatable 1-day toned-down migraines.   

When I gave up alcohol, 4 weeks back, I stopped taking my anti-depressants, my anti-migraine medication - everything. I used the anti-depressants to stop the agitation caused by the anti-migraine meds - topped it all up with heaps of alcohol and painkillers.  So the only way to stop I figured is to stop EVERYTHING and bring back only what is absolutely required.

Tux's Toys
Woke up Monday 5.30 am with the worst migraine in ages and was down at the doctor's office throwing up into a plastic container & getting a needle in my arse and sooooo pissed off! Now it's Tuesday night and my eyes are sore, my head hurts and I feel like shit.  No alcohol and pills for me - too bad M.

I am sick of my boring mirgraine story and sick of having a "we can't quite put our finger on the cause or exact treatment" condition that is so fucking debilitating and no one can see it!  So you look and sound like a moaning lunatic.

And that's how it all started... the drinking .... the pills.. it was like the icing on the cake - not dealing with issues, emotional pain etc then having a physical condition that overtook my quality of life (sometimes 4 migraines a month - that's 12 days Grrrr)  Once Sandomigran made the migraines eaiser to treat, it kind of gave me "licence" to behave like I wanted.  A few champagnes, a couple of painkillers and stuff that bloody headache it could go to hell.  More wine, a beer or 3, more more more

Well I can't do that anymore and thanks to my lovely older daughter,  mum and dad and their support - they called me yesterday and said "don't let this change what you are doing, don't mix the two things up - stick to the plan M"

Wow - so grateful.  They are right, I can't mix my sobriety with those shitty migraines.  I will go back on the Sandomigran, I will not look at that as a failure.  I will take the medication to prevent the problem and not make the problem something that causes a bigger problem.

Given up : Alocohol (not required EVER to enrich you quality of life)
Given up:  Anti-depressants (not required for me until I have dealt with my life - understand these help others dramatically and am open but for now want to face what I can handle)
Given up:  Opiod abuse (will never enrich your life)

Re-Taken up:  Sandomigran - migraine preventative
Need to accept this as part of an enrichment to quality of life (also my doctor will kill me)

PS  my 1 year-old, 3-legged SPCA mutt likes me more!  Yup he comes and sits on my bed with me before going to my 11 year-olds room where he sleeps.  It started a week ago and every night he comes and jumps up for a cuddle.  I have figured it is because I am more "still" than I used to be.  Animals trust that more.  Maybe they can smell instability a mile off.......


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Don't Trust, Don't Talk and eventually Don't Feel - Lesson 2

Crap this is hard. Talking to my lovely 23 y/o, who is away at university, it is clear that over the last three weeks our relationship has changed.  Three weeks ago I told her about my problem which filled her full of sadness feeling she should have known - slowly, hopefully she is realising that there was no way should could have known nor changed the events AT ALL.  This will take time... my poor wee darling.

Now we talk more and never argue - we listen, we debate, we even laugh.  Before, we were always arguing over nothing on the phone and neither of us could figure it out.  How nuts is that? - a 49 year old mother which a substance abuse problem, but still? What could possibly be the problem?  What is wrong with my daughter?  Has she changed that much that we no longer get on when we always have?

That is the mind of an alcoholic.  That is the proof right there.  How can it be my fault?  Nothing has changed right?

Wrong Wrong Wrong - Massive denial and complete wonderment in "what could be causing this?" I was so convinced it was her who had changed, utterly convinced.

My daughter didn't know about my problem, I was smart, I was so secretive, I would never talk on the phone when I was out of it.  She knew I went to work, fed the kids, ran the house - so why was I so inconsistent when we talked, get angry suddenly for no reason, why didn't she trust me anymore?  Why did she start to pull away and not want to talk to me anymore?  

She went through so much emotionally trying to figure this out.  Asking herself  why was she so ANGRY?  And do you know the worst, she had to deal with this all on her own.  She couldn't talk to me about it because I blamed her.  Too embarrassed to ask her boyfriend and scared to discuss with our very close grandfather/father at the risk of exposing my instability.

Sneaky nighttime problem drinkers hiding our shit from our loved ones - making them confused, scared, un-trusting, quiet, sad and eventually they will feel nothing.

I have to stay healthy - I think about the other children/young adults out there that have had to deal with parents like me.  Parents who couldn't cope and perhaps went to their doctor who offered anti-depressants, then something to help them sleep.... when it still didn't get rid of the underlying problems they start to medicate themselves with alcohol and whatever else they can get their hands on.

We hurt ourselves further and further until, we have nobody - all because we had a few issues, then Groundhog Day wouldn't go away - so what's wrong with feeling a bit better after a drink or two?

Friday, 2 December 2016

Things to look forward to. Things leave behind.

This came straight from http:/, the photo and the next paragraph are her words:

"Yay! Day 90!
One huge benefit to this sober thing, is the ability to deal with the daily "drama" that life throws at you without  
1. Overreacting to it and 
2. Contributing to it"

An inspiration Jackie and if this is not an incentive, what is?.

PS Horrible fact number I-have-lost-count:

My friend had a baby a month ago, I txt her today to see how she is as I haven't visited her yet (no surprise as I did't leave the house when I was drinking).  Anyway, I looked back over the last few txt messages and to my complete shock she had sent a picture of herself and her new baby from the hospital, which I had replied to.
I have absolutely no recollection of this and if I was wired to a lie detector I would swear that I hadn't yet seen a photo of her wee girl.  I looked at the time of the photo:  9.14 am - what the fuck.  I didn't drink in the morning - I must have been so hungover and probably still wasted that I have no recollection at all of this.    My God.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Where are all the roses?

Well it's a bit like that for me at the moment - I didn't sleep well, I am sick of being thirsty but there is beauty in all of this somewhere.  I just have to believe that even though right now it doesn't smell of roses at all.

After a 35 hour working week (yes lucky me part-time), racing home to feed the kids and do some washing etc etc it's a real shit to walk in tired and take a look around the pigsty the house has become during the week.  Even though you are cleaning bits all week, it just catches up to Friday's massive mess - to the point that it has to be done, but it's Friday and I am tired.  So I used to drink my way through it, take pills and drink and tidy (and feel kind of stressed but jolly [sidenote:somethimes that went pear-shaped of course])  Now I just feel tired and grumpy, so I think why the hell am I doing this?

Well I do know.  I will GET USED TO THIS CHANGE.  All because tomorrow I will be a better mother, I will be a better person to be around.  I am going to be kinder on myself in the morning.  No self-hatred.  No guilt - and no hangover.

So there aren't lovely smelling roses today, but there is more likelihood of there being some tomorrow if I just keep going.  Now I am crying :) but that's OK xx


Screaming for a drink....

It has been 3 weeks and 2 days since I have had any alcohol, my ankles are no longer swollen in the morning and my fingers are back to normal. The itching has completely gone and I am sleeping well so far.

But.... my dehydration has gotten worse and now am a little constipated (yup this is an honest log of events)  I have lost weight and am not hungry so just make myself eat.  A bit of tiredness is starting to creep in during the day which is totally annoying.

My body has gone into some sort of shock after drinking consistently  and voluminous amounts of alcohol for a long period of time - it is wondering where all the liquid and sugar have gone.  Even though I know that alcohol is a diuretic and is dehydrating, there must be some logic to the fact that I have not replaced enough quantity of fluid into my body.  When I was drinking alcohol I drank very little water, maybe a glass and half per day.  Now I am drinking about 5 glasses a day and it is not enough - my body wants more and it is screaming for a drink.  I know it secretly wants a "real" drink, but it's not getting one.  Fuck it.

On a side note, it is not surprising why many of us get here in the first place, there is such a strong drinking culture around being a mother/father (WTF!?)  It is stuff like this:

“Babies are pleasant about 10% of the time. The other 90% is excruciating. That ratio tends to shift over time, but, really, until a child is grown up and out of college…it’s a fucking nightmare. And to get through that nightmare, you need unlimited access to bottles and bottles and bottles and bottles of alcohol.”

There is much support surrounding young people drinking alcohol and there is AA and other organisations to support heavy heavy drinkers and supposedly people like myself which is fantastic.  However, heavy drinkers started off somewhere as I believe problem drinkers don't develop overnight.  It is belittling to people like myself who drank over 20 units of alcohol most nights and who took over the counter, or prescription opiods to feel perhaps their recovery isn't as important as those who drank a bottle of 42% per night or woke up and drank all day. 

Mothers or Fathers who are at home alone at night with their kids in bed are drinking, they are already in a trap - attending AA meetings or going to a group is fantastic but it is an even bigger hurdle.  Potentially this hurdle may delay going into recovery because it adds another layer of difficulty:
  • Who will mind the kids?
  • Maybe the people who go to group are a different type of alcohol abuser - this will alienate me further.
  • I work, look after the house, the kids, cooking, exercise how on earth can I go to meeting?
The temptation and widespread acceptability to introduce this drug into your home is everywhere - so surely it makes sense that we need more tempting and widespread support to get off this drug.

M x

Note added: 4th December 2016 - Want to be sure to add that AA is for everyone and it is not their lack of acceptance I am referring to - just mine :) xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Dr Seuss - thank you

Today is a good day.  I have woken up AWAKE!  I celebrate that I no longer have hangovers, I celebrate that I have support from all of you lovely people out there that I couldn't do without and I celebrate the understanding from my family.

Hello to the USA, UK, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and today Ireland - it is so fantastic and special to me that we can all connect and help each other.  From the bottom of my heart - I could not do this alone.  Thank you so very much. 

M xxxxx
PS (so far I am grateful for not having to go out and get help publicly - which means sitters for my kids and exposure.  I will do that if I have to though, I am absolutely resolved in getting well). 

Monday, 28 November 2016

299 792 458 m / s

That is the speed of light apparently - and that is how fast these past 3 weeks have gone for me. 

Everything is the opposite of what I expected (almost everything).  Not how difficult it would be, I get pissed off at the supermarket, the alcohol is on the right when I walk in and there is so much of it. Damn it, it is next to the vegetables so I have to go elsewhere to buy my vegetables now, I just don't want all that wine and beer under my nose like that.

Time though, has gone fast - I seem to be going to bed later and later as I have so many things I want to do - books to read, my diary blog, my yoga (yes it day 3 of the 30 day challenge with Adriene)
I wasn't that into it but it is really great and i actually quite liked it today - thanks Mrs S - are you up to day 3 tomorrow?

Walking the dog with the kids, talking to the kids, rearranging my furniture (what was I thinking before!) finish renovating my house slowly.  We bought a 100 year old piano today - a German Wilhelme, and it's so cool.  I can't play a note but the kids are musical like their dad so they love it.

I work 4-5 days a week (9-3 ish) and my boss's wife is still totally nuts - today she was going on about how to save a document on her computer but doesn't understand the documents folder is located in C:\users\hername\documents and said to me "I just click one button" so I said yes that is a shortcut on your quick task bar "documents" but now you are looking through another program so this is where the documents folder really is located.  "No no no!!!! too many buttons.  I just click once! One Click!! always one click" This rant just kept going whilst I just used my "new yoga breathing" and she kinda tapered off.  She did come back in full-force to say I must name her computer "Rich Angel" and it must show up when she turns it on - so she can channel the energy through it. 

I am going to swear again : For fuck's-sake I really don't know if I can make it until Christmas.  Avoid Avoid Avoid.  xx M xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Rage Against the Machine

In the words of  Rage Against The Machine I need to "Take the Power Back". 

I'm sick of myself, it's getting tiring... I sick of being so sensitive, I'm sick of saying sorry all the time, I'm sick of trying to explain myself to people who don't deserve an explanation, I'm sick of blaming myself for past mistakes I have made with relationships, I'm sick of trying to prove myself at work when my work speaks louder and better than I could, I'm sick of trying to please everyone I meet so they will like me when I have good friends and family.

Fuck it!  I'm good enough and now I am sober I am 1,000 times better.   
I have taken the first step in taking the power back.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Yoga - really?

Thanks to Mrs S @ Mommy's Done Drinking I have taken up the Yoga challenge - we are both doing it so if anyone else out there is too, shout out :)

Just to say that after years of being the accountant for a yoga studio in Byron Bay Australia I never did a single class.  I would have rather eaten broken glass - but I am pretty desperate.

I did my best to relax, the dog wanted to join in and went into several "poses" which meant the roaring of laughter from the kids saying "hey look mum he's better than you".  Nice.

I kicked everyone out and finished Day 1 which I did enjoy.  It's Sunday and I really wanted a drink today after have kids over from other families.  I felt I had nothing to look forward to so the Yoga did help, although it brought attention to the fact that my lovely wool carpet could do with a spring clean (it look good but nose-in-carpet brings surprises).  I am very thankful for invite and WILL get through the 29 days left.

M xxxx
PS Hello Australia - it's so exciting seeing another country, especially so close.  It's just a badly written diary but it helps me so much :)

Friday, 25 November 2016

I'm not here to make friends

I know I have been adding to my diary so much lately - but that's what it's for right ? :)

I just read this and I have to quote once again, Grey's Recovery. I won't paste the whole thing here but here is the link if anyone is interested. Many of us are not in "treatment" formally and are doing this tough via like-minded souls on-line.  I think it is also great to have or be able to draw upon the knowledge of people working on the ground.  Ken replied to me straight away from Grey's Recovery and I find that so important at this stage of recovery.  I have commented on a few blogs and I love the people I have met so far, Wendy xx Sally xx Ainsobriety and more.  Some people just want to write their stories with much better journalism skills than my shoddy mess - and don't write back.  That is so OK :(, but I have to say (from someone who thought I didn't want anymore friends) I am completely wrong.  M xxx  Love to you all and I really really appreciate the support! Makes the world of difference.

I'm Not Here To Make Friends

"When I worked for an inpatient facility I heard it at least once a week. Sometimes it was an individuals justification for isolating or sometimes for a harsh word, perhaps a cover for shyness, not wanting to show weakness. Often it was a declaration meant to show me the counselor how dedicated the individual was to recovery, a vow that the individual was willing to forgo most if not all of the softer parts of rehab and dive head first into the hard work that lay ahead. These folks were never without their journals and worksheets, they carried their Big Books clutched in their hands and read them at every break. "I'm not here to make friends!" They would say though they might have said another common mantra of the newly sober "I'm not like these other people." I would often lay awake at night worrying about these folks.

Two reasons I see this as a red flag 


 This goes for any worksheet. The free ones you find online, the expensive ones you purchase on your own and photocopy without permission, the ones that use a 4th grad vocabulary and the eloquent ones, recovery cannot be found in any of them. For that matter it can't be found in the Big Book either, it's not in a PowerPoint, a self help book, a video or in your favorite therapeutic card trick. In my opinion the vast majority of curriculum in rehab has very little value for the person in recover. These trappings are really more for we the professionals than those that come to us for help. They exist to make us look like we know what we are doing. They allow us to say "take two and call me in the morning" and fill the long hours with"programming" which the organization charges a sizable fee. Research indicates that educational lectures, videos and PowerPoints have almost no value for the person in recovery but many continue to lecture and play videos and continue to call it treatment. The videos give us time to catch up on our notes, the lectures are easy and one cannot invent the wheel on a daily basis so who can blame us? Because we put so much importance in these activities clients often mistake them for recovery. The "Not Here for Friends" folks most of all. So we take energy and focus which could be used more effectively and waste it on a hamster wheel.


The most damaging thing about addiction is how much it isolates. Humans are social creatures and we don't just want to interact with each other we need to. The Rat Park experiment if it can be applied to humans indicates that isolation and an inability to alleviate it by making new connections may be the key difference between someone who abuses substances when in a tough situation but stops when out of that situation and someone who gets trapped in a cycle of substance abuse becoming addicted . As chemical dependency counselors it is important to spot the clients who use our assignments as an excuse to isolate and encourage them to socialize. 
So we find ourselves with addiction that isolates, which may have been caused by isolation, we pull these people away and isolate them from friends family and work to treat them and to keep the lights on we professionals need to fill their day with programming so we can bill for our services. What's the solution? Obviously I don't know but here are some ideas.

Fewer lessons, more discussion. Keep the clients talking to each other not just to you. If you see that a client isn't joining the discussion prompt them and train you more outgoing group members to draw them out.
Focus on developing social skills. Role play uncomfortable social situations, talk about the clients anxiety over social situations and how to overcome them.
Make your homework social. Tell your clients to go to a meeting or some other sober gathering. Have them talk to 3 or more people. Have them journal about the feelings this inspires.
Make your programming fun. Provide the opportunity for your clients to take social risks and be silly in the safe supportive environment of your program. Play music, dance, tell jokes, or sing.

Greys recovery - The house won't fall down

I found this in Grey's Recovery and I had to read it twice to let it sink into my slow morning brain.  Recovery started for me earlier in the year, but I kept drinking.  I knew I had to deal with the problem underneath and even started to look at it - but wasn't ready to stop medicating the problem with drugs and alcohol.  Now I am so I found this made sense to me:

Our partially built houses won't suddenly disappear because the hammer "dropped the ball for a day"   nor do you have to start the house all over again.  

Extract from GR:
"Mistaking abstinence for recovery is like mistaking a hammer for the house it was used to build. It's a mistake I've made, it's a mistake built into the policies of most treatment centers, and it can be a dangerous mistake for those who come to us for help. While a hammer is a useful, maybe even a necessary tool for building a house, it doesn't mean you have to start over just because you lost it for awhile.

I also don't believe that recovery and abstinence necessarily happen simultaneously. For instance, my recovery didn't really begin until I had been abstinent for almost a year, but since becoming a chemical dependency counselor it is quite common for recovery begin long before a client's last use. But whenever it begins it's important to remember that sustained abstinence may goal, but it is not the goal. A carpenter's dream isn't just to own a hammer, it is to build with that hammer."

It is a powerful message about recovery and the importance placed on the process rather than the "day count" (which by the way I love!!!)  Recovery counts.
M xxx
PS totally off the subject - do you know how much fucking jobs around my home that I have done now that I am not drunk and/or thinking or waiting to be wasted?  I have planted trees, wallpapered unfinished parts of the house, moved furniture around, chucked out so much CRAP!!!!  Yay xxx

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Happy Sober Thanksgiving to the USA

Wishing everyone who helps me through messages and support in the USA, a very happy Thanksgiving and be strong!  This time of year adds another later to recovery especialy when we meet up with family and friends who maybe don't understand the extent of our problem and try to say hey "one won't hurt".

Unfortunately it is left to us to deal with the aftermath, the guilt, shame and drop in confidence that follows our climb to the top of the mountain.

Whatever you do, remember YOU started this journey so you should be PROUD of yourself regardless.

Happy Thanksgiving xx

M xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Embarrassing Truth - Lesson 1

Now I have had a couple of weeks, my mind is starting to let me look back a little, just a little and it is coming in in flashes of clarity.  It is a bit weird because my thoughts seem to be focusing on past relationships that I have had with men.

I am going to call it Lesson One as I have the distinct feeling there are going to be a few and I will have to revisit each over a long period of time going forward.

I am easily embarrassed and this is going to be bloody hard journey.  I can see a pattern of dysfunctional relationships with me as the Rescuer and the relationship ending up to be bad news.

As part of trying to save our marriage I found a psychiatrist and we both went.  My husband was diagnosed as a narcissist which I didn't know anything about at the time, and I a rescuer.  I immediately ended the relationship and after 15 years it was strongly recommended I attend narcissist abuse therapy.  The psychiatrist said that it was doubly tough because we share children and little or no contact was impossible. I recognised my rescuing behaviour and installed some barriers to protect myself for the first time in my life.  I strongly believe that Rescuing behaviour (that I have/had) is due to a deep insecurity.

Before my marriage,  I think back over my relationships (and there were many) and they were based on alcohol - the courting stage so to speak, consisted of drinking, bars, dinners with alcohol, drugs sometimes with alcohol, parties with alcohol.  Past partners have often been in the spotlight so my life has often been in the media - alcohol and drugs are everywhere and it seemed normal.

I actually thought this was totally functional, and any other form of "getting to know each other" was "square" and for "boring wierdos".

100% of all my relationships started with alcohol.  Even if I met someone outside of this arena, I would bring them or they would bring me into the drinking arena.  I have no doubt that some of the best guys with the best intentions probably lost respect due to my "fun" outlook and treated me accordingly.  I also now believe that the outcome of some of these relationships would have been completely different had we have gotten to know each other in a sober environment.

I can see now that this gives the message that this is the type of person I am and this is what I accept.  Perhaps this works in other people and their relationships, but not for me with MASSIVE unresolved problems underneath the drinking.

For years I have thought "I'm a nice person" "I look pretty good" why don't I have a loving relationship?  Why am I so unlucky?

The embarrassing answer is: I made the decisions, I orchestrated this outcome - bad luck has nothing to do with anything that has happened here.  Sure relationships are hard - but I made them impossible.


Morena Everyone!

If anyone has any answers on why I feel so dehydrated all the time please help.  It has been over two weeks now since my last drink and I am so thirsty all the time and my body feels dehydrated.  I am drinking water but maybe not enough?

I guess because I know alcohol to be so dehydrating that I assumed now I would feel hydrated, but I seems to be getting worse.

Thanks to everyone's support too!  It is so incredibly helpful xx

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

It's just a really bad habit - The Sober School

Today feels tough, there have been some tears and everything feels raw.  Mrs D's blog says this a lot and I now I know why.

I felt like stopping at the bottle shop tonight but kept driving,

Came home and read the below extract from The Sober School: I like the bit in bold because we have to remember this is a habit.  It is hardly likely a habit like biting your nails can be broken without a struggle, let alone if the nails contained a drug.  Imagine trying to stop that habit!

update 8.22 pm - I had to go to the dairy to get something to add to our dinner, first time I have been up to the corner shops at night without buying alcohol.  My blog is like a roller coaster of : I'm so happy, I'm so grumpy, I'm so everything!! Now I'm so tired :)  going to bed early - this day needs to end xxxx M


"Cravings are something you’re bound to experience in early sobriety. All of a sudden, drinking is all you can think about. That little voice in your head whispers, “Just one won’t hurt.”  The thing to remember about cravings is that they say nothing about us. They’re not a sign that you’re weak, flawed, destined for failure or doing anything wrong. Cravings are simply a sign that we’re changing a habit and we’re feeling it.

I don’t believe in quick fixes – tackling cravings is only half the story. For long term sobriety, you also need to debunk the myths about booze, learn new coping mechanisms and tackle the root causes that drive you to drink in the first place.

So, dealing with cravings is only one part of the puzzle … but it’s a really important one! And that’s why I want to share with you some simple but effective strategies for stopping cravings in their tracks:

1. Listen to the craving.
Cravings nearly always have something to tell us – they’re often a sign that something is wrong and we need to address it. For example, it’s no coincidence that we get the strongest urges to drink around 6pm – a time of day when we’re the most tired, hungry and thirsty. So always check: are you really craving an alcoholic drink? Or are you dehydrated or in need of some food? Have something to eat. Drink a few glasses of water. Guzzle some green juice. If you have to, eat a few sweets for a sugar boost. (Whilst sugary treats aren’t ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re better than drinking.) If your body is telling you that you’re tired, go to bed early. Drinking alcohol is a sure-fire way to not get a great night’s sleep – you can guarantee you’ll wake up tired.

2. Change your environment.
This is a quick way to change how you feel. You could head outside and go for a walk. You could run off your cravings, or swim away from them, or sweat them out in hot yoga. If you want to stay at home, then something simple, such as having a hot bath or shower, will often do the trick.

3Play the movie to the end.
Set the timer on your phone for 2 minutes. Close your eyes and start picturing your drinking as a movie – if you choose to drink, how’s it going to end? What’ll really happen if you have ‘just one’ drink? Be honest. How many times have you promised yourself that you’ll stop after one or two, only to find that you have no off switch? The fantasy is always that you’ll be able to control your use this time – but if you could do that, then you would’ve done so by now.
Think about how you’re going to feel in a few hours time. If you drink, what will you end up doing? What will you look like? Will you go to bed and sleep soundly, or will you wake up tired and dehydrated in the middle of the night? How will you feel the next day – physically and mentally? What will it be like to have to start over and go through another Day 1? Think through everything in detail. This is what’s at risk if you drink.

Ask yourself: what will alcohol do to change this situation?
This is a great question to keep coming back to. Alcohol doesn’t change ANYTHING! When you sober up, the world will be exactly as it was before. The thing that drove you to drink will still be there. Only you’ll be hungover, tired and irritable – so it’ll be even harder to cope with. Alcohol never changes anything, it just makes you feel worse. People always talk about alcohol being ‘relaxing’ or ‘a great stress buster’. But I’ve yet to meet anyone who wakes up the morning after a big binge, feeling relaxed and stress-free. Instead they feel guilty, sick, tired and worried.

5.  If all else fails, strike a deal.

Agree that you’ll reconsider the situation … tomorrow morning. Deciding to drink again is a big deal, so you need to sleep on it first. You’re not taking drinking off the table completely – and you’re not committing to quitting forever – you’re simply postponing the decision. I think it’s highly unlikely you’ll wake up in the morning and say “I really regret staying sober last night”. But if for some reason, you do wish you had a hangover, then you know what to do! At least you’ll have made the decision to drink in a rational way, in the cold light of day."