Sober Friday

I used to look forward to Friday night.. like literally so much that I would be feeling anxious from about lunchtime onwards until it became an acceptable time to crack open my first beer.

Now, I don’t look forward to Friday nights.. I LOVE THEM. I don’t have the anxiety anymore.. I’m not worried about when I can start, how much I should have or whether I’ll be fully functional on Saturday, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt a greater sense of relief IN.MY.LIFE.

They say that giving up drinking is hard.. but do you know what is actually hard? That internal struggle that you CONSTANTLY go through when you think you might have even a slight problem with alcohol, it’s literally like you’re living with a voice in each ear.. one saying NO you don’t need it & the other saying GO ON- you deserve it!!

Deserve what exactly? Deserve to dull your senses just a little bit? Deserve to intoxicate yourself so you end up making stupid decisions that you would normally make? Deserve to wake up tomorrow and berate yourself YET AGAIN because you wish you could JUST DRINK NORMALLY!!

What is drinking normally? Who defines that standard? Is there such a thing? Or is everyone just drinking the same poisonous substance which (I have now learned over my LONG SLOW journey) does not have any actual benefits??

If any of these things have ever crossed your mind, I would recommend 2 people you: Annie Grace and Allen Carr.. I think I first read Carr’s book a good couple of years ago.. I’ve read Annie’s twice now, and ONLY NOW are things finally starting to make sense in my head.. this is such a massive journey and I’ve called myself a looser so many times because I was just FAILING at it.. but I was so wrong.. I wasn’t failing, I was learning, I was testing assumptions to see if they were right.. I was taking two steps forward and then one step back.. and I probably still am… but forwards is the direction I am going!!IMG_1587

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My Sober Booze Trip

Placeholder ImageThis image is actually quite appropriate. We went country driving today, and of course country pubbing along the way..

I was mentally prepared before I left, thanks to my books Mrs D is Going Without and This Naked Mind, and I DID IT.. man do I feel like a hero right now.. The others boozed and I became the driver.. and I am home- tired but only from the long day and not from the ‘come down’ I’d otherwise be on right now…

YAY ME 🙂 🙂 Day 29 BTW- no way could I get so close to 30 and then give up!! x

I Have a Cunning Plan!

no_drink_alcohol_520pxSo it’s been over 2 weeks since I touched a drop.. and I’m truly so so proud of myself. I have read The Naked Mind and this has been a great help!- thank you to those bloggers who suggested this! However, there is one thing that still keeps plaguing me.. I’m terrified of how things ‘out there in the world’ are going to play out!

You see, I’ve been able to keep myself secluded for the last 2 weeks, as I am a full time distance study student completing my degree at home. When I am here I am 100% gung-ho that I can do this! I’ve got this alcohol thing beat.. and yet, every time I do leave the house, even for a short time- I change my mind.. “oh nah, I’ll be alright, I’ll just keep drinking in moderation” (yeah right)- how could I possibly conceive of interacting and having fun without my crutch??.. suddenly the idea becomes ridiculous!!

I’ve spoken about this in my last blog, and had some helpful tips, but when booze & social things have gone together in your life for as long as you can remember, it seems like a completely unachievable thing to expect things to be ‘easy’ without it. HOWEVER.. I may have just unwittingly provided myself with the solution!! I’ve just signed up for a 14 week online program that is designed to maximise my health and fitness.. I’m so excited about it, and already diving in eagerly- and suddenly it occurred to me- I can not drink alcohol for that 14 weeks, because it’s not healthy- it doesn’t fit in to this plan!

What I realise I have done by making this commitment a part of the program is 2 things: First, I will have 14 weeks to begin to experience life without alcohol in ALL situations- I am travelling overseas in a couple of weeks- this used to be a sure ‘opportunity’ for drinking- that’s what waiting at airports is all about right?? 🙂 But I can’t drink because I’m committed to the program- and Second, I can’t drink because I’m committed to the program!- a perfect line to use with people in my life who will be expecting me to be ‘fun Ange’.. always with the drink in my hand.. I figure by the end of the 14 weeks, people will be used to me not drinking, and will therefore stop asking, and once the time is up I can say that I have decided to continue not drinking because, well, I just liked it better!!

So my conclusion today is that I am a Genius!! You may be thinking “yeah but you could always just choose to ignore your commitment”, well, yes I could- but that generally isn’t in my nature- I have commitment- I have 5 years of distance study under my belt and have almost earned by Bachelor’s degree completely through distance study- there’s no one here that keeps me accountable but me! When I want something, I’m committed, no doubt! Time to smash this thing!! xx

Feeling Wonky..

I get anxious about things that are miles in the future. Today I’m absolutely fine, I’m happy sober, I’m proud of myself sober, I’m feeling wonderful sober..

But what about that time? That time when I ALWAYS drink, you know, when we’re on holiday, and I’m relaxing, and it’s completely fine and I don’t have anything to do tomorrow, so it doesn’t matter that much if I’m hungover..

And so starts the slippery slope from Sober to “F*ck it”… and I resume my old ways all over again.. I won’t just wait till I’m on holiday- it’ll be alright to drink tonight, or next week, or at that next function..

I’ve heard it said “just one day at a time”… and I wonder how this can be achieved.. my mind always seems to project me into the future, and create anxiety about events that haven’t even happened yet..

Perplexed.

It Begins Today with My Accountability

So this is it. Here I am. Alone and a bit defeated today, but determined that there has never been a better time than now to do this thing. No going backwards, no more lame excuses. I have spent years building myself up, building a foundation for the kind of life I want to live, and god damn it, its time to claim it!

So, a little bit about me. I am a 36 year old mother of 17 year old twin boys, I currently live In New Zealand, however I plan to settle in Australia within the next couple of years. About ten years ago, I had an epiphany that I wanted more from life, I knew I had the ability to be better than I was being, and that little spark within me has led me on the most amazing journey into myself that there’s no way that I can express everything here and now.

During most of this time, I have also been a student- a student of life certainly, but also a student of the literal kind. I have obtained a Diploma in Health Science, several units in Natural Health, and I am now on my way to earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Politics and Sociology. An interesting mix, some might ponder- although to me, it all fits together nicely. I want to be healthy, I want to be whole, and I want that for others too, but to understand health and wellness I believe we have to understand the society in which we are situated and how this drives us to make the choices that we do.

Anyway, along my journey thus far, I have been battling with Alcohol- it’s been my best friend and my worst enemy- but at the deepest level I’ve always resented it; wanted desperately to be free from it. I have tried many things- AA, Counselling, Reading- but I firmly believe in the end, the solution to this problem is going to come from within me. Spending ten years storing up ‘tools’ to help me on my journey to self discovery has taught me this- that if we can dig out the reasons why we do things, we can begin to change them- hence the ‘delving’ into the world of politics and sociology, as for me, these things are at the core of why we do so many things.

Therefore, the purpose of me writing this blog, first and foremost is selfish- and I make no apologies for this- as the very famous and well respected Robin McGraw likes to say “you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others”. From today forwards I want to be accountable- to you. I want this platform to be one very big reason that I never touch another drink- for this I am 100% ready- no more justifications, and no more excuses. My second reason for writing then is, of course, to help others- I do have a wealth of experience and knowledge that I would love to share, and I truly believe in the healing nature of caring, of conversation and of truth. It’s time to stop hiding.