Fake Wine

imageJust had a lovely late afternoon on the patio sipping Fre Sparkling Dealcoholized wine or Fake Wine as my son calls it. It is pretty good, rather sweeter than my usual Prosecco, but it felt like a treat and I was still able to cook after finishing the bottle! I don’t think I will make a habit of it, but it’s definitely one to use when we have guests over and I don’t want to get into the whole alcohol free  conversation.

We didn’t make it out for breakfast this morning as I  had hinted at yesterday. Oh well, maybe tomorrow or next weekend. There’s no rush. Plenty of hangover free weekends ahead I think! That’s it for today, off to watch The Danish Girl  with my fruity tea. I like my new Saturdays!

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Fun Friday

imageHad a fabulous day at work today, the kind of day that normally you feel like hitting happy hour to celebrate that life is good. So I took my beast of a dog out for a walk to the store to pick up a DVD an some ingredients to cook Mexican Surprise after watching one of those little cooking videos on Facebook that very speedily show you how to make something. I’ve never bothered with one before, but with some Stella tweaking, it looked like it had great potential.

I would be lying if I said the thought of cracking open some vino as I cooked didn’t cross my mind for a moment or two, but my lovely son put a stop to that by informing me that he has sport training at 8:00am tomorrow on the other side of town. Cue my role as chauffeur, a blessing in disguise! Farewell lazy Saturday morning……. wait, but maybe I can drag Ed out of bed and we can go for breakfast somewhere while the child runs and sweats. That’s something we’ve not done for a very long time, and I think the last time was because we were so hungover and the only cure was restaurant stodge. Seeing as there will not be a hangover to cure (for me at least,) I might even go for a healthy option like fresh fruit with oatmeal. Unless they have corned beef hash with two eggs of any choice and breakfast potatoes, served with toast or muffin. Some habits die hard! Is it morning yet?? Oh, and the Mexican Surprise was scrumptious in case you were wondering. Another smiley face to add to the day. Life is good.

Princess

imageHad a super busy day and just heading out to get my favorite Chipotle take out. This will be my first one in a long time that is not accompanied by red wine. So instead of feeling like I’m being deprived of a good thing, I’m going to treat myself to chips and salsa along with my bowl, which I don’t normally get. I’m sure it will still be a fraction of the calories of the wine I used to drink.

That’s the hardest part of all this for me. Breaking a habit. I am by nature a creature of habit and don’t care too much for change if I can help it, so the first time of doing things a bit differently kind of throws me. But as soon as it’s done, I’m ok most of the time. Sure, I would much rather have my wine than my sparkling water, but I’m also totally committed to my first 30 day milestone. And if I’m honest with myself, I would normally be quite drunk before even finishing my food, but still carry on with the wine and then move to the sofa to continue drinking wine until waking up at 2  or 3 in the morning. I would then stumble to bed, feeling confused and dehydrated only to have to get up a few hours later looking like a zombie and having to go into work feeling absolutely crap. The only thing keeping me going throughout the day would thinking about pouring myself some wine and thus starting the vicious cycle all  over again.

So, to drink or not to drink tonight? It’s a no brainer. I’m hungry and tired and just want to eat and sleep and wake up feeling good tomorrow. I’m thinking about treating myself to some AF wine or sparkly stuff tomorrow night. Wow, treats 2 night running! I might just get used to this. Just call me Princess Stella!

Oddball

imageI’ve never really been a fan of odd numbers. I think it goes against the natural rhythm of things. If you march and count left, right, left right, the accent falls on the right, right? Well, it does for me! The same goes when counting in pairs….one, two; three, four; five, six and so on.  So odd numbers feel unresolved to me.

Tonight is night #9 without wine. I have loads of booze in the house and it does not bother me at all, it’s only wine that calls out to me. Cheap wine at that. Bargain basement cheap wine. Anyway, the odd number days seem harder for me as I feel I’m hovering between my comfortable numbers. As soon as I hit a new even number, it’s as if I’ve hit a new milestone or safe spot.

I guess we all have our small aims and goals. Mine are even numbers and Tuesdays. Tuesday, April 5th was my first night without wine, so yesterday felt huge! One whole week under my belt. Feels good! Now I can’t wait for Tuesday #2 to come. Double happy day….except that will be night #15. It’s odd. Oh well, roll on day 16 then. Anything to keep me on this slightly uneven path…

Speed limit

imageHad a rather strange day today. Work was good, as it is most of the time and after I braced the craziness of Costco. Actually, it was pretty calm and empty and free of the dreaded Sunday Drivers that are are quite often there. You know, the ones that just stop in the middle of the aisles totally oblivious that there are 10 speeding shoppers behind them who have to slam on the brakes to avoid a pile up.

I still ended up taking my sneaky short cut in the store that allows me to overtake the snails and get on with my regimented routine. I swear I know that store better than the staff! Thing is though, my short cut spits me out slap bang in the middle of the wine and beer. That’s ok. I can handle it. I did peek to see if they had my favorite Prosecco, but I didn’t see it. Phew! That would have been a hard one to pass up. They hardly ever have it, so when they do, I would normally stock up for a while. Well, that was always the plan, but it never lasted long at all.

As I did my round, I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that maybe, I would never drink again. I  pictured myself sitting with friends on a lazy afternoon with everyone but me drinking. How on earth will I cope when we have friends and family to stay in the summer and I won’t be drinking with them? Maybe I’m only cut out for doing this for a short time to get healthy then moderate at weekends and vacations. I really don’t know.

But I can’t let myself worry about what the future holds right now. I won’t give up on my initial 30 day challenge. That’s the least I can do. When I reach that goal, I will see where I’m at. That’s the best I can do at the moment. I’m just cruising along on autopilot . Just don’t let those bloody Sunday Drivers slow me down. I’m better if I don’t have time to think…..

Zap! Bam! Boom!

imageBack at work today after a couple of weeks off. Felt so good going in feeling fresh and not afraid to breathe on people. Nobody seemed to notice any difference in me which makes me feel relieved  that I was able to hide my ‘habit’ this long, but also sad as I really kind of want to shout it from the rooftops that I have done 6 nights without wine. And that includes a weekend! Who knows, maybe one day I will, but discretely of course.

I have felt really tired the last 2 days which is certainly  not through lack of sleep. Maybe it’s all part of the process, and the fact that there must be close to 800+ calories less each day without the wine. So I expect to see some drastic weight loss pretty soon! When I quit drinking in 2013, I actually lost 22 lbs over 5 months without even changing my diet. That’s an incentive to keep going I reckon.  But weight loss is not my main reason for doing this by any means. Control is. I need control over something that was controlling me. The more I drank, the louder the wine spoke and I let it take over. But not now. I am in control at this moment and if feels so empowering.  I am good! I am amazing! I am Wonder Woman!

Actually, I’m just too tired to even think about twirling and donning my wristbands and lycra at all. I am just me. A sober me, a proud me, but also a cautious me as I know how fine the line is between control and losing it. Maybe one day you can call me Diana Prince, but for now, Sober Stella will do just fine. Better than Drunken Dorris any day!

 

Sober Sistas

imageI’ve been hovering around the Soberistas website for a few days and today I subscribed for 3 months. It cost me $16 and a few cents but talk about value for money! There is more support on that site than I have ever felt in my life before. I posted an introductory blog and in just a couple of hours I know that so many people have my back and are rooting for me, as I am them.

It makes me so happy, but I have a heavy heart knowing that so many people are suffering these personal battles. I guess most people have things in their lives that they don’t have the control over that they would like, be it food, gambling, drink, or any other habits or addictions. And I’m fully aware that there are public and private sites that can help. That’s brilliant, but for me right now, I’m not ready to go public as the real me or join a group with real humans in the flesh.

I have a personal battle that is hidden from society as far as I can. My work colleagues don’t know about the other me. They probably think I’m rather squeaky clean and wouldn’t dream of asking me to party with them. My friends have seen me rather drunk, but they put it down to low tolerance  or not having eaten enough. It’s only my family and closest friends that know what I’m really like.

So, for me, at where I’m at, Soberistas is a lifesaver. We can all crawl out from our hidey holes and be as honest as we like and face our troubles up front. It’s a huge sigh of relief and knowing that after you let rip, a wave of support is absolutely guaranteed.

I hope that founder Lucy Rocca gets the recognition she deserves for helping so many people worldwide. Thank you Lucy, you are one in a billion! x

Tea time

imageJust got back from marathon session at the hairdresser’s. It was quite enjoyable to be honest and although I tried not to look in the mirror too much, I really do think my eye bags have reduced quite a lot. It could be my crappy eyesight, but I like to think it’s my 5 days of sobriety.

This past week, I have also slept like a normalish person. I don’t ever see myself being totally normal in any way, but it’s pretty good going. My wine guzzling hours have been replaced with sipping fruity tea. Top tip: hot drinks take so much longer to drink than cold ones!  I have gone to bed at a sensible/childish time to read or trawl through various quit drinking websites. I wake up feeling relieved that I made it to another day of my challenge and hastily write a note on my phone to remind myself how good I feel. Very useful  to read when Wine Time approaches later on.

I’ve also dropped 8 pounds in weight and have lost 3 inches from my waist. Just making sure you are still there! Of course I haven’t. I’ve lost half a pound and that’s it, and I think that is from having my hair and nails cut. But that’s ok. I really do feel better, but it isn’t easy. The waves of wanting my wine come at me fast and furious, but I just work through it and remind myself of how my liver is thanking me for the respite. I owe it a lot for not packing in on me a long time ago. Right, I’m off to put the kettle on. Fruity tea time is calling!

Sod off

imageAs a teen, I had a poster on the wall next to my bed with a huge but simple cartoon man towering over  a tiny identical version of himself with the words ‘Sod Off,’ which is a kind of polite way of saying fuck off in the UK.I loved it because i thought it was funny, but now I see it in a different light.

I mentioned previously that I quit smoking a few years ago. I was a very heavy smoker and at seriously drunken moments, I had been known to have two cigarettes on the go at one time. I half heartedly tried to give up many times, and then I managed it through sheer willpower. The first 3 months were hell. Absolute hell. I cried and felt so sorry for myself because I was not allowed to smoke and everyone else could. I had to try and get through every hour of every day without smoking whilst everyone else could. The light finally clicked and shone so brightly when I read Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking. PING! I tilted my head and saw things from a different angle. I didn’t need to smoke. I was free and everyone else was still under it’s vicious control. I just didn’t need it anymore.

That was 12 years ago and I remember that moment vividly. It makes me smile and feel quite smug that I’d found the easy escape route. Actually, smug is the wrong word there. As soon as I had found it, I was directing every smoker I knew to it with flashing green lights, and some did follow eventually. So that’s how I see the Sod Off poster now. It is mind over matter. Instead of feeling deprived and depressed, try celebrating being free of what caused you grief most of the time.

Last night, I spent some time on the fabulous Soberistas site. There are so many inspirational stories and blogs on there. Well worth a visit when needing support, which is why I was there! It reinforced Allen Carr’s message right away as I read blogs by people on day 1, or 3 or 19 who were suffering and felt deprived of the one thing that made them happy. Yes it is hard. No, I can’t imagine never drinking again, but what keeps me going is that for now, I don’t have to worry about drinking. I don’t have to because I don’t need it right now. I do kind of want it, but definitely don’t need it.

So I’m trying to be the little yellow face in the picture. It is easier than you think if you just tilt your head and see things from another angle. Plus I really don’t want to look shite in the mirror at the hairdresser’s tomorrow!

 

Plodding on….

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I always drank wine while cooking. They just go together. So last night I cooked without wine and occasionally found myself looking for my glass. I realized that I have a half opened bottle of red on the counter, but I didn’t get tempted. Felt quite proud of myself which again makes me more determined to stick with this. But this is where I get confused. I can abstain and be really strong, but just one sip and I’m whizzing down the slide. So for now, there will be no sips. What’s the point?

I actually rented a movie last night that I knew Ed would like too. I watched the whole thing and was awake at the end to ask what the heck the movie was about. I was sober and still couldn’t follow it! Says more about me than the movie though. Makes a change from falling asleep half way through and wondering what happened.

Another part of my plan is that I’m starting this while I have a week off work. Normally that would mean cracking open the wine at 5:00pm rather than 7:00pm. It would be more structured if I began this challenge when work restarts, but I’m not one to take the easy route and feel I am proving more to myself this way and I’m less likely to give in when the next work break comes along. Might as well get used to it now.

The weekend begins tomorrow and I’m planning to do many things to fill my days and evenings. I’m really looking forward to waking up without a hangover on Saturday, it’s been a long time since that occurrence, and have even booked myself a haircut. I hate going to the hairdressers as staring at my hungover face that looks 10 years older than my 45 years is horrible. Seriously disgusting. So at least I will have 5 sober days behind me before I have to stare at myself again. Things can only get better, I hope!