Friday, 29 April 2016

Do not miss this...



Whether to identify your own rock bottom or reassure yourself that 'you're not that bad', please don't miss the chance to watch this honest documentary and then ask yourself if you still think having a drink is glamorous and sophisticated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07952b1/louis-theroux-drinking-to-oblivion?mc_cid=86dcd13021&mc_eid=1af836beaa


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Approaching 3 year anniversary

I'm still here. Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails- I've not replied to every one of them yet but I will get there! I've also deleted all the spammers who have been 'commenting' on posts.

At the end of the month I'm 3 years sober and finding it still a mixed bag: albeit 99% good, there is still, still, a feeling of loss at times. It is brought into focus by certain things and last weekend it was watching the documentary about the life and demise of Amy Winehouse, UK jazz singer, through alcohol and drugs. She died in 2011 from an acute overdose of alcohol.

In 2008, when clean sober and dry, she won a Grammy for best single with Rehab and her reaction was remarkable
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CSX8DxYUJk

However, after the cameras moved onto the next item, her documentary cameras continued to roll as she beckoned to her best friend to join her on stage, before both quickly disappeared back stage.

What did she say to her best friend at this defining moment in her life?

'This is all so shit without drugs'

I can relate to this. Periodically I feel the ennui of a stable boring life and long, usually just for a moment, to get absolutely drunk, talk rubbish, feel excited, dance, go wild and wonder where the evening will take me. Even the thought of the hangover the next day is not sufficient to dampen the want completely.

So, doing well, but not cured, not by any means.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Approaching Mid-Point of Dry January



In case I was perceived as a little negative about dry January in my last post, here is a bit of motivation for those struggling as the half way point approaches.

This link is to an article I wrote for the Guardian a year ago. It is still as relevant this year and will be for ever more I suspect. That sobriety is more about the journey than the destination gives more than a nod to the fact that your achievement is now. Today. Today you are sober and free from alcohol. Live in that moment and enjoy the benefit. Avoid focussing on the end of the month before ticking your achievement box.

Sobriety is a journey, not a destination.

Read the full article here


Monday, 4 January 2016

Dry January: Are you doing it? Am I?

'Are you doing Dry January?' I've been asked several times. Am I? Does it count if you're 'dry' all the time? I don't know.
What I do know is that I feel as if all the Dry January people are suddenly flooding into what I consider 'my world'. After 2 days, the benefits of becoming alcohol free became apparent and one of my friends gushed for quarter of an hour to me about the benefits she'd noticed already:

'I've so much energy! I'm sleeping so well! I feel so positive and alive!'

Yes, I know and I'm pretty sure I alluded to the same feelings 3 years ago (almost) when I stopped drinking (but then you thought I was mad and that you could never go without your glass of wine!)

I don't resent it- let them all enjoy being free from the poison, but still, I can't help thinking
1. I told you so, and
2. What's changed?

Because many of those doing Dry January are the same ones who have poo hoo-ed the idea of going sober for months. They've teased me, thought me boring, no fun, and in need of lightening up a bit and having just one. Go on.
Suddenly it's become cool to say you're going sober. They seek (and get) admiration and positive attention: donations to their cause, enquiries after their well being and social life and most of all- support- from those around them. No-one thinks they're alcoholic, they don't feel embarrassed to say they're stopping, and there is no shame- in fact the opposite is true- a brave 'I've over indulged so much I'm going to balance it out by being sober for a whole month!' type of accolade.

Am I over-reacting? Being over-sensitive and taking it all too personally? Perhaps. Despite this I will wait and watch with intrigue when the end of the month rolls around and see how those attitudes change.

Happy New Year.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Real Reason it's Hard Being Sober at New Year

It suddenly dawned on me this afternoon, the true reason why it is so hard being sober at New Year and why, from out of the blue, my desire to get absolutely shit faced suddenly reappears. 
It's nothing to do with socialising.
Nothing to do with parties.
Nothing to do with celebrations or being left out of them.
No, it s because today is the 8th day of the holidays. The school holidays and the holiday period. The 8th day I have been looking after the kids all day and increasingly late into the evening as bed time stretches further and further into the distance. And it's not just the kids. My OH is also off work and it's the only time in the year when we are in each others company day in, day out and he's driving me nuts with his ways. Even at the weekends we usually spend all day Saturday running the kids around and on Sundays we have his golf morning and my protected Sunday afternoon precisely because we recognise that we each need time alone to just -be alone - doing whatever we choose. 
But that goes out the window at Christmas. Usual activities are cancelled. Shops are closed or too busy to contemplate and the weather is so ferocious going out anywhere is not an option.
So the reason tonight that I want to drown myself in a bottle of wine is purely because my nearest and dearest are collectively p****** me off and I need a way to remove my conscious being from this situation! 
After 8 days it's time they all went back to doing what they usually do- school and work- and got out of my hair / face/ way/ house etc.
But instead I'll finish off the Christmas cake tonight and suffer the last big family meal tomorrow knowing that this too shall pass- as it has done the last 3 years since I stopped drinking alcohol.
So give yourself a break tonight - this is a hard time of year for many many reasons. Roll on 2016 (but roll on Monday 4th January (or Tuesday 5th if you live in Scotland) even more. If my family survive that long it will truly be something worth celebrating.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

How to Party Sober

If you're struggling to do this or dreading the thought of going to a party this year, learn some coping strategies here or alternatively buy my little ebook for a couple of $$ here




How to Party Sober 









http://www.recoveryplace.com/blog/how-to-have-sober-fun-at-a-party/

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas Parties: Earlier and Better

I've been to two Christmas events this year, both catch ups with 4 or 5 girlfriends for drinks and a meal in a bar/restaurant type place.
Unusually, the table has been booked for 4pm both times, instead of the traditional 7 for 7.30pm. I asked one of my friends about this last night- why the change?

The reason is due to Scotland's strict drink driving laws. These laws have been in place for one year now and limit the blood alcohol level allowed for driving to a level much lower than before, such that it is highly possible to remain over the safe limit the morning after - a problem for the drive to work.

So the move this year is to start early, finish early and have a longer period alcohol free before the next morning. Eminently sensible and for once, also a huge bonus for the non drinker.

No more waiting, starving, at 8pm for the drunk gigglers to focus on the menu long enough to choose what they're want to soak up the alcohol. No more waiting until 11.30pm for the dessert to be served and it becomes reasonable to leave- exhausted.

Last night was fab and suited me just fine.

I drove us all to the venue for 4 pm. We were eating by 5. Had dessert by 7. I stayed until 9.30-10 while they had a few more drinks as I was enjoying the chat and I left when talk of 'moving on into town' began.

I feel as if I've had the best of both worlds: a great night out catching up on gossip and having a laugh, enjoying food including dessert, staying as long as I wish, leaving when I choose AND, the icing on the cake, not having to stay out half the night to do so. I was home by 10pm.

Sobriety: allows a good night out AND an early night in simultaneously. What's not to like?
Follow @SoberRachel